Why is it so difficult to stream Bob Seger's old time rock and roll? NPR explains. Credit: Theo Wargo

Why is it so hard to find Bob Seger albums online nowadays?

Bob Seger was one of the icons of what we now call “classic rock”—and yet, as a young person and habitual streamer, I have barely any idea what he sounds like. NPR goes deep into what’s kept Seger off the ‘net, and how, despite our best efforts, changes in the industry can shape our collective memories of whole musical eras. [NPR]

The Voice has perfected the art of selling the American dream to its contestants, but is it a sort of cruel optimism?
The Voice is one of the biggest shows in America—through its tweaks on American Idol‘s competitive format, it’s perfected the practice of offering hope and potential fame to aspiring pop stars across the U.S. But few of its contestants see success after the show ends. With the legacy of the American dream in flux, is The Voice selling a lie? [The Atlantic]

“Lo-fi house” is setting the dance underground ablaze, and YouTube’s algorithmic recommendation feature is driving the growth.
With genre standard-bearers like “DJ Seinfeld” and “Ross From Friends,” the tongue-in-cheek artists pushing the Internet’s latest microtrend, lo-fi house, have been the object of skepticism from dance music purists everywhere. But the songs themselves are insanely popular, racking up views in the millions on YouTube where their underground peers peter out in the tens of thousands. How does algorithmic recommendation and machine learning, YouTube’s latest investment in its platform, help push the songs past the skeptics into unignorable success? [The Outline]

Jim DeRogatis continues his list of the 50 most influential musicians in Chicago’s history.
The co-host of Sound Opinions is listing the 50 Chicago musicians who changed popular music. This week he focuses on the icons of Chess Records and the Chicago label’s role as a platform for the early standard-bearers of rock ‘n’ roll. [WBEZ]

What does it mean to invest in America’s rock underground?
Grace Ambrose writes for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s blog Open Space about working for iconic punk zine Maximum Rocknroll, the DIY ethos in the age of the decaying major label, and the difficulties of balancing compensation in culture writing with continued resistance to corporatist norms. [Open Space]

Nine poets offer their favorite examples of the unique poetry of pop songwriting
Songwriting both is and isn’t poetry—for one, it’s heard first instead of seen, so the shape and sound of words often matters more than what’s actually being said. But the best of pop balances that sonic vagueness with indelible writing, in a tightrope walk that’s served audiences for decades now. Here, some poets choose their favorite songs (and songwriting) that make such distinctions feel entirely archaic. [The Paris Review]