The Tangled Web
The Web's most intriguing music-related destinations. This week: Lou Reed and BroadBAND Rocks!, Muze and Super Furry Animals.Keeping you up to date on the Web's most intriguing music-related happenings and destinations.
STREAMED JANE: Rock legend Lou Reed's performance Saturday (June 21) at San Francisco's Warfield Theater, like a growing number of concerts, was not only for the eyes of the fans present. The concert was broadcast live by AOL's "BroadBAND Rocks!" program, and is available through Thursday (June 26) as an on-demand stream for AOL for Broadband users.
Though "BroadBAND Rocks!" posts a new full-length concert every week, it usually draws from archival performances. The Reed concert is the program's third exclusive live event, following May performances by Foo Fighters and Staind, and the program's success is yet another sign of how the Internet is changing the way music is presented and experienced by listeners. Though the Warfield only holds 2,300 people, many more were able to experience the concert through the Internet stream. Though specific stats on the amount of AOL members tuned in for the show were not available at deadline, the results from the two previous events place the expected number in the hundreds of thousands.
The inaugural live BroadBAND Rocks! show -- the Foo Fighters' May 1 performance from Washington, D.C.'s 500-capacity Black Cat club -- was watched by approximately 250,000 people in its first 48 hours online, according to AOL Music VP/general manager Evan Harrison. He says that the Staind show drew similar numbers, and that some of the program's streams have been accessed more than 1 million times over the course of a week.
"We follow a format that radio did years ago with syndicated shows such as the King Biscuit Flower Hour," says Harrison of the program. "Every Sunday night, you could tune in to hear a different concert. What we bring to the table is that not only can you get it right when it's new, you can go at your leisure; it's available on demand."
AOL narrowband users or non-AOL users cannot access the "BroadBAND Rocks!" content in full, but AOL makes available each week a single track from that week's concert selection to these users, through AOLmusic.com.
And Harrison says more live broadcasts are in the works. "We're finalizing the summer schedule now," he says, hinting that a big-name artist is being courted for a July show.
MUZE-ING ON NIRVANA: VH1's "100 Greatest Songs From the Past 25 Years" special, which aired in a series of five episodes last week on the cable channel, is inciting plenty of Web surfers to revisit some of their favorite tracks of recent history. Muze, which supplies streamed audio clips to a variety of consumer sites, including VH1.com, creates a weekly top-10 list of its most-streamed samples, and last week's edition was swamped by entries in VH1's Top-20.
Nirvana's 1991 anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which came in at the pole position on VH1's tally, was also Muze's most-streamed clip last week. Muze marketing communications director Holly Lehr says the clip was streamed about three times more than the average week's leader. "Nirvana was streamed 28,768 times, and the average No. 1 on our list is around 8,500," she says.
Seven other entries in Muze's top-10, including Eminem's "Lose Yourself" at No. 2 and U2's "One" at No. 3, were featured in VH1's special. Only Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" and Faith Hill's "You're Still Here" bucked the trend, at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively.
FURRY POWER: Rare is the band today that doesn't use the Web to keep fans up to date on its latest albums and tours, but not many groups create a Web site specifically for each of their albums. Welsh pop mavens Super Furry Animals have done exactly that for their two most recent discs, and have just launched a new site dedicated to the forthcoming "Phantom Power," due July 22 on XL/Beggars Group in the U.S.
Phantom-Power.com is in a spartan state now, with only the album cover art, a WindowsMedia download of the album's first track, "Hello Sunshine," and an option to join the group's e-mail mailing list. But it promises to be expanded in the coming weeks, with news, more downloads and other multimedia. The Web site for the band's 2001 album "Rings Around the World," featured video clip downloads, streams of unreleased album outtakes, and contests to win concert tickets and other SFA-related goodies.