Random music news for Friday, May 4, 2018

She’s 101 years old. This new startup is helping artists and labels recover unclaimed YouTube revenues. pre-Nevermind) will be auctioned for $60,000. the Cleveland Cavalier vs. Let’s move on to some music news for May 3, 2018. Taylor Swift has a new…rocket sled? Some trials with MDMA are underway. US jazz stars were once used to help out with the Cold War. Drake vs. How can it get any weirder than reality? They just got 1,300 of them to dance together in the sky. A guitar that Kurt Cobain smashed in 1990 (i.e. I boycotted Kanye West news yesterday, but I just can’t ignore it today. the NBA. If you’re an Arctic Monkeys fan, you’ll get a real education in music by exploring this Alex Turner playlist. The Chinese are pretty good with drones. It’s better than any TV show, which concerns me since Veep is coming back soon. Then you’ll need to read this book. Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova split after being married nearly 30 years. News sources are being ranked by “trust.” (Via Tom)
This artist has been nominated for a BRIT award. And Google seems to be working on a new social gaming platform. Another streaming service? Republicans are warming to Kanye West…
…but fans are petitioning Adidas to drop its deal with Kanye…
…although Adidas is standing behind him, although…
…and at least one radio station has dropped him…
…and the media continues to come down on him like this. This is what I mean. And it happened last fall. Yes, but Choon is different. Here’s a graphic indication of how much Apple relies on the iPhone. Can molly help with PTSD? I just can’t stop staring at the car crash that is the Trump administration. How is Facebook dealing with news coverage these days? Recommended. Are you a Van Morrison fan?
Random music news for Friday, May 4, 2018

Have some of your favourite albums disappeared from your streaming music service? You’re not imagining things.

Radiohead hasn’t been a fan of streaming from the beginning. That’s been complicated by multiple distribution deals that resulted in a couple of deluxe editions of their albums being removed–or parts of them, at least. Jay-Z pulled all his stuff from every platform and ported everything to Tidal, of which he is a part owner. For example, artists associated with the defunct Blackground Records (Toni Braxton, Timbaland) can’t be found on streaming services because the licensing rights to their songs are all screwed up. A movie, documentary or a TV show lives on the service for a while and then disappears after a while. But then they suddenly disappear. Poison. Take the case of PWR BTTM, a member of which was accused of sexual assault. What’s going on? Read more here. Glitches/disputes over contracts or licensing deals. Bands get in trouble. It’s a case-by-case situation. A frustrating thing about Netflix is the amount of churn with their programming. Pulled. Blame it on the licensing agreements by which Netflix has to abide. This happened with MIA, Aaliyah and a few others. Frustrating, yes, but it’s something we’ll have to live with until more of the legalities around streaming get sorted out. Label issues. He kept releasing it and pulling it until he could get it right. One day, you’re putting albums and individual songs onto your playlists and tagging them as favourites. The same thing happens with streaming music services.  
 
  You might still see the song/album on your playlist or in a search but it’s labelled as “unavailable.” This is the case for even for people who pay for, say, the premium version of Spotify. Kanye West was all weird about The Life of Pablo. Dropped.
Have some of your favourite albums disappeared from your streaming music service? You’re not imagining things.

A Rage Against the Machine Reunion? Well…

Well… A Rage Against the Machine Reunion?
I quote (VIa the NME):
[N]othing would make me happier than to be able to fuck shit up right now with Rage Against The Machine. Rage’s first period ended in 2000 when Zack decided he wanted out. It’s just really a matter of getting us all on the same page. Wishful thinking? He’s been…reticent. If that will happen again or not, I have no idea, but I know at least the four of us are amicable and can talk to each other, and actually even go hang out on occasion, so I think more we just want to be friends first more than anything. There were some reunion shows in 2007, but nothing stuck. Or does he know something? Vocalist Zack De La Rocha. Brad Wilk appeared on the Let There Be Talk podcast. Three-quarters of the band, Tom Morello, Timmy Commerford, and Brad WIlk have been working together continuously for more than twenty-five years, first as Rage, then as Audioslave with Chris Cornell, and now within Prophets of Rage. In terms of raw numbers, it shouldn’t be that hard to get Rage Against the Machine back together. There’s just the one holdout.

Because it is May 4, here is the obligatory May the Fourth Be With You post.

-AC]
May the 4th Be With You: 5 Sci-Fi Based Songs
May the 4th is known worldwide as a day of celebration for fans of the Star Wars series. Fast paced hip-hop beats with effects that give the impression they’re sound bites from the Millennium Falcon, layered with the high energy vocal style of all three members. Subterranean Homesick Alien – Radiohead
The title says it all. I think we all have secretly hoped at some point, we would get beamed onto an alien ship and meet some, hopefully, personable aliens. – AC]
1. It’s a fast-paced, 2-minute punk rock song laden with references to Princess Leia and Yoda thinking Luke Skywalker is a schmuck. Aesop Rock placed 1st using 7,392 unique words, almost one thousand more than the second place artist. 4. The reverb laden guitars and drums really give that outer space feel to the tune. However, in perhaps one of the most bizarre covers to ever happen, Shatner’s 1978 rendition of Rocket Man by Elton John manages to mesmerize me every time. As is par for the course with the Beastie Boys, expect a lot of space styled wordplay like ‘Your knees’ll start shakin’ and your finger pop, like a pinch on the neck of Mr.  
 
 
 
  Bring Back Pluto is from the 2007 album None Shall Pass, and Aesop Rock uses this whole album to show off his unique lyrical cadence. Subterranean Homesick Alien from the 1997 album OK Computer is a great example of one of those songs. Also, feel free to skip to 4:08 to watch some of the most awkward dance moves you’ve ever seen. I love a song where the lyrics aren’t just a series of non-sequiturs and the artist puts in the time to structure a narrative. Rocket Man – William Shatner
The Shat’s over-the-top acting style has the amazing ability to either strangely endear or completely dissuade an audience from listening to him. That’s basically what you get in the song Half Ass Jedi from the 1999 album Hot Shit. Thomas Demmett has seen to it that this does not happen. In honour of the all-powerful force, lightsabers and particle blasters, here are 5 sci-fi themed songs to get your midicholrians grooving. Personally, I haven’t had any such luck, but singer Thom Yorke beautifully outlines his desire to be brought onto an alien ship and shown the wonders of the universe by some friendly extra-terrestrials. [It’s Star Wars Day, so the Law of the Internet requires that something related be posted. It’s refreshing to hear beats in hip-hop that aren’t digitally produced. However, they need to be careful with their lyrics, as calling Ben Kenobi a foolish man could incite the wrath of Star Wars fans worldwide. 3. 2. Half Ass Jedi – Jon Cougar Concentration Camp
Imagine a Star Wars world where everything was the same except it was narrated by an angsty teenager. It’s campy, overacted and 100% classic William Shatner.  

5. [I don’t know what that means. What’s interesting is the contrast in this song; space-themed lyrics juxtaposed with a very un-space like drum beat played on, get this, actual drums! Let’s set aside the silly Star Wars and Star Trek debate and just enjoy the original captain of the Starship Enterprise’s dramatic take on this famous tune. I wouldn’t subject anyone to that. The music video also sports an epic battle between a giant robot and a trident-wielding octopus-man, adding another sci-fi element to this spacey song. Aesop Rock is a lyrical genius, proven by a study that looked at the number of unique lyrics used within an artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. I’m a Star Trek fan. Spock’. Punishment may extend to exile on Lothal. Bring Back Pluto – Aesop Rock
No, not A$AP Rocky. Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
Taken from the 1998 album Hello Nasty, Intergalactic shows what the Beastie Boys are all about.
Because it is May 4, here is the obligatory May the Fourth Be With You post.

Are we close to having a global music database? No, but…

Very hard. When streaming services report on what songs were played each month, they submit logs to performing rights organizations of what their customers streamed, where, how and when. Same thing for the Chinese singer with a song called “Yesterday” (“昨天”). If the numbering system isn’t accurate, the wrong people might get paid–or not get paid at all. If you wanted to move into that realm, you need multiple catalogs that were as big or bigger. It was magically impressive
Later, I learned that this wasn’t the case. The yellow/orange loose-leaf pages featured all the titles and catalogue numbers (in 4 point font) of what seemed to be every known record in the universe. How hard could that be? That catalogue was almost always out of date for domestic releases and didn’t contain information on records from other territories. In theory, creating such a database it should have been easy in the digital era. It’s a start, but there’s a long way to go. However, let’s say that an Arabic singer in the UAE has a local hit with a song that also happens to be called “Yesterday” (which will show up as “في الامس”) that was streamed 50,000 times in a month. Back in the day, stores like Sam the Record Man would have a giant catalog on a stand somewhere in the store. And not just physical product, either (think how many times that song has been released on vinyl and various CDs!), but also digital files and versions that might be streamed through services like Spotify. See the problem? Accurate tracking of who was listening to what, when, how and where is essential to making sure artists, composers, publishers, and labels get paid. Now, though, BMG, Warner Music Group, and others are beta-testing a new global database called KORD. Lennon & McCartney then get paid the full amount due while the Arabic performer gets nothing. There is something called an ISRC number–International Standard Recording Code–which is the music industry’s version of publishing’s ISBN system. Keep reading. All that was required was a central database and ID system. From Hypebot:
KORD, built by JAAK using Ethereum blockchain technology,  gathers and connects metadata from record labels, music publishers, performing rights organizations and others to create a global music rights database. If it wasn’t properly tagged, the streamer and/or the performing rights organization will just default to identifying it as the most popular version, which is from the Beatles. Royalties are collected and then paid out to the rights holders. Take something like the Beatles’ “Yesterday,” the most-covered song of all time with at least 2,200 different versions. Data could be updated dynamically and instantly worldwide. The solution, according to the founders of JAAK, can be found utilizing blockchain technology. Back to our Beatles example.  
  For accurate tracking and reporting, every single piece of recorded music–every album, EP, song, digital file, remix, cover, promo releases, radio edits, special editions, and reissue in every format in every languagte from every country in the world, both for major labels and every indie–needs to be branded with some kind of separate and unique ID. Each one needs a number for this database. Ultimately KORD hopes to function as an open protocol to record, assign, and monetize intellectual property rights. It’s a problem that has vexed the music industry for years, and several previous attempts to solve it have not gained traction or failed outright. Then as more of our music became digital, the need for a global database of music became increasingly important.
No, but… Are we close to having a global music database?

You know that rumour about a reunion of the original Guns ‘N Roses this week? Yeah, about that. (Oh, and there’s a new box set that costs OVER ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!)

Yeah, about that. (Oh, and there’s a new box set that costs OVER ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!) You know that rumour about a reunion of the original Guns ‘N Roses this week?
You’re Crazy
10. Brownstone
6. That’s for a box set focused on a single album. 🎩🇦🇷🤘#gunsnroses @Slash pic.twitter.com/iE6GELHKTI
— Slash World Arg (@slashworldarg) May 3, 2018

Here’s a better look. You’re Crazy (Acoustic Version)
16. (Via Noise11.com)
• Simulated-Leather & Wood Cabinet with Embossed GN’R Logos (measures 12 x 12 x 12)
• Handmade 3D Cross
• 96-page Hardcover Book with Unreleased Photos from Axl’s Personal Archive and a Bombardment of Memorabilia – Simulated-leather Wrapped Slipcase and Book Cover with Embossed GN’R Logos
• 4 CDs
o 73 Total Tracks – 49 Tracks Previously Unreleased
o First Ever Album Remaster from Original Analog Tapes
o 12 Tracks from B-sides N’ EPs Newly Remastered from Original Analog Tapes
o 25 Unreleased Recordings from 1986 Sound City Session
o 2 Unreleased Recordings from Mike Clink Sessions:
• “Shadow Of Your Love” – from December 1986 Mike Clink tryout session
• “Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)” – from GN’R LIES sessions
• 1 Blu-ray Audio Disc
o New 96kHz 24-bit 5.1 Surround Sound Mixes from Original Analog Multi-tracks
o Original Album Mixed by Elliot Scheiner
o 5 Bonus Tracks Mixed by Elliot Scheiner & Frank Filipetti
o All songs feature brand new animations
o 4 Original Music Videos in 5.1
o Unreleased 1989 “It’s So Easy” Video in 5.1
• Seven 180-gram Audiophile 12-inch LPs
o All Vinyl Cut from 192kHz 24-bit Remastered High-Resolution Audio
o Original Album Expanded to 2-LPs for Maximum Audiophile Playback
• Limited Edition Foil Art Slipcase
• Side 4 Extra Bonus: Hologroove Hologram of GN’R Logo
o LIVE LIKE A SUICIDE EP (1-LP) with Extra Track “Shadow Of Your Love”
o B-SIDES N’ EPS (1-LP)
o 1986 SOUND CITY SESSION N’ MORE (3-LPs)
• 6 Replica 7-inch Singles + New 7-inch for “Shadow Of Your Love” on Yellow Vinyl
o “It’s So Easy” b/w “Mr. My Michelle
8. Think About You (1986 Sound City Session)
7. My Michelle
8. It was nothing but a campaign for a deluxe reissue of the band’s 1987 album, Appetite for Destruction. Mr. Rocket Queen
Produced by Mike Clink
Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero
CD 2 – B-SIDES N’ EPS: REMASTERED
1. Think About You
9. – AC]
Posters and billboards in cities around the world had Guns ‘N Roses a-twitter about the possibility of a proper reunion, one featuring Izzy Stradlin and/or Steve Adler and Matt Sorum. It’s So Easy (Live)
11. Sweet Child O’Mine
3. Move To The City (1986 Sound City Session)
3. Well, no. Take a look. Shadow Of Your Love*
12. Move To The City (Live)
4. Oh, and there’s a previously unreleased song called “Shadow of Your Love” available online. Whole Lotta Rosie (Live)
15. Paradise City
7. It’s So Easy
3. Out Ta Get Me
5. It’s So Easy – BRAND NEW VIDEO FROM 1989

Better hurry, too, because this “limited edition” box set is limited to 10,000 copies. And yes, someone bought it. Used To Love Her
18. What is happening? Mr. Nightrain (1986 Sound City Session)
3. New billboard in Camden, could this mean an original linup tour for guns n’ roses? Brownstone
6. Mama Kin (1986 Sound City Session)
9. You’re Crazy (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
13. November Rain (Piano Version – 1986 Sound City Session))
11. Anything Goes
12. You’re Crazy
11. Would be seriously EPIC! Used To Love Her
9. Gene Simmons of KISS has one that sells for $2,000 USD. Brownstone”
o “Welcome To The Jungle” b/w “Whole Lotta Rosie (Live)”
o “Sweet Child O’ Mine” b/w “Out Ta Get Me”
o “Paradise City” b/w “Used To Love Her”
o “Patience” b/w “Rocket Queen”
o “Nightrain” b/w “Reckless Life”
o “Shadow Of Your Love” b/w “Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)”
• 32GB Metal Cross USB Stick with High-Resolution Audio Formats from All 4 CDs
o 192kHz 24-bit AIFF Files
o 96kHz 24-bit AIFF Files
o 44.1kHz 16-bit AIFF Files
• 12 New Illustration Lithos – Visualizing Each Song on the Album
• 5 Metal Band Skull Face Rings
• 5 Metal Band Skull Face Lapel Pins
• 5 Metal Guitar Picks with Band Skull Faces & Signatures
• 5 Previously Unseen Band Member Lithos
• 5 GN’R Logo Buttons
• Robert Williams Painting Litho 12”x24”
• Replica ‘85/’86 Gig Banner 27”x40”
• “Welcome To The Jungle” Video Invite Flyer – Originally Drawn by Slash
• Turntable Mat
• Microfiber Vinyl Cleaning Cloth
• 7-inch Large Hole Adapter
• 6 Replica Early Years Gig Flyers
• 6 Iron-on Stitched Logo Patches
• 2-inch Collectable Coin
• Bandana with Silver Metallic Ink
• 2 Wall Posters 24”x36”
• Temporary Band Member Tattoos
• 3 Replica Ticket Stubs
• Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
CD 1 – APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION: REMASTERED
1. You’re Crazy**
5. Nightrain
4. Sweet Child O’ Mine
10. There’s also something called the Lock N’ Loaded edition: 4CD/1Blu-ray Audio Super Deluxe Edition with a 96-page book featuring unreleased photos from Axl Rose’s personal archive, a 2CD Deluxe Edition, 2LP 180-gram heavyweight vinyl edition, 1 CD remaster, and digital download/streaming equivalents. You read that right. Rocket Queen
Produced by Mike Clink
Stereo mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero
BONUS TRACKS
1. Brownstone
6. Let’s recap what you get for a $1,450 US (almost $1,900 CAD). Sweet Child O’ Mine
10. My Michelle (1986 Sound City Session)
6. It’s So Easy
3. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986 Sound City Session)
CD 4 – 1986 SOUND CITY SESSION N’ MORE
All Previously Unreleased
1. Patience*
3. A fan managed to capture it before it was taken down. It’s So Easy
3. Nice Boys
3. Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)*
  Welcome To The Jungle
2. Anything Goes
12. Welcome To The Jungle (1986 Sound City Session)
2. Reckless Life (1986 Sound City Session)
8. Nice Boys
3. If they sell them all, that’s a gross of $14,500,000 USD. CD 1 – APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION: REMASTERED
1. What the hell? Rocket Queen
Produced by Mike Clink
Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero
CD 2 – B-SIDES, EPS N’ MORE
* Previously Unreleased
1. Shadow Of Your Love
2. Mama Kin
5. Used To Love Her**
4. Think About You
9. Welcome To The Jungle
2. New Work Tune (1986 Sound City Session)
10. Anything Goes
12. Out Ta Get Me
5. Mr. Shadow Of Your Love (1986 Sound City Session)
11. Move To The City (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
12. Patience
8. Welcome To The Jungle
2. (Here’s a list of some other expensive box sets.)
An unboxing video was accidentally posted on the GnR website. [Note: This post has been updated to include official pricing for Canada and the US. Welcome To The Jungle
2. Reckless Life
2. Paradise City (1986 Sound City Session)
5. Out Ta Get Me (1986 Sound City Session)
4. Shadow Of Your Love (Live)
6. The Plague (1986 Sound City Session)
5. Paradise City
7. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Live)
14. But then there’s the ultimate box set sold by The Residents for $100,000. Let’s hope so! The record has been remastered–and it’s been repackaged in a new box set that costs in the neighbourhood of $1,000 USD/$1,299 CAD. Back Off Bitch (1986 Sound City Session)
7. #appetitefordestruction #GNR #GunsNRoses #Slash #AxlRose #StevenAdler #DuffMcKagan #IzzyStradlin #MakeThisHappen #SuperEpic pic.twitter.com/45WREkVMOM
— Tom Moeyaert (@slashtom1) April 29, 2018

Stand down, Gunner fans. Patience
17. Think About You
9. You’re Crazy (1986 Sound City Session)
8. Nightrain (1986 Sound City Session)*
8. Mama Kin
5. This has to be the most expensive box set ever conceived, right? Sweet Child O’ Mine
10. Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)
DISC 5 – BLU-RAY AUDIO
96kHz 24-bit 5.1 Surround Sound & Remastered Stereo
5.1 Surround Sound mixed by *Elliot Scheiner and **Frank Filipetti
All Previously Unreleased
APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION*
1. Welcome To The Jungle (1986 Sound City Session)*
7. Nice Boys (1986 Sound City Session)
6. Whole Lotta Rosie (Live)
CD 3 – 1986 SOUND CITY SESSION
All Previously Unreleased
1. Shadow Of Your Love**
2. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Live)
12. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
15. Heartbreak Hotel (1986 Sound City Session)
12. Reckless Life
2. You’re Crazy
11. You’re Crazy (Acoustic Version)
7. Tremendo lo que va ser este box-set @gunsnroses #appetitefordestruction Locked N Loaded, lleno de cosas hermosas y mas. My Michelle
8. Move To The City (Live)
4. Nightrain
4. It’s So Easy (Live)
13. Paradise City (1986 Sound City Session)*
10. My Michelle (1986 Sound City Session)*
11. Out Ta Get Me
5. Rocket Queen (1986 Sound City Session)
10. Shadow Of Your Love (Live)
6. For $50,000 he’ll deliver it to your house and chat with you for a couple of hours. Paradise City
7. Ain’t Goin’ Down No More (Instrumental Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
4. If you’re a little skint and can’t afford the big box, there’s always the scaled-down $30 version. Out Ta Get Me (1986 Sound City Session)*
9. Anything Goes (1986 Sound City Session)
9. Nightrain
4. Patience
5. November Rain (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
14. Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)**
MUSIC VIDEOS*
1. You’re Crazy
11. Paradise City
4.

Watch this microscopic movie of a stylus tracking the grooves of a vinyl record

Watch this microscopic movie of a stylus tracking the grooves of a vinyl record
This is what it’s doing when you listen to a record. (Via TheVinylFactory.com) The word phonograph means “sound writing” in Greek (φωνή +γραφή). The technology underlying vinyl dates all the way back to the summer of 1877 when Thomas Edison demonstrated his new talking machine–an invention he called a “phonograph”–in the offices of Scientific American. Sound is “written” as bumps, dips and undulations within the grooves of the rotating disc. When a stylus is dragged through those grooves, it read those bumps and turns them back into sound.

The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 821: The Truth About Concert Tickets

The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 821: The Truth About Concert Tickets
Buying concert tickets used to be easy. Today, buying concert tickets not only confusing, it’s also one of the most frustrating and maddening consumer experiences know to humanity. Scalpers, always a problem, became more sophisticated. Some tickets were sold through the mail, Credit card purchases over the phone. Songs heard on this show:
Pearl Jam, Alive (Live at Wrigley Field)
Beastie Boys, Sabotage (Live)
Tragically Hip, New Orleans is Sinking (Live)
U2, Vertigo (Live in Milan)
Florence + the Machine, Dog Days Are Over (Live)
Queens of the Stone Age, No One Knows (Live)
Our Lady Peace, Naveed (Live)
As usual, Eric Wilhite has provided a playlist of the songs on this program. 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. 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. Bar codes got scanned instead of tickets getting torn. Then local ticket sellers vanished, replaced by a big mega-corporation. Same thing with the back end of the business: promoters, ticket sellers, secondary markets, governments. 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. When you heard of a show you wanted to see, you went down to your local box office, plunked down some cash and in exchange, you were given, some stiff pieces of paper with words and numbers on them. Physical box offices started disappearing. I’m going to give you the honest brutal truth about concert tickets. Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio. Bots. As time went on, buying concert tickets got more complicated. Meanwhile, the concert industry grew into a multi-billion-dollar business. It really was that simple–in theory, anyway. It wasn’t, but we’ll get to that. When it came time for the gig, you presented those pieces of paper to a person at the door who tore them in half, allowing you into the venue to enjoy the show. We still exchange money for admission to gigs, but the way we acquire those tickets and the prices we pay for them has little in common with the so-called good old days. Then the Internet shifted everything to online sales. It’s a situation far, far more complex than you’ve ever dreamed. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do. TIcket brokers got bigger. Gather ’round, kids.

Random music for Saturday, May 5, 2018

I could live with that. Spotify seems to be interested in getting into audiobooks. Donald Trump. Now Liam Gallagher is getting the documentary treatment with a film called Liam Gallagher: As It Was. Cinco de Mayo! It’s interesting to see how Wall Street is betting on music for the first time in decades. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake, Chief Flavor Officer, of a soft drink company, is also involved in a lawsuit. People are streaming a lot of older tracks in the UK. Mood Music, a British stage production set in the music industry, sounds like it’s worth seeing. About 55% of all streams are classified as “catalogue selections.”
Alice Cooper predicts a return to big, brash, theatrical 80s-style rock. Over at YouTube, the platform has more than 1.8 billion registered users per month. (Wait! Jay-Z is getting sued over some Tidal legal issues…
…and he’s in court over his Rocawear business. I’ll be in London next week! Go here. Here are my weekly music picks for GlobalNews.ca. Liz Phair vs. Interesting: Millions of Britons say they have never, ever been to a live gig. I have a feeling it will be sweary. And this is what we have for music news for May 5, 2018. Due to a quirk of the YouTube algorithm, there’s been an explosion in pirate radio stations. Google Assistant can now control over 5,000 smart devices. They’re also banning glitter to cut down on plastic waste. UK music festivals are banning plastic straws. It can be really, really tough to be a classical musician these says. Fun. Hmm.)
Would you like to be interviewed in the style of an 80s pop star? I like it. Now that Gibson Guitars has filed for bankruptcy, we’re learning that the company was stiffing suppliers for months. Fleetwood Mac doesn’t seem to miss Lindsey Buckingham at all. See?
Random music for Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Goth burger?

A Goth burger?
There’s a range of Kuro Burgers in Japan, all of which feature black buns, a black sauce, and black cheese.  
 
  And in case you’re wondering the black burger comes with two beef patties while the white one features fried chicken. If you find mealtime annoying because of all those colourful foodstuffs on your plate, then maybe you might want to petition your local Burger King to import the Kuro Burger from Japan. If you’re into Goth culture, your favourite colour is black–at least until something darker comes along. Both the cheese and the buns are coloured using a smoking process using bamboo charcoal. It also comes with truffle sauce. And the beef? To achieve a proper black sauce, squid ink is used. It’s made darker with black pepper. If you’re a little conflicted about your Goth-ness, you can head to Taiwan for the heibai liangdao tongch, two-fer featuring a black burger and a white one/
Like the Kuro Burger, the bun of the black one is coloured with squid ink.

A concert is being planned along the DMZ between the two Koreas. This is a good sign, yes?

This is a good sign, yes? A concert is being planned along the DMZ between the two Koreas.
If Kim Jong-Un is serious about denuclearization, the DMZ could become a lot less freaky. But I’m guessing they’ll be able to hear it. The dates for the free festival are set for June 21-24. By walking around to the north side of the conference table in the exact centre of the room, ended up about three metres inside North Korea. They plan to stage a music festival along the border.   It’s a freaky place, the most heavily-armed border anywhere in the world. And no, North Koreans probably won’t be able to attended. A couple of years ago, I had a chance to visit the DMZ in Panmunjeom along the border between North and South Korea. But a group of musicians can’t wait for the Korean War to officially come to an end. Part of the tour took us inside the Peace Hut, one of the blue buildings that straddle the border. No, the gig won’t be held within the actual DMZ–too complicated politically, too complex logistically, and, crucially, too many landmines. According to Digital Music News, a bunch of acts from South Korean, North Korea, Japan, Palestine(!!!), Taiwan and even the UK have pledged to participate.

The #1 iPhone App in the world is one you’ve never heard of–unless you’re from China.

The #1 iPhone App in the world is one you’ve never heard of–unless you’re from China.
Chances are you have all of them on your phone right now. No wonder we’ve never heard of it. The iPhone app marketplace is dominated by familiar names: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, and so on. What is Tik Tok? If you’re feeling adventurous, Tik Tok doesn’t seem to be in the Canadian App Store. Users shoot short video clips, edit them, and music and special effects and then send them along. (Via Hypebot) But what about Tik Tok? The Chinese music video app has been downloaded from the App Store close to 50 million times in just the last three months. In China, it’s known as Douyin and words as a music video and social messaging app.

Taylor Swift is working some angles when it comes to selling tickets for her upcoming tour. We’re trying to figure out what it means.

When fans resell their tickets through TicketsNow, TM takes a bigger chunk in terms of fees. Tay-Tay’s people have a deal with Ticketmaster to run her ticket site, Taylor Swift Tix. I have a feeling this will come up. But once the option of buying those scalped seats was taken away, fans apparently became incentivized to buy whatever was left. They either coughed up the cash or bailed entirely, pissed that they’d been priced out of the market. Some stops still have thousands of tickets available. The two entities ran into a dispute when Swift’s side didn’t want Ticketmaster to show the prices of tickets being resold by scalpers on TicketsNow, the TM-owned reseller, right next to primary tickets when they went on sale. What’s going on? Does this show that Swift tickets were priced too high from the outset? What can we learn from this? non-scalped) tickets.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
  The strategy made sense from TM’s point of view. Yet there are reports that $240 million worth of ticket sold and a projected total box office gross somewhere nearly $300 million. That would give Taylor’s people bragging rights–and it would drive up prices on the secondary market, which would ultimately be good for Ticketmaster and TicketsNow. Since they did that, sales of primary tickets have risen significantly. We do know that none of the shows have sold out. What does “sold out” even mean these days? In other words, showing the face value of tickets next to the price of scalped tickets didn’t drive sales. Ticketmaster pushed back on the objections, saying that showing how much Tay-Tay tickets cost on the secondary market would drive primary (i.e. Sidebar: Ticketmaster bought TicketsNow in 2008 and goes head-on with other resellers like StubHub (owned by eBay), SeatGeek, TicketNetwork, and others. Ticketmaster prevailed in this argument until April 27 when TM stopped displaying those resale tickets for the first nine stops on the tour, effectively admitting that the strategy did not work. Or that fans will pay market value for better tickets on secondary sites? Back to the Swift situation. Anything? I don’t get it, either. If you had to go back and read the above paragraphs several times, I completely understand. I’ll be interviewing Jared Smith of Ticketmaster for a keynote presentation at Canadian Music Week (Thursday, May 10, 2 pm). As CEO Michael Rapino says in this Billboard story, “Having buyers visit Ticketmaster’s website, only to find a show is sold out with no ticketing inventory available, is akin to “putting up a Closed sign and telling them to go to StubHub.” And yes, Ticketmaster has a greater margin on tickets sold through TicketsNow than they do on primary ticket sales. Remember, the ONLY money Ticketmaster makes on primary ticket sales is what they charge as a service fee. Removing the higher-priced tickets from the website actually increased sales of tickets priced at face value. Not sure yet. Depending on you ask, Taylor Swift’s upcoming 51-date Reputation tour is either going to be a huge success or in big trouble. The only thing I can figure is that fans saw the value in the scalped tickets because they were better seats than what was still available through primary channels. The goal was to drive all shows to sellouts.
Taylor Swift is working some angles when it comes to selling tickets for her upcoming tour. We’re trying to figure out what it means.