Let’s Talk About Bandsplainer

It was recently announced that Spotify Studios launched a new original podcast series called “Bandsplain” – a program in which the host invites a different guest every episode to explain cult bands. This sounded oddly familiar because we here at We Own This Town are partnered with music journalist Olivia Ladd and her podcast Bandsplainer, a show in which she invites a different guest every episode to explain cult bands. If you didn’t catch it, they’re almost identical in concept and name.

To call the situation “unfortunate” is the least we can do. It’s a scenario in which Spotify, or producing agency Spoke Media, either didn’t do any due diligence on naming their new show or did do the research and didn’t mind that there was only one other show with the same name. “Bandsplainer” is not a copyright title nor is it a concept that is so inconceivable to believe that someone else could come up with it independently but it sure does feel like a dash of plagiarism from our perspective. Obviously, we love the idea of an insightful host breaking down the relevance of cult bands (that’s why we have the show!) but it sure would have been nice to see a big company go with a name that wasn’t so close to home. We’d err on the side of “honest mistake” but, in reality, it’s more likely they just didn’t care.

While we’d love to forge a campaign alerting Spotify of the transgression, it’s unlikely that a Corporate Goliath of that scale is going to change anything they’re doing because of a local podcast network. The best path forward is to remind you that Bandsplainer has been around for years and contains a load of quality episodes. Host Olivia Ladd is extremely thoughtful in the guests that she brings aboard and does an excellent job of covering the history and cultural significance of cult bands.

If you haven’t already, check out the shows Official Site, follow it on Twitter, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Overcast, even Spotify!) and dig into these fantastic episodes. We won’t tell you to tweet at Spotify Podcasts or Spoke Media but we also won’t not tell you to.

Bikini Kill
with Beth Cameron (Black Bra)

The Slits
with Olivia Jean

Patti Smith
with Elena Franklin (Reality Something)

Women in Country Music Special

Brandi Carlile
with Lorie Liebig

Lucinda Williams
with Heaven Honey

Devo
with Mark Campbell

Pulp
with Taylor Cole (Tayls)

Black Flag
with Zach Prosser (Z)

Animal Collective
with Patty Greer

Squeeze
with Charlie Zaillian

The Avett Brothers
with Collin Fidler and Luke Adamson

Death Grips
with John Connor Coulston

Brian Jonestown Massacre
with John Condit

Joy Division
with Alex Fowler

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