About bemuso

It’s a DIY thing... debunking music biz middlemen since 2002. Info about the industry and web for independent musicians—and what I think, as if that matters.

Adele blitzkrieg

AdeleAs we watch the inevitable impact of 25 with its hit singles, videos and acres of tabloid waffle, bear in mind that “the album is dead” and “music has lost its value”.

Nobody buys music any more. The recording industry is finished.

Except of course when an artist makes records people want. I wonder how the pundits will explain Adele?



Here’s a half hour radio programme about the music business that aired this morning on BBC Radio 4 (click on the logo).

For the past 15 years we have debated what it all meant. By 2007 it was pretty clear there was no going back, to even the most die-hard big label dinosaurs. The dust has largely settled now and some unambiguous features are emerging from a complex upheaval.

“The Pop Star and the Prophet” passes through many of the key points and is worth a listen although I’m not sure it really arrives at its destination.

Email addresses not working


A good Internet chum of mine has pointed out my site email addresses have got lost, probably when I moved the site. I must admit I didn’t test them so I’ll need to take a look at that. Apologies to anyone who has been rudely rebuffed.

And yes, it has been very quiet here lately. Blame Japanese, DIY, music and the splendid weather.

UPDATE: Email addresses now fixed.

December site move—back in January

movingSo, here I go. I’m moving the WordPress blog and all the HTML pages.

I don’t know how long it will take. I’m also tidying bits and pieces from the past 13 years and reassembling everything under one roof.

I can only say it should be back up by January 2015. See you then.

EDIT: January: everything is now moved and simplified (cheaper and faster, hoorah!) Vaultpress was handy for the transfer although WordPress itself is bafflingly shit at transferring blogs home to its own hosting platform. So I’m still using a non-Wordpress host but everything is at least under one roof (at Zen UK).

The Art Of Asking

amanda_palmerHere’s a quick review of Amanda Palmer’s book.

If you’re a huge fan you will read it anyway and you will love it, so this is for the rest of us. I like what she does and how she does it but I’m not a massive diehard fan.

I have blogged before about her TED talk. If you have seen it, seen the fallout or simply have a (possibly sceptical) view about TED in general, it might make you wary of this book. Don’t be.

Another theme of the book is the The Fraud Police from her commencement speech to The New England Institute of Art in 2011. If you enjoyed her TED you’ll like that too.

There are probably 3 things this book could have been. Thankfully it isn’t just fan fodder, and despite the title it isn’t merely an expansion of The Art Of Asking TED. It’s better than either of those would have been, it’s an autobiography with those aspects of her philosophy, and others, woven in.

It covers her experience of busking as a human statue, starting up her band (The Dresden Dolls), making her first CDs and funding an album, before getting signed and dropped. Then there’s her Internet career, the £1.2 million Kickstarter album, various controversies, marriage to Neil Gaiman and so on, up to date.

She’s had a really interesting career so there’s never a dull moment and the stories about her life, friends and fans are often very moving. As I tweeted when I finished it: I laughed out loud and I cried. She writes well.

I would like to have known more about her team and her management—there are key people around her we don’t hear much about (they are mentioned in the acknowledgements). But apparently it was edited down from over twice as long so maybe there wasn’t room.

So it’s a good music autobiography and if you have followed her ups and downs it fills in a lot of gaps. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in indie musicians and the many variants of DIY music biz.