The morning may be slightly chaotic, but at least I have this new album to listen to.
As an article in the new issue of TIME reveals, Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr believe so strongly that artists should be compensated for their work that they have embarked on a secret project with Apple to try to make that happen, no easy task when free-to-access music is everywhere (no) thanks to piracy and legitimate websites such as YouTube. Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”
Jenny Lewis at Austin City Limits taping, 10/1/14. Photo by Scott Newton.
Last night was one of the best concerts I’ve seen, and definitely in my top 4 ACL tapings I’ve attended (the list so far is 1) Juanes, 2) Nick Lowe, 3) Neko Case, 4) Jenny Lewis, and then all the rest after that). She had such amazing showmanship, engaging the audience as she sang, working the crowd, and staying on pitch the whole time. The few songs I was less familiar with were still exciting to hear live. I was deeply moved as she sang my favorites from her new album (“She’s Not Me,” “Late Bloomer”) and got chills as she performed an almost-acoustic version of “Acid Tongue.”
It was a flat-out amazing concert (look out for it when it airs on PBS in the winter) and I can’t wait to see her again next week in Gruene.
Exclusive: U2 and Apple Have Another Surprise for You
If we think the present is wrong, we want the past to have been right, and to have existed in an eternal, unchanging state of rightness. But just as U2’s falling sales are the result (at least in part) of having been released in the MP3 era, Cole Porter’s success was equally as much the result of his unique historical circumstances. His success on Broadway was only possible because of the mass urbanization that had taken place in America over the last 50 years. The success of his songs independent of the stage relied on two inventions only recently popularized: radio and recorded music. Had Porter been working 20 years earlier, he would have had to rely on sheet music and home pianos for his music to spread, and would have consequently composed in a different way—and, presumably, a less successful one. We are all the product of historical circumstance, and while it is important to recognize the ways in which the present moment is different from those that came before, we have only two options for how to deal with these changes: adapt our own behavior to the new environment, or work to push through changes that will bring about some other new, more beneficial context. But there is no going back; culture is, as statisticians say, path-dependent, always determined by what came before. To pretend otherwise is de-plorable.
"Stupid," Kasey Chambers, Austin City Limits. This was a great show!
Standing on a balcony in her hometown, watch Ledisi stop an unsuspecting crowd, and all the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, dead in its tracks.
Love this so much.
Made a playlist of artists/songs that events in Ferguson have brought to mind.