Sunday, March 18, 2007

Phil Spector Murder Trial

Phil Spector's muder trial is due to start on Mondayin LA

The murder trial of pioneering rock producer Phil Spector finally begins on Monday, more than four years after a B-movie actress was found shot to death at his castle-like mansion outside Los Angeles.

The trial, delayed repeatedly since Spector was indicted in 2003, will be shown on live television amid fascination with the 1960s musical genius turned recluse who once described himself as having "devils that fight inside me."

Fifty news organizations applied for a seat in the Los Angeles courtroom for the biggest celebrity trial since pop star Michael Jackson's 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges.

I really don't think he's going to get off you know, life without parole is what I expect as the sentence. Rich white guys just don't get the death sentence.

On the other hand, as we know from Michael Jackson's trial, convicting a celebrity of anything is pretty damn tough.

Pity he can't claim it was listening to Coldplay that set him off.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Record Companies and Digital

The really doesn't sound like a sensible business strategy for the record companies faced with the digital revolution: Do nothing.


Record labels need the digital music market to take off. So why aren't they helping it any?

Physical CD sales have been in decline for the last five years, and according to various estimates are expected to fall another 15%-20% again this year. And while digital revenue is on the rise, it is not yet reversing the trend. Sony BMG global digital business president Thomas Hesse says that if physical revenue drops by 15%, digital revenue must rise by 60% to compensate. This year, he expects net revenue to fall.

So what are labels doing other than licensing their music to digital services that they hope will become successful? According to many service providers and industry analysts, the answer is -- nothing.

"There's no plan, no sense of direction," one digital retailer executive says. "They're just hoping somebody is going to figure all this out for them."

To date, that somebody has been Apple -- its iTunes store commands 70% of all digital music sales and the iPod around 80% of all digital music devices. Yet, record labels are the first to point out that Apple can't reverse their falling fortunes on its own. They need more services selling more music to more people. And although labels have tried to support potential competitors to iTunes, such as Microsoft's Zune bid, these services are merely limping along.

There's only one way this would make sense. Stop signing new artists altogether, slim the company right down and live off the residuals. Otherwise, they've got to find some way of dealing with it.

Brosnan and Streep in Mamma Mia?

You what? Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep in the movie version of Mama Mia?

Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is in final negotiations to join Meryl Streep in the movie version of the popular ABBA musical "Mamma Mia!"

The story revolves around a bride-to-be (Amanda Seyfried) and her formerly rebellious mom (Streep) who raised her on a Greek island and never disclosed the identity of her father.

The bride locates three men who might be her father and invites them to her wedding. Brosnan will play the main father figure.

The musical features 22 ABBA songs, including "Dancing Queen," "Take a Chance on Me" and "The Winner Takes It All."

Phyllida Lloyd is directing the Universal project; ABBA members and songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus will serve as executive producers, as will Tom Hanks.

Brosnan has "Butterfly on a Wheel," which he also produced, and "Married Life" with Rachel McAdams and Chris Cooper, in the can. Seyfried has appeared in "Mean Girls" and "Alpha Dog," and can be seen on HBO's "Big Love."

I officially decalre this a turkey, before they even start shooting.