View profile

The juice is worth the squeeze.

What a time to be alive. CNN is basically a 24-hour Trump reality show (I sit right underneath a TV a
The juice is worth the squeeze.
By Cherie Hu • Issue #2 • View online
What a time to be alive.
CNN is basically a 24-hour Trump reality show (I sit right underneath a TV at work, and without fail the word “TRUMP” is on screen every time I look at it).
It takes Kanye West going on a Twitter rant for us to get a clearer sense of where the streaming music wars are going.
KIDZ BOP is now on vinyl (my editor received one in the mail for some reason)—indicating that desperately hipster parents are indeed taking over the world.
I now own a scarf, given to me by Steve Forbes, that is emblazoned with Forbes’ unintentionally tongue-in-cheek catchphrase “Capitalist Tool.”
All of this to say: stay weird, friends. Weirdness can be uncomfortable—and, in politics’ case, destructive—but should also encourage us to seek out the stories no one thought to live, the crevices no one thought to fill. The world is weirder than ever now, so we might as well shape our own weirdness for the better.
Before I continue, thought I would mention that I’m in San Francisco this weekend—please send any tips you have for great restaurants and/or sightseeing, and let me know if you’re around!

Writing:
Lots of dolla $igns and cool tech this time around. I’m also super excited for the stories I’m publishing next week—including but not limited to Part 2 of my YouTube-Music series and a feature on OZY Fusion Fest and other editorially-driven pop culture festivals. Stay tuned! :)
At $41 Billion, Q2 Media & Entertainment Deal Value Breaks 12-Month Record
With This Wearable Subwoofer, You Can Now Carry The Bass Line Wherever You Go
Keeper of the Flame: How Miranda Lambert Made $18 Million in 2016
The Inaugural RightsTech Summit: Forward-Thinking Optimism, With Few Music Publishers In Sight
Events: RightsTech Summit
For more details about the programming itself, you can read my review for Forbes, linked above. Here, I just want to share a few photos, as well as a funny mantra that was thrown around all day at the summit: “The juice is worth the squeeze.” In other words, the sweet, streamlined glory of the result (cleaner and more transparent ownership data) is worth the messy, embarrassing struggle of the journey (fundamental reform of decades-old practices and power structures). The music industry tends to throw around such metaphors without actually acting upon them…
Me derping around with music tech guys. On my left (your right): Stephen White, CEO of Dubset. On my right: Darryl Ballantyne, CEO of LyricFind.
Me derping around with music tech guys. On my left (your right): Stephen White, CEO of Dubset. On my right: Darryl Ballantyne, CEO of LyricFind.
Robert Levine (left) and Benji Rogers, two great thinkers and doers, discussing the blockchain (and that's me with my laptop in the foreground :P).
Robert Levine (left) and Benji Rogers, two great thinkers and doers, discussing the blockchain (and that's me with my laptop in the foreground :P).
What I'm thinking about:
  • Chat bots. I’m not convinced by them, and certainly not in a music context. I’ve been playing around with Hardwell’s Messenger bot, which is more commercially driven (buy merch, attend concerts, etc.), but it’s not going anywhere / can get pretty buggy. There are also several discovery-oriented music chat bots in operation, like Music Rover and AudioShot, that I probably am never going to use. Most chat bots require users to write messages like a quasi-programming language—i.e. communicating only with commands. This seems difficult to accomplish for something as emotion-driven and anti-formulaic as music consumption and music tastes. Other areas of e-commerce might be easier.
  • Interscope Records recently launched its own wine brand, Electric Sky, and no one’s talking about it. Literally no one (if you can find one news outlet that covered it aside from the spammy PR Newswire, please link me). Is it really that tacky? I personally think it’s one of the strangest but also most brilliant music-brand partnerships around—especially because the wine is aimed at festival-goers, who are usually willing to shell out cash for cool, Insta-worthy drinks. Smart diversification on Interscope’s part, IMO. Hey, I might even write something about it.
  • I ended up buying another actual CD last weekend, at a hole-in-the-wall record store in Boston called In Your Ear Records. The minute I walked in, this irresistibly catchy, chill, almost supernatural groove started playing over the loudspeakers. Pulling out Shazam on my phone, I found out that the tune was “Mysterious Vibes” by jazz/funk/R&B fusion group The Blackbyrds. Soon after, I spotted the Blackbyrds’ Greatest Hits CD on the R&B shelves, and bought the record immediately on impulse. I keep thinking back to this moment because I hadn’t felt so spontaneous yet strong of a connection with a piece of music playing in the background in a long, long time. It’s likely the result of my increasingly pixelated, immaterial experience with the music I “love"—only on screens, only through wired headphones, seldom truly owned.
Great reads/vids:
Publishers and the Smiling Curve
If you want to learn to code, don't learn to code
“social” versus “Social”
Cherie Hu - Reality [Ambient/Funk cover]
Obligatory potato:
A young NFL fan asked Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Kenny Bell to sign a raw sweet potato. Here’s to hoping that potato lives a long life.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Cherie Hu

Cherie's updates at the intersection of music, technology, creativity, business, people, travel and potatoes.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here
Powered by Revue