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WEEKLY DIGEST | 01/29/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



Bruno Mars Sweeps Top Categories
NY Times

• Bruno Mars swept the top categories, winning album, record and song of the year.
• Kendrick Lamar won five awards. Alessia Cara won best new artist.
See all the winners and the red carpet looks.
• The music industry acknowledged #MeToo during the ceremony and on the red carpet.

Read more here >>


NAKED BRANDS: The Future of Music
David Perell
In this modern age, fans don’t just want to support favorite artists and ensembles; they want to establish emotional connections with them and latch their messaging onto their own identity. Audiences no longer just consume. Rather, they are performative, active and social. Data confirms this. Consumer spend on recorded music has fallen 71% since its 1999 peak, mostly driven by the collapse of album sales.

Congress, It’s Time to Pay Musicians
NY Times: Kabir Sehgal
On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee held a field hearing in the city, where Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, and the artists Aloe Blacc and Booker T. Jones appeared. They testified in support of legislation that protects the rights of artists and helps them receive fairer compensation for their creative works.

New and Inclusive Music

Arts Professional: Frank Lyons
A combined academic and artistic approach has been key to the success of a new ensemble featuring disabled and non-disabled musicians.

Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus Pierces Her Own Privilege

NPR: All Songs Considered
Here's a fact few white American musicians feel comfortable facing: every kind of American music, from Top-40 pop to high mountain bluegrass, has some root in the work and creativity of people of color. In her new album, Merrill Garbus questions how we have come to acknowledge this as artists.

Setting the Records Straight: A Do-Over for the Grammys’ Album of the Year
Pitchfork: Noah Yoo
Only 22% of the biggest songs of the past 6 years were by women artists, and only 2% credited to female producers.

Musicians Wear White Roses at Grammys in Solidarity with Time’s Up

Rolling Stone: Elias Leight
Rapsody, Halsey, Dua Lipa, others will show "support for equality and safety in the workplace" at Sunday's awards ceremony.

Classical Radio Grapples with Recordings of Accused Conductors

Ideastream: David C. Barnett
To play or not to play?  That’s the question for classical music radio.  Recent sexual assault allegations against famous orchestra conductors James Levine and Charles Dutoit have left station managers wondering what to do with their recordings. Programmers across the country, including ideastream’s WCLV, are divided over how to react.


Grammys 2018: Meet the Best New Artist
Rolling Stone: Brittany Spanos
This year's Best New Artist category at the Grammys is anybody's game to win: It's a lineup full of acclaimed stars with strong hit-making capabilities. And as diverse as the field is, many of the nominees have collaborated with one another during the past year, leading to one of the friendliest competitions of the 2018 awards. Here's a closer look at the singers, songwriters and rappers nominated for Best New Artist.

Carnegie Hall Honors the Cultural Legacy of Migration in 2018-19
Musical America: Brian Wise
At a time when heated national debate surrounds immigration, Carnegie Hall on Thursday said that a centerpiece of its 2018-19 season will be a festival dedicated to the cultural legacy of migration.

At Juilliard Festival, the Stunning Sounds of China Today

NY Times: James R. Oestreich
Westerners have learned a lot in recent decades about Chinese contemporary music as it relates to our own, mainly through an influx of gifted Chinese composers and performers. But as the Juilliard School’s Focus! Festival 2018 showed over the last week, we still don’t know the half of it.

A Mariachi Opera Addresses Roiling Issues of Immigration

NY Times: Anthony Tommasini
Few involved in the current New York run of “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna” could have imagined the extent to which these issues would be roiling American politics and society at this very moment.

Oakland Symphony’s Playlist Series Tears Up the Conventional Concert Playbook
San Francisco Classical Voice: Jeff Kaliss
“Failure to communicate” may be a weak euphemism for the partisan standoff which resulted in the shutdown of U.S. governmental operations on Friday evening last. But splendidly successful communication was the highlight of the happening at that same time at Oakland’s Paramount Theater.

New York' Governor Orders all ISPs to Follow Net Neutrality
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
If ISPs want to do business in the State of New York, they must adhere to net neutrality principles.  Now, it’s the law.


Remembering Hugh Masekela: 10 Key Performances, From Afrobeat to Apartheid Athems
The Guardian: Robin Denselow
The South African trumpeter, who died aged 78, spanned a huge variety of styles – from disco-pop to fiercely political jazz.

Marin Alsop Wins Coveted Association of British Orchestras Award
Musical America: Susan Elliott
Alsop, Musical America’s 2009 Conductor of the Year, music director of the Baltimore Symphony, in 2013 became the first woman to conduct the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.

Elton John Announces Retirement from Touring
Rolling Stone: Andy Greene
70-year-old Hall of Fame musician will say goodbye following three-year 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour.

(In the UK) A Listening Ear for Musicians in Need
NYT: Alex Marshall
The prevalence of mental illness in the music industry is higher than among the population as a whole, surveys show. In Britain, a new help line seeks to provide support.

UK and France Issue Joint Statement Reaffirming Net Neutrality
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
In reaction to major rollbacks in the US, the United Kingdom and France jointly reaffirmed their support of net neutrality.


How Spotify Beat Apple to Charting the Future of Music
The Ringer: Victor Luckerson
Spotify beat back the scourge of streaming album exclusives, and now it’s ready to go public. Here’s what it says about how fans value artists and platforms.

What do Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants REALLY Mean for Music?
Music:)ally: Stuart Dredge
What should the music industry be doing to adapt to it? And how soon will this be truly mainstream?

Is Vinyl’s Comeback Here to Stay?
Pitchfork: Marc Hogan
In 2018, the once-forgotten format feels closer to the mainstream than it has in decades. Vinyl sales keep rising—but it’s complicated.

Tokyo Metro to Trial Playing Classical Music on Hibiya Line

The Japan Times: Sakura Murakami
Starting Monday, Tokyo Metro Co. will experiment with playing background music on their trains in a bid to provide a more comfortable travel experience for passengers.


How the Jump Rope Got its Rhythm (video)
Small Thing Big Idea: Kyra Gaunt
"Down down, baby, down down the roller coaster..." Hip hop owes a lot to the queens of double dutch.

Pink Floyd Exhibit Opens in Rome: Pictures
Flipboard/AP Photos
The Pink Floyd exhibition, ‘Their Mortal Remains,’ runs from January 19 to April 29. The band occupied a distinctive experimental space and were the foremost exponents of a psychedelic movement that changed the understanding of music forever, becoming one of the most important groups in contemporary music.


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