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Megan Seling, writing for the Nashville Scene, takes a look at how summer festivals in our music scene are handling representation. Some are clearly doing better than others -- some barely look like they're trying.
Male musicians, if you're finding yourselves on lineups where women are so grossly underrepresented, ask the promoter why that is. Ask to include more female musicians in your shows and tours. Prove to festivals that women deserve more than 2 percent or, worse, to only get attention when magazines and festivals produce shit like "Hottest Chicks of Hard Rock"or "Girls Only" stages. I'm goddamn tired of female musicians being treated like lesser humans or tokens in the music...
Jason Tate on 02/24/15 - 07:33 PM
Starbucks will stop selling CDs.
"We will stop selling physical CDs in our stores at the end of March," a rep for the Seattle-based company tells Billboard, adding: "Starbucks continually seeks to redefine the experience in our retail stores to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Music will remain a key component of our coffeehouse and retail experience, however we will continue to evolve the format of our music offerings to ensure we're offering relevant options for our customers. As a leader in music curation, we will continue to strive to select unique and compelling artists from a broad range of genres we think will resonate with our customers."
Jason Tate on 02/20/15 - 11:44 AM
Shea Serrano speculates on Grantland about what it would be like if Kanye West had never interrupted Taylor Swift.
For starters, if he doesn’t interrupt her, then he never gets shredded into a million pieces in the news. And if he never gets shredded into a million pieces in the news, then he never makes My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which was his emotional response to the blowback, and that is truly devastating, because MBDTF is a (very nearly) perfect album. If there’s no MBDTF, then that means we never get RZA drunk-mumble-shouting, “Fuckhhn ruhdihhkulus” on “So Appalled,” and oh no, but also we never get Pusha T admitting to cheating on a girl and telling her, “All right, all...
Jason Tate on 02/16/15 - 12:56 PM
Marah Eakin, writing over at AV Club, looks at how pop-music is the "whitest" it's been in over 35 years.
Something happened with both the Hot 100 chart and Grammy nominations in the mid ’00s, however, and black artists started declining again. That’s only gotten worse over time, and in 2013 there wasn’t a single black artist with a No. 1 single on the Hot 100. A black artist hasn’t won a Grammy in any of the four major categories—Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist—since 2010.
Jason Tate on 02/12/15 - 04:21 PM
Mashable has a "22 emo songs that helped you through your high-school breakup" playlist up for genre purists to lose their mind at.

Submitted by HeyItsAllyssa
Jason Tate on 02/11/15 - 12:54 PM
Rembert Browne, writing my favorite piece on Kanye West and social media reaction we saw yesterday:
A planned Kanye says, “I want to be like Andy Warhol.” But how could you possibly want that version of Kanye? If you are genuinely holding out any hope that our biggest and brightest can also be our most honest and flawed, you have to want, “I am Warhol.” You have to. He wants respect, but even more than that, repeatedly, wants the people he respects to get respect. It’s not a foreign concept. But because he’s Kanye, it’s different. Because it lacks the grace that society has deemed necessary to make such demands.
Jason Tate on 02/10/15 - 01:45 PM
Paul Cantor, writing about why the Grammys weren't all that great this year:
And blockbusters are what the music industry is all about, or used to be about, or occasionally still thinks it’s about, or tries to be about, but is actually not really about. And maybe that’s why the Grammy’s weren’t so good this year. It’s an old show built on an old formula that celebrates old metrics of success that just don’t hold up these days. This is not the fault of Grammy Awards, this is just reality.
Jason Tate on 02/10/15 - 01:42 PM
Mike Masnick, writing for TechDirt, on where most of the money from streaming services is going:
And, it appears, there's a decent reason why those labels haven't been eager to be transparent: because they're keeping most of the money. The Music Business Worldwide site has the details on a new report put together by Ernst & Young with the French record label trade group SNEP, concerning where the money from streaming services Deezer and Spotify ends up. Spoiler alert: it's not with the artists.
Jason Tate on 02/07/15 - 12:23 PM
If you drag and drop an MP3 onto this website, it'll play while you fly over a 3D rendered landscape that moves in time with the music. Not a bad way to pass the time on Friday. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Jason Tate on 02/06/15 - 12:16 PM
The Groundhog saw his damn shadow. Bill Murray is still trapped.
Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most beloved and furry seasonal prognosticator, saw his shadow on Monday morning (despite overcast skies), portending six more weeks of winter.
Jason Tate on 02/02/15 - 12:39 PM
Bryne Yancey, writing at The Runout, about vaping at shows.
Vaping is harm reduction for smokers looking to either use less nicotine or wean themselves completely off of it. That’s great, because cigarettes are gross. They make your breath, clothes, and if they’re downwind that day, your friends smell terrible. There’s also the whole “they cause cancer” thing. But this isn’t about extolling the virtues of vaping as an alternative to smoking, or decrying vape pens as mouth fedoras as the joke goes. It’s about exercising common courtesy.

Please stop vaping at indoor punk shows. Seriously. Cut it out.
Jason Tate on 02/02/15 - 12:27 PM
Eamonn Forde, writing for the Guardian, looks at why Taylor Swift trademarked a bunch of her lyrics.
“What she is trying to do is to protect individual phrases within her lyrics where those lyrics have become catchphrases,” explains Alexander Ross, a partner at law firm Wiggin who specialises in music. “Once you have a trademarked phrase you have the right to stop someone else using it on things like merchandising.”
Jason Tate on 01/29/15 - 11:17 AM
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 - 12:00 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 - 01:02 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 - 12:03 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 - 11:51 AM
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 - 02:43 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 - 01:07 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 - 10:31 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 - 09:57 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 - 05:33 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 - 03:45 PM

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