Odds & Ends: Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Deadmau5, Warped

Garth Brooks goes digital … Bruce Springsteen’s “acting” debut … Disney files against deadmau5 … Warped Tour founder to give free music biz workshop.

Photo: Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP
Speaking during a press conference at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

In 2001 when Garth Brooks officially announced his retirement from recording and performing, the internet had been open for commercial development for seven years.  Now Brooks is back, beginning with 11 shows at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and he wants to work with the ’net on his terms.

Up until now you wouldn’t find Brooks’ hit albums and mega-selling songs on any popular online music service. iTunes and Amazon MP3 or streamers such as Spotify or Rhapsody have always been lacking in Brooks’ music, mainly because he felt artists weren’t in control of the music made available on digital platforms.

But that was yesterday.  Today during a press conference held at the Allstate Arena hours before his return to touring, Brooks said he’s found a digital store for his music – GhostTunes.com.

“There are a number of digital e-tailers out there for music,” Brooks says in a video posted on GhostTunes.com.  “And when you look at their rules and how they do their thing, I still can’t find one that fits yet.

“Because I’m looking for somebody that just allows the artist to sell however they want, and for the music buyer to get it at a lesser price than [previously priced].  And I’m looking for someone who is solely trying to sell music to the people. Getting that bridge together.  Everybody is either selling widgets or a billion other things.  But I want that place where … this place knows how important music is to people and they know what kind of job responsibility it is to be the bridge in between the people who created it and the people that listen to it.”

In the video Brooks says he originally planned on selling his music on GarthBrooks.com but realized his needs for an artist-friendly digital marketplace were even larger than his stardom.

“That’s when somebody said, ‘Well, don’t you care about other people’s music? … Well then, why don’t you provide a space like that for everybody?’

“And I looked at him and said, ‘You’re crazy.  Are you kidding?  Can you imagine what that would take?’  And then I got approached by a company that could make it happen.”

When Brooks finally decides on anything, he goes big, and GhostTunes.com is no exception.  Brooks is offering a collection simply called “The Bundle” that features an instant download of his new single, “People Loving People,” and the bonus track “Send ‘Em On Down The Road,” along with other songs from the upcoming new album as they become available before the release date.

But wait, there’s more. Lots more.

“The Bundle” also includes downloads of all eight studio albums in the Brooks catalog, the new double live DVD/2CD set 25th anniversary edition, and the new album upon its release.  Price? $29.99.

Hmmm… sounds as if iTunes might have some serious competition.  While you’re dusting off your credit card in anticipation of downloading “The Bundle,” here are highlights of Brooks’ news conference, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Back in the 1970s as the music world caught on to what a young man from New Jersey named Bruce Springsteen was all about, there was speculation in the press that The Boss might follow Elvis Presley by becoming a star of the screen as well as of the concert stage.

But other than a cameo in “High Fidelity” and an appearance as “Man” in the 2014 short film “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” Springsteen’s film career has been limited to his music videos, speeches and documentaries as well as writing and singing Oscar-winning songs.

Now comes word that Springsteen will guest on “Lilyhammer,” the Netflix-distributed TV series starring his buddy/E Street guitarist Steven Van Zandt as a mafioso placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program, resulting in him moving to Lillehammer, Norway.  According to Deadline.com, Springsteen will play a mortuary owner.

But Springsteen won’t be the only friend of Van Zandt’s appearing on “Lilyhammer.”  Deadline reports that Tony Sirico, who played Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on “The Sopranos,” will appear as a priest.  Van Zandt, of course, played Bada Bing owner/manager Silvio Dante on the HBO crime drama.

Photo: AP Photo / Schalk van Zuydam
Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town, South Africa

EDM fans know Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, by his mouse ears, both on his head and on his albums and merch. In fact, the producer/DJ has trademarked his mouse ears all over the globe. 

But when deadmau5 applied for a trademark in the U.S., the Disney corporation opposed the filing, reports Rolling Stone.

“The deadmau5 front facing mau5head is a registered trademark in 30 countries worldwide,” deadmau5’s attorney Dina LaPolt told Rolling Stone.  “In June of last year, deadmau5 applied to register the front facing mau5head with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Disney is now opposing the U.S. filing.

“Given that the mau5head and other identifying deadmau5 trademarks have been used in the U.S. and around the world for almost a decade, we wonder why Disney is only coming after deadmau5 now.  Our client will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property.”

Deadmau5 announced Disney’s filing to his fans via Twitter, saying it was time to “lawyer up mickey.”

Photo: John Davisson
Ultra Music Festival, Bayfront Park, Miami, Fla.

The EDM artist also notified his Twitter followers that he might have a case against Disney, saying that a cartoon video titled “Ghosts’ n’ Stuff – Re-Micks” featuring the company’s famous rodent, is using his “Ghosts ’n’ Stuff” track without permission.  His lawyer sent Disney a cease and desist order regarding the alleged infringement.  The communication is also posted on deadmau5’s Twitter page.  

There’s nothing like learning from a professional and if you’ve ever contemplated a career in the music industry, then you owe it to yourself to check out the CreativeLive.com course “In The New Music Biz: Bands, Brands, Managers & Tours” hosted by founder Kevin Lyman that live-streams Sept 27.

You’d be hard pressed to find a better instructor than Lyman.  Along with creating Warped, Lyman’s credits include the and tours as well as his partnership in Side One Records. 

Lyman is expected to cover a range of topics that will interest future music execs as well as artists.  Click here for more information.