Random music news for Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Beatles have released a new video. This isn’t ever going to go away, is it? Interesting: Using rap battle etiquette to teach free speech. These Bose wireless earbuds are supposed to help you sleep…
…and these earbuds turn any smartphone into an FM radio…
…while people who have been demanding a smart speaker for the shower has had their prayers answers. And now in music news for November 1, 2018…

Kanye West says he’s quitting politics and that people (like Donald Trump) used him. Toronto could get a brand new planetarium. Yes, that Beatles. Do you buy this excuse for Gilbey Clarke refusing to join the Guns N’ Roses tour? Looking for a new podcast? Brexit could mean big, big problems for the British concert industry. This “introduction to the music industry” course being offered by the BBC looks interesting. The sound you heard at midnight was a bunch of radio stations flipping to an all-Christmas format for the rest of the year. Does this mean the return of laser rock shows? Despite increasing the number of usual character, Twitter messages remain well under the maximum. No, it’s not okay to dress up in blackface to be Beyonce. Panda love songs. Here are some podcast directories. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is urging fans to vote against fear-based extremism. The “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism lawsuit continues. Universal Music is the last bidder for Big Machine, Taylor Swift’s label. Wanna buy Frank Sinatra’s Rolls-Royce? Be prepared to hear “All I Want for Christmas is You” from Mariah Carey. A lot. The rumoured number is $300 million. And while KISS fans want to see Peter Criss on this upcoming so-called farewell tour, he’s apparently just not up to it. That is all.
Random music news for Thursday, November 1, 2018

New Music from the Inbox: Tori y Moi, KIDSØ, BETS, and more!

Watch/listen: 

Artist: KIDSØ
Song: Apart
EP: Apart
This German electro duo have a unique, captivating sound. Simple haunting piano and organic nature samples give this rhythmically interesting electro track enticing colour and make it feel alive in its movement. Listen:

Artist: TGC
Song: Rooms
This shimmering, cinematic dance/synth track is a “ghostly story about searching for someone who may not exist.”
Watch/Listen:

Artist: Bets
Song: Left My City
Album: Future Color
Lush, dreamy indie pop about getting people with bad energy out of your life. Listen:

Artist: Clavvs
Song: Slow Dive
This percussive, laid back alt-pop song examines the moment right before you let someone go. Listen: Catch this and more on his next album Outer Peace, out January 18! Artist: Tori y Moi
Song: Freelance
Album: Outer Peace
Tori y Moi is back with a smooth, minimalist and dance-y synth track.
New Music from the Inbox: Tori y Moi, KIDSØ, BETS, and more!

Beware: There is now a metal version of “Baby Shark”

It’s more of the same but a little less–oh, never mind. If your kid has been driving you crazy with this…

…(and it has been viewed 1,885,000,000 times), you might want to at least try to counteract that insanity-inducing earworm with this metal version.
Beware: There is now a metal version of “Baby Shark”

Guest post: A beginner’s guide to car audio systems

Great speakers are often made of cloth and foam, or with rubber, metal, silk, and other synthetic materials. Fortunately, upgrading your car audio system isn’t that complicated. Some people are still unsatisfied with their car audio system–or at least kind of confused. In fact, with the sound quality their built-in systems produce, you will get the feeling that carmakers are actively neglecting it to force you to do your own upgrades. Mostly. Here are some car audio basics that can help you get that sound quality you’ve always wanted. With an excellent amplifier hooked up to a dedicated subwoofer, you will have a car audio system that is balanced and with low distortion at that. With a subwoofer, you can achieve deep, powerful bass without having to pump up the volume. The first stop after driving the car off the lot was the local car audio store whereupon all the original components (especially the head unit and the speakers) and replaced with proper after-market electronics, better speakers (not to mention additional speakers in the door panels and a subwoofer), and an extra amp or two. Factory systems are now better than ever before. Get a good amplifier
Awesome speakers, however, are good for nothing if your amp isn’t up to par. Once upon a time, the factory audio systems that came with new vehicles were utter rubbish. However, we recommend the latter, since it gives you an opportunity to make sure the quality and outputs of your amplifier match with the quality of your speakers and subwoofer. Output to tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers are crucial to the production of excellent sound, and sophisticated amp can do that and more. You can do it one at a time, or you can do them all at once. Beginner’s Guide To Car Audio Systems
Look at any brand new regular production car being sold today, and it will have onboard computing, safety cameras, and all kinds of hi-tech stuff that seem to justify their prices. Upgrading speakers
You can have the most excellent car audio system and still end up with poor sound quality because your speakers are awful, and probably made with foam and paper. However, when you play some music, you will likely be disappointed because car manufacturers seem to be no longer putting a premium on car audio. Lauren Bricks from Street Fighter Motorsports would like to offer some advice. Subwoofer
Admittedly, car audio systems can do away with subwoofers and still sound good. Doing these upgrades requires some technical knowledge, so if you know enough about assembling an excellent car audio system, then go ahead and do it. Then and only then would you experience proper sound on the road. That’s all changed, of course. Manufacturers realized that they needed to up their game when it came to factory audio, especially after new features–satellite radio, GPS, etc.–became more deeply integrated into the car’s electronic nervous system. While a speaker upgrade will always boost car audio quality, you can’t have the best sound without an equally good amplifier capable of outputting to multiple, distinct speaker channels. If you had to upgrade your speakers, make sure they are constructed better. However, if you want the best possible sound quality from your car audio system, then you have got to install a subwoofer. With excellent construction, your speakers will have robust bass notes, clear sound in high-frequency ranges, and a distinctive lack of distortion.
Guest post: A beginner’s guide to car audio systems

Rock is still king when it comes to the concert industry. Here’s why.

Rock is still king when it comes to the concert industry. Here’s why.
While that may be true when it comes to the charts, rock is far from dead when it comes to the concert circuit, and in fact clobbers most other music genres in terms of ticket sales. these days versus 20% for rock. In fact, the only two R&B/hip hop acts to break the top 25 global touring acts were Bruno Mars and the Weeknd. This is from Hypebot. If you were to believe the music press, the only thing in music that’s hot these days is hip hop. Want a good idea of rock’s health? Hip-hop and R&B is indeed America’s most popular genre and accounts for 38% of on-demand audio streams in the U.S. These death announcements–and there have been many since 1957, the year rock was derided as a passing fade by so many within and without the music industry–continue to be very premature. Look at the state of the concert industry. It’s a different story when it comes to concerts however, as a Billboard ranking found that there were 3 times as many rock as hip hop acts in the top 50 highest paid music acts, and touring accounted for 80% of their total revenue. I had yet another conversation about the myth that rock music is dead. Keep reading. Of the $5 billion in revenue generated from touring last year by the top 100 acts worldwide, rock accounted for 55% compared with just 11% for hip hop and R&B (which are considered the same category, fairly or not), according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from Pollstar. To hear the people in this bubble talk, things are so hopeless that us rock fans might as well roll over and start decomposing for our own good.

Rock My World Canada, Chapter 17: Billy Talent

Rock My World Canada, Chapter 17: Billy Talent
Get your copy here. [Mike Carr has put together a massive volume on Canadian music history entitled Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide. It’s an incredible discography of hundreds of bands. Follow on Facebook and Twitter, too. This is the latest excerpt from his book. Find out more about this artist and hundreds of other Canadian artists in the softcover edition of Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide. – AC]

If you’d like to visit Billy Talent’s official website, go here.

The next time you find someone who needs to be rickrolled, try these

The next time you find someone who needs to be rickrolled, try these
(Via Tom) Should you find someone who needs to be taught a lesson, here are some links to use. Rickrolling, the practice of baiting someone into watching Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” (or some version thereof) through a fake link, remains a popular form of pranking and punishing.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a surprise Halloween gig at a school yesterday

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a surprise Halloween gig at a school yesterday
pic.twitter.com/sziZtCNqUh
— Zach Ragatz (@ZachRagatz) October 31, 2018 (Via Exclaim)

Who rocks out at 9:30am at my kids’ school?….We do! Four dudes in full Halloween costume walked onto a small stage at an LA high school at around 9:30 yesterday morning and ripped into a quick concert for the kids. Drummer Chad Smith has a kid enrolled in the school, so he and the band thought they’d give everyone a Halloween treat. It took about 2.5 seconds for people to realize it was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. ⁦@ZachRagatz⁩ AMIRITE??! pic.twitter.com/pUYcqX773H
— Ashley Edward CHILLer (@ashmasterzero) October 31, 2018

They were all there, I promise! pic.twitter.com/O7Pza6iXnm
— Chad Smith (@RHCPchad) October 31, 2018

TMW when your school Halloween assembly turns into a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

Now that we’re beyond Halloween, we have to talk about Christmas music and the role smart speakers are going to play this year.

And 2018 promises to be different, too, because of the arrival of smart speakers. How many times will you accidentally hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” between now and the end of the year? As of midnight last night, it has been played exactly four times on stations across North America. Now that Halloween is behind us, it all about Christmas. (2) Traditionally, Christmas music is tied to physical sales. It’ll be fun to watch this data roll in. Gotta get everything in stores now so that when the buying binges start, there’s adequate inventory at Walmart. A couple of reasons:
(1) The aforementioned radio station format flips. Give me some Christmas music” and the tunes will be served up. What about streaming? Watch that number rocket upwards in the coming days.)
This is also peak time for the release of new Christmas albums, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Pentatonix and even William Shatner have released new Yule-flavoured albums in the last week with more to come tomorrow. All you have to do is say “Alexa, play Christmas music” or “Hey, Google! People who tack the usage of smart speakers–which are easily the hottest consumer electronics item right now–are very interested to see how much they’ll be used to play Christmas music in November and December. Which will see a decline? It’s a total passive experience where the user depends entirely on the computing power behind the smart speaker. What artists will see a bump? If you’re playing that much Christmas music, you need a constant supply of new material. Think about that for a second. This is the weekend when dozens (hundreds?) of radio stations across North America will flip to all-Christmas all the time for the next two months. (I have access to special software that allows me to track radio airplay. What playlists will benefit? In other words, there’s lots of money to be made in playing Christmas music 24/7 at this time of year. The strategy has been a proven and reliable ratings booster for certain types of stations (AC ones, especially) over the last couple of decades. Streams of Christmas playlists have been on a hockey stick trajectory for the last couple of years. When it comes to this sort of seasonal music, people still tend to buy the CDs or the downloads. Why the deluge now? Glad you asked.
Now that we’re beyond Halloween, we have to talk about Christmas music and the role smart speakers are going to play this year.

Random music news for Friday, November 2, 2018

Ready for Indie Week Canada? Okay, people time to take down the Halloween decorations. A Diddy mansion is on sale. Those skeletons hanging in the tree in the front yard aren’t charming anymore. How’s that for a switcheroo? That’s a big improvement! Only in the US, though. More talk about a “podcast bubble.”
Lost Fresh Prince has returned! Then again, the company lost just $10 million in the last quarter. Here come all the new Christmas albums. What this pianist is doing with blind and sick elephants will bring a tear to your eye. (Via Andrew)
Paul McCartney is looking for a new pied-à-terre in NYC. Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly thinking about buying a piece of iHeartMedia…
…and back at Spotify, they’re looking to invest in Universal Music, the biggest of the major labels. He won’t need a mortgage. Here’s another difficult #MeToo case involving a musician. Some radio guys manage to get themselves into heaps of weird trouble. Spotify says it has 87 million paying subscribers now, although growth has recently slowed. Pity. School recorders are apparently headed for extinction. How do you feel about that? Who is this guy and what is he doing? Here’s music news for November 2, 2018. At a reduced price, too. I wonder what this means: A new study says that classical orchestras are speeding up their performances by as much as 30% these days. To goose subscriber sign-ups, Spotify is giving away free Google Mini smart speakers. The Minnesota Timberwolves have some new Prince-inspired jerseys. Neil Young has definitely married Darryl Hannah. If you’re going to hoax the Internet with something musical, do it big–like this.
Random music news for Friday, November 2, 2018

Time for a new list of the top-earning dead celebrities

Time for a new list of the top-earning dead celebrities
Charles Schulz: $34 million
Charlie Brown continues to be very, very good to him. 8. 7. 4. Arnold Palmer: $35 million
Lots of golf gear, obviously, but there’s also a new line of Arnold Palmer alcoholic beverages. Prince: $13 million
Now that his estate is in control of his music, watch that number climb in 2019. Seuss: $16 million
He sold nearly five million books last year as a dead guy. Hugh Hefner: $15 million
Don’t get excited.   10. And some Lennon reissues, too. Dr. See the rest of the list here. Bob Marley: $23 million
Music, headphones, speakers, ganja gear. 5. Marilyn Monroe: $14 million
The licensing deals just keep coming. Every year around Halloween, someone (usually Forbes) comes up with a list of the highest-earning dead celebrities. 3. John Lennon: $12 million
Because Beatles. 6. A lot of that came from a sale of his estate for $35 million last year. Once again, we can see how good death is for business. Elvis Presley: $40 million
He still sells at least a million albums a year, but most of the cash comes through tourism to Graceland and other Presley attractions in Memphis. Michael Jackson: $400 million
That’s a lot, but consider that $287 million of that came with selling his estate’s piece of EMI Music Publishing to Sony for $287 million
2. Here are the biggest zombie earners for 2018 (all numbers in US dollars)
1. 9.

Hot rumour: Is Spotify looking to invest in Universal Music?

Hot rumour: Is Spotify looking to invest in Universal Music?
To make sure, that Spotify developed in a way that pleased (i.e. True, Steve Jobs brought them kicking and screaming into the digital age when he presented them with the concepts that would become iTunes, but they were over a barrel at the time, their revenues being decimated by online piracy. When Spotify was founded in 2008 and Daniel Ek began looking to negotiate music licenses with the labels, they played hardball. It does, however, have the backing of the stock market and the capital of its investors. Meanwhile, despite its domination of the streaming music space, Spotify continues to haemorrhage money. Real hardball. Quietly, they vowed that would never happen again. After all, record labels’ business model for more than a century had been built on selling people pieces of plastic. Despite having many boots on its neck (and forced into licensing deals that ensured that it would never be profitable), Spotify nevertheless grew into a company valued (at one point) over $30 billion. did not threaten) them, many labels took equity positions in the company. But they bristled at having to give up power to Apple when it came to distribution. When it went public, the labels had a stock market windfall, with some of them selling off their positions and taking big profits. When streaming was first proposed as a music distribution system, the traditional music wasn’t crazy about the idea. No way was a technology company ever going to get the best of them again. According to Hypebot, there’s a rumour that Spotify might be thinking about pulling a big switcheroo. After a while, though, the labels learned to like the idea of selling albums and tracks online. Could they buy a piece of Universal, the biggest of the three major labels?

Chris Cornell’s widow sues his ex-doctor for malpractice and wreckless prescribing of drugs

The last drugs Chris took were “a couple of Ativans,” the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam. She was convinced that there were other factors at work, including the role of prescription drugs. Yesterday (November 1), Vicky filed a malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Any visits, phone calls or office appointments? Dr. Could that have something to do with Chris’ sudden move to kill himself? Koblin’s staff, it’s alleged, allowed his staff–non-doctors–to write Ativan scripts without any medical backup. From the moment her husband took his own life, Vicky Cornell believed was more to the story than Chris suddenly turning suicidal. Read more here. Vicky says there weren’t any. TMZ says the lawsuit points at the fact that Chris was an “addiction-prone individual” but no steps were taken to protect his well-being. Robert Koblin, claiming that he shovelled a lot of drugs Chris’ way (including 940 doses of Ativan and some Oxycodone) through the last 20 months of his life.
Chris Cornell’s widow sues his ex-doctor for malpractice and wreckless prescribing of drugs

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 833: Alternative indigenous

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 833: Alternative indigenous
Others have at least some native blood. However, there are some positives, too. If you ever miss a show, you can always get the podcast edition available through iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your on-demand audio. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do. Over the last decade, there have been some very, very, very long overdue attempts at reconciliation with the First Nations and indigenous people of North America. There’s still a long, long way to go, of course, but at least the process has begun. I think it’s time we go through some of their contributions to our music. 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. 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. 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. Songs on this program:
A Tribe Called Red, Stadium Pow Wow
Link Wray, Rumble
Robbie Robertson, Somewhere Down the Crazy River
Kashtin, Tshinanu
Blackfire, Indian-Alien
Testament, Trail of Tears
Midnight Shine, Here I Am
Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq, You Got to Run
Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Warriors
Eric has this playlist for us. Some are full-fledged First Nations people. A few are well-known while others have been hiding in plain sight.   The treatment of indigenous peoples makes for ugly history. For example, we’ve been learning more about First Nations music and the role people who identify as Native Canadians and Americans have played in the world of rock.

If you’re going to see the Freddie Mercury biopic this weekend, read this first

Bohemian Rhapsody without explicit decadence is like Patton without war scenes, Raging Bull without fight scenes, or Monster without all that serial killing. […]
To be fair, making a movie about Queen would be untenable for anybody. That’s why he was heroic. He was a gay icon who also ruled heavy-metal parking lots. Bohemian Rhapsody, the somewhat sanitized biopic of the life of frontman Freddie Mercury, opens wide today. Mercury did not live a PG-13 kind of life; he abhorred the very idea of a PG-13 kind of life. And he never acted as though any of this was strange or unexpected, which convinced his audience to also erase in their minds the artificial boundaries between genres and people. Distilling Queen down to fit a convenient biopic narrative, any narrative, inevitably leaves a whole lot out. He wrote the creamiest pop anthems and the nerdiest prog-rock tracks. I know this sounds like a diss, but you need to keep reading. This really is excellent for those who aren’t hardcore fans who want to know what to look for. He fought against against. Is there a more contradictory band in rock history? Freddie Mercury didn’t fight against this in order to establish that, the plot of every real-life hero’s story. It really does provide some excellent background information on Freddie and the band that will make the movie more relevant. He wore a unitard on stage and actually appeared dignified. Queen side-stepped every binary — gay and straight, masculine and feminine, good taste and bad taste, art and kitsch, rockist and poptimist, earnest and ironic, pretentious and self-deprecating, silly and profound, clever and stupid, metal and soft rock, funky and [rigid “We Will Rock You” clapping]. He adored Aretha Franklin and Luciano Pavarotti and Electric Ladyland. Engaging in R-rated mayhem (or NC-17, if we’re talking about the afterparty) was the whole point of being Freddie Mercury. How do you make a movie about the lead singer of Queen that’s PG-13? Before you head to the theatre, read this very well-written piece about Freddie and Queen on why they matter and where the movie goes off the reality rails just a tiny bit. He just kind of did … everything. He danced with regal ballets and in shady discos, and head-banged in a sea of mullets.
If you’re going to see the Freddie Mercury biopic this weekend, read this first