What's old is new again
Reading past the headlines
Hope you’re hanging in there, somewhere between the peak of allergy season and the continual crumbling of modern life.
At least there’s the crypto-crash, huh ; )
(jk jk Money 4 Nothing would like to state that they remain crypto agnostic as their official position)
Anyways—as always, we want to thank you for reading and listening. We’ve recently had folks reach out with all kinds of interesting thoughts, critiques, blog posts, and trippy books about the KLF. We can’t tell you how much it means to us. Which is also to say—have a thought? a complaint? an idea for an episode? a critique of Saxon’s California vocal fry? hit us up at email@example.com.
And of course, we appreciate your help in spreading our good gospel. So please, rate + review + tell a friend/ask a punk.
Okay! On to the (meta-)music
Lately, a startling statistic has been making the rounds—”Old Music” (anything released over 18 months ago) is now significantly outpacing “New Music” (the reverse) in the sonic economy. “Is this the end,” ask critics “of pop music as we know it?” “Is it the triumph of the algorithm?!?” And like…maybe? But also maybe not.
To grapple with the meaning and potential implications of these numbers, we dug into how these statistics are generated (it’s weird!) and what that tells us about music industry data (its skewed!). And then we try and unpack how this connects with some very long-running (and often obscure) trends—from the boomers finally going online to millennials moving out of their peak music consumption years. And then we go heady about the nature of the current—and future—industry. Turns out that while the fact might be true, it’s implications are anything but obvious.
Recently, Saxon got a chance to talk with Mike Park, the driving force behind Asian Man Records, an endlessly relevant independent label that (at this point) has survived pretty much everything except California sinking into the Pacific Ocean. Mike talks about the benefits of handshake deals, the complexities of multi-generational scene dynamics, business ethics + politics, and the surprising benefits of streaming. He’s a real legend, and we were honored to have him on the pod!
Finally, we released PART II of our epic-length discussion with Mat Dryhurst of Interdependence about all things web3 + crypto. In case you missed it, you should definitely check out the first part — in this one, we try to come down from the clouds, and figure out what these new technologies might actually mean for bands, labels, and communities.
Department of Actual Music:
Sam: I’ve been kinda obsessed by…live Primus of all things? Honestly, this band never really did anything for me (too wonky, too goofy, even in High School) until I saw a 30 second clip of them roiling a crowd for some MTV show in the mid 90’s. This video of them playing their rust-belt anthem(?) “Those Damn Blue-Collar Tweakers” at Woodstock ‘94 is…wild. Les Claypool usually gets all the credit, but the weird atonal industrial noise stuff that Ler LeLonde plays is honestly just as good.
Saxon: Don’t know a lot about J.J. Cale but his ethos resonates deep with me and this quiet one on the tail end of his album “Troubadour” hit right this humid morning…I also love that when asked “how he spent the ‘80s,” Cale apparently responded “Mowing the lawn and listening to Van Halen and rap." Sounds about right to me.
Saxon & Sam