Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photos by Spotify and Betty Labs Incorporated Given Spotify’s grand ambitions to become the all-consuming audio platform of the universe, it has become a consistent point of curiosity as to what the company will do with the increasing interest around Clubhouse and the social audio category — or “live group audio,” as I prefer to call it — more generally. Frankly, the question was never an if, but a when and a how. This morning, we have an answer: The Swedish audio streaming platform just announced that it has acquired a Los Angeles-based startup called Betty Labs , which is perhaps best known for creating Locker Room , the sports-centric social audio app. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but I imagine it’s fairly modest compared to the flashy sums paid out for the likes of The Ringer, Megaphone, and Anchor. It’s an intriguing move, though I say this in part because I’ve been closely watching that app as a big sports consumer … [Read more...] about Spotify Has Its Own Clubhouse Now
The cost of education
Photo: Emaz/VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images When the theater stopped, it stopped all at once. Live art is all the things the virus loves: close quarters, significant duration, people singing and trumpets going full blast. Broadway closed on March 12, 2020, and by the end of that weekend, every venue in the city was dark. Reopening, on the other hand, will be a wild hodgepodge. The lights will go on at different times theater by theater, even — in some multi-stage venues — room by room. Governor Cuomo announced last month that regardless of health metrics, live indoor performance will be allowed to return to “flexible” venues at 33 percent capacity starting today, April 2. What, exactly, will that look like? The embattled governor’s announcement about April 2 will not actually mean most theaters will start producing on that date. To be clear, there will be shows to see: You could go to the first performance of Blindness at the Daryl Roth (there are no performers, … [Read more...] about What Happens to New York Theater on April 2?
Photo: Jai Lennard Brandi Carlile has been plagued with terrible sore throats since she was a little kid. Every time there’s a major performance or life event on the horizon, her tonsils swell, her larynx closes in, and her voice — strong enough to reach the rafters of any given venue — calls in sick. In Broken Horses , her debut memoir out this week, the beloved singer-songwriter recounts several times her throat betrayed her. In 2018, she and her longtime collaborators, Phil and Tim Hanseroth (a.k.a. the Twins), were scheduled to play three sold-out nights at New York’s Beacon Theatre while touring behind By the Way, I Forgive You — her sixth studio album, which later earned her first three Grammy Awards — when a vocal cord cyst threatened to rupture. She treated it with steroids and played on, but wondered if tapping into her subconscious could shed light on the root of her chronic ailment. In 2019, she had planned to pay tribute to one of her idols, Joni Mitchell, … [Read more...] about Brandi Carlile’s Story Is Too Big to Fit in a Song