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NEAR TRUTHS:
GREETINGS FROM THIGHLAND

YO, SEMITES: Donald Trump’s reign of terror and error has been a nightmare for the entire world, but the music biz got an extra dose of his flailing, vindictive incompetence over the last week or so as he attempted to shake down Tencent and TikTok. Trump’s stomping about in this space—born of his never-ending belligerence toward China and his grudge against the TikTok kids who trolled his Tulsa rally, causing him major embarrassment—singlehandedly wiped out billions in value not only for Tencent but an international array of investors, more than a few of them in the music world. It also put into jeopardy one of the most influential platforms for new music, which has helped launch a number of top-streaming records in the last year or two. Of course, compared to Dear Leader’s authoritarian outbursts and horror-show mishandling of COVID, it’s a blip. The latter has spawned violent resistance to masks and other safety protocols among his doltish cult members as the deaths mount. Meanwhile, as bewildering gaffes like “Thighland” and “Yo Semite” proliferate, it’s become evident that we not only have a fool in the highest office in the land, but one whose already limited mental capacity is degenerating rapidly. With the star power of Kamala Harris added to the Dem ticket, his flailing and degeneration have only accelerated. Vote, please.

WHY OCTOBER? That ModiDeanna and the rest of the Bible brain trust can’t figure out why implementing its new arbitrary chart rules in October makes a bad situation even worse is proof that they lack a fundamental understanding of the industry. Will they roll over and change the date or continue to give the biz the finger?

Meanwhile, insiders wonder why the Bible would want to embarrass Madonna with a clickbait eblast story misleadingly suggesting she was dropped by her label—when everyone in the biz knows her last album, which came out last year (her ninth chart #1, we might add) was the final release on a three-album deal she inked with Jimmy Iovine nearly a decade ago (three years after her quarter-century relationship with Warner ended). In fact, two of the three releases on that Interscope deal debuted at #1; yet Billboard is removing any opportunity for this pop icon to have another #1 with its new rules regarding bundles. Madonna must be singlehandedly responsible for hundreds of pages in Billboard advertising over the years. How will she—and countless other stars who’ve supported the Bible for decades—feel when their next album hits the chart at #37?

CURBSIDE PICKUP OR HOME DELIVERY? As the Bible disaster intensifies, Jay Penske is circling the rubble in his rare numbered series Ferrari Barchetta, picking off key assets. Penske has already made some canny moves, including hiring Shirley Halperin, buying Rolling Stone and BuzzAngle and making a deal with Tim Ingham. Modi and Asif, on the other hand, have made one continuous bungle of their stewardship of their company. As we’ve noted constantly, showing total disrespect for the music business can lead to some unintended consequences. It’s fortunate for them that the city’s hippest restaurants are closed for the pandemic—since they’ve become the ultimate object of ridicule. Oh, well; there’s always Postmates.

 

PRIMARY WAVE CHECKS INTO
THE FOUR SEASONS
Mestel walks like a man. (10/22a)
UMG IPO SET FOR '22
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
TOP 20: TAY'S FOLKLORIC RUN CONTINUES
A Swift return to #1. (10/21a)
REVENUE CHART: “LEMONADE” AND OCEAN SPRAY
The Rumours are true. (10/23a)
GRAMMY PREVIEW:
PHOEBE BRIDGERS
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/23a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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