Music industry

Robin Thicke’s Creepster Trolling Isn’t Selling Albums Anymore

Good news, Robin Thicke haters: you are even less alone than you thought. Today’s SoundScan numbers show that Thicke’s Paula sold 23,754 copies in its opening week, coming in at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 album chart — and that’s 23,224 more than his UK sales of a mere 530 copies opening week. … Read More

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What YouTube’s Indie Label Ban Actually Means for Music Fans

YouTube is sparring with a handful of independent record labels over licensing deals regarding the Google-owned video site’s forthcoming subscription service, the side effect of which will see a handful of indie artists’ music removed from YouTube imminently. Up until yesterday, when this news made the rounds in sensationalized form on tech blogs, there had been relatively little discussion of an issue that might have a dramatic effect on both labels and consumers. So what’s going on? … Read More

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Don Henley Doesn’t Get It

I would like to preface this article by pointing out that historically speaking, Don Henley is a wang.… Read More

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Dear Pixies, Stop Milking It

As far as ads go, the new iPhone ad featuring a cover of the Pixies’ “Gigantic” is pretty charming. The laundry list of all the things featured in the commercial could rival a Stefon skit, and among them is a band of “alternative” teenagers trepidatiously tackling “Gigantic” as “alternative” teenagers have done for the last 20-odd years. The purpose is to sell $300 phones to “creatives,” but it’s not a half-bad representation of what the Pixies have come to mean in the 23 years since their last album: a badge of honor that reads, “I’m ‘alternative’ in a kinda obvious way, but at least the music is really fucking good.” It’s slightly less cool than liking The Replacements, slightly more cool than liking the ’90s bands who ripped off the Pixies in one way or another (Nirvana, Weezer, Radiohead). … Read More

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Childish Gambino’s NPR Rap Growing Pains

“Buy me out of my contract” is a record industry gripe most often reserved for major label artists who’ve been placed in limbo. Signed but not totally developed, unable to release music despite being paid (often large quantities of money) to do just that. Artists like Azealia Banks, JoJo, and Angel Haze are recent poster children, and acts like The Stone Roses and Prince have suffered through similar ordeals. By contrast, Childish Gambino — otherwise known as comedy actor/writer Donald Glover — is neither signed to a major label nor being barred from releasing music. This did not stop him from going off on a brief Twitter tirade Monday. … Read More

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Don’t Stop ‘Til You Earn Enough: The Bullshit of the Posthumous Michael Jackson Album

A few days after Michael Jackson died in June 2009, I found myself up in Harlem at the Apollo Theater covering a wake of sorts, led by Reverend Al Sharpton and Spike Lee. I had never seen an entire neighborhood out in the streets, mourning their icon no less. By the time the memorial let out, it was raining. The crowd’s homemade posters were slowly deteriorating, sort of like Jackson himself as time ticked away, but there is one I will never forget: “MJ, you will live on forever” in red glitter paint. At the time I didn’t anticipate the lengths to which the music industry would go to make these words true. … Read More

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Lady Gaga to Critics at SXSW Keynote: “You Don’t Know Fuck About the Music Industry”

AUSTIN, TX: Twelve hours after headlining a show for Doritos, Lady Gaga took an anti-consumerist stance at her SXSW keynote interview. Fuse’s John Norris led a softball interview that allowed Gaga to wax poetic about her art vs. commerce philosophies. Much of her speech was critical of the music industry, including the Billboard charts and her record label, Interscope, as well as technology as a whole: “As you get more successful, they push the rule book at you more.” … Read More

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