Because we can all agree there are not enough music awards to feed the insatiable hunger for approval that afflicts our top-grossing popular musicians, iHeartRadio and NBC joined forces last night to nobly fill what had previously been a glaring 24 hour void in the celebrity laud-fest calendar: ie the night following Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards. Bucking concerns of being redundant and not at all surprising, the iHeartRadio Awards brazenly presented Taylor Swift with three trophies: Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (“Shake It Off”), and Best Lyrics (“Blank Spaces”). Hozier, who certainly has not received enough accolades for “Take Me To Church”, was vindicated with the award for Alternative Rock Song of the Year. And just when you thought the event was going to zig, it –uh– zigged, celebrating Sam Smith with a Best New Artist award.
Justin Timberlake , who has not released a new track since 2013, received an award mostly for agreeing to show up. He quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s popular “Citizenship in a Republic” in his Innovator Award acceptance speech, marking the second time the quote has been appropriated in pop culture this year. There were other awards presented at last night’s show, but let’s please talk about something else, shall we?
Look at all the music innovators Jay Z brought on board to promote his new streaming service, Tidal! (Wait, where’s Justin Timberlake? Shouldn’t he be at this summit? Is he too busy accepting awards?) Tidal, which touts to be “the first high fidelity, lossless music streaming service with 25 million tracks, 75,000 music videos, and expert editorial from experienced music journalists,” was recently acquired by Hova for approximately $56 million, and will relaunch later today with exclusives from Kanye West, Madonna and Daft Punk, among others. They all look so serious. This must not be one of those fun music streaming services. [Consequence of Sound]
[Editor’s Note: Today’s Tidal livestream revealed no significant information about how this new streaming platform will function or compete with existing streaming services. Effectively what we saw was a bunch of famous musicians signing a piece of paper and then standing around awkwardly waiting for direction. More details to come, we should hope.]
The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Drum and Fife” is the first music video from their forthcoming record, Monuments to an Elegy. Keeping with frontman Billy Corgan’s intention to create a video that would “represent what our returning soldiers are going through with PTSD,” the sun-drenched and dusty piece shows the innocent war games of children being savagely broken by real violence, and recalls the long and pitiable tradition of enlisting drummer boys in times of war. [Pitchfork]
NPR’s First Listen, the weekly smorgasbord of new music streams, today treats us with Toro Y Moi’s What For? and The Mountain Goats’ Beat the Champ, Say Lou Lou’s Lucid Dreaming, as well as a handful of others we can’t wait to bite into. Bless you, First Listen, for this ceaseless bounty of aural nourishment.
Aaron Jerome’s groovy, electronic project, SBTRKT, has released two new, diverse different tracks, “nO less” and “Roulette”, which arrive on the heels of last week’s discordant “FLAREtWO“. This sudden flurry of new music has lead to speculation about a larger work in the imminent future, even though his sophomore album, Wonder Where We Land, was released but six months ago. SBTRKT also currently has a zoetrope installation on display at Miami’s Sagamore Hotel. The piece, titled “SBTRKTOSCOPE”, is a physical sculpture, representing a moment from the “New Dorp. New York.” music video come to life. See it come to life in this awesome Vine. [Pigeons & Planes]
In a victory for common decency and good taste, Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both banned the much maligned selfie-stick. If this news upsets any narcissists out there, Brooklyn Vegan points out that Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo still have no such bans (yet), so get your selfies in while you still can.
If you’re already having award show withdrawal, don’t fret. Gospel’s Stellar Awards will air on this weekend’s Easter Sunday (April 5) on TVOne, and will feature a performance by Destiny’s Child. [That Grape Juice] Then, on May 17, the Billboard Music Awards return to ABC, with hosts Ludacris and model Chrissy Teigen (we, too, are curious how many bad jokes will be squeezed out of “Ludachrissy Teigen” between now and then).
Come back tomorrow for more Music Dispatch.