d'angelo

Music for the Weekend: The Charade by D’Angelo and the Vanguard.

First of all let me express my distaste for the new Tumblr HTML editor. What used to be intuitive and simple has now become overly complicated and now tied into corporate partnerships. I despise this new format, which seems to be discouraging content creation and propagating content sharing. Well if it keeps getting more and more convuluted as to how to create original content, then pretty soon we won’t have content to share. Please take note of this, Marissa Meyer.

I’ve been wanting to post this song for some time, as it was my shared No.1 Album of 2014, but rather than uploading a track as I’ve done for the past five years, I now have to use a streaming service like Spotify to get the music I want out. I don’t understand this. I don’t profit from posting music, I don’t get any kind of ad revenue, and I am promoting an artist to a Tumblr following that is 67k strong. I only see positives for the artists and the platform in that scenario. This seems more like a backhanded cash grab if you ask me.

This seems symptomatic of our times, that we’re willing to forego the most elegant solution in the name of making a few cents more, becuase Wall Street demands that Yahoo Inc. beat its expectations by a penny every quarter. Tumblr as an experience has had a decline since its aquisition, as there is more native advertising, significantly less “objectionable” content, and the aforementioned changes to the platform that make it just more difficult to create original content.

Eveyone has a right to make money, but in my mind it should be done without regression. Quality must not suffer in the name of profitability, which is happening across the board in the corporate world. Cheaper materials, outsourced manufacturing, corners cut - the short term gains are there but the long term longevity has been thrown out the window. It’s basically digging your own grave, but executives don;t give a shit becuase they’re not about the futute, they’re about meeting expecations now. Grab everything you can now, becuase it can’t sustain and this ship is sinking. Classing Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady is a thing of the past.

We need to slow it down becuase we’re not able to keep up. Emphasize quality over quantity. Accept that we won’t make a billion dollars tomorrow, but if we stay dedicated to our vision then it will pay dividends. Apple Computer is the perfect example, as people seem to think the company emerged overnight into the global juggernaut that it is. The company’s been around for over three decades, and really only hit its stride in the past ten years. Steve Jobs said it himself: “Most overnight successes took a really long time.”

D’Angelo took forever to come out with a new record. Voodoo was one of the best records I’d ever heard and I was dying to hear more, but you can’t rush genius. Life has to happen. Experience cultivated. Feelings hurt. Then you can come out and record a modern masterpiece like BLACK MESSIAH. And you will reap the rewards, and you will have created a legacy of excellence and vision, which is far more important than meeting a quarterly expectation. You make a living, you contribute to the overall fabric of human experience, and you dedicate yourself to quality. You never regress. You progress always.

Have a great weekend.

10

These are the 13 best protest artists of our generation

This has been a hard year, and the Top 40 has largely failed to provide the music our culture needs to address the issues that are facing us. But luckily some musicians aren’t just playing for entertainment — there are some musicians who aren’t concerned with charting; musicians making vital, expressive and necessary music.

These are the 13 greatest protest singers of our time — the voices that might finally make the change we so desperately need.

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D’Angelo & The Vanguard - The Charade (2015)