Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Last Post Of 2020

This will get us up to 60 posts for 2020 which seems reasonable enough. We'll be tied with one or two other years, but lower than that year we got 70 posts. It's permanent and we look at it and wish we posted more. But also we don't want to because it's boring. It used to not be, but now it is. Blogging is boring.

Happy New Beer from your friends at Chase Financial Bank.

Check out the countdown thing at 21:33.

Forthcoming TMK and "Hoop Life 2"

We are probably ending TMK sometime in 2021 lol.

Our originaly plan was go keep it going until our 2010s decade lists, which have now happened.

Not much to announce now. There's a new Lil B mixtape from a few weeks ago that we forgot to post about or listen to. It's called Hoop Life 2.

MF Doom 1971-2020

On the December 13th edition of "The New Shit Radar", we very inaccurately described his new song with BADBADNOTGOOD using the statement "DOOM's 2020 worldly contributions seemed to kick some ass across the board." For whatever reason, we incorrectly misremembered a few stray collaborations earlier in 2020, because the whole point of this feature is that it's stream-of-consciousness - written and posted very quickly.

Meanwhile, only his immediate family knew that he had actually passed away back on Halloween. His mysteriously anonymous trademark masking kept his identity unknown to most fans. So it shouldn't have been a surprise that his death was only discovered by fans earlier today, two entire months later -- not exactly typical for name as high profile as MF Doom, arguably the most lauded of any backpack rapper throughout the 2000s. Most hiphop fans who didn't care for backpack hiphop still usually gave Doom a free pass since both his bars and his anti-image were so undeniable dope. And he never broke character. He didn't need to.

Perhaps "Great Day Today" is the jam for this New Years Eve. A lot of people are anticipating the end of 2020, in hopes that at least a handful of the world's largest messes might reveal some hints of clarity. 2021 won't be a great year, but the goal is to shoot for a much happier New Years Eve one year from today.

Video Kiddos 2020 #1: RMR "RASCAL"

The reaction videos from late February were entirely accurate. Every one of them.

"They're not even blinking. The camera man had to be shook. I would've been!"

One underdiscussed aspect that blasted "Rascal" immediately into the upper-tier of music video masterworks is its supposed juxtaposition.

That's just the thing though: Is there a juxtaposition? Or has RMR achieved the most accurate sound/visual fusion of the post "Old Town Road" era?

"Rascal" as a track is still among the hardest shit of the past few years. He's a naturally gifted singer and lyricist, and the track is fire. Yes, we know the music is lifted from Rascal Flatts (who in turn lifted the song from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), which plays a huge part in its triumphant aura: An average red state power-country radio listener might not realize what they're hearing at first, which is exactly the point.

But the music is only about 40% of what cemeted RMR's legacy. Without the visual, it could still be easily misinterpreted as a parody. It's all in the details: the uzis, the skimasks, the grillz. By June, the fusion was unbreakable; meanwhile, "Fuck 12" graffiti quickly spread across the entire country. We're honestly shocked it didn't appear on more blogs' end-of-year lists, since it's canonization feels imminent and immediate regardless. A track/video combination like this has no need for blog approval.

Video Kiddos 2020 #2: Oneohtrix Point Never "Lost But Never Alone"

Mom and Dad say, "The green hair. Why'd you do it son?" Son says, "cause Fuck you that's why." Mom and Dad say, "well that's just your opinion son." Son responds with a shred solo on grandma's Iron Maiden guitar.

Josh Safdie says: “Nostalgia is both warming and deeply depressing. It’s a love/hate relationship. Emotions themselves are haunting. ‘LBNA’ is a haunted piece of surfing — a screen-capture of our desire to pull meaning from the past at all times and the triumph of breaking through it with something else. When the pandemic hit, Dan and I sat around sharing airchecks from mid-level radio dials from yesteryear. Cut up and edited so as to evade copyright problems playing entire songs. The results are these 40 min streams of time captured with snippets of radio-songs. Aptly, one station in particular was known as "Beautiful Music." As the album took shape and I’d hear pieces of tracks, cut ups a la Steve Reich, the ghosts of upper and lower dial radio started to haunt me, I loved the feeling. I love the album and this song in particular fills me with a deep sense of sadness, angst, loneliness, creativity and of course triumph. We’re all lost but never alone.”

Video Kiddos 2020 #3: Viper "F**k Earth Im Gon Wage An Interstella War"

Notoriously prolific cloud rapper Viper has been at it since the MySpace era. We first heard about him in an article where he was compared to Lil B and boasted an album-per-day release schedule throughout the entirely of a calendar year somewhere between 2008 and 2013. And as far as we can tell, these are not bullshit albums. Most of them are full length 14- or 16-track digital releases where the tracks actually contain something resembling an individual hook and/or beat or dance loop. His cadance is always mumbled and often indecipherable, but much like the BasedGod, his highlights are worth exploring.

At this point, it wouldn't be out of the question to elevate Viper's legacy among the unsung legends of both cloud rap and the best memes of the 2010s. So it was only a matter of time before he got commissioned to collaborate with dance artists and underground hiphop DJs.

Earlier this year, we started catching random Viper videos floating around on MTVZ, including a serious banger posted on March 15th titled "You'll Doin Well With Self-Isolation? I Bought All The Toilet Paper" in which Viper waxes on the state of the world while holding wads of cash that are possibly larger than his own hands.

It eventually became clear that many of his videos look very similar to each other -- produced very quickly, with lots of chromakey, lots of anime characters, frequent zooms. A video posted back in February also caught our attenntion, titled "F**k Earth Im Gon Wage an Interstella War" -- an 8-minute epic where he raps out-of-sync while standing directly in front of our very own planet's final moments of complete destruction.

The track is a collaboration with a drum and bass artist named Kettleonwater. As of today, the last day of 2020, it currently holds the #72 position on RYM's favorite tracks of 2020. The epic combination of giant d&b beats, focused/rushed outsider aesthetic, and explosive imagery arguably elevate this specific video to a moment he's been striving to achieve for the past 14+ years. It's probably his masterpiece, although once again, we don't know everything about this guy's output just yet.

Video Kiddos 2020 #4: Disclosure f/ Amine & Slowthai "My High"

"My High" is probably the most underrated dance single of 2020, but we'll proably get more into that in the "mix" portion of our end-of-year shenanigans. The video's just pure fun: "Wackiness while experiencing extreme pain on a hospital stretcher" combines reasonably common film and TV ad tropes that crossover into something unexpectedly funny and weirdly badass. We were reminded of the Levis commercial from 1997 where that one dude from early '90s Mickey Mouse Club starts crooning "Tainted Love" out of nowhere.

Video Kiddos 2020 #5: Molchat Doma "Discoteque"

The outdoor Belarusian landscape shows Brutalist archetecture lit only by bleak, dimly overcast skies. But meanwhile in the Discoteque, Molchat Doma's 80s-as-fuck Soviet-wave suddenly fill the club with brightly colored lazers illuminating lifelike statues of bygone Soviet leaders and other old Russian dudes. Fuck metaphors.

Video Kiddos 2020 #6: Pig Destroyer "The Cavalry"

The awkwardness of the "quarantine music video" or "zoom movie" does not normally comply with an aesthetic that's easy on the eyes. Everything basically looks like the poorly advised "Hollywood centrist-liberals singing Imagine" video.

We got deeply upset after catching a few seconds of a Sesame Street segment where Bert and Ernie communicate over a simulated Zoom chat -- staring directly into two cameras pointing directly at the center of their cushy faces. We felt especially hurt by the very possibiity of Sesame Street latching themselves to a trend of massive commercial brands co-opting 2020's bizarre circumstances in sad attempts to capitalize. We respect that responsible children's educational television might find themselves in a tough position right now, and it's not exactly the easiest decision when the show's current creators are determining how to interpret larger world events.

Death-metal videos rest on the extreme opposite end of this spectrum, and arguably have an equally rickety tightrope to confront. Again, it's not like we caught every video from 2020, but Pig Destroyer might have handled this better than anyone else -- equally as absurd and ridiculous as any of their other videos from the past 20 years or so. We salute these guys.

Video Kiddos 2020 #7: Wisdom "Whole Lotta"

Midnight mass 2020 was pretty much exactly like this video except with a lot more crowdsurfing (and covid germs). But as far as we can tell, literally every other church event not yet captured on film occurs within the first 2:30 of this video. One of DaBaby's Top 5 so far. (Literally half of this video is a boring credit scroll or else it would have placed higher.)

Video Kiddos 2020 #8: Crack Cloud "Ouster Stew"

Apparently, junkyard videos were the 3rd hottest trend of 2020, right behind cottage-core and anxiety medication. Who knew? Appropriately tagged by at least one Youtube commenter as training for health and safety (albiet pre-covid health and safety), "Ouster Stew" came prepared with chicken wire, decidedly unobtrusive choreography, and a lengthy anti-fascist drum solo. But what's up with the curious ending? We're having trouble understanding what happens after the upload reaches 100%. That is to say, this is normally what happens after we upload anything, so nothing really seems too unusual.

Video Kiddos 2020 #9: Tkay Maidza "Shook"

This is by far Maidza's best since the unjustly slept-on banger "U-Huh" back in 2014. In "Shook," a bunch of kids do a big post-apocalyptic dance party in a junkyard. A great example of a dope song elevating what might have been a mediocre video in different hands, it also includes a cameo from a beardo who is sadly not Stephen Root's character from HBO's Barry. But we thought it was for like 5 seconds.

Video Kiddos 2020 #10: Thundercat "Dragonball Durag"

Without checking, we're pretty sure this record appeared on every widely distributed end-of-year list, making the $10 budget of this video even more impressive. We're happy to report A) the Haim cameo spoils nothing, and B) it's probably Haim's first music video appearance to date that we reasonably enjoyed watching. Things are looking up.

Video Kiddos 2020 (HM): Phoebe Bridgers "Kyoto"

We included this as an honorable mention because its imagery is among the most memorable of the year. Like, we honestly don't know how this song goes. We could not hum how "Kyoto" goes if we were asked. But we could easily describe Bridgers' outfit, her awkward mannerisms, the boring looking other people, the video's lofi aesthetic, and how at one point a random dude is checking his instagram. The video is much more memorable than the song. Despite that most of the people in this video look so bored, something about the package works.

That said, "Kyoto" strangely and suspiciously recieved an enormous push from Youtube's A.I. generated algorithm not long after its mid-April release. This push entailed a massive number of "Recommmended Video" suggestions sent to pretty much any Youtube user whose history included an indie-rock video.

The questions continue: We're far beyond "Is Phoebe Bridgers an op?" which was more or less confirmed months ago. We're now at the level of "What tier of CIA is she working for?" and "What do they want from us?"

"Video Kiddos 2020" Starts Now

Like we said earlier, the resources for hot videos were not as on point throughout 2020 as in previous years. We will need to locate some new ones for 2021.

Despite the dreadful circumstances of the world at large, we know amazing art still gets created everyday. People are still making both great music and great music videos. The problem was not creativity, but rather the worlds of promotion and distribution, both shriveling at an alarming rate.

While we know video quality is not necesarily a reflection on the state of rock music, great rock videos just didn't want us to find them throughout 2020. Again, hiphop seemed to rule the world of music videos, although only a handful felt worthy of any sort of modern canon for the new decade.

We recognize that this was not the easiest year for distributing art or music, nor was it an era that made it easy to collaborate on promotion. It was also a year packed from end to end with far more important world events that may have pulled many artists away from their craft. But still, we held onto some hope that a few of our favorite bands might find ways to get creative and utilize the world of streaming video resources.

We caught a handful of streaming concerts-from-home throughout 2020, and we're happy to report that a few of these got surprisingly weird and interesting. But we're also not sure if those count as music videos. Perhaps they should count, but some of them were only shown once and were never saved or made available for streaming, suggesting that these were intended as true concert-from-home experiences.

So we're left with the official and unofficial promo clips. We wrote down a few that we remembered from the past year that had some striking images. They're not all great, but we needed some bonus clips to write about before getting into the Top 10. So here they are:


Mariah Carey "Underneath The Stars"

Go figure that we're kicking this off with a Mariah Carey video from 1996.

Watching this now, "Underneath The Stars" could feasibly timestamp the swan song of Mariah's "wholesome" era. The video originally intended to close Daydream's album cycle circa Spring '96 but was delayed due to the enormous success of "Always Be My Baby." We're guessing Tommy Motolla (or someone) eventually decided to shelve the video and prioritize the sessions for Butterfly -- the record which ultimately marked the arrival moment of her horny-makeover rebrand and eventual divorce from Motolla, complete with a "balls deep in Derek Jeter" announcement.

Flash forward to 2012: Mariah declared "Underneath The Stars" her lost video. A few years later, it was restored and then finally released to Vevo in November 2020. At least one blog placed it as their #1 video of the year, which only really makes sense when accounting for its mythic trajectory. The video would have been deemed as somewhat unremarkable and a huge marketing misstep had it been released 24 years ago as planned. But in the context of 2020, its miraculous exhumation feels sent from God himself.


MonoNeon & Madlib "Fallin' (Instrumental)"

It actually scares us that we were somewhat attracted to THIS specific color palate throughout 2020. The classic couch quilt makes an appearance here. It's weird how so many of this year's videos reflect the exact circumstances of our own lives.


2 Chainz f/ Ty Dolla Sign & Lil Duval "Can't Go For That"

It took a few years, but 2 Chainz has officially evolved into one of the most tasteful video artists of hiphop's modern era, alongside DaBaby and Young Thug. "Can't Go For That" has a great set up, but then we expected some extra narrative to resolve the conflict. But either way, the aesthetic won us over. And bonus props to the masked drummer.


Protomartyr "Processed By The Boys"

MTVZ played this one a lot in 2020, and we're still kind of unsure what they're going for. Definitely weird, surreal, and kind of confusing, it reflects a universe where low budget TV shows somehow get approved for on-air programming despite lacking any point or purpose. We're not sure if the cable access of the '90s nor the low budget public television of the '80s ever showed eventless purposeless people on TV just for the sake of filling time on the schedule. Even the worst of these shows typically include something resembling a message or theme. Like, we cannot at all imagine what the dialog on this hypothetical TV show could potentially resemble. But maybe that is the point? In either case, "Processed By The Boys" somewhat aesthetically reminded us of that one Chavez video, enough that we added it to our list of videos that we think Beavis and Butthead should watch when the show gets rebooted, which we know won't make any difference, but we can always hope.

Hope: The only real drug we have left.


The Strokes "Bad Decisions"

Not really sure why this is partially shown in 4:3 or why the filters seem intended to evoke suburban '70s aesthetic since The Strokes are all '80s babies who did not exist in the '70s (except for possibly Cassablancas, the eldest of The Strokes).


Lil Yachty, Drake, and DaBaby f/ Drake "Oprah's Bank Account"

The still images captured our attention, and we're fans of all three contributing artists. Oprah is played by Lil Yachty who interviews two rappers on her hit talk show. Not a bad idea. Decent concept. What could go wrong?

#1 Perhaps this video was doomed from the start since the song lacks a hook or any production elements that some might consider fun-sounding.

#2 We're pretty sure this video is shooting for "funny." So then, why were the extras in the audience cast as millennial cusp babes? Wouldn't it have been 1000x more interesting if they got the same Karen boomers who would typically fill up the audience on Oprah?

#3 We're unsure why this needed to be 9 minutes long, or why its final 20 seconds feature not only an immense credit scroll but also a blooper reel. The song is interrupted not once but TWICE with badly written joyless plodding 3-minute sketches. Just play the damn song.

If he really wanted to, Tyler the Creator could effortlessly nail this genre of video. We're also fans of everyone involved in "Oprah's Bank Account," which makes the experience all the more frustrating. DaBaby taints his previously flawless videography; Drake removes any doubt of his entirely nonexistant comedic acting chops. Somebody should get fired for this one.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Pivot to Video??

What is our future? And by that, we're asking about this blog's future. We always say every single year "we're never doing end of year lists again. Ever." And then every year it still fucking happens!

We've been watching mad movies though. So perhaps "Pivot to video" is in our future. And by "pivot to video," we mean discussing more stuff about moving images.

With that in mind, we still have an interest in posting our music videos of the year list, which was not easy to compile since one of our favorite resources wisely opted to not post a 2020 videos list, which is a serious bummer. We say "wisely" because if we were the guy who writes that list, we would probably also not give a fuck about music videos in 2020 and consider the past year a valid excuse to opt out. But we are dumber than most people and did one anyway.

So yeah. That's happening now. Okay.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Q104.3 Reveals The Top 1043 Songs Of All Time Results

Beardo Billy: His best look.

New York's Q104.3 has maintained their station branding for as long as we can remember despite a handful of format flips throughout the '90s. We fondly recall their early '90s format, when it was not uncommon to listen for two hours and hear two Pantera songs, two Alice In Chains songs, two Megadeth songs, and two Soundgarden songs. We were barely teenagers at the time, but we prefer continuing to guess that they didn't give one single fuck. Nirvana deep cuts were frequent, i.e. "Verse Chorus Verse" catching us offguard while getting ready for school and causing us to miss the bus 20 minutes later.

One would think this version of Q104.3 would be remembered for their breakers, although I'm now searching Google and no one has written about this. Throughout 1993, their most memorable breaker would follow this format:

"This is Q104.3 music".
(Cue 5 seconds of "Mother" by Danzig.)
"This is not."
(5 seconds of "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).")
"This is Q104.3 music."
(5 seconds of "Sober" by Tool.)
"This... is... not."
(5 seconds of "I Will Always Love You.")
"This is Q104.3 music..."
(Here's where the DJ would play the next cued song in its entirety. In this instance, let's say it's "One" by Metallica. Sure, that works.)

A few times, we heard a version of this breaker where the announcement replaced "This... is... not." with "This sucks." The following spring, they shortened the breakers to be a little jokier. One of them announced "No ABBA," followed by 5 seconds of "The Sign" by Ace Of Base, "No Van Morrison," followed by 5 seconds of "Mr. Jones," etc. In case anyone hasn't noticed, we hugely miss the days when it was acceptable to publicly call out songs or artists that objectively or subjectively suck, which is a big part of the reason why we want Beavis and Butthead to re-pivot back to watching music videos. (For the record, we like "The Sign" and "Mr. Jones.")

This version of Q104.3 flipped to classic rock by the end of 1995, signalling the beginning of the end of NYC radio's final golden era (alongside the peak years of Hot 97, Z100, WNEW, and Long Island's WLIR). Within the next year, K-Rock seized the rock-block void, flipping to an alternative format, kicked off by Howard Stern himself spinning their first song, "Sweet Dreams" by Marilyn Manson. And like many new commercial stations from this era, they were at their most exciting within the first two years, before market research and pressure from advertisers determined how they should narrow their playlists.

As it currently exists in 2020, the classic rock version of Q104.3 definitely maintains a vibe that still feels derivative of NYC radio's final golden era. It's a lot more human sounding and less robotic than 90% of modern commercial radio.

And for whatever reason, they've kept up with their 20-year Thanksgiving weekend tradition of playing through their top 1043 songs of all time, which are (allegedly) chosen by their listeners, although they would need to accumulate a lot of votes to break 1000 songs every year.

We heard a decent amount of the top 70 while driving around, running errands, and searching for parking on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and we definitely notice a handful of similarities and differences from the classic rock countdowns we heard during the 90s.

We started to wonder. Why do boomers still love these songs? And why are so many of the most beloved boomer jams so fucking long?

For whatever reason, many of the songs that boomers consider "the best of the best" are actually two songs, or two-part songs.

- The number one song every year is "Stairway To Heaven," which is basically two songs.
- "Hey Jude" is also pretty much two songs, since the long coda is basically its own separate song.
- "Free Bird" has a long guitar solo that is basically another song attached at the end.
- "Layla" is two songs.
- Good job Elton John for outright designating "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" as two separate songs. We're not making this shit up. This is real and very strange phenomenon.
- "Sgt Pepper (Reprise)/A Day In The Life." This is also two songs.
- "I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home" is two songs.
- "Nights In White Satin" has that spoken word thing at the end.
- "Time" has the "Breathe (Reprise)" thing at the end.
- "Eruption/You Really Got Me."
- "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions."
- "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" is half of a song, followed by another complete song, followed by the second half of the song that appears at the beginning.
- "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is at least three songs (depending on what album it's played from), and same goes for "Paradise By The Dashboard Light."
- "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" is four songs.

There's an intriguing element of anticipation listening through a countdown with so many long songs. Depending on the placements, it could take an hour and a half to get through 10 songs, which could be annoying but it's also kind of cool in its own way. And the anticipation in these types of lists is a big part of why we love countdown shows. That said, it would be cool if "Marquee Moon" or "Sister Ray" might show up on occasion. If only the boomers knew...

We forget why we wanted to blog about this. Oh right, the analytics. We were wondering how some artists' and songs' placements have changed over time. We feel like Billy Joel's MSG residency shows may have helped increased his placements. Billy Joel's hits and deep cuts placed a LOT better than we expected. Like, we never knew the live version of "Miami 2017" was that popular.

We'd also be willing to wager that "Wake Me When September Ends" is the most recent song that appeared in 2020, which is very unfortunate. We'll figure this out later.

All 20 years of their top 1043 countdown are available to browse here:

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The New Shit Radar: December Drops Edition

Why oh why must end-of-year list season only come but once a year?

We remember back when the EOYs were all posted post-Christmas. But not anymore! No surprises here: So far we're seeing lots of extra early, extra rushed, and extra extra boring bullshit.

We had a 2 hour drive earlier today, and so we said fuck it and breezed through P4k's "100 Best Songs of 2020" playlist. The process of wading through 20-ish songs we already knew and another 80-ish hookless plods generated some legit anxiety. It would be nice if any of them eventually built to a chorus or included something memorable. But no. Nothing. There was plenty of hot fire throughout 2020, and no big surprises here -- pitchfork ignored literally all of it. Even the Earl Sweatshirt deep cut bored us.

Anyway, mid-December seems like as good a time as any for a crescent fresh edition of The New Shit Radar, since listicle season succeeds in burying the December drops year after year. Here's some recent non-holiday-related stuff we're actually excited about:

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou Covers Cranberries Song That We Forgot Existed
Oh yeah, that one. At the time, we didn't think much of it because it really does sound like "Zombie II: The Return Of Zombie," but in hindsight, and within this context, it's now probably one of our favorite tracks of the year.

MF Doom Spits Bars Of Fire On New GTA
DOOM's 2020 worldly contributions seemed to kick some ass across the board.

Def Lep's One-Armed Drummer Voted Best In The World
Maybe the voters were super bummed about the Def Lep / Motley Crue tour getting postponed once again. Rick Allen was the only one-armed drummer to make the cut, as far as we could tell. Three-armed drummer Tommy Lee placed in the top 10. Read the results here:

The Gagmen Release First LP
Andrew WK, Aaron Dilloway, and current Wolf Eyes dudes formed a weirdo supergroup. Good album!

Stove's Surprise Bandcamp-Day Drop Is V.Nice
We probably shouldn't be referring to the project as "Stove" since that is technically a full band, but yeah. This was a nice surprise drop for sure. Catch it:

Editrix Drop "Chelsea" Ahead of Feb Release on EIS
Wendy Eisenberg's new band prepares to melt brains in 2021.

Glitterer's New Song Sounds Like Glitterer Except Newer
Are you sure?

Bee Gees Documentary Coming To HBO
Actually it already is on HBO now as of last night. Whoops. Our 30 day HBO Max subsription ends tomorrow at 9PM so I guess we better get on this.

Eyehategod Return With "High Risk Trigger"
New album coming in the Spring!

Somerset Thrower Drop 2nd LP
We are feeling this one. Grungey emocore.

After Hours Top 10 Most Played -- Week Of December 1st
Probably the final After Hours FM weekly list of 2020. The end of year results will be tallied and posted next week. In the meantime, here's the songs with the most plays from last week:

WXCI AFTER HOURS TOP 20 (Week of 12/1/2020)
This week ARTIST Title Links
1 MINDFORCE Reign Of Terror
2 DAVID NANCE My Love, The Dark, And I
5 FUMING MOUTH Master Of Extremity
6 MR. BUNGLE Eracist
7 SYSTEM OF A DOWN Protect The Land
9 SYSTEM OF A DOWN Genocidal Humanoidz
10 GUM COUNTRY Tennis (I Feel Ok)
11 ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER I Don't Love Me Anymore oneohtrixpointnever.bandcamp
12 DEFTONES Urantia Youtube
14 MR. BUNGLE Methematics
15 OMERTA Garbage
16 DISCLOSURE f/ KELIS Watch Your Step
19 SUPERCRUSH Get It Right
20 SWEEPING PROMISES Hunger For A Way Out sweepingpromises.bandcamp

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The "Lost" Dec 2020 Edition Of MTVZ Is Very Merry And Cheery

It once was lost but now is found. Previous December editions of MTVZ were also merry and cheery, but not like this. You need to see it to believe it, people.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Update: Decade Canon Playlist, Spotify Rant, and November's MTVZ

We purposely kept the decade list as the top post for over 100 days in hopes that anyone would see it. We think a few people did, so that's good. Please share if you can!

We also made a playlist with all the streamable songs. Please follow!

Everyone hates Spotify now which is good. Despite its inherent evil, we will continue using Spotify because we use it the right way, which is sadly uncommon in 2020. We're pretty sure that 99% of current Spotify users do not use it in tandem with paid Bandcamp purchases, radio programming support, blogging support, vinyl and merch purchases, and (when it's not considered dangerous) paid show attendance.

We can proudly say that we assist some artists and labels through a multitude of support methods. We hope any of it has been helpful for the fans or artists. And so we still get to sleep at night, even though we use Spotify a lot, whereas the ugly asshole CEO of Spotify should be ashamed of himself for allowing such a horrendously flawed method of artist payout.

We weren't aware of this until 2 days ago, but Spotify's artist payout is allocated directly out of a fraction of their overall profit. A total dollar amount for all streams combined is determined by Spotify before they even begin looking at how many streams they accumulated. Payout actually has nothing to do with "per stream." It's determined by whatever amount Spotify is willing to hand out from their quarterly profits.

More info on this and other fun facts about Spotify were discussed on The Interdependence's recent Q&A with Joey and Mary from Downtown Boys.

So let's just say hypothetically, if one song on Spotify generated 50 billion streams, and if every other song on Spotify generated another 50 billion streams combined, then 50% of all of the artist payout would go towards one song, and all of the other songs on Spotify would split 50% based on the percentage they generated. In this hypothetical scenario, a very popular song or songs essentially wreck the payout curve. It's kinda similar to a teacher grading on a curve -- if the highest grade in the class was 75%, then anyone who got that 75% would get an A. But if a couple kids got 100%, it ruins the curve for everyone else.

And the best part: Meanwhile, the tech overlords get to continue building upon their empire, expanding their thinktank, pocketing the majority of their earnings, and keeping payouts far away from artists and actual content creators -- except for the 3 major labels, of course, who are totally on board with all of this.

Remember the Grammy Awards throughout the 2000s? Once a year, the asshole president of the recording academy would take up at least 5 minutes of air-time mid-way through the Grammy Awards to warn about the "dangers" of "stealing music" through file sharing, citing a lack of support for artists. As it turns out, this guy was 100% full of shit. Spotify seemed initially intended to remedy the inconvenience of file storage, but it actually solved the problem of how to ensure that billionaires continue getting rich from artististic works that they did not create themselves.

Yes, it's fucked. But there's good news. The good news is: if you're a music fan who regularly supports artists through a multitude of support methods, then you are not part of the problem!

We wish we could claim that MTVZ supports artists in any way. Perhaps one day, some influencer will discover and share MTVZ, helping it to flourish into the new standard for the modern era of TV programming and music exposure.

Apparently there are a handful of cool people on Youtube who fuck with MTVZ, and we thank every one of you for justifying our meager existance.

There's a newer one of these floating around somewhere, but in the meantime here is November's MTVZ: