Neill Jameson: Low Fidelity: The Reality of the Record Business, circa 2013 (Decibel Magazine)
There’s a certain romance about record stores, an idea that the employees sit around and listen to music they love and meet and have intimate discourse with others who share their passion. Let’s end this horseshit idea.
Katie Ryder: White music fans are afraid of difference (Salon)
Within the context of the white twerk trend, the Postal Service fan reaction seems disturbing: We’d like our booty shaking, but when we ask for it, and also when we do it ourselves. An uninvited performance by a raw, aggressive MC like Big Freedia, on white music-goers’ home turf, and not on their own terms, was received as a whole different game: a confrontation.
Mark Richardson: Does Vinyl Really Sound Better? (Pitchfork)
One of the often overlooked facts about LP reproduction is that some people prefer it because it introduces distortion. The "warmth" that many people associate with LPs can generally be described as a bass sound that is less accurate. Reproducing bass on vinyl is a serious engineering challenge, but the upshot is that there's a lot of filtering and signal processing happening to make the bass on vinyl work. You take some of this signal processing, add additional vibrations and distortions generated by a poorly manufactured turntable, and you end up with bass that sounds "warmer" than a CD, maybe-- but also very different than what the artists were hearing in the control room.
Jessica Hopper: Why Won't Anyone Manage My Fledgling Music Career? (LA Weekly)
You have to show up for all the annoying hard work kind of stuff and just dig in, network, play shows that no one is at but make sure the four people who saw you remember your name when they leave. You gotta work all your angles and be a dude that people like helping, and that makes it that much easier and more likely opportunity will come to you.
Nathan Jurgenson: Temporary Social Media (Snapchat Blog)
Am I fetishizing the ephemeral, the present, the current moment? To a degree, yes. Social media is young, and I hope it grows out of this assumed permanence of our data. A corrective, an injection of ephemerality, is badly needed and overdue. The present doesn’t always need to be owned, held still and fixed; sometimes it might be best left alone to simply be what it is, letting more moments pass not undocumented and unshared, but just without enforced documentary boxes and categories with corresponding metrics filed away in growing databases. Instead, temporary social media treats the present as less like something that aspires to be curated into a museum but as something that can be unknown, unclassified, not put to work.
Jason DeBord: The Cure “The Great Circle Tour” at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena | Honolulu, Hawaii | 7/30/2013 (Concert Review) (Rock Subculture)
I was not familiar with Clones of the Queen prior to this show, and unfortunately didn’t have time to preview their work in recent weeks, so had no idea what to expect. In short, the Honolulu band was amazing. Really love their sound and they rock it live. The funny thing is that their singer, Ara, at one point deep into their set remarked that she was nervous. Honestly, I thought they really belonged up on that big stage and never would have known had she not talked about her experience while performing at the Arena.
John Berger: Review: The Cure Play Epic Blaisdell Show (Honolulu Pulse)
Someone did Clones of the Queen a big favor by adding an opening act to the show. No disrespect to the local talent, as they’re certainly on their way to bigger things and it was a big night for them — but The Cure needed no help to fill a venue the size of Blaisdell Arena, or to give Hawaii an unforgettable milestone event.
Though he’s set up with a great foil in the form of the de rigeur vocoders that start the song, there’s something marvelously catchy and effective about Panda Bear’s halftime cadence on top of the mix. His words are chopped into single phonemes and doled out with a telegraphic dot-dash staggering that lines up strictly with the kick drum, as if someone had inserted a period after each phoneme: “ If. You. Lose. Your. Way. To. Night. That’s. How. You. Know. The. Ma. Gic’s. Right." Sorry to slobber here, but the layering of this oddly stilted utterance over the latticework of faster vocoded voices is a stroke of genius, and it’s the kind of trick that makes you listen to this song over and over, singing it to yourself while folding laundry, humming it en route to the corner store, slapping it onto mixtapes.
Peter Buffett: The Charitable-Industrial Complex (NYTimes.com)
Money should be spent trying out concepts that shatter current structures and systems that have turned much of the world into one vast market. Is progress really Wi-Fi on every street corner? No. It’s when no 13-year-old girl on the planet gets sold for sex. But as long as most folks are patting themselves on the back for charitable acts, we’ve got a perpetual poverty machine.
What might be keeping the music industry from developing successful new networked models is the centralized holding of a majority of existing music rights in the hands of a very few. Apple, Spotify, Pandora, and all those to come in their wake have only to negotiate with the major labels before launching products that the rest of us have to accept or reject. A true 21st-century partnership for the music business would include musicians and music fans in a far more substantive role.
It Is Time for the 'Welfare Queen' Myth to Die (Addicting Info)
Let’s get this one thing straight: there are no Welfare Queens out there driving Cadillacs, having five kids specifically to get extra financial benefits from the government, getting free iPhones, and somehow getting rich off “your” money. NONE. There never were.
Derek Thompson: How Did Work-Life Balance in the U.S. Get So Awful? (The Atlantic)
The surprising fact is that American leisure time has actually been increasing for most families for decades, and American men work less today, and have more down time, than ever recorded. Even if you consider that to be bad news (and many do), less work should improve just about any definition of work-life balance. Still, the most important reason why we rank barely above Mexico is the increase in single mothers who, in the U.S., face an extraordinary burden relative to their overseas counterparts.
Sometimes it's about a song. But sometimes it's about just that one part of a song, the moment when it all breaks down, when the chorus snaps in, when the solo erupts, when the singer hits the note or screams out that line. A lot of life can be captured in these moments-- these snapshots-- of songs. We asked our staff to write about parts of songs that have made an impact on them in some way over the years, and here's what they came up with.
David Peisner: Captive Audience: The Music Business in America's Prisons (SPIN)
"Part of our mission is to offer opportunities for change," she says as we walk back out into the visiting area near the facility's front gate. "We figure at least 90 percent of our offender population is going to be getting out. Someday, one of these guys will be your neighbor." She smiles. "It's our responsibility to make sure that is a better person leaving here than it was coming in."
I endured repeated listens of a record I could not understand or stand because I had nothing else to do but work out why it mattered to someone I worshiped and not to me. That will never happen again, not the way we’re set up. You will click away the second a song loses you, and you’ll never learn anything about yourself. I mean it: you will never unlock or awaken new neural paths in your brain if you continue to gravitate toward music that satisfies your expectations. That is Easy Listening.
At the top of the pay scale, technology is delivering on its promise. Workers can increase their hours and their output from home and even work second jobs with more ease than ever. But toward the bottom, anxiety lingers, and the Web enables some people to take risks they never would have imagined. In this way, the women of Gilgo Beach still have something to teach us. The Internet might have made pimps less necessary, but today’s escorts are as marginalized as ever, and every bit as vulnerable. The police rarely help them when they are at risk, and they rarely take their disappearances seriously. As far as the authorities are concerned, their profession still seals their fate.
Steve Locke: ‘Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Race’ (The Good Men Project)
I don’t want to talk about race because it gives weight to a fiction that was created to oppress. It has no basis in biology and is a social construction in this country that was engineered to maintain access to free labor. The fiction created by race distorts the reality in which we live.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: On the Killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman (The Atlantic)
An intelligent, self-interested observer of this case, who happens to live in Florida, would not be wrong to do as George Zimmerman did—buy a gun, master the finer points of Florida self-defense law, and then wait.