On the record
Streaming is unstoppable and artists should just jump in. JIM CARROLLon music
IT SEEMS we’re destined to write about Spotify every other week. But the Swedish music streaming service, particularly the details of how much it pays artists, is the story that has dominated the music business beat in 2012.
The latest twist centres on two online posts. In the first, Galaxie 500’s Damon Krukowski talked about how little he and his bandmates were getting for streams. This kind of gripe will be familiar to longtime Spotify watchers.
However, in a superbly clear-headed and bullshit-free post, David Macias also wrote about his experiences with Spotify. Macias runs Thirty Tigers, a Nashville-based label services company. Macias collects and distributes money for artists so, he notes, he knows what they get paid because he writes the cheques.
Macias starts by correcting Krukowski’s maths (the singer was off by a multiple of 100 in his calculations) and goes on from there. He clearly and thoroughly debunks the myths, challenges the allegations and makes a lot of sense. Macias also makes the case that artists should really be getting het up instead about the attempts by the radio industry to reduce their payments to songwriters.
But in the case of the streaming services, the damage is already done. For everyone who reads what Macias has to say, there are hundreds who have read Krukowski’s misinformation or the retweeted links and summaries and concluded that Spotify are the bad-ass mofos in all of this.
But artists and their cheerleaders who adhere to this position are missing the bigger picture. The music consumption landscape has changed and streaming is where everything is going. The only way around this is to withhold your music from Spotify, Deezer, Eircom Music Hub et al. King Canute might have words of wisdom for you about that.
Turn Me Out (White)
Euphoric house winner from the one-time graphic designer.
Luxury Problems (Modern Love)
Futuristic, deep and heavyweight electronic adventures from the Manchester producer whose time has finally come.
Flip Out (White)
Superb demo from the XL signee which takes us for a wild, widescreen sonic joyride.
Don’t Save Me (Neon Gold)
A striking reason why Haim should be top of your acts-for-2013 list. (See p5, p32)
New band fronted by Andy Blue States Dragazis pushing new school takes on old-school Greek fuzz-rock.
Bury It There is the tune to have you going “who the hell is that?” Enter smart, sussed South London singer-songwriter Kimberly Anne, a Brit School graduate with punky DIY spirit and spiky pop-folk heart.
Former guitar student at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, James Bay is making waves with tracks such as When We On Fire. Bay has a great rasping blues voice and a good line in infectious, radio-ready grooves.
Derry-based four-piece whose I’d Let You Win is one of the most beguiling tunes we’ve heard in some time. Good reports from their slot at HWCH in Dublin last month too. As tipped by BBC Across the Line’s Paul McClean.
For more see irishtimes.com/blogs/ontherecord