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Ultimate Madonna Hater
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Joined: 9:01 PM - Jun 02, 2005

1:42 AM - Sep 21, 2018 #221

Spotify will now let independent artists bypass record labels and upload their own music to the service

by Amy Wang
Sept 2018

Streaming service rolls out self-upload feature and royalties dashboard for independent artists

On Thursday morning, Spotify will send invitations to several hundred independent artists in the U.S. inviting them to a new feature that allows them to upload songs and albums directly — without going through a single label company, distribution group or Spotify employee — and automatically receive royalty payments in their bank accounts.

The feature, in invite-only beta form for now, is a major update to the streaming company’s existing Spotify for Artists program, through which signed-up artists can manage their pages and view listener engagement metrics.

“Artists have told us that releasing their music on Spotify can sometimes be a little nerve-wracking, so we wanted to give as much transparency to the process as possible,” Kene Anoliefo, a senior product lead on Spotify’s creator marketplace team, tells Rolling Stone.
“The new features we built really speak to ease and flexibility. We’re working with independent artists and their teams to own their copyright and distribute their content.”

Spotify consulted with indie artists like Noname and Michael Brun to design the new tools, which let artists upload music without limits on frequency, size or quantity, as well as edit metadata and — perhaps most crucially — review and receive royalty payments every month. There’s also a “future estimated payment” tool that allows artists to see projections on the next month’s earnings.

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Ultimate Madonna Hater
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8:36 PM - Oct 04, 2018 #222

Recording Academy Invites 900 Women and People of Color to Vote for Grammys

by Dee Lockett
Oct 2018

In one of its first major initiatives since being created in May, the Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion has announced that it has invited 900 women and people of color to become voting members for next year’s Grammys.

The move comes after Recording Academy president Neil Portnow blamed women for their own lack of inclusion at this year’s Grammys, saying they needed to “step up.” (Though many industry execs demanded his resignation after the comment, Portnow will instead exit next summer when his contract is up.)

The task force, led by Time’s Up co-founder Tina Tchen, was established to address the Grammys’ diversity problem. Of the 900 music creators invited to become members, all are either “female and/or people of color and/or under 39.” It’s a move similar to the Oscars, whose own Academy vowed to double its female and diverse members by 2020 in response to #OscarsSoWhite, and last year added 774 new members.
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Ultimate Madonna Hater
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3:06 AM - Oct 08, 2018 #223

I've said this in the anti-M forum and in a post or two in this thread but most music today - regardless of genre (pop, dance, rap, country) is TERRIBLE.

Most music today is bland, it all sounds alike.

If bands and singers would start emulating music from the 1970s, 80s and other, older decades, it would sound great. They'd probably sell more albums

If you don't want to sound like every other band and singer on the radio now, you can stand out by sounding like hits from the 1990s and earlier.

I just saw this album review of Eric Church's album, and the reviewer, who says that Church is trying to sound like earlier versions of country-rock, largely succeeds and sounds different from all the "cookie cutter" country singers out there today precisely because the dude is trying to sound like he's from the 1970s and not from 2018.

Album Review: Eric Church’s ‘Desperate Man’ -The country star is less concerned with being a maverick these days than reviving some classic '70s virtues... which is maverick in its own way.
by Chris Willman

Country star Church is an analog kind of guy, but he doesn’t start his album off with the sound of faux crackling vinyl, as a number of performers before him have for old time’s sake. It’s tape hiss you hear at the beginning of “The Snake,” the leadoff track on “Desperate Man.”

Presumably we hear this background sound (which goes away for the rest of the record) is there because that raw, acoustic blues original was recorded on old-school equipment and not just for affectation’s sake. But in purely symbolic terms, it’s appropriate for the era(s) Church is evoking for his sixth studio collection: The entirety of “Desperate Man” makes for an agreeable 1970s mix tape.

.... Most of the time, he’s really not tied to a specific antecedent — just memories of when rock and roll could be both feel-good and good, and of when country didn’t feel like it was an all-male roster pandering to an all-female listenership.

...But the most charming picks are some of the optimistic songs in the middle. Best is “Higher Wire,” which has Church singing in his highest voice against nothing but a sweetly clangy electric guitar. There’s one good reason Church could never be Waylon: swagger aside, he has too pretty a voice for the job.

Church is being a traditionalist of sorts here, but it’s a traditionalism that spans a good deal of different country and rock throwback subgenres and still leaves room for sonic updates; you never felt in the ‘70s like you were inside a bass drum the way Jay Joyce’s production sometimes has you imagining here.

It’s throwback-y in spades, but bears such a personal stamp in a world of cookie-cutter male competitors, that it still feels like Church is moving country forward.
The reviewer above doesn't seem to care for the single "Desperate Man," but I think it's a catchy song.

You can listen to it here:

Desperate Man - by Eric Church (Link is to You Tube Video)

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12:24 AM - Oct 11, 2018 #224

Roy Orbison hologram concert in L.A. invites awe and debate

October 2018
by Wendy Lee

In the darkened Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, hundreds of people couldn’t wait to see legendary rocker Roy Orbison. A live orchestra pumped up the crowd with a medley of his hits. Old photos of him flashed across a giant screen.

Then, the crooner appeared to rise magically from the stage, wearing his signature light gray suit and black shades and jamming on a red Gibson guitar to his 1960 hit “Only the Lonely.” Fans screamed as they quickly positioned their smartphones to record the spectral image.

“This is as good as seeing him in person as you’ll ever get,” marveled 71-year-old Ray Sadowski, who paid about $200 for a pair of tickets to the Tuesday night show.

Thirty years after his death, Orbison (at least the digital version of him) is going on a national tour, the latest and possibly the most ambitious example to date of how holographic technology is transforming the music industry.

The hologram’s 65-minute show, which features 16 songs and orchestral accompaniment, is among the first full-length concerts to feature a holographic dead singer.

Such images and shows are becoming more common, as families of deceased celebrities look for new ways to prolong and capitalize on their legacies. But as technology evolves and it becomes easier to create three-dimensional, lifelike visuals of artists, there’s growing debate over how those images will be portrayed — and whether they truly represent how the artists behaved when they were alive.

That has prompted some celebrities to add language in their contracts about holograms and to be more meticulous about selecting who is in charge of their estates. It has also sparked threats of lawsuits from estates to bar companies from profiting from a celebrity’s image without their permission.

Buzz surrounding holograms of dead celebrities picked up after a digital representation of late rapper Tupac Shakur appeared on stage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The singer’s likeness was projected onto a Mylar screen, reflecting the image on stage. Although the technique produces a holographic image, it is not technically a hologram, which is defined as a three-dimensional image from a laser.

Soon, other acts followed, with a holographic version of jazz singer Billie Holiday on stage at Hologram USA’s Hollywood theater. Pop star Michael Jackson also was digitally resurrected at the Billboard Music Awards.

Last year, a holographic image of Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio went on tour through Los Angeles-based Eyellusion.

The growth in technology has spawned a cottage industry of companies specializing in creating these effects.

It has also created new revenue opportunities for music labels looking to boost record sales.

The Dio holographic concert alone sold on average 1,200 tickets over 11 dates, said Jeffrey Pezzuti, Eyellusion’s chief executive.
Pezzuti says music companies have a back catalog they need to continue to sell, and if artists “are not in front of people, it’s hard to get a lot of buzz.” Holographic images can solve that issue for deceased legacy artists. “It’s a whole industry change,’’ he said. “We can keep the legacies going and keep them on the road.”

“This is a big issue,” said Aaron Moss, a partner with law firm Greenberg Glusker. “With new technology, you could essentially make somebody an unwitting and involuntary actor in a film that a celebrity has no part of.”

Orbison’s hologram was made by Base Hologram, led by Brian Becker, the former chief executive of Clear Channel Entertainment, a major promoter of live entertainment events. Unlike other companies, Base Hologram says its images of deceased celebrities are projected by a single machine without the help of a screen or previous concert footage.

The Los Angeles company hired a model to mimic Orbison’s actions, and computer animation work was done to create a digital representation of Orbison that is beamed onto the stage. Orbison’s voice was taken from previous recordings and later paired with a live orchestra and synced to the hologram’s movements.

This year, the company brought the Orbison hologram tour to 15 locations in Europe, selling 38,000 tickets. Los Angeles was the first stop on the North American tour.

The concerts have attracted older audiences who grew up with Orbison’s music as well as millennials curious about the technology. Next year, Becker says he expects revenue at his firm to be in the range of $25 million to $35 million.

“Not only can we experience these artists again, we can experience them in different ways, in a new environment,” Becker said.
Base Hologram is also launching a tour this year of the late opera singer Maria Callas, who died more than 40 years ago.

“I hope that it will be effective in exposing her to new audiences,” said Jeff Bronikowski, Warner Music Group’s head of innovation and a senior vice president overseeing global digital business development. The concerts could bring in additional album sales or streaming revenue, he said.

Although holograms have created new moneymaking ventures, their growing use has also stirred anxieties among celebrities who are worried about how they’ll be portrayed after they die.

“It’s very hard to control that from the grave,” said Derek Crownover, head of the entertainment law practice group at Dickinson Wright in Nashville.

Some states, including California, have laws that protect a celebrity’s right to control how their image or likeness is used and those rights can be passed onto family members or an estate. But even with those protections, family members could come under fire for how they handle a dead celebrity’s image when it doesn’t resonate as authentic to fans.

In 2013, a Johnnie Walker whiskey ad featuring a digital representation of martial artist Bruce Lee was criticized by some fans. The company had consulted with Lee’s daughter for the ad, but some fans felt the branding didn’t match the lifestyle that Lee had when he was alive because he abstained from drinking alcohol.

“In general, the fans of the celebs like to cherish the image of the celebrity that they watched when they were alive,” said Denver D’Rozario, a marketing professor at Howard University. “When you distort it, they protest it. It messes with the fan’s memories.”

One controversial commercial used footage of the late legendary dancer Fred Astaire to market a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner. Astaire’s widow, who was in charge of the estate, approved of Dirt Devil using his image, but his daughter told Variety that she was “saddened that after [my father’s] wonderful career, he was sold to the devil.”

The growth of holographic dead celebrities in concert could also increase the appraised value of their image or likeness when they die, which could mean more taxes for the estate, said Laura Zwicker, a partner at law firm Greenberg Glusker. That could put additional pressure on the estate to earn money to pay for those additional expenses.

“The more we see name and likeness exploited, the bigger hurdle we have to value those rights,” Zwicker said.

Base Hologram says that it has worked closely with family members of deceased celebrities to create holograms that are true to who they were when they were alive.

Alex Orbison said he thinks his father would have liked the idea of a holographic concert because he loved Hollywood and cinema. “He really loved the special effects in movies,” such as when Princess Leia appeared as a hologram in “Star Wars,” Orbison said.

To make the depiction more realistic, the Orbison family suggested tweaks to an early version of the hologram, such as adjusting his sunglasses between sets because he would be sweating.

“While it was technically great at the test shoot, we wanted to add back all that human element,” Orbison said.

The hologram took about a year to create. The company worked with the Orbison family to create a concert that included songs that the legendary rocker had never performed live on stage before.

Orbison said he was nervous when the show had its opening night in London. The pressure was so great, “it was almost like stage fright,” Orbison said.

But as the holographic version of his father reached the high notes and fans cheered during “Crying,” it was Orbison’s turn to cry — from relief.

“It was seeing couples holding hands and the way that these families looked at each other,” Orbison said. “The fact that these people were having the experience of my dad … in 2018 is just so incredible.”

Still, there were some awkward moments during Tuesday night’s performance. When a song finished and the hologram said “Thank you,” some audience members laughed, unsure of the appropriate response to a programmed event.

Roy Orbison’s hologram wasn’t static during the concert. He turned to acknowledge the orchestra, though for most of the concert, he faced the audience. There were no dance moves. Organizers said that was typical of concerts Orbison did in his lifetime.

Sho Guo, 34, said she would have liked to see Orbison interact more with the audience. When people yelled “Encore!” Orbison didn’t acknowledge them.

“You don’t have that in the hologram,” Guo said.

But for Sadowski, it was an opportunity to “see” Orbison that he couldn’t pass up. Using binoculars he brought to the Wiltern, he saw the moving fringes on Orbison’s jacket and was impressed by how the hologram’s mouth was perfectly synced to Orbison’s voice.
His wife, Pat, said the experience was “fabulous.”
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Ultimate Madonna Hater
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4:22 PM - Oct 11, 2018 #225

Trump to sign the Music Modernization Act, with Kanye West and Kid Rock in attendance
  • Oct 2018

    President Donald Trump is set to sign the Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law Thursday in the company of musicians Kanye West and Kid Rock, Pitchfork reported Wednesday. The act, which has been vocally supported by all facets of the music industry, focuses on new copyright laws for the streaming era. The bill passed in the Senate and House and now awaits Trump’s signature.

    The MMA was created in the likes of music publishers and digital service providers (DSPs), like Spotify and Apple music, to reduce liability through mechanical licensing, Billboard reported in February. It also gives a guideline for performance rights organizations ASCAP and BMI to ask for better pay for their tracks streaming on DSPs.

    Through the law, DSPs will contribute funding for a shared music database accessible to publishers and DSPs, which would be the first of its kind. The new database, following MMA guidelines, will service the licensing process digitally instead of by paper, which is still required by sending a Notice of Intentions in paper form.

    It’s important to note that DSPs, many times, are on the opposite side of music industry issues from writers and music publishers. The world has seen disagreements among artists and streaming platforms, for example, when Taylor Swift notably pulled her entire musical catalog from Spotify in 2014. The country artist noted the streaming site, which has a free option for users, limits income for artists.

    “In recent years, you’ve probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away, for this promotion or that exclusive deal,” Swift wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.”

    The MMA if signed, is a large change, that both sides, surprisingly, agree on.

    West was scheduled to attend a White House lunch with Trump on Thursday ahead of the announcement the act will be signed. Instead, the pair was prepared to talk about Chicago manufacturing and creating jobs for former prison inmates, Pitchfork reported.
Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act
  • On October 11, 2018, the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act was signed into law.

    This bipartisan and unanimously enacted legislation represents the realization of years of effort by a wide array of policymakers and stakeholders, as well as the U.S. Copyright Office itself, to update the music licensing landscape to better facilitate legal licensing of music by digital services.

    The Copyright Office is heartened by the passage of landmark legislation expected to benefit the many stakeholders across all aspects of the music marketplace, including songwriters, publishers, artists, record labels, digital services, libraries, and the public at large.
YouTube Driving Global Consumption of Music
  • A music consumer report by the industry's global body IFPI published Tuesday found that 86 percent of us listen to music through on-demand streaming.

    And nearly half that time, 47 percent is spent on YouTube.

    Video as a whole accounted for 52 percent of the time we spent streaming music, posing challenges to such subscription services as Spotify and SoundCloud.

    But while Spotify's estimated annual revenue per user was $20 (17.5 euros), YouTube's was less than a dollar.

    The London-based IFPI issued a broader overview in April that found digital sales for the first time making up the majority of global revenues thanks to streaming.

    The report published Tuesday looked into where and when we listen to music.

    It found that three in four people globally use smartphones, with the rate among 16- to 24-year-olds reaching 94 percent.

    The highest levels were recorded in India, where 96 percent of consumers used smartphones for music, including 99 percent of young adults.

    But music does not end when we put away our phones, with 86 percent globally also listening to the radio.

    Copyright infringement was still a big issue, with unlicensed music accounting for 38 percent of what was consumed around the world.

    "This report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face — both in the form of the evolving threat of digital copyright infringement as well as in the failure to achieve fair compensation from some user-upload services," said IFPI chief Frances Moore.

    The report noted that "96% of consumers in China and 96% in India listen to licensed music."

    It did not, however, say how many of those consumers also listened to music that infringed copyrights.

    Overall, the average consumer spent 2.5 hours a day listening to music, with the largest share of it consumed while driving, the industry report said.
Nearly 40 percent of music listeners engage in online copyright infringement: Report
  • Oct 10, 2018

    Ripping music off of streaming services like Spotify and YouTube is predominant method

    Online copyright infringement remains a persistent issue for recording industries in the U.S. and abroad, an international trade group representing them said in a new report.

    A survey of music consumers in 18 countries found that 38 percent of respondents acknowledged obtaining songs by committing copyright infringement, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) wrote in the report published Tuesday, with a significant percentage of online pirates admittedly stealing freely available music.

    Stream ripping — a term for making digital copies of material shared on streaming services, such as YouTube, Apple Music or Spotify — is the most dominant method for committing copyright infringement, IFPI said in its Music Consumer Insight Report 2018.
    While recording industries have shifted toward making music available on streaming platforms, including through both subscription-based and free, ad-supported services, nearly a third of consumers admittedly rip music from either so they can listen offline, the report said.

    Thirty-two percent of respondents admitted using either stream ripping sites or software to make unauthorized copies, and 23 percent said they downloaded unauthorized copies from either online “cyberlockers” or by using peer-to-peer file-sharing applications, according to the report.
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4:22 AM - Oct 14, 2018 #226

A Star Is Born Makes a Romance of Rock’s Most Damaging Myths
  • Oct 10, 2018
    by Sam Adams

    The movie’s battle between rock and pop, authenticity and artifice, and art and commerce is outdated at best.

    This post discusses the ending of the new A Star Is Born, which is the same as the ending of the versions released in 1976, 1954, and 1937.

    A few minutes after A Star Is Born’s Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discovers Lady Gaga’s Ally in a drag bar, he’s singing about “let[ting] the old ways die,” and by the end of the movie, he’s made good on his promise.

    In all of its iterations, from the 1930s to the present, A Star Is Born has been the story of a fading male icon passing the torch to an up-and-coming ingénue, but in the new version, it’s also the story of a shift from rock to pop, and from rock-era signifiers of authenticity to an understanding that, especially in the realm of celebrity, identity is a construct that is constantly in flux.

    The movie’s arc clearly positions Ally as the winner of this cultural contest, and not just because by the end she’s the only star left standing.

    But scratch the surface of Cooper’s Star Is Born and you’ll find a deeply conservative movie in which the trappings of contemporary pop-stardom are regarded with skepticism verging on distaste, and the best way a rock star can prove his tortured bona fides is to kill himself.

    To work, A Star Is Born needs to convince its audience that Jackson and Ally are the real deal—and to do that, we need to believe that its stars are, too.

    The movie opens with Cooper in full Rock God mode, basking in the electric hum of the crowd before he launches into “Black Eyes,” a stomping anthem that rides the line between blues rock and grunge.

    As he erupts into a screaming solo, his fingers bending the strings in close-up, the handheld camera and the shots of the audience (borrowed from a Willie Nelson concert) connote that this is all really happening.

    From his lugubrious swamp-mud voice to his grimy-looking hair and leathery skin (actually the product of a daily spray tan), Cooper does the opposite of making it look easy; he is at pains to show his work. Even the victory lap of a promotional tour for the movie becomes another opportunity to stand athwart the machinery.

    With Lady Gaga, a different kind of validity is at stake.

    The movie doesn’t linger on her fingers moving over piano keys, because we already know she can do that. Instead, she’s introduced in blue-collar mode, toiling at a restaurant and literally taking out the trash.

    Ally’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and neither is Gaga. But in order to prove that she’s not just a pop star slipping on another persona, the way she did on American Horror Story, Gaga has to let the mask crack, to show us something that feels like it’s being created in the moment rather than choreographed backstage.

    Even if you don’t know A Star Is Born’s story going in, you know where it’s headed, and the spine of Gaga’s performance is how she both delays and satisfies the desire to see her in full pop-star bloom.

    What makes the unveiling of “Shallow” so thrilling isn’t just the song itself, but the uncertainty in which it’s wrapped, the way Ally’s still shaking as she takes the stage, caught unawares by Jackson’s surprise invitation.

    Cooper’s first verse is choked, closed-off, weighed down by world-weariness. But it hardly registers at all, because you’re so anxious for what’s coming next: the moment when Ally opens her voice to the world.

    The song, and the movie, gives it to us step by step: a delicate verse, an escalating refrain, and then a chorus that flings the doors wide open—the moment when a star is born. Ally isn’t falling anymore; she’s diving, tapped into feelings so deep that they go beyond words.

    The movie spends the rest of its length chasing the intensity of that moment, and one way of looking at its story is that Ally and Jack do as well. But another is as a zero-sum battle between art and commerce where art is pure and commerce is foul, and the mixing of the two is a necessary but regrettable evil.

    (Never mind that Lennon and McCartney would jump-start their inspiration by saying, “Let’s write a swimming pool.”)

    Ally’s fine when she’s touring with Jackson and his band, but as soon as she steps out on her own, she falls under the influence of Rez (Rafi Gavron), a music-industry legend whose first directive is to get her off the road with live musicians (a band that in real life is named Promise of the Real, as if after Russell Hammond’s acid trip from Almost Famous) and into the studio with prerecorded backing tracks.

    He sets her up with a choreographer, dancers, and a stylist, and before you know it, she’s dyed her hair red and is worshiping at the altar of Mammon that is Saturday Night Live, gyrating to synthesized beats and singing a song whose lyrics repeat the phrase “This is not like me.” It’s enough to drive Jackson back to the bottle, and the viewer is meant to relate.

    The first thing Jackson does when he gets Ally alone, after hearing her belt out “La Vie en Rose” in a drag bar, is to wipe the makeup off her face, just as Cooper reportedly did during Gaga’s audition for the role, the better to see her with “no artifice.”

    (According to Gaga, he even banned her from wearing makeup on the set, a restriction he did not extend to himself.)

    The movie nods to the idea that Jackson’s act is its own form of drag when his brother, played by Sam Elliott, accuses him of imitating his speech—“You stole my voice”—and in a fleeting moment where Ally applies fake eyebrows to Jackson’s forehead while the two are in the bath.

    But it never undermines or complicates the idea that the further from Jackson’s influence Ally gets, the worse her music becomes.

    What makes a star isn’t just talent, Jackson argues. It’s not enough to be a good singer, and Jackson’s brother, with his identical voice and starkly different career, is living proof.

    You have to have “something to say.”

    And as an anguished Jack reiterates to Ally in front of an airbrushed billboard of herself, it has to come from deep down in her “f_cking soul.”

    In music criticism, the turn of the 21st century was marked by the struggle between rockism, which Kelefa Sanneh defined in the New York Times as “idolizing the authentic old legend (or underground hero) while mocking the latest pop star … loving the live show and hating the music video; extolling the growling performer while hating the lip-syncher,” and poptimism, which, Saul Austerlitz fretted in the Times a decade later, had replaced the exacting standards of rock criticism with the glib worship of artifice.

    It was never that simple, but A Star Is Born acts as if the debate never happened at all.

    A popular online parlor game involves casting the version of A Star Is Born that should have arrived in the 1990s, but especially given the length of time that the current version has been in the works, you could make a strong case that this is the 1990s version, only two decades two late.

    The division between rock “authenticity” and pop artifice feels like a holdover from a time where selling out was considered an unpardonable sin rather than a fact of life, when lip-synching was a betrayal and not a spectator sport.

    But the most noxious vestige of an earlier era is the way A Star Is Born treats Jackson’s suicide as both a noble act of self-sacrifice and the ultimate validation of his tortured lyrics.

    The first time he sings to Ally, he’s foreshadowing his own death alongside the “old ways” he represents, framing the world as “one big old Catherine wheel” of endless torment.

    In the bluesy duet “Diggin’ My Grave,” he looks forward to a time when “I’ll be gone from here/ and you’ll all be dressed in black,” and in “Too Far Gone,” he proclaims, “I can’t go on if I ain’t livin’ in your arms.”

    One hopes “I’ll Never Love Again” isn’t true for Ally, as moving as the rendition she sings at Jackson’s postmortem tribute is, but it’s certainly true for him. (It doesn’t take much to imagine Jackson Maine’s death casting an ineradicable shadow over his work, the way it has for Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse.)

    Although the movie doesn’t really position Jackson as a has-been, it also doesn’t forcefully gainsay the notion that the best thing he can do for Ally is get out of her way.

    Perhaps Jackson was always doomed, and the best Ally could ever have hoped for was to slow his descent. But it’s telling that his final act effectively sets her back on course.

    After Jackson dies, Ally appears at a concert in his honor, singing in front of a live orchestra— no drum machines here.

    Having dropped her surname to go pop, she takes his on for the first time, introducing herself, “I’m Ally Maine.”

    Her voice is strong and clear, but the movie cuts her off to return to the moment Jackson first played her his composition, and it’s he who gets the last word. She’s a star, but the song is his.
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