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Music

How Did Apple’s U2 Freebie Go So Wrong?

u2 lpApple and U2 have been dealing with negativity over the past week or so all because they gave users a free copy of the band’s new album “Songs of Innocence.” What gives? Don’t people like a freebie? Don’t people like U2?

The “gift,” as the band tweeted, went to 500 million users automatically at a cost to Apple of what some have estimated $100 million. I argued here that the band was upstaged by Apple’s other announcements from the September 9 event. This is the first U2 album in five years and — yes I’m biased because I have a soft spot for the band — but this is a big deal. It deserves its own fanfare.

But it looks like the situation is even worse. People were really upset by the move.

First off, some people with questionable taste just could bear the idea of the album being on their devices. Some have moved on to other bands and can’t be bothered while others, just to annoy us with their annoying youth, say they’ve never heard of U2. Lies!

But the answer might sit more squarely in the word that Slate used to describe the marketing ploy: creepy.

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Kanye: ‘Throw Your [Prosthetics] in the Air Like You Just Don’t Care’

kanye-quotes-performIf you have ever been to a hip-hop show, you probably know that the headline’s cheer is not a typical way to get a crowd in the zone. But there’s nothing typical about megalomaniac narcissistic Kanye West.

Take, for example, his latest actions on the “Yeezus” tour in Sydney, Australia.

An eyewitness told Daily Mail Australia that Kanye refused to perform until the crowd came to its feet, saying, “I can’t do this song, I can’t do this show until everybody stand up.”

And then, he called out an amputee in the audience for not standing. You know, like people with both legs. 

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Musical Acts Welcome the Chance to Sell Tickets on Groupon

 

With the music industry focused less on album sales, selling other items, particularly concert tickets, has taken on greater importance. But there are so… many… shows. From music festivals to concerts to television appearances, few people have the money, let alone the time, to go to even a small portion of all the shows they would ideally like to attend. Not to mention getting all those shows on your radar so you know who’s appearing where. Who knew that Karen O was at the McKitterick Hotel the past couple of days? I found out from a friend posting on social media while he was standing in line. A little late for me to even attempt to get in.

This is where Groupon and LivingSocial come in. The sites have struck deals with event organizers to offer discounts on tickets for big acts ranging from Wiz Khalifa to Arcade Fire. Does it damage the act’s credibility to sell tickets at a cut-rate price? Not at all.

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Did U2 Get Upstaged By The iPhone?


For those with iTunes, Beats Music and iTunes Radio access, you’ve probably noticed something new and interesting floating around: a new U2 album. Hey now! This is big news. It’s been five years since U2 had an album of new songs. And this is the band that made “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” easily one of the best songs ever. But it hasn’t been met with quite the fanfare one would expect.

That’s not a comment on the music, but rather on the release. U2 both announced and released the album during yesterday’s big Apple event. This was an event that featured the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, Apple Pay and this guy. There’s only so much information that we can digest at one event.

As a result, the album release for one of the biggest bands in the world has been a little muted.

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Of Mice and Men: Disney Prevents Deadmau5 From Trademarking Two Peculiar Ears

mickey_mouse_vs_deadmau5

From the “What in the world took so long” department, today brings us some legal ruminations via one successful trance music prodigy named Deadmau5. To his parents, the rodent-monikered dance hall wunderkind is Joel Zimmerman of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. To the rest of us, he wears a mouse head and two digitally enhanced ears.

For more than a decade, this has been Zimmerman’s shtick — he shows up in concert, never to be seen sans mouse head, and plays his curly tail off. Oh sure, there is a stark similarity between his outfit and that of another notable mouse, but nothing has been said. Not once, until now.

Finally.

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CeeLo Leaves Twitter, Loses TV Show After Insensitive Rape Comments

CeeLo Green did not have a good weekend.

After pleading “no contest” to slipping ecstasy into a date’s drink, the singer took to Twitter to share his own completely despicable definition of sexual consent, saying, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

Unless, you know, they were drugged. But don’t worry, he went on to address that technicality as well, exclaiming,”If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.”

Oh, that’s how it works!

On Monday, Green attempted to back-peddle by allegedly tweeting the following semi-apologies, which read less like a mea-culpa and more like a celebration of avoiding jail time with a “sorry” to those who supported him sprinkled on top.

The whole I-don’t-condone-rape-thing seems like sort of an afterthought…

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Taylor Swift Writes Her Name in the Clouds for ‘Skyline’

Don’t know about you guys, but we feel like this has been a tough week. Not only is the summer coming to an end, but the bad news just won’t stop.

On that note, here’s a reminder that the business of promoting stuff can sometimes be more than a little ridiculous.

Taylor Swift has a new album out. It’s called “Skyline”, and the folks behind her (who are now 13 Management but used to be Erickson Public Relations) dreamed up the idea of promoting it today by…writing in the sky.

The best part? The stunt was about raising awareness of both the album itself and the singer’s upcoming Yahoo live stream next week. Yes, you read that right.

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How the Music Industry Brainwashes Us to Like Songs We (Rightfully) Hate

dd914540-a3ff-11e3-8aeb-b5427b31fc45_Iggy-Azalea-Fancy-PollThe first time I heard Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” I loathed it, like wouldn’t-get-through-30-seconds-before-I-changed-the-station loathed it. But here I am in August, a few months after the song’s release, and I find that while I still truly do not enjoy the song, my resolve to burn it out of my mind and all existence has weakened, and I no longer feel the overwhelming need to leap out a third-story window if it suddenly comes on while out with friends.

As it turns out, there’s a real, neurological reason for my surrender, and it’s one the music industry uses to its full advantage — think of it like Stockholm Syndrome, but auditory — and the kidnapper with whom you slowly grow to sympathize is Katy Perry’s latest auto-tuned nightmare.

The phenomenon was revealed in an fMRI study, which suggested that repeated exposure to a song is actually a more effective means of winning the hearts of the public than writing a song that they might actually like. This is because the emotional centers of the brain are more active when a person hears a song he or she has heard previously than when hearing an unfamiliar song that better suits the person’s musical taste. It seems our brains confuse the ability to recognize and remember a song with actually enjoying it. Read more

PR Lessons From Robin Thicke’s Swift Fall from the Top


At one time, Robin Thicke was riding a tidal wave of success. “Blurred Lines” was everywhere. He was performing on all the awards stages. It was Robin Thicke wherever you turned.  Then he broke up with Paula Patton and tried to get her back with a record,”Paula,” that he wrote on his own in three weeks. It belly flopped onto the charts, selling a fraction of what his previous album sold in the US and only 530 copies its first week in the UK.

First off, the album has some weird lyrics, so yeah, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to put pen to paper without consulting with Pharrell first. But his problems run deeper than that and point to some basic PR mistakes.

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Weird Al Went Viral, Topped the Billboard Charts


Weird Al Yankovic has been making musical parodies for 30 years if you can believe it. His latest album is “Mandatory Fun.” And for the first time in more than 50 years, a comedy album is topping the Billboard 200 chart, selling 104,000 copies in its first week of release.

To promote the album, Weird Al released a video a day for about a week, each one reaching different level of viral. He launched with a star-studded bang, releasing “Tacky,” a play on Pharrell’s uber-popular song “Happy.”

New York magazine has a few reasons why the album is doing so well. We have a couple of our own.

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