Arcade Fire, Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Kid Rock, Mike D, Patti Smith, Pearl Jam, Sting, Tom Petty and others offering testimonials are ready to endorse the digital music delivery format, although no word whether or not they themselves are also ready to pony up. That’s a lot of potential investor dough if you think about it. Hmmmm….
By Uncle Blurt
We love Neil Young. By “we” I mean “I” in the most generously collective BLURT sense. We/I even married the Cinnamon Girl of our/my dreams. So it’s not hard to be predisposed to Neil’s new “musical ecosystem” he’s calling Pono, or to understand the whole “underwater music” metaphor he’s employing to help the hoi polloi “get” his pitch for Pono.
Not 100% sold on going to Kickstarter and handing him—or anybody—our/my hard earned dough on the yet-to-be-independently-reviewed-by-music/tech-aficionados Pono approach, however. That said, Neil has always been a strong and credible advocate for advancing the quality of digital music (he was a notorious holdout during the changeover from LPs to CDs, just to point out the obvious). So he’s on my shortlist of folks I think I can trust, unlike, say, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, whose end-game motives have yet to be discerned, musically speaking.
Decide for yourself: here’s the pitch video Neil—who just finished speaking in Austin at SXSW about an hour or so ago about all this—and the PONO crew put together. Watch for the brief Jack White appearance and ask yourself if that’s actually Howard Stern…
From the project’s Kickstarter page:
What is PonoMusic? “Pono” is Hawaiian for righteous. What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist’s intention, and the soul of music. That’s why he’s been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music. In the process of making music more convenient – easier to download, and more portable – we have sacrificed the emotional impact that only higher quality music can deliver. However, the world has changed in the last 10 years – technology has solved some of the underlying problems that forced that tradeoff. You no longer have to choose between quality and convenience when listening to music – you can have both. This is the fundamental idea behind PonoMusic.