Music's Not Dead

Survey finds music still tops in entertainment, weird guitars celebrated and Willie's braids sell for big bucks

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click to enlarge Listening to music in the car: Still popular (Photo: CZmarlin)
Listening to music in the car: Still popular (Photo: CZmarlin)

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Music’s Not Dead

As the process of consuming music continues to evolve, many complain that the changes have cheapened the artform. But this year’s Nielsen’s Music 360 report on music consumption suggests that listening to music is still the most popular form of entertainment in the U.S. The study found that 93 percent of Americans listen to music, slightly more choose to listen to music over watching TV on a daily basis and most people still listen via radio (terrestrial and online). The survey also revealed that the most popular place to listen to music is in cars (where TV viewing and gaming are still slightly difficult), followed by at work, while doing chores and in the background of arguments between the voices in your head (probably).

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Guitar You Experienced?

It was a big week for interesting guitar contraptions. In New Jersey, the Liberty Science Center opened the Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World exhibit, featuring the world’s biggest playable guitar (43 feet long, 16 feet wide), the world’s only working eight-neck guitar (get Rick Nielsen one, pronto!) and a guitar built of various rare materials, including the ivory from a wooly mammoth tusk (add some dinosaur egg shell and get Kanye one, pronto!). Meanwhile, news of the Carolan Guitar made the rounds. Dubbed by the press as the “Blogging Guitar,” the acoustic instrument features digital codes hidden in the guitar’s design that record everything that happens to the instrument, from its construction to who plays what on it where. Though the experiment is just getting started (visit carolanguitar.com to follow the process), it seems weird that one of its first posts was a drunken late-night rant about how offended the guitar was by Apple’s recent U2 album giveaway.


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Hair Steals the Show

There were some amazing items put up for auction recently by the wife of Country legend Waylon Jennings. Among Jennings’ belongings sold were Buddy Holly’s Ariel Cyclone motorcycle, given to Jennings (a member of Holly’s Crickets) after the Rock & Roll legend died in 1959 (it sold for $450,000) and a 1946 Martin acoustic guitar Jennings used to write songs ($32,500). But the item that garnered the most headlines? Two strands of hair braids belonging to Willie Nelson, which were given to Jennings at a party to celebrate his sobriety in 1983. The hair fetched more than the rare guitar, raking in $37,000. The buyer’s name was not revealed, but hopefully it was a scientist who plans to scrape DNA from the hair and create an army of Willie Nelsons to take over the world.


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