Chance the Rapper at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Dec. 14, 2019.
(Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Chance the Rapper at Rolling Loud Los Angeles, Dec. 14, 2019.
(Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Ticketing the Ticketers?, Life After the Celestial Jukebox, Fender, Harry Styles, DaBaby, Bon Iver...
Matty Karas, curator December 16, 2019
quote of the day
As an artist, albums are my everything. When I'm not here, that's what lives on.
rant n' rave

Four things currently on the US Justice Department's radar: 1) Allegations that LIVE NATION is forcing venues that book its artists to use TICKETMASTER as their primary ticket seller, which would violate the antitrust agreement under which the two companies were allowed to merge nine years ago. CEO MICHAEL RAPINO denies his company is violating the agreement. He's also, in the words of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, said that "booking a Live Nation tour date at a venue that uses a ticketing provider other than Ticketmaster may not make economic sense." Justice, presumably, will explore the space between those two sentences. 2) Accusations that Ticketmaster is using its market power to squeeze rivals SEATGEEK and STUBHUB out of the secondary ticket market. This is at least partly connected to Ticketmaster's high-tech, scalper-resistant SafeTix, which gives artists and promoters new powers to keep tickets off secondary ticketing sites. With Ticketmaster also competing in the secondary ticketing business and its rival secondary ticketers sometimes functioning as primary sellers, the competitive issues at play here are, let's say, complicated. 3) Live Nation's interest in buying former Ticketmaster CEO NATHAN HUBBARD's rival ticketing startup, which is called RIVAL. Guess who else reportedly wants to buy Rival? SeatGeek. Question of the day: Is the US government more interested in Ticketmaster having rivals or literally owning them? 4) LIBERTY MEDIA, Live Nation's largest shareholder, is seeking to upgrade its small share of IHEARTMEDIA to what could be a controlling stake. This one isn't strictly about ticketing except that it's possible everything is about ticketing. It would put the largest radio broadcaster in the US under the same roof as dominant satellite broadcaster SIRIUSXM and streaming radio giant PANDORA, which would all be tied to the country's largest concert promoter. That would require an awful lot of rope, at the very least... In January, BILLBOARD will start counting YOUTUBE streams, which already affect the HOT 100 singles chart, on the Billboard 200 albums chart as well. Only videos officially uploaded by rights holders will count on the albums chart, as opposed to the singles chart, where user-generated videos count, too. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter president DEANNA BROWN tells the NY TIMES' BEN SISARIO not to expect "dramatic changes" on the chart as a result. But Sisario notes that YouTube's enormous user base will give an extra advantage to albums that rely mostly on streaming versus albums that rely on CD sales for their chart placement... After a wave of protests from victims' families, plans for a CBS-produced scripted TV series on the 2016 GHOST SHIP fire have been scrapped... Electronic music pioneer and MOOG proselytizer GERSHON KINGSLEY's music is almost certainly more well known than he is. He wrote the Moog standard "POP CORN" (a major pop hit when covered by HOT BUTTER). He wrote the music that Boston public TV station WGBH has used as its theme for nearly 50 years. The music in DISNEY's MAIN STREET ELECTRIC PARADE? Him, too (with partner JEAN-JACQUES PERREY). The BEASTIE BOYS worshipped him, with good reason. He was years if not decades ahead of his time, which means it's not too late for the rest of the world to catch up with him now. RIP... RIP also FLAMIN' GROOVIES co-founder ROY LONEY, music and arts journalist SCOTT TIMBERG, graffiti artist PHASE 2, French actress/singer ANNA KARINA and DANNY AIELLO, whose starring roles in DO THE RIGHT THING and MADONNA's "PAPA DON'T PREACH" video are enough to warrant a place on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot if you ask me.

Matty Karas, curator

December 16, 2019