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Venues of America: An Oral History of The Middle East


Tucked away on a street corner in crowded Cambridge, Massachusetts is The Middle East—a restaurant-turned-venue that now hosts shows on a nearly daily basis in any of its three rooms. With the recent acquisition of the neighboring building and the construction of the venue Sonia, The Middle East has upped its game once again. A watering hole for the thousands of college students in the area, it is known best for its club nights in the Downstairs venue, hosting three- and four-band bills in the Upstairs, electronic shows at Sonia—and, perhaps most importantly, its reputation for hosting small acts before they make it big. We sat down with a few members of the team—Ned, Alex, Aaron, and Jake—and talked about the shows, the history, and the reason why The Middle East is so important to the music scene in the greater Boston area.

Cliché: Tell me about your first days working at The Middle East. What’s changed since then? What’s stayed the same? What drew you towards the venue to begin with?

Ned, Booking Manager: I’m not going first.

Alex, Upstairs Booking Agent: I started in 2015, doing door and coat check. Around mid-2016, Ned got hired as the booking manager and then he hired me as the upstairs booking agent […] We’ve had a lot of staff that’s changed since then. But, I guess what drew me here was, that I just graduated college—I went to Berklee College of Music—and my old boss at the Berklee Performance Center, his wife was working door here, and she hired me to do door. I was really excited to just work at a music venue, somewhere that live music happens all the time. And I was really interested in concert promotion already, so it worked out well.

We have a lot of different rooms and a lot of different things going on. Getting a hold of all that is overwhelming, but it’s awesome.

Aaron, Sonia Booking Agent: I started as an independent promoter working with Ned about three or four years ago. We had a company together […] I graduated from college and they offered me a job as a talent buyer, and Ned offered me here a job, as well. That was for Sonia, which is the newest venue here, so I’d say that’s definitely the biggest change. When I came on I started in Zuzu, the smaller room, and then Sonia was built. So, I started two Februarys ago and Sonia opened up March. And then another change with that is that we opened without a liquor license, but now we got it in January.

Jake, P.R. & Marketing: Some of the early days are similar to Aaron. I started out working with Ned, five plus years ago. Eventually, I started P.R. and marketing here, about a year ago […] We have a lot of different rooms and a lot of different things going on. Getting a hold of all that is overwhelming, but it’s awesome. Things that drew me towards this is just going to shows as a kid, and to college. Just the opportunity to work at a live music venue is awesome.

Ned: I started throwing shows here in 2004. I had gone to shows here as a kid—I shouldn’t say as a kid, as a teenager, before I started my own—and I was drawn here because of the hip-hop scene. I started off as a hip-hop promoter, so I used to go to shows here as a hip-hop fan. And then after college I started wanting to throw my own shows, and I started throwing my shows here. As a promoter, I gradually got an in-house job working at the club, and now I’m manager 15 years later—14 years later. What’s changed? The music really. Different genres of music. The type of hip-hop that I book now… I mean it’s always changing […] Sonia is a new development that used to be T.T. The Bear’s […] The Middle East bought the building. Then we renovated that room and made a brand new room. So that’s probably the biggest change. The music and then the renovation of the new room.

Venues of America: An Oral History of The Middle East: Image courtesy of Lilly Milman

From left to right: Alex, Lionel (who walked in moments after the interview), Ned, Aaron, Jake / Photo courtesy of Lilly Milman

Do you miss the old music?

Ned: I mean, we still do some of it. […] I miss doing a lot more of the music I like. But that’s just the harsh reality of the business. Music changes and things change, and you don’t necessarily agree with it. But as a promoter, you kind of just have to roll with it.

What have some of your favorite memories been working at the venue? Your worst memories?

Jake: I guess some of the favorite memories I have are doing shows with people we’re fans of. So, for instance, Vince Staples was here and I’m a huge fan of Vince Staples. But also that could go both ways. If you’re a big fan of the artist and you get to meet them and they don’t live up to your expectations, and they are the complete opposite of what you think they would be.

I won’t make you name drop.

Alex: I feel the same way as Jake.

Aaron: Yeah, I do, too.

Ned: Wait, what was the question? What is your favorite memory?

Alex: I bet you have a lot.

Ned: Favorite memory… that’s going to take a second… We’ve had a lot of surprise performances. I think that might be my favorite. We did a show with Scarface, and DMX just randomly showed up. I had done a show with Slaine and Ill Bill, back in the day, and Everlast randomly showed up. Stuff like that is really some of my fondest memories. And the comedy of working here everyday, I really appreciate it. There’s a lot of colorful people. Interactions with all the different colorful people and their personalities are some of my favorite memories. Worst memory… Let’s see…

We could move on, if you want to think about it.

Ned: We’ll have to backtrack to that one. I’m trying to compile 15 years of information, we’ll go back to that.

Venues of America: An Oral History of The Middle East: Image courtesy of Lilly Milman

Photo courtesy of Lilly Milman

What would you describe as the main differences between the Upstairs and Downstairs?

Alex: I mean, it starts with the size of the room, for sure. The Downstairs is 550 capacity and the Upstairs is 185. I feel like something they have in common is that, no matter where you are in the room, you’re close to the stage. And both rooms are intimate enough to stand out from other venues.

Jake: I guess, for the Downstairs, the energy is more contained. It’s a basement, so the vibes just get a little crazier down there. Upstairs is, you know, open.

Ned: They’re both intimate places. They’re both great places to see shows. You can’t really compare them because of the size, so the type of shows that are in there are different […] What’s great about them is they’re a lot of people’s first play in the city, before people get big. We’ve had gigantic artists like Machine Gun Kelly. He’s played the Upstairs. It’s cool to have that memory, of like, I saw him play in front of 200 people. These other great acts have played downstairs. Eminem played downstairs. That’s kind of what makes those rooms greats […] The downstairs in particular because it’s low ceilings and it’s packed and it’s in a basement […] It’s pretty intense if it’s packed. Did we talk about Sonia at all? We should probably talk about Sonia a little bit.

We’ve had gigantic artists like Machine Gun Kelly. He’s played the Upstairs. It’s cool to have that memory, of like, I saw him play in front of 200 people.

Yeah definitely, we can talk about it.

Ned: Let Aaron talk about Sonia.

Aaron: I think Sonia is much different because it’s brand new, it’s very clean, it’s very sterile, almost. You know, like, it hasn’t been beaten up yet, whereas the other rooms have been here for decades. So there’s a huge difference. Sonia has very high ceilings, which is obviously much different than the Downstairs. The sound and the lighting is much more comprehensive. There’s a lot more going on there because it’s designed more for electronic music, so they need more production to keep people more focused—as opposed to live acts that don’t want to be distracted by a bunch of lights. But it actually, capacity wise, fits right in between the Up and Down. So, Up is 2, Sonia is 350, Down is 550. It fits in nicely with the circuit, but it’s a much different room.

Ned: It’s more like a club. We do all things in it, but it’s got more of a club vibe.

Do you guys have a favorite of the venues?

Alex: I personally love the vibe of—like, if we’re talking about sold-out shows—like sold-out Downstairs shows are really just a fun feeling. The room itself definitely, like Jake was saying, kind of contains all the excitement. But there’s just so many things happening in one place.

Ned: Downstairs for me, for sure, because I have so much history there. The best shows I’ve ever thrown are Downstairs. I mean, Upstairs is great, but the Downstairs… that’s my best memories.

Jake: Same, I would choose the Downstairs.

Aaron: Downstairs. Can’t beat it.

Venues of America: An Oral History of The Middle East: Featured image courtesy of Jess Benjamin/Scout Cambridge

Photo courtesy of Jess Benjamin/Scout Cambridge

Do you think having different venues within one building distinguishes the Middle East from other venues? Do you consider them different venues?

Ned: I think it’s pretty awesome that we have that because not a lot of places have that. Nothing in the city that’s like this. We’re kinda like an independent entertainment complex. Actually, that’s what we are. They’re different venues. It’s one building, but it’s different rooms. I consider each room a venue. I don’t think that’s the draw to this place though. The draw is the artists. If the artists are playing here, people are gonna come see the bands. And the location, […] Central Square… Being in a convenient location, and the history here, and all the staff—everyone who works here—that’s what the draw is. And what makes this place unique. The fact that it’s been here for 40 years. It started off as a restaurant and it expanded into this […] There’s nothing like this in the country. I’ve had tour managers that come through here and they’re like “there’s nothing like this.”

What would you say is the mission statement of the venue?

Alex: I feel like I would just say we’re open to everyone. We’re welcome to all kinds of music and all kinds of people.

Ned: We love everybody.

Aaron: Make yourself at home.

Ned: I think that’s really the mission statement. This is a home for artists to come, for patrons to come, listen to great music, eat some good food, and have a great time […] It’s a family business, and that’s what they care about. The owners really care about people and they really love the people, and they love being hospitable.

Alex: I think what really distinguishes us from other venues is that it’s a family-run business. It’s not corporate whatsoever. We’re the only private music venue in the city.


Ned: Did you say private?

Alex: Not private—independent, sorry.

This is a home for artists to come, for patrons to come, listen to great music, eat some good food, and have a great time

What are some memorable performances you’ve seen here?

Aaron: When I first moved here, I saw Zed’s Dead in the basement. They’re, like, huge, you know—they’re a House of Blues act now. And then, another show after, Feed Me—who’s also another House of Blues act. I saw those shows back-to-back and those were my first two shows in Boston as an adult. It’s what introduced me to dance music, which is now my job.

Alex: Like, the second day I started working here, I saw Thundercat in the downstairs. I just remember not realizing until that exact moment, like, how lucky I was to be working here. And to be around all this stuff. I think that’s something that will stick with me for awhile.

Jake: What sticks out to me is that we did Logic upstairs, like four or five years ago. That was just an awesome show and to see where he’s gone now is, like, insane. That show was a 185 cap.

Ned: I have a few. I mean, Kendrick Lamar. The biggest thing about doing Kendrick Lamar downstairs was that it wasn’t a big deal at all. I mean it was cool, but it wasn’t even a sold out show.

Do you remember how long ago that was?

Ned: Let me look it up. It might still be on TicketWeb…

Alex: I don’t even think I knew that.

Aaron: I didn’t know that.

Ned: 2011.

I just remember not realizing until that exact moment, like, how lucky I was to be working here. And to be around all this stuff.

So that was, like, pretty recent.

Ned: It was before he dropped—it was around like his second album. Before M.A.A.D City. We did that show. It wasn’t, like, a crazy, memorable show, until after the fact. Looking back on it… I mean he did a great job, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t like… It was ahead of its time. But looking back on it, I’d say it’s pretty crazy. Talib Kweli, probably. He had a complete meltdown with the sound man. If we’re talking about one of my worst experiences, that’s one of them.

Wait, can you describe that in more detail?

Ned: Talib Kweli and the sound guy went at it. Onstage. And in the middle of the show. In front of a sold-out crowd. I had to go up on there and break up the argument and the sound guy walked out. Talib, like, walked off the stage. I had to get everybody back on stage. And people were flipping out. Luckily, the show went on. I will say that was a bad experience.

So, you’re not afraid to name drop.

Ned: Nope.

Aaron: I mean that’s pretty out there, everyone knows about that.

Ned: What else was a good show? DJ Premier vs. Pete Rock. For me, as a fan, growing up with those guys… That was a great show. And they’ve never done that before. They both DJed on stage, playing each others music. For a hip hop fan from my era, that was pretty intense […] Something like the early plays, like The Lupe Fiasco playing early in my career, that was big. Wiz Khalifa. Wiz Khalifa and Yelawolf together. That was a show. That was crazy. A$AP Rocky […] That was one of the crazier shows because they were just slam dancing like crazy. I think I answered enough there…

Are there any big changes in store for The Middle East in the near future? Any big plans?

Ned: Like I said, Sonia—that was the biggest change. That was a big change we’re just getting through. That opened a year ago and it didn’t have a liquor license for like… how long?

Alex: 6 months?

Jake: Almost a year.

Aaron: It was April to January.

Ned: End of January. So basically February. So that was a difficult thing because we had a new venue open, Sonia, with no liquor license. And in this business that’s rough.

Why did it take so long?

Ned: Just due process of the city. There was a lot of laws about— The previous owner had it and she had so much time to sell it— We had to wait to go through the due process. That was a really tough experience, but we got through it and now Sonia is up and running. and doing great business, and has great shows. So, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.


Read more Music Articles on ClicheMag.com.
Venues of America: An Oral History of The Middle East: Featured image courtesy of Jess Benjamin/Scout Cambridge

The Most Influential Album Releases of 2017


No matter how much hype an album gets in the moment, it’s easy to forget about it once the next one comes out. But here at Cliché, we are firm believers in giving credit where it is due. As 2017 comes to an end, it’s important to remember that in the midst of all the madness, we were truly blessed with some amazing releases in every genre from hip-hop to rock to pop. To make choosing your favorite album of 2017 just a bit easier, we rounded up a list of all the most influential album releases of 2017.



I See You by the xx
Genre: Indie Rock/Dream Pop

The third studio album from the dream-pop power-duo, I See You marked the return of the band after a four-year hiatus. After years of uncertainty, I See You ushered in an era of creative stability for the xx, exploring countless new sounds to much critical acclaim.

Year in Review: Top Singles of 2017


One of the best ways to remember a certain period in your life is by listening to music from that time. As the year comes to a close, it’s inevitable that we begin reminiscing about the past and planning for the future. All in all, 2017 was a great year for popular music; we saw new faces, old favorites, and new twists on classic pop conventions. We’ve rounded up a list of the top single from the first week of every month to help you remember the good, the bad, and everything in between from the past year. Enjoy the newest installment of our series Year in Review: Top Singles of 2017.



“Starboy” – The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk

The titular track of The Weeknd’s third studio album, “Starboy” started the year off on a soulful note, with his signature electro-pop R&B tones and catchy lyrics.

5 Artists You Must See at Coachella


Brace yourselves, Coachella-spam is coming. You know what I mean, where it just so happens all your social feeds will have some kind of mention of the famous annual Indio Coachella Music Festival. Weekend one is fast approaching and excuse me while I mention, this is my first year attending! Whether you’re heading to the festival or heading back home for couch-chella, here are five artists at Coachella you (and I) need to see:


  1. Hans Zimmer

    I don’t even think I need an explanation for this. At first, it’s an odd name to even see on the lineup. I can’t even imagine what his set will be like. I’m assuming a whole lot of people in the crowd going, “I KNOW THIS MOVIE!” It’s a nice unconventional addition to the lineup, that’s for sure.

  2. Kendrick Lamar

    With his recently released tracks, you KNOW Kendrick is about to put on one hell of a show as he always does. This will be my first time seeing him perform live but from what I see on television and via YouTube, I can’t wait. Here’s to hoping he’ll drop even more new music. 
  3. Lorde

    Lorde’s been hiding for quite some time. Her album Heroine dropped in 2013 and since then, we’ve only heard a few tracks here and there such as “Yellow Flicker Beat” in Hunger Games. New year, new music for Lorde. With her new songs “Green Light” and “Liability” out now, I’m prepared to cry IRL.

  4. Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga’s performance during the Super Bowl was pretty epic, to say the least. It was a whole 15-20 minutes (however long it was) of pure singing and medleys with JUST HER. No one else came to join her and I was content. Now I  just need to witness this live.

  5. Majid Jordan

    This is more for me to make a mental note but also a way for me to get Majid Jordan’s name out there for everyone to know about. The last few months, I’ve been obsessed with the duo that make up Majid Jordan who give off a JMSN meets The Weeknd vibe.

Read more Music articles at ClicheMag.com.
5 Artists You Must See at Coachella. Photo Credit: Official Coachella Website

Grammys 2016: Highlights and Winners


This is the Grammy’s!
There was every reason for Twitter to be on fire last night, as its feed blew up with favorite looks from the red carpet, performances of the night, and the anticipation and excitement for Lady Gaga’s tribute for the late David Bowie at the 58th Grammy Awards in the Staples Center. If you didn’t watch the Grammy’s last night, you seriously missed out. The night did not disappoint by any means as it was filled with hair-rising performances with top artists like Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt. Grammy’s Host LL Cool J couldn’t have said it better: “This is the Grammy’s. This is where the people sing for real.” And for real, it was quite the show, but for those of you who missed out, Cliché’s sharing some of our favorite moments, and naturally, the awards of the night with you.

Taylor Swift - Kevin Winter, Wire Image

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Winter | Wire Image

The very first act of the night was Taylor Swift who slayed “Out of the Woods” in a stunning, sparkly jumpsuit and a blunt bob.
Kendrick Lamar - CBS Local Inc.

Photo Courtesy of CBS Local Inc.

Best Rap Album: “To Pimp A Butterfly” Kendrick Lamar
Sam Hunt & Carrie Underwood - Kevin Winter, Wire Image

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Winter | Wire Image

The next round of performances included a mix of Carrie Underwood’s “Heart Beat” and Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” which was mighty fine, and we’re not just talking about the two’s singing. Following behind them was The Weeknd whose show was a heart-melting collaboration of “Can’t Feel My Face” and “In The Night,” and then, Andra Day and Ellie Goulding presented a duet with “Rise Up” and “Love Me Like You Do” that was one of the many #micdrop’s of the night.
Chris Stapleton - Robyn Beck, AFP, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Best Country Album: “Traveller” Chris Stapleton
Tribute to Lionel Richie - Robyn Beck, AFP, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

The third set comprised of John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor, and Tyrese Gibson who did a fun and heartfelt tribute dedicated to Lionel Richie, who later joined the artists on stage to sing “All Night Long,” which comprised of songs like “Easy,” “Hello,” “Penny Lover,” “You Are,” and “Brick House.” Little Big Town took the stage afterward with their song “Girl Crush,” which was nominated for “Song of the Year.” Then the talented Pentatonix and Stevie Wonder sang an a capella version of “That’s The Way Of The World” in honor of Maurice White. Might we just add their harmonious tunes were raw, beautiful and just plain perfect – as expected.
Ed Sheeran - CBS Local Inc.

Photo Courtesy of CBS Local Inc.

Song of the Year: “Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran (As excited as we were for Ed, we can’t help but feel that Taylor was a little more excited – just a little more.)
Kendrick Lamar - Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images for NARAS

Photo Courtesy of Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images 

Midway through the show, The Eagles played “Take It Easy” in honor and farewell to their founder and lead guitarist Glenn Frey; meanwhile, Tori Kelly and James Bay followed after with a mashup of “Hollow” and “Let It Go” that gave us goosebumps on the arms and chills up our spines! Not to mention, they’d make quite the couple, don’t you think? Then Hamilton, a hip-hop Broadway play, made its way to the stage with a dynamite act, and Kendrick Lamar finished with a firing rap and performance – we mean that literally and metaphorically – of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright.”
Hamilton - CBS Local Inc.

Photo Courtesy of CBS Local Inc.

Best Musical Theater Album: Hamilton
Alabama Shakes - CBS Local Inc.

Photo Courtesy of CBS Local Inc.

Best Rock Performance: “Don’t Wanna Fight” Alabama Shakes
Adele - Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times

Photo Courtesy of Robert Gauthier | Los Angeles Times

One of the few artists that sounds as beautiful live as she does in her records (regardless of some early on technical difficulties), the lovely Adele sang an emotional “All I Ask,” a single from her new album 25. The following act featured Justin Bieber with Skrillex and Diplo of Jack U and left us feeling a little uncomfortable as we watched an awkward acoustic version of “Love Yourself,” and then a futuristic mix of “Where Are U Now” with some dance moves that were interesting, to say the least. (Sorry, Biebs!)
Meghan Trainor - CBS Local Inc.

Photo Courtesy of CBS Local Inc.

Best New Artist: Meghan Trainor (the cutest and sweetest winner of the night)
Lady Gaga - Robyn Beck, AFP, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Nearing the end of the night, the long-awaited tribute of the night was well-worth it as Lady Gaga’s collaboration with Intel wowed the audience and viewers at home with its entertaining and well-thought out arrangement of songs like “Changes,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fashion,” and “Let’s Dance” to name a few. The late David Bowie would have been honored and proud of no questions asked.
Alabama Shakes - Matt Sayles, Invision, Associated Press

Photo Courtesy of Matt Sayles | Invision | Associated Press

Afterwards, Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr. nailed their performance in honor of B.B. King, and Alabama Shakes’ “Don’t Wanna Fight” created a fierce presence on stage, and we’re not just talking about Brittany Howard’s lips or her awesome white cape. Later, The Hollywood Vampires featuring Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp, which we’re curious: were we the only ones that didn’t know about Johnny Depp being in a band?! Last but not least, the youngest nominee, 12-years-old to be exact, Joey Alexander took the stage with an astounding piano performance that made us sit back and contemplate where we might have gone wrong with our lives.
Taylor Swift - Matt Sayles, Associated Press

Photo Courtesy of Matt Sayles | Invision | Associated Press

Album of the Year: Taylor Swift (#GirlBoss of the night! Taylor’s speech was short, sweet and a total knockout. Kayne, suits you right.)
Bruno Mars - Matt Sayles, Invision, AP

Photo Courtesy of Matt Sayles | Invision | Associated Press

Record of the Year: Bruno Mars
The 58th Grammy’s Award closed with a bang featuring Travis Barker, Joe Perry, Robin Thicke and the ever passionate Pitbull with his song “Taxi.”
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Grammys 2016: Highlights and Winners: Featured Image: Photo Courtesy of Robert Gauthier | Los Angeles Times

Artists Should Learn From Wilco’s Surprise Album Release


For years now, media companies such as NPR, Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Consequence Of Sound have been promoting early-access album streams for fans to get a full preview of new music from the bands they love. This is beneficial for artists and the blogs; the artists get more exposure and the blogs get pageviews. Then, in December 2013 Beyonce came in and disrupted the whole system with a surprise album release.
We’re getting used to it now. Artists such as J Cole, D’Angelo, Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, and Wilco have all released albums on a surprise date this year, with more likely to come from Kanye West and Rihanna. This has been a great marketing strategy for most of these artists—it builds a ton of hype and sends fans and new listeners alike flocking to Spotify to hear what all the talk is about. However, it’s also shaking the music industry and forcing us to rethink how we consume music and how it should be promoted.
Friday, July 17 was a perfect example of those two worlds colliding. It was supposed to be Tame Impala’s big day. The band’s highly anticipated album Currents was set to come out after what seemed like an endless media frenzy including three early released singles, a number of long-form features trying to explain the perfectionism behind frontman Kevin Parker, and the group’s album going up for streaming a week ahead of time on NPR. Yet, when Friday came around, the headlines shifted. Seemingly out of nowhere, Wilco dropped their ninth studio album, Star Wars, for free download, stealing the attention for themselves.
Both strategies are totally legitimate, but Wilco’s approach was more convenient for the consumer and gets it out to as many people as possible.
The music industry is just shooting itself in the foot with these media wars. Taylor Swift still makes headlines about how her music isn’t on Spotify. Tidal and Apple Music are trying to gather up exclusive artists when all that really does is exclude people searching for new music. Neil Young is pulling his catalog from nearly all streaming services over some misguided mission about audio quality when he could be reaching a younger audience. We can argue about whether or not all music should be free, but there’s no doubt it should be available.
Music is more available than ever before, but it used to be so simple. A widely talked about  album could be picked up at any store, more obscure CDs could be picked up at your local record store or online. Now that the expectation is instant access to all music, it’s frustrating when the artist you input into the search bar doesn’t show up immediately. We bicker over which store pays the most, has the best sound quality, has the best mobile interface or the best radio service, and we should, but access should not be the issue. All it’s doing is hurting the artists and the fans who just want to hear good music.
From now on, can’t we just release an album everywhere? Why bother putting it up on NPR First Listen a week in advance? It just stands to shut out those who don’t listen to music on their laptops and confuses the whole timing of the release. Plus, NPR’s media player frustrated me because I can’t see what track I’m on.
Drake, I know you signed a deal with Apple, but your “Energy” video would get so many more hits on YouTube and spread your music to more ears. Apple Music touched 11 million subscribers in less than a month, but Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” music video touts 184 million views on YouTube.

“We consider ourselves lucky to be in the position to give you this music free of charge, but we do so knowing not every band, label or studio can do the same. Much of the ‘music business’ relies on physical sales to keep the lights on and the mics up. Without that support, well, it gets tougher and tougher to make it all work.”
The band went on to list some of its recent favorite albums and encourage fans to buy them. That’s a move that understands how to grow an audience rather than corner it off, and I wish artists with that level of influence would do it more.
Let’s do away with early access to streaming albums. Let’s do away with fights over exclusive content. I know everyone is worried about how all of these new streaming services are paying artists (and they should be worried), but the most important question should be how many people are listening. Everything else will fall into place.
Read more music articles at ClicheMag.com
Images courtesy of Consequence of Sound and Vulture. Arranged on befunky.com.

Jimmy Fallon & Anne Hathaway Give Rap Songs A Touch Of Broadway


On last night’s episode of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon put a Broadway spin on some popular rap songs, during his “History of  Rap” medley series. He was accompanied by famous actress Anne Hathaway, as she belted out the lyrics to some of today’s more hard core rap songs, Broadway style. Jimmy played the piano during the four-minute medley that included hits from Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Snopp Dogg and more.  The skit could only truly be described in one word, HILARIOUS. Jimmy Fallon & Anne Hathaway give rap songs a touch of Broadway, and the collaboration was not only entertaining, but they may have just started a trend in late night television. Although the skit was meant for pure comedy purposes the two actually sounded kind of good together, singing curse words and harsh lyrics to a jazzy Broadway tune. Hopefully other celebs sign on to sing these Broadway style rap songs and create some more memorable comedic skits. After watching last night’s performance I know I would be a prime viewer. Keep bringing the funny to late night television Jimmy!
Just in case you missed the hilarious performance, it is linked below and you can watch it over and over again if you please. Prepare to laugh!
Hilarious Rap Medley
(Featured Image courtesy of lovebscott.com)
(Featured Video courtesy of Youtube.com)