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November 26, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-26

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6A - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

I'm actually Two-Face.
Olivia Pope e

'Scandal' mid-
season finale brings
core characters
to forefront
By HAILEY MIDDLEBROOK
Daily Arts Writer
If there's anything more
indulgent than getting in on a
secret,it's findingouthow thesecret
stayed hidden
for so long. In A
1998, when
Bill Clinton's $candal
Lewinsky
scandal leaked, Season Four
the real dirt Mid-Season
wasn't found Finale
on his intern's Thursdays at 9 p.m,
infamous blue ABC
dress, but on
the hands of those who covered up
the mess - the staffers who quietly
moved Lewinsky from the White
House to the Pentagon when they
sawshewasgettingalittletoo cozy
withthepresident.
In ABC's "Scandal," Olivia
Pope (Kerry Washington, "Django
Unchained'" combines these two
roles - the president's mistress
and the head of Olivia Pope &
Associates, a high-profile crisisr
management team - and the result
l nothing shot'of a smoking time
bomb, inthebestway possible.
After debuting in the spring
of 2012, the political thriller's
first three seasons were a sudsy
whirlwind of action: Season one
introduced Olivia and her steamy

relationship with President Fitz
Grant (Tony Goldwyn, "Ghost"),
as well as the members of her
brilliant team as they tried to
crack the mystery of Amanda
Tanner; season two focused on
Fitz's nail-biting run for reelection
and introduced his wife, Mellie
(Bellamy Young, "CSI: Miami") as
a central character to clash with
Pope; season three brought Olivia's
powerful father, Rowan Pope
(Joe Morton, "The Good Wife"),
into the picture when he revealed
incriminating war details involving
Fitz, adding to the leaked details of
the President's relationship with
Olivia. The third season concluded
with Olivia following her father's
advice to board a plane with her
partner-with-benefits, Jake (Scott
Foley, "Grey's Anatomy"), leaving
Fitz alone to face the wrath of Papa
Pope.
Season four, which premiered
this September and recently aired
its mid-season finale, brings the
show's core characters to the
forefront. After hiding away with
Jakefortwomonthsonanislandoff
thecoastofZanzibar,Oliviareturns
to averydifferentD.C.thantheone
she left behind. Jerry Grant, Fitz's
son, has died and Jake is arrested
based on Rowan's accusation that
Jakewasbehindthemurder.
Torn between loyalty to both
her father and Jake, Olivia doesn't
know whom to trust. Her lingering
feelings for Fitz complicate matters
as well, because the president is at
once grieving for his lost son and
seeking revenge on Jake, whom he
believesstole notonly Jerry,but also
Olivia'sheart.

MUSIC
USCNOTEBOOK
ABc
volves
Olivia must also deal with the
consequences of abandoning
her friends, since Olivia Pope &
Associates has been shut down and
her coworkers have jumped ship.
Abby (Darby Stanchfield, "NCIS")
is the new White House Press
Secretary, battling to earn respect
in the Oval Office, where Fitz and A nightmare dressed as a nightmare.
his Chief of Staff, Cyrus (Jeff Perry,
"Grey's Anatomy") refer to her as
"Red" instead of Abby. She holds
her own, but when her abusive
ex-husband, Chip, is nominated
for Virginia State Senator, Abby
concedes to ask for Olivia's help to
stop the election by taking charge of
Chip's opponent's campaign. Huck
(Guillermo Diaz, "Weeds) now a n1
works in an electronics shop, but
spends most of his time obsessively
trying to connect with his young Music streaming
son, Javi, via video games, because
his estranged wife has forbidden services yield
all contact between the two. QuinnJ
(Katie Lowes, "Super 8") stays in meager profits for
touch with Abby and Huck while
working on a case with Catherine, many artists
Olivia's friend from law school,
involving Catherine's daughter's By AMELIA ZAK
murder. DailyArts Writer
In typical "Scandal" fashion,
the mid-season finale was TV's It's the dark cloud looming
equivalent of a D.C. Fourth of over the 21st century music
July firework display: big, bright industry: streaming music,
and banging. Olivia teams up digital downloads and piracy.
"Twilight"-style with Fitz and With record sales at an all-
Jake to take down her father, who time low, the problem is a
was revealed to be behind Jerry's spreading plague on music's
murder and has his sights set on changing landscape. Taylor
killing the rest of Liv's posse. This Swift's recent decision
season marks the end of daddy's to remove her complete
little girl - a new, tougher, even discography from Spotify last
more badass Olivia has taken over, week drew great attention
andshewants thekillshot. to the problem. Referring
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4

A

BIG MACHINE

=y, streaming
aylor Swift

RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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to Spotify as a "grand
experiment" that she wishes
to distance herself and her
music from, Swift garnered
waves of criticism. Her
decampment was stunningly
abrupt, especially following
her achievement of the most
successful album release of
2014. Critics lambasted her
for being condescending and
ignorant. But her reasoning is
not without merit, nor is Swift
alone in her rebellion.
In one short decade, from
2003 to 2013, the way in which
we buy and circulate music
has changed immensely. In
2003, the music industry
made 94.8% of its $15 billion
revenue from compact disc
sales. Ten years later this same
industry's annual revenue has
been reduced to $7 billion and
is split fairly evenly between
compact discs, digital
downloads and subscription
or streaming services.
Pandora, Rhapsody
and Spotify remain top
contenders for music
streaming subscriptions, and
all have publicly defended
themselves throughout this
global discussion. They
argue for their legitimacy
based on their promise of
monetary compensation for
artists. Spotify released a
statement following Swift's
exit, pointing out that they
"already paid more than $2
billion in royalties to the music
industry" and "if that money
is not flowing to the creative
community in a timely and
transparent way, that's a big
problem." Many have found
flaws in the new music system
Spotify provides: stars as big
as David Byrne and Jason
Aldean have spoken out
against Spotify as an entity
working to cheapen the music
industry. Thom Yorke and his
Radiohead producer, Nigel
Godrich, similarly decided to
pull their newest albums from
Spotify. In his explanation of
the band's decision, Godrich
described their actions
as a "small, meaningless
rebellion" against a system
that is so wretchedly myopic,
especially for new music.
Slowly suffocating the ebb
and flow of the creative music
industryr this "big problem"
undoubtedly exists.
All of these stars have valid
complaints against streaming
services. Putsimply, streaming
subscriptions are organized
so that artists receive a
monetary compensation that
is equated to the amount their
song is actually streamed
by listeners of the website.
The $2 billion dollars that
Spotify pays in royalties is
divided up by the percentage
of total streams. This lets the
big labels disproportionately
benefit from this system. With
older and more extensive

back catalogs, a 40-year-old
record like The Doors' "Light
My Fire" will earn the same
amount of money or more
for their record label than a
track by a new artist like King
Krule and his "The Noose
of Jah City." In a worst-case
scenario, the larger labels
with their massive catalogs
are guaranteed a far more
substantial portion of Spotify
or Pandora's promised artist
royalities while the smaller
labels and up-and-coming
artists struggle to produce
streams.
This issue was brought to
the forefront most recently
by the 1990's alternative
rock band Galaxie 500.
Drummer Damon Krukowski
and bassist Naomi Young
publicly addressed the
looming issue in a Pitchfork
article published in late 2012.
Krukowski explained and
provided specific numerical
information about the little
money they received in the
first quarter of 2012 for the
online streaming of one
of the band's biggest hits,
"Tugboat." The song was
played a total of 7,800 times
from January to March of
2012 on Pandora, and as a
result earned the band a total
of 21 cents. And on Spotify,
the song earned $1.50 in the
first quarter of 2012, which is
then divided up into 35 cents
per songwriter.
Other artists like Foo
Fighter's Dave Grohl have
taken more blas positions
in the fight against music
streaming sites. In answering
recent questions by Digital
Spy, Grohl gave his expletive-
adorned opinion, stating "You
want people to fucking listen
to your music? Give them
your music, and then go play a
show. They like hearing your
music? They'll go see a show.
To me it's that simple, and
I think it used to work that
way." Grohl is right: you love
the music and you buy tickets
to the show. But the Internet
cannot be ignored, nor can
the paralyzing ubiquity of
piracy. Grohl's response was
more correct when Nirvana
was still around.
The answer, in my opinion,
lies in a redistribution of
the royalties given out by
the streaming services. If
more money were given
to newer artists, there
would be less difficulty in
funding record production,
merchandising and touring
of new and upcoming artists.
The benefits between music
streaming sites and the artist
will be unshared, but this
change is not only necessary,
it's moral. Until these
changes arrive, the world will
be experiencing a little less
of that sappy, heartbreak-
helping Taylor Swift music.

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