Lots of things happen in the music business and on the internet every week. This is an attempt to make sense of them. OK, here we go.
As the game of Risk taught us years ago, once you’ve gained control of Europe, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, what’s your next move? Conquer the world! That seems to be the plan for Spotify, according to Billboard, which reports that the streaming music giant “has job openings posted at its website for numerous positions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil and Mexico.” Moving into South America and Asia seems like a logical next step for the company, but why stop there? Aim bigger. Who will be the first streaming music service to interrupt your playlist with ads in space? Astronauts need access to the complete Fastball discography when they go running too.
Even with Spotify blanketing the globe, music piracy remains a controversial and complex issue. This week the New York Times reported a story about a band, Brooklyn’s Ghost Beach, looking to start a large-scale conversation on the subject. How do they want to start this debate? The old-fashioned way: with a big old billboard in Times Square provided as part of a promotion with American Eagle.
As Coachella fast approaches, you’re probably asking yourself, “Wait, can I go to Coachella in 2030?” This important question went unanswered for a long time, but, according to the L.A. Times, the California music festival juggernaut reached common ground with the town of Indio, with Indio’s City Council voting 4 to 0 in favor of a proposal to keep the festival and its country counterpart, Stagecoach, in the same location well into the future. Glad that’s settled. I’ll see you there in 2030. Meet me during Paul McCartney’s set.
Music industry prognosticator/Taylor-Swift-hater Bob Lefsetz has inked a deal with Variety to be a contributing columnist. Here’s my best attempt at a joke using Variety slang: “That’s boffo biz for Bob! The industry fave probably got some nice coin for his perf as a creep.”
Everyone needs socks. Everyone loves Cam’ron. Therefore, everyone should buy these Cam’ron socks. [Via Complex.]
Even if you’re sporting your finest Cam’ron socks, it’s hard to connect with another person, especially at a live music event. It’s even harder to make a connection with a person if they’re performing at the show you’re attending. Luckily, that’s where the internet comes in. This week the New York Observer found a great missed connections Craigslist post written about one of the women in the Dirty Projectors. “As soon as I got into the room I noticed that you were incredibly cute,” writes the lovestruck dude. “But given the nature of the event I couldn’t really talk to you.” I tried the same line on Weird Al once.
You know what’s a great way to meet a friend at a concert? Dancing! As the patron saint of romance Kid Rock once said, “Get in the pit and try to love someone.” It’s Friday, so why not spend 20 minutes goofing off with this mosh pit game.
Pitchfork reports that director Harmony Korine and rapper RiFF RAFF are working on a book together. Glad these two seem to be working things out.
Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died yesterday at the age of 70. Ebert remains the popular face for not just film criticism but basically the entire idea of criticism as a profession. Fittingly, many of his peers and colleagues have already written moving tributes to his legacy as a thinker, writer, television personality and friend. If you’re looking for something to read this weekend, try this, this, this, this and this. There will be countless more.
Or, perhaps the most fitting way to celebrate Ebert is to read his own words, which are of course available on his website. Since this is ostensibly a music column on a music website, it seems worth pointing out that Ebert wrote about music often in his reviews. One of my favorite Ebert zingers comes from his negative review of Jim Jarmusch’s Western Dead Man: “A mood might have developed here, had it not been for the unfortunate score by Neil Young, which for the film’s final 30 minutes sounds like nothing so much as a man repeatedly dropping his guitar.”
I actually love Dead Man and find Neil Young’s score really haunting and powerful, but that was a central part of Ebert’s appeal: Even when you didn’t agree with what he had to say, he was always a joy to read.