Random music news for Friday, August 3, 2018

Speaking of upgrades, new features are being added to YouTube Music every two weeks. They’re the first company to ever do that. Some say so. A music venue that’s open 24 hours a day is opening in London. Cool: This is what ancient Greek music really sounded like. Read this: the fascinating story of Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa. Retire, already. More controversy about the effect London “drill” music has on violence. Tom Brady is 41 today. And in music news for August 3, 2018…

Apple hit $1 TRILLION in value yesterday. Warner Music Group has bought UPROXX. Meanwhile, “fake artists” are still clogging up some playlists on Spotify. Is Deezer really worth $1 billion? Why? Easier streaming. Prepare for “party mode” with the next software upgrade. Alex Jones’ InfoWars has been kicked off Spotify for “hateful content.”
These new Adidas sneakers come with an interesting musical feature. Try that with an MP3 or a stream. Take a look at Zulu Audio. Got a Tesla? Want to hear music on the go but don’t like being sealed off from the outside world by earbuds or headphones? Fewer people in the UK are into illegal downloading. “25 ways to get [your] fans to take action.”
Cool: This guy hid a secret record inside an album. How to drink like the Flaming Lips.
Random music news for Friday, August 3, 2018

How Johannesburg’s artists are driving change

Apartheid officially ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president, but its legacy remains. After the crowd erupted in cheers and toasted glasses of champagne, she jumped into a rendition of her standout single “Thirsty,” which pairs Moonchild’s light voice with the forceful, high-octane sounds of gqom, a South African club music that originated in Durban in the mid 2000s and is now breaking ground beyond the country’s borders. Read the entire fascinating piece on Noisey. Twenty minutes before midnight, Moonchild stepped onstage wearing a see-through plastic dress with fishnet stockings. Music is a force in places like South Africa. According to artists and young people I spoke with in Johannesburg, stations faded right back into playing majority international music after showing a few months of promise. “Not so long ago, they promised us 90 percent local music and all we hear is American music.”
The struggle continues while artists continue to fight for voice and audience. Vestiges of apartheid remain while the push for change continues. I have a particular affinity for the country and the people. Prominent local labels like Ambitiouz and Family Tree have signed some of the country’s most promising rap artists. An earlier study from 2014 found that nearly 60 percent of the country’s unemployed citizens lived in townships, which are still overwhelmingly black. Johannesburg is home to a dichotomy of living. In 2016, the South African Broadcasting Corporation announced it would adopt a 90 percent South African music quota for its radio stations, but the implementation was widely considered a failure and soon reversed by the SABC. During the shortened screams worked into the song’s hook, she hopped on top of the DJ table, simultaneously twerking while bellowing bars that switched between English and Xhosa. German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported that one station abandoned the 90 percent quota within two weeks. Trying to heal such a divide requires persistence and time. On the surface, the South African industry is different now: In 1997, Universal Music Group launched its South African branch, which has become a home to mainstream black South African musicians, most recently rising rapper Nasty C. “That’s still a struggle that we’re under,” eMTee told me. The Black Panther soundtrack—which featured four South African artists, in addition to others from throughout the African diaspora—has afforded international exposure to the local hip-hop scene, and artists like Black Coffee and Die Antwoord have made names for themselves across the globe. According to a 2016 economic working paper, the top 10 percent of the country (which is disproportionately white) controls at least 90 percent of the national wealth, while a majority black 80 percent owns virtually nothing. “This is the after-after- after-hours spot,” said Lady Skollie, a local visual artist and DJ, who detected me sizing the place up. To her left was Moonchild, whom I recognized from her big blue hair. And the music, of course. Johannesburg is a city divided, intentionally. Clad in a bright red kufi and Nike training gear, she was sitting in a booth packed with about seven other people, taking a few moments to relax before her set later that night. South African artists, no matter how big their following online, still struggle to get the airtime they need to expand their fan bases at home. She was going over her setlist with her boyfriend and DJ, discussing which song would make the most sense before the New Year countdown. The energy was so high I forgot for a second that there were fewer than 50 people in the space. Artists of South Africa have been featured on these pages before. Under South Africa’s apartheid regime, the government forcibly displaced millions of black citizens in order to enforce its ideology of racial segregation. The Group Areas Act of 1950 designated specific residential and business zones for each race in urban areas; in Johannesburg, blacks were moved out of the inner city and into townships like Soweto, which were miles away from many people’s places of employment in the city’s Central Business District. The country was recently named one of the most unequal countries in the world by the World Bank. But the local artists I spoke to said they felt like international record companies, instead of trying to nurture South African artists, set up shop to push international acts onto the country. There’s so much more to this story.
How Johannesburg’s artists are driving change

Here are the 15 highest-paid DJs in the world

Diplo ($20,000,000)
8. Axwell Ingrosso ($12,000,000)
12. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike ($10.500,000)
15. Kascade ($13,500,000)
10. Kygo ($11.500,000)
13. Marshmello ($23,000,000)
6. If you’re hoping to have your kid support you in your old age, get them a DJ set-up. Martin Garrix ($13,000,000)
11. Steve Aoki ($28,000,000)
5. The Chainsmokers ($45,500,000)
3. David Guetta ($18,000,000)
9. 1. Look at the kind of cash they can make? Afrojack ($10,000,000) Calvin Harris ($48,000,000)
2. This comes courtesy of Forbes, who estimated the gross revenues of the top DJs in the world. DJ Snake ($11,000,000)
14. Zedd ($22,000,000)
7. Tiesto ($33,000,000)
Here are the 15 highest-paid DJs in the world

The House That Yauch Built: An interactive tribute to the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch

The House That Yauch Built: An interactive tribute to the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch
You may be here for a while. Click on the image to get started. There’s now an interactive tour of the place created by Red Bull Music Academy and MediaMonks. This is where MCA had a recording studio and housed his film production company. In addition to being a member of one of the most successful groups of the 90s, Adam Yauch ran Osciolloscopre Studios out of an office on Canal Street in New York.  

Pearl Jam prepares to go Home

Why lend their power and influence to a problem they’ve never had to deal with? Fittingly, they were playing against Chicago – the White Sox, though, not Eddie Vedder’s beloved Cubs. The year was 2013, which says a lot. There are banners on buses. Worth the price of checking a bag on the flight back.)
Preorders were taken for the small run and, as of August 3, more than $55,000 had been raised toward the overall goal of $200,000. Of course. The 3,500 PJ fans at the game helped raise $54,000 that night alone. At $12 a pop for the cup itself, let alone whatever you’d put it in (cheaper for a non-alcoholic beverage than a beer, naturally), it was yet another fundraiser the band was proud to offer. The band has set a goal of $1 million from the two Home Shows alone, in addition to all the branded products. They closed their Lightning Bolt tour at the KeyArena, which was filled to capacity, of course, as it always is when any band plays a show in their hometown. Heritage Distilling sells this bourbon as part of its regular collection, but the batch made available on August 7 will include a $20 donation with each sale. (That show ended a four-year absence, for those keeping track.)
The band will return for two similarly sold-out shows on August 8 and 10, and this time they’ve got a very clear purpose. Pearl Jam knows many thousands more people wanted to attend the two concerts than will be able. Among the offerings: A ballcap with a fake mullet attached, a signed baseball, a signed Mariners jersey, a copy of the PJ20 soundtrack on vinyl autographed by the band, an autographed copy of the Benaroya Hall concert on vinyl (which many fans in attendance didn’t know even existed). Or do you dig in and hopefully have organizations compromise or get together, figure out some sort of solution or long-term plan. “So what do you do? At one point early on, the price was up well over $1,000. They’d be doubly lucky if they got one that fit. But why does this band care? There was also a four-pack of the previously mentioned wine. There are ads in newspapers. The last time Pearl Jam played in Seattle, it was a different world. They also know that their passionate fans will be interested in helping any way they can. The Mariners game – which they won, by the way – started with Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder throwing out first pitches (Eddie cleared home plate, Mike… tried really hard), included PJ songs during breaks in the game and ended with a 15-minute fireworks show set to a selection of songs from throughout the band’s career. I couldn’t find any information on the band’s website about how much it sold for but it was not cheap. For Ten Club members who bought a special ticket, there was a limited edition t-shirt with the band’s name written in the colors of the MLB team. And it’s not just the Mariners game and the two concerts – it’s a whole WEEK of events, with promises from 80 restaurants to donate at least 10% of their sales on August 8 toward the effort. … We don’t know what the solution is, but we want to be part of some of it.”
The $1 million pledge from the band has blossomed into a $10 million effort, including some 70 organizations and companies across the Seattle region. So they’re being smart marketers: Limited edition bourbon, wine, chocolate, you name it. game, there was a small stampede of eager fans hoping to be among the lucky ones to get a shirt. The Home Shows will help raise money and the all-inclusive “awareness” of homelessness in Seattle, a town with a history of young runaways living on the streets that’s almost as mythic as the city’s role in grunge. A local radio station, 107.7 The End is donating $2 from every ticket sold to one of its big summer concerts toward the project, and there’s a new Pearl Jam exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture opening August 11. “I grew up here and I’ve never seen anything like this – none of us have,” McCready admitted to the Seattle Times recently. Missoula, Chicago and Boston and 100% sold out.)
The Home Shows are everywhere in Seattle. The shirts were first-come-first-served and, when the gate opened around 5:40 p.m. But good grief is Pearl Jam trying its hardest to make a difference, a tangible one that matters, in a city that’s been so good to them for so long. On the stadium’s first floor, there was a silent auction during the first few innings. (It tastes like candy. in advance of the 7 p.m. (There are Away shows too. The festivities kicked off early to really ramp up the energy for the Home Shows. No single band can literally save the world. Do you just sit around and go, ‘That’s just how it is’? During the game, the concession stands were selling limited edition plastic cups in a deep red with the ubiquitous Home Shows logo emblazoned on it. From the moment of arrival, walking through SeaTac, where banners are proudly displayed not only announcing the shows but stating that, sorry, they’re sold out. On July 20, the band was welcomed and celebrated and featured prominently during a Seattle Mariners game. The band also teamed up with the locally based Heritage Distilling Company for a small batch of specially labeled Brown Sugar Bourbon, yet another fundraiser.
Pearl Jam prepares to go Home

And now, music news from the Robert Mueller investigation into Donald Trump

That same year, Trump himself appeared in one of Emin’s music videos. Not sure, other that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller says he wants to interview Emin about…something. So where am I going with all this? If anything resembling the story of the Trump administration had been pitched in a novel, every publisher in the known galaxy would have rejected the manuscript on the basis of it being too fantastical. Yet here we are. There was another video this year featuring a Trump lookalike. And that’s when the much-rumoured “pee tape” was said to have been shot at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. He’s a Russian pop star who was involved in setting up that infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between some of Donald’s associates and some Russian operatives who promised to give the Trump campaign some dirt on Hillary Clinton. At that meeting were Donald Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort
Agalarov’s fathers is a billionaire oligarch (is that redundant?) named Aras Agalarov, who is close with Vladimir Putin. If you been following the dumpster fire that is US politics (I can’t help it; it’s the car crash spectacle that just keeps on giving), you may have run across the name Emin Agalarov. The Agalarovs partnered with the Trump Organization in hosting the Miss Universe pageant in 2013, which, as you probably know, was held in Moscow.  
And now, music news from the Robert Mueller investigation into Donald Trump

Stephen Colbert + a-ha’s “Take on Me” = This send-up of Paul Manafort and Donald Trump

Stephen Colbert + a-ha’s “Take on Me” = This send-up of Paul Manafort and Donald Trump
This week, he took a-ha’s “Take on Me” video from 1985 and turned it into “Take on Manafort.”
Here’s the original. Stephen Colbert is no fan of Donald Trump, so whenever there’s a chance to do something that will annoy Trump or his base, Colbert will jump on it. Now here’s what The Late Show people did with some courtroom sketches from the Manafort trial.

If you’re a fan of Joy Division, you’ll want to watch this fascinating animated history of the Unknown Pleasures artwork

The rest, as you’ll see, is music (and astronomical) history. Thanks to Lee for the link. The cover features 100 consecutive pulses of a pulsar known as CP1919 in the constellation of Vulpecula. Drummer Stephen Morris found it in an astronomy textbook and showed it to Factory design man Peter Saville. Post-punk.com has started releasing a series of music-related animations, starting with the story of the artwork for Unknown Pleasures from Joy Division.
If you’re a fan of Joy Division, you’ll want to watch this fascinating animated history of the Unknown Pleasures artwork

Here are shots from the Paul Rodgers/Jeff Beck/Ann Wilson show at the Budweiser Amphitheatre in Toronto

Here are shots from the Paul Rodgers/Jeff Beck/Ann Wilson show at the Budweiser Amphitheatre in Toronto
On August 1, Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, The Firm), Jeff Beck, and Ann Wilson (Heart) all performed together at the Budweiser Amphitheatre in Toronto. Package tours provide a great value, especially when it comes to legacy artists. Paul snapped this picture and posted it to his social media platforms. She ended her set with a cover of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

At his age, Paul Rodgers shouldn’t still have the voice he did when Bad Company was released songs like “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” in 1974, yet here he was sounding like a man 45 years younger. Once again, photographer Andrei Chlytchkov was dispatched into the photo pit while Khashayar Bavarsad took notes. Jeff Beck was on last with a mostly instrumental set. First up was Ann Wilson who delivered some passionate speeches about recently-passed artists, including Chris Cornell and Glenn Frey. and Free.   He burned through a ton of hits from both Bad Co. Paul had a fan in the audience in the form of Geddy Lee of Rush. The man is no ordinary guitarist.

The Ongoing History of New Music, encore presentation: A Not-So-Brief History of Ska, Part 1

Since ska was born in Jamaica in the 1950s, it was declared dead at least twice. The first wave petered out in the late 60s as reggae took over. The blues will never, ever die. Neither is metal or punk or pop. We also had grim, freak-folk, crabcore, crunk, nu-balearic, blog house, glo-fi, hipster metal–you get the idea. There are, however, certain types of music that seem immortal. Sonic 102.9/Edmonton
The Zone/Victoria
The Fox/Vancouver
Live 105/Halifax
WAPS/WKTL The Summit/Arkon, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown The show runs at 11 am Sunday. The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

102.1 The Edge/Toronto – Sunday night at 7
Live 88-5/Ottawa
107.5 Dave-FM/Kitchener
FM96/London – Sunday night at 7, Monday night at 11
Power 97/Winnipeg (Sunday nights at 11)
Rock 97.7/Grand Prairie – Sunday nights at 6. Anyone remember glitch? Hip-hop isn’t going anyway. Just look at the graveyard of forgotten genres. But on both occasions, ska rose from the dead to return even stronger. After a big post-punk surge, the second wave was declared passe in the early 80s. They’re hyped, reach some kind of peak, and then fade away. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do. It existed alongside electro-clash, a half-hearted resurrection of music from the synth side of the New Wave era. They will all evolve and mutate over time, but the kernal at the heart of their operating systems will remain pure. All of these genres and scenes had their moments and then faded into the background or were killed off altogether. This brings me to another genre that will not die. That scene began around the start of the century and featured some weird electronic manipulations of bloops and bleeps. Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio. This, by the way, is a great option for American listeners who are prevented from listening to the show live because of geo-blocking,

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. Songs heard on part one of this history of ska include:
English Beat, Mirror in the Bathroom
Prince Buster, Al Capone
Desmond Dekker, The Israelites
The Special AKA, Gangsters
The Selector, The Selector
Madness, The Prince
The English Beat, Ranking Full Stop
Specials, Ghost Town
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Hope I Never Lose my Wallet
The Uptones, Get Out of My Way (Live)
As usual, we have this Eric Wilhite-supplied playlist to go along with everything. When it comes to genres of music, most of them come and go.
The Ongoing History of New Music, encore presentation: A Not-So-Brief History of Ska, Part 1

Random music news for Saturday, August 4, 2018

Random music news for Saturday, August 4, 2018
Fitness. Never thought of this, really: What effect will technology have on comedy? Rush’s Geddy Lee has a new book coming out on his extensive and amazing collection of bass guitars. The Billboard Hot 100 turned 60. The Seattle Mariners are going to hold an Alice In Chains night. If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap. If you’ve noticed the music in HBO’s Sharp Objects, read this. Start here. If you’re a fan of Nine Inch Nails, here’s an excellent interview with Trent Reznor. Looking for some good music books to read? “Zombie Boy,” the Canadian model made famous in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video, was found dead at his home in Montreal this week. An Australian drummer has been found guilty in an ax attack. I’m trying not to remember that this is the third of our four summer long weekends and that Labour Day is just a month off. Time for another cocktail, I think. Sort of. Sub Pop now has its own plane. The drummer of Good Charlotte is unloading this place. You read that correctly. Reports say it was suicide. Australia is debating music content rules on the radio. Now some music news for August 4, 2018. The hot new revenue stream for music? Usher is selling this mansion. Here’s a conundrum: Streaming hurts music sales, yet piracy boosts concert attendance. The new Microsoft Surface looks pretty good. Buh-bye Musical.ly. A long weekend here in Canada. Here’s a little history. We’re going to need a bigger boat. And the guy who did the music for Friends wants out of here. It’s being merged into a bigger company. If you don’t want an iPad…
Super producer Max Martin now has a musical. Unlike Canada’s 35%, Australian stations only have to reach 25%. Here are my weekly music recommendations for Global News.

Should be a good read: “Life on the road with the Wu-Tang Clan”

Booking agent Chris McKee, who worked with several members of the band, is releasing his look at life on tour with this incredibly influential band. The thought occurred to me that this was a man who has travelled the world over at least a
dozen times. According to various news reports, assailants broke into his apartment on St. Inside access to the workings of the Wu-Tang Clan has been almost unattainable. Dutch was murdered two weeks before the Ghostface show in Montreal. Yet he hasn’t figured out that when you’re in a city or
country that speaks a different language that it is highly likely that the TV channels will probably
be in that very same language.”
The book also includes the story of how of how a concert promoter (Matt ‘Dutch’ Garner) who
was involved with producing a concert for Ghostface Killah in Montreal was murdered a week
before the show. From the press release:
McKee worked with various members of the Wu-Tang for over 10 years and is ready to let
people see what really goes on behind the curtain while on tour with members of the Wu-Tang
Clan. Here’s an excerpt on a breakfast meeting with Ghostface in Montreal:
“Before our breakfast meeting ended, Ghost had one other interesting request to ask of me. I guess Dutch missed that memo. Dutch was found dead
in his apartment on the chair but the second victim had tried to escape and made his way down a
flight of stairs onto the street while still ablaze where he eventually succumb to his injuries and
died on a neighboring lawn. They have yet to arrest any suspects in the murder and the case remains open.”
Sounds intriguing, no? The book is out August 17th and you can pre-order it here. In Montreal you
have to tread very carefully when you go about your business if you want to stay out of trouble. He
said, “Don’t be putting me in any more hotels with French TV channels.”
He continued, “I was trying to watch some TV last night and relax and whatever and every
channel was in French.”
Ghostface added, “I can’t have that in any of these other cities, so no more hotels with these
French TVs.”
I stared back blank not knowing how to answer. The book will feature stories about sex,
drugs, rock n’ roll (or hip-hop) and murder. The book is both a window into the world of the Wu-Tang Clan as well as a teaching tool to
understanding the ins and outs of the music business. Henri and taped
Dutch and an associate to their chairs and set to the two of them on fire. He has performed concerts as Ghostface and as a member of the Wu-Tang Clan on
probably every continent on the planet. “The thing about Montreal is that the line is blurred between certain parts of the entertainment
industry and criminals and gangsters; more so than any other city in Canada.
Should be a good read: “Life on the road with the Wu-Tang Clan”

What sorts of musical things are people searching for on Google this summer? Glad you asked.

Nicki Minaj, “FEFE”
Post Malone, “Rich & Sad”

And for fun, Film Searches

Avengers: Infinity War
The Incredibles 2
Deadpool 2
Ocean’s 8
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Mamma Mia! Google always keeps tabs and what we’re searching for. The company just released this list of the most-searched-for items when it comes to musical things for the summer of 2018. Festivals searches

Vans Warped Tour
Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL)
Outside Lands (San Francisco, CA)
Austin City Limits (Austin, TX)
Made in America Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
Electric Zoo (New York, NY)
Bumbershoot (Seattle, WA)
Lockn’ Festival (Arrington, VA)
Hard Music Festival (Fontana, CA)

Song lyrics

Drake, “In My Feelings”
Childish Gambino, “This is America”
Kanye West, “Lift Yourself”
Drake, Lil Baby “Yes Indeed”
Pusha T, “Story of Adidon”
Drake, “Emotionless”
Drake, “Duppy Freestyle”
The Carters, “APES**T”
6ix9ine ft. Here We Go Again
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Mission: Impossible– Fallout
Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Glad you asked. What sorts of musical things are people searching for on Google this summer?

Do any of these Ticketmaster data points describe you?

Do any of these Ticketmaster data points describe you?
That’s all?)
The top five rated music genres among Canadians were:

Rock (25%, the overwhelming favourite genre of men)
Pop (18%, the overwhelming favourite genre of women)
Country (14%)
Classical (7%)
Alternative (6%) Something to drink (50% say that). Millennials lead the I-gotta-see-a-show crowd, with an intent of 58% of hitting a show
1 in 3 Canadians will travel more than 100 km to see a show this summer
36% will probably sing along with their favourite songs when they get to the gig
Essentials at the show? Because it tracks every aspect of the ticket retail experience, it can offer useful information to venues, promoters, agents. Ticketmaster just released a study about how Canadians get into the summer concert season. managers, and record labels about the fans that pay good money to see artists play live. Millennials are more likely to bring their smart phones (34%? 53% of all Canadians plan to attend a concert at some point this summer. Here are some highlights. Along with selling tickets, Ticketmaster is a data company. 4 out of 5 of those concert-goers plan to hit up to 3 shows over the season.