New Boy Band Poll: Who Should be the Fourth Horseman of the Spotocalypse?

Time for some artists’ rights comedy gold.

We can’t help but notice that when an artist publicly criticizes Spotify there are three bloggers that seem to quickly post rebuttals as if they are members of a synchronized swimming-er blogging team.  To paraphrase Spin Magazine on these guys: “#TeamSpotify.”

Most recently we see the Three Horseman of the Spotocalypse going after David Byrne for his editorial in The Guardian.

Bob Lefsetz the 60-year-old self-described “industry expert” angrily calls the 61-year-old David Byrne an old fart.

Meanwhile Jay Frank calls David Byrne “bad at Math.”  Now while Jay is always careful to be right, if you look at the big picture it turns out he’s arguing over things like whether it takes 150 million Spotify spins or 75 million Spotify spins a year to reach minimum wage (and is that federal or state minimum wage, and which state Jay? ) . Does that really matter?  Byrne’s points still stand. Either way it’s a fuckload and it’s not sustainable. Yes Jay, technically you’re right but It’s like a Larry David episode.  You’re making my brain hurt and I AM A MATHEMATICIAN.

Finally Dave Allen former bassist of the “Marxist”  Gang Of Four now turned Ad Exec spends 100,578,238 words incoherently criticizing David Byrne, Thom Yorke and myself.  This in advance of a meeting with Spotify executives in LA.  I draw no conclusions.

But here’s the real problem with these guys: I can’t take them seriously.

And it’s not because I don’t like what they write.  It’s because there are just three of them.

If 6 is the number of The Beast.  3 is the number of the comedian.

“Dave Allen, Bob Lefsetz, and Daniel Ek walk into a bar”

If you want to be seen as a powerful, elite or even sinister force three is not a good number.  Think about it.  “Three Stooges”, “Three Blind Mice”, “The Three Amigos”, “The Jonas Brothers” etc etc.

Four is much better. Four is a masculine world-changing number.

“The Fab Four”   “The Fantastic Four” and of course “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

These guys will not be taken seriously until they add another horseman.

The pro-spotify-anti-artist-blogging business is no different from the boy band business.  You need some variety among your bloggers for broadest appeal.  And the more bloggers the better.  They should really take a cue from some of the great boy bands of the past.   As Bob Lefsetz might say “Work hard, be excellent,  and add another member”  “The Four Horsemen of the Spotocalypse” is so much more serious sounding.

And they are almost there.  They’ve got three great ingredients already!

Jay Frank: The nerdy but fun one.

Dave Allen: The angry one,

Bob Lefsetz: The really angry one,

Who should they add?  Do they go cuddly?  Sinister? Cute? Hispanic?

They definitely don’t have cute.   And they probably should go cute but there are no cute anti-artist-rights-pro-spotify bloggers.

So dear reader please help us!  Please help The Three Horseman of the Spotocalypse become Four.   Vote for a new member!

7 thoughts on “New Boy Band Poll: Who Should be the Fourth Horseman of the Spotocalypse?

  1. Coming from the tech/disruptive industry (20+ years) and working in the music industry at the moment, I had been sent the Lefsetz newsletter a few times and finally subscribed. The initial schtick was refreshing…music guy rants at music biz, but then it began to wear off quickly…especially the more Bob rants about tech/social/disruption…something I know a thing or two about.

    What annoys me no end is he makes broad generalizations about concepts he doesn’t really understand, or he regurgitates whatever he’s been reading at the time as if he’s made some amazing discovery…and then a few weeks or months later, completely turns on it.

    Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t really offer solutions or insight, just rants. This luminary and sage hasn’t really done anything. He just sits in his apartment and fires off these inflammatory missives as if it were gospel and he were preaching from the mount.

    “Spotify’s the future!”

    It reminds me of the time he was on a panel on stage with Gene Simmons and Simmons plainly just says what many of us are thinking…who the fuck is this guy? I’ve looked all over and I can’t find anything he’s actually done that makes him qualified to speak on anything other than email newsletters.

    He calls David Byrne an old fart…and a luddite. Really? David Byrne…someone who has been on the cutting edge of culture/tech and actually influenced and continues to influence some of the best art to enter your ears. What balls this guy has! In 20 years people will still be listening to David Byrne, but Lefsetz 15 minutes will long be up. Unfortunately we have to listen to this garbage now.

  2. While,I find this article hilarious, I don’t really care for the personal attacks (as true as they may be). It seems beneath you. I read almost everything you post and am totaly in agreement with you. But, I feel when you engage in the “tit for tat” war of words, you distract from the more important message of artists being ripped off by the Spotifys and Googles of the world.

    On the other hand, maybe this is the kind of thing that gets the ball roling in the direction we want it to go?

    1. I’m generally in agreement.

      That said, I’ve dealt with thousands of trolls in my time and Lefsetz is one of the most accomplished I’ve come across. Sometimes it takes a bit of “tit for tat” to show the person for what they are and the absurdity of their statements.

      Lefsetz is a self proclaimed “analyst,” but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything that solidifies his qualifications. He operates in the Limbaugh dog whistle land where if he says something shocking, it will for sure get exposure and traction. People always hear what they want to hear…and Lefsetz loves to burn bridges as quickly as he builds them. One second he praises and builds you up and the next he’s tearing you down.

      I’m still waiting to hear something from him I didn’t know 10 years ago. To sound like one of those old farts he loves to chastise…the guy sounds like a broken record. The only way to expose the guy behind the curtain is to keep chipping away at the myth of the Wizard. All hot air…no balloon.

    2. The public didn’t turn against Bush and the Iraq war because the NY Times solemnly intoned against it. Jon Stewart turned the public against Bush and the Iraq War. Similarly we’ve had years of dreary and impassioned defense of Artists rights and we’ve gotten nowhere. Further we’ve allowed the scoundrels to call us names, threaten us with boycotts and generally treat us horribly without replying. I think this pointed mocking is exactly what is called for. Precisely because it gets the point across while exposing the fundamental absurdity of their positions.

      thanks for the advice.

      1. You know, David? The more I think about it, the more I think your approach is correct. I’m a bit of a political wonk and I’m always griping about my “side” not taking the fight to the other guys and not being willing to address the issues in ways that will get the common man on our side. So, this afternoon it struck me; this is the exact same thing.

        You can’t bring a knife to a gun fight and expect to win. Fact is, well reasoned arguments don’t often win these days. Just being right, or just, isn’t enough in 2013. Maybe, it never was. So, when your opponent has millions of users and billions of dollars to fuel it’s machine, being nice isn’t going to cut it.

        Keep doing what you’re doing exactly how you’re doing it. If the Lefsetzes of the freemium fairy tale world want to sling dirt, then you sling mud. And if enough of us sling that mud with you we can cause a landslide. And that landslide will change public opinion and thereby influence lawmakers to put safeguards in place to insure songwriters get paid as we should.

        I’m puttin’ my galoshes on. You point the direction. Let’s sling some mud.

        Rock on brother, Clowerly. Rock on.

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