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Adam Yauch

Sad to hear about the passing of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Few bands left actually seem to stand for anything these days. They did that and more. At times, their causes were bigger than their music. It’s one of the things I always respected about them. That they weren’t afraid of scaring off fans by taking on political issues they believed in. And in the end, actually educated their fans by doing it.

I know it sounds like crazy talk, but MTV actually use to play music videos. And the Beastie Boys ruled this domain. They completely revolutionized music videos. As a kid, I always remember when MTV had a Beastie Boys video premiere. Everyone watched. Whether it was the Pulp fiction like “Sabotage”, or the trippy “So What’cha Want”. It was always THE event to see. They were the trend setters. And everyone followed.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to have worked on one of their albums. It’s one of the credits that I’m most proud of having and always will be.

They were true pioneers of hip hop. Showed you could be from any street. That it didn’t matter. It was just about the music.

Below is my all time favorite Beastie Boys video. “Sabotage”.

The Yankees vs. The Limeys

All the great music is coming from the U.K. It just is. Adele is a great example. Her current record is a monster success. 9 million already sold to date. Which is phenomenal considering no one buys records anymore.

But there is no way Adele breaks here in the U.S. before the U.K. Major labels here wouldn’t have touched her with a ten foot pole. She would’ve been seen as too much of a risk because American music is more about being an “entertainer” than it is about the music itself. It’s been like that for a long time now. Sure, the U.K. still has your cookie cutter showbiz bands, but great artists like Adele and the late Amy Winehouse at least have a fighting chance to make it over there.

Of course now that the Adele record is such a huge hit, you know every major label in America is going to pump out 20 little Adele’s within the year. Which, I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s completely missing the fundamental issue. No labels here take a chance on anything. I haven’t heard anything on mainstream radio that doesn’t sound like the same 100 songs before or after it. It’s a constant loop of poo that just keeps oozing out of your speakers. It’s like your radio has the eternal stomach flu with no toilet paper in sight. You want to change the channel but you’ve become so used to the stench, that you’re numb to it.

The radio has always been very polarized, but somehow things in the past few years have managed to get worse. Why does something here have to be a proven success before any record label is willing to take a chance on it? When did good music take a backseat to making a quick dollar?

When a soulful artist like Adele starts sounding refreshing on the radio, almost foreign sounding, then it’s a sad era of American radio.

Santos and Johnny

Had to share this. Best instrumental ever.

Indaba Mixing Contest

I wanted to give a shout out to the winners of the Indaba mixing contest that I had a chance to judge. The contest was to see who had the best mix of Lea’s “November Skies” that Ken Lewis and I produced. I think there ended up being over 1000 entries for it. I appreciate everyone who entered and hope they took something valuable from it. In the end, mixing can be a very subjective art form. So please, don’t take any offense to some of the comments we made on the mixes. There were a ton of great mixes and I could tell a lot of people but in some hard work.

Congrats to the following….

1st Place Winner
Harry Aponte

2nd Place Winner
J. C.

3rd Place Winner
Maria C.

You can listen to the mixes at the link below.

http://www.indabamusic.com/opportunities/ken-lewis-mixing-contest