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Zoe Keating writes about the problems YouTube's new music service (and the ensuing agreement they want everyone to sign) is causing for some musicians and artists on the service.
My Google Youtube rep contacted me the other day. They were nice and took time to explain everything clearly to me, but the message was firm: I have to decide. I need to sign on to the new Youtube music services agreement or I will have my Youtube channel blocked.

This new music service agreement covers my Content ID account and it includes mandatory participation in Youtube’s new subscription streaming service, called Music Key, along with all that participation entails.
Jason Tate on 01/23/15 - 08:40 PM
Ray Waddell, writing for Billboard, on how the dropping gas prices across the country have helped touring artists.
The cost of fuel has been dropping since June of 2014, and by Jan. 12 had reached a five-year low -- which is great news for the touring industry. Based on U.S. Dept. of Energy averages, diesel fuel was running around $3.91 per gallon a year ago, and is currently about $3.13 on a national average. At that rate, an arena tour with 10 trucks and four buses averaging five miles per gallon is saving as much as $22,000 over 30 tour dates and 10,000 miles. Extrapolate that into the summer months, when more than 1,000 buses and 10 times that many touring trucks are on the road,...
Jason Tate on 01/21/15 - 10:57 AM
Killer Mike wrote an op-ed about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy over at Okayplayer.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Revolutionary, simple and plain. He did not get to live a regular life and have an 86th Bornday. He died a murder victim because he had the audacity to challenge a war machine bent on keeping people impoverished and men and woman dying for an illegal war. Martin was more than a speech-giving, marching, de-segregationist. He was a human being that dared to call out the hypocrisy of asking young people to refrain from violent protest on the one hand, while on the other allowing them to be cogs in a war machine that was making Vietnam a hell on earth for natives of that...
Jason Tate on 01/20/15 - 01:33 PM
Philip Ball, writing for Scientific America, explains how game theorists have "cracked poker." Hope everyone has a great Friday and a great weekend.
A new computer algorithm can play one of the most popular variants of poker essentially perfectly. Its creators say that it is virtually “incapable of losing against any opponent in a fair game”. This is a step beyond a computer program that can beat top human players, as IBM's chess-playing computer Deep Blue famously did in 1997 against Garry Kasparov, at the time the game's world champion. The poker program devised by computer scientist Michael Bowling and his colleagues at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, along with...
Jason Tate on 01/09/15 - 01:26 PM
Amy Davidson, writing for The New Yorker:
This was an attack on a publication and a neighborhood, a country and its press, and on any journalist, in any city. The magazine made fun of people—of many faiths, for many follies, which we all need to be reminded that we have. Some of the cartoons were blatantly, roughly sexual, and not designed to endear them to Jews or Christians. Satire was Charlie Hebdo’s mission, and a necessary one. There were times when the French government asked the magazine to hold back, but the magazine kept being itself, which is what one wishes for in a free press. Wednesday’s crime should not cause anyone to second-guess Charlie Hebdo’s editorial decisions....
Jason Tate on 01/07/15 - 12:52 PM
D.A Wallach, writing on Medium.
The problem is simply that no central database exists to keep track of information about music. Specifically, there are two types of information about a piece of music that are critically important: who made it and who owns the rights to it. Right now, this information is fiendishly difficult to track down, to the great detriment of artists, music services and consumers alike.

Decentralized, open-source, global cyryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ripple (full disclosure: I am an investor in Ripple Labs, which is developing this currency) offer a model for how we might address this bedeviling status quo. By applying the technical breakthroughs of...
Jason Tate on 12/16/14 - 07:46 PM
Sal Nunziato, writing for the New York Times, explaining why the "suits" were good for the music industry. Going to say I disagree with the premise here.
But maybe this music shouldn’t be heard. The Internet has enabled anyone with a computer, a kazoo and an untuned guitar to flood the market, no matter how horrible or simply unready the music is. This devalues the great music that is truly worthy of being heard, promoted and sold. And it is much more than just an endless supply of choices. The Internet has become a forum for all, regardless of talent. Anyone can be a writer. Anyone with GarageBand can make a record.
Jason Tate on 12/16/14 - 07:31 PM
Cassie Whitt, writing for Alt Press:
Flashback to 2005: I was that reviled age and waiting in line, clutching tickets for my first My Chemical Romance show (which I had cried and screamed over at my birthday party the week prior). I heard the man in front of me going on about “stupid, little My Chemical Romance fangirls” wearing the band’s T-shirts and “ruining” the show. I looked down at my brand new MCR shirt and hoodie and turned my back, self-consciously zipping up. It was easier than to think, “Is there something wrong with me? Am I stupid? Maybe he’s right. I can’t act like a stupid fangirl.”
Jason Tate on 12/11/14 - 01:48 PM
Caitlin Dickson, writing for The Daily Beast, on the state of racist rock on online music services.
With the strict media laws in Germany and other European countries managing to prevent 'white power' bands from success, or at least making it into the mainstream, the SPLC’s report notes that it was America's free speech protections of U.S. that allowed the racist music industry to thrive here in the 90s. In addition to being a once-hugely profitable business, hate music has long served as a highly effective recruiting tool for the movements whose messages it espouses.

Submitted by mr_raccoon
Jason Tate on 12/11/14 - 12:24 PM
Jason Tate on 12/09/14 - 08:24 PM
A different perspective on the entire Pomplamoose situation, from Ari Herstand:
They didn’t go on tour to make their income for the year like other bands do. Other bands don’t sell anything online and make all their money on the road. Pomplamoose is not one of them. They make over $5,000 a month in download sales. So instead of blasting them for their lack of tour income why not praise them as being one of the few bands who are still able to make a living selling their music online – without touring? They get paid (directly by their fans via Patreon) over $6,000 for every video they put up (for free) on YouTube. Why not praise them for figuring this out? YouTube ad revenue is a joke....
Jason Tate on 12/03/14 - 01:06 PM
How do speakers make sound? Check out this pretty cool visual explanation.
Jason Tate on 12/02/14 - 02:10 PM
Killer Mike has co-written an op-ed in USA Today discussing the treatment of rap music in courts.
As recent research has revealed, rap lyrics have been introduced as evidence of a defendant's criminal behavior in hundreds of cases nationwide, frequently leading to convictions that are based on prosecutors' blatant mischaracterizations of the genre. Ignoring many of the elements that signal rap as form of artistic expression, such as rappers' use of stage names or their frequent use of metaphor and hyperbole, prosecutors will present rap as literal autobiography. In effect, they ask jurors to suspend the distinction between author and narrator, reality and fiction, to secure guilty verdicts.
Jason Tate on 12/01/14 - 12:35 PM
Molly Lambert, writing for Grantland:
In many ways, Eminem’s relevance feels to me like a nostalgia act. For some, perhaps, it’s a longing for a time when a rapper could describe a fantasy of murdering his wife and call it art. My own nostalgia for Eminem is indivisible from my nostalgia for being a teenager, when I heard his music everywhere. I imagine this is true for a lot of people.

Submitted by RonStoppable
Jason Tate on 11/26/14 - 12:03 PM
Jack Conte, of Pomplamoose, writing on Medium:
Pomplamoose just finished a 28-day tour. We played 24 shows in 23 cities around the United States. It was awesome: Nataly crowd surfed for the first time ever, we sold just under $100,000 in tickets, and we got to rock out with people we love for a full month. We sold 1129 tickets in San Francisco at the Fillmore. I’ll remember that night for the rest of my life.

One question that our fans repeatedly asked us was “what does it feel like to have ‘made it’ as a band?” Though it’s a fair question to ask of a band with a hundred million views on YouTube, the thought of Pomplamoose having “made it” is, to me, ridiculous.
Jason Tate on 11/25/14 - 04:26 PM
Shaun Ossei-Owusu, writing for the Huffington Post:
Examining ODB, a fascinating personage in and of himself, also offers insights into institutions and logics that help shape black sociopolitical life -- specifically, the welfare state and the criminal justice system on the one hand and, not unrelated, distrust of government and racial suspicion on the other. Although Dirt's drug use and suspected mental illness obscured these insights, a critical inquiry into his life and archive highlights some of the unpleasant features of American race relations; it also illustrates the point that some of the most elucidating case studies are of those that we commonly dismiss as eccentric or...
Jason Tate on 11/20/14 - 01:28 PM
I fumbled through trying to explain this on last week's podcast episode, so here's Sharky Laguana writing on Medium and doing a far better job:
Since Spotify is so reticient on this topic, allow me to explain what will happen to 99.9% of the payable royalties generated by Butchers Of The Final Frontier: that money will largely wind up in the pockets of major pop artists like Calvin Harris, Meghan Trainor, Maroon 5, and Avicii. That’s right: essentially all of the revenue that was solely generated by a small death metal band will be divvied up among a bunch of major dance-pop artists. The horror.
Jason Tate on 11/18/14 - 08:45 PM
David Greenwald, writing for The Oregonian:
Modern music consumers bend toward convenience. It was true when college kids embraced Napster; it remains true now as teenagers listen to One Direction millions of times on YouTube. But convenience devalues recorded music down to fractions of pennies. It is not enough. Especially for young bands or niche artists, who might make enough money on selling a few thousand albums to hit the road and get back to the studio, the rising tide of streaming is a long way from lifting all boats. If we stop paying directly for music by artists and labels that are meaningful to us, we are abandoning them. Your $9.99 Spotify rate will support a Swedish tech...
Jason Tate on 11/18/14 - 07:58 PM
Andrew Woods, writing for The Telegraph:
One amusing dynamic from a PR's perspective is when a band that has been slagged off by a title are then asked to cosy up with the very same magazine due to the now quite considerable market forces they have at their disposal. I remember one very famous rock act were asked to appear on a cover by an editor backstage at Glastonbury. The editor, who had previously written some highly entertaining yet totally damning copy on said band, now had to persuade them to sell some copies of his mag. “Only if he gets down on his knees and begs!” said the lead singer. Dutifully, the editor got down on his knees and begged: “I want you to appear on the front...
Jason Tate on 11/18/14 - 02:12 PM
Derek Thompson, writing for The Atlantic:
Because the most-popular songs now stay on the charts for months, the relative value of a hit has exploded. The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn 77 percent of all revenue from recorded music, media researchers report. And even though the amount of digital music sold has surged, the 10 best-selling tracks command 82 percent more of the market than they did a decade ago. The advent of do-it-yourself artists in the digital age may have grown music’s long tail, but its fat head keeps getting fatter.
Jason Tate on 11/18/14 - 02:08 PM
Jason Aldean, one of country music's biggest stars, has pulled his latest album off Spotify. We talk quite a bit about a future in which some artists are on Spotify, some are not, and some are elsewhere on the latest episode of the AP.net Podcast. I feel like we've been spoiled so far and may be headed more toward a Netflix like future.
Jason Tate on 11/10/14 - 02:39 PM
Aloe Blacc, writing for Wired:
First, unlike most people in creative industries, songwriters seem to have less control over our work than ever before. Knock off a handbag design from a high-end fashion house or use a sports team’s logo in your new t-shirt line, and expect a lawsuit in short order. And good luck copying a big tech company’s patented innovation. You need express permission from the original creators to use or copy their work before you resell it. That’s how they protect the value of their work.

But the world doesn’t work that way for songwriters.
Jason Tate on 11/05/14 - 11:29 AM
In 2013, a group of researchers published a paper called Collective Motion of Moshers at Heavy Metal Concerts.
Human collective behavior can vary from calm to panicked depending on social context. Using videos publicly available online, we study the highly energized collective motion of attendees at heavy metal concerts. We find these extreme social gatherings generate similarly extreme behaviors: a disordered gas-like state called a mosh pit and an ordered vortex-like state called a circle pit. Both phenomena are reproduced in flocking simulations demonstrating that human collective behavior is consistent with the predictions of simplified models.
Jason Tate on 11/04/14 - 03:01 PM
Virgin has posted a new in-focus feature on how to fix the music industry.
In amongst all the anger, however, are a big set of opportunities. Music is now more widely available than at any other point in time, while new innovations in recording, distribution and live shows are coming thick and fast. The music industry has sadly failed to cope with the technological advancements which have allowed other sectors to flourish. Wasting so many years resisting change has left it playing catch-up, so how can it be fixed?

Submitted by TooOLDforAP.Net
Jason Tate on 10/27/14 - 01:00 PM
I really enjoyed this article:
When you have to make that trip to the record store, spend your money, and get burned on shitty albums sometimes, it makes you appreciate the good ones a little more. When you get to rip open that packaging and drive around listening to one album for weeks, there’s a connection that is hard to replicate in 2014. By the time you start getting into music, that experience will probably be long gone, and you’ll find different ways to connect with music. You’ll probably hear old people like me talking about how you kids don’t appreciate shit because you’ve never had to save up your money to buy that CD that the older kids in school were all talking about. I...
Jason Tate on 10/10/14 - 02:02 PM
Talib Kweli has written an article on Medium in defense of Lauryn Hill.
The artist is a human being, not a product. Sure, the artist makes products that are for sale, but the artist is not forever in your debt because you may have purchased a product from them at some point. When you buy an album from me, I receive money and you get music. It’s a fair and even exchange that begins and ends once I receive my money and you receive your product. If I don’t value myself as an artist — especially working in a market that has decided that recorded music is not worth spending money on — then who will?

Submitted by neo506
Jason Tate on 09/29/14 - 01:03 PM
The Spotify insights team did some research on how students listen to music.
We looked at a wide range of data including what artists were played, what songs were played and when, what playlists played, what genres were played and so on. We focused mostly on looking for distinctive listening patterns and behaviors at the different schools.
Jason Tate on 09/19/14 - 12:51 PM
Time's forthcoming cover story on U2 talks a little about the idea of a new music format that "will tempt" users into buying music again. Marco Arment's blog echos my pessimistic belief that this ship has probably already sailed.
Full albums are as interesting to most people today as magazines. Single songs and single articles killed their respective larger containers. This is true on both the supply and demand sides: most people don’t listen to full albums, and most bands don’t produce very good ones. People only care about hit singles.
Jason Tate on 09/18/14 - 03:43 PM
Rolling Stone believes 1984 was the greatest year in pop music history.
In the spirit of this landmark year, here are the 100 best singles from the year pop popped. To be considered, the song had to be released in 1984 or have significant chart impact in 1984, and charted somewhere on the Billboard Hot 100.
Jason Tate on 09/18/14 - 02:07 PM
Steven Hyden pens an interesting look at Ryan Adams:
If anything, Ryan Adams disproves this thesis. This is Adams in buckle-down-and-study mode, and the methodology didn’t produce a masterpiece; it resulted in another Ryan Adams album, though that ought to be enough. In my 2011 interview, Adams complained about how his latest work is constantly dismissed in comparison to his old work, even when that old work was itself dismissed in its time: “I made Love Is Hell, and people panned it really unnecessarily; there was harshness around it. Then, only a little bit of time passed, and people would fucking bring that record up as something I wasn’t doing, which is why my current records were...
Jason Tate on 09/03/14 - 11:31 PM
Ben Sisario, writing for the New York Times, looks at how Rdio will be moving to a free model.
Rdio's free version will be introduced in 20 countries on Thursday. In the United States, its ads will be sold by Cumulus, which operates more than 450 radio stations and an advertising sales staff of about 1,600 people. Eventually, the Cumulus partnership will allow Rdio to use content from Cumulus’s stations and syndication network.
Jason Tate on 09/03/14 - 10:57 PM
Mark Joseph Stern, writing for Slate, looks at the psychology and neuroscience for why nostalgia plays such a large role in our musical preferences.
To understand why we grow attached to certain songs, it helps to start with the brain’s relationship with music in general. When we first hear a song, it stimulates our auditory cortex and we convert the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies into a coherent whole. From there, our reaction to music depends on how we interact with it. Sing along to a song in your head, and you’ll activate your premotor cortex, which helps plan and coordinate movements. Dance along, and your neurons will synchronize with the beat of the music. Pay close attention...
Jason Tate on 08/27/14 - 06:33 PM
Henry Rollins has posted another blog on LA Weekly.
In the short amount of space afforded here, hear me out. Like a lot of people, I have battled depression all my life. It’s nothing special, in that it’s too common to be considered unique. This state has made me have to do things in a certain way to remain operational. There have been some truly awful stretches, as I am sure there have been for anyone who deals with depression, that have at times rendered me almost paralytic. Hours pass and I slow-cook on a cold spit. I have likened it to being a peach in a can of syrup yet fully conscious. In an attempt to keep moving along, I must stay in the immediate present tense, acutely aware of...
Jason Tate on 08/25/14 - 04:45 PM
Vox have written an article on the downfall of Mark Driscoll, the pastor at Mars Hill. If you're not familiar, this is the church where Dustin Kensrue is currently.
According to Kiley, Driscoll's steady "fall from grace" provides an illustration about how power can corrupt even the best of us. Kiley was loaned a copy of Driscoll's high school yearbook, which was a testament to how charismatic and likable he was: his many accolades included Most Likely to Succeed and Nicest Guy. "He wasn't always this macho, chest-thumping, I'm-gonna-kick-the-shit-out-of-you guy," said Kiley. There was a time, he said, when Driscoll genuinely seemed to want to help people.
Jason Tate on 08/25/14 - 11:36 AM
Amir Goldberg, writing for Stanford Graduate School of Business:
We like believing that our decision to download a song to our smartphone is the result of conscious, perhaps even rational, individual choice. But above all, we are social animals. Every decision, even the most banal, is deeply rooted in our cultural identity. Musical taste is never merely about melody or lyrics. Studies find a consistent relationship between, on the one hand, ethnicity, education, and income, and, on the other, musical and other preferences. Our decisions tend to be similar to those who are like us socio-demographically. Struggles over the qualitative value of our preferences are therefore also struggles...
Jason Tate on 08/22/14 - 04:21 PM
The Guardian is reporting that a 14 year old boy and a 31 year old man have been arrested on suspicion of raping a 19 year old at the Reading Festival.
Ch Insp Dave Parker said: "There is currently a scene watch in place and I would like to reassure those attending the festival that crime levels remain low and crimes of this nature are very rare. "Officers are patrolling the site to support on-site security and if anyone has any concerns, please feel free to approach our officers to discuss these." Police said there have been 21 crimes at the festival site since Wednesday, including five alleged drugs offences and 13 suspected thefts.
Jason Tate on 08/22/14 - 11:54 AM
The New Yorker has profiled the history of the vocoder.
The vocoder -- part military technology, part musical instrument—has had quite a history. In our new Object of Interest video, we explore the vocoder in settings ranging from the Second World War to Kraftwerk parties, featuring interviews with Laurie Anderson, Cozmo D, Dave Tompkins, and Frank Gentges.
Jason Tate on 08/22/14 - 11:52 AM
Henry Rollins has penned a piece for LA Weekly called "Fuck Suicide."
When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind. I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of distain. When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life. They were real but now they are not. I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn’t cut short — it was purposely...
Jason Tate on 08/21/14 - 02:56 PM
Billboard profiles the new start-up Bandposters.
Bandposters is an easy, affordable do-it-yourself tool for both the design and printing of concert posters (or posters for other purposes). Customers use a web-based tool to design the poster. Bandpages handles the printing and mailing. The service is integrated with Songkick and Bandsintown to pull venue information and create a poster for every date chosen.
Jason Tate on 08/20/14 - 11:35 AM
Sammy Maine wrote a piece for Drowned in Sound on if enjoying Blink-182 makes her a bad feminist.
Are Blink 182 a bunch of misogynists? Maybe. Are they the heroes of banishing cultural stereotypes that feminism strives to abolish too? Maybe. There will always be arguments for both sides but it’s in the creation of such discussions that feminism has flourished. The fact that we’re even talking about stuff like this – in culture, in media and in our everyday lives – is massive. Liking ‘problematic’ media doesn’t stop me from being any less of a feminist.
Jason Tate on 08/18/14 - 12:44 PM
One of Calgary's radio stations is going to only play two minutes of songs -- to try and keep people engaged and get with the times.
"As we look to people’s changing habits and changing attention spans and watch people on their iPod listening to half a song and forwarding on to the next one we sort of came to the conclusion that maybe it was time to rethink why songs are the way they were." The format, called QuickHitz, uses songs provided by Vancouver-based SparkNet Communications.

Submitted by hopscotch
Jason Tate on 08/08/14 - 05:32 PM
The LA Times is reporting that House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood will be torn down to make room for more hotels and condos. Pretty sure this is the first place I saw Something Corporate, Gym Class Heroes, The Juliana Theory, and countless other bands during my collegiate stint in California.
"Regarding the story, our legendary House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard – the flagship for 20 years of our popular venues around the country – will operate business as usual while we look for a new home," the statement said. "We have a terrific relationship with our landlord who has other plans to develop the property and we’re working together on a very smooth transition. We have...
Jason Tate on 08/06/14 - 11:17 AM
Aux.tv looks at 26 (because the stats say you get more clicks if you use weird numbers like this) pop-punk bands that are "somehow" still around. Lots of hilarious digs at pop-punk being like Trix cereal: just for kids. A lot of this relates well with topics in the last two episodes of our podcast. (I'll be honest, even I didn't even remember The Ataris were still around.)
New Jersey-based Midtown were named accurately: Initially signed to Drive-Thru, they cut three albums—the most memorable being 2002′s Living Well is the Best Revenge—of completely middling pop-punk. It was serviceable if forgettable side-stage-of-the-Warped-Tour fare; singer Gabe Saporta, in fact, would get more...
Jason Tate on 08/02/14 - 12:22 PM
The Economist breaks down your career chances if you have tattoos. The video feature can be found here, the article here:
In a forthcoming study, Mr Timming and colleagues asked participants to assess job candidates based on their pictures, some of which were altered to add a neck tattoo. Inked candidates consistently ranked lower, despite being equally qualified. In a separate study Mr Timming found that many service-sector managers were squeamish about conspicuous ink, particularly when filling jobs that involve dealing with customers.

Submitted by mr_raccoon
Jason Tate on 08/02/14 - 11:54 AM
There's a really nice profile on producer Mike Crossey (The 1975, The Gaslight Anthem) over on SoundonSound.
"After these years of working predominately with pop music that involved a lot of programming, I had a period of rebellion to it, during which I fell out with computers and wanted to work all-analogue and solely with tape machines,” remarked Crossey. "I was inspired by the Steve Albini approach and worked with many guitar bands. These days, I'm somewhere in the middle, and so last year I was talking with my manager about finding this mythical band that blends pop, commerciality, programming and electronic elements with being a guitar band with real instruments, credibility and...
Jason Tate on 07/25/14 - 05:02 PM

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