Numbers don’t lie: Why Justin Timberlake played the Super Bowl

Sales of songs performed in his medley rose 534%. before his halftime gig on Sunday. With the chart week closing at midnight last night (Thursday), we can now assess if Justin Timblerlake’s Super Bowl performance was worth it. Here are the percentage increases in sales on Monday vs. (Via ESPN) “Until The End of Time” (+3,116%)
“Mirrors” (+2,094%)
“My Love” (+1,187%)
“Cry Me A River” (+1,171%)
“Rock Your Body” (+1,131%)
“Suit & Tie” (+1,016%)
“Sexyback” (+995%)
“Filthy” (+122%)

Again, the NFL doesn’t pay the performers but does cover production costs. Nice, but less than the 940% increase that Lady Gaga saw last year.
Numbers don’t lie: Why Justin Timberlake played the Super Bowl

Random Music News for Friday, February 9, 2018

Random Music News for Friday, February 9, 2018
Yep. Cool! Why are we still talking why or why not there was a Prince hologram at the Super Bowl? There’s new data on how country music fans are taking advantage of streaming music services. Wednesday was International Clash Day. I guess. Drake has been on a real charitable kick recently. (Via Tom)
Ozzy says he’s retiring. Justin Timberlake made merch for every single song on his Man of the Woods album. Blame the government. Want to turn your car into a karaoke machine? You need this. Mapping the world’s music preferences. I need some greens and fibre. The results are interesting. It’s for sale. Again. Chinese rap is in crisis. How to run an indie music business out of an apartment. Oscar-nominated music scores seem to be doing well in unusual places. A list of artists that have performed as holograms. Take a read of this. How did I miss this? Want to buy Adele’s country home? The singer of the Kaiser Chiefs is going to appear on the Great Canadian Bake-Off. Are you a band struggling with digital? Home after a week in Nashville. Now that I’ve left you with that image, here’s the music news for February 9, 2018. A Broadway musical based on the music of Huey Lewis and the News?

Google promises to make it a little more difficult for ticket resellers

Google promises to make it a little more difficult for ticket resellers
You pays your money, you takes your chances, I guess. We don’t know. Lack of transparency can erode trust in the online ticket ecosystem and makes it harder for legitimate businesses to reach customers. At least Google is doing something to keep the scammers at bay. How many are scammers? Now the company is going to do something about it. Google knows it has a scalper program. As of Wednesday (February 7), Google started making it a rule that all secondary sellers of tickets to concerts, sports, theatre and other events make it very clear that they’re NOT the primary seller. Or at least try. Google, of course. And there’s more. We’ll never, ever stomp out the secondary ticket market, nor should we. The big concert is sold out but you’re desperate to go at any price. Beginning next month, all sellers will have to disclose exactly how much they’re charging above the face value of the ticket. Dozens of search hits turn up. So where do you turn? This comes from David Graff, the senior trust and safety director at Google (how’s that for a title?):
Unfortunately, some ticket resellers provide limited transparency in their ads about ticket costs and fees, as well as their association with a specific venue or event. But which ones are legit? There are very legitimate reasons for such a marketplace to exist, but that’s a column for another day.

How remixes of songs take over our brains

How remixes of songs take over our brains
And done right, a remix can actually take over our brains in interesting ways. Remixes can give a song multiple new personalities, repurposing a single track for many different audiences.

Rush fans will be glad to hear Alex Lifeson on this 18-minute psych freakout

Rush fans will be glad to hear Alex Lifeson on this 18-minute psych freakout
Witness this 18-minute guest appearance on a Fu Manchu track called “Il Mostro Atomico” from an album entitled Clone of the Universe. While Rush fans are still coming to terms that the band is over, Alex Lifeson is still determined to have fun playing guitar. If you’re looking for a throwback to something like “2112” or “Cygnus X-1,” you’ll find something to like here. The entire track can be heard at Rolling Stone or just click on the graphic below.

It’s come to this: A blog post that shows streamers how to play music they already own

It’s come to this: A blog post that shows streamers how to play music they already own
They’ve never purchased music and loaded it onto to a device for listening. Advantages like uninterrupted music, increased portability, and increased longevity of the hardware you actually use make it worth the cost of a few albums. The company’s previously announced update to its Spotify Connect platform unfortunately terminates the streaming service’s functionality on a variety of speakers ostensibly advertised as Spotify-connected devices. Some of them (from companies like Onkyo and Denon) very expensive Spotify-connected devices. Keep going. As far as I can tell, this article isn’t written with any irony. Rupinder forwarded this article from Lifehacker. And no Internet connection required! What does that mean for you? Instead of shopping around for a new streaming service that will ultimately disappoint you, why not cut out the middleman and start using a music library you actually own? Spotify doesn’t. (Yes, people have to hack their lives for this sort of thing now.)
Remember loyalty? Well, if you own a speaker not scheduled to receive any updates fixing the disconnect, according to the Verge, you’ll have to find a new way to get audio out of it. WOW! I get it that streaming is the future, but for some people, streaming is apparently all they know.

The Sheepdogs named “Champions of Canada” for Record Store Day 2018

The Sheepdogs named “Champions of Canada” for Record Store Day 2018
No one is really sure what that means, but it does sound cool. As preparations continue for the annual Record Store Day on the third Saturday in April, the Sheepdogs have been named “Champions of Canada” for the event. And it does come with this video of the band showing off their vinyl.

The gender-neutral version of “O Canada” was almost scuttled by Kurt Cobain. Wait–what?

The gender-neutral version of “O Canada” was almost scuttled by Kurt Cobain. Wait–what?
Another objector pointed out that the phrase “all of us” appeared in grunge singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide note.   Did Canada really want to associate its national anthem with that? Occasionally these arguments descended into farce – like when one Senator saidpeople shouldn’t mess with tradition, but was found to have campaigned for Canada to drop the beaver as its national animal because it was “a dentally defective rat” that destroys tree plantations. If you’ve been following the story, you’ll know that there was great opposition in some quarters to remove that pesky “in all thy sons command” which was inserted during World War I. Seriously, people? The BBC has a great article on the fight to make “O Canada” gender-neutral. Deep in the article (and thanks to Michael for pointing this out), someone complained about the proposed change to “all of us” on these grounds.

The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 811: The 90s, Part 2

The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 811: The 90s, Part 2
Sonic 102.9/Edmonton
The Zone/Victoria
The Fox/Vancouver
Live 105/Halifax
WAPS/WKTL The Summit/Arkon, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown The show runs at 11 am Sunday. They could sing, maybe shake a tambourine and look pretty, but that was about it. Songs heard on this show:
Sinead O’Connor, Troy
Ani Difranco, Both Hands
Tori Amos, Crucify
PJ Harvey, Sheela-Na-Gig
Bjork, Big Time Sensuality
Sarah McLachlan, Building a Mystery (Live)
Liz Phair, Supernova
Alanis Morissette, You Oughta Know
Eric Wilhite took the trouble to make this playlist for the show. Sexism continued through the early- and mid-seventies. But back in the day, that was standard operating procedure. The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

102.1 The Edge/Toronto – Sunday night at 7
Live 88-5/Ottawa
107.5 Dave-FM/Kitchener
FM96/London – Sunday night at 7, Monday night at 11
Power 97/Winnipeg (Sunday nights at 11)
Rock 97.7/Grand Prairie – Sunday nights at 6. The punk rock explosion of the 1970s opened more musical doors for women than any other era in musical history. This is part two of our series on the alt-rock 90s. Slow, steady progress was made through the 80s. It was a biological impossibility, apparently. In retrospect, the sexism and misogyny were unbelievable. The prevailing “wisdom” was that women just couldn’t rock. The central tenet of punk was that anyone with anything to say should be allowed to say it, regardless of musical ability, class, race, religion–or sex. There were exceptions, of course: Aretha, Carole, Janis. Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio. But even they suffered at the hands of the old boys’ club. But then along came punk rock and its sense of egalitarianism. ANd yes, there were setbacks. This, by the way, is a great option for American listeners who are prevented from listening to the show live because of geo-blocking,

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. But by the time we got into the next decade, the music world was being flooded with women, who in many ways, set the agenda for all rock music. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do This didn’t mean that the sexism and misogyny were over, but it did pave the way for more strong, powerful female musicians. In a less-enlightened time, women were barely tolerated by the rock’n’roll establishment.

Random Music News for Saturday, February 10, 2018

There’s new information in the disappearance of Manic Street Preacher Richey Edwards 23 years ago. “The most challenging orchestra concert of the century?” Really? This is Cliff Burton Day! RIP Craig MacGregor, bassist for Foghat. In other music news for February 10…

Here are my music recommendations for the week for Global News. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure how this will help. The BBC has revived The Old Grey Whistle Test. On April 6, Sloan will release their twelfth album. Tens of thousands of karaoke mics are being recalled because they could explode. And RIP Pat Torpey of Mr. Called 12, it will feature twelve songs. Let’s back up a bit and talk about International Clash Day. (Via Tom)
Can Apple AirPods blow up in your ears? This guy says it happened. Well, it depends… (Via David)
This is the kind of penthouse One Direction money can buy. Pearl Jam and Elvis Presley, together at last. I see what you’ve done there. Big. I hope you bought a card. I hope it does, but…
Should you date someone who has different musical tastes than you? More opioid-and-musicians talk as the family of a late 3 Doors Down guitarist speak. “Pop stars are ruining our parks and wildlife.” What?
Random Music News for Saturday, February 10, 2018

When a musical hero goes above and beyond

It was beautiful. I took it into a studio and produced the song, adding a couple of guitars and upright bass. My mind was completely blown! One day I spontaneously contacted him through a social media channel and jokingly asked him to play piano on a song of mine. This email popped into my inbox Friday. My name is Steve Allen. If you’re interested in hearing the song, you can find it at the link below. I have been quite a fan of yours for many years. He writes me back and tells me he loves the song and will record a track! Shortly thereafter he sends me a piano track that he recorded at his home in Paris. Keep doing great work Alan, I enjoy hearing you on the radio and reading your blogs. I quickly wrote a song and recorded a rough demo of me singing and playing guitar. The internet is a strange and wonderful thing at times, to let people connect in ways that were never possible before. But more amazing than that is the fact that an idol of mine turns out to be such an amazing guy to do that for me. I thought you might be interested in a story …
I have been an insanely huge fan of Elvis Costello for over 30 years and have always loved the musicianship of keyboardist Steve Nieve. I reprint it here with Steve’s permission. I had never had a dream come true before. Catharines. This was a dream come true for me! I am a relatively unknown songwriter from St. I sent him an mp3. Cheers
Steve Allen
Sometimes your heroes live up to all your expectations and dreams. I was surprised and amazed when he got back to me and asked me to send him something.
When a musical hero goes above and beyond

In which countries does Spotify make the most money? Glad you asked.

In which countries does Spotify make the most money? Glad you asked.
Apple Music is now up to 113 while Deezer claims 180 countries. Still, Spotify is far and away the biggest of all the streaming music services outside of China (which is a whole ‘nother story. According to Music Business Weekly, Spotify is available in 59 countries. But never mind that for now.)
Where does Spotify make its money?   Hypebot published this handy chart.

Are you into weird (and I mean REALLY weird) vinyl? Then read this.

Then read this. Are you into weird (and I mean REALLY weird) vinyl?
Moreover, vinyl’s physicality invites us to have a more active relationship with our music. But if you really want to get your vinyl freak on, there’s a subcultural of weirdos who are looking for items that are beyond weird. Which makes vinyl more important than just an obsolete medium. For vinyl collectors, buying an album elevates it, marks its importance. Reader Bobby points us to this helpful article at Magenta. Keep reading. Sure, anyone can collect basic black round vinyl records. It’s not something that can be engaged with passively: You can’t listen to it while you jog, or ride the subway. We walk around obliviously with devices in our pockets—smartphones about the size of an ’80s mixtape—that contain every song we’ve ever heard, or will ever hear.   Of course, the fact that most of us have such ephemeral relationships with music these days is why vinyl has come back. Embracing vinyl in the 21st century isn’t just about being hip; it’s about reclaiming a physical relationship with our music, one that has largely been lost in today’s streaming age. Patton Oswalt once did a bit about how much we take for granted the fact that we all live in the future. Here’s a quick primer on the genres of the world of designer vinyl. Which makes, to a certain sort of person, the renaissance of vinyl so inexplicable. “Designer vinyl.” I like that. Luckily, vinyl designers have been up to the task, showing extraordinary ingenuity when it comes to making records as distinctive as the waveforms they contain. That’s why, more and more, we vinyl collectors expect records to be as unique as the music they contain. To play a record, you must set out to listen to it, not just hear it—take it out of its sleeve, drop the needle, sit down in front of your stereo, and flip it halfway through. To those who collect them, vinyl records are artifacts, physical mementos of our most profound musical relationships. When you can already stream all the music ever for the cost of a $9.99 Spotify subscription, why would anyone spend $30 on a single record impressed in wax?

Pardon my obsession with Elon Musk’s Starman, but you gotta admit that this whole thing is freakin’ cool

Pardon my obsession with Elon Musk’s Starman, but you gotta admit that this whole thing is freakin’ cool
there’s the small matter of the rocket assist, but whatever. Dude is moving fast. ‘Course. That’s him there, some 470,000 km away, already far beyond the orbit of the Moon just 33 hours after launch. Around 14,000 kph, or 30 times faster than a Bugatti Veyron. This Telsa is now officially the fastest production car ever built. Elon Musk’s Starman, the Stig-like mannequin behind the wheel of a Tesla Roadster, is theoretically going to bomb about the Solar System listening to David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” for a good chunk of eternity. How fast? Read more at Starman’s drive through the Universe here. And don’t forget the driving playlist we’ve made for him.