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Linked List

Oral History of the 2005 Warped Tour

Chris Payne, writing over at Billboard:

Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance played Warped in ‘04 and after drawing fervent crowds, were signed on for the next year early; by the time June ‘05 rolled around, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Helena” were MTV staples, improbably climbing the Hot 100. 700,000 kids came out that summer, more than any Warped before or since (for context, last year pulled 300,000). Individual bands regularly sold over $30,000 of merch per day. Bodyguards were needed for the first time. At summer’s end, the tour’s profits hit seven figures. But Warped’s summer-long slog paid another price; across 48 shows in 59 days, musicians and personnel grappled with oversized egos, volatile — if not occasionally hostile — environments, and a sideshow’s worth of distractions far from home, with a massive mainstream audience suddenly watching.

Women on the Warped Tour

Steve Knopper, writing at The New York Times:

The New York Times spoke to 75 women and nonbinary musicians who have performed on the tour, many of whom echoed NPR Music’s Ann Powers, who recently criticized Warped as a “wild boys’ paradise.” Some divulged #MeToo stories; others ripped bands known for making misogynistic remarks onstage.

Instagram Announces IGTV

Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch:

Today at a flashy event in San Francisco, the company announced it will begin allowing users to upload videos up to one hour in length, up from the previous one-minute limit. And to house the new longer-form videos from content creators and the general public, Instagram is launching IGTV. Accessible from a button inside the Instagram homescreen, as well as a standalone app, IGTV will spotlight popular videos from Instagram celebrities.

Why Tidal Is in So Much Trouble

David Turner, writing at Gizmodo:

Tidal’s subscriber numbers received such intensified attention because initial adoption of the service appeared to be slow and the company ceased providing any user base information, while its competition continued to show growth. An extensive 2017 Dagens Naeringsliv report alleged that Tidal’s subscriber numbers were inflated. The paper said according to multiple sources and documents that Tidal’s true subscriber base in September 2015 was closer 350,000—Jay-Z tweeted it was 1,000,000—and in March 2016 was 850,000—although Tidal said 3,000,000.

I just don’t see how Tidal finds a place in this market. If you want a streaming service, you’re using Spotify or Apple Music, if you want random songs or videos, you’re using YouTube. I don’t see any place for Tidal to grab a foothold.

Audio Released of Children Separated From Their Parents at the Border

Ginger Thompson, writing at ProPublica:

The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Our government is torturing children. These are the kinds of things that if we read about in history books we would not be able to understand how people let this happen. There will come a time when future generations read about this era in their history books, and they will rightfully judge us. This is sickening.

The Earliest Images of the Moon Were So Much Better Than We Knew

Ryan Smith, writing at World of Indie:

Fifty years ago, 5 unmanned lunar orbiters circled the moon, taking extremely high resolution photos of the surface. They were trying to find the perfect landing site for the Apollo missions. They would be good enough to blow up to 40 x 54ft images that the astronauts would walk across looking for the great spot. After their use, the images were locked away from the public until after the bulk of the moon landings, as at the time they would have revealed the superior technology of the USA’s spy satellite cameras, which the orbiters cameras were designed from. The main worry was the USSR gaining valuable information about landing sites that the US wanted to use.

This Clarinetist’s Career Was Derailed by a Deleted Scholarship Letter

Brianna Sacks, writing at BuzzFeed:

Eric Abramovitz had been training for this moment for nearly his entire life: the opportunity to study under one of the best clarinet teachers on the planet, on a full-ride scholarship to a prestigious music conservatory in Los Angeles. […] What happened next, outlined in interviews and court documents filed in Abramovitz’s successful lawsuit against Lee, paint the picture of a promising “what if” life trajectory knocked off its rails by what a Canadian judge called “despicable interference” by a selfish girlfriend.

This story is bonkers. I sent it to my violinist girlfriend and she read the entire thing slack-jawed.

The Oral History of The Gaslight Anthem’s ‘The ’59 Sound’

Robert Mays, writing at The Ringer, has put together an oral history of The Gaslight Anthem’s The ’59 Sound:

The intangible thing of “The ’59 Sound,” it didn’t mean anything about the ’50s. I didn’t imagine people banging on jukeboxes and Fonzie and all that. I’m not interested in any of that. To me, it reminded me of my grandmother and a time where simpler things were valued more. Friendships, relationships, and that kind of thing. There weren’t so many distractions. You didn’t have so many goals. Now, a kid grows up, and he could be anything. That’s great, but it’s also very daunting. Because which one of the anythings do you be?

Looking for Life on a Flat Earth

Alan Burdick, writing at The New Yorker:

If you are only just waking up to the twenty-first century, you should know that, according to a growing number of people, much of what you’ve been taught about our planet is a lie: Earth really is flat. We know this because dozens, if not hundreds, of YouTube videos describe the coverup. We’ve listened to podcasts—Flat Earth Conspiracy, The Flat Earth Podcast—that parse the minutiae of various flat-Earth models, and the very wonkiness of the discussion indicates that the over-all theory is as sound and valid as any other scientific theory. We know because on a clear, cool day it is sometimes possible, from southwestern Michigan, to see the Chicago skyline, more than fifty miles away—an impossibility were Earth actually curved.

Maybe, and stay with me here, the internet was a massive mistake.

Apple Music Rolling Out Update With ‘Coming Soon’ Section

Mitchel Broussard, writing at MacRumors:

Apple appears to be rolling out a series of updates for Apple Music today, including a small but useful new section called “Coming Soon,” which allows subscribers to check out new albums about to be released over the next few weeks. […] In another addition, Apple is now making it possible to easily see album launch dates on their respective pages on iOS and macOS. In the Editors’ Notes section, following the traditional encouragement to add the pre-release album to your library, there’s a new line that begins “Album expected…” followed by the album’s specific release date.

Some nice updates, but what I really want is one feed/section that simply gives me a chronological listing of newly released albums from people already in my collection. On Friday morning I should be able to look one place and see all the new albums from people Apple Music already knows I like and listen to. I’m cool with a smaller scattering of recommendations for new music I may like under that main list as well, but finding the newly released albums from artists I already love should be easy. Half the time I’ll forget I pre-added an album that’s out today and this kind of reminder would be great. Hell, so many of my friends don’t even know their favorite band released new music over the past five years. This is a solvable problem.

Update: I was just looking around in the new Apple Music, and I don’t know if this is new or not, but if you go to the “For You” section and scroll to the very bottom, there’s a “New Releases” section. Clicking “See All” seems pretty close to what I’m talking about. However, it’s definitely missing things from artists in my collection with new albums. For example, that Lykke Li album released today isn’t in my listing even though all of her albums are in my library.

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Spotify Offers Managers, Artists Advances to License Music Directly

Hannah Karp, writing for Billboard:

Under the terms of some of the deals, management firms can receive several hundred thousand dollars as an advance fee for agreeing to license a certain number of tracks by their independent acts directly to Spotify. Then, in at least some cases, the managers and acts stand to earn 50 percent of the revenue per stream on those songs on Spotify. That’s slightly less than the 54 percent of revenue the major record labels in the U.S. get per stream, on average, according to Billboard’s calculations, but major-label artists and their managers typically receive only 20 percent to 50 percent of the label’s share, depending on an act’s individual royalty rates, and don’t usually get to own their master recordings.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about Fred Rogers, is now out in select cities. The director was recently interviewed for MEL Magazine and shared this great tidbit:

There’s one detail that I really liked that’s not in the film, which is he felt like the shows should be evergreen. As he often said, the outside world of the child changes, but the inside of the child never changes. So he thought his shows should play the same to two-year-olds now or 20 years ago. But as the years would go on, he would find things that had happened in old episodes that didn’t feel current, where maybe he used a pronoun “he” instead of “they” — or he met a woman and presumed that she was a housewife. So he would put on the same clothes and go back and shoot inserts and fix old episodes so that they felt as current as possible, so that he could stand by them 100 percent. I’ve never heard of that happening — it’s kind of amazing.

Ticketfly Hacker Stole More Than 26 Million Email and Home Addresses

Kris Holt, writing at Engadget:

A hacker has leaked personal information for more than 26 million Ticketfly users after last week’s data breach. That’s according to Troy Hunt, the founder of Have I Been Pwned, which lets you check whether your email address has been included in various data breaches.

The hacker posted several Ticketfly database files to a public server, and Hunt found that they contained 26,151,608 email addresses. Many users’ names, phone numbers and home and billing addresses were also compromised.

Tickeyfly Still Down

Tickeyfly is still down. Hypebot reports:

More than 30 hours after it first went dark, Ticketfly and the sites of many of the major venues and promoters it services are still offline. […] Code left on the Ticketfly site points to the hacker group IsHaKdZ, who appears to be demanding a ransom.

I’ve seen a lot of bands and tours affected by this.

Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore

Alexis C. Madrigal, writing at The Atlantic:

When you called someone, if the person was there, they would pick up, they would say hello. If someone called you, if you were there, you would pick up, you would say hello. That was just how phones worked. The expectation of pickup was what made phones a synchronous medium.

I attach no special value to it. There’s no need to return to the pure state of 1980s telephonic culture. It’s just something that happened, like lichen growing on rocks in the tundra, or bacteria breaking down a fallen peach. Life did its thing, on and in the inanimate substrate. But I want to dwell on the existence of this cultural layer, because it is disappearing.

No one picks up the phone anymore.

Recording Academy Chief Neil Portnow to Step Down Next Year

Billboard:

The decision comes at a time when the Academy has been facing increasing public pressure and backlash amid a number of scandals, many of them self-inflicted. Portnow himself has been at the center of several of them, beginning the night of Jan. 28, 2018, when he said in an interview following the 60th Grammy Awards in New York City that women needed to “step up” if they wanted to be better-represented in the music industry.

The Cultural Vandalism of Jeffrey Tambor

Matt Zoller Seitz, writing at Vulture:

Nobody is stopping anyone from watching these works (though they’re no longer as easy to find, and you probably have to own a DVD player). We can still talk about them, study them, write about them, contextualize them. But the emotional connection has been severed. The work becomes archival. It loses its present-tense potency, something that significant or great works have always had the privilege of claiming in the past.

That’s all on the predators. It’s not on you. None of us asked for this.

I found myself nodding along through this entire piece, so much of it applicable to the music world as well.

Vevo to Shut Down Site

Amy X Wang, writing at Rolling Stone:

The company announced in a blog post Thursday that it is shuttering its mobile apps and website, and that “going forward, Vevo will remain focused on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities.” It will continue investing in original content and sponsorships, but phase out its own independently-operated platforms, it said. Read: Vevo is almost entirely succumbing to YouTube, the juggernaut that has long supplied most of its audience.