Seabrook’s Stories About Money

ROOSTER I don’t believe in fairy tales, sermons, or stories about money, baby sister, but thanks for the cigarette. From True Grit written by Joel Cohen and Ethan Cohen The author John Seabrook has written another extraordinary piece on Spotify for the New Yorker that one could charitably describe as struggling with truthiness.  But to […]

Holiday Reading

We occasionally post about a topic that has nothing to do with music, tech or policy.  Here’s a few ideas for holiday reading, some new some not.  If these titles seem a bit serious, well we live in serious times deserving of reflective mentation. Winter is Coming by Garry Kasparov.  An important new book by […]

Google’s University Astroturfing Leads to FTC

Salon posted an eye-popping expose on Google’s influence peddling at major American universities (“Google’s insidious shadow lobbying: How the Internet giant is bankrolling friendly academics—and skirting federal investigations” by David Dayen).  Of course, we’ve been watching this space since 2006 when Google funded Lawrence Lessig’s Center for the Internet and Society at Stanford with $2 […]

Adele Outclasses Her Critics

Notwithstanding the predictably boring and misogynist spew about Adele from Bob “Trigger Warning” Lefsetz, Adele’s “25” album sends an unmistakable message.  Her recording reminds us of the one idea that streaming boosters and other Spotify apologists want you to forget. The CD configuration still makes up an average of 50% of sales, particularly for superstar […]

Adele Proves Again that Spotify Needs Hits but Hits Don’t Need Spotify

Following what is rapidly becoming standard industry practice, Adele’s “25” will not appear initially on streaming platforms.  Spotify and Apple Music are mentioned as “streaming platform” but I would imagine Rdio is included in the hold back to at least some extent notwithstanding the Pandora acquisition.  (Although it is worth noting that if you buy […]

Is Pandora Managing By Press Release?

If you recall the Dot Bomb Bubble, you’ll remember what sometimes happens to newly-public companies.  It’s the press release syndrome.  Rather than working on making their core business profitable, they use their public stock “currency” to start buying other companies that have some vague connection to their business. These acquisitions deflect attention away from “disappointing” […]

Vive La France

Tout est soldat pour vous combattre… Aux armes, citoyens Formez vos bataillons… The quintessential French chanteuse, Edith Piaf, performing the most beautiful national anthem.  

RIP Nick Alexander

I’ve been waitin’ on you brother Welcome to the band Heaven done called Another blues-stringer back home From Six Strings Down, by Jimmie Vaughn. The bond between band and road crew is one of those unbreakable emotional ties.  The brotherhood of the road tests everyone  in the family.  There are lots of near misses each […]