The hacker who broke into a North Korean radio station and started broadcasting hair metal

Broadcasting at 621 and 1053 kHz (AM radio frequencies), 3250 and 6400 kHz (in the shortwave band), the station is used for alerts about nuclear tests or emergencies. North Korea is one f-ed up country. Well done, son. Citizens are required to have a radio, but the only approved units tune only to North Korean radio stations. Attempts to listen to foreign broadcasts are, er, strongly discouraged lest the populace be exposed to ideas and concepts contrary to that of the Dear/Great Leader. For his North Korean trick, he set it up so this song ran on repeat. The Jester, who previously broke into jihadist websites and eve messed with the site run by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In November 2017, a hacker known as The Jester managed to break into a North Korean broadcasting facility used by the Pyongyang Broadcasting Station (known as–and I’m not kidding–Pyongyang BS) in the city of Kanggye, 185 miles north of the capital and along the border with China. This particular facility was chosen with great care. If you want to hear a recording of the broadcast, go to Digital Music News.
The hacker who broke into a North Korean radio station and started broadcasting hair metal

3 Tips for those new to recording at home

The licks and lyrics just seem to flow out seamlessly. Record a short rock song, house track or a soft acoustic song. Keeping a dedicated setup ensures you don’t have to do any pathway tweaking, and that your audio is always going to come out where you want it. Try writing a 1-minute song and then work on mixing that. Even if you think your song sounds like a turd, polish that turd! All these take time to connect and take up quite a bit of space on a desk. With the advent of new digital recording technologies, recording for aspiring artists has become much easier. Furthermore, recording a full-length song is a huge undertaking, from the writing to the final mix. The desire to record music can come up suddenly so having a station set up and ready to go the instant you want to record really helps with productivity. Everyone has their own musical tastes and inspirations and getting someone who isn’t as invested in the song to take a crack at it can often lead to a breakthrough in a particular part of a tune. A lot of, often frustrating, time. This included external hard drives, license keys, interfaces, and mics. It’s like giving yourself a sampling plate of mixing. But musicians get writer’s block too. But you must tell yourself it’s all in the effort of getting better. This also helps in determining what you want to work on in the future, and in what veins of recording your skills may be lacking. If you have friends who are also musicians, I suggest inviting them over and try to jam out the song together. I used it for school and for work and so when it comes time to record I had to go through the process of hooking up all my hardware to my laptop. There will be a lot less material to focus on, so you can really work on making that 1-minute shine. Especially for a student who is weighed down with loans, textbooks, and rent to pay. You’re going to record a lot of songs you never share, but maintaining that drive to finish a song, even if you’re not a huge fan, is key to improving your skills. Getting the hang of a new DAW or getting familiar with your plug-ins takes a lot of time. You don’t have to take their ideas, but music is often a collaborative effort, and having someone else to bounce ideas off of is a great way to suss out what is and isn’t working. Not to mention setting up pathways for audio on your computer can be a little tricky, especially when you’re switching between playback devices. Polish it until it’s the most beautiful sounding turd you can make it. Dedicated Work Station
Audio equipment is expensive. Over the years, I’ve found some techniques that will really help get the ball rolling and keep you motivated if you’re looking into recording music at home. But if possible, I would strongly suggest that you set up a dedicated workstation with a computer, interface, and mics. Try it with different genres as well. We all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to songwriting, so collaborating with people who have strengths where you may be lacking is a great way to get the most out of your music. I found myself spending 10 minutes clearing space to set up my equipment, another 10 to 15 hooking it all up, and by that time, the little spark that inspired me to record was fading. That’s the wrong way to go about it. Free plug-ins and DAWs have replaced expensive hardware in some respects. It’s a lengthy investment, so a good way to work on your mixing and recording skills is to write some shorter songs. I record at home myself, but being prone to procrastination, I’m always find reasons not to do it as much as I should. I get that. Jam With Friends
Sometimes, writing a song comes naturally. This isn’t to say digital technology is better, but for those looking to get into home recording, digital is a viable and convenient option. Record, Record, Record
Practice makes perfect, no matter how sick of the saying you may get. I’ve abandoned songs before because I just don’t like the way it’s turning out, or I can’t get the right sound. So many times, I’ve laid out a verse I like but for the life of me can’t figure out how to transition into the next part of the song. For the longest time, my issue had been that I use my laptop for everything.
3 Tips for those new to recording at home

Frances Bean Cobain offers up her first original song. Listen.

It’s since been reposted with new lyrics. This track was first uploaded to Instagram and then deleted. Once it’s all worked out, she promises a full and proper recording. not hey there Delilah 🦖🦕🐛
A post shared by Frances Bean Cobain (@space_witch666) on May 3, 2018 at 5:44pm PDT Will Frances Bean Cobain follow in the footsteps of her famous parents? She seems to be inching towards some kind of music career.
Frances Bean Cobain offers up her first original song. Listen.

Our Milky Way galaxy apparently makes “music.” Listen.

Based on 20 years of radio telescope data, he figured out an algorithm that translates the movements of gases into musical notes, allowing us to “hear” what the Milky Way sounds like as it rotates. (A full explanation can be found here.)
Turns out our galaxy sounds like jazz. This galactic year has been translated into music by astronomer Mark Heyer of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our Milky Way galaxy, which is at least 100,000 light-years across, completes a rotation in a leisurely 225 to 250 million years.
Our Milky Way galaxy apparently makes “music.” Listen.

Random music news for Monday, May 7, 2018

Random music news for Monday, May 7, 2018
They’ll need a lot of fanfare trumpets. Johnny Cash’s boyhood home is now a national historic site. For no reason, here’s a story involving DJ Khaled, Smash Mouth and attitudes towards oral sex. Scientists capture crocodile. U2: “People don’t hate us enough.”
How will Gibson’s bankruptcy affect the price of used guitars? The Arctic Monkeys played a gig at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA this past weekend. Scientists play classical music. Groupie memories: Man, those were wild times. It later changed its name to Sony. Think the Sting/Shaggy collaboration was weird? There are some Academy Awards changes to the score and music categories. There’s a 90s-style alt-rock revival in Australia. Stressed out by Monday? 2018, we have this:

Here are the winners from last night’s East Coast Music Awards. The Royal Wedding is this weekend. Here are some groups to watch. Here’s what happened. Liam Gallagher + Lily Allen + Airplane Bathroom = Mile High Club? Those attitudes are so sexist that even Dictionary.com felt compelled to add to the definition of the term “double standard.”
Here’s a look back at some of New York’s legendary iconic venues and locations. Take a listen to this. On this day in 1946, a company called Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering was founded. And for music news on May 7. Here are a few more. Croc goes into MRI machine. Let’s take a look.

New Music from the Inbox for May 7, 2018: AKA Wolves, Deaf Poets, Mute Choir, & More!

Watch:

Artist: Mute Choir
Song: “Behind the Bars”
Album: Single

The recently-released second single from Toronto band Mute Choir shows just how diverse the city’s music scene is. As with the other tracks on the album, this song dissects the connection between memory and consciousness. Watch:

Artist: Rasgo
Song: “Homens Ao Mar”
Album: Single

This Portuguese thrash metal band recorded this single with the “Circulo de Musica de Camara” Orchestra, blending thrash and orchestral metal. Watch: I love the funky bass line and the shining synths. Listen:

Artist: Deaf Poets
Song: “Change & Bloom”
Album: Single

Featuring distortion-soaked guitars and pounding drums, this duo plans to release their new EP next month. This song gives listeners a chance of what to expect on their upcoming album. I really enjoy the seeming simplicity and lyricism of this song. Artist: AKA Wolves
Song: “Wanna Get”
Album: Single

LA producer and artist AKA Wolves has spent the last several years doing behind the scenes work for artists such as Deorro, Lostboycrow, and BellSaint, but is pleased to release his own debut single. The track proves that the band is not afraid to explore soundscapes outside of their usual comfort zone. Watch:

Artist: Iconique
Song: “Iconique”
Album: Single

A blend of disco rhythms and silky synths to create highly infectious pop is what Iconique is all about. I enjoy how fun this song is. Listen:

Artist: Typhoon
Song: “Remember”
Album: Offerings

From Portland, this indie band has a hefty tour line-up for the next two months, promoting their recently released album.
New Music from the Inbox for May 7, 2018: AKA Wolves, Deaf Poets, Mute Choir, & More!

Now that Gibson has gone into bankruptcy, here comes the panicky articles about the death of the guitar.

Now that Gibson has gone into bankruptcy, here comes the panicky articles about the death of the guitar.
But he isn’t selling as many guitars as the other big time heroes. Yes, it’s true that guitar sales have dropped substantially over the last decade or so. Ratings agency S&P Global downgraded Westlake Village-based Guitar Center Holdings Inc. But outside in Times Square, the LED news tickers were telling a different story. And that has impacted sales. “As my father christened it, ‘that fucking guitar’.”
Within the walls of Manhattan’s Walter Kerr theater, where the musician is now six months into his memoiristic Springsteen on Broadway residency, that instrument, the guitar, is secure in its sacred object status. “You’ve got Joe Bonamassa who is a great player. The music retailer, the largest in the country, is more than $1 billion in debt and the outlook for its namesake instrument isn’t great. The heavyweight retailer on the American scene, Guitar Center, carries $1.6bn in debt. Guitar Center, the nation’s leading musical-instrument retailer, is in trouble. Bruce Springsteen stood in a black T-shirt on a Broadway stage and talked about when he first discovered the power of the instrument in his hands. for the second time last week as the troubled instrument retailer seeks to refinance and restructure more than $1 billion of debt. Troubles in the land of the six-string are not restricted to Gibson. Kids aren’t picking up the instrument like they used to while older players are, well, getting older and not buying as many guitars as they used to. “The guitar,” Springsteen said, plucking at a Japanese-made Takamine P6N, his favored acoustic. Gibson’s retreat into bankruptcy protection is no doubt related to falling sales, but it’s also connected to a perceived decline in quality. “Most of what’s really selling today is rap and hip hop,” said George Gruhn, owner of the Gruhn Guitars shop in Nashville. It also doesn’t help that retailers like The Guitar Center are deep in debt and not moving inventory. Fortunately, the Guardian weighs in with something a little more positive. But keep reading. And Eric Clapton is arthritic. Then there’s this from The Daily News about how musical tastes are submarining guitars. Changing musical tastes are partly to blame. From Fortune:
Guitar Center has hit a sour note. As rap and hip-hop have become more main stream, guitars have become less crucial to the country’s most popular songs. “It was the key, the sword in the stone, the staff of righteousness. The problem, say guitar retailers, is the nation’s shift in musical tastes. On Tuesday, Gibson Brands, Inc – with the biggest product line in the guitar business – filed for bankruptcy, succumbing to an estimated $500m debt load and a failed reinvention in 2014 as a “lifestyle brand”. He’s having difficulty playing and is retiring from touring.”
Keep reading. Complicating things is the lack of true guitar superstars like Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix. “I would be hard-pressed to name any new ones,” George Gruhn, owner of the Gruhn Guitars shop in Nashville, told the Daily News. “That’s outpacing other forms of music and they don’t use a lot of recognizable musical instruments.”
Keep reading.   Ten years post-recession, the guitar industry in the US continues to bob, with the 2,633,000 units sold in the United States in 2017 about 5% short of where things stood in 2008, according to Music Trades magazine. Yeah, I know that it starts depressing.

If you think that the vinyl resurrection is just a fad, think again.

If you think that the vinyl resurrection is just a fad, think again.
“It’s not real. The 2018 edition was the most successful. The success of the first event, held on April 19, 2008, took everyone (including artists and labels) by surprise. “It’s a fad,” he keeps saying. He just won’t admit wrong
Sorry, dude, but I’m about to throw more numbers and research in your face. Record Store Day now extends around the world, with annual events in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and Australia. We can trace much of the vinyl revival to the establishment of Record Store Day in 2007, a Hail Mary attempt by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave, and Brian Poehner, a group of Baltimore record store owners desperate to save their dying businesses. RSD events have also been held in places like Turkey and South Africa. Keep reading. [This is my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. I followed up on the column on Global News AM 640 today, too. Here are the top-selling records for the week ending April 26, according to Nielsen Music. It’s just a matter of time before it dies off.”
I’ve confronted him with all kinds of industry numbers, hard sales statistics, and endless anecdotes about how vinyl is more popular than it’s been since at least the late 1980s — 1988 was the high water mark — but he won’t budge. – AC]
I have a running argument with an industry colleague who believes that the resurrection of vinyl is nothing but hype. There’s no future in the format. Vinyl sales have vectored upward ever since with nonstop double-digit year-over-growth.

Tool inches closer to completing that mythical new album

Tool inches closer to completing that mythical new album
The occasion? As I type this, it’s been 12 years and 10 days since the release of Tool’s 10,000 Days album. But as Tool watchers know (a) the band is in the studio; and (b) progress is being made. The record is being produced by Joe Barresi. Here’s a shot taken by studio assistant Kevin Mills. Baby steps. The completion of Danny Carey’s drum parts. In the recording process, this is a major milestone. Baby steps, people.

Are streaming music services destroying songwriting? Maybe. Read this.

“If someone skips a track in the first 15 seconds, Spotify interprets that as a sign the song sucks, and punishes the song. “When everyone is having to tick the same boxes, everything ends up sounding the same,” says the songwriter. Keep reading, especially the bit about how a song like Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” would never, ever be a hit today. That’s when the music–or more correctly, the songwriting–began to evolve. From The Telegraph:
There’s no doubt that Spotify has transformed a music industry seemingly in terminal decline thanks to falling revenues. “It’s extremely damaging to what pop is supposed to be: eclectic, spontaneous and fun.”
It gets worse. Yet if it has changed the way we access pop music, there’s growing concern that it’s also changing the music itself. The only way around it, he says, is to start each song with its catchiest bit, or “hook.” It’s the reason why Ariana Grande’s latest single No Tears Left to Cry leaps straight into its infectious chorus and why Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You begins with the marimba melody that carries the rest of the song. The more skips, the less likely it is to turn up in playlists,” says the songwriter, who’s written chart-toppers for Grammy award-winning artists but who wishes to remain anonymous for fear that speaking out may damage his future releases’ chances of success on Spotify (several others declined to talk at all). And the results are disturbing. Songwriters, artists and record labels started to figure out how streaming was changing the way people interacted with music. Writers for some of the planet’s biggest artists claim the tech giant’s make-or-break power over what singles reach listeners has led to writers having to tailor their music for Spotify’s algorithms, transforming how music is written. The changes came slowly at first but once certain secrets were discovered, the changes began to accelerate.
Maybe. Are streaming music services destroying songwriting? Read this.

Monday got you down? There’s a podcast that plays nothing but laughter for six straight hours

Giggles, guffaws, chortles, cackles, snorts, snickers, assorted whoops and the occasional shriek can be found here. Science has also shown that many health benefits are associated with laughter. It’s long–six hours–but it features nothing but laughing or all sorts. From Mental Floss:
One study by neuroscientist and “laughter expert” Robert Provine revealed that 90 percent of test subjects smiled while listening to 19 seconds of laughter generated by a novelty store toy, and nearly half laughed along. You’ll feel better. This past Sunday (May 6) was World Laughter Day, a podcast called “Radio HaHa” was released. Laughter can be infectious. Not only does it release endorphins that make you feel good, but it also relieves stress, improves your immune system, reduces blood pressure, relieves pain, and improves brain function. Give it a whirl. This study and others like it suggest that the dreaded laugh track does in fact work, even if many modern TV viewers find it tacky. Once someone starts laughing at whatever, it’s kinda hard not to join in.
Monday got you down? There’s a podcast that plays nothing but laughter for six straight hours

Will Spotify ever make money? This article says “no.”

This article says “no.” Will Spotify ever make money?
Over the last ten years, the music industry has waged a relentless war in Congress and the courts to force streaming companies to pay more for the music they play. Keep reading. Shares of the music streaming service fell over 7%, even though the company met its goals for customer and revenue growth. Actually, it’s inevitable. Spotify is the big gorilla in the streaming space with more than 70 million paying subscribers and another 70 million or so free users. Unfortunately for Spotify, Wall Street was hoping it would beat expectations à la Facebook or Google (which regularly surpass stated targets) and when it didn’t, investors sulked. Those investors better get used to disappointment. That’s because unlike other tech companies, music streaming services face a fundamental business problem they can’t overcome. That’s a big customer base, but Spotify is still losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. And according to Fortune, the future doesn’t look good. And that supplier has both a monopoly and deep political influence to protect it. But regardless of whether such payments are justified, what matters is the music industry has the clout to demand them. Spotify announced its first quarterly results as a public company on Tuesday, and the market was not impressed. The justifications for the payments are often shaky—for instance, record labels and 1960s musicians sued Pandora over and over to pay an unprecedented royalty on pre-1972 recordings (essentially new money for old rope) until the company capitulated. How is this possible? In the case of streaming services like Spotify, they are uniquely dependent on a single supplier—the music industry—to provide them the goods for their product. That problem is the price of music or, in this context, what accountants call “cost of goods sold.” The term refers to materials a company must acquire to sell its product—for instance, the flour and sugar a baker must buy to sell donuts.

Current songs rule the streaming charts, but older songs are catching up

Brightside,” Killers
2010s: “Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran (at least so far)
The dominance of Christmas songs shouldn’t be surprising at this point. Keep reading. But as more of us adopt streaming as the source of our music, older songs–catalogue music–is on the uptick. There’s even something called the “reminiscence bump” – which shows children have superior recognition for songs that date to their parents’ and grandparents’ teenage years. Keep in mind that these stats reflect the listening habits of Britons. More from the BBC:
Research shows that the music of your teenage years is hard-wired into your brain. The BBC reports on BPI data which broke down the most-streamed songs by decade. It’s fascinating to watch the evolution of consumer behaviour when it comes to streaming. 1940s: “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby
1950s: “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Brenda Lee
1960s: “I Want You Back,” The Jackson t
1970s: “September,” Earth Wind & Fire
1980s: “Last Christmas,” Wham
1990s: “Wonderwall,” Oasis
2000s: “Mr. The industry itself is obsessed with the shiny and new. The results are…interesting. Think about how many holiday playlists must have been spun in the six weeks leading up to December 25. Digging deeper, though, we find songs like “No Scrubs” by TLC, “My Girl” by The Temptations, and Toto’s “Africa” is being streamed millions of times per year. Young people, those caught up in today’s hits, were the early adopters of streaming. Stats now show that older folk are streaming more. In fact, 30% of all streams are of songs released before 2010.  
  It’s no surprise that the streaming charts are dominated by current songs as people binge on the newest and hottest songs. Spotify says 40% of songs are streamed more in their second year than in their first.
Current songs rule the streaming charts, but older songs are catching up

Weekly survey: What should be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first dance?

Other guesses include something from Coldplay or the Spice Girls. Royal weddings don’t come around all that often and the kingdom is losing its mind. And don’t get me started on security. No rules, no restrictions. And keep in mind that Harry is a massive metal fan.   London is going to be nuts. Not only will the locals be wedding crazy, but the influx of tourists will be insane. When we booked the airfare and the rooms, we had no idea that this would be the week leading up to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19. Blech. This is where you come in. There’s also much speculation on what song Harry and Meghan will choose as their first dance. What should be the Royal Couple’s first dance? Go wild. Through no fault of our own, me and a group of music fans will be in London next week on a tour of rock’n’roll landmarks (it’s our big Flight Centre trip). The favourite is Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” because the couple is said to want something “fun and bouncy” and something that reflects their personalities rather than that of the Royal Family.
Weekly survey: What should be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first dance?