HOT: Don't Stream Me, Bro
Two of the biggest albums out right now are not available on the popular streaming site Spotify. And Spotify, vilified by many artists for low payouts yet boycotted by very few, wants you to know it’s all the bands’ fault. Once again, The Black Keys and Coldplay have held back their latest offerings from the service, likely temporarily and due to hopes that it will increase actual sales. Lest users think Spotify somehow screwed up and forgot to post the new albums, the artist profiles for both acts include this passive-aggressive disclaimer: “The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify. We are working on it and hope they will change their mind soon.”
WARM: Stairway to a Lawsuit
Led Zeppelin is being sued for plagiarism yet again. The latest suit is a little different in that it’s being filed by reps for one of the band’s contemporaries (Spirit, which Zeppelin opened for often early on) and it involves the most classic of all Zep songs, “Stairway to Heaven.” An attorney representing the estate of Spirit’s Randy California (who died, reportedly impoverished, in ’97) is filing a suit that claims the opening guitar riff from “Stairway” was lifted directly from the Spirit instrumental “Taurus.” Due to statutes of limitations (which kept California from filing a suit during his lifetime), the lawyer probably won’t be able to get money for back sales but could cut into current earnings of the song, which some estimate are still a whole lotta cash — around $10 million a year.
COLD: It’s Not Morrissey
If you thought the amount of media attention given to a minor family squabble involving two of the world’s biggest music stars on an elevator was ridiculous, there was another hot “music news” story the same week that made the Jay Z/Beyonce/Solange incident look like the Kennedy assassination by comparison. Music outlets online giddily ran items about ex-Smiths frontman/professional curmudgeon Morrissey joining Twitter, but had to walk back their stories just days later when the singer released a statement saying he had nothing to do with the (since removed) @itsmorrissey account (despite Twitter declaring it “verified”) and condescendingly suggesting he would never lower himself to use any such services.