We stared into the untempered schism and all we saw was this dodgy CSO effect

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Champiness
    October 7, 2015 @ 4:58 am

    As I was reading this earlier today Drake’s “Hotline Bling” came on the local top 40 radio station, and that strikes me as a similarly pivotal moment – first played alongside a bevy of other new songs on his Beats One show (including one of the opening volleys in the whole Meek Mill affair, itself a publicity victory basically won by default based on the goodwill of previous publicity victories), then disseminated through streaming services and essentially selected by the internet for chart ascendancy. If you go on the iTunes store right now it’s there on his page in a section titled “New Music” along with all the other Beats One-premiered tracks and an “Exclusive Mixtape Mastered For iTunes” with Future. It’s #1 in their singles listings and #3 on Billboard, where its run is likely just beginning. And it’s a genuinely good song, or at least conforms to the basic online standards of one – Best New Track on Pitchfork, tasteful sample whose identification was a story unto itself, easily and frequently covered by both big-name acts and amateurs. Apart from a slight hiccup in which Apple Music’s twitter feed misidentified it as a remix of a song Drake was apparently considering remixing, it was an immaculate rollout that gave the song an air of impregnability – irresistibility – that’s a surefire route to an abiding hit if you’ve got the resources to achieve it (ie, basically pull off every single victory I’ve described so far). Ordinarily we’d see this happen with a great deal of deliberation – a lead-up campaign assuring us of the single’s importance, something to get fans counting down (or, in the case of something like Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean”, a literal, authorized, day-by-day video countdown), maybe an awards show performance if the schedules line up. Then a big, effervescent burst on release day – the simultaneous release of a video, contests you can only participate in by Shazaming the song, maybe some additional shenanigans more directly connected with the nature of the release. Telegraphed far in advance, unavoidable before it even hits… and hopefully not, despite everyone’s best efforts, exhausting before it even hits (see Britney and Iggy Azalea’s “Pretty Girls”). Getting to the point where this works for a song is a long, elaborate, only somewhat reliable process. With “Hotline Bling” it seemed to be a casual side effect of Apple Music’s general efficiency. Within their overwhelming stream of immaculate content, a song just sort of “popped” into existence of sufficient catchiness and from a big enough name to become a pop hit, and listeners behaved as if it was only natural for them to make it one. It’s not that Drake sidestepped the “machine” in any sense. It’s just that he decided to make this run of between-album tracks a cog in the one that Apple’s running, and they’ve made a far more efficient use of it than it would have found elsewhere.
    And importantly, “Hotline Bling” is indeed only a small part of the deluge that Apple Music has made an initiative to create. Compton had similar origins, of course, though that was obviously earmarked for the success it achieved from early on; more broadly, they’ve set out to “curate” a wide variety of acts who are similarly difficult to argue against. Based on the Pitchfork headlines I read it’s easier to assume an artist you see on there has a Beats One show than not; indeed, the sphere of inviolability they’re generating has an obvious precedent in Pitchfork’s carefully managed (but always, at any given time, too imperceptibly broad to get a handle on) list of “approved” acts. It’s easy to imagine this vision taken to some dizzily utopian (from Apple’s perspective, anyway) endpoint – all of music essentially under the purview of Apple, every artist free to indulge their whims to the delight of a supportive public. As it stands now, though, they’ve got their first hit single, a counterpart to their first #1 album with Dre. It remains to be seen whether it can carry that momentum to less likely victories, but entertaining the though gives me a similar mixture of wonder and apprehension as the piece up above – there’s a undeniable sense that this, in some sense, works better that what’s come before, but to what end? Who will and won’t be invited to the celebration Apple’s throwing? It’s remains unclear – quite unlike “Hotline Bling”, where it’s quite clear that Drake’s stuck in a luxurious outside, alone with an instrumental that sounds uncannily like the Wii Shop Channel music.


  2. Essay writing help at Essayhelpdeal.co.uk
    May 21, 2016 @ 11:45 am

    Apple gives the retards something simple to utilize. Mac dumbs PCs down so that individuals who don’t know anything about PCs can like themselves for owning one. Despite the fact that they pay more for Apple over Windows for a second rate machine. Apple has never had a unique thought. They began with PC (which everybody was making once upon a time) and proceeded onward to rip off the mp3 player with an iPod. After 5 billion distinctive nano or some other poop iPods they choose to rip off the tablet thought presented my Microsoft in 2002 and discharge the ipad which everybody climaxes over and craps their jeans.


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