Random music news for Friday, June 22, 2018

Wanna buy Flea’s house? If you’re into the world of David Lynch, you should probably read this. Moving to music news for June 22, 2018…

So what sorts of plans does Facebook have for music? Trent Reznor talks about here and calls out Taylor Swift here. Imagine singing the same song for 1,000 years. The 50th-anniversary edition of the Beatles white album is almost ready. And he wants to build his own city in Senegal. And here’s another that affects mostly women. Quick timesuck: Check out this guy’s musical landmarks tour. Google’s new podcast app is getting some very good reviews. Very good. Are you a Red Hot Chili Pepper fan? An elderly couple is getting death threats after wrongly being linked to the killing of rapper XXXTenacion. Canada isn’t the only country that argues about how much domestic music is played on the radio. Australia is going through it, too. Meanwhile, death has been good for XXXTenacion’s streaming numbers. This person prevents celebrities from blowing all their money. He’s breaking records. Dave Grohl is very sorry about his Carpool Karaoke appearance. Thirty-two years ago today, Diego Maradona scored his famous Hand of God goal at the 1986 World Cup. On a more pleasant note, 50 Cent is a big tipper. Warner Music has invested in a fitness project. Add that to WhatsApp and Messenger and there’s no escaping the Facebook suite of apps. Now it’s Piers Morgan vs. Yeah, there’s a health problem with that. It’s for sale. Instagram now has one billion monthly users. No, that’s not a typo. Let’s take a look. The new Nine Inch Nails album, Bad Witch, is out today. What about all this violence in rap lately? Andrew Ridgely (ex of Wham). Do you read from a phone or tablet before bed? Another artist has launched his own cryptocurrency. We should pay attention.
Random music news for Friday, June 22, 2018

Ten years ago today, George Carlin died

Jerry Seinfeld wrote this about Carlin in the New York Times. He died ten years ago today as the result of a dodgy heart.   Thanks to Tom for links. Along with Richard Pryor, George Carlin was one of the greatest comic geniuses of all time. And because George used to work in radio, I have an extra soft spot for him. Here’s his NYT obituary. If you’ve ever seen his HBO specials, you’ll know that he rarely misspoke and almost never said “uh” or “er” in his delivery. Everything was meticulously rehearsed and executed. Amazing, really. I still love this bit.
Ten years ago today, George Carlin died

Paralyzed musician rocks the Star Spangled Banner on literal “air guitar”

Paralyzed musician rocks the Star Spangled Banner on literal “air guitar”
Anyone, no matter the disability, can now officially rock out with Jamboxx! But don’t just take our word for it, take a listen to his performance here! That’s because the Jamboxx is played exclusively with your breath! The sound is generated via MIDI input when hooked up to a compatible computer or tablet. It’s meant for anyone with a passion for music. From the young to the old. Pitch is controlled by moving your mouth left or right and it can mimic anything from electric guitar to a soft grand piano. The Jamboxx is what Dave describes as a true air guitar performance. Anyone can play but it stands out for people with cognitive or physical disabilities. The Tri-City Valley Cats were treated to the anthem performance of a lifetime on Saturday, June 16th courtesy of musician Dave Whalen and his Jamboxx! Dave and Jamboxx are asking fans of his performance to share the video with the hashtags #JamboxxAnthem and #SendDave2Majors. A long-time fan of electric guitar, Dave wants to realize the dream of those who long to shred the frets but aren’t physically able to. A 56-year-old New York native, Dave was paralyzed from the neck down at 18 in a skiing accident. His invention, the Jamboxx, is doing just that. The prototypes have all been tested and Jamboxx is commercially available! It’s been invented over the past 10 years with his friend, Mike DiCesare. Dave Whalen’s mission is simple and wholesome: he wants more people to be able to experience music and enjoy themselves. Like a harmonica, you play by inhaling or exhaling into the mouthpiece. From anyone with a disability to professional artists. After his rendition, dedicated to Paralyzed Veterans of America, Dave hopes he’ll get noticed by a big sports club and take his talents to the big leagues. So, let’s help out! Click here to check out their site and learn more about the product. To further adapt to the player’s needs, the range of head motion and amount of air required to play are fully adjustable, for those with limited movement or limited lung capacity. It’s an electronic, USB-powered synthesizer designed after a harmonica. Jamboxx comes with a bracket that is fixed to the musician, so they can play hands-free.

Want to check the speed of your Internet connection? This one raises money for charity with every test.

One of the first things I do is check the speed of the connection in my room so I know what I can and cannot do.   Even though that applies to only one test per person a year, think about the millions of speed tests conducted every day. Hey, the test is free to use. I, for example, often need to create a lot of broadcast material from a laptop in a hotel room. For every test conducted, it donates one cent to charity. Currently supported charities are the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Computers4Africa. Click on the image to get started. There are plenty of online tests to choose from, but I just heard about CompariTech. It’s always a good idea to know what connection speeds you’re dealing with, especially if a fast Internet is mission critical to whatever you’re doing. Why not give it a try?
Want to check the speed of your Internet connection? This one raises money for charity with every test.

Need more World Cup music? This band has just released 100 soccer songs, each about 30 seconds long

Need more World Cup music? This band has just released 100 soccer songs, each about 30 seconds long
Here’s a sample. Here are some titles:

From Russia with (Hetero) Love
I’m Leaving on a Standard Class Aer Lingus
I’m Supporting Pussy Riot
World Cup Widows
Spot the Player on Coke
The Ballad of the Poisoned Referee
World Cup Snacks
Slave Labour Stadiums
Ra Ra Ras Pootun
World in Motion Was So Overrated
Best Tattoo

The Pocket Gods’ material is available on all streaming platforms. Quite brilliant, really. Since Spotify pays out for a full stream of a song after 30 seconds has elapsed, why bother writing songs longer than that? Good point, really. We first hear about The Pocket Gods when they found a loophole in Spotify’s payment system.  
  The result was four records called 100X30, each featuring 100 songs with running times just over 30 seconds. The Pocket Gods’ latest endeavor is the fifth 100X30 volume with every track focusing on some aspect of the World Cup.

The Ongoing History of New Music Encore Presentation: The Ongoing History of New Music, Part 4

The Ongoing History of New Music Encore Presentation: The Ongoing History of New Music, Part 4
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. The conclusion of our four-parter on the history of indie rock will look at everything that’s happened in the 90s and through the beginning the 21st century, specifically how the indie world showed the major labels what needed to be done in the post-Napster world. Basically, the entire music industry was reorganized in the image of the indie world. Songs from this week’s show:
Stone Roses, “Fool’s Gold”
Oasis, “Rock’n’Roll Star”
Offspring, “Gotta Get Away”
Strokes, “Last Nite”
White Stripes, “Fell in Love with a Girl”
New Pornographers, “Mass Romantic”
Arcade Fire, “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)”
Dead Weather, “Hang You From the Heavens”
Radiohead, “Bodysnatchers”
Here’s the all-purpose playlist from Eric Wilhite:

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do. 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. 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.

Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson Family, is in the final stages of terminal cancer

Jackson is 89 and has suffered through some rough times health-wise over the last few years. Developing… That includes one heart attack (at least), several strokes, and dementia. From Variety:
The famously headstrong Jackson drove his performing family hard and at times subjected them to physical and mental abuse; the original Jackson 5 included sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael, although younger sibling Randy also performed with the group and daughters LaToya, Rebbie, and, most famously, Janet also released albums. To make matters even worse, he was injured in a car accident about a year ago. Over the decades, Joe has had a contentious relationship with many family members, including Michael. The Daily Mail claims that Jackson’s “handlers” had barred certain family members from visiting him, which son and former Jackson 5 member Jermaine spoke about to the paper. Joe Jackson, father of Michael, Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Randy, Jackie, Tito, and Marlon (11 children in total), has been hospitalized and is said to be in the final stages of terminal cancer.
Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson Family, is in the final stages of terminal cancer

Random music news for Saturday, June 23, 2019

Random music news for Saturday, June 23, 2019
Is this best movie soundtrack of the summer? Using Ed Sheeran as an anesthetic? Will Paul McCartney ever retire? Is it dead or is there still life in this radio format? A single MP3 would have killed it. Stand back! Did the EU just kill memes? Big BBQ at my place tonight. Women were seen dancing at a concert in Saudi Arabia. And now, music news for June 23, 2018. This computer was state-of-the-art 70s years ago. A new Joey Ramone film is in the works. Silverchair bass player saw his bar go up in smoke in a big fire. I can’t recommend that you click here, but do what you must. NOFX says they’ve been “effectively banned” in the US. Not bad, but they need work. No, really. Let’s investigate. Now there’s a sh*tstorm, of course. Tidal: One messed-up streaming service. Here’s hoping that the Monkees’ Mike Nesmith is okay. Probably not. Facebook now has these musician avatar thingies. Okay. It’s based on a biography written by his brother. I’ll cook. Can someone please explain Google Music’s/YouTube Music’s new pricing plans? Looking to get your song on Spotify playlists? Here are my weekly music picks for GlobalNews.ca. No cause of death yet. They’re now free. He collapsed onstage. Need lessons on Apple’s Garageband? Vinnie Paul, the drummer for Pantera, Damageplan, and Hellyeah (and the brother of Dimebag Darrel) has died at age 54. Yep. Read this. What’s the status of classic rock? It’s only a matter of time before Billie Joe Armstrong writes American Idiot, Part 2. Looking for ways to sneak alcohol into music festivals? Trent Reznor thinks that Kanye West has lost his mind. Stand back.

Punk legends D.O.A. had their gear stolen, including the backdrop they’ve been using since 1985.

Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com You cannot kill D.O.A. Joey Shithead is leading the band through their 40th anniversary tour, a roadtrip that’s also supporting their album, Fight Back. A slight hitch, though: $4,000 worth of equipment was stolen, including a backdrop used by the band for every show since 1986.
had their gear stolen, including the backdrop they’ve been using since 1985. Punk legends D.O.A.

Fun with drums: John Bonham’s 25 greatest drum techniques

Fun with drums: John Bonham’s 25 greatest drum techniques
Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham influenced countless drummers (just ask Dave Grohl). His style was unique, but he did have some techniques that can be copied. Walter forwarded this helpful instructional video.

Has 2018 killed the pop star?

In the last two years, the popular-music ecosystem has proven more hospitable to SoundCloud rappers, novelty E.D.M./country hybrids and a freestyle from Cardi B than it’s been to once-indomitable pop stars like Taylor Swift. They ask “Has 2018 Killed the Pop Star?”
For most of the last century, “pop music” has been a durable single phrase with two distinct meanings: a statement of fact about the most listened to music of the moment as well as a genre with specific traits. And we can’t forget that music culture is downstream from whatever is happening in society at the time and quickly ends up articulating the zeitgeist of an age. Popular music is always roiling with cycles, trends, and fads. But thanks in part to the pluralizing forces of the Internet, pop—like so many other things—has splintered. And for a majority of that time, the two definitions have neatly intersected. Vanity Fair wonders if we’re in one of those periods of transition right now. Meanwhile, former and would-be pop stars like Kesha, Troye Sivan, and Carly Rae Jepsen have grown into artists with devoted cult followings as opposed to global superstars. And especially since the 1980s, pop has been the domain of a particular type of entertainer: a virtuoso performer, visual artist, cultural maven, pop arbiter, and chart baron known as a pop star. Rock is once again in the ascendant. Pop songs from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Umbrella” have also been the most popular songs of their day. While there are exceptions—Bruno Mars in particular mimics the established pop-star formula to massive success—something novel is clearly afoot: pop music is no longer the most popular music in 2018. Things come into favour and just as quickly discarded. Keep reading. Watch.
Has 2018 killed the pop star?

Remembering one of radio’s biggest fans: RIP Larry Bates of the “Bring Back the Spirit” Campaign

Remembering one of radio’s biggest fans: RIP Larry Bates of the “Bring Back the Spirit” Campaign
It was the beginning of a massive uprising and rebellion of the listenership. We were told to refer to the station as “FM102.” The old slogan, “The Spirit of Radio,” was killed off. It was awful. It was a rough, scary time for the staff and fans of CFNY-FM (now 102.1 the Edge). He wasn’t going to allow his radio station to go Top 40 on his watch. I came in one Monday morning to do my midday shift to find that I’d been scheduled music from George Michael and Taylor Dayne amongst the mix of songs by New Order and Smiths.   Larry became of those most vocal proponents of the “Bring Back the Spirit” campaign. In 1988, the station, saw its parent company, Selkirk Communications, purchased by Rogers. And whenever the station held a public event, Larry was there to let his feelings be known. The best example of this was seen in the sky for our 1989 Canada Day festival at Molson Park in Barrie, attended by about 30,000 people. I was confronted by furious listeners wherever I went. Larry led a coalition of fans to purchase a banner that was towed by an airplane over the crowd. The station’s listener fanbase exploded in anger. I seem to recall that the incoming group met up with him and people like him to get their input on what the station had meant to them, how they felt about what it had become and what they wanted it to be. That was left to local managers. And when grunge hit in 1991, we turned out to be the right station at the right time. Always respectful, he just wanted everyone to know that he and his people were not going down without a fight. One of the angriest was Larry Bates, a hardcore fan of CFNY’s Spirit of Radio approach. The rogue managers were fired. But because Rogers already had the maximum number of radio stations in Toronto allowed by law, CFNY-FM had to be flipped to yet another buyer. Basically, they’d bought a red car but before they could pick it up, someone painted it blue. I write this because Larry passed away this past week, a victim of pancreatic cancer, one of the most evil and insidious forms of the The Big C. Each time, I’d thank him for leading the charge. They also were well aware of the feelings and actions of people like Larry. Truth be told, we engaged in subtle acts of insubordination when it came to altering the music during our shifts. We’d talk to him at these events, letting him know that we appreciated his efforts. His wife Lorraine let me know in an email. These sorts of transactions take a long time to go through CRTC approval. So one more time: Thanks, Larry. We won. And they went rogue. You have no idea how much your efforts were appreciated. And you know something? And they were really pissed that someone had painted it blue. What followed was another glorious period for CFNY as it fully embraced alt-rock culture again. I honestly might not be typing these words had it not been for that massive, passionate outcry by CFNY’s loyal listeners. The phone line went nuts. There was an intervention written to the CRTC opposing the station’s license renewal, which was due in 1989. It read “Bring Back the Spirit of Radio.”
Most of the staff was secretly on Larry’s side. When Maclean-Hunter picked up CFNY from Rogers, the new owners were free to say how they felt about the changes to the format. I ran across Larry a number of times over the years and we’d talk about the big protest he led. Management decided that CFNY need to abandon much of its alternative music heritage in hopes of juicing ratings, perhaps in an effort to keep their jobs when the new bosses came in. During that period, CFNY was put in a special escrow situation, a form of limbo where no corporate parent was able to touch it or even offer any input into the day-to-day operations. It was risky–I had more than a few bad attitude meetings during this period that almost saw me fired–but the passion we felt was too intense to ignore. In an era before the Internet and social media, Larry and like-minded listeners pulled out all the stops. These people were mad and wanted their old radio station back. New programmers were brought in and the music went back to normal. Although there were new staffers hired by the rogue interim management, everyone else was determined to fight back in our own way. What happened was nine months of hell. There were petitions. Some members of the staff were either let go or quit.