Sunday Morning Coming Down #Six


• "Just years ago, when in the various histories of the span of time between punk and Britpop, Sarah either went without mention or else was relegated to a perfunctory footnote, a sentence or two as an example of the ridiculous, unsuccessful outer fringes of indie in the hinterlands beyond Factory and Creation, and lazily summed up with the adjectives "twee", "wet" or "jingly-jangly". Andrew Bulhak reports on the late recognition of Sarah Records for The Quietus.

• "It is hardly the first time television has burned out a genre through mass imitation and overexposure. Networks rode westerns into the ground. They exhausted the audience with singers trying variety shows. At one point, almost every night had a newsmagazine. And, most famously, ABC ran the sprockets off its game show hit “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” with four episodes a week at its height, leading to a plunge in ratings and its relegation into syndication. The music genre has been both longer lasting and more potent than most of these examples — until now." The slump of American Idol detailed at the New York Times.

• "When Mariah sampled “Genius of Love,” she omitted “What do you consider fun?” — when you’re in Mottola jail, you don’t need an answer until you escape." Ten albums / ten songs from Brad Luen.

• "Popularity hasn't been an issue with East Village Radio, who counted more than 1 million listeners worldwide a month. However, under the Congressional Digital Music Copyright Act of 1998, Internet broadcasters must pay a digital performance royalty for every listener. "We pay a higher rate for royalties and licensing than Pandora pays. We live in a world where these behemouth music-streaming services keep going in for more capital," said Peter Ferraro, the general manager/head of programming at East Village Radio. "It's very difficult for an independent medium music company to survive in a world where Apple is paying $3.2 billion for Beats by Dre."" EV Grieve reports on the distressing news that East Village Radio is signing off for good.

• "Justin sat me down and said, “You just need an education. You need to demystify the language of ballet.” He was very curatorial and he urged me to see certain modern Balanchine. Once I had a grasp of the vernacular, I did fall in love with it. I still kind of hate the sappy romantic narrative ballets, but I understand that tradition is important. It’s an archaic language, it’s almost like a museum piece, and I sort of fell in love with the formality of it." Sufjan Stevens gets his ballet on at Vogue (swear to God).

• "Even better questions arose during the country panel, whose presenters were the theologically minded writers Anthony Easton, Jewly Hight, and Tom Smucker. Easton unpacked the “homosocial” “corpus” of “paratexts” (Lordy!) around music for hunting deer, Hight showed how queer folks find ways to fit into Evangelical country culture, and Smucker bemoaned country’s inability to address the recent labor crisis." Josh Langhoff offers an EMP postmortem for PopMatters.

• "Surely Dylan would kill to be asked what “gonna wear my undies on the outside/like a fallen woman in a pew” means – a peak at a tatty thong during prayer or something more obscure? – but he’d never be so reliable as to let us know “I feel like my Christian phase is coming”." Ryan Maffei and Low Cut Connie strut with some BBQ.

• "In creating the cover song, the Congress of a century ago had no idea it would let loose one of the great innovative forces in music. It was just trying to repair a blunder by the Supreme Court and ensure that the giant Aeolian Co. didn’t swallow the entire player piano market. Today, the player piano market is minuscule, and Aeolian has been dead for almost three decades. But the lesson of Aeolian lives on."  Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman on how the Supreme Court's White-Smith Music Publishing Co. v. Apollo Co case of 1908 still informs our popular music landscape.

• "[Randy] California doesn’t seem to have griped about Stairway To Heaven's genesis, at least publicly, for decades. Finally, citing the gigs they played together, California told journalist Jeff McLaughlin in the winter 1997 issue of Listener magazine that Led Zeppelin had filched his song. “I’d say it was a ripoff,” California said. “And the guys made millions of bucks on it and never said ‘Thank you,’ never said, ‘Can we pay you some money for it?’ It’s kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it.” On Jan. 2, 1997, California drowned while rescuing his 12-year-old son from a rip current in Hawaii." Vernon Silver explores Led Zeppelin's debated debt to Spirit for Business Week.