Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ride are on Tour in Europe

If you live in Europe, please go see Ride. This tour is a continuation of the one that I saw earlier this year in Washington D.C.

They are phenomenally good live, and sound amazing. If you really like guitar music, this is your band. If you like the solid gut punch of a rhythm section, this is also your band. If you just like great songs, make them your new favorite band. This is not a nostalgia trip. This is vital new music being made right now. Ride are one of the few bands that could abandon their early catalog and tour on the strength of the new music they've been making.

Take hearing protection, of course.

Friday, January 17, 2020

YouTube is Ripping Everyone Off

There are few artists willing to speak up about how they're getting ripped off by streaming services, and it's always noteworthy when someone does:
Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor has called out streaming services for paying “less than pennies” when it comes to royalties. 
Read more: The Big Read – Slipknot: “I’m just going to tell you the facts: this album is a masterpiece” 
Speaking in a new interview, the frontman took aim at exploitive royalty rates and revealed just how little the band receives. 
“You are being paid less than pennies,” he told the Irish Times. “In the United States, they have passed the legislation [the Music Modernization Act 2018] but it is being appealed. I am hoping that it will be struck down.” 
Continuing, he shared that YouTube pay the least out of the music streaming platforms. “A million streams on YouTube is 0.04 per cent of a penny,” he said. “On a million streams you get $400 and that’s just me doing shitty math in my head. 
“People can’t live on that and there’s not a lot of people who get these numbers. The majority of this goes to the record label anyway. The streaming services are not willing to pay the talents who write the songs and makes the music and yet they are sitting on billions of dollars. 
“They are buying whole blocks of buildings and then taking over floors in there and yet they don’t want to pay the people who made the money for them. It’s insane. It’s tough all over in a lot of ways. Something has to change. I don’t know what that will be.”
The government's inability to regulate the streaming services is just one failure. No one is going to give money to artists if they are not compelled to do, so, here we are. If there was a commonly agreed-upon standard payout rate for streaming music, no one would bother going into that business and the streaming industry would collapse. They exist right now precisely because it is legal to steal music, make it available to the public, and walk away from any serious discussion about paying the artists that make music.

YouTube has been allowed to stand up a massively profitable business because it does not adequately compensate the people who provide the content. We have to fix this, and we have to do so because artists deserve to make a living wage.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Neil Peart 1952-2020

What can you say about the death of Neil Peart?

He was an incredible drummer. He was as learned on his instrument as any musician, ever.

He was a gifted lyricist.

He was an original nerd, and helped nerds find a voice in a vicious world.

He was a writer of travel books, many of which are incisive and passionate about the world.

He was a man who lost one family, and made another.

He left behind a highly influential body of work that will be studied and remembered.

Monday, January 6, 2020

It Is Not Okay to Attack Teenage Girls

Willfully ignorant jackass attacks teenage girl, film at eleven:
Greta Thunberg has responded to Meat Loaf’s claims that she has been “brainwashed” into believing in climate change.

The hard rock veteran argued last week (January 3) that the 17-year-old activist’s time would be better spent on something other than working to reverse climate change.

“I feel for that Greta,” he said. “She has been brainwashed into thinking that there is climate change and there isn’t. She hasn’t done anything wrong but she’s been forced into thinking that what she is saying is true.”
Thunberg, who has become a figurehead for the global environmental movement and inspired a number of protests, strikes and the continued work of Extinction Rebellion, has now responded to the musician. “It’s not about Meatloaf. It’s not about me. It’s not about what some people call me. It’s not about left or right,” she tweeted.
Meat Loaf is, essentially, just an old man trying to stop the world from changing. This is why he is a failure. It has nothing to do with his music, his art, his ability to perform. It is because he has entered the public space and attacked someone else because they represent a changing world he does not comprehend. No one needs to do that. You disagree, fine. But don't expect to be taken seriously anymore. Don't expect to get away with this shit.

In other words, fuck this guy.