Midnight Snack: Alabama Shakes – “Sound & Color”

Word to Prince – enjoy ya self

 

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Humpday Hymn: Sofi Tukker – Drinkee

First it might have been electronic,
but then twangy electric guitar happened,
Now there’s aborigine vuvuzelas on deck, but portugese spoken?

WTF! This is trippy. No… This is Drinkee ūüėČ

Dr. Dre Is Never Ever Ever… Making Detox

It’s official, folks. This has been a long on-going in house debate dating back to the days of the BP Radio Show. One person across the blog who shall remain nameless and wrong, claimed

“it’s because Dre records for himself, and him hearing the music is enough satisfaction for him”

While that self-medication might have done it for the good Doctor, this African didn’t buy it.  I’ve always held the belief that Dr. Dre is a musical megalomaniac partly clouded by cocktail of writer’s block, lack of cultural relevance, and being generally too comfortable in his legendary status to take more risks at tarnishing his place on the producer’s Mount Rushmore (next to Rick Rubin, Timbaland, and Pharrell, Swizz somebody else).

Well in an interview this last weekend on his weekly Beats Radio 1 show, Andre Young let loose of the kracken (Mark 1:20):

So… there you have it. “I just wasn’t feelin it” BUY the Compton Soundtrack. Buy some Beats by Dre earphones (eeeeh). But, want Detox? BYE!

Open Letter: Dear Bootleggers, MP3 Is Dead. PLEASE BURY IT!

Downloading music was cool – till it was “not so cool” to download music and¬†they arrested people to make examples of them. We started on Napster, when that was a free thing. Then they got busted, and spiderman’s brother – Sean Parker moved along amicably. So did we, to Kazaa (or Bearshare, or whatever P2P sharing system got those viruses on your parents’ computers, but you denied it like the stone-cold vigilante you were). ¬†All along, the bit-rate (basically how good the code makes the music file sound based on how its compressed If I lost ya already, its okay to move along and skip through) was confined to the bit-rate of around 128 kbps governed by the widely accepted “.mp3 standard”.

That was a mistake we made. All of us: the music industry that allowed that to be how music was digitally distributed, the hardware makers of “.mp3 players” (remember those?), and artists for allowing their hours of laborious art-work to go down the digital drain never to be appreciated again. That is bad!

How bad? That is the audio equivalent of watching the 3-D movie Avatar on that black and white T.V. with a big butt that your grandmother refused to let you connect your Nintendo to. ¬†That is like viewing a Picasso painting or Basquiat for you new-age hippies through an Instagram-filtered photo taken from your friend’s iPhone 4 on that Euro-trip they took with their family.
[Sidenote: NOBODY CARES, JANET! YOUR FAMILY MIGHT BE “CULTURED” AND LOADED WITH FREQUENT FLIER MILES, BUT EVER THINK YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT IF YOU’RE INSTATWEETBOOKING EVERY GALLERY AND MONUMENT? IT’S ALMOST 4TH OF JULY, AND YOU’RE NOT HERE! ENJOY BEING “ON FLEEK” IN FOREIGN LANDS AND ABANDONING AMERICA! That’s BASICALLY TREASON. ALSO… get a better camera, OH WAIT YOU CAN’T IT’S AN IPHONE 4, YOUR PARENTS DON’T LOVE YOU, BYE JANET! BURN]
So here we are today. Streaming is the water all levels of¬†listeners and audiophiles sip from. ¬†The convenience of poppin open your Youtube (variable), Spotify (320 kbps), or – as of today – Apple Music app (256kbps) and hearing your jam instantly is unbeatable. That’s fair. However some of us dinosaurs still have the iPod Classic with a click-wheel¬†(its 160 Gigs in the palm of my hand. Stream THAT). ¬†We also load individual files to our iFuns (Pandora, and iTunes haven’t quite kept up with extensive catalogues of Young Thug, and Gucci Mane). ¬†Whether it’s that, or putting together a dj set – the difference is definitely notable when your earphones or speakers puke out an .mp3 version of a mastered instrumentally dynamic album by D’Angelo, Kendrick Lamar, or Muse. ¬†While streaming is still in its infancy (though growing fast), this is one of the main issues it is supposed to fix – raise music appreciation by fixing the audio quality for listeners. ¬†We ALL LOVE the music. Whether we buy, stream, or steal illegally download it, that love remains steadfast.¬†It’s how we treat and value it that is inexcusable today. So bloggers, new musicians, and online bootleggers – STOP POSTING MP3s for download! DEAD THAT. ¬†Unless it’s the aforementioned thugger-thugger leak that will never land on iTunes or be worthy of higher mastering, consider it like the Zune laid to rest in the image above – DEAD.

Yours Musically,

-Audio African

Taylor Swift Is The Most Powerful Brand In Music Today, Ask Apple And Spotify

Taylor Swift is the Lisa Simpson of the music industry. She’s that know-it-all, that happens to be actually right most of the time, and always shows up her peers and sometimes perceived superiors.
And look, I’ll be the first to admit it, I hate that. Maybe I’m just biased because her music is not exactly my shower-tunes (except when I “Shake It Off” drying out from the shower – enjoy that mental image forever now), but even I in my haterade shower dancing can’t deny that in¬†the battle for your streaming bucks between Spotify, Apple Music, and (lets be real) OTHERS, T-Swift is the Gettysburg. She’s the D-Day. Her latest album “1989” sold 1.2 Million copies on the first week back in October of last year. To date it is still at the #2 Album spot with over 6 Million American, and close to 10 million worldwide sales.¬† All in all –¬†whoever does right by T-Swift, wins a major battle in the hearts and minds of young streamers.

Naturally, everybody freaked the hell out when she hinted at keeping her blockbuster album off the new Apple Music streaming service via a blog post on her tumblr page:

“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and to work for nothing…change this policy…We don‚Äôt ask you for free iPhones. Please don‚Äôt ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

t swift blog benandsiyablogTaylor Swift raised a reasonable and amicable point about Apple Music, that she tried to¬†with Spotify in the past. ¬†Feel free to read it in its entirety, but here’s the gist:

  • Thanks to Apple Music’s 3-month free tier model, independent musicians, producers, and engineers don’t get paid while contributing to Apple’s growing user-base. Taylor don’t got time for that.
  • She won’t feature “1989” on the new Apple service, until they change that policy. Freemium is a politically correct¬†way of saying “Free” as far as she’s concerned.
  • You can have her old stuff, though – because you’re cool Apple. Spotify gets NO Tay-Tay.

So maybe the response to these grievances that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek addressed in his “$2 Billion and Counting” response to Taylor was ill-advised as Swift took this as calling her bluff.

“We‚Äôre not just streaming, we‚Äôre mainstreaming now, and that‚Äôs good for music makers and music lovers around the world.”

OH YEA? You might not be ready to be¬†mainstreaming ANY of¬†Taylor’s jelly, buddy.

Fair’s fare, Lisa Simpson. Fare’s fair.¬†Apple’s SVP¬†of Internet Software and Services immediately took the hint and didn’t make the same mistake:

Now, it could be that Apple pays folks next to nothing for that first 3 months, but the point is that they made artists FEEL HEARD AND RESPECTED.  Something the recording industry (even the new streamin avenue has failed to really do).  We all know artists (especially Swifty Hussle) are all about the money feelings.

On the way to launch date of June 30th, Apple Music is buying every life-vest it can to stay afloat. Your move, other guys.

hood evening, bishes (no typo)
“hood evening, bishes (no typo)”

Bobbing for Apple: Will Apple Music Float Or Sink?

On Monday, Apple unveiled plans to enter the music streaming service arena, debuting their design for Apple Music. Naturally, we disagree on how successful this streaming service will be. 

Ben
By Apple standards, Apple music is going to tank. They’re just way too far behind the Spotify cocaine bag.

Siya
O_o Ya think??? I wholeheartedly disagree.

Ben
There’s nothing differentiating it from the other services. It‚Äôs the same music at the same price point. So why should I switch? All my playlists are already built on other platforms. You think I have the time to rebuild Morning Commutes on that shit? No. I barely have time to post this week.

Siya
1. They have hundreds of millions of users already vertically connected via devices, and iTunes Store accounts ALREADY (complete with credit cards.) That‚Äôs HALF the battle. Continue reading Bobbing for Apple: Will Apple Music Float Or Sink?