Can we say welcome back R&B?
It’s a little late for a Case of the Monday’s post, but I have to say that I’m a new fan of Courtney Barnett, who performed at the SXSW festival this year. The artist just dropped her new album today, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Her lyrics are incredible, intricate, thought-provoking…and just downright good story telling. Even better, she released the album through her own label Milk Records through indie stalwart Mom + Pop.
One of songs garnering a lot of attention on the album is “Depreston.” Pitchfork writes:
“Depreston” is Barnett’s somber tale of house-hunting in the suburbs of Melbourne, a sad neighborhood with few cafés and visible crime, heavy with an emptiness you can feel in this spacious, mid-tempo music. The song is rooted in a dilemma of all artists—that of finding a cheap place to live on the outskirts, of embracing domestic self-reliance and just brewing your own coffee—but it winds its way into a poignant ballad of memory, death and growing.”
I’m also a huge fan of Avant Gardner, a song from her last EP, and “an autobiographical account of trying to turn a life around through gardening, only to be foiled by a severe allergic reaction.”
For reference, born in Sydney but raised in remote Tasmania, Barnett started playing guitar at 10 and was in several bands before settling in Melbourne, where she enrolled in art school and eventually took a job at a shoe store. “I was good at it but started hating myself,” she recalls. “I was like, ‘This is f—ed corporate shit, selling overpriced shoes to kids who saved up their pocket money.’ ”
In other words, Barnett is the artist that really doesn’t care what others think..which ironically, will probably make people care about her more.
my friend is hosting an awesome event series titled Art We All (Human) at 3:15 pm EST today (update: it will be hosted every week). Details below. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like the location
Art We All (Human) is an inter-genre collective of millenial artists looking to use the power of artistic expression to activate social change and challenge the status quo. In a salon setting, artists meet to discuss and deconstruct notions of power and privilege, and then use collective energy to create fluid, conscious art.
Rules of Engagement
- Open minds build movements
No bigotry, no hatred, no subversive power plays. We are all here to make something beautiful, and can only do that in a space where we all feel free.
- YOUR truth, not THE truth
This is space where vulnerability and honesty are inextricable from the final product. Speak your truth to the extent that you are comfortable, but please don’t take it upon yourself to make that normative.
- Embrace the Awkward
We will always open our space to new voices. Embrace the awkward conversations, talk to the new guy – everyone in the space has a gift to give.
- The Commons
This is a project centered on the creative commons. The work we do is the product/journey of the collective, and we will always come back to the commons as a locus of self. So, be self-aware and self-interested but never self-ish. If one of us wins, we all will – this is not about a profit margin.
- By the people, for the people, of the people
The art will always speak to whatever moves those in the room, but the responsibility of the collective will always be to the community.
- Do you have any questions after this?
- Is it too wishy-washy?
How it Works
a) 15 artists are invited at random, from a larger cohort of 30-45 artists
Every quarter, there will be a larger, open session with an open mic component
c) Each session will have a theme, all participants will be advised of it before the session in an invitation email
d) Each session will have a different facilitator from the group – keeps it honest/non-hierarchical (first few will be me, once we have a reliable amount of people involved I will hand it over)
[is this naïve? Should I retain control? Very anti-hierarchical spaces but it needs to work, every time]
e) Each session will be documented in some way – photographer, visual artist, videographer, writer etc (appointed in the email)
Each session will last three hours, comprised of the following
Free thought exercise (20 minutes)
All attendees will be asked to provide a statement around the theme (can be a line of song, small picture, actual line, line of poetry, whatever) – theme will be put up on the board and the other items will surround it (20 minutes)
Introductions (15 minutes)
Name, craft of choice
Updates + Theme (55 minutes)
Participants update the group on current projects/projects from the last session
Space for participants to vocalize what they’re looking for in the space
Participants can talk about their feelings on the theme/issues that have come up with existing projects in a group setting
Studio Session (1 hour)
Break away from the group into individual/studio sessions (people can do what they want, work together in groups from the last time)
The Come-Down (30 minutes)
Take someone’s initial thought/experience from the beginning and use it to express where you are now.
- Follow up email called the After Thought (circulated a few days after the meeting)
- Provide the dropbox link to the group (will contain whatever the documentarian has chosen to create to honor the session)
- Provide a dope quote/video/picture to the group
- Provide the contact list for everyone in attendance so attendees can follow up if needed
- Allow participants to opt-in a referral (invite someone to come to the next one)
- “Dat New New”
- Love and other drugs
- Other drugs
It’s kind of popular already, but I can’t stop playing this song. Blues, folk, soul, jazz? Amen.
Fox’s TV breakout hit Empire stole the number 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart, beating out Madonna’s new Rebel Heart album! While this rumor had grown over the past few days, Empire wasn’t even in the discussion a week ago.
The Empire soundtrack was released March 10 through Columbia Records and has 130,000 equivalent album units earned through March 15, according to Nielsen Music vs. Madonna’s Rebel Heart at 121,000 in the same time frame. Empire is the first TV soundtrack to debut at No. 1 since Glee.
I have to say, I am an avid spotify user and like to discover new music on the platform….over the past few weeks, I have subconsciously been finding myself bumping my head to songs from Empire, which are continuously rotating through the Hot 100 Pop and Hip Hop tracks playlist. As noted by Billboard, a lot of Empire’s listens have come through streaming. Welcome to the digital age of music.
Here’s a fun video of Jussie Smollett four years ago singing ‘Fatigue’….wish you had known him before the fame, huh? The guy has talent.
Love this song
Why do record labels still make money today? In fact, why do they even exist? Technically, they are the ‘middle man’ – the man that delivers the artist’s content to the consumer. And technically, this role has become obsolete in the third wave of the tech revolution.
Think about it. The first wave of the tech revolution was PC/desktop internet (1Billion users); the second was mobile (2B); and the third is the Internet of Things, or IoT (IoT refers to the billions of robots making our lives easier…wearables, Nest thermostat, autonomous cars, precision agriculture, etc.).
Industry analysts estimate that ~30B of devices will be wirelessly connected to the IoT by 2020. That’s a lot of devices, especially for a world suffering from mobile addiction, and it will ultimately change how people consume everything.
So let’s discuss why this is this important for music. We’ve previously walked through how streaming (which was and is being facilitated by the second wave of the tech revolution – mobile), has altered the way that consumers listen to music. This has in turn altered the way artists deliver music. Artists no longer have to beg a radio station to play their track, or stand outside of a record label trying to prove their ‘dedication.’ They can simply build a fan base online, that – if it grows big enough – will ultimately get them a record deal.