Sufjan Stevens Reflects on God and Death on ‘Carrie & Lowell’

Sufjan Stevens’ new album is an honest, emotional look at loss, faith and lament. Read More

Musician Andrew Huang enjoys a challenge. For his latest YouTube jam, he used only parts of car tires and wheels to create the catchiest tune ever recorded in an auto-shop. It’s as weird and as cool as it sounds ... Discuss

On Monday afternoon, Jay-Z and a host of other famous musicians (Kanye, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Madonna, Jack White, Chris Martin, Jason Aldean, Alicia Keys, members of Arcade Fire, Rihanna and more) introduced their new artist-owned streaming service, Tidal at a press conference in New York City. The press conference didn’t give much information that wasn’t already out there, with the group re-affirming their dedication to “re-establish the value of music” and “create a better experience for both fans and artists.”

So what sets Tidal apart from other streaming services? First and foremost, the emphasis seems to be on the artists themselves, giving them more direct control over their content. Many of the artists involved have spoken out against how free streaming services such as Spotify pay artists, and though Tidal offers a free 30-day trial, users have to pay to keep a subscription—either $9.99/month or $19.99/month—which will allow Tidal to pay artists double the standard streaming royalties. The more expensive of the two offers higher sound quality than the usual compressed format, which is apparently one of the other things that sets Tidal apart from other streaming services. It will also offer hi-def videos and “expertly curated” editorial and playlists.

A lot of high-profile musicians have expressed support for the service, but it remains to be seen whether record companies (which, as The New York Times points out, often control music distribution rights) and fans will get on board... Discuss

This afternoon (at 5:00 p.m.), Jay-Z will announce the details of his relaunch of the streaming music service Tidal, but he’s already got the support of some very high-profile fellow artist. A video tweeted out this morning shows that Jack White, Beyonce, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Usher, Madonna and Chris Martin are among the artists evidently involved in the #TIDALforALL campaign. A handful of major artists have also changed their profile pictures to Tidal-blue squares as part of the launch day promotion.

Though details about what will differentiate Tidal from streaming competitors like Spotify are still yet to be announced, Jay Z has said that it represents “a commitment to a new direction for the music industry from both a creative and business perspective.” This likely means better compensation for artists, which has been a point of contention for Spotify— Tidal currently doesn’t have a free version like Pandora or Spotify ... Discuss

The organizers of two of the summer’s biggest music festivals would like you to know that selfie sticks are not welcomed on their concert grounds. Lollapalooza and Coachella have officially banned attendees from bringing the ridiculous looking reach-extenders used to take pictures of yourself, or as this year’s Coachella Rules and Policies reads, "no selfie sticks/narcissistics." Thankfully, at most festivals, those hilarious giant head cutouts on a stick are still fair game ... Discuss

2015 New Music Guide

Exploring artists to watch out for and how the music industry is changing. Read More