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The Ryan Adams Allegations Are the Tip of an Indie-Music Iceberg

Laura Snapes, writing for The Guardian:

The concept of male genius insulates against all manner of sin. Bad behaviour can be blamed on his prerequisite troubled past. His trademark sensitivity offers plausible deniability when he is accused of less-than-sensitive behaviour. His complexity underpins his so-called genius. As I wrote for this paper in 2015: “Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of ‘difficult’ artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art.” This was after, in response to an interview request, Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek told a crowd that I was a “bitch” who wanted to have his babies. Note, too, how many female geniuses are dismissed as divas, their art depicted as a symptom of disorder, their responses to mistreatment and calls for respect characterised as proof of an irrational nature.

‘Ryan Adams Dangled Success. Women Say They Paid a Price.’

The New York Times:

Some now say that Adams’s rock-star patronage masked a darker reality. In interviews, seven women and more than a dozen associates described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex. In some cases, they said, he would turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media. The accounts have been corroborated by family members or friends who were present at the time, as well as by correspondence from Adams reviewed by The New York Times.

Death to Autoplay

Adam Engst, writing at TidBits:

The auto-play offense that has pushed me over the edge is Netflix’s Apple TV app, which auto-plays previews for movies and TV shows as you browse through Netflix’s library. Within 3 seconds of when you navigate to a show’s icon, it starts playing a preview for the show, complete with audio. It’s difficult even to read the show’s description in that amount of time, much less reflect on whether you might want to watch the show. As soon as the audio starts, it interrupts whatever thoughts might be going through your head (Josh Centers made this example video; it shows what he hears as his 5-year-old browses).

Is there anyone that likes this “feature?” Anyone?

Jeff Bezos Reveals Extortion Attempt from National Enquirer

Jeff Bezos:

Well, that got my attention. But not in the way they likely hoped. Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)

Holy shit. After reading this piece, my first thought was this scene from The Dark Knight.

Spotify’s Podcast Aggregation Play

Ben Thompson, writing at Stratechery:

Basically, the wall that Spotify can put up around podcasts is much stronger than the one it can put up around music, and podcasters have fewer alternatives. Or, to put it another way, podcasts are a market where Spotify — to the extent they are willing to pay — actually has power over supply. […]

To put it another way, Anchor is a means of generating supply, and it is supply that has always stood in the way of Spotify’s ambitions to be an Aggregator. Aggregators bring suppliers onto the platform on their terms; Spotify, on the other hand, has had to scratch and claw to get labels to give them the music they needed to be viable. And again, the acquisition of Gimlet Media, while better from a long-term leverage perspective, is not a big improvement: Spotify almost certainly overpaid if the only goal was to obtain supply.

This is, as always, a very smart take.

8 Things You Need to Set Up Your Home Recording Studio

Rolling Stone:

For Bryce Avary, lead singer of The Rocket Summer, having a home studio is all about flexibility, and having the freedom to create on your own schedule. “I’m constantly writing and making music and I like to see where the music leads me as it’s happening, follow it, and then capture it right in the moment,” he says, citing his last album, “Zoetic,” which he recorded in a tiny room of a house at the bottom of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles.

PledgeMusic Suspends Active Campaigns

PledgeMusic has stopped running active campaigns:

We are in discussions with several interested parties about a potential partnership with or acquisition of PledgeMusic. These conversations, if successful, would lead to a transaction which would allow us to meet all of our outstanding obligations. As a result, we are hopeful that, as long as the company is given some breathing space to operate, a solution to these current problems will be found.


Ariana Grande Not Attending Grammys After Disagreements With Producers


An insider tells Variety that Grande felt “insulted” after producers initially refused to allow her to perform “7 Rings,” the latest single from her forthcoming album “Thank U, Next” (which arrives Friday, two days before the Grammys). A compromise was reached whereby “7 Rings” would be part of a medley, but Grande pulled out after producers insisted that the second song be of their choosing.

FuckJerry’s Success Is Instagram’s Failure

Brian Feldman, writing for New York Magazine:

The past few weeks have been rough for Elliot Tebele. Tebele is the morally compromised founder of Jerry Media, a media firm founded in 2015 that is the outgrowth of an Instagram account called @fuckjerry. @fuckjerry is a “meme account,” shorthand for a social media account that screenshots funny tweets and freeboots (rips and reuploads) viral videos. To put it another way, @fuckjerry is an account that steals jokes and other content from other users and monetizes it. Instagram, the billion-dollar Facebook subsidiary, has been aware of the account for years and has done nothing to curb its theft of intellectual property.

Ozuna Tops Justin Bieber to Become the Artist With the Most 1 Billion-View Videos on YouTube

Ozuna now holds the record for being the artist with the most YouTube videos with more than one billion views:

“Thanks to all the colleagues who believe in me and always count on me, we continue here I love them and blessings to all, they are part of my success,” Ozuna wrote on Instagram when “Taki Taki” reached the figure. “I love my fans a lot and thank you for never abandoning me.”

We’ve reached the spot where I am laughably out of touch with things that are popular. I’d never heard one of these songs until this morning. I just missed one of the largest artists online.

The Real Story Behind the Viral ‘Poo Flip’

Brian Feldman, writing at NY Mag:

There are viral things that anyone — everyone — can love. Grumpy Cat, the Dress, “Damn, Daniel!” — the sort of stuff that, at the very least, you can bring up at the dinner table. Then there’s the other stuff — memes couched in so many layers of irony that they become unintelligible and inexplicable, niche drama that sounds stupid when you explain it to anyone not glued to obsessive corners of the internet all day. And of course, the stuff too disgusting to mention in polite conversation.

That last category — the gross one — is where the poo-flip video belongs. As of Thursday night, the Poo Flip has amassed more than 7.5 million views on Twitter. I am going to describe it now. If you are the sort of person who knows that you have zero interest in anything that might be called “the Poo Flip,” close your web browser now.

This is the content we crave.

‘Y: The Last Man’ Coming to FX in 2020

Y: The Last Man will be coming to FX in 2020:

FX’s version, however, will simply be called Y. Michael Green, who recently cut ties with Starz’s American Gods, will serve as showrunner with Aïda Mashaka, a veteran writer of Netflix’s Marvel offerings. Vaughan, meanwhile, will serve as an executive producer. And, as we previously reported, Melina Matsoukas will flex the skills she honed helming Beyoncé videos and episodes of Insecure as the pilot’s director.

It’s one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. Please don’t suck.

John Mayer’s ‘Heart of Life’ Song to Become ABC Drama Series

The Hollywood Reporter:

The network has handed out a pilot order for Heart of Life, a project inspired by Mayer’s song of the same name.

Heart of Life follows two sets of adult siblings from wildly different worlds who discover they are related and must reassess everything they thought they knew about their shared father. As they explore the mystery of their separate childhoods, they’ll experience the difficulty in overcoming the sins of the past, and learn the joys of reuniting with long-lost family.

Modern Weather Forecasts Are Stunningly Accurate

Robinson Meyer, writing at The Atlantic:

Meteorologists have never gotten a shiny magazine cover or a brooding Aaron Sorkin film, and the weather-research hub of Norman, Oklahoma, is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Palo Alto. But over the past few decades, scientists have gotten significantly—even staggeringly—better at predicting the weather.

How much better? “A modern five-day forecast is as accurate as a one-day forecast was in 1980,” says a new paper, published last week in the journal Science. “Useful forecasts now reach nine to 10 days into the future.”

Mark Hoppus Wants to Experiment More With Blink-182

Mark Hoppus talked with Kerrang about the upcoming Blink-182 album:

“After playing in this band for 27 years, I want to push it and do different things and take blink to places where we haven’t been before,” he tells Kerrang!. “We’re really trying to do that on the new record. We want to do with our band what we did in 2003 with Untitled, where we take our foundations and go off in completely weird directions.”

Next Christopher Nolan Film Coming in July 2020

Hollywood Reporter:

Warner Bros. announced Friday that Nolan’s next film will open in Imax on July 17, 2020.

The project is described as an event film, but nothing else is known about Nolan’s latest venture. The writer-director has a propensity for secrecy, writing his scripts away from any prying eyes. Furthermore, he is of such a stature that he can attract the actors he wants, package his project with thespians and then present it to a studio with what amounts to a simple yes or no question: Are you in or are you out?

PledgeMusic Owes Artists Thousands of Dollars

Colin Stutz, writing at Billboard:

According an anonymous former employee who wished to remain anonymous, the root of these problems is improper money management where PledgeMusic failed to hold artists’ campaign funds separately and securely and instead invested it back into the company. The idiom “robbing Peter to pay Paul” came up in many conversations describing PledgeMusic’s actions and as the company’s growth slowed the situation worsened. Over the last year, according to the former employee, in effort to reduce overhead, PledgeMusic also laid off about a third of its U.S. staff and moved out of its New York offices into a WeWork shared workspace.

Adam Lazzara Talks With Substream

Logan White sat down with Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday over at Substream:

While the two new songs are a great representation of where Taking Back Sunday is at currently going through their 20thyear as a band, Lazzara is unable to say whether these songs will be a representation of any future material. This ties into their effort of being as genuine as possible with each release of new music, as Lazzara explains “I think we’d be doing a disservice if we said, ‘Oh yeah, these two songs are the direction we’re going’ because, who knows what the next batch of songs is going to sound like.”