52 Albums That Changed My Life (and Other Exaggerations), Chapter 13: I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead

52 Albums That Changed My Life (and Other Exaggerations), Chapter 13: I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
It was this ginger haired dude that just leaped off the screen. Instead, you get this beautiful hip hop track with a maturity in the lyrics that you don’t find in a lot of hip-hop, especially by those who are at the top of the charts. But on the rare occasions, it does, I tend to absolutely love it and want to devour all I can get. I had kind of written it off. Unfortunately, my local affiliate cut really quick at the end of the segment and I didn’t get the name of the guy. I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is dense with sounds. Somewhere between The Bomb Squad and Nine Inch Nails in terms of sound, this may be why I like it so much. It’s probably the best written and honest sounding songs about being in a messed up relationship. The minute the two joined forces for Run the Jewels, I was standing there waiting for whatever they might release. EL-P hooked me in with one brief television appearance and I have been hooked ever since. With one song, EL-P ended up joining their ranks. During one particular stretch in June of 2007, I was flipping channels looking for something that would either entertain me or bore my brain enough that we might be allowed a couple of hours of sleep. Streaming music was in its infancy at that point so this became one of the first instances of me streaming an album from Youtube. One of the most amazing things for a music lover is someone who blows you away instantly. Most of it doesn’t really grab me, it’s not that it sounds bad, just doesn’t hit the right buttons. He was impossible to ignore. This really feels like an album by an artist who was going to give it everything until he got what he wanted. Youtube is a very interesting way to listen to an album, especially at that point. Due to his production work on Killer Mike’s album R.A.P Music (and a very heavy endorsement from comic book artist Mike Del Mundo), I would check out that album. All because I couldn’t sleep and then EL-P really woke me up. EL-P reminded me that there was a lot of good hip hop out there talking about other things that were well worth digging around for. Stay Tuned! I would go on to pre-order his next album Cancer 4 Cure without hearing a single track (that album is also worth taking a listen to). Instead, I come across an episode of Conan O’Brien’s late night show. In my case, it was a guy who went by the name EL-P. It was probably a minute or two into the musical performance. He’s a fighter who is just swinging for knockouts until he the other guy is on the ground. RUN DMC, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, I completely love these bands. It was a music that only spoke of money and women. That what you are seeing or hearing is someone who is talented. The song, as it turned out, was called “The Overly Dramatic Truth” and the artist went by the name EL-P. It comes and it goes, it usually only lasts a couple of weeks but during that time of not being able to sleep, I end up reading a lot and watching a lot of late night tv and movies. This song could have easily been all about sex or just a track whining over a relationship that should not be. Sure, whoever had uploaded the album had listed when each song started but it almost forced me to listen to the album as a whole as opposed to skipping between songs. I needed this album that was apparently called I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead but by the point, I figured out who EL-P was, it was 3 am. More importantly, EL-P, reopened my eyes to the world of hip hop. The narrator doesn’t just blame one side or the other, he admits to knowing that the relationship is screwed up but yet he can’t let go. For me, the standout track on the album is “The Overly Dramatic Truth”. This was before I could afford a smartphone so it took a little bit of time to figure out who the hell the guy was. I sat up and paid attention. Someone you can’t wait to share with everyone you know. I’m a weird case of not being a huge hip hop fan. Next week, we go from modern hip-hop to modern disco. The songwriting is also pretty top notch. I have suffered from mild insomnia since I was a kid. Someone who is special.

Your Weird Vinyl Record for the Day

Your Weird Vinyl Record for the Day
I’m always looking for the weird and kooky, but I’ve never run across anything like this. In 1964, a label called Folkways Records–a company that specialized in preserving the sounds of our world beyond just music–released a record called The Sounds of the Office. By the time you read this, I’ll have been through the crates at the Downtown Record Show in Toronto. And yep, that’s exactly what it contains. Click on the image to hear such rave-ups as “Dictation and Transcription,” “Pop Bottle Machine” and my favourite, “Heat Copyer (Thermofax) and Stapling.” (SPOILER: No David Brent or Dwight Shrute will be found.)
(Via Andrew who got it from Boing Boing.)

 

Which Streaming Music Services are in the Most (and Least) Financial Trouble?

They’re all losing money, but some are in worse shape than others. Despite having millions of users worldwide, there isn’t a single streaming music service that’s profitable. SoundCloud is fucked. On Thursday, the streaming music service mostly known as a place to hear podcasts and remixes from unknown DJs confirmed that it had taken $70 million in debt funding—basically a loan from various investors—in order to stay in business.It’s never a good sign when venture-backed companies have to raise money from debt financing groups, because it indicates that traditional investors don’t have much hope for the company. In fact, looking at the landscape, streaming services in general are kind of fucked. Yet, while having an extra $70 million is certainly helpful, it’s probably not going to be enough to save SoundCloud from the fate of Rdio, Grooveshark, MOG, and other failed music streaming services. This appears to be the case for SoundCloud, as TechCrunch reports that the debt funding was raised because the company couldn’t close a $100 million round of funding. This appears to be the case for SoundCloud, as
It’s never a good sign when venture-backed companies have to raise money from debt financing groups, because it indicates that traditional investors don’t have much hope for the company. Let’s get the full explanation, shall we? Back in February, when SoundCloud released its 2015 financial information, we found out that the company had lost $55 million for the year and was at the risk of running out of cash. Gizmodo explains.
Which Streaming Music Services are in the Most (and Least) Financial Trouble?

When It Comes to Music Memorabilia, People Will Pay (Dearly) for Anything

When It Comes to Music Memorabilia, People Will Pay (Dearly) for Anything
It could go for as much as $270,000. Expect to spend $1,600 CAD. Looking through the catalog, buyers will be on things like:
A hoodie worn by Eminem in 8 Mile, which could sell for as much as $27,000 CAD…

 
The jacket seen on the singer of Otis Day and the Knights in Animal House. ($900-ish)

Or you could splurge for this signed U2 guitar. ($80,000)

It would never fit, but I’d love this Joey Ramone leather jacket ($2,500-ish) (NOT a typo!)

Then again, you could opt for something cheaper like this Prince tambourine. Come Monday, music fans with money to burn will be paying attention to the latest music memorabilia auction through Bonham’s in NYC. A print from The Simpsons signed by Mick, Keef, Lenny Kravitz and more. $11,000

A wooden recorder once owned by Jimi Hendrix.

Our Long (Inter)national Nightmare Continues: Which Pearl Jam Drummers Will Be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction?

Our Long (Inter)national Nightmare Continues: Which Pearl Jam Drummers Will Be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction?
Dave Abbruzzese (1991-94)
Recommended for the gig by his friend Matt Chamberlain, Dave #2 was with the band during the recording of both Vs and Vitalogy, two essential albums in the PJ canon. To my knowledge, no one has heard from Jack Irons yet. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has nothing to say

Stay tuned. Then came…
3. Let’s go to the video. But when it came time to go on the road in support of the Yield album, Jack decided he’d had enough. But then he was fired in August 1994 because he apparently rubbed some of the other guys the wrong way. pic.twitter.com/YR4aMsn5J1
— dave (@DaveKrusen) March 20, 2017

Matt Chamberlain sent his best regards, but he won’t be attending. Matt Chamberlain (1991)
Matt was called in to tour the Ten album through the first half of 1991, but was lured away with a steady full-time gig playing in the Saturday Night Live house band. So here’s the question: Which of these guys should be inducted with Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Which finally brings us to…
5. Still no idea. Dave Abbruzzese? Does this mean he’s going to play with the band that night? He immediately checked into rehab. Then the call went out to…
4. Dave Krusen (1990-91)
He lasted through just the recording of Ten before he was asked to leave due to personal issues. Dave was replaced by…
2. Dave Krusen has deleted most of his tweets and posted a copy of his drumkit. Up until Matt Cameron was permanently installed as Pearl Jam’s drummer in 1998, the band had issues with the guy at the back of the band. 1. So where do we stand today? Matt Cameron (1998- )
And things have been fine ever since, even with Matt doing double-duty with Soundgarden these days. Jack Irons (1994-98)
The one-time Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer–and Eddie Vedder’s basketball buddy in San Diego (and the person who tipped Eddie off to the PJ singer gig in the first place)–was drafted. Let’s count ’em up. He later ended up in Candlebox and played with a variety of other artists.

Crate Digging at Toronto’s Downtown Record Show

Crate Digging at Toronto’s Downtown Record Show
It was just too weird to pass up.   This was an early 70s prog band from Italy that never released an album while they were together. Here’s what came home with me this time. Bauhaus  – Stairway to Escher (1974)
No, not that Bauhaus. The Brady Bunch – Meet the Brady Bunch (1972)
One of at least two LPs released by the kids from the TV show. It’s a twice-annual ritual. Armed with $200 (know your limit, buy within it), I hit the crates. This record bears absolutely no resemblance to Rumours whatsoever. 39  Steps – 39 Steps (1985)
Sadly underrated Montreal band who received much CFNY love for this album’s single, “Slip into the Crowd.”

The Fugs – It Crawled into My Hand, Honest (1968)
Weird, avant-garde in-your-face, anti-war band from New York City famous for being the first group to drop the F-bomb on a recording. Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac (1968)
Long before Fleetwood Mac went their own way, they were a heavy blues band led by Peter Green. A bunch of hardcore record nerds meet for a breakfast of eggs and juicy sausages and then hit the Downtown Record Show at the Estonian Hall on Broadview.

Random Music News for Saturday, March 25, 2017

Random Music News for Saturday, March 25, 2017
Chris Martin answers all your questions about anal sex. The Motley Crue biopic The Dirt is going to end up on Netflix. Want to buy some of the same air Adele breathed while in Australia? (Via Larry again)
Liam Gallagher says the backup band for his solo career is “DANGEROUS.”
Willie Nelson: “I’m still not dead.”
The former Mrs. Speakers in a Turkish city suddenly started blaring porn. (Via Tom)
Get this: The US law against ISPs selling the browsing history of their customers has been killed. Jay Z is involved in producing a documentary about the death of Trayvon Martin. Rediscovering the Twin Peaks soundtrack. the most useful) singles chart in the world? And speaking of which, here’s some music news. If you’re at a gig tonight and the lights go out, don’t panic. Users have been sold out to advertisers. Sixty years ago today, US Customs seized copies of the Allen Ginsberg poem “Howl” on obscenity grounds. Taking note of how political Depeche Mode can be when they want to. Many stores will be closed by next weekend. This company just landed the contract to fly U2 from gig to gig on their upcoming tour. Man, if they only knew what was to come with music. Some people do. All stock at HMV is now up to 60%. Over 100 venues across the country are participating in the Lights Out campaign, which is part of the whole Earth Day thing. You heard me. (Via Larry)
Is this the best (i.e.

Future Islands’ New Video Has Been Released in American Sign Language

Future Islands’ New Video Has Been Released in American Sign Language
In the new video for the song “Cave”–the second single from their upcoming album, The Far Field–the band uses the sign language interpreter for New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to sign along with the lyrics. There’s something weirdly hypnotic about Baltimore’s Future Islands. Whatever the case, I get sucked in by what these guys do. Gerrit Welmers keyboard programming? Is it Samuel Herring’s vocal style? It’s pretty cool, really.

Spacecraft Fact of the Day: Why Chuck Berry is Flying Through the Universe and the Beatles Aren’t

Spacecraft Fact of the Day: Why Chuck Berry is Flying Through the Universe and the Beatles Aren’t
NASA asked EMI for permission to include the song, but they refused. Made of actual gold–the element stands up very well to the rigors of space–these honest-to-God phonograph records contain all kinds of information about the species that sent the probes out into the void. So what happened? But another song was also considered for inclusion: the George Harrison-written “Here Comes the Sun” from The Beatles. Out of all the musical selections on the record, there is exactly one rock song: “Johnny B. All because some lawyers were worried that some aliens might end up listening to “Here Comes the Sun” without the appropriate licensing. That includes sounds of Earth: greetings in various languages, nature sounds and samples of our music. This means long after our sun has gone nova and we approach the heat death of the universe, the Chuck Berry’s art will survive while the Beatles will be forgotten for eternity. Goode” from Chuck Berry. One of the coolest music projects ever was the Carl Sagan-curated Golden Record, phonograph records attached to the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft.  

Look Out Spotify. Here Comes Facebook.

Today, MBW has discovered that Facebook is now recruiting for no less than three new senior music-focused roles at its US head office.   These include a Label Music Business Development Lead, who will be tasked with ‘leading Facebook’s strategy and negotiations’ with music labels throughout the world, as well as ‘collaborating with our product and media partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class licensing structure’. The prospect of Facebook taking on the likes of Spotify and YouTube in the world of music streaming is no longer a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’. Facebook makes no secret that they want to get deep–very deep–into music as part of their growth strategy. Last month, MBW revealed that the social media giant was hiring for a Legal Director of Music Licensing, based at its HQ in Menlo Park, California. The latest comes from Music Business Worldwide. Read on. This individual would, we learned, be working closely with Tamara Hrivnak – Facebook’s new global music strategy boss, and a well-respected exec with history at YouTube and Warner Music Group. This could be a big deal. Square in its sights are Spotify, YouTube and Apple.
Here Comes Facebook. Look Out Spotify.

Random Music News for Friday, March 24, 2017

(Don’t get too freaked out; they need to have physical access to the phone to do it.)
Do you play Rock Band? (Via Larry)
Buying a new vehicle? On this day 59 years ago, Elvis was drafted into the army. Paul McCartney has a few things to say about his legacy (and John’s, too). Have a browse through these horror stories artists had with major labels. And in music news…

Chuck Berry apparently left behind a fortune of $50 million. Snapchat is going to change the music industry. Ride offers details on their first album in 20 years. Geffen Records is going to be relaunched almost 20 years after being annexed by Interscope. There’s now this VR component. Here’s how. Shoegaze lives! In iPhone news, this “superdock” turns your iPhone into a laptop…
…and here’s how the CIA bugs iPhones. Take a look at some of these, er, more unusual acts that appeared at SXSW. Here’s your answer. Consider “radio and the empathetic car.”
Adele has broken some serious Aussie music records. Here’s why you shouldn’t rely too much on your GPS. Great question: What makes one streaming music service different from another? It could cause parts of your brain to switch off.
Random Music News for Friday, March 24, 2017

A Brief History of Bands That are Cartoons (Or at Least Animated)

You may remember Gorillaz first for their look—specifically the fact that they were cartoons, four strangely rendered misfits frowning in baggy clothes while riding in a camouflage jeep. Just as Napster, also working behind an odd cartoon avatar, used files from CDs to undermine the record industry from within, so Gorillaz presented a new challenge for young music fans who didn’t know much else. At the time, this seemed normal. “What if you went to their concert and a bunch of cartoons came out onstage?” I specifically remember Gary asking that one, and I specifically remember being completely stumped. I lost this argument. Gorillaz, however, made it seem less so, turning that artificiality in on itself, making it so obvious that it was no longer possible to ignore. This is from Vinyl Me, Please. They were, as I recall, the first band I was ever made fun of for liking. Thus began some of my first arguments about the nature of pop: “Who makes the songs?” None of us knew Blur, or Damon Albarn, Gorillaz’s IRL string-puller, and thus we had no idea. But with Gorillaz, a much more complicated argument began to unfold. Being in fifth grade meant that we couldn’t rule out the possibility that the cartoons were somehow making the music themselves. Pop music had been moving quickly in those years. A year earlier, ‘NSYNC’s No Strings Attached had sold 2.4 million copies in its first week. Or, if you heard them only through radio, the name might first recall their peculiar sound, touching on rap, dub, indie rock and electronica that way tourists pose for pictures at America’s Four Corners, one limb in each state. Still, I will always remember the group for what they were to me in 2001: the most controversial band in my fifth grade class. I will forever cherish the memory of the afternoon I spent with my old friend Gary, tallying every swear in Kid’s Devil Without a Cause and arguing over whether “ass” should be included in our count. For now, let’s table it. With new Gorillaz out this week, maybe it’s time to look at the history of the animated band. Keep reading. The record industry was reaching an all-time high, pushed upward by the standardization of the compact disc and the disposable income produced by the bubble economy. My friends were already fluent in the language pop-entertainment spectacle—its fakeness, its inhumanity, its cartoonishness. “How can you like a band that’s just cartoons?” Another tough one. Among the boys I knew, the boy band’s only threat came from usurpers like Eminem and Kid Rock, TRL stars who performed rebellion exactly the way elementary school students imagine it—mostly by saying the F-word.
A Brief History of Bands That are Cartoons (Or at Least Animated)

The Fake $18,000 Record: A Cautionary Tale for Record Collectors

The lightning-fast turnaround on this record-breaking sale, however, seems to have been a fiction woven by the record’s creator. It begins on a beach somewhere in south Florida. Despite a clear talent for guitar and a cosmically eccentric and dubiously effective knack for self-promotion, Yeager has been stymied repeatedly. This can get especially tricky when dealing with long-lost records–albums that did nothing when they were first released but retroactively have become extremely valuable. Two days later that test pressing almost became, at a price tag of $18,000, the most expensive album ever sold on the site, besting a record set last year for a sublimely rare Prince piece which sold for $15,000. The most eccentric — and ill-conceived — example of his promotional facility, bar none, came when Yeager spent two years planning and executing a hoax that would eventually convince a television station and a weekly paper to believe that he was Jimmy Story, the son of Jimi Hendrix, who was in possession of lost recordings from the psychedelic legend.  NPR has this story about a record–a fake collectible–that almost sold for $18,000. This is the story of a hoax that almost was. This morning, Discogs canceled the transaction,
The album, called 301 Jackson St., was recorded by Billy Yeager, a Florida man who has pursued musical fame (or at least notoriety) for 37 years, by his own account. Earlier this year, a test pressing (literally a test, for labels and artists to hear before ordering a full run of new record) of an unknown musician’s record was put up for sale on Discogs, a resale website popular with collectors. Keep reading. Record collecting can be thrilling, but it also has its pitfalls. How do you know that the coveted record you’re buying is what the seller says it is? And from this point, it gets really, really weird. Its motivating force was a hunger for fame, or infamy, or whispered legend in a particularly American sort of way.
The Fake $18,000 Record: A Cautionary Tale for Record Collectors