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Music

BREAKING: Music Publicists Witness Lots of Drug Use

shutterstock_171268937Yes, you read that right. This comes from a not-at-all-shocking story published last Friday in The Telegraph that elaborates on the experiences of an unnamed “press officer” who has been “working in music PR and A&R for 25 years.”

Here are some of the tales he recounts:

The singer for a band arriving in the US for the first time threatened to call it quits after receiving a package of free T-shirts. The band’s manager then “haul[ed] him up against a wall by the throat” until he reconsidered.

It gets more colorful:

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Van Morrison Settles Dustup with PR Exec Over Alleged ‘Love Child’

Van MorrisonThis morning we learned that the just-resolved defamation dispute between FleishmanHillard EMEA regional president John Saunders and Irish pop singer Van Morrison had more twists than the singer’s own epic “Madame George.” (Though, to be fair, that song only had one.)

Way back in 2009, Van Morrison’s official site posted the announcement that “Gigi and Van Morrison are proud to announce the birth of their first born son, George Ivan Morrison III,” and entertainment news sources attributed the statement to the singer himself. The problem? The baby’s mother was not his wife, former Miss Ireland Michelle Rocca.

The singer claimed the announcement was a hoax, and Saunders — who had worked with Rocca in the past — went on the radio proclaiming the story to be false and claiming that Morrison did not know Gigi.

It’s not clear whether Saunders was paid to give these interviews, but it is clear that Van Morrison did indeed know Gigi.

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Beyoncé Got Us All Excited Over Nothing

Beyonce CD

Seriously though, our Twitter feed was ALL ABOUT rumors of a brand-new Beyoncé album thanks to the supposed internal leak that landed on every blog everywhere.

Then we saw the real-life press release this morning. In case you’re living under a rock, it’s a re-release of her previous album…with two new tracks, “a mini version of the official 2015 Beyonce calendar,” a live DVD for those who don’t get HBO, and four remixes.

That song we thought would be called “DONK” featuring Nicki Minaj is just a remix of “Flawless” featuring Nicki Minaj…who hasn’t had a good verse since Kanye rubbed Bon Iver’s head and made an album come out.*

So was this “leak” a true bump on the promotional road or yet another way to make us pay even more attention to Beyoncé? And how jealous is Taylor Swift?

*We haven’t actually done the research to back up that claim.

Spotify Begs Taylor Swift to Come Back Through Song

As we learned yesterday, one of Taylor Swift‘s more brilliant moves to help promote her new album was to remove all of her material from Spotify. The decision sparked a sort of “turf war” between Spotify and iTunes as the 1989 quickly became what some estimate to be the last-ever platinum album.

Now, for some context: have you heard of sending a message via a Spotify playlist? Over on our ad blog, we mentioned Melissa Saylors, an art director who created a playlist that doubled as a note to digital agency 360i (or “The Oreo People”). The agency hired her.

Now, here’s the message Spotify sent Taylor yesterday, via a combination press release/mini-narrative in playlist form.

It’s both cute and desperate!

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FKA Twigs Is Making Google Glass Less Lame

FKA Twigs, dancer, musician and rumored Robert Pattinson girlfriend, has made her directorial debut with a new video called “#throughglass” that blends song, dance and technology through her use of Google Glass.

Google Glass has got an image problem. And you know it’s a big one when people who use them frequently are called “glassholes” by everyone including mainstream media. Not exactly the group you want to be a member of. But this video has got people calling Glasscool.” This could be just the kind of buzz this new device needs.

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U2 Apologizes for Apple Album Giveaway

u2 q&aTrying to smooth things over after the rough release of their new album “Songs of Innocence” last month, U2 – or more specifically, Bono – apologized for the album giveaway fiasco that had many iTunes customers seething.

As part of a huge and longstanding partnership with Apple, U2 gave its new album to iTunes users, automatically downloading it onto people’s playlists. Some were so up in arms about the perceived intrusion that Apple introduced a tool to remove the music.

“Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples [sic] playlists ever again? It’s really rude,” the group was asked during the Facebook Q&A.

Bono’s response: “Oops.”
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Prince Totally Over His Own Facebook Q&A

Prince facebook

Reddit AMAs are effective ways for celebrities and not-quite-famous people alike to get a bit of extra attention and elevate their profiles by interacting directly with the public. In the past, we asked whether such events could serve as a new kind of reputation management tool.

While Facebook Q&As are less…notorious, they do exist. In fact, Prince held one yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately for the 1.7 million people who “like” his page, the 13,000 people who liked or shared the announcement, and the 3,000+ users who submitted questions, the man chose to remain as mysterious as always.

He answered a single question: the first one.

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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 couldn’t 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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