My Thanks to Vinyl, Me Please

My thanks to Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring the website this week. Vinyl Me, Please is a record of the month club and they call themselves “the best damn record club.” After reading a few forum members talking about being members, it seems like that is a fair claim. People that have already signed up say good things about it and that’s really all you can ask for in an endorsement.

How’s it work? Every month, Vinyl Me, Please features one album that is essential to the modern vinyl collection and sends it to thousands of members worldwide. Each record is pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please members with features you can’t get anywhere else (things like bonus tracks, inserts, colored variants) and comes packed with a 12”x12” album-inspired art print and custom cocktail pairing recipe.

Find out more information and sign up for a no contract, no strings, you can cancel anytime plan on their website.

Review: Prawn – Run

In 2003, The Appleseed Cast released Two Conversations, the followup to their critically acclaimed two-disc Low Level Owl project. Fans were disappointed. Two Conversations was decidedly more commercial than Low Level Owl; the ambiance was replaced with melody and, it seemed to fans, the band traded ambition for accessibility. It’s true that Two Conversations shifted away from the unrepentant post-rock sound of the Low Level Owl CDs, but it’s also true that it’s an impressive album in its own right, even if it isn’t what was expected out of The Appleseed Cast. Most have come around to that by now.

I foresee something similar happening with Prawn’s new album, Run. 2014’s Kingfisher was unanimously praised on release by fans and critics alike. The record’s blending of emo and punk with post-rock made for an engrossing listen – one you can sing along to as well as brood to. Like Two Conversations, Run is a far more straightforward album than its predecessor. It’s more Into It. Over It. than Moving Mountains, let’s say – especially when the punk influence shines through on songs like “Empty Hands” and “Snake Oil Salesman.” The latter of which is a highlight on the record; Tony Clark shouting, “I know what you’ve been selling,” is one of the most fun moments in the band’s whole discography.

Blink-182’s “Dammit” Turns 20

Chris DeVille, writing at Stereogum:

Although it isn’t as easy to play as, say, Blur’s “Song 2,” most middle-school hacks can easily bang it out after a few minutes of practice. Many of them could write something similar. Chances are it wouldn’t be quite so stupidly infectious, nor would it probably arrive attached to a song so bracingly alive. Anyone can string together some notes in C major; it’s a testament to the writing prowess of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and not-Travis-Barker that they flipped that rudimentary guitar figure into one of the greatest pop-punk songs of all time.

I can’t think of a song I played more often than this one for a good two year stretch after the release of Dude Ranch.

Macy Santa Maria Details Leaving He is We Tour; Alleges Sexual Assault

Macy Santa Maria has posted a statement on Facebook talking about why she left the recent He is We tour. She alleges she was sexually assaulted by the lead singer Rachel Taylor:

I had the opportunity to do what I love this past summer and play guitar for the band He Is We, but unfortunately it was short lived. The night before the first show, I was sexually assaulted by the lead singer Rachel Taylor. I have contemplated sharing my story and have decided to share it on my own in hopes to raise awareness of sexual assault, specifically in the music industry. My objective is shed a little light on sexual assault, that a man or WOMAN is capable of committing. Rachel Taylor has ruined a part me and for her to have the opportunity to hide from this and continue her music career is disgusting. This is something I’m not going to hide from, and neither should anyone facing this issue.

Update: Rachel Taylor has responded on Facebook:

I have zero idea as to why any allegation was made and money was asked for. I will always promote a safe work environment and I was never given any reason to believe it was anything other than that. If I had known that there was ANYTHING offensive or out of line, it certainly would’ve been handled. I will always be a champion for equality for all. That is what the name He Is We means. I will remain steadfast and resolute to what the name means. I am confused and hurt that anyone would make such a despicable accusation. I will continue to be an example of leading the fight on.

Anatomy of a Moral Panic

Maciej Ceglowski:

The real story in this mess is not the threat that algorithms pose to Amazon shoppers, but the threat that algorithms pose to journalism. By forcing reporters to optimize every story for clicks, not giving them time to check or contextualize their reporting, and requiring them to race to publish follow-on articles on every topic, the clickbait economics of online media encourage carelessness and drama. This is particularly true for technical topics outside the reporter’s area of expertise.

And reporters have no choice but to chase clicks. Because Google and Facebook have a duopoly on online advertising, the only measure of success in publishing is whether a story goes viral on social media. Authors are evaluated by how individual stories perform online, and face constant pressure to make them more arresting. Highly technical pieces are farmed out to junior freelancers working under strict time limits. Corrections, if they happen at all, are inserted quietly through ‘ninja edits’ after the fact.

There is no real penalty for making mistakes, but there is enormous pressure to frame stories in whatever way maximizes page views.

Sponsor

Accidental Music Podcast (Encore Episode 154)

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Deanna Chapman. Deanna returns to the show to discuss music and technology. We talk about Brand New’s High & Low set (which Deanna saw in person), new albums from Mutemath, Foo Fighters, The National, PVRIS, and more, and then go deep on the latest Apple event. We talk about the new products, Apple Music, iOS 11, and what we think we want to upgrade and not upgrade.