Category Archives: Music

Taylor Swift is a (rich) dinosaur. Spotify’s an asteroid.

Stephen Kellogg et al.

In case lesser issues have distracted you: Taylor Swift recently removed all of her songs from Spotify, which streams recordings. She complained that Spotify didn’t pay her a sufficient amount for each time someone listened to one of her songs. At this point in her career she can maximize her income by reducing her music’s availability, thereby encouraging sales of CDs and viewings of videos. This is a business practice that the Beatles follow, too. Conversely, Led Zeppelin recently calculated that they could make more money by releasing their albums on Spotify, so they did.

Swift dressed up this decision with specious appeals to valuing art (although she made millions of dollars each year from streaming), and this posturing has garnered more press and less derision than it deserves.

Nonetheless, my aim here is a bit different: to explore the consequences of streaming for listeners. Continue reading


GGC’s alma mater: My losing song

While a faculty member at Georgia Gwinnett College, I entered a contest to compose its alma mater. That was more than a year ago, and, after a long and mysterious silence, the college has announced its two finalists. You can find them here. My entry isn’t one of them. Here it is:

We’ll Paint Tomorrow Greendownload or click below to play:

My approach was that an alma mater written today should have a more contemporary sound than one written a century ago and that it should have a melody that people will be able to sing (unlike the national anthem), enjoy singing (unlike most alma maters), and sound good singing en masse. Basically, “Hey Jude” was my model. Continue reading

Purton Hupp

Purton Hupp doesn’t like to talk much, and even less about himself. Now, singing is another thing altogether. I’ve spent enough time with the man to know that his music is like waves noisily crashing against the shore. It’s easy to forget there’s a whole ocean behind it.

Still, I’ve learned a bit from the man. I hope he doesn’t mind my sharing some of it here:

  • Crickets don’t tweak their songs. The leaves don’t tweak their rustling.
  • If it weren’t for bosses, no one would sing about trains.
  • Love is like a hurricane in the desert.
  • If you’re proud of feeling zen, then you might be ashamed of feeling pain.
  • Jokers are wild by nature. Most people prefer to play without them and don’t miss them when they aren’t in the deck.

Now you can listen to Purton break – sometimes against a cliff, sometimes on the rocks, and too seldom across the sand.