Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The wrap predicted that Kilkenny goal

DJ Khaled, parkour, But Who’s Buying, Release Radar playlist, Crowdmix, Chris Blackwell etc

Bless up: DJ Khaled

Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 09:50


(1) Run the city: how parkour has redefined how people relate with their city.

(2) One of the best new arrivals of the summer has been Michael Nelson’s But Who’s Buying music business columm in Stereogum. Here’s a great long read about why the vinyl market is all set to collapse, but check out the back catalogue while you’re at it.

(3) Please hold, your call is important to us: a history of the call centre and some hard evidence about how customer service became so darn annoying.

(4) Anyone for a new playlist? Here’s the skinny on Spotify’s new Release Radar, the Friday shizzle to Monday’s Discover Weekly. Good to see Spotify investing in something like this rather than simply spending big like Tidal and Apple Music on exclusives (and even exclusives which never fecking materialise), though their algorithm needs some calibration judging by what my playlist looked like last Friday.

(5) The collapse of social music discovery company Crowdmix has been one of the music business disaster stories of the season. Eamonn Forde digs deep for Music Ally into how it all fell apart. “This is the story of Crowdmix, the social music discovery company that had a staff of over 160 in London and LA and managed to burn through £14m without fully launching. It is a tale of hubris, incompetence, ego, mismanagement, directionless strategy, panic, paranoia and profligacy, sitting as a textbook example of how not to launch a startup. It’s also the story of a plastic cow whose bullshit-detecting moo could be heard by everyone – except, seemingly, the people running the company – and turned music into a toxic investment category among the VC community.”

(6) Chris Blackwell, ladies and gentlemen, Chris Blackwell. “I let over a billion dollars of music get away. Pink Floyd. Elton John, who I thought was too shy to make it. And Madonna, among many. But I never even saw her perform. I just met her at Danceteria and … meh. But it’s not always easy to see inside of who can make it and who won’t. This is something I don’t lose any sleep over, though.”

(7) Who sampled who? All the samples on Beyonce’s “Lemonade” broken down and unspooled.

(8) Inside the cold case department operated by the police department in Camden, New Jersey: “by the new millennium, Camden faced some of the worst violence in the US. The situation further deteriorated between 2011 and 2013, when the police department – which had long been hobbled by misconduct and incompetence – lost about half its staff to budget cuts. Police officers largely stopped responding to non-violent crimes. Drug dealers, who then operated some 175 open-air markets in Camden, donned T-shirts bearing the slogan, “It’s our time”. In 2012, the city of 78,000 tallied 67 murders, making it, per capita, the most dangerous in America.”

(9) Do you want a new way to classify music which is based on its attributes and not social connotations? Step this way because David M Greenberg from the University of Cambridge and his colleagues have come up with the very thing. “Genre labels are also often socially driven with little to do with the actual characteristics of the music. They are labels stamped onto artists and albums by record companies with the intent of targeting a particularly type of audience or age group. The fundamental problem is that genre labels often do not accurately describe artists and their music – they simply do not do them justice. A more accurate way to label music would be based solely on their actual musical characteristics (or attributes). Such a labelling system would also likely better account for diversity in a person’s music taste.”

(10) OTR is not on Snapchat but DJ Khaled is. A banger from his new album to listen to as you read this sharp review by Rob Harvilla for The Ringer.