I’m sure Ed Sheeran is an awesome dude but I wish he hadn’t….

From Apple Music:

EdSheeran

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This is a pitched PR story to the NY Times, and yes it does matter.

From the New York Times:

PR_Stories

The simple point here:  if you have money you get access to folks’ eyeballs and they’re paying for eyeballs.

Mark Ronson is a completely average musician that is now paying to try to alter his image and make loot with this new image.

People who don’t have loot, who may be brilliant musicians or certainly much more skilled musicians than Mr. Ronson, will not be recognized adequately when the publicity system is based on paid access.

Access to people’s ears and eyes should be based on merit and that’s it.

You may say I’m a dreamer….

Protesting Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer on year end lists!

I’m all for folks showing who they are in their music and I’m all for equal rights, racial equality, economic equality, etc, but at the end of the day I want banging music that I return to.  I don’t find that in Dirty Computer.

This track below (by Janelle Monae) meets all the requirements and the fact that this track was somewhat suffocated (read about it here) and Dirty Computer is on the year end lists as the best of this year says everything that’s wrong with the music business and the music PR, and music journalism.  Too much about the personal lives and identities of the performers and not enough on the music.

I would rather listen to 1999 and to this tune as a combination of music and politics than the restrained and detached music on Dirty Computer.

Is it fine or pathetic NPR and NY Times to have the same #1 album for ’18?

From NPR:

NPR_JanelleMonae

From the New York Times:

NYT1

As a disclaimer, I adore Monae’s drum and vocal tune about police brutality.  It’s a must listen.

Regular readers know that I aim to show what I view to be the pernicious influence of music PR on the music business and there’s no place where you see this influence more than on the year end lists.

When NPR and the New York Times pick this Janelle Monae record as best of the year this forms what passes for buzz these days.  My main argument as I listen to the third song is that record lacks passion and is a recycled Prince record.   But where Prince brought his unique smashup of faith and sex the temperature here is much lower.  If the arrangements and the singing had more energy and more heat I would be much more up for it.

I get the identity politics of this pick but in the long run listeners are looking for emotional connection.  That’s why people freaked out when Prince died and why I think this is not record of the year and why it kinda sucks these two ‘liberal’ news outlets are throwing down for this record.

Beware the music/fashion/lifestyle packages!

From the Guardian here:

LifestylePackages

These are my two obsessions — music and politics. When you sort people into ‘these people like this music and clothes’ you can manipulate them politically.

And as a rabid music blogger I’m constantly amazed at how the music business has sorted people into categories and demographics and has never made any attempt to get people to listen to as many different kinds of music as possible. Wouldn’t it be more profitable if suburban housewives put on Converge records or if Puerto Rican kids were into African music as well as urban Latino music? Variety is the spice of life, no?

Not only is it politically dangerous to keep all the rednecks listening to country music and all the hipsters listening to vapid indie music it is so fucking boring! How boring will America become in the hands of corporate pimps and lifestyle creators?

What is after boredom? Death I guess, it’s a partial death when people give up on expanding their minds and their personalities and checking shit out. And when they’ve stopped thinking for themselves and don’t decide what they like and what they don’t like for themselves you can see how that can turn into political manipulation.

Only people who smoke weed listen to reggae!

Only stinky metalheads listen to metal!

Only bearded hipsters listen to indie!

A colossal load of crap and not good at any level once these lines are drawn.

Do you think record companies are run by scumbags????

From the Guardian here:

Michael Jackson’s record label Sony has been caught up in a legal battle over whether the singer really performed the lead vocals on three songs in a posthumous album released under his name.

In a US court this week, in attempting to persuade a judge that it should not be a defendant in a lawsuit over the songs, Sony hypothesised that Jackson was not the main singer on Breaking News, Keep Your Head Up and Monster – but argued that such a scenario would not mean it had no legal right to sell the music under his name.