Sunday, 11 March 2007

The decline of the corporate music industry ?

With a question mark, of course...

If you understand French, check this article on the well-known French newspaper Le Monde. The music industry (in short, the trust of Universal, Sony-BMG, EMI and Warner) is complaining about illegal downloading of music, and decline of sellings. But lets look at some facts :
  • there are only 200 independent sellers in France, to compare with 550 in 2004

  • Universal, Sony-BMG, EMI and Warner trust 80% of sellings, but only 20% of the references

  • people still prefer to buy real CDs than to buy albums on the net (95% of musics sellings in 2006)

I can add to that bunch of facts that experience of small bands tell that the big companies don't care about making them grow, they want fast, hard cash.
Not forgetting Digital Rights Management, which ironically denies any rights to the listener about what he just bought. So maybe they get what they deserve.

But obviously, this is an old problem.

Don't you judge a book just by the cover
Unless you cover just another
And blind acceptance is a sign
Of stupid fools who stand in line

Ha ha ha

Funnily, the Sex pistols were signed by EMI, who was the biggest label at this time, but were dropped 3 months later, because of their song Anarchy in the U.K....

Another (less metallic) blog

As those (few) of you who already checked posts here already know, this blog is (mostly) about me, myself, and metalness... I also wanted to post about open source stuff, and I thought that this blog was not the right place for that. So I created another one (also in blogger), here : There is only an introductory post for now, but it will expand in the following days (or weeks), or so I hope. Don't expect to have much more than some geek stuff in it, it will mostly be about programming and open source matters...

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Doomed by British Airways

You remember that one week ago, I traveled on behalf of my employer to Phoenix, AZ. Well the carrier was British Airways,and it turned out that this company is maybe one of the greatest corporate suckers earth has ever supported.

As you probably know (or not), you can't bring more than one bag with you when you are going to the USA now (this is another thing that sucks, too). I didn't know that, so I had my laptop bag and another little backpack with me, and in this backpack, among other things, a brand new Canon EOS 400D new digital camera (no way to put it in the laptop bag...).

What did happen ? You already know, when I collected my luggage at Paris Roissy airport, the backpack was not there. I filled a claim to the local British Airways bureau, and... they delivered my backpack only 9 days after, despite numerous phone calls to their dedicated lost baggage phone center (browsing on the web, it seems that NOBODY EVER GET AN ANSWER from them when calling...).

And of course, the bag was empty, no more camera in it...

So in this situation, what can I do (OK, apart from fighting to death to get a full+ reimbursement from the company, which is what I am doing right now) ?

Either day-dreaming of seeing these punks crushed in hell by many Hell Knights, or mercilessly reduced to ashes :

Or screaming for Revolution+Action :

Either way, let's see them rot in hell !!!

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Some cool Metal / noise / punk bands

Hi folks !! Just a (not so) small post to tell you about some metal or noise bands I like. These are not big ones with millions of fans, but they are still excellent metal bands. No matter the loudness of the music, or the fact that you can barely grasp the lyrics at first (or second, or third) hearings. You still remember the rhythm and the melody (yes there is one too). The fact that it must be played at maximum volume (and preferably live, putting your ears in danger) does not mean that it is not music.

As this blog is written in English, lets begin by US and Canadian bands. First, Slicing Grandpa (Velvet Underground gone autistic), a crazy experimental noise band from Seattle, the city of all noise / punk / metal / hardcore / ... experiments. I happen to hear them at Seattle's Methfest 2006 in August, with some of other metal / hardcore / noise bands (Fetal Distress / Oops, I Stepped in some Christ / X Penetration Camp). Was it metal, hardcore, industrial, or noise ? I don't mind, it was great (and very cheerful too) !!

Then there is Severed Serenity, an excellent Death Metal band from Vancouver. I also heard them in August 2006, and I was impressed !! And people from British Columbia, you are so lucky. They have two upcoming shows on March 31, and April 28. You better be there !!!

Now, some French bands : Aes Dana, a unique Celtic Black Metal band coming from Paris. This is not easy to blend harmoniously blasting metal with Flutes and harsh Celtic ambiance, but they do it very well. Their last album Formors is a must-have. If you happen to be near Weikersheim/Elpersheim in Germany next Saturday, or near Lyon in France on April 28, don't miss them (more info on their myspace page).

An excellent Satanic Black Metal band, also from Paris : Vorkreist. Saw them twice, I must say that it is some experience !!! Sadly, they planned to tour with the Norwegian Black Metal band 1349, but it was canceled because of the defection of 1349's guitarist. Stay tuned because they surely will come back to crush you !!

And finally, another very good death metal band from StDié (Vosges, France, yes, there is some metal scene even there !!!) : Datura. I saw them with Aes Dana some weeks ago, I can say that it was wild !!

OK, there is not only metal in life. Why not try J'aurais Voulu (yes it's a punk band). You can hear some of their stuff on the multimedia page of the website, and if you like it, a full-length album is being mixed now. I still remember this gig at Le Péniche Alternative...

Sunday, 4 March 2007

The Deadlier Death Metal Band in the World !!!

Do you know about Dethklok, the anime most Death Metal band ? Sorry, the most \m/. Aaaarghh !! The most . OK, you know what I am trying to say...

Dethklok are the hilarious heros of the Metalocalypse episodes. All you (didn't know you) wanted as metal animation (it seems they deserve a new classification, just for them) : extreme Death Metal, Corpse Paint, Death Grunt, even a guitarist from Sweden an another one from Norway (speaking with an almost undecipherable American accent, like almost all of the band).

They are said to be the most popular band in the world, even having more wealth than Belgium (!!). Their concerts tend to be dangerous for their fans, who often finish horribly mutilated, when still alive; but they don't care, such is their love for the band... (a lot of characters end in gore, except the band members, in all the episodes). Dethklok band members are metal to the core, even going to fast-foods or supermarkets called Burzum's, Gorgoroth, or FinnTroll...

And now, the first episode... beware, this is gory...
Now you have been warned..

Nathan Explosion, the band frontman : We're here to make coffee metal (!!), we will make everything metal, blacker than the black is black....

Are you becoming a Dethklok fan ? If so, sign the Pain Waiver now !!!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Black Wizard in Phoenix, AZ

I am just coming back from a business trip in Phoenix, Arizona, were I was attending a standardization committee on behalf of my employer. Phoenix is a very big American city located in a desert, so it is amazing to go there in February, were it is cold (although not so cold, for the moment) almost everywhere else, and find a June weather. Surely it's Better to be there in February than in July, I think...

I was there for a week (comprising one day to go there from France, one day to return), and I searched on the excellent Metal Travel Guide website to see if there were any Metal shows or Metal bars in the (very extensive) area.

Surprise, surprise, not much for a 1.5 million pop. city : Only one venue called Metal Devastation, with some metal gigs. There was one gig that could be interesting on Tuesday with a Californian metalcore band called Stick To Your Guns. Unfortunately, there was 3 different addresses for Metal Devastation, so how was it possible to find the good one, in this widespread city that look like a gigantic grid-based never ending suburb ? So OK, no Metal here for me.

But lets speak about driving here. This city is clearly for cars only. There is no public train transportation service on the area, and frankly I would not like to use buses here, considering the distances between places. My hotel was 50 minutes away from the meeting place, and once we from the committee went to eat (as advised by one of our Phoenix-based member) in a upscale posh place called "Sassi" (an excellent Italian restaurant, in a recent property recently build in the style of old Italian mansions). The restaurant was located in Scottsdale, and it was approx. 1 hour from the meeting center, or my hotel...

Plenty of time to listen to Emperor at full volume...

And speaking about Emperor, I was there in Wacken, I should tell about it one day...