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 SXSW rages on in Texas, the music industry hasn’t slowed down for one second this week. Though the traditional PR-music-news-industrial-complex might have tapered off a bit, the music-business world has seen some pretty big changes. After last week’s departure of Pandora’s CEO, Joseph Kennedy, this week saw yet another corporate shake-up: Following reports that Anschutz Entertainment Group owner Phillip Anschutz was trying to sell the company, Billboard now reports that the company is off the market and that president/CEO Tim Leiweke is leaving the company.
The Harlem Shake saga continues! And by “continues,” we mean “limps stoically toward its final resting place as a punchline on a VH1 clip show.” This week The New York Times, the official paper of “Harlem Shake” record, published a story about the brewing sample clearance controversy surrounding the song. If that wasn’t compelling enough, one of the DJ’s referenced in the Times piece, Skinny Friedman, then published an article on Noisey that points out that the writer of the Times article didn’t exactly do his research. The saga continues. Where will the “Harlem Shake” take us next week?
Do you hear that sound? Shh… Listen… Do you hear it? No, it’s not the cold winter winds. No, it’s not the encroaching spring air. No, it’s not that guy talking about his sick new app at SXSW. Do you know what that sound is? It’s the sound of the Weezer cruise rising from the depths of the sea like a wet phoenix. As Herman Melville once said, “There is one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.” And that hidden soul really wants to hear “Say It Ain’t So.”
At this point, you’re not a real artist unless you have a vague title like “brand ambassador” for some bizarre product, so it makes sense that Lupe Fiasco, a VERY REAL artist, was recently named the creative director of a wellness app called “Higi.” As Complex reports, the app “calculates a Klout-like score that uses information about the body, like blood pressure and weight, as well as social interaction and community involvement.” This all sounds about as convoluted as a Lupe song, but I’m still not sure why the company chose Mr. Fiasco. Maybe Common was busy?
Rumor time: This week CNET got the scoop that apparently Twitter is developing a standalone music app. The company bought the music discovery website We Are Hunted last year and is using its technology to build the app.
Earlier this week Clive Burr, former drummer for Iron Maiden, died at the age of 56. Raise a glass of Iron Maiden beer in his honor and watch the video for “Number Of The Beast” below.
The Week In Grohl: This is the part of the Industry Wrap where we check in on the last rockstar standing, Dave Grohl, and see what he’s been up to. Grohl had a big week, releasing the soundtrack to his new documentary, Sound City, playing his final show with his all-star Sound City Players band and delivering the keynote at SXSW, where he sported some pretty intense glasses. As one my CMJ colleagues pointed out, Grohl is starting to look more and more like Lisa Loeb. Check out his speech below, or you can read full text here.
OK, that’s it for this week. Have a great weekend. Hopefully you spend at least a few hours listening to this compilation of James Hetfield yelling.