We thought that the best way to start the new year would be by…clearing up the various misconceptions, random questions, playful hassles, and outright stumpers generated by the old. Our listeners have hit us with a series of questions in recent
Money 4 Nothing goes to the movies! With the holidays upon us, Sam and Saxon decided it would be a nice to time to kick back, pull out the popcorn, and watch one of the more intriguing music docs in a year full of them. That’s right folks—in a
In the last few years, "Spotify Wrapped" has ascended the seasonal pantheon for music lovers. Come December, our social media feeds are inundated with detailed numerical statistics from friends and relatives, breaking down their yearly listenin
One of the the biggest music stories of this past year is Universal Music Group going public for...billions. If the question wasn't already answered over the past decade, the Majors are back baby. But what does Universal’s ever-inflating valuat
It’s been 20 years since Apple launched the iPod and a lot has changed in the music industry…as in everything. The mp3, iTunes, Spotify, penny fractions for streams, UMG's recent IPO, music catalogs as attractive asset class, 360 deals and the
How is music made? Not how do record companies work, but how is music made? And where does it go after we're done with it? According to Kyle Devine, a professor of Musicology at the University of Oslo, we’ve all been paying far too little to th
What happens if you or your band is good, like—really good? You get SIGNED. A record contract! You've made it!....or did you? The fact that major label contracts aren’t particularly fair is well known, but what if they’re doing more than just r
The streaming economy—and much of the discourse around it—is based on a simple promise: all of the music. Not some of the music, not most of the music, but ALL of the music being available to stream on-demand. But as we all know, the cloud is f
When Lee "Scratch" Perry left this world on August 29th, we lost a towering figure of 20th century culture as a producer, singer, and trailblazer who spent decades at the forefront of Jamaican music. And while there has been a wave of articles
MTV had a remarkably unheralded 40th anniversary this month. While Music Television (still the channel’s official name) has been out of music videos for decades, it was a truly transformative force for a long struggling record industry back in
What would happen if a government took a serious look at the music industry and decided everything wasn’t alright? To our surprise, the UK Parliament has done just that, issuing a blistering report on label consolidation, monopolistic abuses, a
The Grateful Dead are one of America’s weirdest musical stories, an avalanche of tie-dyed hippies, 30-minute drum solos, acid, and endless, endless touring. But over their 30+ year career, the band also proved themselves to be incredibly presci
It can feel hard to believe, but it seems like live music in the US might be coming back (finally). Which also means that bands and fans are getting ready to line up and spend a LOT of time and money with the concert behemoth that is Live Natio
Award-winning poet Morgan Parker talks with Saxon Baird about Fugazi, having a DIY ethos and how to navigate being an artist in the tangled web of an exploitative, capitalist system.
Further Listening: Can Fugazi help us imagine a better fu
When talking about West Coast gangster rap, the focus is usually on the era-defining stars who reigned during 1990s—Dr. Dre, Tupac, and Snoop Dog foremost among them. In her new book, “To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangster Rap Changed America,”
Ever since they appeared in the late 80’s, the legendary D.C. rock band Fugazi has stood as the absolute pinnacle of stick-to-your-guns DIY success. Holding prices to $5 shows and $10 albums, refusing to make merch or sign to a major label, the
You know what Top 40 radio is. But…think about it for a second. Top 40 what? Songs? Albums? Bands? And top for who? Once you get started, the supposedly homogenous “mainstream” at the center of American listening is actually pretty complicated.
Metallica recently got trolled by Twitch when the gaming platform dubbed over a live performance. The Internet LOL'd considering the metal band's history with suing its own fans and taking down Napster. But there's so much more behind this
Plenty has been written about the music and legacy an artist leaves behind when they pass prematurely. But there hasn’t been much of a discussion on how the obligatory posthumous album is handled and marketed. Sam and Saxon discuss the differen
When people talk about music piracy, it almost always carries a 21st century slant— Napster, Pirates Bay, iPods and so on. As it turns, battles over who has a right to make and sell music has a FAR longer history, one that stretches from the ja
In the last month, the music world has gone positively gaga for NFT’s, the blockchain-based goods that (some say) promise to transform basic dynamics of the industry, bypassing major labels, reversing decades of artistic austerity, and basicall
On this **Bonus** episode, music journalist Stephen Thomas Erlewine talks with Saxon Baird about the death of the greatest hits album, the encyclopedic glory of Allmusic, The White Stripes and more.
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Christian music and especially Christian rock is a world of its own, a self-contained universe that mirrors the trends and styles of the mainstream. But how does it work? And what can it tell us about the interactions between audiences and indu
When we first covered the vast amounts of cash that companies like Hipgnosis were throwing into the music publishing market, we thought things had hit some sort of insane peak. Well were we VERY wrong. In the months since, the press has been fi
We talk to writer and critic Liz Pelly who has long been one of the most astute critics of the modern musical economy. But while we all know that streaming is broken—what comes next? Liz has recently been exploring a set of new platforms that a
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