Random music news for Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Random music news for Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Dave Grohl says he had a near-death experience while surfing. The Elton John biopic is now on the release schedule for May 2019. Let’s find out what’s going on with May 29, 2018. Fender Guitars is being investigated for a price-fixing scheme. BTS has become the first K-pop band to top the charts in the US. Sting is going to get an honorary degree from Brown University. “Forget it,” says Daniel Johns. Another good question: What is classic rock in today’s world? Here’s a fascinating look at media ownership as of May 2018. Still hoping for a Silverchair reunion? If you were ever a Crash Test Dummies fan, singer Brad Roberts is out gigging again. U2 is at Third Man Studios in Nashville doing some recording. Both the US and the UK are back to work after a long weekend today, so is there any music news to report? (Via Larry)
This explains why our inboxes are full of GDPR notices. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody says he was in a really bad place for a while and could’ve ended up like Avicii. Meanwhile, here’s a good look at what’s ahead for radio. This old-school radio project sounds fun. Thought experiment: If MuchMusic’s Big Shiny Tunes compilations were still around, what would one look like in 2018? There’s one song the new-look Stone Temple Pilots won’t play because if its ties to Scott Weiland. We may soon be washing our clothes with sound waves. This one. Buskers in the UK will soon take credit cards. And to our American readers: Make sure you get your Starbucks coffee before your store closes for the afternoon.

New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (May 29, 2018): Lehmann B. Smith, Husky Loops, Classified, and more!

Final Horror is a concept-ish mixtape that’s meant to sort of be like a horror movie soundtrack, except that horror movie is more of a bar crawl with Count Dracula that happens to include some time travel as well. But rules are made to be broken, and “When I Come Home” is worth breaking the rules for. Watch/Listen:  Yeah. Fat old-school walking bass and that quintessential 90s hip-hop whoop instantly turn Classified’s latest into a comfortably classic nostalgia trip. Smith
Song: “Thus Must Rust”
Album/EP: Poplar Music

Trancy haze rock with a guitar that makes itself surprisingly scarce and a chant that sticks to the inside of your eardrum, “Thus Must Rust” is one of the most intriguingly eclectic non-catchy catchy tunes you’ll hear. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Classified
Song: “She Ain’t Gotta Do Much”
Album/EP: Single

The sample makes this song, hands down. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Hatchie
Song: “Sleep”
Album/EP: Sugar & Spice

Bright and expansive indie pop that bursts outward with layered instrumentals and an over-the-top atmospheric glow, “Sleep” is the kind of dreamy head-filling tune that stays with you. It’s tough to predict where the instrumentals or songwriting will go, flitting between fleeting tropes that slip away right as familiarity sets in. All that to say: this tune sounds like the early 2000s club night that plays during the character driven montage where you get to know the Count and relate a bit more, but to keep you on your toes it throws you to scenes in the mid 80s as well. You’ll have to hear it to believe it. Right? Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Husky Loops
Song: “When I Come Home”
Album/EP: EP2

Normally, live videos aren’t considered for the Inbox. D”
Album/EP: Final Horror

This one is going to take some explaining. Sort of gives off a CVRCHES vibe, if their music had been conceived during an 80s movie montage instead. Don’t think about it – back to the 90s it is. A low-key indie lounger built around weaving guitar arpeggios, breathy lyrics, and light touches of minimalistic droning, the shoegazey effect is all the more pronounced in Husky Loops’ live rendition. The lush bridges and self-effacing lyrics are the only giveaways of modern production, but really how subtle can a verse be when it’s discussing the woes of getting older. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Old Caltone
Song: “Mr. Artist: Lehmann B. Good thing it’s worth extra listens! Right. Steady as it goes, without going anywhere too fast.
Smith, Husky Loops, Classified, and more! (May 29, 2018): Lehmann B. New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition!

Science says that aliens might not be able to play NASA’s Golden Record

Science says that aliens might not be able to play NASA’s Golden Record
Maybe aliens will never figure out what we’re trying to do with these things. The technology is quite simple: Each is an old-school phonograph record designed to be rotated and played with a stylus or some other implement that will track in its grooves. The two most unattainable records in the universe are aboard the Voyager spacecraft, which are both flying beyond our solar system into the great void of the Milky Way. “If the second one of these senses is absent, or an entirely different sense is added, the Golden Record becomes a bit confusing.”
Oh? I suppose it’s too late to issue a recall, isn’t it? There’s even a pictogram that tells Kang and Kodos how it all works. “The Golden Record is a beautiful artefact and representation of how humans want to see themselves, but it is meant to be received by and interpreted by something that has the sensory capabilities of the average human,” said Orchard. Keep reading. But not so fast, says researchers. NASA’s Golden Records, curated by Carl Sagan, contains greetings to our future alien overlords along with sounds of Earth. Rebecca Orchard and Sheri Wells-Jensen at Bowling Green State University in Ohio say that the record’s 117 pictures, humpback whale sounds, greetings in 54 languages, 20-minute “sound essay” of life on Earth, and 90 minute romp through the planet’s music, is decidedly human-centric.

Weird Al goes all Foo with this cover

Weird Al goes all Foo with this cover
Judging by the traffic numbers I get whenever I post something about the guy, readers of this site really seem to like Weird Al. (Via Tom and The NME) In an effort to keep those clicks coming, here’s Al covering “This is a Call” by the Foo Fighters at a recent show in San Diego.

And now, Mac DeMarco dancing to Michael Jackson while wearing a giant turkey suit

A post shared by @macdemarco on May 28, 2018 at 5:22pm PDT

And you say his ode to the Toronto Raptors, right? Because that’s what you do, right? It comes up halfway through this video. Mac DeMarco, the BC-born indie star, decided to celebrate the American Memorial Day weekend in the usual fashion: by dancing to Michael Jackson while dressed up as a giant turkey.
And now, Mac DeMarco dancing to Michael Jackson while wearing a giant turkey suit

Fun with particle physics: Using the Large Hadron Collider in a rap

Fun with particle physics: Using the Large Hadron Collider in a rap
Jelfs and fellow composer-cum-visual-artist Haroon Mirza (who considers electricity to be his main medium) were the joint recipients of the 2017 Collide prize, awarded by Arts at Cern. This, however, is a little different. ‘Why were people smashing particles together to work out how the universe started?’ This is the biggest machine ever created, maybe nothing will ever be bigger. He studied theoretical physics at Imperial College London before his full-time focus became sound, visual and sculptural work. “It’s like the way people look at Stonehenge,” says Elijah of the notion behind the project. Winners receive a two-month residency at the research site, tasked with bringing art and science into a collision of their own. Most of you have undoubtedly heard of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. For Jelfs, one of the artists who were in residence at Cern, the overlap between art and science has always been part of his work. Let’s dig a little deeper. Totally cleared it up for us. “That could be like Cern 1,000 years in the future – maybe not even that far ahead. That hasn’t really happened before.”
Read the whole, and fascinating story here. This looks to be pretty incredible. Jelfs is talking about The Wave Epoch, a high-concept performance piece that is the result of four British artists spending time at Cern (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), where particles are accelerated and bashed into each other to reveal the secrets of the universe. Elijah says it is likely to change a lot over time but does at least give some idea of what we might expect: “I was only at Cern for a couple of days, but you’re struck by the scale, the number of people working on it, the scientists. When it’s described as “something between an installation, a music performance and a rave”, The Wave Epoch might not sound like anything particularly new, but it all becomes a lot more original when you realise it was conceived 175 metres underneath the Franco-Swiss border in the presence of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest single piece of machinery in existence. So it might be seen as a ritual site.”
Describing how this concept will materialise as a performance seems a complicated prospect for the artists. “Anyone attending the performances,” says Jack Jelfs, “will find themselves in a 12-dimensional quantum superposition.” This superposition, adds the artist, will contain three overlaid elements: our mythic past, our scientific present and our unknown future. “So,” concludes Jelfs, “you may wish to prepare appropriately.”

Thanks, Jack. Music is part of the culture at CERN as their participation in events like WOMAD can attest. I couldn’t imagine what would happen if you did film, art, or music at that scale.

What’s your preference for concert tickets? Paper, a phone app or something else?

To get in, all you had to do was tap your wristband on a pad at the gate. Virtual tours – A simulated festival experience which gives people the opportunity to experience behind the scenes and areas where no one gets to go to. There are still shows that operate this way, but as ticketing becomes more and more virtual, the whole concept of physical tickets is disappearing. Everyone was issued non-transferrable RFID bands that we wore for the entire weekend. Meet and greet – Some festivals offer a simple touch of one another’s wristband to stay in touch together, via Facebook or other social media. Queues were short and there were zero hassles with people fumbling with tickets or print-outs of barcodes. Nostalgia for old-school tickets aside, this is actually a very positive development. I tell you, though, once you go RFID, you’ll never want to go back. Power Banks swaps – These allow people to keep their devices powered, just use a power bank and when it runs out swap it for a full one. This dates back to the days when we got hard tickets that were either torn or scanned at the door. Then again, it may not be long until facial recognition will be the thing for gig admission. A UK company called Data Label conducted a survey on what ticketing methods festival goers preferred, starting with this question: “Which method of entry and payment would you prefer to use at festivals?”

The company also looked at the newest and coolest technological advancements for music festivals. Paper tickets, printouts, and non-chipped wristbands are starting to disappear as the industry moves to mobile contactless methods as well as new RFID technologies. Somewhere in my house, I have a shoebox filled with ticket stubs from concerts I’ve attended. The best in-out experience I’ve ever had was at Coachella’s Desert Trip a couple of years ago. I quote:

Holographic concerts – Performances from past stars such as Michael Jackson have been reborn on stage for fans. EE are spearheading this which allows people to keep sharing on social media and still use contactless on their devices. Doppler Labs Here Active Listening – These customise what the wearer can hear at the concert, such as reducing chatter around them to amplifying bass of a set. But this is just the start because new ticketing technologies are being introduced. Do you have any preferences?
What’s your preference for concert tickets? Paper, a phone app or something else?

Apple’s HomePod smart speakers coming to Canada June 18

Apple’s HomePod smart speakers coming to Canada June 18
It doesn’t help that HomePods aren’t available in countries outside of the US, the UK, and Australia. Only the Google Max costs more at $499. A steep $449, which is considerably more than any Alexa device and most Google Home products. But that will change June 18 when they finally come to Canada June 18. In amongst a bunch of announcements regarding the new “stereo pairs” and “multi-room audio” functions coming with iOS 11.4 was the note that HomePods will be available in Canada next month. Apple came late to the smart speaker game and lags far behind Google Home and Amazon’s Echo line.  
  Any takers? The price?

Random music news for Wednesday, May 30, 2018

And as for YouTube Music, it’s really a defensive gesture, apparently. It’s the techno fans of Berlin vs. She NAILED the application and got the job. Bad drugs. I’m not very popular right now. Here’s the music news for May 30, 2018. If your life has been touched by Alzheimer’s, read this. Three people have been arrested over the deaths of two people at UK music festival last weekend. this time last year: Total albums, -19.8%; digital albums, -23.7%; CDs, -22%; physical albums, -17.3%; vinyl, +68%(!!!); streaming, +53.9%
Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys doesn’t have a new album coming out, but his father does. Google seems to have taken the lead in the smart speaker market. Why not? the far right. Discuss. Snoop Dogg has just set the world record for the largest gin and juice. A good question: Will radio and podcasting ever merge? This person really, really, really wanted to work at Spotify. Here’s what he says. Canadian music sales vs. Yes, there’s a music angle. So why didn’t Izzy Stradlin participate in the Guns N Roses reunion? (Via Blind Gordie)
Here are seven ways to save money on concert tickets. And it’s the drill music fans of the UK vs. YouTube has deleted a bunch of “violent” music videos that are blamed for an uptick in crime in the UK…
…and YouTube has annoyed some of its stars with tweaks to their algorithms. the police. Now when it’s hot, it smells like tar all over the neighbourhood and all through the house. Musicians who make music that later makes them cringe. This is a category? Several rappers have threatened to pull their music from Spotify over the company’s “hateful content” policy. Here’s a wishlist for features in Apple’s upcoming iOS12. I had a new roof put on the house 10 days ago. A rapping priest? Wanna see inside Madonna’s Portuguese palace? AM radio: Not dead yet.
Random music news for Wednesday, May 30, 2018

More Music From The Inbox 30 May 2018 Sundaes, Chvrches, Fools of Love and More!

More Music From The Inbox 30 May 2018 Sundaes, Chvrches, Fools of Love and More!
Artist: Sundaes, “Pretty Wife”
Album: N/A

Gotta love Nashville’s big, gay garage-pop band
Sounds like:  indie goodness
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Chvrches, “God’s Plan”
Album: Love Is Dead

This brilliant Glasgow trio never disappoints
Sounds like:  a classic
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Fools of Love, “Evergreen”
Album: N/A

Great band out of Ottawa with brilliant vocals
Sounds like:  alt-folk beauty
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: JESUS CHRÜSLER SUPERCAR, “From Hell”  
Album: 35 Supersonic

Swedish monsters! Sounds like:  pop flavoured indie
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Satori Junk, “Death Dog”
Album: The Golden Dwarf

Heavy sounds out of Italy
Sounds like:  psych doom sonic boom
Link/Listen/Watch: Sounds like:  glorious fun
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Monowhales, “Real Love”
Album: Control Freak

I always look forward to new stiff from this Toronto gem.

What to make of music that feels even sadder than you do?

What to make of music that feels even sadder than you do?
Some sad music might be just the thing to help you feel better. Instantly he marks the border between melancholy and depression, anguish and the art it creates. Had a bad day? So why has Frightened Rabbit, for more than a decade, and since that very first song, plucked at something in my throat, as if they’re saying what I want to? “What’s the blues when you’ve got the greys?” sings Scott Hutchison, found dead at age 36 last week in Edinburgh, on the opening track of Frightened Rabbit’s debut album. I’ve never felt this pain that Scott poured into his music. So far in life, I haven’t needed medication for mental health problems. This is a shredding, stomping indie-rock single that recounts Scott’s worst weeks in unromantic terms — the sweat-stained bed, self-enforced solitude, and that visceral, permeating nausea with no relief: “I’m sick of feeling sick and not throwing up, and you sit in my stomach and you seem to be stuck.”

I’m lucky. Was I always just a voyeur, fetishizing what Scott called his “Scottish miserabilism,” the way he’d “chuck a bucket of cold water over” something as happy as California pop and drown its entire meaning? No suicide prevention hotline has fielded any call from me, nor have I given friends and family cause to worry that I might harm myself. Keep reading. This comes from MelMagazine. But already he’s blurred that line. By any conceivable metric, I cannot know Scott’s affliction. But beware: It’s sad. But what should we do with music that’s even sadder than we feel?

Radio in Canada: Still not dead

According to a new Media Technology Monitor report (subscription), 87% of anglophone Canadians listened to AM/FM radio on various platforms (traditional radio, online, etc.) in 2017. Digging a little deeper, we find the following figures for anglophone listening in this country:
79% of Canadians listened to radio on a traditional receiver in 2017. That represents a drop of 1% from last, a figure easily tucked into the margin of error. Overall, Anglophone Canadians spent an average of 8.3 hours a week listening to radio on an actual radio. 23% report listening to radio online. So the medium is not dead yet. Not by a long shot. Despite the onslaught of new technologies, radio, which has been with us in its commercial form for almost a hundred years, continues to hold its own. That figure has remained pretty much stable since 2014. That’s down from 80% in 2016. Listening to Sirius XM Canada dropped by 1% from 15% to 14%. More margin of error. Again, margin of error.
Radio in Canada: Still not dead

The music culture created by online message forums

Once, we made a sketchy calculation, based on rates of posting and average wages, of how much the site had cost the UK economy in terms of time wasted arguing about Daft Punk, Outkast, Britney and more. And in the early 00s, there were music forums: Drowned in Sound, my own I Love Music, Barbelith, Dissensus, Hipinion and dozens of others, fierce little enclaves of snark, in-jokes and bubbling enthusiasm. Music attracts conversation like a magnet pulls iron filings, and the form that talk takes changes according to where music lovers hang out with one another. My 1995 book, The Alternative Music Almanac, had a chapter devoted to all the alt.music.[whatever] world, sites where you could gossip, trade information, flame people and later, even trade these new things called MP3s. Starting a music forum in 2018 feels like a quixotic endeavour. These days, the word gets spread via memes, like those earnest pleas for 10 Facebook friends to share their favourite teenage albums. In the early days of the internet–say, 1995-2000–before everyone and his dog had a website or a Facebook page, the best place to learn about what was happening in music was in the online forums. Later, these forums blossomed into something quite grand, creating an online culture of their own. They saw a niche for serious music chat that the current social landscape, for all its advantages, wasn’t truly filling. Back in the 00s, I ran an online music forum, most of whose regulars were bored office workers. But the London-based electronic duo patten have done just that. Their 555-5555 messageboard shares its name with the alias they use for other creative side projects – zines, club nights and the like. Milk bars in the 50s; “head shops”, fuggy student digs and record stores in the 60s and 70s; fanzines in the 80s and 90s. The Guardian looks back on those message board days with this article. We estimated that around £1.7m of productivity had been gloriously frittered. According to patten, there has been a surge of interest in their new board, and an impressive level of quality to the discussion: “Feels like it was something a lot of people were waiting for, maybe without realising it.”
Keep reading.
The music culture created by online message forums

Geeks and Beats Podcast, Episode 184: Hand [sic] Solo

Geeks and Beats Podcast, Episode 184: Hand [sic] Solo
Plus, Weezer does Toto’s Rosanna, Rick Rolling meets AutoTune, and your chance to win a Google Home Max smart speaker. bad?) and how astronaut Alan Bean saved Apollo 12 on its way to the Moon. Five  (spoiler-free) things we learn about Han Solo, Weezer does Toto’s “Rosanna” (good? Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
Brought to you by Dickies: We won’t ruin the Star Wars fun with any spoilers as we look at the 5 coolest things Han Solo-wannabe Michael learned about the scruffy looking nerf herder and Alan brings us back to Earth with a story about the recently deceased astronaut Alan Bean who saved Apollo 12 and went on to walk on the Moon.