For everyone trying to figure out the business case for TAYLOR SWIFT re-recording all or some of her BIG MACHINE albums—as if vengeance alone weren't enough of a justification—think syncs. As writer or co-writer of her entire discography, she presumably has a right of refusal on all TV/film/commercial usage, and she'd be able to exclusively license versions for which she controls (and is paid on) both the composition and the sound recording. And for which someone else does not get paid. She told GOOD MORNING AMERICA's ROBIN ROBERTS she's contractually free to remake the first five of her six Big Machine albums starting in November 2020, which gives SCOOTER BRAUN 15 months to reach out if he's so inclined, and which perhaps gives you a distraction from the US presidential campaign if you're looking for one... Also, in case you haven't heard, her major label debut, so to speak, is out today on REPUBLIC RECORDS, one week ahead of the closing of the eligibility window for next year's GRAMMY AWARDS and amid what ROLLING STONE calls an old-school "carpet-bombing advertising campaign." Republic said earlier this week that worldwide pre-sales were approaching a million, and BILLBOARD says the album has a shot, though not an easy one, at becoming the first album to sell a million copies in a week in the US since her own REPUTATION did it two years ago. Speaking of old school, I love the title song, a vintage-sounding production that evokes classic pop, classic country and an earlier version of Taylor Swift. The video is almost impossibly sweet, though I'm a bit puzzled by the dropping of a Christmas video in August. Christmas doesn't start until September, right?... This is my favorite New York summer weekend, the one that brings two days of AFROPUNK to Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park. You get TIERRA WHACK and LEIKELI47—hip-hop future—back-to-back on Saturday afternoon, as part of a day that also features LEON BRIDGES, JILL SCOTT, GARY CLARK JR., GOLDLINK, RICO NASTY and a few dozen others, followed by KAMASI WASHINGTON, FKA TWIGS, BRITTANY HOWARD, SANTIGOLD and too much to choose from on Sunday. The curation is stellar and open-minded, and the community will be multicultural, inclusive, fashion-forward, politically aware, nice and way less drunk than the crowd at almost any other large outdoor music gathering. Go if you can. This is not an ad... The BERRY GORDY-sanctioned documentary HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN premieres Saturday night on SHOWTIME, and I just learned, from his review, that NPR's ERIC DEGGANS, an old colleague from my ASBURY PARK PRESS days, was in a band that was briefly signed to Motown. Respect. It's the first time, by the way, Gordy has participated in a Motown doc... Where Democratic presidential candidates stand on music issues... It's FRIDAY and in addition to Taylor Swift, that means new music from (surprise!) MISSY ELLIOTT as well as RAPHAEL SAADIQ, BROCKHAMPTON, RAPSODY, MIDLAND, TANYA TUCKER, SHEER MAG, JAY SOM, 93PUNX, JAZZMEIA HORN, FOUR TET, JIDENNA, QUEEN OF JEANS, ESTHER ROSE, VINCE GILL, CLIVE TANAKA Y SU ORQUESTA, FARRUKO (album and HBO LATINO documentary), TRAE THE TRUTH, JEEZY, LEE SCRATCH PERRY & MR. GREEN, SACRED REICH, CROBOT, KNOCKED LOOSE, ALARM WILL SOUND/DONNACHA DENNEHY, the REMBRANDTS, REDD KROSS, SHANNON LAY, JOYERO, SARA GAZAREK, ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND, G PERICO, POWERS PLEASANT, the SERATONES, TROPICAL F*** STORM, JASON HAWK HARRIS, NOAH GUNDERSEN, the RUBINOOS and the LEGENDARY PINK DOTS.