Random music news for Thursday, August 9, 2018

Speaking of real estate, Lance Bass didn’t buy the Brady Bunch house after all. Weekly Canadian music sales and streams vs. Want to learn K-pop fashion sense? Will the CD ever be embraced by hipsters in the same way as vinyl and cassettes? Let’s take a look. Musical biopics. Don’t panic. Some people think so. Here’s why you should listen to the radio at work. Paul McCartney’s Carpool Karaoke appearance is being turned into a prime-time special. Mick Fleetwood had something to say about the departure of Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. Go here. There’s been another death at a summer music festival, this time in California. Inflation is so bad in Venezuela these days that $1 US will buy 925,000 gallons of premium gas. This is satire. Given everything that’s happening, shouldn’t there be more angry songs? More radio: Edmonton has a new station called The Chuck. And now, some music news for August 9, 2018. This is one of the strangest versions of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that you might ever hear. If you’re going to be a big-shot record producer, you should have a nice Hollywood home, right? this time last year: Total albums, -17.8%; digital albums, -21.4%; physical albums, -15.5%; CDs, -19.7%; vinyl, +52.7%; streams, +52.7% (1.356 billion streams last week). Why are so many songs this summer so sad? Apple Music has a new automated playlist feature based on what your friends are listening to. Remember the Plain White T’s “Hey Delilah?” The song is being turned into a TV show. Not like this. You know what’s got Hollywood excited these days? How do you test expensive speakers? Wow. This article proposes some ideas for fixing radio’s problems. Should Elliot Smith be considered for a Nobel prize? Another music issue with Brexit: the live audio market.
Random music news for Thursday, August 9, 2018

New Music From The Inbox: Milk & Bone, Clairo, Laurel, and more!

Listen:

Artist: Milk and Bone
Song: BBBlue (Summertime Sadness)
Album: Deception Bay
The simplicity of this track lets their distinctive vocals shine while big drums make
Listen:

Artist: Bad Bad Hats
Song: Nothing Gets Me High
Album: Lightning Round
Warm vocals and guitar riffs make this upbeat indie rock song irresistibly. Cuco
Song: Drown
This track is a total vibe. Artist: Shred Kelly
Song: Jupiter
Album: Archipelago
Shred Kelly’s sound is grounded in folk but reaches higher with striking banjo riffs, ambient synths, anthemic melodies, and bold drums to create a truly addictive and unique sound. Watch/Listen:

Artist: Clairo feat. Listen:

Artist: Laurel
Song: Same Mistakes
Album: Dog Violet
Powerful, unique vocals and dynamic guitar parts
Watch/Listen: Sounds intimate and fun and warm. Lushly layered synths make this collaboration between these 20 year old indie artists feel like a dream.
New Music From The Inbox: Milk & Bone, Clairo, Laurel, and more!

Frank Zappa’s estate unveils retro stereo furniture

Frank Zappa’s estate unveils retro stereo furniture
These days, such monstrosities are no longer tolerated by anyone–except, maybe, the estate of Frank Zappa. Full-range rattlers behind the barely transparent mesh grills. Once a side finished playing, the tonearm swung back, the next record dropped into place and began to play. No idea. It was also the era when audio and video equipment was often disguised as massive pieces of furniture. One day back in the 1970s, a pickup backed into our driveway. 1.”

Inside you’ll find a Pro-Ject Esprit CS turntable (a good one!), a 2.1 speaker system, a 100-watt sub, two aux inputs and Apple Airplay. Viking was in Eatons’ in-house electronics brand. Dad bought it second-hand for $100, a huge sum back in those days. Speakers? In the back was a massive Viking console stereo. Read more here. If that’s not enough, a big selection of Zappa albums are included along with some Zappa-themed whiskey glasses and a few other things. Inside was an AM/FM radio and a Gerrard automatic record changer, the kind that allowed you to stack at least six albums on a tall spindle. It looked something like this, only bigger. But only ten are being made, so it’s not going to be cheap. That’s the soundwave from Frank’s 1988 composition, “Sofa No. How much? You could have maybe two hours’ worth of music lined up. Frank’s estate has announced a new deal with LUNO, a luxury design company for this “luxury hi-fi console series,” resulting in “The SSK Soundwave, FZ Limited Edition.”

See the brass inlay?  
 
  A lot bigger.

Raise the Roof with a Free Concert at Dr. Disc

Raise the Roof with a Free Concert at Dr. Disc
Additionally, they have teamed with Hamilton Music Collective as co-presenters. Disc will be hosting their “Raising the Roof” concert series again this year. This year’s event coincides with the downtown Art Crawl. Disc website. The bands playing tomorrow are:
7:00-7:30pm – The Bandicoots
8:00-8:30pm – Bad Dates
9:00-9:30pm – Luckystickz
10:00-10:30pm – In My Coma
*Performances are weather permitting and the schedule is subject to change*
For more information and updates, check out the Dr. The aim of the concerts is to 

feature local, independent musicians of all genres and expose them to a widespread audience
increase awareness of and highlight the diversity and vitality of the independent Hamilton music scene
encourage the public to come experience all that downtown Hamilton has to offer
to give back to the community for supporting Dr. You can also RSVP to the event on Facebook here. Iconic Hamilton music store Dr. Enjoy a free, outdoor live performances tomorrow outside their store at 20 Wilson Street (at James). Disc since the doors opened 27 years ago

Store hours are extended tomorrow for the event (10:00am to 11:00pm).

Into guitar playing? Check out this interview with Steve Vai

(Via Walter) There’s some fascinating stuff here. Here is his speaking with Steve Vai about guitars and the music business. Rick Beato has a great online series that examines all areas of guitar playing.
Into guitar playing? Check out this interview with Steve Vai

Attention drummer: Here’s the fascinating story of Zildjian cymbals

Attention drummer: Here’s the fascinating story of Zildjian cymbals
The tension is the beauty of it, like riding a wave until you need it to crest.”
Mr. (There’s also Sabian, but they’re a Zildjian offshoot. Blade, who is best known for playing with the country music singer Emmylou Harris and the jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, said he thinks of his cymbals as an extension of himself, though he also gives credit for his distinctive sound to the instruments he plays: Zildjians. Even if you’re not a drummer, you need to keep reading. If you play drums, you fall into one of three camps when it comes to cymbals: Paiste, the Swiss manufacturer or Zildjian, the company with roots in Turkey that extend back 400 years. That’s a whole ‘nother story.”
The New York Times looks at the history of Zildjian. Zildjian was incorporated in the United States in 1929. The surest route to a drummer’s heart? He has endorsed the brand for 20 years, just one in a long, diverse roster of musicians to do so. But the company’s relationship with drummers, and drumming itself, dates back much further: 400 years to be precise, to 1618, when a secret casting process resulted in the creation of a new bronze alloy for the court of Sultan Osman II, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire. “You can have all the swirling harmony in the world,” the drummer Brian Blade said, “but only the cymbals can put you over the top of that mountain you’re trying to climb. Cymbals.

I wonder if Google is going to make me take down this story on Steel Panther?

The band issued this statement on Facebook. Their latest project is a guitar pedal called–wait for it–The Pussy Melter. Down comes the post.  
 
  Well, duh. Every time I post something about Steel Panther, my webmaster gets an email from Google saying that the article violates some AdSense standards. We support the right for all people to express themselves no matter where they are in the world. But I’m going to keep trying. Good. Steel Panther is that LA band that doesn’t want 80s-style hair metal to die. Given that we barely make enough money to pay for things like hosting, domains, and the newsletter, we can’t afford to piss off Google. Just $199.99 USD, too. The knobs read “Dirty,” “Load,” “Booty” and “Sizzle.” There’s also that centre switch that toggles between “Moist” and “Gushing.”
This has not gone over well with a number of artists who have branded the new pedal as sexist. If we don’t take down the post, we risk being banned from using AdSense. Steel Panther is happy to announce that we are now offering pleasurable eargasms to everyone. Google? As clearly stated by Satchel [the band’s guitarist] when it was originally developed, the sound being created by the Pussy Melter tone pack was intended to bring pleasure to females who heard it. We still good? Instead, Steel Panther will offer it through their own online store when it’s released in October. They’re totally over the top, digging for the best (worst?) stereotypes of the genre. Here’s a picture. Google? We okay so far? We respect and love the freedom of speech afforded all citizens in the U.S. TC Electronics, the maker of the pedal, has, er, backpedaled (sorry) from selling the accessory through its outlets.  
Note the controls. We welcome all races, genders and sexual orientations at our shows – shows that celebrate everyone’s individuality through partying, and of course a love of heavy metal.
I wonder if Google is going to make me take down this story on Steel Panther?

Warner Bros Music cashes out of Spotify; how much will musicians see?

We’re hugely optimistic about the growth of subscription streaming.”
Warner isn’t the only company walking away from Spotify, the very popular but not very profitable streaming service. That’s not a small payday by any stretch of the imagination. But on August 7, Warner announced it was selling off everything, getting out of its ownership portion of Spotify altogether, to the tune of half a billion dollars —$504 million, to be precise, or $317 million after taxes. Warner also announced it was “not ignoring unrecouped balances,” meaning the vast majority of the cash it received for the sale will stay within the company in order to chip away at money paid in advance for label expenses like recording, production, distribution, etc. It wasn’t any big secret that three of the biggest names in the music industry – Warner, Sony and Universal – owned something like 18% of all Spotify shares, but in reality it was a smaller portion than that. Warner is still a powerhouse in the music industry, so it’s only natural to ask whether this influx of cash will eventually trickle down to the artist that helped put Warner in that position. After all, is there a music industry without musicians? Musicians will see a little extra (or a lot, in some cases) in their June 30 royalty payments, which will go out between August and September. (On second thought, maybe don’t answer that.)
Some 25% of the money, roughly $126 million, will be paid to musicians on Warner and ADA-distributed labels. Variety reported that Sony owned some 5.7% of Spotify, with 4% split between Warner and Universal. “This sale has nothing to do with our view of Spotify’s future. Sony had previously announced it would share some proceeds of its sale of Spotify shares with indie labels, but at the time it was not determined how those profits would be shared. Sony also sold about half of its shares, earning it some $750 million, while indie collective Merlin divested 100% of its shares and earned $125 million earlier this year. Music Business Worldwide reiterates Warner’s previous statement that it is “only sharing Spotify proceeds with its partner labels when obligated to do so by individual contracts.”
In comments to shareholders, Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said “Just so there won’t be any misinterpretation about the rationale for our decision to sell, let me be clear: We’re a music company, and not, by our nature, long-term holders of publicly traded equity,” he said. Only Universal still has ownership of its shares. Earlier this year, Warner Brothers Music announced it would be selling off 75% of its stake in Spotify, a move that brought the company some $400 million.
Warner Bros Music cashes out of Spotify; how much will musicians see?

Here’s how social media drives music (and vice-versa)

Here’s how social media drives music (and vice-versa)
A new study by a company called MusicWatch has resulted in this infographic that shows the relationship between music and social media and how one drives the other. Click on the image to see the whole thing.

More Like “Tragic Kingdom” for Caribbean Torontonians: Caribbean festival called off.

More Like “Tragic Kingdom” for Caribbean Torontonians: Caribbean festival called off.
Am I right? It sure doesn’t go to hardworking bloggers, I can tell you that! 2/2
— City of Vaughan (@City_of_Vaughan) August 5, 2018

You would think a well-functioning city hall would have addressed any potential permit issues well in advance of a long weekend, knowing there would be a lot of pissed-off patrons, but I guess there some double-overtime-and-a-half clerks really wanted to collect. I’ve always said as a resident that Vaughan city councillors literally see themselves as rockstars; take the case of one Matt Groopie. He’s had to resort to starting a GoFundMe legal defense fund. They’re not all like this couple:

So it's officially Caribana week 😅🤣🙃🇯🇲🇨🇦🇧🇧🇹🇹🇬🇾🇰🇳🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/gP9hp16nNb
— MrSummaTyme (@MrSummaTime) August 1, 2018

The self-proclaimed “City Above Toronto” doesn’t have the best reputation lately when it comes to live music. As many as 10,000 people were expected to converge in the parking lot of the Improve Canada outdoor entertainment complex next to Highway 407 and not many houses within earshot. Their Twitter account tried to give a half-assed attempt at an explanation but I’m sorry, it reeks of fishiness. A good chunk of that change still goes to middlepeople such as A&R types and Spotify instead of y’know, the artists who actually make the music we consume. Apparently local representative Karen Cilevitz doesn’t believe anyone but she has a right to it, to the point where she is now suing Mr. The CBC reports on everything here. 1/2
— City of Vaughan (@City_of_Vaughan) August 5, 2018

In accordance with the City’s Special Events By-law, both the decision to grant the permit and subsequent decision to revoke, were decisions made by staff and not directed by Mayor and Council. City of Vaughan By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Service staff revoked the permit of the Carnival Kingdom 2018 SOS Fest event after it was determined that organizers did not comply with the terms of the permit. Groopie for A HALF MILLION DOLLARS. If nothing else, the soca-goers who came to Vaughan to have a good time deserve a better explanation than the one that was given. He’s the guy you may recall who got in trouble for simply for using the words “Ward 5” in the title of his Richmond Hill-based open mic night. Here’s the full story. The City of Vaughan also received a number of public complaints about the event. And if you’ve seen this recent report about how musicians only receive 12% of the revenue their chosen industry generates, you know he doesn’t have that kind of money. Very weird, I know. If you hadn’t heard, the City of Vaughan–part of the Greater Toronto Area’s suburban sprawl–was supposed to play host to a Caribana offshoot called Carnival Kingdom (no affiliation with the much more famous parade downtown, although it had been running successfully over the past seven years). Just before “fete”ers were to be let in, however, the event was abruptly called off by the city.

Dave Grohl wants to “Play.” Watch now.

Dave Grohl wants to “Play.” Watch now.
You can also listen here. Nice editing, whoever did this. And as you watch, remember that Dave used to be written off as “just the drummer” in Nirvana. Here’s that 23-minute one-man thing called “Play” that we’ve been hearing about for the last couple of weeks. The video makes the case for not just taking music lessons but applying yourself to become proficient on a musical instrument–or a number of them. Having visited the Foos’ 606 Studios in Van Nuys, California, I can tell you that the place must be a playground for every member of the band–especially Dave. Carve out some time for this. Dave Grohl can’t sit still. And then five Daves walk into the studio and start playing.

I’m hosting an event for Nikki’s Wives Friday evening. You should come by.

I’m hosting an event for Nikki’s Wives Friday evening. You should come by.
Take a look at some of their stuff. You should come. I’ve been following London, Ontario’s Nikki’s Wives for a few years now and honestly think that they’re one of Canada’s up-and-coming indie bands. Friday night (August 10), I’ll be the host of listening party for the band at the Rivoli in Toronto. This is outstanding material. 6:00pm- VENUE OPENS TO THE PUBLIC
6:30pm– DAVE MONKS OF TOKYO POLICE CLUB DJ SET
7:30pm– NIKKI’S WIVES PERFORMANCE
9:00pm – PARTY ENDS, BUT VENUE WILL REMAIN OPEN

Random music news for Friday, August 10, 2018

Have a dream of DJing abroad? The staycation continues. (Via Peter)
How about a solid state hard drive that jams 32 TB into a package the size of a 12-inch ruler. Troy Carter, former Spotify executive and Lady Gaga’s one-time manager, just dropped a ton on a painting. Zero, if I’m honest–not including doing this like dealing with music news for August 10, 2018. Read this. How much have I accomplished with that list of things I was planning to do around the house? That could store a few songs. And at the same time, Samsung has this new deal with Spotify. Tim Cook is not a fan of Spotify’s algorithms. BTS will become the first K-pop band to play a stadium gig in the US. Read this. Wanna know the future of the music video? Read this. Meet Bixby. Silicon Valley: “What have we done? That time when a Dave Matthews Band tour bus dumped 800 pounds of poop on a boatload of people. Read this. What kind of monster have we created?”
Samsung is now in the personal voice assistant game. (Via Tom)
An anti-LGBTQ group isn’t happy with Britney Spears. Wanna know how today’s biggest pop songs get written? Siri? Aerosmith’s original touring van has been found rotting out in the woods. “Mick Jagger” for the win! Wanna know what it’s like to be a female executive in the record business? Drake has become the first artist to cross the 50 billion stream mark.
Random music news for Friday, August 10, 2018

Vandalism of art is an inexcusable crime, but I’ll admit to laughing at this

Vandalism of art is an inexcusable crime, but I’ll admit to laughing at this
pic.twitter.com/eQ27BOQY69
— Dabi (@biridibaba) August 7, 2018

The desecrated statue dates to the 12th century and is the only sculpture left on the outside of the cathedral. Si no, habría hecho a Paul Stanley, en vez de a Peter Criss. That’s when they found this. I feel shame, but I did laugh. Kiss es mejor que cualquier santo de piedra. Sin objeciones. If the vandal is caught he/she will face a fine of €150,000. The statue can be saved using lasers, which will be expensive. Earlier this month, the good parishioners of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in the Galicia region of Spain went to church as usual. De momento, sabemos que el que lo ha pintado es batería. The place is also the burial site of Saint James the Greater.

Pure Hell: America’s first all-black pure punk band

The band’s story began in West Philadelphia in 1974, when four teenagers – lead vocalist Kenny ‘Stinker’ Gordon, bassist Lenny ‘Steel’ Boles, guitarist Preston ‘Chip Wreck’ Morris and drummer Michael ‘Spider’ Sanders, set out to follow in the footsteps of their musical idols. When it comes to the history of punk music, there are few bands who have been as overlooked as Pure Hell. “I want to be remembered for being a part of the first tier of punk in the 70s.”
Keep reading. (If you have your hand up about Detroit’s Death, hang on. “We were the ones who paid the dues for it, we broke the doors down. “I don’t want to be remembered just because we were black,” says Kenny Gordon. How could I have missed Pure Hell all these years? That will be addressed in a second.)
Pure Hell–contemporaries of Sid Vicious and members of the New York Dolls–has been completely overlooked by history. That needs to be fixed starting now. n essential part of learning history is questioning it, asking what has become part of our cultural memory and what might have been left out. According to this article in Dazed, this West Philly band was the first all-black pure punk band in America. And we still get no credit for it.”
The title of the ‘first black punk band’ has, in recent years, been informally given to Detroit-based Death, whose music was mostly unheralded at the time but has since been rediscovered and praised for its progressive ideas. Pure Hell’s unique sound led them to New York, where they became characters in a seminal subculture recognised today as punk. Arriving the same month that Patti Smith and Television began their two-month residencies at CBGB and leaving just after Nancy Spungen’s murder, Pure Hell’s active years in the city aligned perfectly with the birth and death of a dynamic chapter of music history. As musicians of colour, their contribution to a predominately white underground scene is all the more significant. “We were the first black punk band in the world,” says Boles. We were genuinely the first. But while Death were creating proto-punk music in isolation in the early 1970s, Pure Hell were completely entrenched in the New York City underground scene, living and performing alongside the legends of American punk. A shared obsession with the sounds of Iggy, Bowie, Cooper, and Hendrix inspired them to create music that was louder, faster and more provocative than even those artists’ most experimental records.
Pure Hell: America’s first all-black pure punk band