Celebrities Listening to Music on Headphones: Meow.
(Hulton Deutsch/Corbis/Getty Images)
Celebrities Listening to Music on Headphones: Meow.
(Hulton Deutsch/Corbis/Getty Images)
Spotify Reversal, Detroit Techno City, J Balvin Wants the World, Shawn Mendes, Vevo...
Matty Karas, curator May 25, 2018
quote of the day
To see so many white people dancing to this music that blacks made and they could dance, they had rhythm, it was tripping me out because they were in the groove.
rant n' rave

Well this is awkward. Two weeks after pulling R. KELLY and XXXTENTACION from its playlists under a controversial new policy on "hateful conduct," SPOTIFY is planning to reverse course on one of the two artists, according to BLOOMBERG's LUCAS SHAW. (Multiple sources confirmed the news to VARIETY, while one source said "nothing has been decided.") Care to guess which one of the two? Care to guess which unadjudicated allegation Spotify still considers a dealbreaker, and which one it apparently doesn't? Care to guess if APPLE and PANDORA, which don't have similar policies but did follow suit vis-a-vis R. Kelly, will keep following suit? Does anyone want to play a game of TWISTER? Will Spotify's programmers have to promote the artist's music now, or will they merely be given the choice? Will it actually be a choice? (And hey, is everyone still good with BRAND NEW on their playlists? Just checking.) One root of the problem, of course, is Spotify's decision to go public with its policy in the first place, rather than simply stop promoting the artists it wasn't comfortable with. If XXXTentacion stopped showing up on RAPCAVIAR without an announcement, there hardly would have been a basis for anyone to complain—Spotify is under no obligation to promote anything it doesn't want to promote—and lots of people would have welcomed his absence. By putting it in writing, Spotify raised way more questions than it could possibly answer, no matter how good its intentions were. The other root of the problem is the unilateral nature of the decision. By most accounts, labels and managers weren't consulted in advance, but they certainly made their unhappiness known afterward. Bloomberg says several acts threatened to pull their music from the service, and both Bloomberg and Variety said Spotify's head of artist relations, TROY CARTER, was instrumental in getting the company to reconsider. Could a few discussions among key stakeholders, in advance, have prevented all of the fallout? Or, I don't know, should we be thankful that Spotify started the public discussion, no matter how awkward the first act turned out to be? How do we keep the discussion going and make act two better?... VEVO throws in a towel... EPs have always felt less "important" than LPs in artist discographies, in artist histories, on radio, in stores, pretty much everywhere, for reasons having nothing to do with the music on them. The streaming era has made that lack of importance tangible. I'm with TRENT REZNOR... I'm with short albums in general... It's FRIDAY and that means new music from J BALVIN, PUSHA T, SUDAN ARCHIVES, CHVRCHES, SHAWN MENDES, A$AP ROCKY, KAMAAL WILLIAMS, JOSHUA REDMAN, BROWNOUT, LAMONT DOZIER, DEL MCCOURY, JONATHAN DAVIS, ZAYTOVEN, JENNY HVAL, SNOW PATROL, OTZEKI, TRACYANNE & DANNY, THUNDERPUSSY, ARI ROAR, JEFFREY OSBORNE, and JOHN POWELL's score for SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY... MONDAY is MEMORIAL DAY and MusicREDEF will be taking the day off to get our linen clothes out of storage and start pondering what the Song of the Summer will be. Maybe you'll be in DETROIT. See you Tuesday.

Matty Karas, curator

May 25, 2018