HOT: Russia: Scared of Death Metal
Last year, Vladimir Putin approved a new law that banned “gay propaganda” in an effort to “protect children.” More recently, a district court in Russia has expanded its mission to protect lil’ Russians by banning the lyrics and artwork of Death Metal band (and common conservative crusader target) Cannibal Corpse. According to The Guardian, it is now illegal to distribute the band’s album artwork and Russian translations of its lyrics due to their “descriptions of violence, the physical and mental abuse of people and animals, murder and suicide.” The band must have a substantial following in Russia to warrant such action … or perhaps someone in Russia’s government just found a copy of Butchered at Birth or Gallery of Suicide under their kid’s bed.
WARM: Comet Boost
Here is a sure-fire way for a band to increase song streams. First, become a legendary Rock band and make your singer have a daughter who gets cast in a major Hollywood blockbuster about a hero who lands on an asteroid hurtling towards Earth. Next, convince the film’s producers to feature one of your horrible ballads in the movie. Then sit back and wait for any major comet/asteroid news to surface and, bam, mega-Spotify streaming of the aforementioned song ensues! The “Insights” page on Spotify discovered that when a small “robotic lander” touched down on a comet Nov. 13, streams of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (featured in the 1998 asteroid-gonna-kill-us-all film Armageddon) spiked dramatically. So when a mammoth meteor really does threaten human existence someday, you can rest easier knowing that Steven Tyler just made another $35 with which to buy scarves.
COLD: Rich Man, Poor Man
An online post by a member of duo Pomplamoose rubbed some musicians the wrong way and its surprise ending made many angrier. The post was about how Pomplamoose’s 23-city tour made $100,000 in ticket sales, yet the band still came home in debt. Other touring artists noted the seemingly unnecessary expenses and accused the band of being naïve. But toward the end of the post, bandmember Jack Conte said it’s all good, because a great crowd-funding service called Patreon has made it so Pomplamoose is, financially, just fine. What Conte didn’t mention in the post is that he is the CEO of Patreon, meaning that, like a commercial for Hallmark cards, his heart-string-pulling message was effectively just a commercial for his company, which has rounded up $15 million in “venture financing.” (Here is Conte's response to the backlash.)