Link roundup #1

March 7, 2020 ☼ Links

The Man who’s spending $1 Billing to Own Every Pop Song – Marker

Though valuations of the major labels are currently at an all-time high […] the past 20 years have been volatile[…]. Royalties, however, have been the one constant, viewed as the safe long-term play: No songs, no hits, no money. Now private equity firms, institutional investors, and high-profile managers want in on it, too. In recent years, billions of dollars have flooded the music business to invest in the catalogs of songwriters. […]

“In less than three years, Hipgnosis has purchased nearly 7,500 songs, more than 1,000 of which have been number one hits. Mercuriadis has done eight-figure catalog deals with the writers of five of the songs in Billboard’s Top 10 of the Decade: Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” co-written by Jeff Bhasker; Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” co-written by Johnny McDaid (also the song with the most streams in Spotify history); the Chainsmokers’ “Closer”; Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” co-written by Starrah; and the Latin crossover smash “Despacito” from Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber, co-written by Poo Bear."


After authenticity — Toby Shorin, Subpixel

“There is a deep entitlement to the idea of an authentic self.”


A Message to Young People from Andrei Tarkovsky — Youtube

An excerpt from the documentary Andrey Tarkovsky - A Poet in the Cinema”


How to take smart notes - Forte Labs

“By identifying the principles that stand the test of time despite huge changes in the underlying technology, we can better understand the essential nature of the creative process. We can focus our efforts on mastering the art of creative note-taking, producing more insightful writing, and fulfilling our full potential and saving the world. (OK I added that last one.)”


On Design Thinking - Maggie Gram, N+1 Mag by Maggie Gram.

An exceptionally diplomatic take down of design thinking” as a practice and ideology.


Musicians Algorithmically Generate Every Possible Melody, Release Them to Public Domain — Vice

“Two programmer-musicians wrote every possible MIDI melody in existence to a hard drive, copyrighted the whole thing, and then released it all to the public in an attempt to stop musicians from getting sued.”


A text renaissance - Venkatesh Rao, Ribbonfarm

“There is a renaissance underway in online text as a medium. […] I want to take a stab at lightly theorizing this renaissance. And also speculating, in light of this renaissance, about what might be the eighth and penultimate death of blogging. And the future of books. So it’s going to be a sprawling, messy hot take on the State of Textual Media. Or at least a simmering take, since I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a year on the backburner.”


The Miracle of Moving a Piano in New York City – NYTimes

“Rasheed Walker, has been moving pianos in Ripatti’s crew for roughly 15 years. ‘Side or carry?’ he asked. ‘Carry, two turns,’ Ripatti said. ‘No other way.’”


The Tyranny of Terrazzo: Will the millennial aesthetic ever end? — NYMag, The Cut

Provocative/polemic, not entirely correct, fun, deeply unsatisfying. The millennial aesthetic promises a kind of teleology of taste: as if we have only now, finally, thanks to innovation and refinement, arrived at the objectively correct way for things to look.

If you simultaneously can’t afford any frills and can’t afford any failure, you end up with millennial design: crowd-pleasing, risk-averse, calling just enough attention to itself to make it clear that you tried.“