Random music news for Monday, July 16, 2018

Blame it on atheist robots. That’s what this book says. (I certainly didn’t know about it.)
Classical music composers of the past had some really interesting lives. These 13 bands were banned by whole countries. Why does summer speed by faster than winter? Halfway through July. This is an interesting experiment with an audience at a gig. Oh, and Green Day’s “American Idiot” did NOT make it to #1 in the UK during Donald Trump’s visit. There’s a study comparing the accents of Ontario. Pussy Riot says they were behind it. Smule: the biggest music app you’ve never heard of. You know how Apple abandoned self-driving car technology? Distract yourself from that with some music news for July 16, 2018. I wonder if this will reveal anything about singing? Did you see that field invasion during the second half of the World Cup final yesterday? “The most ‘Wuthering Heights’ day ever!”How many 40th anniversaries inspire this kind of devotion? LL Cool J has this to say about the #MeToo movement within hip-hop. Well, this was an awkward #1 single in the UK last week, wasn’t it? Good musical gear history: Where did the Beatles buy their first guitars? Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson is going on a spoken word tour. Katy Perry and Justin Bieber lost a lot of Twitter followers as the company purged fake accounts. Was Lou Reed killed by hepatitis C contracted through a dirty needle? Travis Barker is fine after Friday’s car accident with a school bus. Facebook thought this gospel performance was a political ad. Oops. It stalled at #24. Uh, not quite. Check out their diaries.
Random music news for Monday, July 16, 2018

New Music from the Inbox for July 16, 2018: Fye & Fennek, Fime, m o k r o ï é, & More!

New Music from the Inbox for July 16, 2018: Fye & Fennek, Fime, m o k r o ï é, & More!
Watch:

Artist: Ecstatic Union
Song: “Let It Be Love”
Album: Single

Known for their psychedelic tracks, Ecstatic Union takes a poppier approach for this single. Listen:

Artist: The Interrupters
Song: “She’s Kerosene”
Album: Fight the Good Fight

Two-tone-inspired and punk fuelled band The Interrupters recently released their latest album. Watch:

Artist: Fime
Song: “Hover Hand”
Album: Single

From their upcoming EP, Fime’s track takes inspiration from Weezer, Pavement, and The Pixies. This band of British millennials creates power pop earworms in the vein of Jeff Rosenstock and Blur. The accompanying video is set in Hanoi, Vietnam. Listen: Artist: Fye & Fennek
Song: “Places”
Album: Single

Fye & Fennek’s latest single is the fantastic journey of a girl into self-acceptance and belonging. It reminds us to never forget it. Watch:

Artist: TV Coma
Song: “I Don’t Like Football”
Album: Single

A special release for England’s efforts in the World Cup, this fun anthem is the first single from their upcoming debut EP. Watch:

Artist: m o k r o ï é
Song: “Put Your Hands in the Dirt”
Album: Single

This single refers to a world of peace that only exists after battles led by humanists against tyranny, terrorism and hatred. It’s a quick, fun song. They add their own twist with raspy vocals and extra jangle. This track has been making waves on alternative radio.

Pearl Jam + Jack White + Neil Young = This performance in Spain

Pearl Jam + Jack White + Neil Young = This performance in Spain
During Pearl Jam’s headline set at Portugal’s NOS Alive Festival on Saturday (July 14), Jack White appeared onstage to help the band through a version of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” This was the closer for the evening. (Via Gilles and Rolling Stone)

What are the most-viewed music videos from the 80s and 90s on YouTube?

What are the most-viewed music videos from the 80s and 90s on YouTube?
If we break things down, “November Rain”–a 26-year-old clip–averaged 560,000 views per day through 2017.   Both are ancillary results of the band’s reunion for the Not in This Lifetime Tour, a neverending roadtrip that has so far grossed nearly $500 million US. Guns N’ Roses hold records for both decades. The band also holds the record for the 90s video with the most views. No other music video from the 80s comes close. Another interesting stat: 83% of the views of Guns N’Roses are outside the US, led by Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. The other big videos from those pre-YouTube days in the 90s are The Cranberries, “Zombie” with 738,000,000 views and Nirvana’s “Smell Like Teen Spirit” with 727,000,000. Read more at Forbes. But let’s not get too excited because “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi is at 5.32 billion views and climbing. If we look at the 1980s, the Gunners are on top with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with just over 694,000,000 views the last time I checked. This one caught me by surprise. “November Rain” just cleared the 1 billion mark, making it the first pre-YouTube era video to hit that milestone.

When the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins wanted to sing lead, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers stepped in

When the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins wanted to sing lead, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers stepped in
Sure, Dave could have done it, but since Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was available… The Foo Fighters are a pretty equal-opportunity sort of band, so when Taylor Hawkins wanted to sing a cover of The Faces’ “Stay With Me,” someone needed to play drums.

Facial recognition at concerts: It’s coming, like it or not.

Facial recognition at concerts: It’s coming, like it or not.
Department of Defence), announced the raising of another US$1.5 million to invest in the development of facial recognition technology. It works like this. In a press release issued last week, the firm (headed up by a former biometric specialist for the U.S. Concertgoers, selfies, and purchase data will be instantly matched allowing admission without the hassle of having a ticket scanned. It’s an annoying part of the concert-going experience: lining up at the doors in the heat/cold/rain waiting for someone to scan/take/tear your ticket. That photograph is then stored in a database that will be used for that particular show. Even if each ticket holder can be processed in five seconds, it still takes forever to get everyone through the doors. It’s not so bad if the venue is small, but if you’re trying to get into an arena and stadium, that’s a different story. Cool, right? Keep reading. [This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
It’s an annoying part of the concert-going experience: lining up at the doors in the heat/cold/rain waiting for someone to scan/take/tear your ticket. Well, maybe, maybe not. It’s not so bad if the venue is small, but if you’re trying to get into an arena and stadium, that’s a different story. Like I said, your ticket will be your face. Using Blink Identity’s AI-enable cameras, those who purchase admission this way will be able to walk past sensors at full walking speed. When someone buys a ticket online, the buyer can opt to have a selfie taken. Even if each ticket holder can be processed in five seconds, it still takes forever to get everyone through the doors.

Can you tell which of these World Cup fans was listening to the radio?

When we watch any live event on TV, it’s not really LIVE live. Witness this guy watching a World Cup game on a big screen while also listening to the match on a radio. Radio, however, doesn’t have that lag. one guy with a radio vs everyone else with (lagged) tv screen… pic.twitter.com/uw2bu6grwc
— Arthur Charpentier 🌼 (@freakonometrics) July 3, 2018 There’s always a lag of several seconds as the signal gets bounced around and distributed to our TVs.
Can you tell which of these World Cup fans was listening to the radio?

Jack Jam – Jack White meets Pearl Jam

Jack Jam – Jack White meets Pearl Jam
Hey Jack – Pearl Jam are working on their eleventh studio album as I’m sure you’re aware. White appears on rarity “Of the Earth”, and also has a connection to the Godfather of Grunge Vedder affectionately calls “Uncle Neil”. Dare I say White accompanying Pearl Jam on Rolling Stone’s 216th Greatest Song of All Time was even better than when Jack asked another fogey similar in age to Mr. Young recorded the lo-fi effort A Letter Home inside Jack’s store using a refurbished 1947 Voice-O-Graph. [Another report from correspondent Gilles LeBlanc. Two summers ago, Pearl Jam dropped into Third Man Records’ Blue Room in Nashville Tennessee to cut a live album. What do we have to do to get any kind of a multi-day event to come back to the Toronto area?)
Eddie Vedder and company closed their set as they often do with the Neil Young stomper “Rockin’ in the Free World”. (I know, right? Take NOS Alive in picturesque Oeiras, Portugal where Pearl Jam and Jack White played on Saturday night. Young to sing on an old blues song of his he was covering at Lollapalooza Argentina. – AC]
Forget backpacking across Europe – When I was younger, all I wanted to do was visit music festivals abroad I had only heard about in places like Rolling Stone and SPIN magazine. Pretty epic, yeah. (Félicitations à la France !)

This isn’t the first time these music mega-powers have collided. Two songs earlier on what was another killer PJ setlist, the band played a snippet of “Seven Nation Army” during “Porch” that the crowd immediately picked up on, and started chanting as was customary throughout the just-completed World Cup. Ever since I can remember, there has always been a sense of “anything can happen” at these almost mythical destinations that their North American counterparts have never quite been able to recreate. And I know Vedder is turning 54 at the end of this year, but wouldn’t it be cool if they ever have Jack White back to jam with them, Eddie could do one of his “Porch” scaffold dives for old times’ sake, like he did at Pinkpop in 1992? This time, Pearl Jam had a special guest trading solos with Mike McCready in the form of former White Stripes guitarist Jack White. Maybe they need a producer with fresh ears to, y’know, give Brendan O’Brien a break for once?

Weekly Survey: What are your top 3 cover songs?

The Clash, “Brand New Cadillac,” originally done by Vince Taylor. Johnny Cash does all sorts of justice to Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”

The White Stripes with Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”

Simple question: What are your top three alt-rock covers? Another way of looking at this is the campfire test. The sign of a great song is its ability to be adapted by anyone in any style and still be great. And artists love doing covers because, well, it’s fun. Soft Cell’s version of Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love.” Marilyn Manson’s spin on the Eurthymics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold the World” (Bowie, of course). Alt-rock history has some awesome covers. We can even toss Pearl Jam’s treacly “Last Kiss,” originally by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. Who wouldn’t want to rock out playing and acting out a favourite song yourself? My top three? If a song can be successfully performed in a super barebones way and still sound good, then it’s a great song.
Weekly Survey: What are your top 3 cover songs?

Last week was an all-time low for physical musical sales in the US and Canada. The CD is definitely dying out. Take a look at these shocking numbers.

Beck’s visit to Toronto generated 42 new sales of Colors throughout the city. I’ve seen bands sell more discs off the stage at the end of the night. Of those, exactly 471 were sold in his hometown of The 6. Not that Drake cares, of course, because Scorpion has been heard millions and millions and millions of times through streaming, delivering far more revenue that he’d ever see from physical sales. Drake finished at #1 by selling just under 2,900 copies of Scorpion. Let me state that again: The biggest single contemporary artist on the planet right now had a #1 record by selling less than 30,000 physical copies in the biggest music market in the known universe. It’s even worse in Canada. But here’s the most shocking number: All it took to make the Top 200 SoundScan chart in Canada last week was 82(!!!) CDs. Only eight albums in the Top 100 have sold more than a million copies. Bottom line? It was possible to make the Top 10 on SoundScan in Canada last week by selling just 778 CDs. In all of Canada.  
  Almost literally nothing. And no, that’s not a typo. Despite being America’s music power couple, Beyonce and Jay-Z’s album (The Carters) has sold just 102,000 physical units. Almost no one bought CDs (or any new physical music) in America last week. At the Disco, Pray for the Wicked (11,861)
Gorillaz, The Now Now (9,774)
Florence + the Machine, High As Hope (8,430)
Taylor Swift, Reputation (8,174)
Jason Alden, Rearview Town (7,861)
Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys (6.756)
John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once (6,490)
The Carters, EVERYTHING IS LOVE (6,118)

A few more things to note about physical music sales in America so far this year. Only two (Tay-Tay’s Reputation and Traveller from Chris Stapleton) have sold more than 2 million. Even with the Foo Fighters coming into the Rogers Centre for a show in front of 50,000 fans didn’t move the needle much on their latest album, Concrete & Gold. It means nothing. If you total up all the sales in the Top 200 on the US SoundScan chart, only 412,229 units were purchased in a country of 320 million. When someone brags about something hitting #1 on SoundScan, ignore them. That was Ed Sheeran’s Divide, by the way. For an entire week. The Top 10 features some insanely low numbers. It was possible to make the US Top 200 SoundScan last week by selling just 572 records. I had to look three times before I believed my eyes. Drake debuted at #1 with 29,354 physical copies of Scorpion. If you had any lingering doubts about the battle between CDs and streaming, this should sort things out. It sold 201 units in Toronto last week. Yes, it was a weak release schedule thanks to the July 4th holiday, but still…
Here’s the full Top 10 on the US SoundScan chart:

Drake, Scorpion (29,354 physical units sold)
Various Artists, The Greatest Showman soundtrack (16,412)
Panic!
The CD is definitely dying out. Last week was an all-time low for physical musical sales in the US and Canada. Take a look at these shocking numbers.

Random music news for Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Homegrown podcasting companies/networks are slowly rolling out in Canada. As in arranged for a symphony orchestra. You gotta love Sacha Baron Cohen for using blink-182 this way. The National now have their own beer. (Via Moe)
There’s still one Blockbuster Video store in the US. Twenty people were hospitalized and another 200 treated for heat-related issues at the Warped Tour stop in Nashville. Yes, members of Pussy Riot got jail time for their field invasion during the final of the World Cup. Another new streaming music service? On this day in 1976, the Montreal Olympics opened. AC/DC has been orchestrated. Grimes has a restraining order against a fan dressed in a cape who comes equipped with three computer mice. A fun question: “What is the most nostalgic song of all time?”
Concerned about the future of journalism? The band must think it’s hysterical. Interesting how both D’Arcy Wretzky and Melissa Auf Der Maur have been erased from the history of the Smashing Pumpkins. It seems the right time for a memoir from a member of Toto, doesn’t it? A new David Bowie documentary will look at the first five years of his career. Read this. Look. William Shatner has been sucked into a disagreement between Spotify and Thomas Dolby. And in music news for July 17, 2019…

Another source mentions a Led Zeppelin reunion for the band’s 50th anniversary. Here’s one of them. This one is run by musician Ben Kweller.
Random music news for Tuesday, July 17, 2018

New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (July 17, 2018): Jupiter Lion, The Velveteins, Trace Decay, and more!

New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (July 17, 2018): Jupiter Lion, The Velveteins, Trace Decay, and more!
Watch/Listen: 

Artist: The Velveteins
Song: “All Night Baby”
Album/EP: Slow Wave

Old-school 50s barber shop doo-wop with a heavy dose of modern indie psychedelia (or is it psychedelia with a dose of barber shop?), “All Night Baby” is a hooky, no frills tune. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: The Black Delta Movement
Song: “Let The Rain Come”
Album/EP: Preservation

Gloomy hard rock meets a touch of psychedelic flair in “Let The Rain Come” – like the comedown from a bad trip. Watch/Listen:  Darkly anticipatory of a doom that never quite arrives but is always approaching, The Black Delta Movement’s latest single is a driving, gripping, strangely white-knuckled yet not overly exhausting tune. Artist: Jupiter Lion
Song: “Un Sol Extraño”
Album/EP: We Will Lose Gracefully

Atmospheric and droning post-rock, “Un Sol Extraño” is an elaborate near-instrumental track that sits  on the fine tipping point between anxiety-inducing and…almost religious, if that makes any sense. Catchy and lush without distraction, The Velveteins’ latest single can pull double duty as a hazy lullaby or sizzling slow dance. Swooning and swaying, this is the kind of ballad you’d see lighters raised for. The sub-two minute runtime also feels appropriately fleeting, like a bittersweet end to a summer romance. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Tony Molina
Song: “Jasper’s Theme”
Album/EP: Kill The Lights

Melodic and reflective rock with a classic British tone, “Jasper’s Theme” is a sonic love note to the 60s. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Interpol
Song: “The Rover”
Album/EP: Marauder

From the highly-anticipated upcoming Interpol album, “The Rover” is a new age update of new-age post-punk NYC rock. Wandering syncopated guitar and fuzzed-out bass anchor the reverb-heavy crowing vocals – maybe a bit more radio-friendly than old-school Interpol fans are used to, but all the more evolving for new and old listeners alike. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Trace Decay
Song: “How Did It Come To This?”
Album/EP: Single

Broody yet funky, melancholic yet danceable, dark yet poppy, “How Did It Come To This?” is a stellar debut single from newcomer Trace Decay. Uplifting yet unnerving, the parts coalesce into a rolling ride you may not even realize stretches past 5 minutes. Thick bass and disco-era swizzle drums bring the groove while the reflectively gloomy contrast the genial pop instrumentals.

Social Conscience In A Paper Bag: How a Turkish band is pushing back

Social Conscience In A Paper Bag: How a Turkish band is pushing back
The song is released via special made paper bags. They are painting a picture of the state of the world to try to increase awareness:
The song itself and all the visuals and materials created around the track have a sense of impending disaster. We left nearly 10.000 paper bags to independent record stores, coffee shops, markets, independent design stores … basically to anywhere that we think the work might reach to people, create a real bond and make them think about it. Fake make up tutorials to reach the society’s beauty standards, clothing designs to hide social anxiety, fake products like mouth guards for bruxia or flyers of pest control companies fighting with unwanted musicians… products that don’t do anything about the problem but try to mask the consequences are already part of our daily life. It’s not every day a band does a massive collaboration to elevate people’s understanding of the social issues of the day. We wanted to share this with you cause it is a massive collaboration which has ecological, political and social concerns. Apart from the physical materials made for the song, there are videos, illustrations, photographs, gifs and texts inside the link. On the paper bag, there is a link that leads you to a dropbox file which contains collaborative works of 20 artists. We don’t want to dramatize our situation but you would guess it was very hard to make this kind of multi-layered art project in a country that is ruled by autocracy nowadays. We witness our shelf life coming to an end with our own choices. Turkish band In Hoodies is doing just that. It would mean a lot to us if you check the link when you have time. The various files available for download can be found here. The song talks about ecological concerns, social problems, and political madness. As we hear the screaming sirens, we repeat the comforting chorus;“LaLaLa”, just like somebody who avoids hearing the things he doesn’t want to hear. Read more here. Exploitation of nature, animals, and humans on an increasing scale, global warming, mass murders all point out to the fact that the lifestyle we’ve chosen is not sustainable. As mankind constantly tries to oppress the weak and the outsider, we watch our species wrapped in plastic, hardly breathing. Less often still is using a paper bag distribution system to get the word out. The official video of Coo Coo starts with footage related to slavery and includes many examples of the manufacture of consent as well as historical moments and symbols of riot and denial. The material created around the single emphasize our efforts of self-relaxation, our attempts to stay close to normalcy and keeping on our self-centered lives, in this ending world order. It is released by Epic İstanbul, a subdivision of Sony Music Turkey. Last month Murat Kılıkçıer (who records and performs under the name “In Hoodies”) released a song called “Coo Coo”. Slavery still exists in different forms. Whales beaching themselves, bison hunts, workers on low wages without social security, refugees captured and sold for their organs, destroyed rain forests, poisoned oceans… Our planet is ringing the alarm bells.

Time for another richest celebrities list from Forbes

Time for another richest celebrities list from Forbes
If you want to see the full list (and lists that include all manner of celebrities), go here. Here’s the Top 10 highest-earning musicians from 2017. Forbes like to keep tabs on exactly how rich the rich and famous are. I had no idea George Clooney was making that much coin.

Who knew that Beck was a Leafs fan

stay cool in the summer pic.twitter.com/qKkBPCmAAO
— Beck (@beck) July 9, 2018 (Via Michael)

Adios Toronto thanks to all who came down on Saturday night and Jay’s for the game. From Beck’s Twitter feed. Who knew?
Who knew that Beck was a Leafs fan