Here are a few good articles from last week:
I’ve been following advances in music “curation” technology with interest. Ben Popper’s interview offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the industry’s current wunderkind, The Echo Nest.
I had a passing familiarity with Max Martin’s influence, but John Seabrook’s bio piece is well worth a read. Martin’s songwriting forTaylor Swift adds a layer of complexity to the discussion about Swift, Ryan Adams, and gender bias in music reviews.
Steven Hyden’s piece on Radiohead’s Kid A as a milestone in album-length streaming is interesting, though it doesn’t match my own experience of streaming music’s history. Despite Hyden’s assertion that Kid A blazed a trail of leaked albums, it wasn’t hard in 2000 to find streaming music online. I don’t know if Hyden is being revisionist here, or if he simply means this was one of the first albums (if not the first) to be leaked by a record label itself, but leaks were common all through the ’90s (Stephen Witt’s book shares a fascinating history of music availability online – a history that meshes better with my own memory of the ’90s).
Radiohead did shift the paradigm with a later album, In Rainbows, which was released online as pay-what-you-want after their dispute with EMI.