Greg's Newsletter Listens to Everything at Once [No. 063]

Introducing New Music Tuesdays.

After digging into social media, social capital, and some areas I want to explore this year in my previous two newsletters, I wanted to have a little change of pace this time.

Two of my favorite Texas artists have tamed up for… dusty funk soul? IDK. Listen to what I mean here.

First: some music. In past years, I've created ongoing Spotify playlists of favorite music discoveries—new stuff, new finds, classics, whatever. Sometimes they’ve been monthly. Sometimes they've been ongoing playlists running the whole year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).

This year, I'm going it differently. I’ll have a playlist that’s updated once-a-week, every week on Tuesday. Consider it a part of your weekly Spotify experience. You have your Discover Weekly on Monday. Release Radar on Friday. And Hot Sauce Selects every Tuesday. So be sure to drop in and check out week #3 and subscribe to this playlist (AND CHECK BACK EVERY TUESDAY).

Now: how about some interesting things!

An interview with Spotify founder/CEO Daniel Ek on the future of audio (in podcast form, naturally). I suspect there are readers of the newsletter with strong (and probably very accurate!) thoughts about the role of Spotify and the economics of streaming for artists.

Those feelings aside, I've become infatuated with the concept of always-on/ubiquitous audio—and wrote about it in October. One thing that struck me about Ek's perspective is that (paraphrasing) he considers the car a third and final space for innovation in audio, after the connected device and the home. I'm really excited to see new audio interfaces and experiences take hold.

Every Noise at Once: This site is one the cooler examples of data + art that exists on the internet. It's an algorithmically-generated scatterplot of 3,847 "genre-shaped distinctions" by Spotify. Please click through to understand the scale. Words don’t do it justice. But it's super fun to click around and hear examples of genres that you didn't know exist but are definitely glad exist.

Fluxwork? Hurdy-gurdy? Lovecraftian metal? So much music.

A comedian's fued with *SNL'*s Michael Che. Comedian Jack Allison has had an odd relationship with Michael Che of SNL and one of the co-hosts of "Weekend Update." It's odd, in that Che kind of seems obsessed with trying to bully Allison. Allison's write-up covers power dynamics, a retread show with a retread POV, the comedy business, and the role of social media in... like... everything. But I was struck by a different point he made.

There's a current in comedy (typically from male comics like Seinfeld and Chappelle) that decries cancel culture. And they apply that to their craft and audiences and publicly state that they can't say what they want to say anymore (ugh! what about free speech!). This is all in fear of cancel-driven backlash.

But Allison makes a pretty outstanding point: "As much as comedians like to fashion themselves as high-minded pontificators of the notion of free speech, this is more about creating a safe space for rich professional comedians to do their material without hearing any complaints."

That's it for now! Actually, wait. Shoutout to Texas for being the worst offender in creating transportation-based greenhouse gas emissions.

Everything's bigger in Texas!

Urban planning at its finest!

Even our carbon footprint!

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