Saturday, May 05, 2018

You can’t be a songwriter without having a spare job

A  human group transforms itself into a crowd when it suddenly responds to a suggestion rather than to reasoning, to an image rather than to an idea, to an affirmation rather than to proof, to the repetition of a phrase rather than to arguments, to prestige rather than to competence.
— Jean-François Revel, who died on this date in 2006

You can’t be a songwriter without having a spare job,” [Andre] Lindal, 41, tells [Pacific Standard magazine], sounding downhearted as he rummages around his Los Angeles home—a home that Lindal can only afford thanks to his other jobs on the marketing and management side of the music industry. “It’s awesome to be working with great people. But it stinks that you’re not going to be able to get paid for what you do. You can only be a fan for so long.”

Lindal had a #3 song performed by Justin Bieber in 2013 with 34 million plays on YouTube, four million more on Pandora. Those YouTube plays earned him $218 due to regulations established in 1941. Songwriters used be able to draw on sheet music, album, and download sales, but streaming services are outside of those schemes. (via Prufrock News)

European Organizations Declare Music Is A Human Right

We’re Watching The Death Of The Professional Songwriter

“One thread to keep in mind again is songwriters used to be able to rely on a steady stream of sheet music sales, and then it was album sales, and then it was download sales. As those have dried up, there is more interest by songwriters to make sure that the value of what’s contributed to the services is captured in the remaining rights that are invoked.”

↩︎ Nature Images - Alexis Pichot

Marilyn Horne At 84

Horne carries her 84 years the way others carry 60. Her mind is sharp, likewise her memory, and her speaking voice retains its unmistakable metal. Dwelling on the past is not her style. “I don’t listen to myself,” she says. “I don’t watch myself.” Yet in anticipation of the move to the West Coast, she has been forced to contemplate her archive of private recordings.

‘Ink-Stained Pixels’: The (Surprisingly Long) History Of E-Books Before Kindle

"The truth is that it took a long time for e-books to 'arrive'; Amazon was far from first. There, admittedly, was a comfort level that had to be worked out with the electronic book, which gave Amazon the perfect opportunity to swoop in. Tonight's Tedium talks about the evolution of electronic books before the Kindle. I'd tell you to turn the page, but we're not really working with paper here, are we?" … Read More

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Edy Poppy's 2005 novel, Anatomy. Monotony., recently out in English from Dalkey Archive Press. 

       Yet another in the getting-a-bit-long-in-the-tooth trend of works of confessional/autobiographical Norwegian (not-quite-)fiction (but, hey ! 2005 ! she was ahead of a lot of these books ...) -- and, yeah, maybe not a prime exemplar. But it presumably had a different impact in Norway at the time -- the critics seeing it as not-so-Norwegian, and of course influenced by the persona of the author (locally, a presumably not unknown model). 
       Meanwhile, the German publishers went all-in on selling this as an erotic novel (including plastering that description on the cover). The original Norwegian cover does feature the author in the nude on the cover (an image which Dalkey also uses, if not quite as prominently (albeit in triplicate ...), on the cover of the English-language version): 

Anatomi. Monotoni. - Gyldendal

       The Goldmann edition not only went with a different (sexier ?) title ('The Hands of the Cellist', which I suppose is sexier than any combination of 'anatomy' and 'monotony), and published it under the author's (more ? less ? familiar) real name ('Edy Poppy' is a pseudonym), but was more ... in your face with the cover illustration: 

Die Hände des Cellisten - Goldmann

       Yeah, that does not look like the hands of any cellist I know ..... 
       The author was not amused (to put it mildly): see, for example, Thomas Lindemann's (German) article in Die Welt. 
       With all due sympathy to the author -- and, yeah, this is pretty shocking, shabby treatment -- I do have to point out that this is a book which includes post-coital pillow talk such as:
With you, an orgasm is like a momentous upchuck of the finest food and drink.
       So, yeah, there really are few winners here ..... (And, yes, that German edition is long, long out of print. I'm a bit surprised it's not a pricey collector's item -- maybe all the available copies aren't in salable condition ?) 

We thus do not find any strong support for the hypothesis that exposure to images of half-naked women impact economic preferences, but given the suggestive evidence for risk taking future studies should explore this further.

Plants under attack can send chemical warnings to neighbors, or even "summon predators to feed on insect invaders."
↩︎ Nautilus
‘Forget the Facebook leak’: China is mining data directly from workers’ brains on an industrial scale South China Morning Post. Lambert linked to this yesterday, but this is in the “Not to be missed” category. Wait till Jeff Bezos gets his hands on this…