Miranda Lambert in West Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 11, 2007.
(Larry Marano/Getty Images)
Miranda Lambert in West Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 11, 2007.
(Larry Marano/Getty Images)
MUSICREDEF PICKS
Major Label Artificialist, Hayes Carll Stands Up, DJ Idris Elba, How to Be Jimmy Page, Facebook...
Matty Karas, curator March 22, 2019
QUOTABLES!
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I'm starting to want to write more from other characters; I don't always want to be the person in the song... All the great heroes of songwriting of mine were honest, but they found honesty in other hearts.
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A rapper, a DJ and an algorithm walk into a major label. And the major label signs the algorithm. Today's music industry humor brought to you by WARNER MUSIC, which has signed an artificial intelligence app called ENDEL to a record deal. Endel, based in Berlin, uses parameters such as your location, the weather and your heart rate to create real-time personalized soundscapes aimed at focus and relaxation. Basically, it makes the music one imagines TOM CRUISE is, or should be, listening to most of the time in MINORITY REPORT. The company also has released five albums digitally in 2019, all based around the theme of sleep. It seems kind of obvious, with the future having already arrived and record companies scrambling to remain relevant, why a label would want to sign an AI. The question is why would an AI want to sign with a label? Does it need artificial A&R help? An advance to pay for mastering? Tour support? In Endel's case, there are connections. (Aren't there always? You spend years building a fanbase, touring in vans and living on ramen, and some label exec's son's college roommate gets the deal. Or the label exec's son's iPad.) Endel is a graduate of the TECHSTARS MUSIC accelerator program, which counts Warner as a partner. Warner's Arts Music has already partnered with Endel on those five sleep albums. And streaming listeners to date have, um, slept on those albums. According to Spotify's posted play counts, two months after the albums were released, no Endel track has 1,000 plays. And if you search for "Endel" in Spotify, the app is the fourth artist that shows up, right behind a reggaeton singer of the same name. Which is to say, even AI can use some promo help. At least until another AI startup solves that problem. So let's say this makes perfect sense, for now... Coincidentally, I got a tour of the Techstars Music office earlier this week, and for now I'll just say wow... NETFLIX's MÖTLEY CRÜE biopic THE DIRT drops today, arriving in a very different world than the no-holds-barred book of the same name played to 18 years ago. NEIL STRAUSS, who wrote the book with the band but was only marginally involved in the film, tells the LA TIMES the film isn't intended to glamorize the band's sometimes-appalling behavior. "They’ve done everything horrible that one can imagine" and the movie chronicles that reality, he says. "As far as making a moral decision," says rapper MACHINE GUN KELLY, who plays drummer TOMMY LEE, "I think that’s on the viewer." Of course, certain moral decisions have already been made by the film itself... YVES TUMOR, RHIANNON GIDDENS, NILS FRAHM and SPIRITUALIZED are among the artists parked in Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend for the BIG EARS FESTIVAL, along with an extraordinary collection of artists celebrating the 50th anniversary of ECM RECORDS. When people talk about festival season, this is what I would like them to mean... Here's what JOHN BRANCA is doing to try to save MICHAEL JACKSON's legacy... PATRICK CROWLEY, who oversaw BILLBOARD's LGBTQ vertical PRIDE, has been fired after allegations, reported in BUZZFEED, that he sexually harassed an artist seeking coverage on the site. More artists have since come forward with similar accusations. Crowley hasn't commented; his lawyers reportedly sent cease-and-desist letters to artists who tweeted about him... EX HEX's MARY TIMONY meets MARIANA TIMONY, a music writer who borrowed her name... The TEMPTATIONS musical AIN'T TOO PROUD opens on Broadway to mixed reviews... It's FRIDAY and that means music from CHRISTIAN SCOTT ATUNDE ADJUAH, IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE, RICH THE KID, ETIENNE CHARLES, JENNY LEWIS, TAMARYN, AMERICAN FOOTBALL, DEAN LEWIS, NILÜFER YANYA, MÖTLEY CRÜE, APPARAT, DON TRIP, NAV, MARY LATTIMORE & MAC MCCAUGHAN, ANDREW BIRD, EX HEX, RAYANA JAY, LAMBCHOP, LA DISPUTE, AVEY TARE, JAYDA G, LAUREL HALO/DJ-KICKS, ORVILLE PECK, TLE CINCO, STRAND OF OAKS, BILL MACKAY, LAFAWNDAH, ANTEROS, SPIRAL STAIRS, LUTHER DICKINSON & SISTERS OF THE STRAWBERRY MOON, LUCY ROSE and SLEEPER... RIP JUSTIN CARTER.

Matty Karas, curator

March 22, 2019