Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes at New Orleans Jazz Fest, April 29, 2017.
(Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes at New Orleans Jazz Fest, April 29, 2017.
(Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
The Human Voice's Evolutionary Vocabulary, Spotify & Blockchain, Choosing Singles, Kendrick Lamar, Amber Coffman...
Matty Karas, curator May 2, 2017
quote of the day
I hope that where I am later is somewhere I never expected to be.
Brittany Howard, Alabama Shakes
rant n' rave

Is SPOTIFY's acquisition of blockchain company MEDIACHAIN LABS a sign of a radical new business model to come, a chance to add some solid data tools for the existing business model, both or neither? The pro-futurist argument, from THOMAS EULER at ATTENTIONECONO.ME: It's time to find a way around the middlemen who control rights to a variety of media (e.g. record companies) and stand between content creators and content users, and blockchain technology the way. The naysayer take, from DAVID "ROCKNERD" GERARD: The business problem the industry faces isn't how to distribute and account for content-rights data, it's the data itself, along with the "contradictory interests" of the various parties who use it. And the last thing those parties want to create, he argues, is "a new central octopus." This, I suspect, is the basic pro/con of all blockchain arguments in music and other media. Data vs. database. Complicated humans vs. complicated robots. So where do you put your resources in 2017? Where *are* you putting your resources in 2017? Are you making sure your contracts and your data are airtight now, no matter what happens down the road?... DRAKE's "FREE SMOKE" and FUTURE's "DRACO" were supposed to be the first singles from the rappers' most recent projects. But pop fans had better ideas. And radio programmers, who once might have shown more deference to labels' wishes, took the fans' side. BUZZFEED's REGGIE UGWU reports on the changing dynamics behind radio playlists. It isn't exactly the same as the old practice of DJs flipping a record over and playing the B-side, but it isn't exactly different either... The FYRE FESTIVAL, displaying the customer-service and public-relations skills of UNITED AIRLINES circa three weeks ago, is offering a choice to anyone who had tickets to this year's nearly comical disaster: a refund, or VIP passes to a festival it swears is going to take place a year from now, to be produced "in the most professional way, with experienced professionals." The right thing for fest organizers to do is to automatically offer both—the refund *and* freebies to next year's event should it ever happen. Experienced professional tip for ticketholders: Take the refund. Cash it quickly... All the artists and labels and middlemen and middlewomen in the world wouldn't amount to much of anything without someone listening to the records and watching the shows. It's doubtful anyone listened to or heard BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN more than OBIE DZIEDZIC, his #1 fan from long before he ever released an album until her death on Monday. Over the years, she also served the Boss as a personal aide, cook, seamstress, adviser and all-around spirit animal. But most memorably, she stood front-row center at his shows and gave him all the reason he needed to rock. RIP.

Matty Karas, curator

May 2, 2017