Spotify’s Affect on Music

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Upon writing an English paper about a problem with the music industry, I chose to write about streaming services and their impact. So, I figure, I should share what I learned about it. I should preface this with the fact that I myself use Spotify. I am not saying that you should stop using any of these services. I am simply giving some insight as to how these streaming application affect artist. So, after reading this, you can then make a decision for yourself. So while it is tempting to just post my paper, I will give you an abridged version.

For the most part I will be talking about Spotify, simply because there is the most readily available information on it, being the most popular streaming platform. So, the basic gist of Spotify’s artist payment service, is this. The rich artist continue to make money, and all other artist make little to no money. That is it. That is the problem. This is obviously a simplification of Spotify’s system, but for the most part very few artists make money from Spotify. After payment to distribution and record companies artist take home about $0.001 per stream. This is very little money and what makes this system so detrimental, is that most people use Spotify as their only music listening application. Therefore the things that artist can actually make money from, like records and digital downloads are not being bought. Spotify uses about 70% of thier music to pay for royalties to play the songs. However, much of that goes to the large artist and whatever is left gets divvied up to the smaller artist royalties. That leaves very little money left for the thousands of other artists, and the larger artist continue to make money.

Again, if you cannot live without Spotify, then continue to use it. However, try to do things like attending live shows or buying records from the record label. By doing those things you can still support the artist, which is especially important to smaller artist.

New Up and Coming Artist: Sun Club

For those seeking new music or looking for the next big thing, I recommend you check out Sun Club. These guys are a indie pop-rock band from Baltimore. I recently found this band as I was going to attend a The Districts show, another band you should definitely check out. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the show, however my friend told me about Sun Club saying that they stole the show. Sun Club offers something different from most of the song you would listen to on Q101.1 or whatever it is called now. However, they still keep the radio acceptability that I think can make then a very popular new band. Them touring with The Districts is already a good sign, so listen to these guys now so you can tell your hipster friends that you listened to them before they were big.

Also, check out this Audiotree session they did, which is a cool Chicago based music company.

Loma Prieta – Self Portrait Album Review

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Loma Prieta is a San Francisco based hardcore band who have been around for about ten years. They currently have five albums under their belts and with their newest album, Self Portrait, they continue their musical style of pummeling drums and heavy distortion, but a few things that we have not seem Loma Prieta really embrace. In this recent album Loma has adopted a more melodic approach to their songs. If you go back to their previous album, I.V, for the most part, the entire album is a wall of sound leaving a destructive path. The only break in the album was then ending track. So, it was nice to hear that Loma mixed melodies into the songs to create a balanced listening experience. In general, the production of the album is cleaner and clearer than their previous albums. We can easily discern each instrument without compromising Loma’s sound. The only issue some may have with this album and their previous ones is that the vocals can be a bit fatiguing if you are not used to this style of music.

If you are familiar with the band then some songs may catch you off guard. The opening track, “Love”, starts with clean guitar riffs and a very simple drum beats. However, you reminded that this is a Loma Prieta song with the heavily distorted vocals and bass. This song, as well as others such as, “Roadside Cross” and “More Perfect,” show the evolution that the band has undergone. These songs are some of the most melodic and clear song the band has written. The use of major keys in some of these song completely turn the album on its side. The song “Roadside Cross” starts with their signature distorted wave of sound, however we are given refuge in the small parts of dissonant guitars. The chorus of the song completely changes feel of the song. The major keys and almost pop punk feel gives a wonderful dynamic to rest of the song.

While Loma Prieta has changed some things up, fear not, as they have not lost their vicious edge. The song “Black Square” is the second song on the album, and it gives a nice parallel to the opening track. This song is reminiscent of the songs found I.V. The cutting guitar feedback and battling dissonant guitars have a nice familiarity to their older material. This song is really the only song that feels as if it was not updated to Loma’ new sound, which is not a bad thing. However, while not as obvious as tracks stated above, all the songs integrate Loma’s evolved sound into them.

Self Portrait is a great addition to the Loma Prieta’s discography, and while not their best, it was refreshing take on their music. If you have a chance, I would recommend you listen to this album, and maybe their previous album to see how they have progressed. Again, be forewarned it can be a fatiguing listen if you are not used to this music.