HOT: Thank God It’s
For reasons few agree upon, new music releases have been coming out on Tuesdays in the U.S. for decades, while other countries have different new-release days (Mondays in the U.K., Wednesdays in Japan and Fridays in Germany and elsewhere, for example). But starting this summer, Fridays will be the official global release day (online and in actual stores). The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry recently announced the shift, saying it is a reaction to the rise of digital music and an effort to curb piracy by fans who seek out new releases online once they’ve hit the market in other countries. The Federation says retail activity is higher on the weekends and it has found that most consumers would prefer a weekend release day. It could also help retailers snatch some money from consumers’ Friday paychecks before they spend it all on drugs and/or candy.
WARM: U2 Has Last Laugh
Given the backlash that followed U2 and Apple’s decision to give away its latest album to all iTunes users, one might think the band is on its last legs. But the results of a survey by “digital-data research firm” Kantar suggests something else — the band remains one of the top bands on the planet. The survey found that a fourth of the people who listened to music on iOS devices in January listened to at least one U2 song, and 95 percent of those people listened to at least one song from the band’s free album, Songs of Innocence. “I guess it’s possible they could have randomly selected thousands of individuals with impeccable taste,” Bono joked to Rolling Stone. It’s validation for U2, but still doesn’t explain the bigger controversy — how Rolling Stone could possibly have named it the best album of 2014.
COLD: Cats — The Ultimate Music Snobs
Perhaps due to their dominance of the Internet, cats are now getting special attention from the musical world, with recordings being made specifically for felines. Dr. Charles Snowdon of the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a test on 47 cats and found that, while they were indifferent to “normal” music, compositions designed for them — matching feline “vocalizations,” utilizing more “sliding” notes and using tempos akin to purring and suckling — elicited responses that included rubbing their heads (and scent glands) onto the speakers. The three songs created so far are available for purchase at musicforcats.com. But undoubtedly some entrepreneurial kitty is going to develop a CatNapster, give all the music away for free (or for small quantities of catnip) and bring down the entire cat-music industry.