Page 18

music

18 | EXPRESS | 08.14.2019 | WEDNESDAY

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK

CHRIS RICHARDS | THE WASHINGTON POST

STRAT SS ILLU SS//E EXPRE IMAGE

be fo or visitors come to YouTube for rdin ng music each month, according ming g to Google. As the streaming e, a wars rage into the future, nde ed site that never really intended rm to become a music platform mo ost accidentally became our most visited, most variegated music platform. YouTube isn’t just an A.V. jukebox loaded with industrymanufactured studio recordings. It is a user-generated content platform, which means it’s brimming with bootlegs, outtakes, live performances, interviews and more. The sound quality is all over the place, and so is the music. YouTube has Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem at the NBA Finals, and Joni Mitchell playing the dulcimer on the BBC, and live performance footage of hundreds of hardcore bands blasting through VHS hiss. I’ll always remember the thrill of landing on a swatch of camcorder footage featuring the California rapper Suga Free making casual magic in an undisclosed dining room circa 1995. It remains one of

GET T Y

Here’s when we’ll know the future came and went: Nostalgic songs about listening to the radio will be long dead, and in their place, romantics will sing about the sublime pleasures of listening to music on YouTube. If that sounds weird, go ask someone younger than you how they listen to their favorite songs. That’s what I do whenever I’m invited to speak to a group of high school students, and for the past five years, I’ve gotten the same answer: YouTube is the go-to spot, and it isn’t even close. Not Spotify, not Apple Music, not SoundCloud. For young listeners, YouTube is their radio (widely accessible), their record store (awesomely vast), their MTV (partly retinal), their Walkman (completely portable), their iTunes (on demand), their online message board (comments abound) — all in one place. And the numbers bear it out. One billion

ION

An unlikely king: How YouTube took over music

the most enthralling rap performances I’ve ever heard. What’s great is that I never searched for this song. I didn’t know it existed. But YouTube, having kept its all-seeing eye on me for so many years, knew that I loved ’90s gangsta rap from Los Angeles, and suspected that I might like Suga Free’s dining-table act. Presto. You watch YouTube while YouTube watches you. It tallies every detail of your Googleowned life, all in an effort to advertise to your eyes and ears for hours without end. Yet, even with all of those alarms going off, I still feel like being able to hear those Suga Free rhymes anytime I want might be worth the annoying pre-roll ads, worth the surveillance, worth the threat of living in a

world of automated taste. YouTube has no discernible limits, so its contours don’t impose any particular pressure on the music that fills it. Instead, the limit is our time. Other music-streaming services are mindful of our time. They provide a deep menu of comfort-zone playlists designed to reinforce our tastes. Not YouTube. It promises horizons. This has to be why teenage listeners keep pointing their ears toward YouTube’s sonic sprawl. When you’re young, the world feels impossibly big. If you’re not worried about how much time you have left to hear it, searching and floating can feel like the same thing. Follow Chris Richards on Twitter @Chris__Richards

verbatim

“I’m sure audiences around the world, when they see this film, will say, ‘Oh, yes. It’s definitely time for her to stop.’ ” CATE BLANCHETT, joking with Vulture at the New York premiere of her new movie, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.”

“It’s time for me to stop. Totally. Absolutely,” the two-time Academy Award winner said. “I apologize in advance.”

Deadline: Robert De Niro, Shia LaBeouf join movie “After Exile”

Variety: Nathan Fielder to write, direct, star in HBO pilot

‘Work to Do’ is a fruitful collaboration Marc Cohn and the Blind Boys of Alabama’s new collaboration began as an EP of studio recordings before being wisely extended with live tracks from their performance for a PBS concert series. The album, released Friday, kicks off with the joyous gospel standard “Walking in Jerusalem.” That song, and the others originally meant for the EP — the title track and “Talk Back Mic” — are also excellent, and make one yearn for a full studio effort. Still, the live renditions have their own charms, as Cohn blends in well with the Blind Boys’ seasoned ensemble. Their version of Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” is both more stripped down and more impassioned than the original. And “Silver Thunderbird” is akin to an extended superstar guitar jam, its nearly 10 minutes flying by with entertaining vocal spotlights. PABLO GORONDI (AP)

Reese Witherspoon to star in Netflix film “Pyros”

Profile for Express

Express 08142019  

Express 08142019