Random music news for Thursday, June 27, 2018

Random music news for Thursday, June 27, 2018
London, Ontario’s Call the Office could use some grassroots help. Are you a musician who likes to record on the go? The British think they might have come up with a paperless way to fight scalpers. Anyone want to bet on when we’ll see the first back to school commercials? Look at this. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a new technology coming next year that could make all headphones obsolete. This could be interesting: an anti-racism event in Manchester will happen at the same time as a Morrissey concert. US Route 66 is now on a list of endangered things. Are hip hop albums getting shorter? What the hell is happening here? And it’s pretty freakin’ cool, too. This is a lot of fun: the evolution of recorded audio formats over the last 100 years or so. I wonder if any other radio groups will follow suit? That’s been fixed. This new BBC app looks pretty cool because it mixes music, radio broadcasts, and podcasts. Cue all the versions of “Route 66.”
Remember the Canadian choir of Syrian kids that was too scared to travel to the US because of the Trump travel ban? I say three weeks. Another music venue is under threat of closure. Gord Downie died on October 17, 2017. School’s out. The power of audio: audiobooks can be more emotionally powerful than movies. Distract yourself from that with a browse through music news for June 27, 2018. The front cover of the Hip’s World Container album features the release date October 17, 2006. Like WTF rap like Die Antwoord and ICP? Prince’s estate has a new deal with Sony to re-release 35 of his albums. (Via MrBlonde716)
It’s official: Glamour magazine has run out of things to write about. This new device will turn your smartphone into a digital audio workstation. Another interesting coincidence: Pot becomes legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. JEEZUS! Dre and Jimmy Iovine had just lost a $25 million lawsuit over Beats headphones. An interesting contemplation on the death of rapper XXXtenacion. Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is concerned about the future of the electric guitar. Dr. Here’s what I mean. Just sayin’. It’s starting to feel like it. Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars has landed yet another acting gig.

New Music from the Inbox: Loony, Vacationer, Xavier Dunn, and more!

Watch/Listen:

Artist: Vacationer
Song: Magnetism
Album: Mindset
The interesting synth rhythms in this song give me a level of excitement that is hard to find. Catchy, upbeat and breezy R&B for the perfect summer day. This catchy, boundary-pushing pop is from the Philadelphia band’s third full length record, out June 29! Listen:

Artist: Shaed
Song: Silver Knife
EP: Melt
Some seriously bold, shimmering pop with an undeniable groove and unsettling lyrics that you will find yourself singing along to anyway. Watch/Listen:

Artist: Xavier Dunn
Song: Warming
EP: Isic Tutor
An innovative mix of electronic and acoustic with vocals that immediately make you melt into this beautiful track. Artist: Loony
Song: Warm Weather
The title sums up the second single from this rising Toronto singer pretty well. Watch/Listen: Listen:

Artist: Van William
Song: The Middle
Album: Countries
The Middle is an incredibly sweet and sentimental folk rock ballad that will make you feel everything at the same time (but primarily happiness to be listening to such sweet tune).
New Music from the Inbox: Loony, Vacationer, Xavier Dunn, and more!

Why won’t people SHUT UP at concerts?

Why won’t people SHUT UP at concerts?
But an off-hand tweet I made about the incident — “I will never understand why people pay money for a concert ticket and then will spend the entire show loudly talking and ignoring the band” — struck a nerve. I physically can’t stand for long periods of time, so this was a good compromise so we could still see and enjoy the music. We’re at a gig trying to enjoy the music but two people right next to us insist on having a conversation throughout the set. It’s happened to all of us. People are disrespectful all the time during concerts; his behavior was absolutely nothing new. And because the music is loud, they’re shouting at each other. Why don’t they just STFU? Days later, likes, quote-tweets and commiserating comments continued to roll in at a steady pace. This article in Slate recounts a recent unpleasant such encounter at a Sloan show in Toronto. A few days ago, my husband and I trekked out to a local club on a weeknight to catch Canadian rock ‘n’ roll stalwarts Sloan, who are touring the U.S. However, after the show started, one of the guys in said group proceeded to carry on a conversation — a very loud, intense conversation, in fact. For much of the first set, we sat at the bar, roughly 10 feet away from a group of men also parked on seats in the back. in support of a predictably great new album, “12.” As per usual, the band was also firing on all cylinders, busting out album deep cuts, hits and rarities (shouts to the cowbell-heavy “Live On” and obscurity “Step On It, Jean”). It was so loud that my husband and I moved to another area where we could sit, as his voice carried over the music, and he seemed more interested in chatting than paying attention to Sloan. You know you want to see how this turns out. Keep reading.

These new stackable speakers let you create your own wall of sound

That’s the goal of the Ai-2 from Soundots. Wouldn’t it be rad to have something like that in your own home? I mean, this Eddie Van Halen wall of cabinets is just freakin’ cool. When it comes to speakers, there are those among us who believe that you should go big or go home. I don’t need any more speakers in my life (Really. I’m good, thanks.), but if I did, I’d be looking at something like this. Read more at New Atlas.
These new stackable speakers let you create your own wall of sound

Bad-smelling airline passenger was rotting Russian rocker. He’s now dead.

He’s now dead. Bad-smelling airline passenger was rotting Russian rocker.
Suchilin underwent multiple emergency surgeries to try to stem the progress of the infection, but he suffered organ failure, slipped into a coma and died. He was recently on a flight from the Canary Islands en route to Amsterdam on a Transavia flight–and he wasn’t well. The stench from his body was so intense flight attendants first tried to isolate him by putting him one of the lavatories. He was 58. Suchilin smelled so bad, that other passengers began fainting and vomiting. Not only was he known one of the country’s best guitarist, he was also considered a rock pioneer in the bad old days of the Soviet Union.  
  It appears that he attracted the infection while on vacation. He was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed as suffering from tissue necrosis–the dreaded flesh-eating disease. Andrey Suchilin was revered in Russia. He did consult a doctor, but he diagnosed him as having “an ordinary beach infection.”
Suchilin was a member of the band Do Mazhor (C-Major) and a founder of a legendary organization called the Moscow Rock Laboratory. When that didn’t help, the captain made the decision to divert to Faro, Portugal. He was literally rotting, which is why he was so rank.

Here’s a forgotten recorded music format: The pocket 45.

Three labels, Atlantic, Roulette, and Mercury, were part of the launch. And when it came to portability, you couldn’t really beat the rise of the compact cassette. Created by Philco, a division of the Ford Motor Company, the little bendy records–officially called The Hip Pocket Record–debuted in 1967. There were even special portable record players just for the new format. There are even some Beatles pocket records on the Apple label out there somewhere.   it failed. Here’s what it was like to play one of these things. Artists like The Doors, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Van Morrison has material issue on the new records. Each record contained two songs (both on one side; there was no B-side) and sold for around 69 cents each at Woolworths and some Ford car dealerships. Even though I consider myself something of a student of dead recorded music formats, I don’t ever remember running across the pocket 45, a 4-inch flexible record that spun at 45 RPM. The records themselves were fragile and wore out after about a dozen plays. To learn more about the Hip Pocket Record, head to The Vinyl Factory. Guess what?
Here’s a forgotten recorded music format: The pocket 45.

Just another couple of days before Ontario’s new ticketing laws come into effect–and there’s still plenty of confusion

I want a limit on the price of a limit of gas, but that’s a commodity regulated by market forces.  
  This will not end well. The vast secondary market in concert tickets just proves that face values are too low to begin with. What’s the complaint mechanism? Transparency in terms of the number of tickets actually available? Coward. Price caps will only make it cheaper for those who can already afford to buy tickets on the secondary market. Here are my objections to that:

What’s so special about the price of a concert ticket? The same supply and demand rules apply to concert tickets. Credit card front-of-the-line access. The new laws are nothing but a desperate populist move by a desperate government that was thrown out in the last election. No one talks about the shows where secondary sellers take a loss because there’s no demand. Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program has its advantages. I certainly don’t think “Dave” did. That’ll be difficult–the last time I checked, the Internet extended beyond the borders of Ontario–but it’s a fight worth having. Call the cops? Yours,
Alan C. Again, a good idea but once you study the issue, this quickly becomes murky. As of Sunday, it will be illegal to charge more than 50% more than the face value of any ticket. 911? And I know this: the rules are doomed to fail and are destined to make things worse for ticket buyers, not better. Join the band’s fan club for early access to tickets. New rules are great and stop greedy assholes like you from profiting off concert goers, I can see why edge is a terrible station when your main concern is stealing from listeners. I can tell you’re a major reseller and enjoy ripping off fans. Ontario’s new rules regarding the sale of event tickets–concerts, theatre, sports, etc.–go into effect on Sunday and truth be told, people still don’t know what’s going on. Got that now, Dave? Let me see if I can explain myself one more time. In other words, we’re able to bail on the purchase if we deem that the final price is too high, just like any other online shopping experience. The best thing to do is follow the pricing on the secondary market right up until the last 24-48 hours before a show. Where things really go off the rails is with the price cap on resold tickets. Anyone who’s ever bought anything online knows that you as you click through the screens in the purchase process, additional fees and taxes are displayed the closer you get to checkout. Witness this email from “Dave” who clearly hasn’t spent any time looking at the situation. That’s when the vast majority of purchases are made–and it’s a true reflection of what the actual market value of a ticket is. I tried to reply to Dave, but the email is fake. Who’s going to police the price of concert tickets in Ontario? The new rules will just push transactions deeper underground where there are ZERO consumer protections. Wipe ’em out, I say. Name: Dave
Email: dave.forhun4526@gmail.com
Comment: Wow, great biased article against the new ticket rules. I don’t like paying $700 to fly to see my folks in Winnipeg, a distance of 1,507 km from my home airport in Toronto. And people remember the gigs were tickets are higher than face value. Something needs to be done to protect us poor meatbags from software that can hit Ticketmaster’s system thousands of times a second. I’d love to see this kind of thing, but the industry was able to get this removed from the legislation. Dear Dave
After months and months studying the ticket selling situation, I can report with confidence that it’s terribly, terribly broken. There are plenty of ways to outfox scalpers and resellers. The guy down the street with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch? When it comes to hot shows, there are always going to be more bums than seats. It’s not clear. First, the good news: The legislation will go after people who use ticket-buying bots. Price caps do nothing to help with the issue of inventory. And they certainly didn’t create a new department to look after this situation. Whenever you have a distortion of market forces, grey and black markets are created. All-in-pricing? Poor you. Meanwhile, I regularly get price alerts about fares to Singapore, a frequent destination for me that’s 15,003 km away, that run less than $600, taxes in. The government hasn’t made it clear. It worked for the airline industry (and boy, we’re grateful for that!), but the wording of the law is poor. I invite you to read all I’ve written on the subject beginning here.
Just another couple of days before Ontario’s new ticketing laws come into effect–and there’s still plenty of confusion

Good God, Tom Morello! WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOUR HAND?

Anyone who’s seen Tom Morello play with Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage, the Nightwatchmen and any of his other bands knows that he’s an, er, enthusiastic guitarist. #WeCantBeStopped #DjangoReinhardtLives #TheShowMustGoOn #TheBionicMan
A post shared by Tom Morello (@tommorello) on Jun 23, 2018 at 6:08pm PDT

Tom was back jamming with Prophets of Rage within days of the surgery, although he’s just playing with three fingers at the moment. Surgery today. We’re not sure how he did it, but Tom somehow managed to do some serious damage to his right hand–his playing hand, not what Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine calls “the moneymaker”–that required some hardcore repairs. Will be onstage in Sweden Tuesday. He also had a fan help him through Rage’s “Bulls on Parade” at a show in Sweden this week. Tom was fascinated enough by the procedure that he posted this on Instagram. Fractured my playing hand on Thursday. But sometimes, even a guitar god like Tom can overdo it.
Good God, Tom Morello! WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOUR HAND?

Maynard James Keenan calls rape allegations “a despicable false claim”

You should try it. Explosive stuff. And shame on those of you who perpetuate this destructive clickbait. Many thanks to those of you who saw right through this despicable false claim that only does damage to the #metoo movement. — Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) June 28, 2018

Let’s see where this leads. As for my delayed but un-required response, I had my phone off. Maynard has responded on Twitter. Nothing yet from @IWas16HeWas36. If you’ve been following along this week, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan was hit by allegations of rape by an anonymous Twitter user with the handle @IWas17HeWas36. The claim from the unidentified woman claims that she was sexually assaulted by Maynard back in 2000 when she was 17.
Maynard James Keenan calls rape allegations “a despicable false claim”

Random music news for Friday, June 29, 2018

Make no mistake: Joe Jackson was a monstrous father. You saw that Drake’s new album, Scorpion, features an unreleased Michael Jackson track, right? Ed Sheeran would like to discuss his bladder issues. Maybe. This was kind of eerie, don’t you think? RIP Steve Soto of punk legends The Adolescents. Anywhere, too. Only 65-ish days until the first day of school! (Via Tom)
Are we experiencing a saxophone renaissance? LOTS of them. What is this rumour about Apple’s joint subscription for music, video, and news? And now music news for Friday, June 29, 2018. And speaking of diversity, this festival has added a women-only stage. Try this. Need a timesuck before the long weekend. Nice to see: more people of colour are involved in the British indie scene. The latest is worth $100 million. English soccer fans sure love to sing. Sounds a lot like Amazon Prime, in a way. There was a data breach at Ticketmaster in the UK. Well, that’s one way to recycle old computer gear into something musical. secondary sellers) claims the company secretly supplied them with bot software. They make less than the average Uber driver. The man accused of murdering XXXtenacion has pleaded not guilty. Speaking of Ticketmaster, some brokers (i.e. The music industry is talking about what comes next with the #MeToo movement. School’s out! Is this the “Netflix of podcasts?” Possibly. A new survey says that musicians are more abused and poorer than regular folk. And he has copyright issues, too.
Random music news for Friday, June 29, 2018

Fun: This was pop culture 20 years ago this month

If you were around in 1998, this might seem familiar. (Via Boing Boing) Thepeterson is a YouTube person who wants us to remember what pop culture used to be.
Fun: This was pop culture 20 years ago this month

Who bass player John Entwhistle died 16 years ago this week. Let’s remember him with some isolated tracks.

Sure, Pete and Keith were fun to watch–we knew that going in–but no one left us more gobsmacked than bass player John Entwhistle. I remember a gang of us all going to see The Who doc The Kids Are Alright when it first hit movie theatres. Find more of John’s isolated bass tracks here. What a loss. John died on June 27, 2002, of a heart attack in a Las Vegas hotel room, a victim of hookers and blow. It wasn’t until we actually got to see him play that we realized what an amazing player he was. They called him The Ox, a steady presence stage right who let the other three guys take the spotlight.
Who bass player John Entwhistle died 16 years ago this week. Let’s remember him with some isolated tracks.

If Dublin won’t build a U2 visitors centre, the band will do it themselves

If Dublin won’t build a U2 visitors centre, the band will do it themselves
Ah. But I digress.) Tourists come from all over the world seeking to see the same things as me and The Wife. The answer is up on the wall of the U2 room in The Little Dublin Museum:
Ireland has a very different attitude to success than a lot of places, certainly than over here in the United States. Someone in the U2 organization has decided that it’s time to sort this out. It worked out fine–we ended up hitting all the places like the Clarence Hotel, Hanover Quay, Windmill Lane, and where Bono and the Edge side-by-side–but we kept thinking that someone was missing out on a money-making opportunity for tourists. Why wouldn’t there be any kind of proper U2 sites-of-Dublin tour or destination? It’s a nothing more than a couple of rooms within another museum called–and I am not making this up–The Little Dublin Museum. Armed with nothing more than a data plan. The is a U2 museum, of sorts. U2 has been a huge economic deal for Ireland. When we visited, the place was boarded up and covered with graffiti. In Ireland, people look up at the guy in the mansion on the hill and go, one day, I’m going to get that bastard. Read more here. (That was before they moved their business operations to more tax-friendly The Netherlands. The group is preparing to build a visitor and exhibition place at No 15-18 Hanover Quay, the former site of the band’s recording studio and offices for a time in the 90s. It is tiny. Fans will no doubt appreciate the 20-room boutique hotel that will be constructed next door. No word on when things will be ready. There was a period of time when their earnings from a world tour actually affected the GDP of the country. The ginger-haired man behind the counter gave me a quizzical stare. When The Wife and I went to Dublin a couple of years ago, one of our first stops was the tourist office near Grafton Street. The plans are to have a big display of U2 memorabilia in several exhibition halls, a replica of the studio they used to make albums like Pop and a cafe. And let’s remember that U2 as once involved in a riverside development once before that fell through. In the United States, you look at the guy that lives in the mansion on the hill, and you think, you know, one day, if I work really hard, I could live in that mansion. We wanted to inquire about any walking tours that would show us city sites related to U2. we used guides posted by fans online. It’s a different mind-set. Maybe this time. “Why would you ever want t’do that?”
So we were on our own. That explains a lot.

As copyright infringement lawsuits go, this is a doozy: $100 MILLION!

As copyright infringement lawsuits go, this is a doozy: $100 MILLION!
Then there’s the pending litigation involving Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and a song he wrote for them. (See the whole kerfluffle around Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and the weirdness of the “Stairway to Heaven” trial.)
But now there’s a new twist. It gets even weirder. They were burned for millions when the family successfully argued that “Blurred Lines” sounded way too much like “Got to Give It Up.” The defense of the song being a homage to the original did not cut it with a judge and jury. Now he’s been hit was a $100 million plagiarism lawsuit by the estate of Marvin Gaye over the song “Thinking Out Loud.”
Before we go any further, let’s contrast and compare, beginning with Ed’s song. The founder of that company is a banker named David Pullman. This has since led to a bunch of ambulance-chasing cases where lawyers claim that a client with an old hit has been infringed upon by a new artist. That ain’t nothing, though. Back in the 90s, he came up with the idea of buying up an artist’s catalogue for a specific period during which he would be allowed to exploit that material for commercial gain. According to the Gaye estate, Sheeran swiped various components of “Let’s Get It On” for his composition without permission or attribution, thereby violating copyright. As musicologist pick apart the two songs looking for overlaps, a co-defendant on the Structured Assets side is an adopted daughter of Townsend, which may or may not affect her claim to a piece of step-dad’s music. The artists got years’ worth of royalties up front and it was up to Pullman to make that money back plus some kind of profit for himself. Now he’s Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” recorded in 1973. Same guy. If this sounds like the infamous Bowie Bonds, you’re right. Structured Assets then filed a new lawsuit claiming copyright infringement. That will be $100 MILLION, please. Last month, a company called Structured Asset Sales asked to join the original lawsuit as an additional plaintiff. Ed Sheeran is no stranger to being sued for plagiarism. In other words, this whole thing is a big mess and involves far, far more than just a couple of shared notes and beats. If this is your thing, The Hollywood Reporter has some excellent analysis here. He settled a case over his song “Photograph,” giving up some songwriting credits. At some point, Structured Assets made a deal with one of Ed Townsend’s children who claimed to own a piece of “Let’s Get It On.” It’s because of this relationship between Structured Asset and Clef Michael Townsend that they want in on the Gaye family lawsuit. As Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams know, you do NOT mess with the Gaye estate. However, this request was denied by a judge who said that they waited too long to get involved.   He also did similar deals with the Isley Brothers and James Brown. The lawsuit, filed in 2016 with “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend, has yet to be resolved.

The only way to pay for your fare on this Finnish taxi is to sing

The only way to pay for your fare on this Finnish taxi is to sing
I’ll walk, thanks. The only currency the driver will accept is singing. There’s a karaoke-type screen in the back seat and the driver will only keep moving if you keep singing. A BMW i3 electric car has been pressed into service. (Via Driving.ca) Take a look. As transportation gimmicks go, this is interesting. Ruisrock is a music festival based in Turku, Finland, which regularly attracts around 100,000 people. Moving folks around the area can be a challenge, so shuttles are a must.