Friday News ::::: Week of November 17th

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1.  Grape Salad

Let’s lead off with the story that’s consuming the Minnesota media scene right now: Grape-Gate. The New York Times published a list of 50 Thanksgiving dishes, one that is special to each state in the union. For North Dakota, they chose lefse. Nice. For Wisconsin, they chose wild rice with mushrooms. Makes sense. For Minnesota, they chose “grape salad”. Huh?? Apparently we Minnesotans can’t have Thanksgiving without a salad comprised of grapes, sour cream and brown sugar. Blech! It just feeds even more into the idea that New Yorkers are completely out of touch with the upper midwest.

Clearly there are much better and more obvious choices the Times could have made here. In my mind it’s green bean casserole with the french onion topping. Or perhaps it’s the old tater-tot hotdish? Either way, it’s DEFINITELY not “grape salad”.

        

2. Streaming Music

          

There was mild uproar last week when Taylor Swift made the decision to stop streaming her music on Spotify. She basically admitted that her decision was based on it just “not feeling right”, but it re-opened the discussion about how Spotify pays artists, whether it’s enough and how musicians feel about the current state of music consumption.

Time magazine published some data about how much money Spotify has paid out to the top artists in the last year, proving that plenty of money is flowing through their streaming service. But that’s the TOP artists. What about all the other, lower tier artists? Hmm….

And artist that I enjoy, Derek Webb, has strong opinions about the system too, which he published awhile back and it’s worth a read. Bottom line, he’d rather give you his music directly, for free, than have Spotify run the show.

Then you’ve got Dave Grohl, a very respected musician who has been trying to spearhead a reformation of sorts in the industry with production and rock and roll in general, who went on record with the following quote:

You want people to f***ing listen to your music? Give them your music. And then go play a show. They like hearing your music? They’ll go see a show. To me it’s that simple, and I think it used to work that way. When we were young and in really noisy, crappy punk rock bands there was no career opportunity and we loved doing it and people loved fucking watching it and the delivery was completely face to face and personal. That’s what got people really excited about shit. Nowadays there’s so much focus on technology that it doesn’t really matter.

So you see that most artists make almost all of their money from playing concerts. And people only come to concerts for bands that they started liking by listening to their recorded music. Therefore, if you make your music available (and enjoyable) to as many people as possible, then your concerts will be more well-attended and you’ll earn a living. Makes sense to me.

And in the midst of all of this, my streaming service of choice – Google Play Music - just added a new suite of video features via YouTube and may have finally passed up Spotify.

3. Snow

Buffalo, New York, got socked with lake effect snow this week. And I mean SOCKED. The Bills/Jets game has been moved to Monday night in Detroit because they can’t clear the field in time. It reminds me of another time a game had to be played in Detroit due to snow:

Ah, memories….

4. Music News

HUGE music news came across the wire this week: Radiohead is officially recording a new album RIGHT NOW!

Also, the band Interpol was traveling between gigs when they got caught up in the Buffalo snow storm. They had to spend 40 hours trapped on their tour bus on the highway! Thankfully they were stocked with “dry goods and vodka”. Oh, Interpol….

 

5. Trends

Finally, check out this great list of 10 movie and TV trends that are great! It’s a pretty good list.