Tag Archive: New York Times


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Imagine you’re at a car dealership and you ask the salesman to show you the best new models. You’re checking them out, giddy to see this year’s cream of the crop, and — surprise! — you realize he’s trying to sell you on a pre-owned car from 2008.

“What gives? That’s not new,” you say. “Buddy,” he says, putting a reassuring hand on your back, “you might know that, but lots of other people haven’t even heard of that model before. That’s new enough for us.” As reported by Dan Reilly for spinner.com

That, in essence, is the Grammys‘ stance on the Best New Artist award, an honor designed to catapult the winner to new heights of stardom.

There’s been some scrutiny over previous years’ selections — Evanescence over 50 CentMilli Vanilli over real singers, Starland Vocal Band over anything that makes sounds — but our biggest issue is how talented nominees like Bon IverEsperanza SpaldingShelby Lynne and Lauryn Hill can be called “new” when they’re precisely the opposite, a betrayal of the award’s reason for existing.

To clarify, here’s how the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences describes the category: “A new artist is defined as any performing artist who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist as a performer.”

This is where things get murky. Bon Iver, the indie-rock band nominated this year, independently put out their debut, ‘For Emma, Forever Ago,’ in 2007. Though it wasn’t a runaway commercial success, it received great reviews from outlets like Pitchfork and the New York Times, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, had several of its songs placed in television shows and ended up on a slew of critic lists of best albums of the year and, later, the decade. That acclaim led to frontman Justin Vernon collaborating with Kanye West on ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,’ which in turn played some immeasurable part in Bon Iver’s self-titled second album debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard album charts.

Previous year’s nominees and winners have been worse than that not-quite-sensation.Esperanza Spalding, the 2011 victor who surprisingly beat out Florence and the MachineMumford and SonsDrake and Justin Bieber, was five years removed from her debut album — and was personally selected by President Obama to perform at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. But hey, nobody pays attention to that little event, especially not the Bieber fans who threatened to kill her.

Read more here: http://aol.it/122jIxS

But here we are again, with Bon Iver taking the spot of a deserving new artist who could really benefit from all the buzz a nomination brings. Until then, all we can do is hope they finally get it right (and that the ceremony doesn’t top the four-hour mark).

Vampire Weekend modern vampires of the city
Vampire Weekend / Photo by Lauren Dukoff

LP3’s big reveal comes in the ‘New York Times’ classifieds

Modern Vampires of the City!

Ever mysterious New York preppy-rockers Vampire Weekend at last revealed the name of their third album via a blink-and-you-missed-it ad in the New York Times classifieds section. Early Monday morning (February 4), the band tweeted “NYT classifieds…” and Pitchfork spotted the referred-to ad, which reads:

MODERN
VAMPIRES
OF THE
CITY
May 7, 2013

The date, of course, is when the album is released in the U.S. on XL Recordings. The band hinted at the album’s title, one of the LP’s last remaining unknowns, with a GIF posted to VW’s official Tumblr on Friday. The image spelled out the first letter of each word, MVOTC, and we leveled some guesses that were, in the end, not too far off the mark.

Vampire Weekend are scheduled to perform at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, this March, and then at Coachella in April. A full slate of tour dates plus the album’s track list is below.

Don’t miss David Bevan’s in-depth LP3 chat with the band: In the Studio: Vampire Weekend Talk ‘Instinctive’ Spring 2013 Album.

Modern Vampires of the City Track List:
“Obvious Bicycle”
“Unbelievers”
“Step”
“Diane Young”
“Don’t Lie”
“Hannah Hunt”
“Everlasting Arms”
“Finger Back”
“Worship You”
“Ya Hey”
“Hudson”
“Young Lion”

Vampire Weekend Tour Dates:
March 13-16 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
April 12 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Cosmopolitan (w.Tanlines)
April 14 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
April 16 – Davis, CA @ Freeborn Hall at UC Davis (w.Tanlines)
April 17 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater (w.Tanlines)
April 21 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
May 8 – London, U.K. @ The Troxy
May 10 – Paris, FR @ Casino De Paris
May 15 – Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena
May 16 – Toronto, ONT @ Sony Centre
May 17 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
May 19 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theater
May 20 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre (co-headline w. Of Monsters And Men)
May 21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
May 23 – Portland, OR @ Keller Auditorium

 

taken from spin.com

If Spotify and Pandora Are the Future, Do Artists Have One?

Psy
“Wait, 1.2 billion views and you’re paying me 0.6 cents a view?” / Photo by Getty Images

Streaming services’ growth stirs debate over slim royalties

The New York Times has seen the future of music, and it doesn’t look good for musicians.

As the Times reports, the comparatively teensy amount artists earn from streaming services has caused concern throughout the industry.

While the average musician might earn 7 to 10 cents on an iTunes download, artists receive a fraction of a fraction of a cent each time their songs are played on streaming services. That’s not terrible if you’re Psy, who a Google executive recently said had earned $8 million on the 1.2 billion views for “Gangnam Style,” a rate of roughly 0.6 cents per view. It’s less good if you’re Zoe Keating, a self-described “avant cello” musician who late last year revealed that despite getting more than 1.5 million plays on Pandora in a six-month span, she received less than $1,700. Spotify was a bit kinder: Her 131,000 plays last year yielded almost $550.

Pandora, for one, lobbied last year for permission to lower its royalty rates, which unlike Spotify’s are set by law. A wide range of artists, from Brian Wilson to Rihanna, opposed the leigslation, the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act. So did the American Association of Independent Music, which represents many prominent indie labelsBillboard reports that the legislation isn’t completely dead and is “just hibernating.”

Artists might dream of penny royalties, but streaming service providers are swimming in big bucks. Pandora is publicly traded, with a share price that values it at nearly $2 billion. Spotify isn’t public, but its investors have reportedly pegged its value at $3 billion. To put that into perspective, the entire music industry saw revenues of roughly $7 billion in 2011, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Streaming service companies might be worth a lot on paper, but they’re not contributing much to the record business just yet. Pandora had $202 million in “content acquisition costs” in its last four reported quarters, and Spotify recently said it had made $500 million in royalty payments, the Times notes. That pales in comparison to music downloads’ $2.6 billion in 2011 sales.

Read more here: http://www.spin.com/articles/streaming-services-artist-royalties-spotify-pandora-youtube-debate?utm_source=spintwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=spintwitter

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