Here is a very interesting article about how streaming services using sound leveling on playlists and albums. If your song is louder than others it's going to get its volume reduced automatically.

 

 ...louder masters do not create a louder playback experience for the listener.  The use of playback normalization algorithms eliminate the need for projects to be mastered at extremely high levels as they were in the early aughts.  Songs mastered at different volume levels are streamed at almost identical playback levels. Even though each streaming services has a different approach to loudness normalization, they all use a target level far below the master volume preferred by many modern artists, producers & engineers.  By mastering records closer to streaming service's target playback level, you will achieve a similar perceived playback volume, but gain the benefit of additional transient detail in the lower level master. 

 

Read more here.

 

 

After about 12 years of crazy monetary policy, things are becoming even more strange.  Banks are paying people to borrow money, and The Washington Post describes why this is alarming

 

[Subzero] debt, issued as government or corporate bonds, has doubled since December and now totals $15 trillion.

 

 The sudden increase suggests that a fast-rising share of investors are so nervous about the future they’re willing to actually lose a little money by lending it to a borrower that is almost certain to pay it back, rather than risk betting on something that could go bust. In a healthy economy, investors would put their money to work in profit-making ventures such as factories or office buildings.

 

{...}

 

Today, Japan and seven major European governments, including Germany and France, are able to sell bonds with negative yields, as are corporate behemoths Nestlé and Sanofi, whose size gives investors confidence they could withstand a downturn.

 

The United States hasn’t seen such upside-down bonds yet, though the yields on U.S. government debt have plunged, with at least one yield reaching new lows Wednesday. In recent days, top analysts at two giant investment houses — Pacific Investment Management Co. and JPMorgan Chase — have predicted that U.S. Treasury bond yields could go to zero or lower if the United States tumbles into recession.

 

“This is the ultimate indicator that something is fundamentally wrong with the world economy,” said Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “The escalation of the trade war is making it worse.”

 

This also suggests that banks could soon be charging people to save and paying them to take on more debt.  Why would they do that unless taking on more debt has become so risky that banks are willing to give you a financial incentive to borrow?

 

It's a really interesting article.  Everything is upside down thanks to the Federal Reserve and government policy creating great distortions in the market.  See my previous two posts for more on this subject.

 

Having just finished my post about David Stockman's article on subzero yields, I came across this article on CNBC: Greenspan says "there is no barrier" to negative yields in the US.

 

 

With global central banks engaging in unprecedented monetary easing, a record $15 trillion of government bonds worldwide now trade at negative yields. As uncertainty reigns, investors are looking for a safe haven for their money, even if it means getting back less than they gave.

 

 

“Why people continue to buy long-term Treasurys at such low yields may be also due to forces having altered people’s time preferences,” Greenspan said. “But there is hundreds of years of history showing the long-term stability in time preference, so these changes won’t be forever.”

Sounds like fancy Fed-speak for "you're getting screwed no matter where you put your money."

Writing about financial markets and debt may seem out of place on a musician's website, but those things have fascinated me for a long time.  They have a huge impact on our lives and we'd all be better off if more people paid attention to them and understood them.

All politicians, whether they call themselves Democrats or Republicans, know that buying votes with money is an effective way to win office and to keep it.  It's very fashionable today to take that money from future generations. They can't protest because they are not yet alive.

David Stockman, the Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan.  During his term the budget deficit soared so it's difficult to read this post from his blog and take it seriously.

But it's a fact that central banks have making savings very unattractive and speculation in asset markets more attractive in recent years.  That fueled the housing bubble and the current bubble in all asset classes.  What could be less desirable as an investment than saving or buying bonds at a negative interest rate?  You are guaranteed to lose.  With the price of assets like real estate and stocks seeing huge gains in price, more and more people buy them in the hope of making money rather than losing it.  But that's the kind of thinking that has produced every market bubble and subsequent crash in history.  How long can the current craziness last?

Stockman does a good job of illustrating just how crazy the whole thing has gotten.  It's an article well worth reading: The Risible Myth of the Savings Glut and the Lunacy of Subzero Yields.

 

Needless to say, the 100-year Austrian bond is not some kind of one-of-a-kind freakish side show in the far back of the financial circus. As the grid below shows, there are now trillions of long-dated bonds that are trading at subzero yields, and which will positively crash in price when the current bond mania ends.

That's just a tiny sample backed up by some good, solid facts. 

 Related Article: Alan Greenspan Sees No Barrier to Negative Interest Rates in US Bonds

Canadian musician David Michel tells the hard truth about the music market and it’s not a pretty picture.  When musicians can’t make money, lots of other people suffer: recording studios, teachers, those who sell instruments, etc.

Read the hard truth here: https://www.fyimusicnews.ca/articles/2019/05/17/danny-michel-speaks-out-musicians-going-broke-living

It's been a while since I was interviewed by Nufutur.com but you will probably still enjoy reading it.  The interview was done at the same time that the online magazine reviewed my Billion Dollar Pill Album.

When I wrote and recorded the song "Food is a Drug" I was thinking of it more as a metaphor.  People eat to make themselves feel better so it acts like a drug.

But it turns out that some foods are literally drugs and are addictive, causing you to get pleasure out of eating them.  Also, like heroin or any other addictive substance, you have withdrawal symptoms, craving more until you satisfy the craving.

Did you know that dairy contains opiates?

Did you know that wheat is addictive because is has a chemical the attaches to opiate receptors in your brain?

Pizza anyone?  Grilled cheese?  Cheeseburger? Milkshake?

Yes!, Yes!, Yes! I want more!

And then there's coffee, the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world.

Yes!  More of that too!  Preferably with some dairy in it!

Sound like the voices in your head?

Food really is a drug! (available on iTunes and all streaming services)

I just rearranged my Bandcamp site.  I like it because it shows all my album and song covers on the entry page, then you can click on the cover art to see the songs on the album.

Check it out and let me know what you think byusing the contact form.

Thanks.

This site is getting a lot of hits to stream the Betty Blues Backing Track in E Major under the music tab.

All Betty Blues Backing Tracks are available on all the major streaming services--all the major keys in two tempos and all the relative minor keys in two tempos as well.

E major is a nice place to start but don't be afraid to branch out!

In a previous post (12/9/2018) I mentioned how great Bohemian Rhapsody was.

The Golden Globes agreed with me giving the globe to Rami Malek for Best Actor in a Drama Movie and to the movie for Best Drama Movie.

Well deserved!

  

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