And all us media types fall for it, naturally…
By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern
Can you spell “album launch”? Indie goddess Joanna Newsom has a new album out next week via Drag City titled Divers so naturally she’d been doing plenty of press. (This is good because we have yet to hear the album.) She ensured that the news would go viral by jumping into the streaming music fray—she takes a dim view of Spotify and its ilk—over at The Los Angeles Times.
Indeed, bloggers ‘round the world—including the tastemakers at Stereogum and Pitchfork—have been sharing Newsom’s worldly insight about Spotify: “[It is] the banana of the music industry… it just gives off a fume. You can smell that something’s wrong with it.”
Wait, what? That quote makes no sense whatsoever. Luckily Newsom delved a little deeper into the issue, saying (shades of Taylor Swift):
“Spotify is like a villainous cabal of major labels. The business is built from the ground up as a way to circumvent the idea of paying their artists. The major labels were not particularly happy with the fact that as the royalty money dwindled more and more, their portion of the percentage split agreed upon in their licensing agreement got smaller and smaller. So someone came up with a great idea that if they start a streaming company, they can make those percentages even smaller.
“[Record labels] make their money from advertising and subscription, and they don’t have to pay their artists anything for that.. It’s set up in a way that they can just rob their artists, and most of their artists have no way to fight it because they’re contractually obligated to stay with the label for x amount of time and you can’t really opt out. It’s a garbage system…. I understand why Spotify is great. I wish there was a way to provide the service they provide and have nobody lose, nobody be victimized by that.”
Ah, so that’s how it all works. Gotcha. No word yet on whether or not there will be a banana themed video for one of the Divers track, but you can watch one that does not utilize fruits or veggies as a theme, instead going for “self conscious,” for “Sapokanikan,” directed by none other than Paul Thomas Anderson. Following that, we found the perfect song for her to cover should she want to pursue that banana concept…