In this episode we welcome David Turner, writer and founder of the Penny Fractions newsletter, which holds a critical and often political lens to the latest developments in the music industry.
In this episode we discuss the music industry response to Black Lives Matter, positive infrastructural proposals that could lead to long lasting and meaningful diversification, the meme music economy, lessons from ad hoc protest gatherings and sitting on a small plane with Radiohead and Silento.
David is a deeply thoughtful and fun guest, we hope you enjoy this one!
Penny Fractions newsletter (sign up!): https://www.getrevue.co/profile/pennyfractions/issues/penny-fractions-why-did-we-pause-the-show-255631
Black Teens are Breaking the Internet and Seeing None of The Profits by Doreen St.Felix:https://www.thefader.com/2015/12/03/on-fleek-peaches-monroee-meechie-viral-vines
Music Workers Alliance: https://musicworkersalliance.org/
Aziz Mian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX9SsfK6B24
Silentó - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjW8wmF5VWc
In this episode we speak to Glen Weyl, author, economist and Principal Research at Microsoft Research. His ideas inspired the formation of the RadicalxChange Foundation, who recently held a conference in which we were speaking alongside Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan, Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum and others. Head over to RadicalxChange.org and look out for the deep list of archived talks.
In this very candid discussion with Glen we cover his recent work on COVID-19, his recently published essay “AI is an ideology, not a technology” co-authored with Jaron Lanier, his belief in the urgent need for pluralistic technologies and transitioning from corporations to stakeholder democracies, as well as his personal political transition from California libertarianism to socialism. It is a fun and generous conversation, I hope you enjoy it!
AI is an Ideology not a Technology
In this latest episode we talk with Professor Guy Standing, who has been at the forefront of Basic Income research for 30 years, running pilots all over the world.
We discuss his original concept of “The Precariat”, a new class that might be familiar to many listeners, the moral case for a basic income and its fans in US politics and Silicon Valley, and his vision of a future of a new left built upon enlightenment principles.
Guy Standing: https://www.guystanding.com/
Basic Income Earth Network: https://basicincome.org/
The Precariat: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-precariat-9781849664561/
Plunder of the Commons: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/308/308407/plunder-of-the-commons/9780141990620.html
In this episode we speak with the writer Liz Pelly, who over the past 5 years has written a series of revelatory critical pieces about the streaming economy for The Baffler.
We discuss whether the distinction of Independence is all that useful in music at this point in history, take a look at the ways in which the streaming platforms flatter some kinds of music and have flattered to deceive for others, and question what the recent Spotify exclusivity deal with Joe Rogan might mean for musicians.
This is a nice and long conversation, and we had one or two connection issues, so forgive us if you notice one or two jarring edits!
Check out Liz's work online here:
In this episode we talk with Jesse Engel, musician, Senior Research Scientist at Google Brain and creative lead of the Magenta project.
Magenta is an open source research project exploring the role of machine learning as a tool in the creative process, developed by numerous researchers and engineers from the Google brain team, Google’s self directed machine intelligence group.
Amongst many things we discuss the role and research focus of Magenta, look at how research lab OpenAI’s recent Jukebox project raised some necessary ethical debates around the puppeteering of living artists voices and styles, get psychedelic about how making music technology precedes spoken language, and discuss his latest exciting project.
Check out the tools they have developed and reach out to Magenta here:
If you would like to hear the full episode, consider supporting the project at
In this episode we catch up with Trevor McFedries, founder of the meta media studio Brud ( (http://brud.fyi/) ), whose digital avatar artist and influencer Lil Miquela recently caused a stir through signing with one of the worlds premier talent agencies, CAA.
We discuss the origins of the project, why he sees Miquela as more of a challenge to Mickey Mouse than human artists, and also some pretty bold ideas for how avatar led projects might help us reorganise the music industry to be more equitable.
We are joined by research scientist and Director of Spotify's CTRL lab François Pachet and his collaborator, the composer Benoit Carré to discuss how the latest in AI research offers a new paradigm for both composition and the concept of authorship and ownership.
This will be one of many times we pursue conversations with researchers at the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence and music, not only because it offers a glimpse into the future of music, but also the greater economy. Music is often the first to feel the tremors for greater economic earthquakes, so it feels like an important conversation to jump into!
We can't play their music during the podcast, however we recommend that you check out these works in combination with listening to the conversation!
Daddy's Car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSHZ_b05W7o
The Ballad of Mr.Shadow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcGYEXJqun8
American Folk Songs EP: https://skyggewithai.bandcamp.com/
"Black is the Color” by SKYGGE featuring Pete Seeger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=sv56kfvsQAM
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