Keep on Syncin in the Free World
(lawyers all the way down)
Hiya Folks, and welcome back to our regularly irregular newsletter.
First off, we wanted to thank everyone who wrote in for the mailbag episode. As always, we LOVE to hear from listeners. Hit us up with questions, complaints, show topics, etc. at email@example.com.
AND—we are PROUD TO ANNOUNCE—we now tweet! So you can keep up that generative kvetching @M4Npodcast. As always, we deeply appreciate the help you all give us in spreading the good word of M4N. Tell a friend. Harangue a stranger! Hit em with one of our deliciously nuanced takes, and then tell em’ where you got it from.
Ok—down to business.
It was a big week for the political economy of sound, what with Neil Young (and then fellow north-coaster Joni Mitchell) pulling their music from Spotify because of Joe Rogan’s anti-vaxx material, and the company’s refusal to back down from an always-suss $100 mill investment. We dug into how this pull-down order worked (it helps to be Neil), the limits of protest, and what the whole fight tells us about the future of the industry in a bonus podcast.
Before that, we dug into the intricacies of synchronization with Sebastian Adé. Sync has been lurking in the background of many of the label-artist dynamics we talk about on the show. Turns out that just admitting that music is valuable and useful for selling things is…sorta liberatory? We discuss the mixture of art and law that structures the industry, wonder about the future of the legal exception that makes sync possible in the first place, consider Tik Tok, and worry about corporations buying up all our meaningful tunes even though they were always commodities in the first place.
Finally, we kicked the year off with our first ever MAILBAG SPECIAL. We talked…gosh…russian spotify, radio feed advertisements, neoliberalism, spotify editing early 90’s rap albums, and a whole lot more.
Department of Actual Music
Sam: Turns out that my hometown of New Rochelle once had a thriving death metal scene?!? Nothing like an O.G. recording of Death ripping it up live mere feet from the arcade where you used to play Time Splitters.
Saxon: This isn’t actually music, but I’ve been diving into the Cursed Objects podcast, which I love. It’s such a particular and niche subject, but I really like how it opens up into bigger conversations about society and our contemporary world. Always nice to see kindred spirits out there.
We’ll be back soon—stay tuned for Web3 with David Turner, Neoliberal Jazz, and a whole lot more. For now, stay warm out there.
Saxon & Sam