Random Music News for Saturday, November 25, 2017
Johnny Cash’s boyhood home is going to be declared a historic site. This app allows crowdsourcing of requests for DJs at shows and clubs. A “hallucination machine?”
It’s been 50 years since the Beatles released “I Am the Walrus.” It still doesn’t make sense. What’s the deal with this secret Neil Young concert? The Noel vs. Apparently, he’s too busy fighting with LeVar Ball. That’s the rumour. David Cassidy’s Fort Lauderdale house is up for rent. He died this week at the age of 59. Read this. How come no one can say for sure how many records Taylor Swift’s Reputation sold in its first week? I heard a great line from Mitch Hedberg the other day: “I do not feel compelled to listen to the Temptations.” And now, some music news for Saturday, November 25. Are an artist’s superfans more important than a formal marketing team? Cool! Google is clamping down on ticket scammers. Wait: Could John Lydon end up being Ireland’s entry into Eurovision 2018? Eminem is pissed that Donald Trump hasn’t taken his bait. A Singapore company could become the sole owner of Rolling Stone magazine. RIP American power pop star Tommy Keene. Liam feud deconstructed in the context of having an abusive father. Why do so many musicians get digital so wrong? Any takers? That’s a good question. We have a problem with a lack of sign language interpreters at concerts in this country. A talking dog. Good. Cool photography book: The forgotten women of the 80s indie boom.
7. A Beatles Xmas Ornament: $60.00
Not cheap, but certainly a keepsake. Etsy again. Why not? From The Fest. A Big Pixes Xmas Ball: $14.05 CAD
Ooo. Now that we’re beyond Black Friday, we have to get serious about our gift-buying obligations. Shop at Etsy. Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd Christmas Ornament Set: $15.80 CAD
Good value, this. Or Maybe You Want the Cure Version: $14.05 CAD
More leather for your tree.
10. Buy it at the Hip store. 2. Notice the tiny Concrete and Gold logo in the middle of the snowflake? 1. It’s made of leather, too. Purchase here. Go here.
5. Another Etsy offering. Kurt AND Foos Xmas Ornaments: $15.80 CAD
Buy the Foos, get Kurt!
8. 4-Pack Tragically Hip Xmas Ornaments: $70.00 CAD
I have a feeling that this could be a very popular item. Foo Fighters Red Snowflake Christmas Tree Ornament: $19.05 CAD
Very subtle, Dave. Rock Band Pack: $32.92 USD
Because nothing says Christmas like Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park, Soundgarden, Beastie Boys and Pearl Jam. Shop at Merchbar. Get this at Bronners.
9. Sure you could spend time with the other lemmings at the mall (well, that’s unavoidable; we’ll all be sucked into that vortex over the next four weeks), but instead why not click through this list of ideas that you can order from the comfort of your own home? For the Accordion Player in Your Life: $11.99
You do have an accordion player in your life, right? Nirvana Smiley Face Christmas Ornament: $19.05 CAD
This will confuse Grandma. Tell her it’s a picture of Jesus.
Deck the Tree with These Rock’n’Roll Xmas Ornaments
Once you’re done, check out this series of videos. The whole Canada 150 thing isn’t quite over yet. Click on the image to get started. If you haven’t seen this interactive timeline on Canadian music, give it a look.
Explore 150 Years of Canadian Music with This Interactive Spotify Timeline
Fun: The Museum of Endangered Sounds
Vanity Fair goes deep with the museum’s creators here. Or squawks of a Nintendo GameBoy? That’s where the Museum of Endangered Sounds, a six-year-old online collection of, well, sounds that be otherwise lost to history. Do you remember the sound Windows 95 made when it started up? And if you want to get started, click on the image below. How about when that US Robotics dial-up modem connected? All these sounds were once very important–at least in pop culture terms–but are in danger of being lost forever.
(Via Uncommon Goods) (Via MyWebRoom)
2. Maybe a Metallica version featuring a scary reindeer? Find it on Polyvore for 17 bucks. 5, Music Teacher Mug
Totally onboard with this one. Looks a little Dr. 1. 7.
6. $60 USD at ThinkGeek. Too bad that it’s $1,100. With exactly a month until Christmas, it’s time to get serious about making lists. Headphone Pendant Necklace
Made of sterling and 14K gold. An Ugly Metallica Xmas Sweater
Ugly Christmas sweaters started being A Thing a couple of years ago. Your ears are worth the $42.99. Earplugs for Concerts
Sure you could keep buying the cheap foam things from Shopper’s Drug Mart, but these Shark Tank-approved plugs do a better job of keeping the decibels down while allowing the music to come through. Beatles Coffee Table
Fantastic, right? (Via Amazon.ca)
3. Seuss-y, doesn’t it? Twenty bucks US at the Metallica store. (Via Amazon.ca)
4. And for less than $50 Canadian, too. A Personalized Mixtape Doormat
Imagine this at the front door. Jack White’s Picture Book for Children
Jack wrote this book based on the White Stripes song of the same name. Maybe something like this?
Even More Musical Gift Ideas. They May Not All Be Affordable, But…
If you had already started trying out bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Soundgarden or Red Hot Chilli Peppers, you were already on board but the problem was finding the albums or at least in small-town Ontario. Lastly, Nevermind taught other kids my age to try different music. If you were also a huge fan of music, you remember the intro to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and how Nirvana entered the public consciousness like a bomb going off. He also happened to be a huge douche canoe who’s social group would occasionally throw witty insults at my groups of friends due to our musical interests. You remember numerous lines from numerous episodes of The Simpsons. As an adult, I’ve had a chance to re-evaluate that take on In Utero, still not my favorite album by far but not bad by a long shot, just not my thing. Many, bought Nevermind and that was it or maybe got Nirvana Unplugged. You would have to order them and often these albums would be “imports” which meant more expensive than a regular CD. Other friends traced the roots of alternative back further and fell for bands like the Velvet Underground. Guess who converted over to a Nirvana shirt when Nevermind hit? You remember the word Lollapollooza, seeing Titanic. My Sam the Record Man, HMV and Sunrise only had so much shelf space and while they were decent at providing music of all genres, understandably, the popular acts that sold well, got shelf space and albums that were questionable for sales at best like The Revolting Cocks’ Big Sexyland, did not get brought into the store. The popularity of Nevermind had record stores stocking up on alternative bands and making it much easier to get a hold of new material. But for a number of other people, it was the open door. I was one of the first of my friends to have Nevermind on CD and it quickly got passed around and then each of those people started digging their own musical paths. One guy even went on to win a Stanley Cup. The first thing it did was made it a lot easier to get the other alternative acts that I liked. Nevermind also made it okay to listen to alternative music as a teenager. This meant that seeing these bands also became easier. While this was also similar to my friends at the time, we were definitely in the minority, especially in the hockey department. Jane’s Addiction and Faith No More had fired warning shots off the bow of the popular metal ship but Nirvana was the cannonball that tore through the boat. For everything else that I like about Nirvana and Nevermind, these are the things that I think of as important. Some bands would be lucky enough to play in bigger venues earning them more money and allowing for more fans to see them. At the time of its release, I HATED In Utero. Now, obviously, I could go on and on about how Nirvana changed the musical landscape of the time and how important Nevermind is to music. (And while I have not seen or spoken to this person in years, I can guarantee they own Nicklebacks greatest hits)
This didn’t make me cool by any means but it did mean I was definitely ahead of the curve on the music front and for that, I was rarely teased or made fun of afterward. I really dig Nevermind but I kind of left the boat after that. Nevermind jump-started the alternative revolution for not only music fans but music stores. The bullies just focused on the D&D playing instead. But there was something about “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that really grabbed me and then “Come as You Are” just cemented it. It brought it to the kids next door to me, the kids down the street, the kids in my French class.Overnight, fans of hair metal and pop music retreated or switched from Poison t-shirts to Nirvana t-shirts. What I can do is tell you how Nevermind affected me personally. At the time of its release, I had already begun to discover alternative music on my own and I fell into the industrial rabbit hole that I’ve described before. Better music writers than I have already covered the crap out of that particular story. Nevermind set up the framework for my friends and me to explore different music and then share it with one another. It didn’t ostracize me but it was the third part in the weirdo trifecta of likes weird music, reads comic books, doesn’t give two craps about hockey. But looking back on it, I’m more a fan of what Nevermind did for my generation of music fans, especially those of us who dug alternative rock. “I like Nevermind, let’s see what else is out there.” I fell into more dark and angry music. I’m going to be very upfront about the fact that for the most part, I am not a huge Nirvana fan. You remember the first time you so South Park or a bootleg of the short film that inspired it. If you were a teenage obsessed with pop culture in the 90s, there are certain things you just remember. The fact of the matter is, before Nevermind, a lot of what I listened to was considered weird by a good chunk of my classmates. In a lot of ways, Nevermind wasn’t really my thing either. Nevermind brought alternative to the masses. They would tour more places because more places wanted to see them. I want to say at least half of the boys I grew up with played hockey. I was in complete agreement with Nirvana’s record company, compared to Nevermind, this wasn’t good.
52 Albums That Changed My Life, Chapter 48: Nevermind
Cochlear implants can allow deaf people to hear, but they can never (at least not yet) replicate what a person with full hearing experiences. Here’s what someone with a cochlear implant hears.
What It’s Like to Hear with Cochlear Implants
Gift Idea: Vinyl Storage Cabinet
They’re not cheap, but the quality looks great. Sure, you could go to IKEA and get some of their shelving–perfectly adequate, that–but that’s not the solution for everyone. And if you have a DJ in the family, take a look at this. It’s one thing to collect vinyl, but it’s another thing to find a place to store it. Surely with the resurrection of vinyl someone must have come up with new efficient ways to store your records. Here are some of the nicest cabinets I’ve seen in a long time, all from Atocha Design of New York.
Remembering the Politically Incorrect Punk of the 1980s
In one 1984 column, he claimed “the N.Y. “I’m approaching this band with caution,” it warned. Skins apparently have embraced the British National Front’s racist and nationalist attitudes.” He rarely missed the opportunity to depict the band’s members and their friends as goose-stepping goons. The central tenets all centred on the idea that anyone with anyone to say should be able to say it, regardless of musical ability, gender, or background. “If it’s just ‘good sounding’ music you want,” he admonished readers in the March 1985 issue, “then punk is no alternative at all. For me, what makes punk different is the intelligence and commitment behind it.”
Agnostic Front quickly became one of Yohannan’s primary targets. Keep reading. In September 1984, the widely read punk zine Maximum Rocknroll published its review of Victim in Pain, the debut album by a New York City band called Agnostic Front. In other words, there were no rules. “Unfortunately, much of the narrow-mindedness, fanatical nationalism, and violence that has destroyed the New York punk scene seems to have revolved around AGNOSTIC FRONT.”
The author of that review was the publication’s founder and editor, Tim Yohannan, a 40-something ex-Yippie who thought punk music should march in lockstep with left-wing politics. There were plenty of rules–and woe to those who transgressed. The punk rock thought police roamed the scenes, attempting to keep things pure. Reason.com takes a look at that era. When punk first exploded in the middle 1970s, it was liberating. As Ray Farrell, a punk veteran who once worked at the independent record label SST (run by Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn), told Steven Blush, author of American Hardcore: A Tribal History, “there was an ideological development at Maximum RockNRoll, making everything move towards a Socialist bent.”
In effect, Yohannan appointed himself as the grand inquisitor of the punk rock thought police, scouring the scene for any signs of deviation from the lefty script. This August, Agnostic Front singer Roger Miret published a new memoir that tells his side of the story. But the time we got to the early 80s, punk became codified, governed by rigid competing and often contradicting dogmas.
How Much Can You Expect to Make? So Now Your Music is on YouTube. Spoiler: Not Much.
YouTube is still one of the biggest sources of music discovery in the known universe and the biggest streamer anywhere. But it’s important to keep things in perspective. And the news gets even bleaker. Did you hire a company to help you get all the money YouTube owes you in the first place? An additional songwriter? Not much, really. Maybe. But Vevo is owned by the labels, which means if you leave, they’ll still control your Vevo channel. If you’re lucky enough to get signed to a major label, hold onto your hats. Is there a featured artist? But how much can you expect to earn from exposing your music this way? If you’re signed, your record label gets a cut. A producer who made the beat? That’s where the inequalities really start grinding artists’ gears. Them too. Keep reading. Bottom line is that you need a presence on the platform. Streams should never, ever be part of an apples-to-apples comparison with sales. All of them get a fraction of your fraction of a cent. So of the $1-2K, an artist will likely have a few hundred bucks left over at the end of it all. That’s individual listening. Unless you reach “Despacito”/”Gangnam Style” heights, you’ll be lucky to earn $1,000 for every million streams. But that’s an argument for another time. Got a manager and a lawyer? From Complex.com:
This being the music business, that’s not the end of the story. That’s mass listening. If your music isn’t on YouTube, you don’t exist. Each stream pays out a tiny fraction of a cent which, theoretically, should be mathematically equal to what a radio spin plays if you divide the number of simultaneous listers by the airplay royalty fee. Majors will insist that their acts post videos to Vevo—which means higher ad rates and thus a little bit more money. Streaming has much more in common with radio play. Where people get hung up is comparing the per-stream payout to the payout for a radio spin. Neither a radio spin or a stream of a song is equivalent to (or a substitute for) a sale of that song when it comes to financial return. With each bit of airplay, the composer (and in some countries like Canada, the artist and the other musicians associated with the song), gets a tiny payout as a result of the performing rights fees radio stations pay for the privilege of playing music. With streaming, the song is heard is heard tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands or many millions of times) one listen at a time. When a song gets played once on a radio station, it may be heard by tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people at once. Discouraging? The net result (theoretically) is about the same.
The Evolution of the Turntable from 1877
Following ground-breaking experiments in France, it was the great American inventor Thomas Edison who first showed off the Phonograph, the turntable’s earliest precursor, to Scientific American magazine 140 years ago. It’s a great piece of technological history. At his laboratory in Menlo Park, California, Edison had assigned one of his trusted creatives, John Kruesi, to the project (making him the device’s true creator). Mixmag.com has created this timeline of how the turntable evolved from the day Thomas Edison first unveiled his phonograph. Keep reading. A stylus recorded sounds onto thick tinfoil wrapped around a cylinder and the first tune a needle ever dropped onto was Kreusi shouting, “Mary had a little lamb.” Within five years, Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, had come up with the Graphophone, which replaced the foil with wax and resulted in higher quality sound reproduction. It starts like this.
Planning a trip that might include some record shopping? This tool will help you figure out where the hot stores are once you get to your destination. Click on the image to get started. Props to VinylHub for taking the time to plot every single vinyl record store in the known universe on a map.
This Map Plots Every Single Vinyl Record Store on the Planet