Random music news for Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Random music news for Tuesday, April 24, 2018
If you love vinyl, you should check out this site. Kanye always finds a way to stick his foot in his mouth, doesn’t he? Vancouver band JPNSGRLS has changed their name to Hotel Mira. Looking for a cruise? Are you paying attention to these new “deep fake” videos? Anything I can offer for music news will seem inconsequential. The BBC has just made 16,000 available for free download. That discussion should have probably included this feud between two artificially-generated Instagram influencers. This is a good discussion about how AI and machine learning are going to affect music. The new Monsters of Rock cruise has been announced. a year ago:  Total albums, -25.1%; physical albums, -25.7%; digital albums, -24.1%; CDs, -30.1%; digital tracks, -20.2%; vinyl (which does NOT include Record Store Day), +56.3%; streaming, +54.8%. He’ll be played by Taron Egerton. Here’s a look at Prince’s bank vault, the place where he kept all his unreleased music. It was a rough day for Canada yesterday. The best strategy about Trump is probably not to say anything at all. I’m not entirely how this new music knowledge-testing app works, but it’s somehow connected to virtual currency. No more K-pop at the DMZ. Canadian music sales last week vs. Avicii’s music sales have increased by 6,000% in the US alone since he died on Friday. Wait–what? (Via Tom)
Elton John is finally getting the biopic treatment. “How a racist smear campaign derailed Lauryn Hill’s career.”
Want some sound effects? That could cause some Trip Advisor problems. This is a positive diplomatic move. Radio in Canada seems to doing just fine according to this chart. R Kelly’s legal problems just keep getting more and more complicated. Here’s the latest. Right, Shania Twain? We’re approaching the 25th anniversary of the start of Britpop. You should be. Let’s look back at one part of its legacy. Speaking of radio, here’s a map of all the known FM transmitters in the world. The lineup for this upcoming Rolling Stones tour looks pretty fine. Still, here’s what’s happening for April 24, 2018.

New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (Apr 24, 2018): Tancred, D.A. Stern, Sugar Candy Mountain, and more!

New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! Stern, Sugar Candy Mountain, and more! (Apr 24, 2018): Tancred, D.A.
Watch/Listen: 

Artist: D.A. Stern
Song: “Isn’t It Obvious?”
Album/EP: Isn’t It Obvious? Artist: Tancred
Song: “Queen of New York”
Album/EP: Nightstand

Bright and airy guitar rock with a flair for the melodic, Tancred’s new tune fits the season perfectly. Bouncing off the walls in a youthful scrum, this bright and airy tune (noticing a pattern?) doesn’t exactly aim to make a lot of noise but doesn’t not get noisy, either. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Feel Alright
Song: “Truth About Us”
Album/EP: In Bad Faith

Power-pop leaning towards the rock side, “Truth About Us” is a trebly guitar-driven ruckus. Fresh from D.A. Calmly brooding and softly crooning, Valdez makes good use of atmosphere and aura to pull listeners into a sonic soundscape built upon wavy slide guitar and subtle harmonic backings. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Sugar Candy Mountain
Song: “Crystalline”
Album/EP: Do Right

A hazy sun-kissed psych track with open space to spare, “Crystalline” is the second track from deceptively mature Sugar Candy Mountain’s upcoming offering. Watch/Listen:  Stern’s latest EP release, “Isn’t It Obvious?” is a relentlessly jangly power-pop summer bash that hides a damaged heart. Featuring lyrics about a doomed one-way relationship framed by a bright outlook of upbeat instrumentals, this tune easily double as a sad-day sing-along or a backyard BBQ blast. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Sam Valdez
Song: “Farther Away”
Album/EP: Single

Shoegazy indie with a hint of roots Americana, single number two for emerging artist Sam Valdez is quite the sophomore effort. Warm musky vocals, flashing fiddle, and a simple yet catchy melody all come together in an immensely satisfying home-style kind of way, and that’s not anything to complain about. I could see it slotting into a quirky indie flick perfectly, warbling melodic lyrics and all. Lazy and lush, there’s plenty of soothing serenity in this tune. The vocals alone are a sweet daytime lullaby. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: John Flanagan Trio
Song: “Something To Complain About”
Album/EP: Honest Man

Good ole soapbox bluegrass has an honest place in this world, and the John Flanagan Trio knows exactly how to produce it. New emotions, spring-time strolls, fresh vulnerabilities – they all come through in this song about embracing one night stands.

What would a map of the world sound like if you played it on a piano? Someone’s found out.

Twitter user @karaweeks_ posted this video showing how a map of the world can be played on a piano that uses old player-piano technology. (Via Tom)

this is what the world map sounds like on the piano😮 pic.twitter.com/eyonAOz3D9
— kara☀︎ (@karaweeks_) April 17, 2018 Watch. She’s not the creator, but give her credit for bringing it to the masses. Once again, the Internet proves to be a wondrous place.
What would a map of the world sound like if you played it on a piano? Someone’s found out.

I used to think that ABBA was alone when it came to those costumes. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

I was wrong. I used to think that ABBA was alone when it came to those costumes. Very, very wrong.
 
  Apparently not, though. BoredPanda.com points us to these other Swedish acts from the 70s. The second hit? There’s a whole industry based on the classic looks of Sweden’s biggest musical export. What follows is a sample of ABBA’s, um, peers from the 70s. Same thing for eBay. Up until this week, I thought these particular fashion adventures were particular to ABBA. But hey, it was the 70s. Well, they did have…style. If you Google “ABBA costumes,” you’ll get over half a million hits with the top one being an ad for an Amazon marketplace where you can buy them. See the whole gallery here.

U2 actually wants fans to hold up their phones in front of their faces for the Songs of Experience tour

U2 actually wants fans to hold up their phones in front of their faces for the Songs of Experience tour
[Larry says the album cover fractures and blows out. When fans hold up their phones at the show, images will be triggered via a 100-foot-long LED screen running along the arena floor as the band walks onstage. Remember – and share – these breathtaking moments by capturing photos on your device. From the app description:
Heading to U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE 2018 Tour? – Capture and share images of your U2 eXPERIENCE across your social networks. We can safely assume that it will be a set of images that will trigger the AR objects again on your device, the same way the SoE cover image triggered the first one. Then more AR stuff will manifest itself. We will not spoil the eXPERIENCE for you, but we can give you a nice little teaser of what to expect, come May 2nd, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK. Then a 3D Bono sings for a minute.]

Nothing to stop this being the best tour ever…
The latest and greatest in software, hardware, and menswear..!#U2 #U2eiTour #U2eXPERIENCE #u2experienceapp@U2 @U2Community pic.twitter.com/1DKhc7zNnY
— Harry Kantas (@harrykantas) April 24, 2018

The app is available for iOS for people using the iPhone 6 or better and Android 7+. – Pair your app with the ‘Songs of Experience’ cover image… and get a taste of what’s coming up in the show. U2songs.com has this to add:
According to the U2.com post, as well the app description for U2 eXPERIENCE (click here for a screenshot), there are two more use cases, one during the run-up to the show, and one during the opening song. After rehearsing outside of Montreal, U2’s Songs of Experience tour opens in Tulsa next week with promises of new augmented reality features for the show. Their full story is here. We also know that the AR in both of these cases will be triggered by the LED screen. Download this app to experience a live rock show like never before as the tour’s 100′ long LED wall triggers a specially curated audio visual experience emerging through your mobile device. We managed to take a peek into the future, and some of the trigger images for the shows, along with their AR elements. Real-time Augmented Reality before your eyes… and thousands of others at the show. Last night, the SoE app–the U2 AR eXPERIENCE app–was released. With the U2 eXPERIENCE app you can :
– eXPERIENCE exclusive in-app sound and visuals, in real time both in the run-up to the show and in the opening song.

I Like This: Bon Villan

I Like This: Bon Villan
The trio likes their electro-pop, taking their influences from acts like MGMT. I got something quite different. Help on the video came from Jordan and Zack from Monowhales, ballerina Annabelle Holland and Instagram star, @iggyjoey (that’s the dog).   When I first saw the name of Toronto-based Bon Villan, I was expecting one thing when I clicked on the link to their video.

So what did Spotify end up announcing on Tuesday?

So what did Spotify end up announcing on Tuesday?
First and foremost, the free tier of Spotify is now more feature-packed than before. Very soon, the free ad-supported version of the app will look and act a lot like what we get with the premium version. After quietly hyping things up over the past couple of weeks, Spotify had some announcements for us on Tuesday (April 24). Following his newsworthy appearance at today’s Spotify press conference, MBW sat down with Carter, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services, for a wide-ranging interview. That’s in addition to data-saving benefits, increased personalization and other perks. He’s certain – and says Spotify has a “ton of R&D and data” to prove it – that a better ad-funded experience will result in good times for the record industry ahead. Over the next few weeks, more on-demand elements will be rolled out for ad-supported users – including the ability to select individual tracks in up to 15 different playlists such as Discover Weekly, Rap Caviar and Today’s Top Hits. Troy Carter has no such concerns. Plus Apple Music is picking up steam, so Spotify needs to do something to maintain its market dominance. Given that Canadians pay some of the highest data rates in the world, this could be very tempting. That means:
Users will get access to 750 songs through fifteen different Spotify-curated playlists that they can shuffle in any order. Music Business Weekly, a site that keeps close tabs on Spotify, talked to Troy Carter, a very smart dude who once managed Lady Gaga. Now that Spotify has gone public and now answers to shareholders and the stock market, the company needs to beef up revenues. Previously, users of the free service weren’t able to listen to certain songs.   Some may question, of course, whether giving away more stuff to free users may actually lead to fewer people successfully being up-sold to Spotify Premium. Spotify underpinned today’s news with one over-riding key message: with a more generous free tier, we can pinch more of radio’s audience, and then convert them into paying customers. We cover topics such as artist royalties, treatment of independent labels, YouTube, windowing and, naturally enough, the balance of free vs. At this point, some 60% of Spotify’s users–that’s somewhere around 40 million people–don’t pay for anything. paid…
Keep reading. Another new feature allows users to cut bandwidth use by 75%, handy for those who have been kept away from streaming because of data caps. Why? Basically, Spotify wants to give away more music in hopes that more people will sign up for the subscription service. They think this conversion plan is the best shot they’ve got. The idea is to give these people a taste of what they could have and then transform them into paying customers.

How streaming saved the music industry

Latin America (+17.7%). “A truly terrible time. Another point from the report: Revenues from downloads dropped by 20.5%. CEO of Enron? According to this IFPI summary, revenue from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play Music and the rest of them (featuring some 176 million paying users) spiked up 4.1%, good enough for $6.6 billion US in revenue. I fired more than 250 people. The Guardian has more. Some artists still did OK, particularly those who focused on live shows, merchandise and brand endorsements, but labels had to dramatically cut costs. Parties, hedonism and drug use were part of the job. For the first time ever (and probably forevermore), streaming generated more money than the sales of CDs. Ed Sheeran, followed by Drake, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem. They were dark days: we’d be invited to dinner somewhere and my wife would say to me: ‘Don’t tell anyone what you do for a living.’”
What ignoble occupation had Sundin chosen? Why buy a download when you access the same songs for free (or something close to it)? Chart music became safer; the bestselling records of the 2010s have all been by middle-of-the-road acts with lots of “nan appeal”: Adele, Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé and Take That. When Guy Hands, a private equity manager, arrived at EMI in 2007, he wondered why hundreds of thousands of pounds were being spent on floral arrangements until he realised that “fruit and flowers” was accounting slang for drugs, sex workers and other items otherwise difficult to put on an expenses claim. What gets the credit? It was a disaster,” said an executive called Per Sundin when asked to reflect on his career during the 00s. Then, in the space of a decade, the music industry essentially collapsed – in the US, music’s biggest market, annual revenues fell from $14.6bn in 1999 to $6.3bn in 2009. Who gets streamed the most? Meanwhile, CDs tanked the world over by 5.4%, bringing in $5.2 billion, which works out to 30% of the global market. Everything after about 2002 saw declines in sales. Yep, this is a tipping point all right. Places like Mexico and Brazil are turning out to be goldmines. Sundin’s fatalistic outlook was reflected across the music industry. For decades, a job in music had been some of the most fun you could have as an adult. The biggest growth areas for streaming? Cigarette manufacturer? Looking at it another way, that’s 38% of the global music market. Arms dealer? At one point, they worked with the animator Aardman to create a free iPhone game called Music Inc, where you attempt to manage a band, but always fail because of online piracy. In fact, just the last three years have seen growth. At the label Per Sundin ran, the majority of the team was laid off. The “disaster” he was talking about was working for a record label when CD sales were in decline. Revenue from streaming. Not quite: he was the head of Universal Music’s Nordic operation. At EMI, Hands did away with the slush fund as well as almost half the workforce. And they typically received the lion’s share. A report this week says that global music sales increased by a healthy 8.1% in 2017, indicating that the bleak post-Napster years are a thing of the past. But recently things have started to change. The expense accounts, the marketing budgets, the joy of taking a punt on a weird band of misfits in the hope something magical might happen – it was all over. As revenues declined, they lashed out, fighting legal battles with teenagers who illegally downloaded music and investing in propaganda campaigns to try to teach pesky young people the value of intellectual property. Labels were charging up to £20 for a CD, raking in hundreds of millions of pounds. People were talking about the decline, maybe even the end, of the music business. It’s important that you read the rest here.   Despite the fact that artists such as Adele and Rihanna were selling millions of records, music companies seemed perennially glum.
How streaming saved the music industry