The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, December 04, 2006

CD Stories

My brother walked into a store in town yesterday and was very pleasantly surprised to hear my CD, U'Shmuel B'Korei Sh'mo, playing over the speaker system. He started talking to the proprietor and in the course of the conversation, the proprietor told him two things. First, he liked the CD alot. Second, he didn't buy it; he downloaded it off a computer.

A couple of weeks ago, I met a person who is very involved in the music industry. I had given him a copy of the CD and this was the first chance I'd had to ask him his thoughts. He gave me very good constructive criticism then we started talking about sales.

He has produced many CDs and described first hand the terrible impact on CD sales of projects that he'd produced caused by people downloading music illegally.

In November, I had lunch with Shlomo Katz in Jerusalem. He told me that everyone he talks to has his wonderful new CD, V'Hakohanim. Unfortunately, actual sales do not nearly reflect this (the CD is still doing reasonably well).

I have not yet received a report on how the CD is doing. I should be getting the first 90 day report in the near future. Truthfully, despite the almost unanimous positive reaction to the CD, strong backing from Sameach and a bunch of advertising by me, I don't know what to expect. I knew when I produced the CD that the market for non-Shiny Shoe music was extremely limited but I did not take into account the rampant stealing that goes on among even among this chevrah.

MHW asked me tonight whether I would have done the CD project knowing what I know now. The answer in this case is yes. It was done primarily as a tribute to my dad and I was willing to lose some money on it. However, I would never do another project based on the same model. I would look for independent funding before embarking on any major new production. As long as poeple take the music without paying for it, the economics simply don't work.



  • At 12:32 AM, Blogger uberimma said…

    Well, we paid for it. We very rarely buy music--that does not mean, chas v'shalom, that we steal it, only that we aren't home often enough to listen to music and when we are there is usually some small person vocally demanding Uncle Moishy. So the money goes to other things. But this was twenty bucks very well spent--it has not been out of the CD player since we bought it and every so often it even wins out over Uncle M. It has given us a lot of pleasure and we are glad you did it--it has given me some good chizuk for late-night Shabbos cooking, too.

    Also, it's a beautiful tribute to your dad. Even if the economics don't work, I hope it was worth it just for that.

  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger and so it shall be... said…

    I think this subject is a better topic for the Agudah convention and various public lectures centered on tznius that only serve to dehumanize women.

    If I recall, it was brazen theft that led to the mabul, not slits in skirts.

  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger and so it shall be... said… the way, I own and paid your CD. I even forewent the Aish Kodesh discount and bought it at Judaica Plus.

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said…

    I can't believe the store owner stole it! That's chutzpah.

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    what's bigger chutzpah is that he wasn't even the least bit embarrassed to tell that to my brother.

  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger AS said…

    The other issue possibly is concerts.
    When one is promoting an album and performing at concerts there is another venue in which to push product. This is not the casehere, so even though it's a good album and has some very recognizable names it may not sell as well.

  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said…

    Lenny sells a TON of merchandise at shows. That's tough if you have a CD that doesn't tour.

    Also, if you market to OLDER people (say my age and up) you'll find more people who either don't understand the whole mp3 thing or were brought up with an ethic of paying for things. It's these youngsters who think that if they CAN get something for free, then it's OK.

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I sell the CD at aish kodesh gigs. Since I don't tour, that is the best I can do. Even there, the musicians are selling their own goods so it competes with their stuff (of course I get their permission; most of them are on the CD anyway and are happy to help).

  • At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Such theft is apalling. Once I get the chance, your CD will be purchased and loaded onto my iPod, where I'm sure it'll shortly find its place as a favorite album.


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