Yesterday, during the star-studded press conference announcing the relaunch of music streaming service Tidal, I was reminded of a figure cited by world-renowned economist Paul Krugman less than two weeks ago. On a panel about the future of music’s celebrity economy, alongside Win and Will Butler of Arcade Fire, Krugman noted that the bulk of music industry revenue is increasingly going to the kinds of artists who can fill arenas. And as of yesterday, it’s the superstars at the highest echelons of that list — your Beyoncés, your Coldplays, your Kanyes — who want to save the music industry for everyone. … Read More
There’s a moment towards the end of Rihanna’s game-changing performance of “Bitch Better Have My Money” at last night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards where Bad Girl Ri Ri struts towards the end of the stage, past the shrieking fans set in place for the show’s broadcast. Exuding wealth in a campy yet powerful way via kelly green fur and pleather, Rihanna reaches the end of the platform, where the stage meets banquet tables. She grins. The camera pans out. Nick Jonas applauds. … Read More
How many miles to Brooklyn?
Three score miles and ten—
Can I get there by subway at night?
Yes, and back again—
If your feet are nimble and light
You can get there by subway at night.
It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes me lose my breath, when New York began for me, but I cannot sit this ass on the moment it ended, can never cut through what gets so confusing, baby, to the exact place on the page where the heroine is a grown woman — and can do whatever she wants. … Read More
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have left Tribeca. Though it’s doubtful (but in this day and age, almost plausible) that Beyoncé… Read More
For those who don’t pay attention to the movements of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, this might come as a shock:… Read More
This morning, 364 days after she sneak-attacked us with her self-titled album, Beyoncé debuted an 11-minute, black-and-white video reflecting and elaborating on the LP’s themes. Titled “Yours and Mine,” the short film is no doubt a promotional tool for Beyoncé‘s recently released “Platinum Edition,” but there’s also something worth appreciating here: Beyoncé attempting to open up in a way that may not be totally natural to her, as someone who’s been expected to smile pretty for the cameras since childhood. “I was brought up seeing my mother trying to please and make everyone comfortable,” she says. … Read More
You know those people on Facebook who celebrate even minor holidays by posting corresponding songs? “Here’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi,’ happy Earth Day!” Maybe you’re one of those people. I won’t tell, though your entire Facebook feed already knows. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying: at least make sure you pick… Read More
For 50 years, popular culture has been paying tribute to The
Beatles. Innumerable covers of all qualities litter YouTube. Entire television specials are dreamt up, even now, to honor their contributions to music history. Every album anniversary is an opportunity for nostalgia of some sort, be it a tribute record, a Cirque du Soleil production, a video game, or a big-budget movie musical. And that’s not even counting the cover bands, with their cheap Liverpudlian accents and their even cheaper suits. … Read More
As far as music goes, “the worst” is a slippery category: the worst album of all time was probably made by some godawful crunkcore/pop-punk band in a garage somewhere in 2004 and never saw a formal release. Still, there are better-known records that, for whatever reason, you never, ever want to hear again — the songs are awful, the band’s awful, the music’s awful, or all of the above! So, in the (lighthearted) spirit of our recent list of the worst films ever made, here’s a completely subjective list of the worst albums ever… Read More