Saturday, February 28, 2009


We'd like to share our favorite podcasts and invite readers to comment on theirs. Our two favorites that we listen to religiously are blues shows: Texas Blues Café and The Roadhouse. We love Texas music so the Texas Blues Café fits right into our tastes. It is dedicated to promoting blues back into American culture; particularly artist that are influential to the Texas blues scene. Thus you could hear a range of music from blues, rock, and Americana. Typical is the latest feed which includes Too Slim & The Taildraggers; Randy Hansen; Michael Holt & The Trophy 500's; and Mark McKinney.

The Roadhouse promotes itself as "The finest blues you’ve never heard"; and yes, we agree with that assessment. It is broadcast out of the home of Tony Steidler in Iowa City, Iowa and each week he selects a broad range of excellent blues for his listeners. "From the Delta to Chicago, from pre-war to jump, acoustic, electric, harps, horns – it’s difficult, if not impossible, to describe the emotions conveyed with such a simple form." This may be our favorite podcast and just take look at the The 210th Roadhouse Podcast to see why: Super Chikan, John Nemeth, Robert Lockwood, Bobby Jones, and Mitch Kashmar.

There are two additional feeds we download regularly. IndieFeed promotes a range of music and as typical of the above podcasts, we enjoy their Blues feed. Then there's Bob Boilen's All Songs of Considered. The best part of Boilen's show is that he provides tremendous insight into the industry, insight that he has gained from years in the business. Even though most of the music is more popish than what we normally would listen to - we can usually find a "gem" in each show. For instance, this year we've "discovered" M.Ward, Laura Gibson, and Dan Deacon. Thanks Bob.

We really would like to hear your suggestions - particularly any alt-country podcasts out of Austin - but basically anything else you recommend.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ticketmaster - Live Nation Merger

This week Ticketmaster and Live Nation announced a merger of the two companies and after reviewing this transaction, we can't see it being very beneficial to the average consumer. First, the joining of these two companies produce a near monopoly on ticket sale services. And not just in the United States. In the United Kingdom the new entity, Live Nation Ticketmaster, will control 70% of ticket sales. Expect concert tickets, service charges and transaction fees to increase - but that's not the worse problem. These companies already give preferential treatment to corporate sponsors or those purchasing with American Express. Already these individuals have access to choice seats - it is plausible in the near future that they may have access to a majority of seats. Live Nation Ticketmaster also plans to start selling high profile concerts by auction, effectively eliminating competition from the secondary markets provided by StubHub, LiveStub, and eBay. Another example of what's good for Wall Street is not particularly good for Main Street. Here at we plan on stressing the thousands of venues where tickets are purchased outside of Ticketmast and Live Nation. There will still be daily opportunities to attend affordable shows at coffee houses, wineries and breweries, bars, and small music venues.