Music News: Why Taylor Swift is using facial recognition at concerts

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Taylor Swift performs in Australia, Nov. 2018.
Taylor Swift performs in Australia, Nov. 2018. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail and join our Facebook group.


According to a security expert who spoke with Rolling Stone, Taylor Swift has been using facial recognition technology to scan for stalkers among concert attendees. A board member for a concert security advisory group says that when Taylor Swift played the Rose Bowl this past spring, a kiosk that enticed fans to watch rehearsal videos was also scanning viewers' faces to check them against a database of Swift's several known, potentially dangerous stalkers.

With an increasing number of concert venues using some form of the technology, is this the future of concert security? An analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union tells the New York Times, "Obviously, stalking of celebrities is a real problem. This is a somewhat sympathetic deployment of the technology, but nonetheless, there are a number of concerns about where this goes."

Post Malone Crocs sell out instantly

When it comes to hot gift items, apparently Post Malone signature Crocs are the Cabbage Patch Kids of 2018. When the singer's second edition of foam shoes went on sale for $59.99 a pair, they sold out in minutes. Malone consoled fans by pointing out that they could still get his special Jibbitz...and then those sold out too. The shoes' barbed-wire pattern was a riff on the cover of Malone's album beerbongs & bentleys. (Billboard)

Jazz singer Nancy Wilson dies at 81

Singer Nancy Wilson has died, after an extended illness, at age 81. One of the mainstream jazz vocalists who had huge success in the 1960s, Wilson released a string of hit albums featuring her smooth covers of songs by artists like the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. She also had a successful TV acting career and, for two decades, hosted the Jazz Profiles series on NPR. She won three Grammys, the most recent in 2007. (Billboard)

Here's her 1960 breakout single, "Guess Who I Saw Today."

This week's new singles

Chance the Rapper: "My Own Thing"

Early in the summer, there were rumors that we were getting an album from Chance, but instead we got four songs...and then, more recently, two more. In "My Own Thing" we get a wholesome bop — he's just trying to be a solid guy for his family and do it job, keep his head down, and do the work. The song has four credited producers, including B-Real from Cypress Hill and features Joey Davis — better known as Joey Purp, a rapper out of Chicago and an old friend of Chance's. (Jade)

Ariana Grande: "Imagine"

No, Ariana Grande's new single "Imagine" is not the John Lennon classic; presumably she didn't want to compete with Yoko Ono's new version of that one. The world Ari is imagining is one where you order her Pad Thai, then you get in the bathtub while she takes off her makeup. Then you kiss her and take off your clothes (which presumably you still had on in the bathtub). Then you tell her all of your creepy secrets and finally, she falls asleep with her face in your neck. Talk about living for today! (Jay)

The Avett Brothers: "Roses and Sacrifice"

The North Carolina band started by brothers Scott and Seth Avett have been making their sweet harmonies and plucky banjo music for nearly 20 years now. And they have decided to tease us with their first new music since 2017's True Sadness. It's a song called "Roses and Sacrifice" and like the title, the song is about beauty and pain. A relationship that has been difficult to maintain, but that is ultimately worth it. (Jade)

Today's viral clip: In memoriam video for the bands that broke up this year

Awards shows like the Grammys and the Oscars often have memorial montages to pay tribute to artists who have died...but what about the sadness we feel when bands break up? Just because the musicians are still with us, Stereogum doesn't think that means we can't take a few minutes to grieve the groups we lost. They've just released their annual "in memoriam" montage to this year's broken-up bands — including Delorean, Young Galaxy, Minus the Bear, Diarrhea Planet, Soft Cell, Fifth Harmony, the Strypes, and Rush.


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Nancy Wilson: "Guess Who I Saw Today"
Chance the Rapper: "My Own Thing"
Ariana Grande: "Imagine"
The Avett Brothers: "Roses and Sacrifice"
Soft Cell: "Tainted Love"


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