You can listen to whatever music you wish in the comfort of your home. But this week, there was disappointment in several sectors from selections made by others on what you can hear when someone else is doing the programming.
Not everyone was happy with the Super Bowl halftime selections, Google’s decision to pre-install YouTube Music on its next generation Android phones, or the editorial considerations of several streaming services.
This week in music:
SUPER BOWL HALFTIME KNOCKS THE ROCK: Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider doesn’t like what’s going on with the Super Bowl LIV halftime show. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are the headliners for the Feb. 2nd halftime show at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Upon hearing that, Snider tweeted that the National Football League has forgotten heavy rock and metal music. After getting some backlash for remarks about metal acts “not shaking their ass enough,” Snider had a more thoughtful take.
“My point about this years @NFL halftime show isn’t a slight on @shakira or @JLo, it’s frustration that week after week rock is the go to music during games but gets no respect when it comes to the Super Bowl!” he continued, adding, “And I don’t think I’m popular enough for that slot. But @Metallica…”
Snider also found irony that Jay-Z, who consults the NFL on the Super Bowl halftime, runs a company called Rock Nation. Snider’s choice for halftime: AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and the Foo Fighters.
LONG STRANGE TRIP ENDS FOR HUNTER: Robert Hunter, whose classic lyric “what a long, strange trip it’s been” will forever be a cultural legacy, died this week at age 78. Hunter was the lyricist on many of the Grateful Dead’s most famous songs, including “Uncle John’s Band,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “Dark Star” and “Truckin’,” the “long strange trip” vehicle. He died on Monday night at his home in San Rafael, Calif. The songwriter credited his time in the CIA-sponsored MK-Ultra program, where LSD experiments expanded his consciousness.
YOUTUBE PRE-INSTALLED ON ANDROID: YouTube Music got a leg up this week in the ongoing streaming wars with Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and others. In a Friday blog post, Google said it will include the app with its Android 10 mobile operating system. Google, of course, is planning to officially unveil its Pixel 4 and 4 XL phones on Oct. 15.
KEN BURNS DOC PUMPS UP SALES: The eight-part Ken Burns series on country music, which ended Sept. 25 on PBS, has had an impact on artist sales. Songs from the soundtrack are seeing digital download gains, with Patsy Cline, Vince Gill, Johnny Cash and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band jumping in sales.
STREAMING GROOVES TO US BEAT: While artists in K-pop and Latin music have gained greater exposure and sales from the rise of streaming, most of the services are still concentrated on the US charts. A new report by data analytics company Chartmetric claims that Spotify and Apple Music are still overwhelmingly choosing artists from North America to feature on their major editorial playlists, with nearly three-quarters of these artists hailing from the US or Canada. The report studied the top 30 playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Deezer to find the countries represented editorially. Amazon Music saw North American artists accounting for 73.2 percent of the top playlists, with 67.6 percent from the United States.