David Holmes

David Holmes is Pando’s East Coast Editor. He is also the co-founder of Explainer Music, a production company specializing in journalistic music videos. His work has appeared at, ProPublica, the Guardian, the Daily Dot,, and Grist.
You can follow David on Twitter @holmesdm
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  • rich-people-politics

    How Comcast and HP are corrupting elections in America

    Hey kids, want to learn how to rig an election? You could try to bribe ballot counters or conjure some intricate voter ID scam. But why bother when there’s a perfectly legal way to ensure the outcome of countless Congressional races across America: Redistricting. For decades, Republicans and Democrats have gone to staggeringly creative lengths to redraw Congressional lines in ways that pack like-minded voters into the same district, while separating citizens who are likely to vote for the rival party across multiple districts to…
  • music-trouble

    Why Sony’s deal to collect royalties directly from SiriusXM could be terrible news for musicians

    As most people know, when a song is streamed on Pandora or Spotify, the royalties from that play, often worth only a fraction of a penny, are split between the record label, the songwriter, and the performer. But there’s another less-talked about constituent that receives a cut of the revenue: Performance rights organizations or PROs. For a small administration fee, these groups collect and distribute royalties to the appropriate rights holders, songwriters, and performers. But now, a major distributor has distanced itself from one of the…
  • musical_tp

    Why haven’t iTunes and Spotify removed dozens of “hate bands” from their services?

    In the Winter 2014 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Intelligence Report,” there’s a fascinating article by Keegan Hankes called “Music & Money & Hate.” Within it, Hankes details 54 musical groups identified by the SPLC as “hate bands” whose albums, despite being full of racist lyrics, are available to buy on iTunes. All this, despite iTunes’ own Terms and Conditions which mandates that content “shall not infringe or violate the rights of any other party or violate any laws,…
  • newsroom_thumb

    What last night’s “The Newsroom” gets wrong about “disruption” in media

    Few television shows in history have elicited the strange combination of hatred and obsession that HBO’s “The Newsroom” has. Viewers, particularly those who live and work in the media world that Aaron Sorkin’s fantastical weekly drama vaguely resembles, are simultaneously enamored and repulsed by the show’s loud, overwrought ruminations on news, politics, technology, and workplace relationships. Maybe that’s because 21st century journalists love nothing more than thinking about themselves, and like Narcissus, are unable to look away from the mirror Sorkin holds up…
  • Startup politics

    What Medium’s big play for politicians says about the platform’s future

    With the latest midterm elections at a close, politicians and analysts have now set their ramblings and pontificating on the 2016 Presidential race. With adoption on online networks even greater today than ever before, another parallel race appears to be taking shape: The fight between digital platforms to become the go-to destination whenever a politician or political operative has something to share with voters. To this end, Medium has announced a new job listing: The role of Partner Development, Politics, Government,…
  • ryan-leslie

    With the help of Ben Horowitz, rapper Ryan Leslie wants to reinvent the record label for the new music economy

    I arrived a few minutes early to Open Kitchen, a cafeteria-style hangout in New York’s Financial District, to meet Ryan Leslie. Leslie is a Grammy-nominated R&B/hip-hop producer and performer who’s collaborated with Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Kanye West, to name a few. In fact, West once said that, along with himself, Leslie was among the only celebrities qualified to serve as a creative director for a tech company. (Kanye likening somebody else to Kanye is the highest praise the noted egomaniac could…
  • disckrete-sex-tape-security-app

    Is Snapcash a tool for the porn industry in disguise?

    Earlier this week, the disappearing-messages app Snapchat took a huge leap into an industry few people would have expected from what’s still considered by many to be a “sexting app”: Payments. With Snapcash, the company has partnered with Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square to allow users to send each other money as easily as adding a debit card and texting a dollar amount. It’s an inspired idea that capitalizes on Snapchat’s overwhelming popularity with young people and its super-simple user interface. This…
  • apple-uh-oh

    Can Apple win the streaming music wars or is it already too late?

    In the early 2000s, when Napster and other digital piracy sites began to eat away at the profits of an exceedingly bloated music industry, Steve Jobs knew immediately what Apple had to do. In a Rolling Stone article celebrating iTunes 10th anniversary, Steve Knopper perfectly captures Jobs’ bold plan : “Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder and chief executive, saw Napster, MP3s and the Internet a different way. By late 2002, he believed music fans clearly wanted to download songs they liked…
  • food-snowball

    Chefler is shut down, but its cofounder keeps the faith with a new food startup, Stackd

    As a New Yorker I’m probably biased, but I never really “got” food startups. To me, they seemed like little more than venture-funded restaurants with the gall to try and master technology alongside cuisine. But when Seamless/Grubhub already offer powerful delivery engines that allow restaurants to focus on cooking food not writing code, why cross the streams? Of course, $200 million in investor money in just three months says I’m wrong. In the first quarter of 2014, funding for “meal, grocery, and…
  • ubernyctweet

    UberNYC head makes light of exec’s proposed smear campaign, labels critics as “haters”

    Last night, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith revealed a plan proposed by Uber executive Emil Michael to dig up dirt on journalists — specifically, our editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy — who have been critical of the company. The statements, in which Michael suggested that Uber could “prove a particular and very specific claim about [Lacy’s] personal life,” were as appalling as they were stupid. And appropriately, Michael apologized for the remarks, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick condemned them in a…

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