In a scathing condemnation that wouldn’t sound out of place being growled by Thurl Ravenscroft to the tune of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” harpist and songwriter Joanna Newsom has denounced Spotify as a “villainous cabal,” a “garbage system,” and compared it to a rotten banana. (Presumably, one she wouldn’t touch with a 39-and-a-half foot pole.)
Talking to Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times, Newsom called out the service primarily for its infamously low payouts to the musicians whose songs it plays. “The business is built from the ground up as a way to circumvent the idea of paying their artists,” she declared, noting that the only place her music can be found at the moment is Pandora. (Showing herself to be a woman of the people, Newsom also mentioned that the only things she knows about the artist-owned Tidal come from its much-ridiculed launch, but that she should maybe check it out.)
Newsom mostly labeled herself as anti-Spotify, though, not anti-streaming, saying she knows that music needs to shift with the times:
The way in which we’ve monetized the creation and consumption of music in the past is also changing. And I accept that too. I don’t love it, but I accept it. But in a way, that phenomenon is sort of a large, zoomed-out way of looking at everything at once. There’s a lot of moving parts. There’s a lot of things that are shifting. It’s cultural. There’s not really a villain.
(Other than Spotify, of course, which we can neither confirm nor deny Newsom believes has all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile.)