Random music news for Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Happy Mondays cheated on a game show? Dickie Betts of the Allaman Brothers is scheduled for brain surgery after an accident. The Stones never miss a trick, do they? Meanwhile, Drake lost nearly $200K gambling in Atlantic City. Sony will have a retro PlayStation Classic on sale this Christmas. People keep dying from drug overdoses at music festivals. At lastly, after nearly 40 years in the business, I finally got mentioned in Rolling Stone. Space Jam: The Sequel? Christian rock: it just keeps going and going and going…
If you’re a DJ or musician, you might be interested in this new mobile gear. Bono’s parenting skills were put to the test at a special gig at a Paris restaurant. Another poisoning in Britain by Russia? Spotify has been sued over its sales teams heading to strip clubs…
….while The Weeknd and Daft Punk are being sued over “Starboy.”
And Drake has sued a woman over some false rape allegations. What could possibly go wrong at an outdoor music festival in downtown Las Vegas? What are these new “interactive albums?” Oh. Is this what Google has planned for its next smart speaker? Bono has talked to the pope (naturally) and says that Francis is “aghast” at the church sex abuse. Meanwhile, here’s music news for September 20, 2018. Off to Vegas for the Life is Beautiful music festival. Plus: Players gonna play and players gonna sue Taylor Swift. (And with LeBron James, too!)
Holland America has a new Rolling Stones-themed club aboard one of their cruise ships. Finally! If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you might be excited about these new retro-style JBL speakers. It’ll come with 20 games. The latest casualties are in the US and Vietnam.
Random music news for Thursday, September 20, 2018

New Music From The Inbox: Maribou State, The Pack AD, Party Nails, and more!

Watch/Listen:

 

Artist: The Pack AD
Song: Woke Up Weird
Album: Dollhouse
This gritty and strange rock song is about “numbness one can start to feel from the daily barrage of very obvious indicators that we are seriously harming this planet and feeling helpless that immediate economic gain trumps the longevity of human existence.”
Listen:

Artist: Party Nails
Song: I Go To You
This intimate acoustic guitar track is super sweet! Watch/Listen:  Artist: Maribou State
Song: Nervous Tics
Album: Kingdown In Colour
This is a colourful, dynamic song that is both laid back and makes you want to dance. Groovy! Listen:

Artist: Winnetka Bowling League
Song: Feeling California
Catchy and conversational with a playful pop vibe. Listen: 

Artist: Young & Sick
Song: Sleepyhead
This version of Sleepyhead takes the manic energy out of the original Passion Pit version and replaces it with sparkling chimes and strings and an infectious bass line.
New Music From The Inbox: Maribou State, The Pack AD, Party Nails, and more!

Rock My World Canada, Chapter 5: Sum 41

The band released their debut album, All Killer, No Filler in 2001. The band achieved mainstream success with their first single from the album, “Fat Lip”, which reached number-one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and remains the band’s most successful single to date. This is the latest excerpt from his book. Follow on Facebook and Twitter, too. Find out more about Gandharvas and hundreds of other Canadian artists in the softcover edition of Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide. In April 2013, former drummer Steve Jocz announced his departure from the band. It’s an incredible discography of hundreds of bands. The band was formed in 1996 and as of 2014 consists of members Deryck Whibley (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Tom Thacker (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Jason McCaslin (bass guitar, backing vocals). All Killer No Filler was certified platinum in the United States, Canada and in the United Kingdom. – AC]
Sum 41 is a rock band from Ajax, Ontario. [Mike Carr has put together a massive volume on Canadian music history entitled Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide. Get your copy here.
Rock My World Canada, Chapter 5: Sum 41

Hut, Hut! Maroon 5 to Tackle Super Bowl

Pepsi are allowed to have whoever they want act as b(r)and ambassadors, even though there is another group who will be celebrating 50 years together, have an illustrated book coming out, and are also rumoured to be launching their own concert streaming service. It’s not like I intent to put up a stink over America’s #1 spectator sport being tarnished by vanilla-flavoured pop rock and burn a pair of Nikes while they’re still on my feet or something similar along racistly stupid lines such as those. I’ll even take another wannabe Prince hologram! No, not residency casinoers Aerosmith, although they would assuredly put on a better show too. (My birthday!)
Do I have to start calling it the generic “Big Game” already? I love writing for Alan Cross and his Journal of Musical Things, but there are times when he expects me to report on news impartially and unbiasedly, even when it pertains to artists I am not particularly fond of. It is my duty to tell you then that Maroon 5 have all been confirmed as the Super Bowl LIII halftime performers, to be decided at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on February 3rd, 2019. I’m already out of my football survivor pool, so my only rooting interest is to see rock return to the Super Bowl. Anyway, no matter how catchy “Moves Like Jagger” still may be, I’m not a big fan of Adam Levine even if he really isn’t a douche.
Maroon 5 to Tackle Super Bowl Hut, Hut!

Smart speakers are hot and getting hotter. Here are the latest figures.

Smart speakers are hot and getting hotter. Here are the latest figures.
The demand for smart speakers is growing weekly. Just 6%, which works out to about 700,000 units. Then again, each HomePod is pretty pricey. This is going to be an interesting Christmas shopping season. It’s estimated that 48% of American households will one by the end of the year. Apple’s HomePod? Next up was the Amazon’s Echo Dot (18%) and then the full-sized Echo (12%). However, if you look at overall revenues, the HomePod accounted for 16% of sales. With the Mini and the Dot controller 38% of the market not, Google and Amazon probably aren’t too worried about Apple it the closed system of the HomePod. The latest sales data has the Google Home Mini as the best-selling smart speaker of Q2 in 2018, accounting for 20% of the 11.7 million units of all smart speakers were shipped.

Random music news for Friday, September 21, 2018

(Via Tom again)
Hang on: Is Led Zeppelin going to launch a streaming music service? Beyonce’s ex-drummer is suing her alleging “extreme witchcraft.” This should be a fun case. Would you like to watch video recorded on vinyl? Only in Russia, I guess. It’s possible. Smells like Dio. This sounds like an interesting nightclub. Out in the Nevada desert for the weekend at the Life is Beautiful festival. This could be big. So I’m going to tour Canada again after 15 years.” (Via Fouad)
Scientists gave E to a bunch of octopuses and stood back to see what happened. You read that right. More stats and facts about headphone/earbud use here. Coverage of the coziness between Ticketmaster and ticket brokers/scalpers just keeps on expanding. That is, they would have celebrated were any of them alive. You can. Interesting fact: 77% of adults (i.e. Spotify will now let artists upload their material to the service directly. Quick: name the first female member of Guns N’ Roses. Finally, will the US midterm elections have an effect on music? Let’s see how this goes. The entertainment industry is going to get hurt by the US-China trade battles. If you’re into ska, you need to read this story of its great migration. Meanwhile, here’s music news for Friday, September 21, 2018. Is Coldplay on the verge of splitting up? The Ramones celebrated another 40th anniversary this week. And we should pay attention to how AI is helping to write hits. Are you a songwriter who believes one of your songs has been plagiarized? (Via Tom)
Morrissey to Canadian baby seals: “I tried. A good podcast on how streaming is changing the very nature of music. Try to imagine how many people under 18 are into headphones/earbuds. Follow these three steps to be sure. The hints are there. people over 18) own earbuds or headphones. It didn’t work. You probably shouldn’t, but you can.
Random music news for Friday, September 21, 2018

Here’s your first taste of William Shatner’s Christmas album.

Here’s your first taste of William Shatner’s Christmas album.
(Via CoS)

BONUS: Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and Peter Buck of REM have cut a Christmas album with The Monkees. To get you in the mood for the Christmas season, here’s “Jingle Bells” from The Shat and Hank. The whole thing hits stores and streaming services October 26. William Shatner’s latest music project is a Christmas album. That is not a joke. The album, Shatner Claus, features guest appearance from Iggy Pop, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd and his longtime friend, Henry Rollins. Yes, he’s Jewish, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get into the spirit of the season.

Wolf Alice wins the 2018 Mercury Prize

The Mercury Prize is the UK and Ireland’s version of Canada’s Polaris Prize: an award voted on by music wonks throughout the kingdom and Ireland that goes to the best album of the last twelve months regardless of genre or commercial success. The grand jury, however, disagreed and gave it to Wolf Alice and their 2017 record, Vision of a Life. Here’s a sample from that album. They took home the top prize of £25,000. More at The Guardian. The bookies had picked Nadine Shah to win with her third album, Holiday Destination.
Wolf Alice wins the 2018 Mercury Prize

Kiss Them Goodbye

Just kidding, I mean that it will almost assuredly stretch out over more than one year and circle back multiple times to big markets such as our fair city, meaning next week probably won’t be your final final opportunity to hear “Your Song” live in Toronto. When you’re a band that’s been rocking and rolling all night for the past 45 years (to say nothing of partying every day), there eventually does come a time to put away the platform boots and pyrotechnics for good. In case any of you didn’t know, he has a new career to fall back on as Chief Evangelical Officer for Canadian medical marijuana company Invictus MD. Don’t worry about Ol’ Gene starving for money once it is all over. Exact details are still to come, but I can see this being along the lines of Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road excursion, only with more blood spewing. Sorry for the spoiler, but magician Shin Lim won America’s Got Talent; I can only assume that as part of his prize he’ll be the opener for this “One Last Kiss” hullaballoo whenever the initial dates are revealed on KISS Online. And according to marketing maven Gene Simmons of KISS, there’s no better vehicle to announce a last-ever tour than America’s Got Talent. At least that’s what The Demon, Starchild, Catman and Space Ace must have convinced themselves as they appeared on the lucky 13th season finale of AGT to perform “Detroit Rock City” and tell their aging army troops they really, really mean it this time, that it is indeed the End of the Road.
Kiss Them Goodbye

Let’s analyze lyrics for mentions of cars. Who do you think comes on top? No, you’re wrong.

Who do you think comes on top? Let’s analyze lyrics for mentions of cars. No, you’re wrong.
Please include attribution to Goldeagle.com with this graphic. This infographic breaks everything down. The results may surprise you. Within that number, they found 13,000 artists who had some kind of vehicular bent to their lyrics. A company called Digital Third Coast took the time to go through 72,000 songs for mentions of cars.

Here’s what Ticketmaster had to say about the big scalper expose

Here’s what Ticketmaster had to say about the big scalper expose
A recent CBC story found that an employee of Ticketmaster’s resale division acknowledged being aware of some resellers having as many as 200 TradeDesk accounts for this purpose (TradeDesk is Ticketmaster’s professional reseller product that allows resellers to validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces). They had to say something, right? We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service. Moving forward we will be putting additional measures in place to proactively monitor for this type of inappropriate activity. Ticketmaster’s Seller Code of Conduct specifically prohibits resellers from purchasing tickets that exceed the posted ticket limit for an event. (You can read my entire report on that here.)
This, of course, is a total PR nightmare for the company. Earlier this week, the Toronto Star and the CBC broke a big story about how Ticketmaster is involved in helping certain clients buy mass amounts of tickets and then automatically post them for resale on secondary sites. This statement came out through Variety. I’ll have more on the subject Sunday with my weekly column at GlobalNews.ca
  In addition, our policy also prohibits the creation of fictitious user accounts for the purpose of circumventing ticket limit detection in order to amass tickets intended for resale. The company had already begun an internal review of our professional reseller accounts and employee practices to ensure that our policies are being upheld by all stakeholders. It’s gonna take a while to clean up this one. It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.

CD sales continue their death spiral in 2018. It’s not looking good and getting worse.

Predictions are that this might be the last year to buy a turntable. Rewind to 1999. No one ever expected vinyl to make any kind of comeback. The Recording Industry Association of America points to a dramatic drop in the sales of compact discs so far this year. Now back to reality. That means even though Spotify and almost all the other streaming services are still losing money, they are now too important to fail. Another fact: streaming is responsible for 75% of the American music industry’s revenue. In H1 2018, CD album unit sales in the United States were pretty much slashed in half – down from 35m to 18.6m. From Music Business Worldwide:
In H1 2017, the US recorded music business saw $420m-worth of retail CD sales. Vinyl is all but dead. It would eventually die out, slipping into extinction once the old collectors too faded away. A new report on US music consumption in the first half of 2018 shows that CD sales are dropping at a rate three times faster than the growth of vinyl. The CD had triumphed. Ouch. Actually, the bottom has fallen out of the market. Lovers of the compact disc, cover thine eyes. Here’s why that’s particularly galling for those whose businesses rely on physical music: according to the RIAA’s 2016 and 2017 figures (which have since been slightly adjusted), revenues taken by CDs at retail fell by just 2.9%. Read more here. The next year: a 42% fall in CD revenues. As for unit sales? Graphic from Music Business Worldwide

  In H1 2018, this number slid to just $246m – down by a whopping 41.5%, or $174m. One year: a 2.9% fall in CD revenues.
CD sales continue their death spiral in 2018. It’s not looking good and getting worse.