Saturday, August 27, 2016

Passion Party # 566 - You Can't Push The River, and You Can't Fight The Stream(ing)

The Summer of Streaming is upon us, and the music business will never be the same.
The whole concept of a music fan owning music, caring not only about the artist but the additional players, the production people, the artwork, the care and thought that an artist puts into the concept of an ALBUM of music, meant to be listened to from beginning to end, is truly over.  Music is now a commodity, and musicians are not artists, we are merely content providers.

Some examples, from an excellent Wall Street Journal article by Neil Shah:
 - as of June 30, 36% of music sales are from streaming, compared to 26% from physical albums and 20% from digital downloads.
 - This summer Chance The Rapper released the first streaming-only album.  He has no record deal and creates no physical product. He  has a deal directly with Apple Music for distribution and his album(?) "Coloring Book" debuted at #8 on the Billboard chart.
 - Last week Riahanna's album "Anti" only sold 5,000 physical copies,but it is in the Billboard Top 10 with more than 26 million streams

The good news is that music sales and streams are up. In 2015 317 BILLION songs streamed on-demand.  People are listening to more music more often.
The bad news is that although Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services are getting super-high valuations, the artists are making dramatically less money.

The basic formula that the industry is using is that each stream of a music is worth 1 cent, so 1500 streams should equal $15, the price of an album.
Given that formula, Drake's new album "Views" has streamed 2 BILLION times, and it should be the equivalent of seeing about 1.3 million albums.  2 Billion streams = a million+ selling album.

But the $.01 per stream formula is counting all the revenue that Apple or Spotify pay for the stream.  This is divided up between the record label, song writer, the publisher, the artist.

Looking at my digital sales report from my distributor CD Baby, if it is a song that I am all those things (record label, song writer, publisher, and artist) I do get paid 1cent, but in cases where I am only the record label or the artist, I can make as little as 1/10th of 1 cent  ($.001)
If I get a Million streams of this song, I earn  $1,110.  I don't think I will be retiring on my streaming royalties any time soon.
But I might buy stock in Spotify when it goes public...
Here is an example of the report:

Aug 24, 2016

Jul 2016 iTunes - Apple Music – US George Kahn Jazz & Blues Revue I'd Rather Go Blind Yes stream 1.0 $0.00189917 $0.00189917
Aug 24, 2016 Jul 2016 iTunes Match - Americas George Kahn Jazz & Blues Revue Something's Got a Hold On Me Yes stream 1.0 $0.00111095 $0.00111095

Monday, June 20, 2016

Passion Party #565 - Father's Day 2016

POSITION: Father (also known as Daddy, Dad, Pop)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidate must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required.
LENGTH OF JOB: The rest of your life.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Not much until Grandparent position opens up.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required. On-the-job training mandatory.
  • Ability to fix any broken toy
  • Bug Catcher
  • Doctor
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Teacher
  • Principal
  • Finder of lost objects
  • Master pancake maker
  • Clown
BENEFITS: No paid holidays. Available benefits include lifelong opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and occasional hugs.
These are only a few reasons to celebrate all the men we know and love who are great fathers!
Happy Father’s Day!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Passion Party #564 - Master Class

I have never had the guts to audition, to put myself in a highly competitive environment musically.  The only time I had to audition to get into graduate school in a jazz program, I hated it so much that I decided that continuing schooling was just not for me.  I never went back to a formal degree program after getting my Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition - I was just not a real academic, in the "ivory-tower" sense.  And this decision worked well for me.

My son Evan, on the other hand, is on a solid path to get a Masters in Cello Performance (Chamber Music) from San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Right now he is in Los Angeles as one of 40 students from around the world that were chosen to participate in the Piatigorsky Cello Festival

We went to the cello festival this afternoon to see Evan play for a master class with Raphael Wallfisch
Evan was one of three students that played in this, the first master class of the week (each of the 40 students gets a chance to play for one of the master teachers.)  Evan was nervous, and understandably so.  He was not only playing for one of the most recorded cellists in the world, he was doing so in a concert hall FILLED with other cellists that were really outstanding, including three cellists that had played for the LA Philharmonic.
The first two students that played were really quite good, and Raphael was a great teacher - very precise, and humorous in a very British way. They were both nervous, and he worked on their bowing quite a bit.
Evan played the Debussy Sonata for cello and piano.  The pianist (who played for all three) was really phenomenal.  Raphael clearly knew the Debussy inside and out, and had very specific suggestions for Evan, mainly regarding interpretation and direction of the phrases, really detailed stuff.  He clearly enjoyed Evan's playing.  He let Evan play all three movements of the piece - the only student that he let complete their pieces.  And at the end he clearly said, (very softly), "Bravo" to Evan, when he finished the last dramatic ending of the sonata. 
We were so proud.  I almost started to cry.  It was a huge triumph for Evan.  Now he gets to just go to cello concerts, recitals and other master classes for the rest of the 10 days.
Tomorrow night we see him perform at Disney Hall as part of an 80-cello orchestra!

So I guess this falls into the old "Follow Your Dream" category.  Or perhaps "Follow Your Reality - find what you are good  at, and keep doing it".

Monday, May 9, 2016

Prince, Adele, Ed Sheeran and Herbie Hancock walk into a bar...

Not it's not a joke, it's some of the music you'll hear on Wednesday at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood when the George Kahn "Secrets" Band takes the stage to play an eclectic night of Jazz;  Music starts at 8:30 PM,
Here's the program:
1)   Killer Joe
2)   Rumor Has It - Adele
3)   The Night Has 1000 Eyes
4)   Freedom Jazz Dance – Eddie HArris
5)   Roger Kilowatt - Kahn
6)   Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
7)   Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
8)   Thieves In The Temple - Prince
9)   Wayne’s World - Kahn
10)                  Work Song – Nat Adderly
Wednesday, May 11 at 8:30 PM.  Please call for reservations, to make sure you get a great seat 323-466-2210 or buy online at CATALINAJAZZCLUB.COM

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Passion Party #563 - Behind The Front Page

I never use this blog for this purpose, but I just have to share the various news stories I read today in the Wall Street Journal.  None of these showed up on the first page, and none of them were reported in the LA Times.  I believe they are more newsworthy than the latest thing that any politician said today.
  1.  -  Millions of documents that were leaked from Mossack Fonseca & Co. list 140 very prominent public officials, executives and celebrities that used their services in setting up shell companies and offshore accounts for its clients: Many business associates of Vladimir Putin, The Prime Minister of Iceland, eight relatives of China's Politburo Standing Committee, the brother-in-law of Chinese President Deng Jiagui, Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko and others.  The law firm and all individuals have denied any wrongdoing.
  2.  - Although college students take notes on the computer 33% faster than if they hand-write the notes, students that take notes by hand  consistently learn better,  retain information better and are faster to grasp new ideas.
  3.  - New rules from the Labor Department will, for the first time, require stock and insurance brokers to act solely in the best interest of their client, and fully disclose the commissions they earn by making an investment recommendation.
  4.  - Although the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (established in 2009 after the Great Recession started) named specific executives at Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and AIG that they felt should be brought to trial for violating federal securities law in 2011, NO Wall Street executives have faced criminal charges for the events that brought about the financial crisis.
  5.  - Bill Gross, the "Bond King" of Pimco was paid a $300 million bonus for his work with the firm in 2013.  He quit in 2014, and is now suing PIMCO for $200 million in damages for a bonus he claims he is owed for the time he worked there in 2014 before he resigned.

 - Just another day here in paradise.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Passion Party #562 - One More Day

If you could spend one more day with a loved one already departed, how would you spend it? What would you do? Mitch Albom became fascinated by this question while writing the book, For One More Day
Albom found time and again that people wanted to spend an ordinary day doing ordinary things with the people they had loved. Almost everyone wanted to tell this special person, “I love you” one more time. Many said they wanted to do the habitual things they always did with the person, such as head to the movies, or eat at a favorite restaurant, or just sit around and talk about old times.

Albom learned what we yearn for is not something exotic or faraway – it’s connection. And realizing this, a “normal” day is something we should all treasure. 
This year on February 29th you will be granted One More Day. I can’t grant you time with someone who is already gone, but I can remind you to do something ordinarily wonderful with someone you love today!

Happy Leap Day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Passion Party #561 - Optimist Vs. Pessimist

An optimist looks at her smartphone and sees a mighty hand-held computer that is changing the world for the better.
A pessimist looks at her smartphone and sees all the accidents caused by people who text while driving, or text as they walk into a streetlamp.

An optimist thinks, "Another day of potential and opportunity".  A pessimist thinks, "Another day of meaningless existence.  And then you die."

In the end, life is what we make it, and the only constant is change.
As my friend Mark says, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf".

As for me, I choose to be an optimist
             because the alternative sucks.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Passion Party #560 - Keeping Love Alive

Falling in love is easy.
Falling in lust easier still.
But to be in love and stay in love for decades takes commitment and work.
A recent study of sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships is being published this month in the Journal of Sex Research (you can read more about this at
The study, started in 2006, analyzed answers from 39,000 heterosexual couples that had been with their partners for at least 3 years.
The “No, duh!” result from the study? Men and women who are sexually satisfied are happier in their relationship.

Well, as Marvin Gaye said, “Let’s Get It On”.

But maybe a long-term loving relationship is not that simple.  The study found that there were consistent habits of happy, long-term couples.  And it is not just frequency of sex that creates a satisfying relationship.  Other factors consistently came up amongst the couples.
The habits that show up consistently amongst the couples are mood setting, sexual variety, communication and frequency of orgasm (no, orgasm was not first among men).
What sets the mood? The most important, by far, is saying, “I love you”.  Lighting a candle, dimming the lights, putting on music; these are all things that fall into the “No, duh!” category, but how often do you do this?  Are you aware of how often you say, “I love you” to the one you love the most?  Engaging in sexy talk and laughing were high on the list as well.
And what kind of communication is key?  Well, scheduling a “date night” or a morning to be sure they had sex was mentioned by about 60% of the couples.  Spontaneity is wonderful, but it is not a habit for most people.
Other types of communication that were mentioned in the study: Praise your partner. Communicate about what you want. Ask what the other person wants. Say what feels good.  Ask for feedback.  Talk throughout the day, not just at night.  The more people communicate, the more satisfying the relationship. (No, duh again.)
We never stay the same in a relationship. We are always growing together, or growing apart.  So take the time. Communicate.  Schedule a date night. Light a candle.  And not just on Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Passion Party #559 - The Unexpected Challenge

Who knew it would be uncomfortable to plan a 25-day vacation?
Who knew that writing a cover letter for something you believe in could be so difficult?

The challenges we set for ourselves
- to lose weight
 - to exercise more
 - to make more money
these are easy compared to the unexpected challenges,
the ones that life throws at us like a curve ball
the ones that leave us questioning
wondering where the resistance is coming from,
whether we can even lift the bat, much less swing it,
wondering and wandering.

It takes time to dig deep and find where the resistance is coming from.
I cannot prepare, I can only be open and willing to face the challenges

Friday, January 22, 2016

Passion Party #158 - Take A Risk, Part 2

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
-Anais Nin

Who is it that is hiding inside you?
When did you decide it was better to be safe and invisible
rather than to live flamboyantly and risk being noticed?
What gifts are you sitting on, hoarding,
that you could be sharing with the world to make it a better place?

Life is about choices, growth and taking chances.
It is about loving courageously and not holding back.
I owe it to myself and to the world to make the most out of what is given me.

Bloom into your incredibly, gloriously beautiful self.  The world is waiting.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Passion Party #557 - Take A Risk (Part 1)

"You will either step forward into growth
or you will step backward into safety"
-Abraham Maslow

Safety is easy
Just do what you have always done
and get the same result.
Growing is a challenge
You must face the fear putting yourself out there
You must  risk rejection and failure.

Without steeping forward,
without raising your hand,
there is no growth.

You can live the risk of doing nothing
or you can live the risk of doing something
or you can risk doing some big audacious something.
The choice is yours
the results will follow.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Passion Party #556 - The Best Year Ever

What will make 2016 my best year ever?

Making money alone won't do it.
Seeing my bank account grow is a great feeling,
better than the alternative,
but there is more to life than making money.
Taking stock of what's important and then doing more of it this year:
that feels like the definition of a really great year.

A year of solid and increasing income
A year of travel
A year of music
A year of "clean" eating
A year of exercise and physical health
A year of morning ritual and spirituality
A year of being close with my family
This can be my best year ever.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Passion Party #555 - Accountability

Life is short.
This message is clearer and clearer as I get older,
as I see many of the people I grew up with passing away.
Where once life seemed an incredible expanse of time
(I could not imagine what it would be like turning 50!),
I now see a finite, if indefinite, number of days.

What to do with the time still given me?
How can I best accomplish what I want to do?
This is where accountability and community come into play.

I need to be accountable to others
for their sake and mine.
When I am willing to accept responsibility for my actions
my path becomes clearer.
When I commit to others, not just to myself,
the power is doubled, the motivation increased.

So this year I commit
not to goals or tasks
but to being accountable.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Passion Party #554 - About To Be

(inspired by Seth Godin)

The only way to become the writer who has written a book is to write one.
The only way to become the musician who has released a music CD is to release one.
And you can't create your second CD until you've done the first.
You can't win a Grammy unless you have an album up for consideration.
It is the doing first. Whether it is running, or walking, or golf, or leading.
Yes, the only way to become a leader is to start to lead.
It really is a little mind game, this "acting as if".  It starts with a desire, and then a thought, and then an action.  And finally, if you follow through, there it is.  It is a mix of the present and the future, with a healthy dose of ignoring the past.
Just tell yourself what you are about to be.  And then become it.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Passion Party #553: Down — But Not Out — In Los Angeles


(also published on

There is a housing crisis in Los Angeles. Some people call it a homeless crisis I think of it as a housing crisis.
You see it in Downtown: As the gentrification picks up speed, the old “flop house” hotels get converted to hip apartments and the condos start selling at $550,000.
You see it in West Los Angeles: Now starter homes are selling for $800,000 and being torn down by developers to make million-dollar houses. You see it on the beach in Venice, when the police chase the homeless across the border into Santa Monica; you see it again a month later when the Santa Monica police chase the homeless across the border into Venice.
You see it on the street level at many a freeway overpass.  You see it near the Veterans Hospital in West LA, you see it next to the 110 as you drive to Pasadena, and you see it in the San Fernando Valley.  People are homeless: they need help, they need jobs, and they need counseling.  They need a place to call home.
Ten years ago I saw the problem up close and personal.  A friend — let’s call him “Billy” —was living in an industrial park in Marina Del Rey, and got evicted from the illegal unit when management changed hands. Billy started living in his car, having nowhere else to go.  After an arduous process that took a couple of years, Billy was finally able to secure “Section 8” housing with the help of many friends, charities and some government agencies.
I wanted to do something to help those in this type of situation. After releasing a few jazz albums and performing at the top jazz clubs in Los Angeles, I had enough good will and contacts in Los Angeles to put together an evening of great music with some of the best jazz players in the city. Now I just had to find the charity to partner with. 
Through my Temple, I was introduced to PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) and their housing division, PATH Ventures. Rather than just do another gig in Los Angeles, I wanted to give back to the city that has given me so much, and so in 2006, I decided to hold a fundraiser concert for PATH.
PATH’s philosophy is “a hand up, not a hand-out.” They offer various services, including street outreach, interim housing, the PATH Mall — which has everything from county social workers to a barber shop to a computer center, all to help people get back on track — and permanent housing projects. As soon as I reached out to them, they were welcoming and supportive about the idea of holding a “Jazz for the Homeless” event.
Little did I realize that when we did that first “Jazz For The Homeless” concert in 2006 it would turn into an annual charity event, and we would end up raising over $100,000 for PATH Ventures.
The thing I love most about doing this show for PATH Ventures every year is that it is so effortless. I call the charity, and they say, “Great, let’s go.” They do the marketing and outreach, and I bring the band, The Jazz & Blues Revue (a five-piece jazz band with three fabulous female singers that can do everything from the Andrew Sisters to The Pointer Sisters). The world-famous Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood gives us the club for a night, and ALL the money we raise goes directly to the charity.  No egos, no drama just a fun night of music for a very worthy cause.
We are now holding our 10th anniversary PATH Ventures Jazz & Blues Revue show on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. Once again, KJAZZ DJ Bubba Jackson will be joining us as host, and we will play our hearts out in joy as we raise money to help build housing for the homeless of Los Angeles.
When we began 10 years ago, the goal for the charity was to build or have under construction 1,000 new housing units by 2015. I am thrilled to say that PATH Ventures now has over 1,300 units of permanent housing either completed, in construction, or in the pipeline. And during just the last two-and-a-half years, PATH has found housing for over 4,800 veterans, families, and chronically homeless individuals.

We live in a world now of haves and have-nots. The dividing line is pretty clear. The “middle class” has begun to vanish. The statistics that describe the magnitude of economic inequality are stark. Before taking into account the effects of redistributive government programs, the richest 1 percent of Americans makes 20 percent of the income. Wealth inequality is even more extreme, with a 2014 study from the London School of Economics estimating that in America, the wealthiest 160,000 families have as much as the poorest 145 million families. This disparity becomes very clear in Los Angeles, “the Land of Opportunity.”
Like many people in this city, I have had my ups and downs. And I know that when things get tough very often it is a matter of circumstance, not a matter of choice — it could be an outsourced job, or a medical emergency, or a car accident when you have insufficient insurance. Whatever it is that takes you over that edge, things can happen when there is suddenly a wolf at your door and you have nowhere to turn.  I feel a responsibility to help my city, to help stitch together a part of the safety net that our government does not or cannot provide. 
So, where does the PATH Ventures Jazz and Blues Revue go from here? I am not really sure — we have talked about expanding the event to a larger venue, maybe bringing in some bigger name jazz artists. This is the first time we are holding the event on Veterans Day. Since one of PATH’s goals is to help homeless vets, perhaps we will build on that connection. One thing seems certain: unfortunately, the homeless problem in Los Angeles is not going away any time soon. The city puts
forward promises, but in the end economics drives this problem, and unless there are some fundamental changes to our society, there will be no short-term answer. What is important to me is that I know I am helping to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
If you are in Los Angeles on Nov. 11, please join me for the 10th Annual PATH Ventures Jazz & Blues Revue, at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. You can find tickets at or, for more information, call Tessa Madden at 323-644-2202.