Random music news for Friday, July 6, 2018

Random music news for Friday, July 6, 2018
And speaking of which, Netflix is killing it these days. Again, I’ll believe it when I see it. Neil Young: Not a Trump fan. The murder of this folksinger has transfixed Chile since 1973. The FBI and the NSA aren’t going to like this. Will it be the same with music? Snoop Dogg and Captain Picard are together at last in a new weed venture. Unless you’ve been keeping track, you’ll never believe that this album is set to become the biggest of the year. ISIS pop? Devo played a gig last weekend, their first in a couple of years. Is that really a thing? AI may soon determine what movies get made. She started by fooling around with Instagram. Canada’s Walk of Fame wants to move to a new street in Toronto. What’s this new “ultra” subscription tier from Netflix? More proof that Apple is deadly serious when it comes to security on the iPhone. (Via Tom)
The biggest music company you’ve never heard of seems ready to file a $31 billion IPO. Ray Davies insists that The Kinks are getting back together. So what is the biggest music festival in the world? Yes. More problems with ticket scalping, this time in Australia regarding Childish Gambino. Let’s find out. Let’s get a comment. Today’s obligatory World Cup post features Ronnie Wood of the Rollings Stones. This Beatles “tour bus” is going up for auction. Between the national holidays in Canada and the US combined with the World Cup and the oppressive heat over much of the continent, this is probably the least productive week of the year so far. Stil, there’s music news for Friday, July 6. So what’s the status of Tupac’s “solved” murder? They were introduced by film director John Waters, who had something to say about Donald Trump. Wait–what? Now she’s Drake’s image director.

Friday timesuck: A series of audio illusions

Friday timesuck: A series of audio illusions
Visual invoked auditory responses? (Thanks to Richard for the link.) Temporal induction? Cool. Risset rhythms?

Can you find merit in this copyright infringement lawsuit involving these two songs? And are we running out of melodies? Maybe.

“Oops, I got 99 problems singing bye, bye, bye,” Anne-Marie sings on the track, released in April. (Think of how DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” swipes its melody from Santana’s “Maria Maria” or Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” riffs on Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise.”) “Blatant lyrical or melodic callbacks appear to be in vogue at the moment for pop acts, and not just in unabashedly nostalgic songs like “2002.”
The Anne-Marie track was co-written by Ed Sheeran, who is a master of interpolation: He also lifted TLC’s “No Scrubs” on his own “Shape of You” and borrowed from Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” on “Strip That Down,” a hit he gave to Liam Payne. Back in May, Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision contest with this song. “Hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride with me/Better hit me, baby, one more time.” Anyone with memories of Top 40 radio from 15 years ago will recognize the references to Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” ‘NSync’s “Bye Bye Bye,” Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me” and Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time.”
This sort of borrowing, in which an artist employs a snippet of an already-recorded song in the creation of something new, is known as an interpolation. Yep. The Man’s “Feel It Still” (source material: the Marvelettes), Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello’s “Bad Things” (Fastball), the Chainsmokers’ “Closer” (the Fray), Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” (Flo Rida) and Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” (Right Said Fred). We’re running out of songs. Okay, so there are some similarities in the chorus, but is that really grounds for a full-on lawsuit? Keep reading. built around a simple, effective gimmick: cribbing lyrics from songs that were hits between 1998 and 2003. Of course, this isn’t a new practice. According to a source in the UK, Universal Records is threatening to sue the writers of that track for infringing on the copyright of this song. Other major recent examples of interpolation-based records that soared at pop radio include, but are not limited to, Portugal. And surely if we looked hard enough, we could find those seven notes of “Seven Nation Army” in an even older song. Rolling Stone reports on what’s going on:
Anne-Marie’s “2002” is the biggest solo release of her career, a multi-week Top Five single in the U.K.
And are we running out of melodies? Can you find merit in this copyright infringement lawsuit involving these two songs? Maybe.

Watching the World Cup? How many times have you heard the crowd changing “Seven Nation Army?” And why are they doing that?

How many times have you heard the crowd changing “Seven Nation Army?” And why are they doing that? Watching the World Cup?
In fact, some argue it has become one of the most recognizable melodies of all time. Now sung by millions around the globe — especially in soccer stadiums, but also in sports arenas from hockey rinks to basketball courts — those seven little notes have taken on a life of their own. So how did Seven Nation Army become a soccer megahit? A few years later, it also began its transformation from indie rock staple to a worldwide sports anthem. Think about just the number of times we’ve heard it during this year’s World Cup. Keep reading. The CBC reports:
Even if you don’t know the White Stripes song Seven Nation Army, you almost certainly know the unmistakable opening notes. Here are seven fascinating facts. And what does frontman Jack White think about the song being co-opted by footie fans? How did it spread to other sports? (No, Jack does NOT get royalties from crowd chants.) How did all this come to be? Jack White stumbled on a magical sequence of seven notes when he came up with the hook in “Seven Nation Army.” Not only did it become a sizeable hit for the White Stripes, but the song has also become the World’s Most Popular Soccer Anthem™. First released in March 2003, the track became the Detroit duo’s biggest song.

Elvis Costello battling “very aggressive” cancer

Doctors have told him to rest, so the last six dates on the tour have been canceled. Elvis Costello has apologized for canceling a European tour, but I think we can all forgive him because he revealed that he’s battling a “very aggressive” form cancer. He was well enough to head out on tour, but the pace proved to be too much. At some point several weeks ago, he quietly had surgery to remove some kind of tumour, which seemed to arrest the progress of the disease. Here’s his completely Facebook post:
Elvis Costello battling “very aggressive” cancer

How did a boy from Hamilton become the most powerful person in global touring?

And then move to this documentary (I was a script editor) on him. Arthur Fogel rose from being a club manager to road manager for Martha and the Muffins to (eventually) the guy who handles tours for U2 and the person who put The Police back together. How did that happen? It’s worth every second. Start with this Globe and Mail Q&A from this week.
How did a boy from Hamilton become the most powerful person in global touring?

In a weird bit of international diplomacy, Donald Trump sent a copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” to Kim Jong-Un

We don’t know what exact CD was presented to Kim (maybe this one?) but it’s reported that Trump wrote a note on the disc and signed it. Trump and Kim are BFFs, even as (a) North Korea continues to work on their nuclear programs; and (b) Trump attacks US allies over trade and military spending while continuing to cozy up to Vladimir Putin. I guess Trump is just trying to help out. The Chosunilbo, a South Korean newspaper, reports that he brought a gift for Kim: an Elton John CD featuring “Rocket Man.”
When Trump asked Kim in Singapore if he got the “rocket man” reference, Kim replied that he didn’t because he wasn’t familiar with the song. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is back in Pyongyang this week to continue to continue de-nuking the Korean peninsula. Remember the scary pre-nuclear armageddon rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un? We learned what the word “dotard” meant while Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was thrust forward in our consciousness when Trump dismissed Kim’s nuclear ambitions by calling him “Little Rocket Man.”
But following the summit in Singapore last month, all seems to be forgiven. I wonder what Elton John thinks of all this?
In a weird bit of international diplomacy, Donald Trump sent a copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” to Kim Jong-Un

Random music news for Saturday, July 7, 2018

Here are my weekly music picks for GlobalNews.ca. Here’s another tale of woe. Fight about this over the weekend: The best track 1 from 150 albums. Speaking of trade wars, there’s much concern among gadget makers. Bot-assisted scalpers now face “unlimited fines” in the UK. That’s a big deal. Or both? This lost interview with Michael Jackson got creepy when the subject of children was brought up. See? Here’s a good study of gay anthems since the 1970s. Sonos, maker of great music systems, has filed for a $100 million IPO. Good. An orange iPhone? Planning on getting a tattoo with your sweetheart? Dave Grohl might eventually release it. According to this story, Apple Music has more paying subscribers in the US than Spotify. Want to fix the music industry? A new study says media piracy among young people is down. The company is also very worried about US-China trade wars. How’s this for a title for a comedy series based in the music industry: We Are CVNT5. On this day in 1954, Elvis Presley made his radio debut, singing “That’s All Right” on WHBQ in Memphis. Read on. Maybe. Akon thinks he can have his own Wakanda through a cryptocurrency. Speaker or security camera? Now for some music news for July 6, 2018. It seems that Michael Stipe has put REM well behind him. Remembering the “dance epidemic” in the summer of 1518. Sound pollution apparently thousands of people each year. This article explains how you can invest in your favourite artists. Beware trusting social media influencers when it comes to plugging concerts. You might want to read this first. What can be done about that? Remember that Nirvana “reunion” for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Random music news for Saturday, July 7, 2018

So you want to be a cruise ship musician, do you?

An ex-jazz DJ was booking and looking for a pianist and sold me on the adventure. A gig as a musician n a cruise ship? FYIMusicNews.ca has this look at what it’s really like to be trapped on a big boat with a bunch of tourists. The bedroom air conditioner is a necessity and is now installed; the room sealed tight like a stationary elevator and, when turned on, the eco-friendly container blows a cold wind much like an arctic front. I wanted the experience. That moment when anxiety materializes courtesy an incident nearly twenty years ago when I took a nine-week gig on a cruise ship called the M.S. Or is it? Let’s call her ‘Sea Princess’. I truly think it’s ancestral. I won’t go into details other than, in the end, the pay didn’t add up, and the guy wasn’t clear about the mental capacity of my lounge working partner. I was locked away with this Romanian diva who marched about like a perfumed duck, barking orders and imposing her CD on every mark. That sounds like fun. As temperatures climbed and humidity rose this past week in Toronto, my disdain for air conditioning returned with a vengeance. You gotta keep reading. If I were to locate through some DNA search primitive ancestors, I’m certain they would have lived outdoors amongst the ferns and fishes. That was cool the first 20 minutes or so, but then I relapsed into a frightful memory and spent six surreal hours chasing a deep satisfying breath. Sundream sailing around the Caribbean Sea. I’m a ‘windows open’ guy, especially at night. Then 7:30 to 8:30 before the disco crowd arrives. Any thought of living beneath ground, a cave or an enclosed shelter absent windows, would have been an anxiety-weighted existence. This is a serious head thing for me when it returns. We played the Midnight Lounge 5 – 6 pm.
So you want to be a cruise ship musician, do you?

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson explains the proper way to load cargo onto an airfract

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson explains the proper way to load cargo onto an airfract
All Iron Maiden fans know that singer Bruce Dickinson is a certified commercial pilot with ratings all the way up to captain on a 747. Mike points us this instructional video in which Bruce explains the finer points of how to load cargo on an aircraft.

“How streaming is saving the music industry”

“How streaming is saving the music industry”
“That’s a problem,” writes Los Angeles music publisher Abby North in an email. “We have already lost countless songwriters and musicians to other industries. Nielsen reports that on-demand audio streams increased 59 percent last year. Nielsen recently issued an ear-opening report that says Americans’ music consumption is downright conspicuous, increasing to the tune of 12.5 percent year over year. Well, yes. Keep reading. We all stream our music these days. Now, with a $10 monthly payment (or no payment at all if ads don’t bother you), a Spotify subscriber gets instant access to roughly 35 million songs. I stream. You stream. Nielsen estimates that in 2017, the average American listened to music about 32 hours per week (up 5.5 hours from the previous year), and, with earbuds snugly in place, people increasingly ingested it via on-demand streaming sources like Spotify and Apple Music. As of this spring, Spotify had a listener base of 170 million who use it monthly (75 million paid). Sounds like awesome news for us music lovers, right? This article from The Christian Science Monitor looks at how streaming has saved the music industry. We need to support great musicians so they can continue to share their music with the world.”
Napster’s momentous arrival on the scene nearly 20 years ago planted the seed in the minds of some that music “should be” free. However, only 29 percent of music streamers hold a subscription and so pay for the privilege, according to Nielsen. The spectacular growth and monetization of streaming (however imperfect) is the big music industry story of the past decade. There has never been a more vast, diverse, and readily available body of music to explore. Record labels now make more revenue from streaming than they do from the sales of any physical medium.

Where is Canada’s music business at the halfway point of 2018? Let’s take a look.

Let’s take a look. Where is Canada’s music business at the halfway point of 2018?
Because Canada was late to the streaming party, we’re a little behind some other parts of the world like the US, the UK, and Scandinavia. The five biggest rock songs of the year so far are…

Imagine Dragons, “Thunder”
Imagine Dragons, “Believer”
Portugal. Why? 2. By this measure, Canada is still very much a rock nation. Album sales are down. Here’s what they found out. Canadians are hot. Alt-Rock accounted for 17.5% of all physical sales, more than any other genre. R&B/Hip-Hop continue to grow in popularity…
When it comes to overall music consumption, the combination of these genres take up 21% of the market. The five songs most heard on rock radio were:

Portugal. 7. Hard Rock was in second spot with 13.5%, for a total of 31%. Why the disparity? The Man, “Feel It Still” (46,000 spins so far)
Imagine Dragons, “Thunder” (45,000)
Imagine Dragons, “Whatever It Takes (35,000)
Halsey, “Bad at Love” (32,0000)
Alice Merton, “No Roots (20,000)

13. However, when streaming is factored in, the combined Alt-Rock/Hard Rock number gives these genres an 18,2% market share, a couple of tick behind R&B/Hip-Hop. Very hot. See point (1). 1. Drake’s “God’s Plan” has had nearly 100 million streams on its own. It was a good year for Record Store Day in Canada and vinyl in general
Sales of vinyl were up 96% over the previous year. 5. A lot. …but Alt-Rock and Hard Rock are holding their own
Unlike the R&B/Hip-Hop category, these, two genres are tracked separately. Best-selling vinyl albums

Various Artists, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix (7,000 copies sold)
Jack White, Boarding House Reach (4,000)
Kendrick Lamar, Damn (2,000)
Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend (2,000)
Arctic Monkeys, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (2,000)

  But we are catching up in terms of adoption. Between Drake, The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes, all had albums debuting at the top of the charts. 3. Streaming is up. That gap will only increase in the short term. The five biggest rock artists in Canada in terms of total consumption by music fans are…

Imagine Dragons
The Beatles
Tragically Hip
Er, Elvis. The five biggest rock albums this year so far are…

Imagine Dragons, Evolve
Eric Lapointe, Deliverance
Tragically Hip, Yer Favourites
Vance Joy, Nation of Two
Queen, Platinum Collection

11. His material has been streamed 344,764,000 times, about 14 million ahead of Drake. 6. Streaming volumes are on the rise, up 53% over last year. Nielsen Music Canada has issued its mid-year report on the state of Canadian music. CD sales are down 17% from the midpoint of 2017 while digital tracks have sunk 22%. Top 5 physical CD albums

Keith Urban, Graffiti U (55,000 units sold)
P!nk, Beautiful Trauma, (42,000)
Ed Sheeran, Divide (32,000)
Eric Lapointe, Deliverance, 31,000
Elvis Presley, 40 Years On (23,000)

14. 4. 8. Overall vinyl sales are 67% better than they were at this point in 2018. And speaking of Alt-Rock…
…this genre was responsible for 16.1% of all physical album sales (good for first place among all the other genres), 19.8% of digital album sales (also in first place), 11.2% of digital song sales (second to R&B/Hip-Hop). That gap won’t last, though. Outside of a full Internet outage caused by a North Korean EMP, it’s unlikely we’ll ever dip below that mark again. Post Malone is having a good year
His beerbongs & bentleys set a one-week recorded for on-demand audio streams with 43.4 million. 9. 25.9%. Back on March 1, Canadians listened to one billion streams in a week for the first time. 10. That gap needs to be analyzed. The genre is also second to R&B/Hip-Hop when it comes to on-demand audio streams: 10.2% vs. A lot. The Man, “Feel It Still”
Halsey, “Bad at Love”
Bad Wolves, “Zombie”