New Music from the Inbox: Muse, Brockhampton, Jean Michel Blais, and more!

How do ill people find peace, if they can at all? Watch/Listen: Watch/listen:

Artist: Jean-Michel Blais
Song: Roses
Album: Dans Ma Main
This graceful, emotional and intimate classical piano composition is for his friend’s mother who died from cancer. Watch/Listen:

Artist: Brockhampton
Song: 1998 Truman
Album: The Best Years Of Our Lives
A bold, ferocious rap track from Brockhampton’s upcoming album “The Best Years of Our Lives.”

Artist: Petra Glynt
Song: No Consequences
Album: My Flag is a Burning Rag of Love
This is a perfect track if you don’t mind something a little bit weird. “roses” is my attempt to reflect a journey of someone’s musical memories, wandering from pop to classical remembrances, concluding on nostalgic harmony.”

Artist: Leyya
Song: Wannabe
Album: Sauna
Colourful synths and African influenced rhythms give this song an irresistibly fun, warm vibe. Artist: Muse
Song: Something Human
The folk-pop vibes on this new track make it lighter and happier than most Muse music, however it is recognizable in Bellamy’s distinct vibrato, it’s blend of acoustic and electronic, and cinematic grandeur that has made Muse so successful for so many years. He says of the song: “The ostinato, the repeating single note in the intro, represents her beating heart, and the ever-present tumour, sometimes forgotten but still growing. It has a manic energy and discordance that is a bit unsettling at first but it the heavy beats make for a good tether and it is interesting enough to make it worth it. Expect to see this one on a new album out November!
New Music from the Inbox: Muse, Brockhampton, Jean Michel Blais, and more!

How to Get Into Vinyl with Limited Funds

How to Get Into Vinyl with Limited Funds
The Elac B6 speakers, at around $280, will provide far more bass than you would expect for its price point. No doubt stretching the budget, if there’s one area where you should be willing to open up the wallet a bit, it’s for your speakers. Now, if you’re willing to spend a bit more money (and are fine with a higher quality, manually operated turntable), you should strongly consider the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 ($300), U-Turn Orbit Plus ($300) or the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon ($400). Recommended Budget Speakers? For those that acquire a turntable that doesn’t have a built-in phono preamp (such as the U-Turn Orbit Plus or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon), you’ll have to buy an external phono preamp. With that said, because this article is catered towards the budget conscious, I’m going to recommend one pair of speakers that’s under $300, and another that’s under $800. Michael Moore is the owner of Devoted to Vinyl, a website built to help beginners in the vinyl hobby better understand everything they need to know so they can enjoy spinning records as soon as possible. Getting a Good Phono Preamp
As mentioned before, if you get a turntable with a built in phono preamp (such as the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 or AT-LP120), you can begin listening to your vinyl records as soon as you plug in the RCA cables to the back of your receiver or integrated amplifier or powered speakers. Some want modern speakers while others prefer vintage. [This guest post is written by Michael Moore of Devoted to Vinyl. On top of that, these speakers are designed by speaker giant Andrew Jones, who has worked for the likes of KEF and Infinity. Now, if you were looking to truly splurge on your two-channel speaker setup, I also like the PSB Imagine Minis ($760). And if you choose to swap out the supplied (but detachable) power supply cable and replace it with something like the Pangea Audio AC-14 power cord, you’ll likely be shocked at the improvement in the bass response. And while you won’t get house-thumping bass with this preamp, you’ll be very impressed with the mid range as well as the clarity of the treble. The Imagine Minis pack a wallop for the price. They have a fun, retro aesthetic. The first is the Schitt Mani (about $130), while the other is the Vincent PHO-8 (about $300). Vocal clarity is really superb here, and if you match these speakers with a nice turntable or amplifier, you’ll really begin to hear more mid-range separation and high-end definition. And the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon features a carbon fiber tonearm that has an Ortofon 2M cartridge attached to it. And if you ever wanted to upgrade that cartridge by purchasing the much more detailed 2M Blue (about $240), installing it takes just 30 seconds—simply slide out the 2M red stylus and insert the 2M Blue. Speakers are always a bit tough because everyone has different wants and needs. So, if the Crosley Cruiser ($50) is on your shortlist, I’d instead recommend spending $100 on the Audio Technica AT-LP60. It works with both Moving Magnet and Moving Coil cartridges, and has four adjustable gain modes. So if you’re looking to get into vinyl for the very first time, but have limited funds in your bank account, I’m going to give you my recommendations for how you can make the jump to the world of spinning records without going broke. The first is strictly the power supply, while the second is the actual phono stage, which includes the phono inputs and outputs, as well as the ground wire connection. I’m a fan of two phono preamps that are relatively cheap (under $500). I know I was. Jones. I like the AT-LP120 because it offers so many options—from pitch control to the ability to digitize your entire vinyl record collection by hooking the turntable up to your Mac or PC. But with a little shrewd shopping, you can have a very nice turntable setup for a reasonable price. All three are great in their own right, and don’t cause you to spend more than $500 for a very solid turntable. The Vincent PHO-8 provides a more neutral sound to your records, but also makes your records sound more tight and punchy. Personally, I don’t like to recommend Crosley record players. Although we live in a world where both CD’s and a month-long subscription to Spotify or Tidal can cost $10, a brand new album on vinyl can cost $30 to $40. The Vincent PHO-8, by contrast, is a different beast entirely. The sound of the Mani is excellent for the price. With the AT-LP60, you still have some limitations in build quality and the lack of tracking force adjustment, but at least you’re getting a turntable that comes with a dust cover, is fully automatic, and has a built-in phono preamp. On top of that, a spiffy high-end turntable can set you back thousands. Some listen to music in a small dorm room, while others are rocking out to their vinyl collection in a mini-mansion. The U-Turn Orbit Plus is built by hand in Boston, MA and boasts an acrylic platter. They can often be found for less than $100. Not because they are inherently terrible (although they are cheaply made with ceramic cartridges and no adjustable tracking force, which is definitely a concern), but because you can find better quality record players on the market for just a bit more money. If anyone knows speakers, it’s certainly Mr. While vinyl can certainly be a fun hobby, it’s definitely not an inexpensive one. Some people prefer bookshelf speakers, while others demand towers. Final Thoughts
Vinyl is a fun hobby, but it’s not cheap. And they’re portable, so you can pack them up and take them over to a friend or family member’s house. And on the surface, it’s easy to understand why. And once everything is bought and setup, all that’s left to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the vinyl bliss. For just $300, you get two audio components. -AC]
Vinyl records are a really fun hobby, as there’s little that can compare to the tactile experience of placing the stylus into the groove of a record and hearing your favorite tune billowing out of your speakers. The Mani is small but packs a great punch for its cost. Now, a lot of people that are starting out with vinyl records like to purchase a Crosley record player. Find a Solid, Cheap Record Player
Let’s first begin with the most important part of the equation when it comes to vinyl records—the turntable. Ouch. They have built-in speakers.

An almost perfect pop song: why Arcade Fires’ Everything Now is a masterpiece of intellectual pop.

An almost perfect pop song: why Arcade Fires’ Everything Now is a masterpiece of intellectual pop.
I already liked that song, especially that poppy approach to music and because it pushed the boundaries of my idea of “alternative“ music, of which I considered Arcade Fire to be stereotypical
But then during the chorus, I started noticing that flute. The lyrics of Everything now are a critical comment on the state of an alienated society. And the most prominent musical feature of the song is the “pygmy flute“, the hindewhu. In the first moment, hearing that Abba-like start, I thought, “Well okay, they go on where they ended with “Here Comes the Night Time“. On the other hand, there is the gap between music and lyrics – such critical lyrics just do not fit such a pop sound, for the lyrics are criticizing everything that too many pop songs want us to believe: that the idea of materialism itself is the highest we can reach. And to me, the message seemed to change with their 2013 song “Here Comes the Night Time.” Arcade Fire opened for a musical discussion about a non-temporal essence of pop music. It was no longer a debate about the musicality of pop itself, but it became a view on how things are developing in our society. For this, let´s have a closer look at the lyrics of Francis Bebey’s “Coffee Cola Song:”
They believe we are wild man, they believe we are wild
Just because we don’t use any money, and we drink no coffee cola
But if you could go and see how they live (ashamed ashamed)
Then, you discover how savage they are, so much wilder than we. And in the end, it’s just another fraction: even without thinking a bit on the text,
“Everything Now” is just a great pop song. Relying on my musical experience, I considered “Everything Now” to be a perfect pop song. So, what makes “Everything Now” a masterpiece of intellectual pop music? They believe we are wild. You can also see that it´s a calculated comment from the band: to play the flute, they hired Patrick Bebey, the son of Francis Bebey. But to be honest. He’s an Arcade Fire fan, obviously. The song can be interpreted as a critique on eurocentric arrogance from a colonial point of view. [This guest post is from David Maneke of Germany. I knew it was a quotation, a friend of mine had shown it to me earlier when he was working in an archive for African music: it was Francis Bebey’s 1982 release “Coffee Cola Song.”

To me, that was very unexpected. But this time, they developed the message. On the one hand, there is the musical arrangement of the song as an easy-to-listen-to pop song which is contrasted by the pygmy flute. Combining it with other instruments, as Francis Bebey did, is already an alienation of the instrument’s character – in its original Ba-Benzeme tradition the instrument is played solo. The message of Francis Bebey is clear and becomes even clearer considering the song was released when Francis Bebey had already spent many years living in France – a major colonial power back in the days, struggling with their left colonies after the second world war. I´m not too familiar with the details of postcolonial studies since I majored in German aesthetics in the enlightenment). At first, it was just one of many sounds, but it gets louder and louder and ends at the musical climax of the chorus. They seem to take the risk of being irritating to deliver their musical message. One cycle of works later, Arcade Fire introduced another pop anthem. deep inside I waited for the ironic fraction. – AC]
The story I´m about to tell is best introduced with a short flash-back to my first encounter with Arcade Fires’ then-new single, Everything now. This is a flute that can only play one note, the rest is done with singing technique. Let´s now take a look on the lyrics of “Everything Now.” Turns out there is an arc of suspense in the lyrics, starting from stating that everything is available now, culminating in the phrase “Til every room in my house is filled with shit I couldn´t live without.” The lyrics sum up how the sheer mass of things available through the world wide web affects our way of living – from “too much to know“ (every inch of space in your head, is filled up with the things that you read) to “too much to want“ – the permanent availability of everything alienates us from any reasonable way of living. I thought a lot about Arcade Fire and why the band didn´t seem to become somewhat anachronistic until now and I found an explanation: Arcade Fire is one of the few bands who really know how to play with their fans and audience. Maybe you could call it post-colonial pop music (in case there´s any ethnologist out there reading this: I just made this up and I probably shouldn´t have done it. It´s the many fractions in it. I loved it from the start because I thought that Arcade Fire would only master pop. Combining it with stereotypical western pop music is not just an alienation – that´s an almost cynical comment on musical tradition.

How to build a drum kit like Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham

How to build a drum kit like Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham
Hard-hitting, technically precise, inventive, and with that killer snare drum sound (credit Jimmy Page for figuring out how to use compression on it), drummers have been trying to copy his style for decades. Laughing Squid points us to this video. No one can sound exactly like Bonzo, of course, but it does help to have the right setup. When John Bonham appeared with Led Zeppelin, no one sounded like him.

Shortlist nominations for the 2018 Mercury Prize announced

The Mercury Prize is the UK equivalent of Canada’s Polaris Music Prize: An attempt to name the best British or Irish album of the past year regardless of genre or commercial success. The ceremony will take place in London on September 20. Oh, and it’s officially now The Hyundai Mercury Prize. (4/1)
Novelist – Novelist Guy (10/1)
Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile (10/1)
Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life (6/1)
  Here’s the short list. Among the jury members who will be entrusted with naming a winner is Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. And as with Polaris, there’s a cash prize for the winner. The numbers at the end are the opening odds of winning from the bookies. (The Brits will bet on anything.)
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (4/1)
Everything Everything – A Fever Dream (8/1)
Everything Is Recorded – Everything Is Recorded (8/1)
Florence And The Machine – High As Hope (4/1)
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found (6/1)
King Krule – The Ooz (8/1)
Lily Allen – No Shame (6/1)
Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination (10/1)
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?
Shortlist nominations for the 2018 Mercury Prize announced

Thursday timesuck: Jarvis Cocker interviews Paul McCartney

(How cool is that? Buying up your old school and remodeling it in your own image?)
For the visit, McCartney sat down for a chat with Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker. He returned to Liverpool earlier this week for a visit to the Institute for Performing Arts, a school Macca established himself. It used to be the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, which was one of the places he himself went to school. At 76, Paul McCartney shows no sign of slowing down.
Thursday timesuck: Jarvis Cocker interviews Paul McCartney

The latest guy to vandalize Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star seems to be a guitarist

The latest guy to vandalize Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star seems to be a guitarist
Then he began to hammer away at the star until nothing was left of it. It’s like someone flips a switch at central casting signaling for all the weirdos to come out. If you’ve ever walked down Hollywood Boulevard after dark, you’ll have seen some of the interesting humans who appear once the sun goes down. At around 3:30 am on July 25, a guy with a guitar case walked purposely towards Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And although he left the scene before the cops showed up, he was later arrested on vandalism charges and jailed on a $20,000 bond. @NBCLA 📸: Victor Park/Loudlabs
— Jonathan Gonzalez (@JonathanNBCLA) July 25, 2018

The latest news says that the alleged vandal, one Austin Mikel Clay, called the police on himself at 3:33 am. He put down the guitar case, opened it and took out a pickaxe. So this just happened again… somebody used a pick axe to destroy Donald Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame. Still trying to learn more, but we know it’s been vandalized multiple times, just never on this level.

New hard drive technology can store 45 million songs in the space the size of a quarter

Even though it had a capacity of just 3.75 MEGAbytes, you couldn’t move it without a forklift. The inconceivably small dimensions (a hydrogen atom is only half a nanometer in diameter) allow for an astounding data storage density of 1.1 petabits (138 terabytes) per square inch. Scientists are always working on increasing storage density. Today I have an iPhone X with 128 GB that’s getting awfully full. The newest development involves a storage device with an insane amount of capacity. Meanwhile, my iPad Pro is straining with its 256 GM of memory. The computer on which I’m typing this has 2 TB of storage. Read/write speeds aren’t great–okay, they’re awful–but work continues. Eventually, I traded up to a full-sized iPod with a whopping 20 GB.  
  Pish. I bought my first computer in 1992, I thought that my 40 MEGAbyte hard drive would be more than enough. That’s nothing. From New Atlas:
The researchers, led by PhD student Roshan Achal and physics professor Robert Wolkow, built on a technique previously developed by Walkow that used the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to remove or replace individual hydrogen atoms resting on a silicon substrate. That’s a picture of an IBM hard drive from 1957. Who would want more storage than that? Using this new technology, you could put all 45 million songs in iTune’s master library on the surface of something the size of a quarter. And if you add up all my machines and network devices, I have something like 15 TB of hard drive capacity in the house. Let’s put that into terms that regular people can understand. By comparison, a Blu-ray disk can “only” store about 12 terabits of data in the same area (one hundredth the data density), while both traditional magnetic hard drives and solid-state drives store somewhere in the region of 1.5 terabits per square inch (a thousandth of the density). When I bought my first iPod, I couldn’t imagine using more than 4 GB.
New hard drive technology can store 45 million songs in the space the size of a quarter

How Music Affects our Brain: a One-of-a-Kind Interactive Event!

The Agenda:
When: Saturday, August 25
3:00-3:30pm Time for mingling/networking
3:30-4:20pm LIVELab Showcase, presented by Dr. Audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a full-audience motion capture by wearing a simple, lightweight cap during a musical performance. Dan Bosnyak, Technical Director at the LIVELab featuring a performance by pianist Adrean Farrugia. Calling all Music Technology geeks! You won’t want to miss this opportunity (free for all who RSVP at my Music Technology website)! 4:30-5:30pm Time for mingling/networking
Address: McMaster University LIVELab
PC202A, 2nd Floor, Psychology Building
1280 Main St. With this blank slate, LiveLab can use their Meyer Sound Active Acoustic System to digitally recreate any type of environment, such as a from a cathedral, to concert hall, to classroom to anechoic chamber. If you have any questions, please email Nathalia Ribeiro at My next Music Technology event is a must for anyone who has ever wondered what happens to our brains while we listen to music. Attendees will be active participants in McMaster University LIVELab’s one-of-a-kind interactive music performance at world’s only combination research lab and performance hall. Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1
More about the LIVELab Theatre: The lab is built to NC10 standards, meaning there is a background noise level of only 10dB (thousands of times quieter than a typical classroom) and low reverberation time. As always, the event is 100% free to attend (but you will need to RSVP)! And like all our previous events, we will offer free drinks, snacks, and pizza (you can’t network on an empty stomach, right?). This is accomplished via unique architectural designs, including room-within-room construction, floating floor, concrete outer ceiling, custom noiseless HVAC system, and acoustic panels. See you there! 4:20-4:30pm “Hamilton: City of Music” presented by the Hamilton Music Advisory Team. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the LIVELab facility in what is sure to be one of the most interesting Music Technology events to date! W. The LIVELab Concert Series harnesses technologies such as motion capture, virtual acoustics, and real-time physiological measurements to stage interactive, unique performances that simply could not be achieved at any other venue in the world. The showcase will include live demonstrations of LIVELab systems for measuring brain waves (EEG), heart rate, breathing rates, and skin conductance (GSR) in volunteer audience members and performers.
How Music Affects our Brain: a One-of-a-Kind Interactive Event!

Toronto residents gather on Danforth Avenue to sing a vigil to shooting victims

I’m so proud to be from a community that shows so much strength and resilience in the face of such tragedy. On Wednesday evening (July 25), people descended on Danforth Avenue in Toronto to take back the street after Sunday’s murderous rampage. (Via Global News)

Emotional scene on the Danforth tonight as hundreds sing ‘Hallelujah’ during vigil for shooting victims. A few gathered for this vigil. #DanforthStrong
A post shared by Alexander Stewart (@_alexanderstewart) on Jul 26, 2018 at 9:09am PDT It was an honour to perform Hallelujah with @flynn_tanner. #DanforthAttack
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) July 25, 2018

Yesterday over 10 000 of us got together to honour the victims of the Danforth shooting.
Toronto residents gather on Danforth Avenue to sing a vigil to shooting victims

Silver Lining in Danforth Tragedy

Silver Lining in Danforth Tragedy
For anyone wondering why I mentioned The Lowest of the Low earlier, one of my favourite songs of theirs is “Just About the Only Blues“, which references The Only Cafe just west of Donlands Avenue with 25 local craft brews on tap. While we may never know the reasons why these atrocities were committed, one fact that unfortunately can never change is how two innocent individuals lost their lives. As we saw in the case of the Humboldt Broncos, the amount raised starts to become inconsequential, although it is sure to help as Julianna’s father recovers from the injury he received that same night. Again, the link to the Julianna Kozis Memorial Fund is It is home to one the biggest Greektowns in North America, you can’t walk two steps without encountering a patio to spend summer hours with good company (just ask The Lowest of the Low), and the Danforth Music Hall is the best midsized concert venue in the entire city, period. Mayor Tory and T.O.’s elected officials have to do their jobs to make all streets safe, not just between the DVP and Victoria Park, but you can do your part for humanity by keeping the love and money momentum going. Photo by Sean Deasy. As a way for Julianna’s grieving parents to take their minds off of at least the costs that are sure to be incurred as a result of this heartbreaking incident, his office organized a GoFundMe memorial with the Kozis’ permission. I didn’t know Julianna Kozis, but she is the 10-year-old daughter of a massage therapist who works at my friend’s rehabilitation centre in Vaughan. Community members gathering at the intersection of Logan and Danforth at the start of a candlelight vigil to honour the victims and their families, on the evening of Wednesday July 25. in August). Pat deserves a lot of credit for putting this together – the CBC even interviewed him as the campaign began to gain steam online. That idyllic ideal changed on Sunday, July 22nd when a lone gunman indiscriminately opened fire on a number of people going about their business of enjoying themselves in a friendly environment. It took less than a day for them to easily surpass the $50,000 goal, and currently stands at more than $80K (with support continuing to rise). One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the Internet’s compassion and generosity when you think it can’t get any more of a dark place. I look forward to my next concert excursion to the Danforth Music Hall sooner rather than later (hopefully for Gary Clark Jr. Groundswells such as this give hope that there are still good people in the world and especially the Toronto area. I won’t dignify him by mentioning his name; you’ve all seen and heard the news. Thanks to Alan Cross too for allowing me to post. The Danforth neighborhood is a sacred place for all Torontonians, whether native or just visiting. Pat Macario is his name, whose family is devastated by this senseless loss to say the least. On behalf of Pat Macario and his wife Rizni, thank you.

Random music news for Friday, July 27, 2018

This new technology allows you to charge your phone in minutes. Here’s why you should. Britain’s Brexit is making things difficult/weird for musicians. Is this the global podcast measuring tool we need? There’s no such thing. Meanwhile, SiriusXM says it now has 33.5 million subscribers. Read this. Er…
“Free” music? Want to learn how to DJ on a laptop? Are you a musician? Later that day, guess what? It was two years ago today that Donald Trump publicly appealed to Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing 30,000 emails. And are you handling your photography properly? A dance party that starts at 6 am? Is it now unacceptable for rock stars to trash hotel rooms? We finally have a date for Roger Daltrey’s memoir. Samsung says they have an “unbreakable” display for their phones. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning it. Are you blogging? That’s up 8 million in three months. Wait: My vinyl collection is bad for the environment? And speaking of phones, this is kinda funny. On a related note, this is a really fun idea for a playlist. Spotify says it now has 83 million paying subscribers worldwide. Why you need a paperclip to fix your iPhone. Interesting question: Do all-female music festivals violate gender discrimination laws? Read this. New to vinyl? Target has apologized for a duff move that riffed on CBGB.
Random music news for Friday, July 27, 2018

Are these the greatest drum breaks of all time?

Are these the greatest drum breaks of all time?
Yes, Neil Peart is here.   And I COMPLETELY agree with #1. As a drummer myself, I LIVE for those moments where the music stops and I get to show my chops. How could he not be? Loudwire has collected together 15 of the best drum breaks (okay, a few solos are thrown in, but don’t let that scare you) of all time.