The Scoreboard is Uproxx Music’s bi-monthly look at who is putting points on the board and who is taking major Ls in the music world over the past couple weeks.
There’s a lot of hate in the world right now (my feelings towards people who hear “yanny,” for example), so it’s nice when I get to report on love. I can’t confirm whether or not Elon Musk and Grimes have used the “L” word with each other yet, but their geeky affection towards each other is as refreshing as it is endearing. Elsewhere in the music universe, Deadmau5 lived up to his name by getting his neck (figuratively) snapped in a trap when he tried to come at Lil Yachty, James Blunt is a wonderful (and lovelorn in the subway) soldier, and if you’re going to a U2 show, all these fast cars will do you no good.
Also, I was kidding earlier and it’s OK if you don’t hear “laurel.” We can’t all be right all the time.
Win: Nerd love
Grimes sometimes seems like an alien whose style is beyond our world, and Elon Musk seemingly wants nothing more than to shake extraterrestrial hands, so while the two were perhaps an unexpected pairing, they’re not exactly a surprising one. They initially bonded over a joke about artificial intelligence and 18th-century French style, which sounds more like the origin story of an insufferable Seattle coffee shop than a celebrity relationship. Musk even convinced her to change her name to c, the scientific symbol for the speed of light, because if he really wants to mold the future in his ultra geeky image, why not Grimes too?
Loss: Electronic Denial Music
Pulling a reverse LCD Soundsystem, Lil Yachty wanted a hit, and he wanted it with an EDM collaborator. Deadmau5, not one to turn his rodent nose up at a joke, decided to shut Yachty down with what amounted to a snarky “no, you suck.” Fake Diplo stormed in with the hottest anti-mau5 fire — “I don’t think he was asking you, he said he wanted to do a big song” — but basically everybody who decided to chime in thought Deadmau5 was wrong and dumb. Being mean on the internet for no reason isn’t as cool as it used to be, apparently, and now, if you come around this way, you will get clapped.
Win: You’re beautiful, England
James Blunt’s life is more brilliant and his love more pure than any of us may have realized: The “You’re Beautiful” singer was in the British army back in the ’90s, and he apparently was instrumental in preventing a potential war between the US and Russia, which surely would have had broad implications on a global scale. Some people may think “You’re Beautiful” is one of the most annoying songs of all time, but you know what would have been more annoying? World War 3.
*mic drop* Blunt out.
The internet has spawned a lot of bad, evil, annoying, and tedious things, but it’s also an undisputed positive. We can share information in seconds when it used to take minutes, hours, or even days. We can stay in touch with loved ones (or stalk our hated ones on social media and marinate in their personal shortcomings). Most importantly, we can buy concert tickets without leaving the house… unless you’re trying to see Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor is so in love with “the good old days” that you have to go to the venue’s box office to pick up tickets in person for the band’s upcoming tour. NIN apparently also stands for No Internet Nerds, and while the intent of curbing the efforts of scalpers is pure, this can’t be the only way by making the poor old fans have to go outside. That could be dangerous: Outside is where every war in recorded history has happened, so no thanks, I’ll stay home.
Win: R(eject) Kelly
If you still want to listen to R. Kelly, despite him having what could be understated as “slight character flaws,” you will find a way, so Spotify missing out on that revenue by dropping him from their platform wouldn’t be the best decision from a pure business standpoint. They have made it clear, however, that they’re not cool with the way Kelly allegedly lives his life, so they’ve stopped promoting his music on their official playlists.
If this was an effort to get fewer people listening to R. Kelly, though, it appears this hasn’t worked: his weekly streams have actually jumped by about 100,000 during the week following Spotify’s announcement.
Loss: Make Kanye Great Again
Speaking of people you don’t want your name attached to, Kanye West is becoming one of them. His Trump love seems to be ostracizing him from the rest of the music community, something that Talib Kweli added credence to when he said it would be tough to work with the rapper now. Kanye has proven himself a capable creator able to get by on his own, but then again, he actually is fairly reliant on others to help push his music forward. On The Life Of Pablo, Kanye’s collaborators were a big part of the album’s sound — “I Love Kanye,” an a capella about himself, is the only song on the album he wrote and produced himself — so who knows how the musical island Kanye has placed himself on will affect his future output.
Win: Andre 2018
Andre 3000 is back, but it’s probably not the return anybody expected: On Mothers’ Day, he released a piano ballad about his mom, and a 17-minute experimental jazz piece with James Blake on piano. If you were hoping for rapping ‘Dre, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. If you want Andre expressing himself however he feels like, though, here we are. It’s great to have him back with his own songs, and hopefully it’s the start of something more.
I will now take this opportunity to remind you that the 13-minute version of “DoYaThing” by Gorillaz featuring James Murphy and Andre 3000 is excellent and my favorite Andre 3000 song (yes, that’s the most “non-rap-enthusiast” thing I’ve ever written).
Loss: Where The Streets Have No Room
Or own Philip Cosores made it out to U2’s show at The Forum in Los Angeles last week, but not everybody was so lucky: Traffic getting to the show was so bad that a bunch of people never actually got to the show and missed out completely. Instead of catching one of the best touring bands ever, fans were stuck in a traffic jam they couldn’t get out of. They’d have been better off riding wild horses, or walking on past that out of control zoo (station). Sometimes, you can’t make it to the show, especially when you’re driving to stand still.
Win: The kids are alright
Typically, it’d be disappointing if you watched a Dave Grohl performance and he didn’t sing. At a recent charity event, he didn’t but a part of him did: He performed a rendition of Adele’s “When We Were Young,” with his 12-year-old daughter Violet, and he remained silent on his acoustic guitar, but the younger Grohl absolutely nailed it. If there are any genetics deniers in your life (Is that a thing? Probably), this video proves that papa Grohl passed on his vocal chords to his offspring. Violet has wonderful control over and confidence in her voice, especially for somebody so young, and if Dave Grohl ever finds himself too old to fight foo anymore, there’s another Grohl ready to take up the charge.
Loss: Pablo Escobar levels of drug money
Here’s list of things you can buy with $2 million:
- 6,666 Nintendo Switch consoles
- A relatively plain house in San Francisco
- Two million Zero bars, which I assure you is a worthwhile purchase because it’s a criminally underrated candy bar
- All of the drugs Steven Tyler has ever used
If you find yourself with $2 million, choose wisely.
(The candy bars. Get the candy bars.)