Heads Up! Death from Above Announce New Tour

I sure hope so as at less than 14 minutes running time, that would make for an awfully short show. They promise to play all six electronically-tinged punk bangers “plus more” over 20 dates from late-October through almost all of November. The Rapids Theatre – the best wedding hall on the New York side of Niagara Falls according to its website and only a stone’s throw away from the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge – is the closest Canadians will get to see DFA for the remainder of 2018. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger first got together in 2001, and put out their debut EP Heads Up the next year. So if your passports are in order and are OK with having your phone potentially searched at the border, tickets go on sale Friday, August 24th. The greedy ROCKthusiast in me would also hope they’d come to their homeland, although they were just in Timmins, Ontario last month with old friends Billy Talent for the Rock on the River festival. I don’t know if it can be considered a classic like their You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine is to some, but it’s apparently sentimental enough to the bass-and-drums duo to tour behind for its sweet sixteenth anniversary. It’s hard to believe, but the two members of Death from Above have now been back together for more years than they were before the band’s initial breakup. Jesse F.
Death from Above Announce New Tour Heads Up!

Random music news for Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Random music news for Tuesday, August 21, 2018
It won’t be long before the big console screens in Teslas have the capability to show videos. When we talk about Robert Plant, it’s always about Led Zeppelin. How will the radio industry respond to smart speakers in cars? Sort of. The fastest-growing smart speaker market in the world is… China? No, that’s not a typo, either. What to do with an old chapel? Looking for an app to help you discover music? It was another rough week for physical CD sales. 3D audio from some earbuds? Be careful before you click here. (Via Tom)
The return of The Monkees? If you add up all the discs in the SoundScan top 200 chart, you come up with a total of 589,000. It’s hard to say–or they won’t say. this time last year: Total albums, -18.5%; digital albums, -21.1%; physical albums, -16.8%; CDs, -20.9%; vinyl, +45.8%; streams, +51.6% (1.098 billion streams last week). What about The Honeydrippers? Yes, please. Madonna is selling this place. A Google smart screen with a video screen? Madonna is going to build a soccer stadium in Malawi. Try Lüm. By the end of the year, inflation in Venezuela could hit 1,000,000%. Does anyone listen to Apple Music’s Beats 1? In music news for August 18, 2018…

Weekly Canadian music sales and streams vs. That’s the rumour. You could make the chart by selling just 591 units. This is not the kind of Motorhead visual you will want in your head. Nicki Minaj is NOT happy with Spotify. Nice. Asia Argento’s tweet quoting Kurt Cobain seems pretty weird after what we’ve heard over the last 48 hours. Another way of looking at smart speakers: They are the “sonic Internet.” I like that. Turn it into a music venue! If you’ve been following the fallout from the Marvin Gaye “Got to Give It Up”/Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” verdict, you need to read this. (Tom again)
Toronto indie fans will love this: a Lowest of the Low career retrospective box set. Yep.

Another snapshot of concert ticket sales on the secondary market

There’s always wailing about the price of concert tickets on secondary-selling sites as the market tries to settle on the true value of these tickets. StubHub, one of the biggest of the secondary sellers, provides these numbers for Ed Sheeran’s show in Toronto coming later this month. Average Ticket Price Sold (for August 30 show): $168 USD
Lowest Ticket Price Sold (for August 30 show): $54 USD
Average Ticket Price Sold (for August 31 show): $176 USD
Lowest Ticket Price Sold (for August 31 show): $55 USD

And what shows are hot right now in terms of sales? All the controversy surrounds prices that go through the roof, but there’s also the flipside of this. It all depends on supply and demand. Ed Sheeran, Rogers Centre, Toronto, August 30
Ed Sheeran, Rogers Centre, Toronto, August 31
BTS, FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, September 22
BTS, FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, September 22
Bruno Mars with Cardi B, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, September 22

StubHub also has this advice for people buying tickets to sold out shows:

Never buy tickets off the street or pay cash
Always purchase from a platform with a ticket guarantee and customer service number
Be careful sharing images of your ticket barcode on social channels like Facebook
Use technology advancements to your benefit – Price Alerts can help you stay within budget, Virtual View takes the guesswork out of seat location and more

Makes sense to me… Sometimes tickets on the secondary market can be a bargain.
Another snapshot of concert ticket sales on the secondary market

Interested in how vinyl is pressed? Then this event is for you.

Plus there will be craft beer, food, a pop-up record show and more. On October 5-6, the company will present Vinyl Pressing Experience which will highlight the “art and science of mastering, plating, labelling, and packaging” for an actual vinyl record. Details on the hands-on half-day session can be found here. Viryl is a vinyl record-pressing facility in Toronto that uses some cutting-edge new technology when it comes to the ancient art of storing music in grooves. Guests will get their own custom record that they’ll press themselves.
Then this event is for you. Interested in how vinyl is pressed?

The biggest-selling album in America is Michael Jackson’s Thriller, right? Not anymore.

Not anymore. The biggest-selling album in America is Michael Jackson’s Thriller, right?
(Digital albums are counted when they’re downloaded.)
Before 1991, though, sales numbers were the result of estimates, guesses, lies and various sorts of manipulations. (Fun fact: Hotel California, released in 1977, is at #3 on the list, certified at 26 times platinum.)
Hang on, though. The formula says that 1,500 streams or 10 song downloads are equivalent to the sale of a single physical album. After a new count–the first since 2006–the RIAA says that The Eagles are once again on top with that album now being certified 38 times platinum–38,000,000 copies sold. Still, the Recording Industry Association of America makes an effort. After all, big numbers are powerful marketing tools. For decades, common wisdom was that Thriller, Michael Jackson’s 1984 monster, was sold more copies than any other album released in the US, dethroning the previous champion, The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-75. And when we look at worldwide sales, Thriller is somewhere beyond 100 million, far greater than any other record. Apparently. That makes it difficult to say with any certainty how many copies any album released before 1991 have sold. Since 2013, the RIAA began counting YouTube plays and streams (Spotify, Apple Music, etc) in addition to physical sales. Really? By this measure, The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 is bigger than Thriller. It’s not clear the date of the last accounting of Thriller‘s sales numbers. Thriller is sitting at 33 times platinum. Now, though, there’s been a change at the top. Since 1991, all physical album sales have been tallied by the SoundScan system where a record isn’t counted as sold until its barcode is passed over a scanner at checkout. What about that spike in sales that came after Michael Jackson’s death in 2009? (Via The Guardian)
  There’s a certain amount of voodoo that goes into determining the biggest-selling album of all time. That greatest hits record has been SoundScanned enough times to boost it past MJ? I have a feeling that when the RIAA gets around to that, MJ will be #1 again.

And now, two monks from an ancient Serbian monastery cover Iron Maiden

And now, two monks from an ancient Serbian monastery cover Iron Maiden
The Tuman Monastery in eastern Serbia has been around in some form since the 14th century and has an ancient reputation as a pretty pious place. Jeromonah Patar and Monah Teofil got together to run through Maiden’s ballad, “Wasting Love” because…well, why not? (Via Tom) It’s not where you’d expect to find two resident monks covering Iron Maiden. Beats those long medieval chants, I guess.

Pearl Jam raised more than $11 million from Home Shows

Pearl Jam raised more than $11 million from Home Shows
Please take shelter in a calm and orderly fashion and we will get you back to your seats once the coast is clear. More than 160 businesses across Seattle, from mom-and-pop coffee shops to behemoths like Starbucks (which originated in Seattle), joined with the band in their efforts. — Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 21, 2018

Next up are two shows in Boston, at Fenway Park on Sept. You have more influence than you think — and now is the time to use it.”
They’re encouraging letter writing campaigns, calls to elected officials and simple statements of support and action: “Ask your employers what they’re doing on this issue. #LetsPlayTwo started 2 years ago today at Wrigley Field. pic.twitter.com/i2QprC63F0
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 20, 2018

Due to impending inclement weather, we are forced to clear the field and lower bowl seating area for tonight’s show. From all accounts, the two sold-out Home Shows Pearl Jam performed in Seattle were singular moments in time. Support businesses committed to ending homelessness. Then, keep learning, donating, volunteering, paying attention and believing. 2 and 4. Will that come out again in Boston? “We got together and started having conversations and elevating the discussion. Thank you. Your safety is our utmost concern. Go out of your way to say ‘hello’ and ‘how can I help you?’ when you see a neighbor experiencing homelessness. It all went off without a hitch. Pearl Jam is calling on fans to keep the momentum going. Right now, both shows are sold out, but the band almost always seems to release an extra batch of tickets a day or two before a concert, especially in bigger venues. The more than 12,000 people living on the streets of our city need us to.”

Following the Home Shows and a stop in Missoula, Montana, for the band’s third concert in support of Sen. A night to remember. Who's back for Night 2 of #TheAwayShows tonight? And this is just the beginning. “Tens of thousands of you have taken action by signing up for the Home Shows mailing list, watching stories of our neighbors with lived experience with homelessness, volunteering, getting registered to vote — and voting. In a message to fans, Eddie, Mike, Matt, Stone, Jeff and Boom expressed their deeply heartfelt appreciation, saying this was just the beginning. They’ve twice now played “Missing,” a Chris Cornell/Soundgarden track from the Poncier EP. In a sense, history repeated itself: The band’s second show, on Monday night, had to take a long pause in the middle due to bad weather, the same thing that happened two years ago on the same date. Empathy became action, and in a very short amount of time, we were able to raise $11 million — as a starting point — to eradicate what is a complex issue,” they said. A flawless and emotion first of two nights at Wrigley Field in Chicago had the band back at the site of their “Let’s Play Two” shows from 2016. Fans lined up for hours before the opener to buy gear, to sort through some of Danny Clinch’s photos, vinyl crate-digging style, and the guys themselves had been working toward the shows for nearly a year. Jon Tester (Missoula is native Montana Jeff Ament’s adopted home town; Tester is a childhood friend), they switched focus to the second half of their Home and Away series.

Did anyone watch the MTV Music Video Awards last night? I’m guessing not.

Now, though, it’s greeted with a big yawn.   Am I the only one? UPDATE: Here’s a report on the ratings for last night’s broadcast. Anyone care? I saw some post-broadcast shots that seemed to show a lot of empty seats. I forgot about the MTV Music Video Awards. What does that say about MTV’s influence these days? Here’s the full winner’s list. It was kind of embarrassing, really. Part of the problem is a lack of star power. Big stars, unscripted moments, bad language, weird behaviour: it had a reputation as being one of the most unhinged events on TV. Yeah, I saw some pre-show hype, but when it came time to actually watch, my mind was elsewhere. And how many Gen Z kids–the demographic target of the MMVAs–are even watching TV these days? Take a look at this recap. The MMVAs used to be must-see TV. Producers would have killed to have Drake there last night, given the insanity of the Kiki Challenge, but he was back home in Toronto busy canceling a show at the Scotiabank Centre. They couldn’t even fill all the seats at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Pop stars seem more disposable than ever before. With the exception of a few of last night’s performers (Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna’s somewhat self-centered tribute to Aretha Franklin), the big stars were nowhere to be seen.
I’m guessing not. Did anyone watch the MTV Music Video Awards last night?

This video of Drake visiting a young heart transplant patient will make your Tuesday

This video of Drake visiting a young heart transplant patient will make your Tuesday
Watch her reaction. Sofia had a wish for her birthday, too.   The Kiki Challenge thing, a dance based on Drake’s “In My Feelings,” just won’t go away. He decided to pay Sofia a visit. Others have been…different in a good way. Take the case of 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez who is stuck in a Chicago hospital awaiting a heart transplant. Here’s here Kiki Challenge. Most of the fan videos have been dumb, dangerous, and even criminal. The video somehow wound its way to Drake.

Weekly survey: What’s your worst neighbour-from-hell experience when it comes to music?

Weekly survey: What’s your worst neighbour-from-hell experience when it comes to music?
Placido Domingo on a loop for sixteen hours a day. I’d be lying if I didn’t say my thoughts turned to violence. But this was nothing compared to Eva N, a Slovakian woman who blared the same four-minute aria from “La Traviata” from her balcony from 6 am to 10 pm every day for sixteen years. It wasn’t until cops moved in–and after the case wound its way to the Slovakian Supreme Court–that she was arrested and charged with harassment and malicious prosecution. He set up a CD boombox that blared “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe on repeat as he practiced his skateboard moves right in front of our townhouse. (Read the full story here. Nothing but “Poison” and the clack of skateboard wheels for hours and hours and hours. Eva N could face up to three years in prison. Reasoning with her didn’t help. The kid would come around like clockwork every Sunday at 2 pm during prime nap time. Even taking her to court didn’t deter her. Neither did calling the cops. No variation. It’s…incredible.)
This leads into this week’s survey question: What’s your neighbour-from-hell story when it comes to music?

Random music news for Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What do you do about a music-leaking site that only accepts cryptocurrency? A plane carrying Post Malone had to make a scary emergency landing. Spotify now has a branded podcast of its own. That points to some kind of event/announcement on September 11 or 12. I’d forgotten about this game. Companies are losing millions this way. Amazon Music has launched a big advertising blitz. A new survey says that 35% of millennials share their passwords for video services. As for music news on August 22, 2018…

Paul McCartney says that Paul McCartney is not dead. August 30 will be the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” There will be plenty more stories like this. Is Dennis Rodman working on music with Kanye West? The GOP has based singer-songwriters Ben Folds and Jason Isbell as being “unhinged.”
The first (modern) artist to play Stonehenge has been confirmed. Eleven years ago today, the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 30-0 in the worst route in MLB history. Rumour: Pre-orders for the new iPhones will start September 14. Well, this is a twist to the case of John Lennon assassin Mark David Chapman. This is the dark horse in the streaming race. This is a fascinating story. Have Elon Musk and Grimes broken up? Maybe. It will be…
Let’s talk about how Aretha Franklin’s album sales are doing. Janet Jackson takes the subway?
Random music news for Wednesday, August 22, 2018

More Music From The Inbox Refentse Morake, Bakers In Space, boxchild and More!

 This is no exception. Artist: Refentse Morake, “Melans Mnel”  
Album: N/A

I love this Vereeniging, South African artist singing in Afrikaans
Sounds like:  the universal language

Artist: Bakers In Space, “Autumn”
Album: Implosions

Something different out of Singapore
Sounds like:  an alt-heart beating

Artist: boxchild, “World Divided”
Album: N/A

Another Singapore band with some serious talent
Sounds like:  awesome heavy alternative

Artist: sub:shaman, “Quiver”
Album: Apnea

Tons of interesting stuff going on in Singapore. Sounds like:  experimental mind meld

Artist: Vera Sola, “Small Minds”  
Album: Shades

A unique voice out of NYC with a Canadian connection
Sounds like:  a different shade of Florence Welch

Artist: Blue October, “How To Dance In Time”
Album: I Hope You’re Happy

Golden moments out of Austin, Texas
Sounds like:  a bit of alt-pop magic
More Music From The Inbox Refentse Morake, Bakers In Space, boxchild and More!

Here’s an interesting use for cassettes

However, I don’t have an issue with using cassettes for other artistic purposes. My hatred for cassettes as a music storage technology is well known. Brenda forwarded this quick documentary about a certain artist’s cassette-based work.
Here’s an interesting use for cassettes