Random Music News for Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Random Music News for Wednesday, January 18, 2017
This guy was the original slap bassist. Recommended reading #1: A new book from Johnny Lydon. Cool! Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show looks…dangerous. Overall Canadian music sales are running at -6% from this time last year. Vinyl is up 20.5% and audio streaming is ahead by 120%. Drake is now being studied at the PhD level. This was the first machine to replicate human speech. And now, some music news…

Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave and “Soul Man” fame) has agreed to perform at the Trump inauguration. Just watching this made my hands hurt. See? Bob Dylan’s grandson is a model for Dolce and Gabbana. And has she been asked to avoid anything political? Album sales are down almost 26%, led lower by a 33% drop in digital albums. I still think MH370 was brought down as the result of a lithium battery fire in the hold, but now that the search has been called off, we may never know. Gee, you think there’s a drug connection to that horrible shooting at the EDM club in Playa Del Carmen? Wow. George Michael’s cousin maintains that he died of an accidental drug overdose. The next TV music drama will be set in Miami, apparently. This song has become an ear worm–and here’s why. But we may get lithium-ion batteries with built-in fire retardant as a result. Toronto’s life music scene is not what it used to be–and it’s a serious cause for concern. (Danny again.)
Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal has had a restraining order filed against him due to some alleged death threats against a former friend. (Via Danny)
And check out this one-man-band busker. Recommended reading #2: A new tell-all by the mother of one of the members of Guns’N Roses.

More Music From The Inbox 18 Jan 2017 Kid Koala, Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!, Life of Dillon and More!

Sounds like:  The imagery of ‘chemical puppeteering’ works wonderfully with the feeling. Shit! Artist: Kid Koala, “Collapser ft. Tiger! Tiger!, “Sacramento”
Album: Corners

Awesome band name and awesome music out of Italy
Sounds like: A Heart-pounding build
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Life of Dillon, “Sex For Breakfast”
Album: N/A

LA via UK for this talented crew
Sounds like:  A good way to start the day
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Space Above, “Fall Through”
Album: Still

Brilliance out of New Zealand
Sounds like:  Being lost in the void
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Susto, “Hard Drugs”
Album: & I’m Fine Today

South Carolina is home to this intriguing band
Sounds like:  You had me at the lyrics
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: George Morris, “Full of Stars”
Album: George Morris

Fantastic new stuff out of Detroit
Sounds like:  Looking up and spinning
Link/Listen/Watch: Emiliana Torrini”
Album: Music To Draw To – Satellite

More incredible stuff from this Montreal artist! Link/Listen/Watch:
Artist: Tiger!
Tiger! Tiger!, Life of Dillon and More! Shit! More Music From The Inbox 18 Jan 2017 Kid Koala, Tiger!

The Slants Have Their Day in Court

The Slants, from Portland, Oregon, are so named because Tam, the band’s bassist, wanted to reclaim the word and challenge misconceptions of his community. The Defense Department sent the group to Bosnia and Kosovo to entertain troops; MPs were called when the party went on too long. The deeply ironic thing about all of this is that we’re going to have my white attorneys arguing with the white attorneys at the trademark office before all white judges about what’s offensive to Asian people and the only Asian in the room will not be allowed to talk. “I don’t want to be associated with Dan Snyder,” Tam tells the Post, referring to the team’s owner. More than a dozen briefs have been filed in support of The Slants, while the USPTO, in their most recent filing with the Supreme Court, insist on identifying Tam as the band’s lead singer. There’s no way of knowing when the ruling will be released until it is published, but rest assured we’ll be watching. When A Journal of Musical Things first spoke with Tam, in July 2015, Tam described court appearances as nothing like Mr. On Wednesday, Simon Tam and his band, The Slants, along with their legal team, will present their argument before the United States Supreme Court. That’s neither here nor there, of course. Smith Goes to Washington, the Jimmy Stewart movie. “There’s not a lot of love for me toward the trademark office,” he said at the time. “The White House is into them too: The Slants were included in a compilation of Asian American artists that is part of an anti-bullying initiative,” something Tam calls “deeply ironic” because the song chosen for the album is “an open letter to the trademark office.”
“One branch of government is celebrating us for our work in the Asian American community, and the other area of government is calling us racist,” Tam continued. In Washington, where a president-elect who criticizes his opponents on Twitter is redefining the outer boundaries of appropriate speech, such power to police language seems almost quaint.”
In the Washington Post, Tam makes it clear, for the 20th time if not more, that this case is not the same as the one the Washington Redskins have been fighting, although the central argument might be seen by those not terribly familiar with either case as being the same: While The Slants have the support of multiple organizations working for the benefit and support of Asian Americas, the same is not true of the NFL team and Native Americans. It’s a moment five years in the making. The Slants are also embarking on a tour this winter and spring, including a date in Buffalo on April 26 amidst a series of conferences, bars and law school performances. And almost any kind of slur you could think of for any group is a registered trademark right now. The question at hand is whether the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is allowed to deny them trademark protections for their name because the government agency has determined it to be disparaging to Asian Americans. But that’s government for you.”
The Supreme Court will hear the case Wednesday morning and will release its verdict sometime later this year, before the court adjourns for the term in June. Robert Barnes, writing for the Post, notes that “other parts of the government love The Slants. The law’s not working,” Tam said. The Slants and their case appeared on the front page of USAToday Tuesday, with Tam telling reporter Richard Wolf “We need to allow freedom of expression, especially with those you disagree with the most. It’s likely the verdict in this case, to be released in the spring or early summer, will have implications for the team. “I’m kind of used to it at this point.”
One ongoing chorus of the five-year fight the band has undertaken is the disparity with which language is considered disparaging. “Every single racial slur you can think of for Asian Americans is a trademark right now. Satire, humor, wit and irony—those are the things that will truly neuter malice.”
As Wolf explains: “At issue is nothing less than freedom of speech: Does a federal law that empowers the Patent and Trademark Office to turn down applications it deems disparaging violate the First Amendment? If you’ve been looking for some Chinatown dance-rock, check them out. In fact, while the team asked the Supreme Court to review their case instead of The Slants, the court rejected their request. USPTO has denied the band’s trademark request through multiple courts, claiming the name is “disparaging” or otherwise offensive to a particular community as defined by Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, a dusty bit of law that is seldom used and often misunderstood. As he told this organization nearly two years ago, it’s tremendously odd that a group of mostly white men have been debating whether it’s ok for an Asian American band to use a word that has been used against Asian Americans.
The Slants Have Their Day in Court

Interested in the Music Business? Here’s a Blog and a Seminar that Might Help

Here’s a Blog and a Seminar that Might Help Interested in the Music Business?
He explains:
“Having your own personal budget under control is huge for band success and for your own personal life. If learning the ins and outs of the music business sounds interests you, JAZZ.FM91 and TD partnered together and are hosting a free music business seminar. On Sunday February 26 at the JAZZ.FM91 Long & McQuade Performance Hall learn from leading industry personalities, develop key skills, participate in engaging discussions, and network with fellow artists. In other words, the more money a band takes in, the more money they can spend on travel and other necessary costs. Money in the bank means you have access to open more doors. You can get to any out of town showcases, you can have merch and recordings”. Other speakers include accountant Jae Gold, Canadian jazz artists Robi Botos, JAZZ.FM91 host Garvia Bailey, and Eek Productions director Erin Kinghorn. Antonio Ponce, author of Don’t Forget the Business in the Music Business, recently posted a new blog about financial responsibility and budgeting for bands. You can read the full blog here. Makes a lot of sense. If you want to go to the seminar, registration is required here. Topics include:

utilizing social media
getting your music online
maximizing your money
touring internationally
proper career management
recording a record
booking performances
building an audience

The seminar features a key note address by New York-based jazz aficionado Ken Druker. Titled “Band Budget – Tips On How To Keep Money In The Bank For Band Expenses”, Ponce gives musicians tips on how to organize their finances for the future.

Buffy Sainte-Marie to Receive Humanitarian Award

Buffy Sainte-Marie to Receive Humanitarian Award
Sainte-Marie will receive her award at the JUNO Gala and Dinner presented by SOCAN on Saturday April 1 at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre. Through her activism and dedication towards protecting indigenous communities and intellectual property, Sainte-Marie exemplifies the essence of humanitarianism. Today, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced that they chose singer-songwriter and social activist Buffy Sainte-Marie to receive the 2017 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award. For more information, you can check out the JUNO website. Presented by Bell Media and given annually at the JUNO Awards, the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award recognizes and celebrates philanthropic efforts by Canadians that help society’s social welfare as a whole.

U2 Did Not Sell Out a North American Tour Immediately. When Was the Last Time That Happened?

Compare that the Europe where ever single gig sold out on the first day. Do they risk adding a second show in, say, Toronto, only to find out that no one wants to go?”
This situation bears close attention. The lack of sellouts impacts cities where where all the tickets are gone. We longtime U2 fans have been discussing this. And why is demand down? Ticket prices? Something is wrong. Prices are as low as $35 in some places. If I’m anyone in the U2 organization, I’d be worried about the state of North America. Not necessarily. UPDATE: As of Thursday afternoon, Pittsburgh, Houston and Tampa are the only cities not registering a sellout. Yes, Songs of Experience has been delayed so the band can write and record songs relating to the Trump presidency, but new material hasn’t been much of a draw for fans since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.  
 
  Possibly, but why has this manifested so strongly in America and nowhere else? Tickets for the band’s first stadium tour since 360 went on sale across the continent yesterday and it wasn’t an instant sellout. As Larry points out, “Is it better to have one sold out show and a second that’s not? When was the last time U2 failed to sell out a North American tour on day one? Or is America so Trump-obsessed that everyone’s attention is elsewhere? U2 fatigue? Or was this a marketing failure, a lack of hype? Instead, the band is celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, their biggest-selling album 30+ million) of all time. Yes, most shows (including Toronto and Vancouver went clean; Chicago, LA and New Jersey have announced second shows), but tickets remain for Houston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Miami, Tampa, DC and Cleveland. Fans should be going crazy for a front-to-back performance of that record. Maybe it’s best just to have one show with insatiable demand than two shows where the hype is diluted. A top ticket in Cleveland is $280, which, compared to what other top acts are charging, is peanuts. Lack of a new album? It’s been…decades.
U2 Did Not Sell Out a North American Tour Immediately. When Was the Last Time That Happened?

If You’re Going to One Anti-Trump Inauguration Event, It Should Be This One

Their motto is “Make America Rage Again”–and this will do it. Prophets of Rage will perform an anti-Trump event at the Telegram Ballroom in LA on Friday night that will also feature Audioslave(!!!), Jack Black and, er, Jackson Browne (“One of these things are not like the other…)
Can’t make it? They’re going to stream the whole thing through their Facebook page.
If You’re Going to One Anti-Trump Inauguration Event, It Should Be This One

In Music-Making-Robot News…

In Music-Making-Robot News…
—Can you? pic.twitter.com/bxoS1t2gfh
— M. —Can a robot write a symphony? Then there’s story of a robot/software program that can write a symphony. Tom forwards this video of a bagpipe-playing robot. The march towards Skynet’s awakening continues. Mérida (@dalnemu) August 31, 2015

In Other Donald Trump Inauguration Entertainment News…

I’ll figure it out then. Meanwhile, we must report the news. All together now: “We don’t want your tiny hands/Anywhere near our underpants.” Word is when they asked for more than $1 million to play, Trump balked and pulled the plug, allegedly to save money. .@TheLewisBlack weighs in on Trump’s inauguration performers. 2. The Daily Beast reports on the art of holding an inaugural kegger. 1. Gawd, what am I going to write about after Friday? From the New York Times: “Should My Band Play at Trump’s Inauguration?”
4. Lewis Black had this to say about inauguration performers. Any surplus cash from the inauguration will be given to charity. TMZ reports that an unnamed legendary rock band–a Hall of Fame rock band, no less–was cut from the inauguration performances in order to cut costs. 3. https://t.co/oifZu4E6FX pic.twitter.com/xePHHy9ag9
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 18, 2017

5. And Fiona Apple and composer Michael Whalen have come up with a special “Tiny Hands” chant for the Women’s March on Washington, which is set for Saturday. My (totally unverifiable) guess is The Beach Boys. So who’s the band?
In Other Donald Trump Inauguration Entertainment News…

Is Toronto About to Get the World’s Largest Nightclub?

Parking. Residents and other businesses in the area are understandably concerned about more than just noise. The application will go before the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission on February 9. Transit. Currently, the club can legally accommodate 3,163 inside and 2,510 outside. That’s not a type. Thousand. At once. This could get weird. Security. Powerhouse Corp, owners of Rebel, have filed an application with the city that asks for an indoor capacity of 7,584 and space for another 7,971 on the patios. Policing. The CBC reports that Rebel has plans to become the world’s largest nightclub with a proposed official capacity of 15,000 people. Traffic. Toronto club- and concert-goers are familiar with the complex on Polson Street in the portlands now known as Rebel. But they ain’t seen nothin’ yet. People are also pointing out that the complex in in the midst of an area slated for massive redevelopment, including residential. In its previous incarnations as The Docks and Sound Academy, owners have had to deal with noise complaints from neighbours on the Toronto islands and others.   Fifteen. People.
Is Toronto About to Get the World’s Largest Nightclub?

Secondary Market Ticket Sellers: An Inside Job?

Secondary Market Ticket Sellers: An Inside Job?
The 52,000-seat Aviva Stadium were gone within a day, at a time when it “looked … that the former prince of pop might be no longer able to command” the same crowds he used to. The US has enacted federal legislation to combat ticket bots, but is it possible to prevent a performer’s management from taking advantage of their position, as is the case here? Is it even possible? For a show at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, “platinum” seats were going for £160 before fees, according to an investigation conducted by the BBC. The UK live events industry has been successfully using platinum for many years so that the full value of these tickets goes back to the rights holders and not to resellers.”
But, because the resellers, in this case, are members of Williams’ management team, the profit stays in house, the BBC notes. 11. When this was noticed, the Victoria Derbyshire program contacted Ticketmaster about the practice. When Williams’ upcoming tour went on sale in November, the Dublin gig sold out within minutes, the Irish Mirror reported at the time.   The irony seems to be that, in 2015, “Williams’ management, ie:music, signed a petition saying: ‘We as artists, managers and agents deplore the increasing industrial-scale abuse and insider exploitation of tickets for music, arts and sports events by ticket touts, and their online associates and facilitators,’” the BBC reports. “Fans were left with little choice but to head to Seatwave—a site renowned for huge ticket prices—owned by Ticketmaster. “This is not only the job of both promoters and managers, but also the government who need to be doing more to facilitate further transparency that puts fans at the centre of this market.”
As fans across Canada and the US might be scratching their heads and raising their fists at the inability to secure tickets for last summer’s Man Machine Poem tour from the Tragically Hip or the upcoming Joshua Tree 2017 tour from U2, which went on sale Tuesday morning and quickly reported sellouts at stadiums in both countries, it’s possible some will wonder how widespread this practice really is. “Transparency is key to allowing fans to be put first in this broken market,” she adds. Here they were retailing for up to a staggering €595 but these prices were expected to climb,” the Mirror reported on Nov. In other words, he used his position and access to squirrel away tickets, resell them himself, and pocket a tidy little profit, thanks to his insider knowledge and position. Will fans ever get a truly fair shake? In a statement to Newsweek, Parliamentarian Sharon Hodgson, who is the Labour party co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on ticket abuse, reiterates that the group “has called for promoters and managers to be more transparent around their involvement with secondary ticketing platforms and the need for the circumventing of the primary marketing and inflating ticket prices before they can even be sold directly to genuine fans to be addressed. Ticketmaster, in a statement said “Platinum tickets are a very small percentage of the best seats in the house that are priced according to demand, in consultation with our clients, the event organizers. This will be sure to make some music fans furious: Robbie Williams’ manager has been accused of selling tickets on the secondary market for at least $79 above face value.

Random Music News for Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Here’s a great interview with Laurie Anderson in which she remembers Lou Reed. Things continue to be weird and confused about George Michael’s death. Music streaming finally now has more paying subscribers than Netflix. See? And now, the music news…

Two Canadians are among the dead at that shooting at an EDM club in Mexico. Scalpers are taking a bath on events surrounding the Trump inauguration. People were standing in line for U2 tickets in Dublin couldn’t go hungry, so Bono ordered pizza for everyone. Now that Donald Trump’s inauguration has hired a Springsteen tribute band to perform, other such bands are getting more attention. Can’t understand that, given that Tony Orlando has just accepted an invitation to perform. No jokes about tying yellow ribbons around anything, please. The National and Common will perform at an anti-Trump event Thursday night at DC’s famous 9:30 Club. If you love analogue sound, here’s a podcast you must hear. Paul Weller has a cameo in BBC’s Sherlock. Four (five?) people were shot to death at a music festival in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The BBC reports. Here’s more on Apple’s rumoured expansion into making original audio and video programming. The most frightening statement today’s broadcasters can hear: “I can’t find your radio station.” It’s a problem–and it’s getting worse. It wasn’t the Big One, but it was bad. But Billy Corgan has come to Trump’s defense. This Indonesian singer is turning her rape scars into a song. This British singer has a great open letter about the issue of institutional racism. Both Elton John and Mariah Carey performed at the wedding of a Russian oligarch’s granddaughter. This was the day of the great 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles.
Random Music News for Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fascinating Music History: The First-Ever Gay Album

Fascinating Music History: The First-Ever Gay Album
The artwork read “For adult listeners only. So who was the singer and who were the musicians? Collectors Weekly has all the background right here. His name was Gene Howard, who, by the
So who was the daring singer and the musicians who appeared on the record? Back then, such expressions of homosexuality were not tolerated or welcomed. It’s a fascinating story. His name was Gene Howard, who, by the way, was a straight married man. Sultry stylings by a most unusual vocalist.”

Titles included “Lover Man,” “He’s Funny That Way,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man.” Here’s a shot of the back cover. In fact, being gay was still a criminal offense in many countries, so issuing this record was a big risk and few stores dared carry it. The whole project was the work of a group of straight men. We have to go all the way back to 1962 when a label called Lace Records released an album called Love is a Drag, which, as far as anyone knows, was the first album to featuring a man singing love songs about other men. What was the first-ever record directed at a gay audience?

3 Doors Down is Getting HAMMERED for Agreeing to Perform at the Trump Inauguration

You should of played at the Women’s March instead. Examples:

Sad to hear that you guys support this racist, misogynistic, ignorant man. That being said, I’m glad you guys are playing instead of pouting like babies and wearing safety pins. Love you guys!!! Gladly boycotting your music and concerts. Nevadans did not vote for Trump, so don’t bother coming back here again. Donald Trump is a bully. I love you guys and so glad you are making history and Making America Great Again! While the negative comments far outnumber the positive ones, they did get a few message of support. If you have time, you can go through all the comments below. You guys are going to need a lot of Kryptonite to overcome the devastation by your fans from this bad decision!! Don’t let anyone get you guys down…your music is awesome and I’m proud you guys are doing the stand up thing and representing America. This standoff isn’t going to bring America any closer together or America closer with the rest of the world. Hope your quick paycheck was worth it you fucking American Nickelback. Since they announced last Saturday that they had accepted an invitation to play the Trump inauguration, they’ve been hammered by criticism and threats. Then again, so are many of the people who oppose him. I assume you therefore condone the same beliefs … I forgot, you’re from bigoted, racist Mississippi. The situation with 3 Doors Down is a tiny example. I can’t believe you guys support this clown. I have enjoyed three of your concerts here in Las Vegas in the past few years but won’t ever support you again. I didn’t support trump but he’s our president now so it is what it is. To hell with trump and the “make america great again” bullshit you all believe…I like some songs of this band…but after this, I won’t listen to You again. And here’s more on the entertainment situation for the inauguration. Bye, bye to all the entertainers involved in this event. You have chosen to support a bigot, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist liar. More than 6,000 people have commented/trolled/flamed the band.
3 Doors Down is Getting HAMMERED for Agreeing to Perform at the Trump Inauguration