Random music news for Tuesday, July 10, 2018

There are now 436 million paying subscribers across five of the largest distributors of digital music and video content globally (Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tencent). Okay, this is dumb: Blockchain meets Fifty Shades of Grey. I think I speak for all of us with gross feet: men in opened-toed sandals anywhere but at the beach is a bad idea. Here’s more proof. It was 20 years ago that the Barenaked Ladies started the second act of their career with the release of “One Week.”
A contact inside CERN (as in the Large Hadron Collider) says that Jack White was there to celebrate his birthday. Can a mega-gig ever be properly successful? Read this. More K-pop. And now, music news for July 10, 2018

Canadian music sales and streams last week vs. this time last year: Total albums, -16,9%; digital albums, -24.2%; physical albums, -11.9%; CDs, -16.5%; digital tracks, -21.9%; vinyl, +66%; streaming, +61.4% (1.195 billion streams)
This new deal with Universal shows that the Rolling Stones don’t plan to go anywhere for a while. Fun: A map of pirate radio stations in Brooklyn. Take this quiz on the health benefits of music. (Via Jack)
A fan of Blur? Meanwhile, the rest of the music industry appears pretty bullish about how things are going these days. Here’s a look inside guitarist Graham Coxon’s studio. If you care.
Random music news for Tuesday, July 10, 2018

New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (July 10, 2018): Christine and the Queens, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Mother Mink, and more!

At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, and All Time Low are here: gang vocals, pounding kick drum, careening riffs, and dark yet optimistic tones abound. The band comes off as wholly dissatisfied with like, life in general – and it makes for great music. Watch/Listen: At Imperfect Fifth, because this track is currently only available through their premiere. Artist: Christine and the Queens
Song: “Doesn’t matter”
Album/EP: Chris

Enchanting and entrancing pop that roots itself in a stubbornly consistent rhythm section and lyrical content questioning a higher power, “Doesn’t matter” is as captivating as it is perpetual. Chorus, verse, and bridge melt together in a brooding statement that stays bold and interesting throughout. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: East Brunswick All Girls Choir
Song: “Dog FM”
Album/EP: Teddywaddy

It may take a couple minutes to warm up, but once “Dog FM” gets rolling its deluge of expressive pain and sonic uncertainty hit hard and fast. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Leland and the Silver Wells
Song: “We Dissolve”
Album/EP: Leland and the Silver Wells

Lush and luxurious mid-tempo indie rock with a touch of pop/songwriter mystique, “We Dissolve” is a peaceful and expressive tune with an engrossing approach. Everything you may remember about Panic! Unless you expected the song to include bombastic synth samples and lyrics about T-rex arms, of course. Sitting at 16 views at time of writing, this catchy, strange, surreal, memorable tune from the Stockholm duo defies expectations. Dissonant guitars, haunting wails, and a generally disconcerting performance coalesce into a curious broken for the broken sort of product. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Mother Mink
Song: “Coconut”
Album/EP: Single

Absurdist electropop with a retro-futuristic exotic flare, Mother Mink’s “Coconut” is one of those elusive hidden gems that comes through the Inbox every so often. Watch/Listen:  Artist: Living With Lions
Song: “Tidal Wave”
Album/EP: Single

Bright and energetic alt rock with a heavy mid-2000s pop/emo/punk sound, Vancouver’s Living With Lions inject fresh adrenaline into a mostly stagnant scene with “Tidal Wave”. Choral vocals, waxy marimbas, and a glossy thematic shift in the bridge swirl together into an ethereal experience.
New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (July 10, 2018): Christine and the Queens, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Mother Mink, and more!

Peter Hook from Joy Division/New Order is auctioning off his stuff

Peter Hook from Joy Division/New Order is auctioning off his stuff
He’s looking to sell off all sorts of JD stuff from his personal archives. It’ll make a great Christmas gift, right? Come December 8, Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order will hold a garage sale of sorts.

How much will streaming of the World Cup slow down the Internet today and tomorrow?

Wednesday’s England-Croatia game will send the UK’s productivity to zero. A number of years ago, people accessing streams online had to be in the office on a PC with a fast broadband connection. Hall told The Guardian: “It’s one of the flaws in an emerging technology. Tuesday’s France-Belgium game will have the continent transfixed. ITV1 recorded a peak of 24.4 million viewers during England’s last-16 match against Colombia last Tuesday, while 3.9 million requested Saturday’s quarter-final against Sweden on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport. From TVB Europe:
The BBC has warned that those watching England’s World Cup campaign over streaming services could experience latency delays of up to 20 seconds. Now what we tend to see is around 45 per cent of stream starts are from people on mobile. With things coming to a crunch today and tomorrow with the semi-finals, we’ll get a chance to see how the Internet will hold up. A record 3.8m of these streams were live, making it the BBC’s highest online-viewed live programme ever, despite the broadcaster’s iPlayer service going down for a brief time on Saturday. In both cases, people will be streaming the matches to their mobile units and computers at levels we might not have seen before. Despite the broadcaster working hard to improve the situation, online streaming services still have a ‘significant’ time delay compared with traditional TV broadcasts. Each time a World Cup year rolls around, there are all sorts of new consumer-facing technologies that people use to access games. It might be fun to test Internet speeds where you are, just to see if there’s any worldwide impact. Read more here.
How much will streaming of the World Cup slow down the Internet today and tomorrow?

Interested in the whole debate over cultural appropriation in music? Then read this.

Interested in the whole debate over cultural appropriation in music? Then read this.
Should we listen to music against a dead artist’s wishes? Keep reading and feel free to fight it out. How should we engage objectionable lyrics? Nothing is being invented other than superficial juxtaposition. This article on cultural Marxism certainly provides some thought-starters on the subject. Or should there be rules regarding respect and exclusivity? Published on the Fourth of July, Richards’ piece addresses “The 5 Hardest Questions in Pop Music.”The questions are: Is culture appropriation ever okay? Are people no longer allowed to absorb influences from other cultures when making music? They finally decided not to: “A band of white indie rockers performing the songs of a black R & B singer? Can we separate the art from the artist? Can today’s artists still sell out? If someone has ever made an argument more antithetical to the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, I haven’t heard it. On the flip side, when the Talking Heads echo African pop rhythms, or the Wu-Tang Clan channels the spiritually of Kung-Fu cinema, or Beyonce writes a country song, it feels more like making. No way. It would be seen as cultural appropriation.” Richards writes, “As badly as I wanted to hear their covers they were right.”
Richards argues that cultural appropriation is wrong and should be avoided when it feels like “taking” instead of “making.” “When Justin Timberlake beatboxes, or Taylor Swift raps, or Miley Cyrus twerks to a trap beat,” he observes, “it feels like taking. Richards describes a band that so loved a record by an r & b artist that they wanted to cover it. The whole notion of cultural appropriation in music can make your brain explode. In the section on cultural appropriation, Richards makes the argument that musicians should self-censor themselves in deference to prevailing political orthodoxies. Washington Post music critic Chris Richards has written a shameful essay. The borrowed elements become an essential, integrated part of a new, previously unheard thing.”
He adds: “We think we know this difference when we hear it, but sometimes we don’t—so there are more questions to ask, and many of them point toward an imbalance of power.”
In other words, pop music should submit itself to the tendentious social engineering of the social justice left.

New AI technology allows you to separate musical instruments in videos

If you’re in a band trying to learn a cover, you’ll know the torture of listening to a recording over and over again, trying to isolate the parts you’re supposed to play. Read more about the technology at New Atlas. It works by looking at the video of musicians playing, analyzing the pixels in relation to images of specific instruments and then is able to tease out the parts of individual players. This video shows how it works. Cool, no? Those days might be coming to an end thanks to some new AI-based technology called PixelPlayer.
New AI technology allows you to separate musical instruments in videos

Green Day’s “American Idiot” is heading up the British charts because of an impending visit by you-know-who

Green Day’s “American Idiot” is heading up the British charts because of an impending visit by you-know-who
More here. Why? Fourteen years later, two versions of the song are heading up the British charts. #MAIGA pic.twitter.com/4wuuElNwrC
— American Idiot For UK No.1 When Trump Visits (@TrumpIdiotNo1) July 7, 2018

This is shaping up to be an interesting visit. Music fans are purchasing not one but two versions of the song, pushing both into the top 20. Donald Trump will visit Britain from Thursday through Sunday. Bush’s administration. Billie Joe Armstrong was inspired to write “American Idiot” by the nuttiness of George W. We’ve crept up into the iTunes Top 10 (AND another version at #17 too!) and still at #1 on Amazon! Keep sharing to others what we are all doing!

Is Dave Grohl going to make an appearance with Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir!?

Just sayin’. Choir! The Choir! Choir! Choir! people.”
That brings me to these tweets. Choir! — Choir! (@choirchoirchoir) April 20, 2018

 

Another hint: Dave likes to visit Cherry Cola’s whenever he’s in Toronto. Hi Dave Grohl @foofighters, our new pal @rickastley has a challenge for you: come sing with us!!! Remember this performance with the Foos at the O2 Arena in London last year? bunch are fun people, music fans who get together to sing for the sheer joy of it. Occasionally, they have some high-profile guests drop in to sing with them. Now let’s connect some dots. For example, remember when Rick Astley showed up? Rick apparently put out a challenge to Dave: “When you’re in Toronto, go sing with the Choir! Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters are friends with Rick. https://t.co/K4YCeeUfrH #SingWithCCCGrohl! Choir! Choir!
Is Dave Grohl going to make an appearance with Toronto’s Choir! Choir!? Choir!

Discount Code for Blockchain Conference

Due to its trust-less ecosystem and capacity for micro-payments, many people believe that blockchains will help to create “The Internet of Value.”
If you have kept an eye on this space, you will have noticed that a lot of companies are trying to use Blockchain technology to solve diverse music issues like ticketing, payments, and attribution — many dozens, in fact. If you didn’t already know, Blockchain technology has been hyped as the biggest thing in tech since the advent of the internet. Hey tech geeks! Hope to see you there. Now to the good news: We have been given a C$100 off coupon for this year’s event! Just use the PROMO CODE: BTC101 when you are buying your ticket. We started off our coverage with the 2015 article “Bitcoin and the Music Industry Part-1 What is Bitcoin and Why Should Musicians Care?” We have been covering the music and blockchain convergence in this space since then.  This summer the Blockchain Futurist Conference will be held in Toronto, Aug 15th and 16th. The Music Tech MeetUp team will be attending (Alan, Nathalia and myself) so if you want to say hi at the event follow us on twitter and reach out on the day of.
Discount Code for Blockchain Conference

Random music news for Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Eminem has a pop-up merch store in London this week. Today’s England-Croatia World Cup match is creating hell with scheduled concerts. Astronomy fun: Listen to Saturn and its moon Enceladus sing at each other. Interesting observation about the Spotify vs. What’s the deal with Donald Trump and pop music? In case you missed it, yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Apple App Store. Another rape allegation has been made against Russell Simmons. Jimmy Page delivered a lecture at Oxford on how to be a rock star. Ever hear Hong Kong’s song of freedom? Think about that as you’re watching the World Cup in 4K. Meanwhile, Brits are putting together playlists for the Donald’s trip to the UK this week. Gene Simmons has settled a sexual misconduct charge with a journalist. Let’s look at his history. There’s now an audiobook version of the Tragically Hip/Gord Downie bio, The Never-ending Present by Michael Barclay. Johnny Lydon scattered the ashes of a big Public Image Ltd. A box set of unreleased Tom Petty material is coming this September. Apple Music battle: Apple is gaining because they focus on serious music fans. Lots of cancellations. The first-ever transatlantic satellite transmission was made on this day in 1962. Just in case you want to build your own karaoke system…
A new movie based on the life of Buddy Holly is in development. Here it is. It’s read by George Strombo, too. fan at a gig. And now, music news for July 11, 2018. This is good: How to identify the five levels of music fans and how to engage with them.
Random music news for Wednesday, July 11, 2018

More Music From The Inbox 11 Jul 2018 Black Dove, Jahmiel, Maxwell James and More!

Artist: Black Dove, “Nothing Lasts Forever”
Album: N/A

A newer bit of brilliance from this up-and-coming Scottish band
Sounds like:  channeling Liam Gallagher
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Jahmiel, “Media Love”
Album: N/A

I was in a reggae mood and this Jamaican artist fit the bill
Sounds like:  a perfect summer vibe
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Maxwell James, “Feed My Evolution”  
Album: Maxwell James

Glory out of Cardiff, Wales
Sounds like:  Blessedly bluesy
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Conner Youngblood, “The Birds of Finland”  
Album: Cheyenne

Serious talent out of Dallas/New Haven/Nashville
Sounds like:  oral beauty
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Neo Noir, “Wilderness ft. Aimee”
Album: N/A

Los Angeles is home to this talented band
Sounds like:  layers of emotion
Link/Listen/Watch:

Artist: Charlie Looker, “Fascist Moments”
Album: Simple Answers

Super talent out of New York City
Sounds like:  Symphony meets showtunes meets stage play meets feeling
Link/Listen/Watch:
More Music From The Inbox 11 Jul 2018 Black Dove, Jahmiel, Maxwell James and More!

Have you got a smart speaker yet? According to this survey, chances are you will soon

According to this survey, chances are you will soon Have you got a smart speaker yet?
If you don’t have a smart speaker yet, it’s probably just a matter of time, especially if you have kids. More information here. At the moment, Amazon Echo devices are in the lead with a market penetration of just over 50% while Google gear is in second with 30%. By 2020, the number will be closer to 225 million. And I’ll be honest: it’s pretty cool to ask Alexa to play something on my Sonos system and have it respond with an on-the-fly playlist based on my preferences. There are a ridiculous number of smart speakers in my house: a Google Max, a Google Home, two Google Minis, one Amazon Echo and an Echo Dot. Apple’s much-delayed HomePod is in the rear with just 4%,
When we break things down by country, 73% of all smart speakers are in the US–no surprise there, given (a) the population base; and (b) Amazon launched there first. I have friends whose children are already super-comfortable just asking Google or Alexa for something about…well, anything. The UK is in second spot (10%) followed by Germany (8%), China (3%) and Canada (2%). Crazy, I know, but part of what I do is check out new technologies. According to a research company called Canalys, more than 100 million smart speakers will be in use by the end of the year, which means 2.5 x more than were installed at the end of 2017. This, after all, is the generation that’s growing up with tablets and smartphones and always-on 24/7 Borg-like connectivity. The biggest growth territories are seen to be China and Japan.

The time Kurt Cobain played with a taser on MTV

He seemed fascinated with a Taser and also with something called a “dream machine,” a device that some believe figured in Kurt’s eventual death. When Nirvana headed to Brazil in 1993, Kurt Cobain sat down to talk with MTV. (Thanks to Brittany for the link!)

 
The time Kurt Cobain played with a taser on MTV

New! Heavy metal bios in comic book form

Heavy metal bios in comic book form New!
It’s a 300-page graphic novel. TidalWave Productions

And that fifth book on the end? That hysteria abated by the late 60s and early 70s when even teachers believed that a love of reading could be fostered by encouraging kids to read comic books. For more information, go here. If you have a kid that you want to turn into a voracious reader (or if you’re in comic books yourself), there’s a new line of biographies from ORBIT. The short ones (24 pages) detail the life and times of Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper and Metallica. At one time, comic books were thought to be corruptors of young minds, which led to all kinds of censorship issues in the 1950s. My parents were certainly on board with that.

CRTC issues annual report on the fortunes of Canadian radio

CRTC issues annual report on the fortunes of Canadian radio
And as more people move their media consumption online, the news for 2017 is fairly predictable. Revenue for cable, satellite and IPTV was down, too, dropping by 2.3%. Every year about this time, the CRTC issues a report on how broadcast radio and television is doing in this country. Earlier this year, they issued a report asking for input on how we should deal with the digital media market in this country. Conventional TV got nailed, seeing a revenue drop of 4.1%. Radio stations on the prairies. Vancouver did especially well in this area. The number of subscribers to these services was also down by 1.9%. Commercial radio stations reported revenues of $1.52 billion for the year ending August 31, 2017. That represents an overall decline of 1.9%. The good news? When you factor TV into the equation, overall broadcasting revenue was $17.3 billion, which is down 3.3% from the previous year. You can read about that report here. However, stations that broadcast in languages other than English and French saw revenues go up by more than 5%. “The pace at which revenues are shrinking is showing signs of slowing down.” That’s…something, I guess. Even on-demand was down by 1.2%. The worst hit area? The CRTC isn’t just standing by, though. That shows exactly how much cord-cutting and pick’n’pay cable packages are hurting, not to mention services like Netflix. That’s the sixth consecutive year the sector has seen a drop.