Frank Ocean Releases Visual Album Endless: Frank Ocean has released a 45-minute long video titled “Endless.” A representative from Apple Music calls it his new “visual album.” The rep also told Pitchfork to “keep an eye out this weekend for more from Frank.” It features new Frank songs and takes place in the same warehouse where Ocean has been hosting a web stream. The new songs feature contributions from Jonny Greenwood, James Blake, and more; two songs were recorded at Abbey Road. The status of Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry and its long-reported accompanying print publication are currently unclear. Find the tracklist below, and watch “Endless” here (iTunes). [via: Pitchfork Media] [more inside]
What It Takes for an Independent Record Store to Survive Now [Pitchfork Media] Even as legacy music shops continue to shutter across the country, Midwestern institution Used Kids has managed to stay afloat for the last 30 years and counting. How do they do it?
Twitch has just added a social eating category. It's not as unprecedented as it sounds: watching other people eat has been popular in Korea and China for years. "Some viewers tune in for feats of extraordinary eating, others for vicarious gratification during diets. Most commonly, viewers and observers of the phenomenon say that streaming mukbang during mealtime alleviates the melancholy and discomfort of eating alone in a society where shared meals are the fundamental unit of social life."
If You Do That, The Robots Win: Glenn McDonald, music critic and creator of Every Noise At Once talks about how algorithmic music recommendation happens:
So now I work at Spotify as a zookeeper for playlist-making robots. Recommendation robots have existed for a while now, but people have mostly used them for shopping. Go find me things I might want to buy. "You bought a snorkel, maybe you'd like to buy these other snorkels?" But what streaming music makes possible, which online music stores did not, is actual programmed music experiences. Instead of trying to sell you more snorkels, these robots can take you out to swim around with the funny-looking fish. And as robots begin to craft your actual listening experience, it is reasonable, and maybe even morally imperative, to ask if a playlist robot can have an authorial voice, and, if so, what it is?[more inside]
Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest [NYT]: "By the time many young men do reach college, a deep-seeded* gender stereotype has taken root that feeds into the stories they have heard about themselves as learners. Better to earn your Man Card than to succeed like a girl, all in the name of constantly having to prove an identity to yourself and others." [more inside]
An amazing treasure trove of 8,000 Afropop tracks. The British Library just released this archive as part of their first online sound project within their Endangered Archives Programme (EAP). The recordings are from the state-supported Syliphone label and were released between 1958 to 1984. [more inside]
Netflix and Thrill - does the streaming TV company face a rocky future, or are its traditional competitors, desperatly trying to pin down its ratings, just suffering from jealously?
Billboard and other sources are reporting The Beatles will be available on streaming services, starting Christmas Eve (Dec 24th). [more inside]
Today we're republishing one of Sansara's most recent and important albums for a Western audience, together with translations of the songs, thirty-one articles, and twenty-four video clips. The album's title - "Igla" (Needle) - carries a specific meaning in the context of Russian rock. It's a reference to a prior generation and therefore to any (ongoing) hope of building meaningful linkages today. For audiences across Russia, that simple noun will undoubtedly suggest a famous cinematic melodrama of 1988, in which rock legend Viktor Tsoi played a young man whose life is tragically shackled to the local drug trade.
He is killed seconds before the credits roll.
He is killed seconds before the credits roll.
Streaming service Rdio is filing for bankruptcy, and Pandora is set to buy its assets for $75 million. Never heard of Rdio? The service was a lesser-known competitor to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, and did a lot of things right in a low-key way. Its userbase is savvy and fiercely loyal. The service is set to wind down over the next few weeks. The Atlantic: A Eulogy For Rdio. David Greenwald: What Spotify and the rest could learn from Rdio. The Verge: Streaming music has an economics problem. [more inside]
This morning, Sesame Street announced that the new season, which begins next month, will air on HBO. [more inside]
Open the Music Industry’s Black Box by David Byrne [New York Times]
“Everyone should be celebrating — but many of us who create, perform and record music are not. Tales of popular artists (as popular as Pharrell Williams) who received paltry royalty checks for songs that streamed thousands or even millions of times (like “Happy”) on Pandora or Spotify are common. Obviously, the situation for less-well-known artists is much more dire. For them, making a living in this new musical landscape seems impossible. I myself am doing O.K., but my concern is for the artists coming up: How will they make a life in music?”
Animal Planet presents The Cute Channel, with clips from their show Too Cute. Caution: With this much concentrated cuteness, you may be rendered temporarily speechless. [more inside]
Giant 800-track alt/indie-focused 90's playlist in chronological order "This is a behemoth of a playlist I put together, focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on the alt/indie/college side of the 90's experience. It's 800+ tracks, about 55 hours, and features plenty of songs that tend to get overlooked in the "remember these 90's hits?" pieces that pop up from time to time. Not definitive by any means, and extremely subjective, but it's a decent chunk of curated history in one convenient place. Also it's a fully chronological playlist, on a week-by-week level. So a track released on May 7, 1994 will come before a track released on May 14, 1994. Time and research went into this. Think of it as the Boyhood of 90's playlists!" (From Mefi's own naju, via MetaFilter Projects.)
In December of last year, the NYC-based digital art nonprofit Rhizome successfully Kickstarted an online exhibition of cloud-emulated copies of the three CD-ROMs created by Theresa Duncan and based on young girls' everyday experiences. Last month, they were made available for play for a minimum of one year with probable extension. You can read about - and, thanks to embedding - play them at Rhizome itself and The Verge (or just play them right here). Note: you may have to wait in a queue. Also, you may have to wait a while for the computer running the game, which will be streamed to you, to start up.
Yesterday, Jay-Z's streaming music service Tidal was launched. The press event featured over a dozen celebrity musicians as signing "owners" of the service (each reportedly received 3% equity in exchange for exclusive content), and, by some accounts, was a bit awkward and content-free. At $19.99, the subscription plan is double the cost of competing services like Spotify, and no "freemium" plan is offered. The justification is two-fold: 1. Artists should be compensated fairly for streaming; and 2. The service's high-fidelity, lossless streaming is far superior to the current standard (320 kbps AAC, as Spotify and Rdio currently provide.) You can take an online blind test between 320 kbps AAC and Tidal's lossless streaming, to see if you have the "equipment and ears" for lossless music. Is there really a noticeable difference, or is this snake oil? Will the artist-forward approach change the conversation and ingrained habits of streaming music listeners? Is Tidal a sort of streaming for the 1% rather than for struggling independent musicians? Is it a walled garden for artists at the expense of fans? Or is this all simply a great vertical move for Jay-Z's Roc Nation label? So many questions.
"Every month, Netflix quietly clears its virtual shelves to prepare for the arrival of new offerings. There are roughly 80 movies expiring from Netflix Instant at the end of November. We've picked seven that we think you should make sure to watch before they’re no longer streaming – one for each night until Dec. 1." (Paste Magazine)
Let’s change how streaming royalties are calculated, and save the full-length album while we’re at it
Following a record-breaking $750 million syndication deal with parent company Fox, the FXX network most recently made headlines back in August with its twelve-day marathon of Every. Simpsons. Ever. But that was just the prelude to the real deal launching today: Simpsons World, a staggeringly comprehensive multiplatform video database including clips, news, featurettes, curated playlists, a heartbeat tracker of each season's popularity, and (for the intrigued who'd like to subscribe to their
newsletter network) on-demand streaming of all 552 episodes and counting. Coming early next year is an even greater expansion of features, bringing full-series dialogue search, real-time script tracking, and "geolocation" of all scenes throughout Springfield -- something very close to Myles McNutt's vision for a shareable Simpsons clip database (previously).
I, for one, welcome our new Simpsons-quoting overlords. [more inside]
Top hat at the cleaners? Opera glasses broke? Lost your box? Watch The Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera (Deutsch, English) Vienna State Opera, or concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic and a variety of options from medici.tv and The Young Vic, The Globe, The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and more. [more inside]
ComicsAlliance writer Benito Cereno has put together a collection of links to horror films available for streaming on Netflix this October: The Haunting of Netflix House 2: Your Sister is a Netflix
293 Thoughts I Had While Watching “Gilmore Girls” For The First Time. Gilmore Girls begins streaming on Netflix tomorrow.
Yesterday, the first season of "Transparent" went live on Amazon Prime, starring Jeffrey Tambor as a 70 year old transgender woman who is coming out to her family, and the world, for the first time. [more inside]
Radiohead's Thom Yorke just released a surprise album, Beyoncé-style [vox.com]
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes is only available on BitTorrent, where listeners can download the track "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" for free, and watch the video. The full album can be downloaded for $6, and will also be available on vinyl and in a box set.[more inside]
Between the limited amount of titles on streaming services and the fact that Netflix seems to be shifting away from DVDs altogether, are you just out of luck if you want to watch a non-blockbuster like "Sweet Sweetbacks' Baadasssss Song" or "Raising Arizona"? KQED investigates.
Cmd.fm is no frills, command line music streaming. For the geek music lover in all of us. [more inside]
Cable TV apps (aka 'TV Everywhere') are soaring in popularity, according to the Adobe Digital Index.
W.B. Saul High School, the largest agricultural farm school in the United States, is part of the Philadelphia School District. This spring, the animal husbandry majors are tending to their latest additions. For your midweek enjoyment - W.B Saul presents their live streaming of their little lambs, appropriately called Ewe Tube
CBS-owned music site Last.fm have announced an end to streaming radio services. In a move widely attributed to the punishing costs of licensing, last.fm will now source music from Youtube and Spotify rather than from its own bespoke music database. Existing subscribers, particularly Canadians, are not best pleased. With Pandora stocks already in trouble due to licensing costs, what does this mean for the future of user-curated internet streaming radio? [more inside]
' “Episode one, and a robot sprouts from a lump on a boy’s forehead. I certainly did not see that coming” (Tamplin 304). Director Tsuramaki was quoted in an interview, “I'd like you to think of FLCL as imagination being made physical and tangible, just as it is for me when I take whatever is in my head and draw it.” (Surkult). [FLCL, pronounced] Furi Kuri, or Fooly Cooly, keeps its audience on its toes waiting for the next bizarre turn of events. However, if the viewer pushes past the first layer – which can at first be confusing – they can reach the heart of this anime. This series is, quite simply, a coming of age story.' Of course, it's not really that simple, so let's dig in! [more inside]
On Valentine's Day, Netflix released the second season of House of Cards. 16 percent of Netflix users on one particular Internet service watched at least one episode of the show over the weekend, and shares of Netflix hit an all-time high of $439.49 on Thursday. But when, exactly, Does Watching a Lot of Netflix Become a 'Binge'?
5TFU is a simple web radio station. Its content is completely anonymous; upload a track, and it's on the radio, identified only by a numeric string. Don't like what you hear? Click 5TFU! and it's gone.
World Concert Hall publishes a schedule, seven days out, of live classical concerts and operas scheduled for streaming broadcast on the web.
Turntable.fm (previously), a virtual DJ room where users streamed music together, has lost the fight (previously) to stay alive and has gone silent. Are other streaming music sites like Spotify and Pandora also in danger?.
Christmas Cats TV is "an eight-hour streaming video of a 'cat lady' and an elf hanging out with cats — some of them in holiday sweaters." (Direct link to site - autoplaying music)
David Byrne on making a living from music. 'Many a fan (myself included) has said that "music saved my life", so there must be some incentive to keep that lifesaver available for future generations.'
Media Studies professor Anne Helen Petersen writes about the dominant role of Netflix in her students’ film and television consumption, and its effect on the lasting influence of works that are — or are not — available there:
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else…[more inside]
It's an open secret that many bands and solo artists allow fans to audio record their live performances for non-commercial trading. The Internet Archive's Live Music Section is maintained by volunteers from etree.org, and currently offers over 120,000 live performances from nearly 6000 bands, for in-browser streaming as well as download in a variety of formats. [more inside]
At the end of a long work week, maybe you could use a bit of relaxation. Pleasantly soothing, delightfully literal, PianoAndRain.com does what it says on the tin. [autoplay sounds, in case it wasn't obvious]
Hoot.ch is a cool, beautifully curated music gizmo with new songs almost every day. Dazed electronica, sunny pop, arty rock, stained-glass hip-hop - from John Hopkins to Belle & Sebastian to Pusha T, and lots of unknown gems. Sometimes you just want to sit back and let good songs play. [more inside]
As has been widely reported, today, May 1, Netflix is letting thousands of titles expire (link down due to heavy traffic) mostly licensed from Warner Bros, Universal, and MGM. Some will possibly to move to the new streaming service offered by Warner Bros itself. (Warner Archive denies that they are "taking" content from Netflix.) Less widely reported is the fact that Netflix has also let their deal with Viacom expire this month, removing large swaths of children's favorites (including Dora, Thomas, Bob the Builder, and Backyardigans) from the service. Despite forecasts that this could be the end for Netflix (again) The company maintains that they are headed in the direction they want to go.
The Verge has a nice article looking at streaming as a business model (or not, of course...) "Do you think it's good or bad for the value of music if the only people who sell it don't care if they're making money on it?" David Pakman asks. "What you really want is an ecosystem with lots of financially healthy companies selling your product." [more inside]
Push The Sky Away, the new album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is streaming now. It's already garnered one negative review.
TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.
"...the ways in which musicians are screwed have changed qualitatively, from individualized swindles to systemic ones."
"The "Tugboat" 7" single, Galaxie 500's very first release, cost us $980.22 for 1,000 copies-- including shipping! (Naomi kept the receipts)-- or 98 cents each. I no longer remember what we sold them for, but obviously it was easy to turn at least a couple bucks' profit on each. Which means we earned more from every one of those 7"s we sold than from the song's recent 13,760 plays on Pandora and Spotify. Here's yet another way to look at it: Pressing 1,000 singles in 1988 gave us the earning potential of more than 13 million streams in 2012."Making Cents: Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi breaks down the meager royalties currently being paid out to bands by streaming services and explains what the music business' headlong quest for capital means for artists today. [more inside]