Yuna – Nocturnal

One thing you can count on is that there will be new influences emanating from the music universe. My latest discovery in that context is the artist YunaYuna, is a Malaysian singer, songwriter, and businesswoman.

Yuna describes her music as “a cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay

Yuna just issued her “sophomore” recording, Nocturnal. It is vibrant, infectious and happily engaging.


Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E’s In Love

It was late in 1978, mid-December if I recall correctly. I was managing a record department for Caldors in Stamford, Ct. I was invited to attend a customer appreciation holiday party by my Warner\Elektra\Asylum (WEA) account rep.

At the party WEA was showing artist videos on a big screen color projection system. I remember watching  a new artist on the Warner Bros. label that my account rep was excited about, Rickie Lee Jones. I was given a poster that night of her soon to be released album (February 28, 1979). I don’t know what happened to that collectible…

The music video I saw was “Chuck E’s In Love”. I was knocked out with Rickie Lee Jones hip style and delivery. This was three years before MTV and rotational music videos as a channel. Music videos in 1978 were rare compared to how plentiful they are today with YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

The song became a monster hit as was her first album, Rickie Lee Jones. I sold many copies of that album in 1979.

Always A Tower Of Strength – Lou Reed

Just a couple of weeks ago Lou did a photo session intended to become a print ad for his friend Henri Seydoux‘s French audio headphones company Parrot. The renowned photographer Jean Baptiste Mondino took the shots, and this was the very last shot he took. Always a tower of strength. – Tom Sarig, Lou Reed’s Manager (Courtesy of

Lou was a very special poet – a New York writer in the way that Walt Whitman was a New York poet. One thing I got from Lou, that never went away, was the process of performing live over a beat, improvising poetry, how he moved over three chords for 14 minutes. That was a revelation to me.  – Patti Smith (Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine)


Wayne Kramer Honored by Future of Music Coalition

The Future of Music Coalition is holding its inaugural Future of Music Coalition Honors, to be held Monday, October 28, 2013 at The Hamilton Live in Washington, DC.

Wayne Kramer will receive a well deserved award in recognition of his role as an activist for social change.

Voice of Social Change 
Wayne Kramer, MC5, Co-Founder, Jail Guitar Doors USA

A true music legend, Wayne Kramer is much more than a widely respected sonic innovator, composer and performer. He is also a devoted activist who has channeled his personal journey into a commitment to social change spanning decades. Guided by a deep belief in the power of personal transformation through music, Wayne’s work with the incarcerated through the nonprofit Jail Guitar Doors serves as an inspiration for artists everywhere to use their platforms to make a real difference. Future of Music Honors is thrilled to recognize Wayne’s founding role and ongoing leadership in Jail Guitar Doors USA, as well as his lifelong commitment to creative expression.

Legendary guitarist and songwriter Wayne Kramer and his all-star friends will bring a raucous energy to the occasion with musical performances.


Jail Guitar Doors Benefit Concert featuring Wayne Kramer & Friends

with Brer Rabbit (Flobots), Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Raul Pacheco (Ozomatli), Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Deathfix), Erin McKeown, Ariana Delawari, Jill Sobule, Mark Cisneros (Deathfix), and Wayne Kramer

We lost Lou Reed today

It saddens me to learn that Lou Reed passed away. He has joined the great beyond. I remember being privately alarmed by his facial coloring at a recent interview with John Varvatos in the Bowery for the Genesis Publications book with photographer Mick RockTransformer.

Now all I can do is play his music trying to buoy the music of our heart from sinking further in sadness.

God Bless your tenacious spirit Lou Reed, thanks to you my life has been forever changed by rock and roll.

Shot By Mick Rock


Two Important Music Conference Events Monday October 28th

There are two important music industry conferences taking place Monday October 28th. These events are instrumental to effect change for the digital music industry. Each event is powerful in scope with a noteworthy cross-section of industry/celebrity presenters and significant topics that are just in time when it comes to the Internet music debate forum.

I wish I could take the day off from teaching and fully plug-in to both cyberspace events. More importantly I wish I could be in person at one of these conclaves but cost restriction and employment are the realities of my life.

I absolutely plan to plug-in via the Web as best I can and follow the proceedings via social media too. I will share how you can do that below if you are inclined to witness and take part. Remember this is your digital music too and your voice is important in the mix. Now is not the time to be a digital music sheeple in play only mode and just let those with industry clout shape our music.

1) The Future of Music Summit 2013, October 28-29

The first event is The Future of Music Summit 2013 taking place in Washington, DC at Georgetown University.

Webcast Information – Be certain to register so you can be reminded of when the Webcast starts etc. 😉

Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to make sure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.

Summit 2013 will cover an incredible amount of ground, including:

  • Presentations and keynotes by government officials, musicians and advocates
  • How proposed changes to copyright law may impact musicians
  • The ins-and-outs of digital business models and revenue generation
  • Data and the artist experience
  • Why public policy matters to local cultural communities around the globe
  • How musicians are advancing positive social change

Granted this event is more about copyright and is far more sociopolitical. But if you thread through the speakers schedule you will find several influential luminaries in the panel discussions and some very meaty topics.

So if you are a digital music wonk like me these two days loom large in understanding what is being discussed, debated and decided about the music ecosystem.

I applaud Tim Quirk from Google Play for participating in this event. I did not see any other major music moguls from Sony Music, Universal Music, Spotify, Apple, Spotify, BeatsAudio etc. taking the time to speak at this very important conclave. Shame on them. My respect increases for Google’s role and commitment.

I am keenly interested in Tim Quirk’s presentation.

Pushing People Up The Pyramid

This presentation highlights the different strategies musicians need to engage different tiers of fans – from the unaware and barely interested to the most die-hard fanatics – and provides insight on how Tim has arranged the editorial and merchandising piece of various services he’s worked for to best reflect that reality.

Tim Quirk Head of Global Content Programming, Google Play

2) Virgin Music – Virgin Disruptors, Has Tech Killed The Music Industry

The second event is sponsored by Virgin Music, Spotify, Vevo and Songkick. Virgin Music is making this part of their 40 year celebration of Virgin Records. The event is Virgin Disruptors, Has Tech Killed The Music Industry.

This event is much more splashy, social media and multimedia branded than The Future of Music . But the intent and purpose is well-intentioned.

The question “has tech killed the music industry” along with many others that surround the relationship between music and technology, will be debated live from the Virgin Records anniversary exhibition in Central London on Monday October 28th at 3:30 pm. EST. The event will feature artists who have been vocal about tech vs music: will.i.amAmanda PalmerScooter BraunImogen Heap and Zoë Keating, alongside leading music platforms SpotifyVevo and Songkick.

Zoe Keating is totally cool intellectual. I plan to write a separate blog post about her soon (I’ve started writing it…)

My browser and Internet viewing will be busied on Monday. I hope I can set aside the time to soak in these two events. No question I will need archive access to best absorb all of this stuff.

Can you say drinking from the end of the fire hose? I knew that you could 😉

Bring it on!


Leslie West’s Still Climbing Drops At My Door

I received my Leslie West Still Climbing Audio CD and Poster today. Very cool of Leslie West and Mascot Label Group to ship early to pre order customers. I love that I have the four days to hear this rocking album before it officially drops for all to buy and hear on Tuesday October 29th.

The color scheme for the trifold CD cover is soothing with its brown and orange space planets theme. It always helps to get liner notes to dig into each recording more thoroughly.

Still Climbing Track Listing and Interpretation

1.  Dyin’ Since The Day I Was Born (Leslie A. Weinstein & Jon Tiven)

Leslie West is joined by special guest Mark Tremonti on guitar

This song cooks and I love the way it builds, its an energy rocker that hooks you good.

2. Busted Disgusted Or Dead (Leslie A. Weinstein & Jon Tiven)

Leslie West kicks it abetted by Johnny Winter‘s 2nd half of guitar solo

The silkiness cross-thatched with the grittiness meshed totally works. The track produces an effective layered sound. Johnny Winter pushes out a slide guitar passage that grabs you and doesn’t let go. I have such total respect for two rock and roll survivors carrying on the tradition in tight formation.

3. Fade Into You (Nashville TV Show) – (Matt Jenkins, Shane McNally and Trevor Rosen)

I find myself watching this show some evenings.  I like the original music written and performed. I’m glad Leslie West covered it and helps share this music with his fans.

4. Not Over You At All (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein)

The first of four husband and wife collaborations. I love the support and sharing that takes place here.

I was subsequently sad to learn that Arno Hecht (Uptown Horns) who plays sax on this track daughter Ava died recently. Leslie opens his heart to her , stating Arno’s daughter would be very proud of him. He then states this is his favorite song.

5. Tales of Woe – (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein)

We learn how Leslie West and his wife Jennifer cope with the loss of Leslie’s leg due to diabetes. His road back is an encouraging one for all of us to be proud of for them both.

6. Feeling Good (Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse)

Featuring Dee Snider (Who I loved on The Apprentice)

An old chestnut takes on new life between Leslie and Dee’s respective energies and mutual appreciation.

7. Hatfield or McCoy (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein, Joseph M. Piazza)

8. When A Man Loves A Woman (Calvin Lewis & Andrew Right)

Featuring Johnny Lang

I have seen Johnny Lang live twice. He posses that true conviction when he plays. I love how he sucks you in. Well played gentlemen.

9. Long Red (Leslie A. Weinstein, Felix Pappalardi, John Elis Ventura, Norman Landsberg)

Featuring Larry West Weinstein, Leslie’s brother who played with him in The Vagrants

Long my favorite Mountain song, I couldn’t wait to hear the updated version on Still Climbing. Leslie West did not disappoint. I found myself rocking and drumming harder than ever.

10. Don’t Ever Let Me Go (Leslie A. Weinstein, Jennifer-West Weinstein)

Featuring Dylan Rose

11. Reverend Jones Time, an Over The Rainbow Instrumental

Leslie West – Guitar, Bass – Rev Jones

But just don’t take my word about this new recording. Watch Leslie West explain track by track what he accomplished with others with Still Climbing.