Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke Is Composing the Music for the Clive Owen-Starring Broadway Production of ‘Old Times’

By

Harold Pinter’s Old Times, which is being revived on Broadway this Fall, is known for its ambiguity and possible life/death liminality. The vague and ghostly (both literally and atmospherically) work sees a married couple in their farmhouse visited by the wife’s friend and former roommate from 20 years earlier, and after she tells the story of a random, incessantly sobbing man in their old room, the venom and possible violence underlying their “friendship” starts to show itself.
…Read More

It’s Time to Parse ‘Wet Hot American Summer’: Links You Need to See

By

For some, it’s Summer. For many, it’s wet. For others, it’s hot. For 318 million, it’s Amer— yeah, you get it. And for those who binged their weekend away with the Netflix prequel series (very nearly spelled out above) and, after a full First Day of Camp, are desperately sad that there isn’t a second day to consume, there are at least plenty of related articles to ensure continued immersion.
…Read More

2014: The Year Music Actually Did Something About Its Tech Skepticism

By

U2 force-fed their new album to the world for free and ended up the enemy. Taylor Swift took hers away and ended up a hero.

Swift changed her narrative in 2014, and it wasn’t about ditching country or dating out of the public eye. She became the face of skepticism over how technology has changed music, during a year when the streaming music economy was debated more than ever — not only among artists, whose wellbeing is affected greatly, but in the court of public opinion as well.
…Read More

Taylor Swift, Steve Albini, Spotify, and the Fruitless Quest for a Music Industry Savior

By

If you ever need a reminder that all those rose-tinted remembrances of the pre-internet music industry do not account for the full story, look no further than Steve Albini’s seminal 1993 essay for The Baffler. It’s called, simply, “The Problem With Music.” In it, Albini details the flaws of the major-label music system in actual numbers and simple math — something that’s not done often enough in trade and consumer publications alike when it comes to how musicians actually make their money.
…Read More

Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music from Spotify Isn’t About Unfair Terms — It’s Because She Can

By

Three years ago, just as The Black Keys were in the midst of ascending to their current arena-rock status, the duo did something kind of groundbreaking for a mid-level major label band: they said “thanks but no thanks” to Spotify. It was a strategy their manager, Q Prime’s John Peets, told me they’d be monitoring through the record cycle for 2011’s El Camino. Based on the fact that the band’s No. 1 album Turn Blue, released this past May, does not appear on the streaming behemoth, I’m left to believe the strategy worked for them. Financial outcome aside, the Black Keys bellyached all over the place about Spotify’s unjustly low royalty rates, to the extent that I chuckle when I see what it says on their Spotify page: “The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify. We are working on it and hope they will change their mind soon.”
…Read More

Alternate Routes: Thom Yorke, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Tuareg “Purple Rain”

By

Alternate Routes is a column from Flavorwire contributor and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow, in which he provides maps to far-flung music, exploring sounds distributed solely outside the Big 3 of Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

Perhaps Spotify’s most grievous sin against music, besides its royalty rates, is how boring it is. Besides sales revenues, fidelity, and production credits, the streaming service makes albums feel as if they were trapped inside a listening station at the mall, or worse. There is the paucity of metadata that shuffles long discographies by corporate licensing dates, erasing albums outside the company’s territorial agreements, and deeming artists’ histories as irrelevant to their precious content. In terms of providing hot-and-cold running audio for the regions of the world covered by the relevant sub-clauses, Spotify is a miraculous utility, but is as divorced from real-life musical networks as a glass of water is from a rainstorm.
…Read More