It’s Time to Bring Back the AIM Away Message

Lauren Goode, writing for Wired:

Sometimes you had to step away. So you threw up an Away Message: I’m not here. I’m in class/at the game/my dad needs to use the comp. I’ve left you with an emo quote that demonstrates how deep I am. Or, here’s a song lyric that signals I am so over you. Never mind that my Away Message is aimed at you.

I miss Away Messages. This nostalgia is layered in abstraction; I probably miss the newness of the internet of the 1990s, and I also miss just being … away. But this is about Away Messages themselves—the bits of code that constructed Maginot Lines around our availability. An Away Message was a text box full of possibilities, a mini-MySpace profile or a Facebook status update years before either existed. It was also a boundary: An Away Message not only popped up as a response after someone IM’d you, it was wholly visible to that person before they IM’d you.

Halsey Says Record Label Won’t Release New Song

Halsey

James Rettig, writing at Stereogum:

While playing a snippet of a new song, Halsey wrote: “Basically, I have a song that I love that I want to release ASAP, but my record label won’t let me. I’ve been in this industry for eight years and I’ve sold over 165 million records and my record company is saying I can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.”

Some might speculate … that this is exactly the sort of viral TikTok this song would “need” to be released. Halsey says that’s not the case. When someone pointed that out in the comments, they responded: “Bruh I wish it was haha. They just said I have to post tiktoks they didn’t specifically say ‘about what’ so here I am.”

Spotify Tests Letting Artists Promote NFTs on Their Profiles

Stuart Dredge, writing for Music Ally:

Artists can already promote merch and tickets on their Spotify profiles. Now the streaming service is testing a feature that will let them also promote their NFTs.

Steve Aoki and The Wombats appear to be two of the artists taking part in the test, both of whom have been among the early adopters of NFTs. The test is currently running for ‘select’ users of Spotify’s Android app in the US, who will be able to preview NFTs on the artists’ profile pages. They will then be able to tap through to view and buy them from external marketplaces.

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‘Atticus … Dragging the Lake’ Turns Twenty

Side One Dummy

Brooklyn Vegan has a look back at the Atticus … Dragging the Lake compilation, which was releases twenty years ago on Side One Dummy Records.

It helped shine even more of a light on Drive-Thru Records, which was a crucial player in emo/pop punk crossover and which was growing rapidly thanks to the success of their flagship band New Found Glory and a then-recent deal with MCA Records (home of blink-182). NFG, who were already pretty big at this point and about to be much bigger upon dropping Sticks and Stones a month after this comp came out, were represented with their then-rare Christmas song “Ex-Miss,” and other Drive-Thru bands who were on the cusp of breakthroughs were there too. Philly emo-leaning pop punks The Starting Line were there with “Greg’s Last Day” from their 2001 debut EP With Hopes of Starting Over, and a few months later they’d begin rapidly rising with their debut LP Say It Like You Mean It. Long Island emo/melodic hardcore band The Movielife made the cut with “Walking On Glass,” one of the best songs from their 2001 EP The Movielife Has A Gambling Problem. Finch, who were instrumental in putting a pop punk-friendly spin on post-harcore, made the cut with “Post Script” from their debut LP What It Is To Burn, which came out a couple months before Dragging the Lake.

Relient K Talk About the Future

Canton Rep:

”We had so much fun playing together,” he said of the recently concluded tour. “It’s been about five years since our last show, and honestly, I wasn’t sure if we would ever get back to this. I think there is a certain sense of gratitude and joy that is present now in our live shows. I think a lot of our fans weren’t sure if we would ever tour again, either, so I think it’s part of the reason for the excitement and overall good vibes.”

Asked how long he thinks Relient K will last, Thiessen didn’t flinch: “Matt and I always said the band will always exist as long as we’re having fun.”

The Midtown Reunion is For the Children

Midtown

Gabe Saporta talked with Stereogum about Midtown’s upcoming shows:

Saporta was wary about the expectations these types of reunions set for both fans and musicians. “I’m always on the fence on these things. It takes so much work,” he explained. “I also am not the hugest fan of nostalgia. When I’ve seen my favorite bands get back together, I’ve always been disappointed. So I don’t ever want to disappoint anybody and not live up to the vision that they have in their head.”

Sum 41 Announce New Double Album

Sum 41

Sum 41 talk with Rolling Stone about their upcoming double album, Heaven and Hell:

What came out of this creative renaissance was Heaven and Hell. The first part of the two-part LP, known as “Heaven,” taps back into the current nostalgia surrounding pop-punk — a style Whibley started writing in before it became a thing again: “When that happened, I was like, ‘What kind of luck is that?’ ” he says. The album’s second, heavier side (“Hell”) features metallic tracks closer to the band’s most recent sound. “As I listened to almost all of it, it just kind of dawned on me,” he recalls. “‘Did I just make a double record by accident?’ “

Spotify Closes Russian Office

Variety:

Spotify has taken several steps in response to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, including closing its offices in Russia “indefinitely.”

The company is not disabling access to its service within Russia. “We think it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information,” a Spotify representative said in a statement provided to Variety.

Like other internet platforms, Spotify has restricted the discoverability of Russian state-affiliated content on the streaming audio service. In addition, the company has removed all content from Kremlin-backed outlets RT and Sputnik from Spotify’s platform.

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” Hits #1

Billboard:

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” from Disney’s Encanto, makes a magical move to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart.

The ensemble song – by Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and the Encanto Cast – rises from the Hot 100’s runner-up spot and becomes just the second No. 1 ever from a Disney animated film.

“Bruno” also marks the first Hot 100 leader for the song’s sole writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda. He and Mike Elizondo co-produced it and earn their first and second trips to No. 1, respectively, in those roles.

David Bowie’s Catalog Acquired by Warner Chappell Music

David Bowie

Jem Aswad, writing for Variety:

After months of negotiations, David Bowie’s estate has sold the singer’s formidable publishing catalog to Warner Chappell Music for a price upwards of $250 million, sources confirm to Variety. The catalog spans six decades and includes such songs as “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Space Oddity,” “Fame,” “Let’s Dance,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Golden Years,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “All the Young Dudes,” his 1981 collaboration with Queen “Under Pressure” and hundreds more.

The agreement comprises songs from the 26 David Bowie studio albums released during his lifetime, as well as the posthumous studio album release, “Toy,” which comes out on Friday. It also includes the two studio albums from Tin Machine, along with tracks released as singles from soundtracks and other projects.

Straylight Run Plays First Show in 12 Years

Straylight Run

Straylight Run played their first show in 12 years last night, and Brooklyn Vegan has some photos from the show:

Straylight Run’s nine-song setlist pulled almost entirely from their debut, hitting underrated cuts like “The Tension and the Terror,” “Tool Sheds and Hot Tubs,” “Sympathy For the Martyr,” “For the Best,” and “Another Word for Desperate,” as well as the bigger fan faves like “Your Name Here (Sunrise Highway)” (which John opened by telling the crowd how the “very Long Island” song took place on a street that was just around the corner, and also how technically the song references “Carmans Rd,” but that he changed it to “Carmans Avenue” so it would rhyme), and of course “Hands in the Sky (Big Shot)” and “Existentialism on Prom Night,” both of which had the crowd singing like they thought no one was listening.

Andy Hull Recaps 2021

Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra sat down to talk with Consequence:

He says that when he was younger, he worried about turning into one of those cranks as he aged — or worse yet, running out of new material. “It used to be something that scared me, especially as an artist, because I think earlier in my career I hadn’t really gotten over the imposter syndrome of, ‘If these people find out that you aren’t really that good, it’s all going to be over.’”

But he’s been at this for a while now, and some of that doubt is starting to disappear. “Chances are, I’m probably not going to run out of songs. As long as I approach my work honestly and with excellence and really try to make the best thing that I can, there is no ceiling to it.

The Vinyl Resurgence Continues

Zachary Crockett, writing at The Hustle:

For modern-day indie artists, it’s a welcome boom. A vinyl record costs ~$7 to manufacture, and a band typically sells it directly to fans for $25, good for $18 in profit. By contrast, streaming services only pay out a fraction of a penny for each listen. A band would have to amass 450k streams on Spotify to match the profit of 100 vinyl sales.