On Tuesday, YouTube announced that it paid out more than $1 billion in ad revenue to the the music industry over the last 12 months. “As more advertising dollars shift from TV, radio and print to online services, the music industry will generate even more revenue from ads,” wrote Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, in a blog post. Today the the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI (a trade group representing the global record industry), took issue with YouTube’s announcement. In a statement, the IFPI called the $1 billion figure an “unexplained” claim. The organization also reiterated the record industry’s argument earlier this year that YouTube pays an unfair rate for music due to a “value gap” under existing law. Read the IFPI’s full statement below.
Google has today issued more unexplained numbers on what it claims YouTube pays the music industry. The announcement gives little reason to celebrate, however. With 800 million music users worldwide, YouTube is generating revenues of just over US$1 per user for the entire year. This pales in comparison to the revenue generated by other services, ranging from Apple to Deezer to Spotify. For example, in 2015 Spotify alone paid record labels some US$2 billion, equivalent to an estimated US$18 per user.
YouTube, the world's largest on-demand music service, is not paying artists and producers anything like a fair rate for music. This highlights more than ever the need for legislative action to address the "value gap" that is denying music rights holders a fair return for their work.
A YouTube spokesperson directed Pitchfork to Kyncl’s statement in the blog post that shifting ad spending will boost the music industry’s ad revenue. Kyncl acknowledged in the post, “To achieve this, there is a lot of work that must be done by YouTube and the industry as a whole, but we are excited to see the momentum.”
Read Pitchfork’s features “The Year in Streaming 2016” and “Is the Era of Free Streaming Music Coming to an End?”
Both Yachty and Ferg appeared on A$AP Mob’s new record Cozy Tapes (although not on the same track). Yachty released two 2016 mixtapes: Lil Boat and Summer Songs 2. In April, Ferg released his album Always Strive and Prosper.
Read our Icebreaker interview with A$AP Ferg on the Pitch.
A photo posted by KING BOAT (@lilyachty) on Dec 7, 2016 at 1:01pm PST
Watch Lil Yachty with the Good Perry on Pitchfork.tv’s “Over/Under”:
WaterTower Music has released the full Season 1 soundtrack to HBO’s new series “Westworld.” It follows up a previously released EP of selections from Season 1, which included covers of Radiohead’s “No Surprises” (from OK Computer), Soundgarden, the Rolling Stones, and the Cure performed by the show’s composer Ramin Djawadi (who also scores “Game of Thrones”). In addition to the EP covers, the full soundtrack includes the show’s theme, original music composed by Djawadi, more Radiohead covers (“Motion Picture Soundtrack” from Kid A, “Fake Plastic Trees” from The Bends, and OK Computer’s “Exit Music (For a Film)”), and covers of Nine Inch Nails’ “Something I Can Never Have” (from Pretty Hate Machine), Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” and the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun.” Listen to Westworld: Season 1 (Music From the HBO® Series) below.
Read “‘Westworld’ Composer Ramin Djawadi on Why Those Radiohead Covers Keep Coming” on the Pitch.
Revisit the “Fake Plastic Trees” music video:
William Basinski has announced a new album, A Shadow in Time. It’s out January 20, 2017 via 2062 Recordings and Temporary Residence Limited. Basinski’s latest includes a “solitary eulogy” to David Bowie called “For David Robert Jones.” Below, find the album’s tracklist and artwork. In August, Temporary Residence Limited reissued Basinski’s 2009 album 92982.
A Shadow in Time:
01 A Shadow in Time
02 For David Robert Jones
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has announced a new multidisciplinary exhibition in homage to Leonard Cohen. It’s called Leonard Cohen: Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything, and it runs from November 9, 2017 until April 1, 2018, as Exclaim points out. The exhibition will feature new works from artists “who were inspired by the great master’s style and recurring themes.” A Crack in Everything will present works from various fields, including visual and performance art, music, writing, and film. It is part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebration.
The museum’s Director and Chief Curator John Zeppetelli said, “One of the major themes of Cohen’s work, the imperfection of the human condition, is clearly evoked in the exhibition’s subtitle, A Crack in Everything”–a phrase Cohen used in his 1992 song “Anthem.” Zeppetelli continued, “The artist suggests that there is always room for redemption and hope, because that very crack is what lets in the light that allows life to grow.”
Find more tributes to Leonard Cohen here, and read “Leonard Cohen’s Grand Tour and His Brilliant Final Act” on the Pitch.
David Bowie’s birthday is January 8, and this coming January the music icon would have been 70 years old. To honor his 70th birthday, Bowie’s collaborators and friends have organized “Celebrating David Bowie” concerts in London, New York City, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Tokyo. Below, you can find the dates for the upcoming shows.
According to an event description on Terminal 5’s website each event will “aid local charities,” and features “a core two dozen musicians traveling plus many local, regional, and national musicians.” The core ensemble includes Bowie collaborators Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Earl Slick, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, Gaby Moreno, Bernard Fowler, Joe Sumner, and more. The London show at O2 Academy in Brixton will also feature actor Gary Oldman.
Celebrating David Bowie:
01-08 London, England - O2 Academy
01-10 New York, NY - Terminal 5
01-25 Los Angeles - The Wiltern
01-29 Sydney, Australia - Sydney Opera House
02-02 Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo Dome City Hall
Revisit the music video for Blackstar’s “Lazarus”:
Last night, Ryan Adams announced his new album, Prisoner, and shared a new song called “Do You Still Love Me?” Today, he discussed the album with Lil Bub, the internet-famous cat and novelty recording artist. During the interview on “Lil Bub’s Big Show,” Adams talked about his inspirations, and most importantly, he gave updates on his cats: Theo, Vincent, and Agnes. He also performed a new song written specifically for Bub. It includes the line, “Yarn and yogurt traveling through a portal of crystals.” Watch the interview below.
Prisoner, out February 17, is the follow-up to 1989, Adams’ song-for-song remake of Taylor Swift’s album of the same name. (He does not look back upon the project fondly.) It marks Adams’ first full-length collection of new music since 2014’s Ryan Adams.
Bon Iver, the Shins, Regina Spektor, and Ryan Adams are set to appear on the Minnesota Public Radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” in January. The show, hosted by mandolinist Chris Thile, will hit the road for a number of episodes. On January 7, the Shins and Spektor will appear on a live broadcast from the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. On January 14, Justin Vernon and comedian Beth Stelling will appear live from the Symphony Center in Chicago. And on January 21, Ryan Adams will appear live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.
There will also be a broadcast from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on February 4, before the show returns to St. Paul, Minnesota for February 11 and 18. Earlier this year, Jack White performed alongside Margo Price on the program.
Bon Iver are currently touring behind their latest studio album 22, A Million. In October, the Shins shared the video for a new song called “Dead Alive.” The band’s last album was 2012’s Port of Morrow. In August, James Mercer said the Shins’ next album will arrive in 2017.
Read our feature “Signal to Noise: One Wild Week With Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in Berlin.”
Watch Justin Vernon discuss For Emma, Forever Ago on PBS’ “Soundbreaking,” via Pitchfork.tv:
In October, Azealia Banks filed a battery report against Russell Crowe. She alleged that the actor choked her, spat on her, and called her a racial slur while forcibly removing her from a party he was hosting. Today, a Los Angeles County District Attorney has decided not to charge Crowe, TMZ reports. The D.A. reportedly said Crowe’s actions were “justified to prevent the imminent violence threatened by Banks.” The D.A. also said that Crowe’s spitting, in particular, was “incidental to preventing more serious threatened violence,” according to TMZ.
Eyewitnesses from the party claimed Banks said, “you would love it if I broke my glass, stabbed you guys in the throat.” RZA, who brought Banks to the party, had defended Crowe, writing that he “saw [Banks] behave as an obnoxious erratic individual.” Banks later said RZA was trying to “gaslight” her with his comments.
Pitchfork has reached out to Azealia Banks’ representatives for more information.
Wisconsin’s governing bodies are currently in the midst of finalizing the state’s Department of Transportation budget request. Among the critics of the proposal is Democratic state representative Gordon Hintz. Following a Committee on Transportation hearing on December 6, Hintz sent out a press release, where he called out Republican leadership for “their failure to act on a sustainable transportation funding solution for the last 5+ years.” In the release was a photo of David Byrne, as well as a statement that alluded to Talking Heads’ 1980 track “Once in a Lifetime,” and its “And you may find yourself” refrain (as pointed out by reader Welton Becket). Hintz said:
And you may find yourself
Living in Zoo Interchange traffic
And you may find yourself
With the highest amount of transportation debt service ever
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself on a gravel road
With a giant flat tire
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?
Read “Talking Heads’ Road to Remain in Light” on the Pitch.
More names of victims of the warehouse fire in Oakland on December 2 have been revealed by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Among the 36 confirmed dead are two artists on the electronic music label 100% Silk, who were both scheduled to perform that night. They are Chelsea Faith Dolan, aka Cherushii, and Johnny Igaz, aka Nackt.
As the East Bay Times notes, according to Dolan’s SoundCloud page, she “began experimenting with electronics as a teenager, which led to playing live techno and house at underground raves in the 2000s.” She had “been working as a live performer, producer, DJ, and remixer for over a decade,” according to the page, and signed to 100% Silk in 2013. She released two EPs on the label and one album, 2015’s Memory of Water. Dolan appeared on the cover of the Chicago Reader in July, accompanying an article about an event celebrating the overlooked role of women in electronic music. She reportedly volunteered as a host at the University of California-Berkeley radio station, KALX-FM. She was 33.
According to Igaz’s press kit, he co-founded the parties Outpost, Rare Form, and Deep East. He became “obsessed with hip-hop in the ’90s,” later “earned a weekly residency at Oakland landmark Ruby Room,” and continued “to DJ and promote in SF with the left-field and bass-heavy” Outpost party. His productions and remixes appeared on the labels 100% Silk, Chillin Music, Don’t Say Techno, and 3AM Devices, including last year’s 100% Silk cassette Virex. He was a record buyer at Green Apple Books and Music in San Francisco. He was 34.
Past Cherushii collaborator Maria Minerva reflected on news of Dolan’s passing in a social-media tribute, while Green Apple Books and Music shared a tribute to Igaz; find those below.
Another victim confirmed by police was Alex Ghassan, 35, a director and producer who worked on music videos for Masta Ace, Bodega Bamz, and a song featuring Talib Kweli and Spike Lee.
Also now identified as among the dead are Em Bohlka, 33; Micah Danemayer, 28; Billy Dixon, 35; Michele Gregory, 20; Ara Jo, 29; Amanda Kershaw, 34; Edmond Lapine, 34; Griffin Madden, 23; Jennifer Morris, 21; Feral Pines, 29; Vanessa Plotkin, 21; Hanna Ruax, 32; Benjamin Runnels, 32; Nicole Siegrist, 29; Jennifer Kiyomi Tanouye, 31; and Alex Vega, 22.
A third 100% Silk artist, Golden Donna, whose real name is Joel Shanahan, was also scheduled to perform on Friday and was unhurt, label co-owner Amanda Brown told LA Weekly.
Recording artist Joseph Matlock, aka Joey Casio, is still unaccounted for.
The East Bay Times is compiling stories about the warehouse fire victims here.
Update (12/7/16 6:17 p.m. EST): Also now identified among the victims are Jason McCarty, 35, and Wolfgang Renner, 61.
Read “After Ghost Ship Fire, Oakland DIY Grapples With a Broken System” on the Pitch.December 6, 2016
A pair of memorials in honor of the late Sharon Jones have been announced. The first event will take place at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York on December 14 at 6:30 p.m. The second is at the Imperial Theater in Augusta, Georgia on December 17 at 1:00 p.m. Donations may be made in Jones’ honor to: The Lustgarten Foundation, James Brown Family Foundation & Little Kids Rock. Find a poster for the memorials below.
Revisit “Sharon Jones Led the Soul Revival to the Dancefloor” on the Pitch, and read reactions to her passing here and here.
PJ Harvey has announced a new North American tour behind her most recent album The Hope Six Demolition Project. She has shows lined up in Canada and the United States in April, following January concerts in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Find the full itinerary, which includes a planned Forecastle Festival 2017 performance, below.
Read “PJ Harvey’s Onstage Evolution in 7 Videos” on the Pitch.
01-13 Singapore, Singapore - Esplanade Theatre
01-17 Perth, Australia - Fremantle Arts Centre
01-19 Adelaide, Australia - Thebarton Theatre
01-21 Melbourne, Australia - Sidney Myer Music Bowl
01-22 Sydney, Australia - ICC Sydney Theatre
01-24 Auckland, New Zealand - Logan Campbell Centre
01-25 Wellington, New Zealand - Michael Fowler Centre
01-27 Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli Theatre
01-28 Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli Theatre
01-31 Tokyo, Japan - Orchard Hall, Bunkamura
04-13 Toronto, Ontario - Massey Hall
04-15 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
04-17 Boston, MA - House of Blues
04-20 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel
04-21 Philadelphia, PA - Fillmore
04-22 Richmond, VA - The National
04-24 Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre
04-27 Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory
04-28 Austin, TX - Stubb’s
04-29 Houston, TX - Revention
05-02 Denver, CO - Fillmore
05-05 Seattle, WA - WAMU
05-07 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
05-09 San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
05-12 Los Angeles, CA - The Greek Theatre
07-14-16 Louisville, KY - Forecastle Festival
Back in July, FKA twigs hosted a free dance workshop in Baltimore alongside her team of choreographers and dancers. It was an open invite to anyone over 18, and select participants were invited to dance with twigs at her Baltimore show. The whole thing was filmed for a new documentary presented by WeTransfer. Watch Baltimore Dance Project here.
“This is a safe place, no matter what your ability is or your age,” twigs says during the workshop. “Nobody cares whether you get routines right or wrong, whether your favorite move goes to plan or it doesn’t. ... In the world, especially at the moment, there’s so much tension, so much angst, and so much misunderstanding. I just believe through music and art and being creative and expressing ourselves as young people, it’s really important that we’re able to break those barriers, because we’re going to be the next people making this world a safe place. When things are difficult, art always flourishes.”
Read “FKA twigs, Lorde, and the New Feminist (Dance) Movement” on the Pitch.
Watch twigs perform at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival:
Dinosaur Jr. were the musical guests on last night's “Conan.” They performed “Goin Down” from this year’s Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Watch the performance below. This continues a momentous week for J. Mascis on television; on Monday, he was the winner on Comedy Central’s game show “@Midnight.” The band will soon be heading out on tour.
Watch Dinosaur Jr. on Pitchfork.tv’s “Over/Under”: