A look at the death of Anthony Bourdain

A look at the death of Anthony Bourdain
Keep reading. A great friend and artist. Anthony Bourdain built a second, maybe a third, career out of talking with people about their lives and the world. I’m heartbroken. With news of his death at the age of 61 on June 8, the world has become smaller, less colourful, sadder and less vibrant. @Bourdain was such a positive force in my life and so many others. What a sad fucking day
— mark lanegan (@marklanegan) June 8, 2018

In another episode, slightly longer ago, Bourdain sat with Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and his wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, months before they were arrested at their home in Iran, chatting about their American home (neither were born in the States), what they missed and their optimism for the future. [This originally appeared on brother site GeeksandBeats.com – AC]
In a recent episode of his Peabody Award-winning CNN show, Anthony Bourdain sits and has a beer with Mark Lanegan, singer of 90s band Screaming Trees and collaborator with Nirvana, Layne Staley and Mike McCready in Mad Season and Josh Homme’s Queens of the Stone Age. They talked food and music, the way the world has changed in the past 20 years and Lanegan’s passions, shining a light on someone people might consider the leader of a one-hit-wonder band.

Life got you down? Try this rubber chicken version of Toto’s “Africa”

Life got you down? Try this rubber chicken version of Toto’s “Africa”
Outraged at Donald Trump’s antics at the G7? Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks. Fortunately, we have Tom who points at this rubber chicken cover of Toto’s “Africa.” This will make you feel better. Disappointed by the outcome of the Ontario election? Bummed that the Las Vegas Golden Knights didn’t achieve their ultimate first season dream?

Remember Rebecca Black and “Friday?” She’s older, wiser and speaking out about trolls

“People commenting don’t think a real person has to read this and move on with their day.”
Rebecca revealed she hadn’t actually seen the video before it went live: “I saw it the minute it went on YouTube like everyone else. And doing that while everyone is just constantly ripping away at every piece of you, you are left with bones, you’re left with nothing.”
Watch her interview at the BBC. The video for her song “Friday”–a naive attempt at pop stardom–turned into a lightning rod for ridicule. When she was 13, Rebecca Black became an Internet sensation for all the wrong reasons. [Friday] was dubbed “the world’s worst song” by critics, and quickly became one of the site’s most disliked videos, attracting thousands of comments from internet trolls. It’s not like I thought the whole world was going to see it and pick it apart.”
Rebecca’s video racked up millions of views but the reception was mainly negative with hundreds of thousands of abusive comments – including a death threat which police investigated. Seven years on, she’s still dealing with the aftermath of the abuse. Rebecca said it hasn’t been easy to shake off the abuse: “I saw everything. (Via Steve) She showed up on the BBC to talk about everything she had to endure. When I started reading those negative comments I just couldn’t stop – I just kept going and going and going. It’s since been viewed 121 million times. “I just had to breathe it all in, suck it up and be good. “We thought, ‘it’s not like this is going to go anywhere’. “I felt like I had the biggest ‘kick me’ sign on my back and everyone was just lining up before they’d even looked at me,” she said.
Remember Rebecca Black and “Friday?” She’s older, wiser and speaking out about trolls

A good Sunday watch: the story of Kate Bush

A good Sunday watch: the story of Kate Bush
(Via Federer Fanatic) It stayed that way until 2014 when she staged a month-long residency in London. The BBC prepared this documentary ahead of those shows. When Kate Bush first came to our attention in the late 78s, no one really knew what to make of this teenager with the multi-octave voice. While she released a series of excellent albums, she toured just once before retiring from the stage.

Elon Musk and the music industry: What he got wrong

Elon Musk and the music industry: What he got wrong
Elon “Tony Stark” Musk has an opinion on all areas of tech and culture. As I’ll try to show, artists’ meager pay is not a result of them being “robbed” by streaming services. Her song “Kill V. This is from VentureBeat.com:
This week, Elon Musk weighed in on a much debated question: Are artists getting ripped off by big streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music? He has had something to say about how the music industry is structured when it comes to streaming. That’s $85,000 in total for a period of almost three years. Grimes. Sure, that’s not a lot of money. But is Spotify to blame for it? Musk’s opinions are kind of inherently interesting, but this one is especially intriguing since we know that — at least at one point — Tesla has considered creating its own music streaming service. Maim” has generated 21.5 million streams on Spotify since its release in November 2015. As an example, let’s look at Elon’s new girlfriend. Grimes is a Canadian musician with an impressive following. I’m here to argue that he’s wrong on this question, though. Keep reading. He says yes. As Musk points out, Grimes and her label only got $0.00397 each time her song was streamed (the label and the artist usually share 50-50).

Random music news for June 11, 2018

At 22, this guy is the youngest owner of a vinyl pressing plant anywhere in the world. It’s happened. Joy Division and New Order Doc Martens? (Via Steve)
Interesting analysis: The Ontario election ads we saw before YouTube videos. Yes, please. Let’s check in with the head of the RIAA and this keynote speech. So what’s the future of music? It’s worth more than all the major labels put together. And each note you sing earns you £2,000. St. RIP Danny Kirwan, an early guitarist with Fleetwood Mac. Imagine being paid to sing by the note. Now in music news for June 11, 2018…

Led Zeppelin has reunited…to work on a 50th-anniversary book. Vincent covers Tool. Lil Jon…
Diddy says he’s no longer interested in owning an NFL team. Spotify’s market capitalization is now $30 billion USD. According to this source, there are more than 8,000 rappers registered on Spotify whose names begin with “Lil.” Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Lil Pimp. Eminem managed to piss off a lot of people at Bonnaroo by doing this. Yes, St. It was on this day in 1982 that ET: The Extraterrestrial debuted in theatres. Vincent. Feminist author Germaine Greer doesn’t think much of Beyonce’s wardrobe stories. Elvis’ 1963 Rolls-Royce is getting its own documentary. Bruce Springsteen received a special Tony Award for his one-man show on Broadways.
Random music news for June 11, 2018

New Music from the Inbox for June 11, 2018: Future Generations, PBSM, Harker, & More!

New Music from the Inbox for June 11, 2018: Future Generations, PBSM, Harker, & More!

Artist: Mercy Flight
Song: “Entropy
Album: Single

From Mercy Flight’s upcoming record, the single “Entropy” explores the importance of the human connection. Listen:

Artist: The Frights
Song: “Crutch”
Album: Single

San Diego band The Frights have been growing in their success since their prank formation in 2012. The whispered vocals compliment the thoughtful songwriting. Watch: Their fun music mixes SoCal pop punk and garage rock. Listen:

Artist: Harker
Song: “Black Dog”
Album: No Discordance

Brighton fuzz-punks Harker recently released their debut album and are getting ready to begin a tour of the UK. Listen:

Artist: PBSM
Song: “Blue Jeans” (Lana Del Rey cover)
Album: Single

Getting ready to release a new EP this fall, Danish alt-rock duo PBSM give Lana Del Rey’s song “Blue Jeans” a gritty makeover. Artist: Future Generations
Song: “All the Same”
Album: Single

Announcing a new album due out in September, Future Generations has released the first single to give listeners a taste of what to expect. Watch:

Artist: Free Cake for Every Creature
Song: “Around You”
Album: Single

Philedelphia-based band Free Cake for Every Creature recently announced a new album, set for release in August. They pay respect to the original with a nod to Del Rey’s sensual voice, but takes it into the rock realm. This song is about the fears that follow you. This follows the theme of the whole album it comes from, which looks at the relationship of humanity and technology. It’s filled with rich harmonies and quirky rhythms.

Does the album have a future? Let’s take a close look.

This allowed for up to 22 minutes of music per side, perfect for “serious” music like classical and original cast recordings of Broadway shows. By the time we reached the First World War, it had been decided that Emile Berliner’s rotating disc was the best approach. It marked the beginning of albums becoming the basis of the music industry, something that would continue for the next five decades. [This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca – AC]

While trying to wrap my head around the concept of moles and trying to remember Avogadro’s number, Mr. Seventy years ago this month, Columbia Records introduced a brand new format: the 12-inch long-playing microgroove album — the LP. Revolving at 78 RPM, each side of the 10-inch disc could hold around four minutes of music. And there was more to come. I was also interested on Global New Radio 640 on the subject. One lecture dealt with all the formats on which music has been stored since Thomas Edison first demonstrated his rotating cylinder in 1877. Keep reading. Another new invention, the 7-inch 45 RPM single (also made of polyvinyl chloride and using microgroove technology) became the chosen format for pop music. Twenty years later, though, artists like the Beatles and Pink Floyd were using this new LP pallet to make music far beyond the usual three-and-a-half minute song, paving the way for intricate conceptual pieces. Richards, my Grade 11 chemistry teacher, said something that has stuck in my head all these years: “A gas expands to fill the space available.”
This rule of chemistry and physics came to mind when I was preparing a history lesson for a college class I’m teaching on the music business. It worked, too. Because this was the maximum capacity of a record, it helped standardize the length of the popular song to between three and four minutes. Using a new raw material called polyvinyl chloride, Columbia figured out how the grooves of the record could be made smaller and placed closer together. The music expanded to fill the space available. And so it remained for the next 50 years.
Does the album have a future? Let’s take a close look.

KISS is now selling what?

Gene Simmons once told me that there are at least 7,000 different KISS-related items. The latest? Let’s get it right from Gene. But don’t take my word for it. Toilet seats. KISS will license their name, image, and likeness to anyone and anything as long as they make money.
KISS is now selling what?

A review of Jack White’s cell phone-less show in Toronto

A review of Jack White’s cell phone-less show in Toronto
[This comes via occasional contributor Gilles LeBlanc. A vintage-looking piano in roughly the middle of White’s two-tiered platform was a symbolic reminder that no matter how technologically advanced his video projections may have become, music foundations will always be what’s most important to him. With twin keyboard setups maned by touring members Neal Evans and Quincy McCrary, not to mention rich bass courtesy of childhood friend Dominic Davis, White’s songs are more fleshed out than arguably any point in his career. AC]
If you know anything about Jack White, you’re probably aware he has a thing for the Number Three. His gift of surprising audiences over and over (and over) still shines brightly as a solo artist. Conveniently, a lot of the lighters being used were blue-coloured ones emblazoned with White’s “III” logo bought beforehand from the merchandise table. And rather than the cancerous glow emanating via thousands of phones during the more ballad-y “Love Interruption”, there were good old-fashioned lighters in the air. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to step behind a SECOND drum kit to jam out “My Doorbell” in tandem with Carla Azur while also singing à la Sébastien Grainger from T.O. By the end of the night however, I personally found myself having more conversations with strangers at a concert than I can remember in eons. two-piece Death from Above. Besides profiteering off of his loyal faithful, White did appear to succeed in having Torontonians be in the moment, starting with openers Radkey. Speaking of personality, Jack White has always been a commanding presence on stage, from previous bands The White Stripes with faux-sister Meg White to both The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, even if he tried relegating himself to the background in the latter as their percussionist. See more at www.JackWhiteIII.com. By the way, Lüz Studio, a Canadian visual design company, created all the visuals for the show. For reasons only he could explain, the rocker with a taste for the eccentric decided to make the last stop on the Boarding House Reach tour before jetting off to Europe extra special (his third solo album, as luck would have it). Follow him at @rockthusiast. The guitar is still very much front and centre in Jack White’s world, surrounding himself with no less than five instruments of amplification he would seemingly choose at random and force every single person in the venue to follow his lead. Take a look. Third time was definitely the charm for him! There was a lot of prattling beforehand about White’s self-imposed no-phones-allowed policy. With a newish four-person backing group more than ably picking up on his cues, they absolutely plowed through twenty years of material that sounded so fresh, alive and urgent, it makes you wonder where all this “rock is dead” nonsense is coming from. Jack has an obvious affinity for the Queen City of Toronto; he was spotted at a club just north of our iconic Queen Street West after thanking us collectively as a country for making Boarding House Reach a #1 album. All photos are by David James Swanson, Jack’s official photographer. Setlist
Over and Over and Over (Jack White – Boarding House Reach)
Corporation (Jack White – Boarding House Reach)
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (The White Stripes – White Blood Cells)
Lazaretto (Jack White – Lazaretto)
I Think I Smell a Rat (The White Stripes – White Blood Cells)
Little Bird (The White Stripes – De Stijl)
Just One Drink (Jack White – Lazaretto)
Hotel Yorba (The White Stripes – White Blood Cells)
Hypocritical Kiss (Jack White – Blunderbuss)
High Ball Stepper (Jack White – Lazaretto)
My Doorbell (The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan)
Humoresque (Jack White – Boarding House Reach)
Love Interruption (Jack White – Blunderbuss)
I Cut Like a Buffalo (The Dead Weather – Horehound)
Get in the Mind Shaft (Jack White – Boarding House Reach)
I’m Slowly Turning into You (The White Stripes – Icky Thump)
Sixteen Saltines (Jack White – Blunderbuss)
That Black Bat Licorice (Jack White – Lazaretto)
Fell in Love with a Girl (The White Stripes – White Blood Cells)
Ice Station Zebra (Jack White – Boarding House Reach)
Steady, As She Goes (The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers)
Icky Thump (The White Stripes – Icky Thump)
Connected by Love (Jack White – Boarding House Reach)
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes – Elephant)
  I only really bring this up because June 9th, 2018 marked the third time Jack White has played Toronto’s Budweiser Stage – the previous occasions were in 2005 and 2007 when it went by the name Molson Amphitheatre with some little band you may have heard of called The White Stripes. Whether they were subtly conscious connections or simply odd coincidences, they all made for maybe the best show I’ve personally seen featuring Jack White. With no screens to look at, all eyes were on the three siblings whose ripped denim look reminded me of the Ramones with more than a little “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour swagger. The gig poster was designed by Sara Deck. While part of me missed live-tweeting so as to manufacture FOMO for anyone not in attendance, getting in touch with people you didn’t necessarily come with was probably the biggest inconvenience.

Looking for a different listening experience? Try this radio station staffed by convicts.

Presenter ‘Jamie Boy’, not his real name, has been serving time for a number of driving-related offences. This article is from Australia’s ABC. It’s unique in the sense that it runs its own radio station staffed by the inmates. The new program, designed to teach prisoners confidence and media skills, is the first of its kind in Australia. “Doing it in here makes me feel like I’m somebody, it makes me feel important,” he said. If you look at a map of Australia, you might be able to find the location of the West Kimberly Regional Prison in the northern part of the country’s most western state. Inmates at the West Kimberley Regional Prison in Western Australia’s far north have been putting together a weekly radio show to air on community stations across the country. He had never been behind a microphone until he signed up several months ago. “I just pushed myself to do it, I’ve done a lot of self-confidence building and that’s going really good.”
Read on.
Looking for a different listening experience? Try this radio station staffed by convicts.

What if you could play video games using a smart speaker?

What if you could play video games using a smart speaker?
New applications for this technology are popping up every day. This isn’t one of them, but if it was, I might buy in. Smart speakers are the fastest-growing consumer tech product since the introduction of the smartphone.

How many people control Spotify playlists with global impact? Twelve.

Twelve. How many people control Spotify playlists with global impact?
Times have changed and radio isn’t king. Indie label and digital platform executives sat down to discuss the growing influence of streaming services at Day 1 of Midem 2018. Not so long ago, the power was in the hands of the programme controllers and producers (and those able to court them!) at the top radio stations, who were able to hand-pick the tracks that would become huge hits. And how do you get to them? With its nine million followers, a spot on that list gives your song a better-than-average chance of blowing up. But has the streaming age changed anything in terms of power over impact? And while there are over 2 billion Spotify playlists created by users (5 million are added/edited every day), you need to get on an internally-managed playlist like Rap Caviar. So who controls those monster playlists? Spotify’s playlists are becoming increasingly influential when it comes to guiding the planet’s musical tastes. Keep reading. Mom + Pop Music co-president, Thaddeus Rudd has shared his concerns. In our latest podcast, Global Streaming Curator and Strategist Elise Cobain analysed the notion of ‘playlists as radio stations’. According to Rudd, not much has changed: “There are 12 people that control the playlists that have global impact,” said Mom + Pop Music co-president Thaddeus Rudd. “The consolidation of curators has been astounding,” said Mom + Pop Music co-president, Thaddeus Rudd. This article from FrtyFve.com talks about what’s going on.  

And now, a musical break from North Korea

And now, a musical break from North Korea
Funny how Donald Trump likes to cozy up to authoritarian leaders and dictators while simultaneously insulting America’s allies and friends. Note that the article also contains this musical interlude. Now that he and Kim Jong-Un are in Singapore, here’s a chance to get caught up on all things North Korea with this article at Vox.