The Manhattan Love Suicides on The Moon, The Lovely Eggs on Ubend and the Big Streaming Debate

The Manhattan Love Suicides on The Moon

The Manhattan Love Suicides are one of a number of bands formed by Darren Lockwood and Caroline McChrystal from Leeds in God's very own county. Since 1999, they have released lots of blistering rock n' roll as Pop Threat, The Manhattan Love Suicides, the poppier The Blanche Hudson Weekend and then as The Manhattan Love Suicides again.

Since 2013, they have also released seven singles/eps of electro pop as Girl One and the Grease Guns, previously featured on The Moon and now expanded to include the six new tracks they released in 2015. It is now 19 tracks of some of the best and most interesting music I have come across in the last couple of years.

I was aware that a new album from The Manhattan Love Suicides was due in 2015 and did check the usual places, but missed the release back in March via Bandcamp and on Vinyl. So, unlike their back catalogue, it is not on Spotify etc., but you can stream it for a limited number of times via Bandcamp and it is embedded below.

It is one of the albums of 2015 and just as blistering as their previous output, but with a bit more diversity of sound and a quality of song up there with Girl One and the Grease Guns.

Along with the new album, the last The Blanche Hudson Weekend album is also only streamable via Bandcamp. The limited streams model might well be a good way to get punters to then go and download from iTunes etc. More Heat! More Panic! is worth it and they have managed to keep most of it off Unbend etc....

Another great album of blistering rock n' roll from last year came from The Lovely Eggs. Their brilliant single Magic Onion is a highlight of A Best of 2015 on The Moon and here is my guff on them from the post:

"The single of the year so far from a great DIY group from Lancaster in Northern England. It is their third LP, and they have produced videos with John Shuttleworth and so how I had not heard of them until this year is a bit mysterious.

This track and the album is a bit of a step up, and I was all set to do a Moon post in the week of the album release - just post the election result, with a link to their excellent website, but though the album is on Spotify and Deezer in Blighty, only the Magic Onion single is streamable, which is a shame.

Magic Onion is the best track, but it is a great album. You can also sign up to their excellent newsletter and "Let the Hot Goss Roll"."

It turns out I could have done a post-election post as the album was fully streamable from their very own Ubend account

So, in Blighty only the singles are streamable in the usual places, but then the whole album is on Ubend - the most insecure of platforms…..

The Big Streaming Debate

Here is a very negative article on streaming from God Is In The TV - ‘Home Streaming is killing music’ – And the solution is hard to stomach 

However, the record industry has actually seen sales growth in 2015 for the first time in years thanks to a massive increase in streaming revenue. Here is an article from the ever excellent Mr Chu in The Independent on the subject -  David Bowie was right, the music industry is learning to live in a digital world 

In which he says that "the financial interests of the small artist are arguably more aligned with the record companies than those of the stars, who want to keep more of the surplus for themselves." and that the rise in streaming revenue might be able to "preserve the model of cross- investment of profits in smaller acts."

The criticism of the rates paid by Spotify and Deezer tend to miss the fact they have a free tier and a paid tier. In the God Is The TV article it is stated that an EP was played 450 times “on Bandcamp – without royalties and no sales via Bandcamp", but what we don't know is how many might have then gone and downloaded it via iTunes, as for most people that is the most convenient way to download, or used one of the many other download services. The same can be said for the Spotify and Deezer free streams, except here they pay out a slice of the advertising revenue - which may be a minuscule amount, but it is 100% more than Bandcamp or Soundcloud.

The tens of millions of paid subscribers on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Google Play, Xbox (Groove) music and others should generate the equivalent of an iTunes download with around 30-50 plays and any artist ought to hope that their fans would listen to their albums more than 50 times during a whole lifetime. Also, fans ought to be much more likely to listen to new material released by established bands and then appreciate it much more when it is played live.

Therefore, I would think it is best for artist/labels to make their music fully available on all the paid streaming services. Bandcamp is a great and secure way for unsigned and new bands to share and release music. Ubend and Soundcloud are the best platforms for sharing, but they are very insecure so it is best just to limit availability to "singles" and take down any "fan" uploads of any other tracks.

Taylor Swift might think she is standing up for all artists by not allowing her music on streaming services, but I suspect the real motive of her record company is to maximise profit in the short-term. The late great David Bowie did predict many years ago that "Music is going to be like running water or electricity” and his complete back catalogue is available on tap across all the paid streaming sites.  His career, and the way he approached death, showed that he was far more concerned with his legacy than any short-term profit.


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