Beyond The Streets

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Beyond The Streets opens in LA on Sunday!
Here's a sneak peek if you need convincing.

MUSIC & INDUSTRY


The #MeToo movement has made its way to the music industry, with the hashtag, #MuteRKelly going viral this week. The campaign is calling on RCA Records, Spotify, and Ticketmaster to stop working with Kelly. It's also revealing some difficulties that are particular to the music industry. First off, it's not clear how, exactly, RCA could even exit their deal with Kelly. And then, fans and brands everywhere are met with an age-old moral dilemma: can we and (perhaps, more importantly) should we separate art from the artist? There's still a fan base loyal to Kelly who are particularly stubborn, thanks to the intimate connection fans have with the music they like. But the reckoning is long past due. For Touré, who has covered Kelly since 1993, the question for his business partners is, "how can you afford to still be in business with him?” The question for fans is, “how can you listen to him sing and not have that be overshadowed by the fact that this guy might be a predator?"

BRANDS & BANDS


Storied guitar-maker, Gibson, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, striking a deal with creditors to allow its instrument manufacturing to continue. And that's good - not just because they make excellent guitars. By all accounts, Gibson's guitar-making business is quite profitable, despite much cultural hand-wringing about computers replacing guitars as kids' instrument of choice. Gibson apparently overreacted to these trends with an aggressive rebranding as a "lifestyle" company. The initiative involved acquisitions and debt, and eventually bankruptcy. We talk a lot about branding, lifestyle, etc., but sometimes the best business advice is to just do what you do best. Amid all this, Gibson's guitar sales grew by 10% last year.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


One of the quieter consequences of the streaming revolution is the dwindling relevance of music critics. Why read about a new record when you can listen to it instantly? This wasn't always the case, and at a certain point in the early 2000s, Pitchfork was at the center of the music universe. They could make careers, or they could destroy them. A reporter dug up a few of the more notorious Pitchfork pans and asked the target artists to comment on what the experience was like. It was apparently so traumatizing that hardly any artists wanted to go on record about it - the sting still hurts.

EVERYTHING ELSE


LISTEN


Rae Sremmurd 
Buckets ft Future
The Tour Van Is A Magical Place, According To Bands

LOOK


GZA & The Soul Rebels
NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Patrick Martinez

WEEKEND PLAYLIST

FACTORY FLOOR


Happy 34th birthday Rob!

FRIDAY GIF


See ya next week...