James Comey is now a member of Wu-Tang Clan. Well, not quite, but…

Well, not quite, but… James Comey is now a member of Wu-Tang Clan.
Not only is James Comey on a tour to promote his book, A Higher Loyalty, he has also apparently joined Wu-Tang Clan. This won’t sit well with President Cheeto. (Via Tom)

Me and my brother @methodmanofficial Workin on getting that album back from the feds… wu Tang forever @comey
A post shared by Tony Starks – Wu Tang – (@realghostfacekillah) on Apr 17, 2018 at 4:30pm PDT

Hip-hop history: Why was there a guy in a wheelchair sitting next to Michael Jackson at the 1990 American Music Awards?

Hip-hop history: Why was there a guy in a wheelchair sitting next to Michael Jackson at the 1990 American Music Awards?
When the cameras panned over to Michael Jackson during the 1990 American Music Awards, there was a guy in a wheelchair sitting next to him. Shane points us to this clip. And why was he there? Who was he?

Is this is what the new Spotify interface will look like?

Is this is what the new Spotify interface will look like?
Could this be what users will see with the free tier? Or maybe that piece of hardware is one in the same. This is what The Verge is speculating. Of more interest, though is a new interface. Spotify has promised some announcements for us next week, including (allegedly) an in-car music controller and a smart speaker.  
 

How would you like to own a piece of a song’s royalties? With VEZT, now you can.

How would you like to own a piece of a song’s royalties? With VEZT, now you can.
VEZT is rather clever. I am SO in. Marc Geiger, Head of Music, William Morris/Endeavor Agency; Co-Founder, Lollapalooza
Tom DeSavia, Former SVP ASCAP, SONGS Music Publishing
Goodwin Gaw, Chairman of Gaw Capital Partners
Jim Guerinot, Manager, The Offspring; Owner, Rebel Waltz, Inc. Impressive. Polo Molina, Manager, Wil.I.Am, Fergie Of Black Eyed Peas
Steven Nerayoff, Co-Founder Of Ethereum, Lisk, & tZERO
Jon Pleeter, Head Of Music: ICM Partners
Jeff Pulver, Co-Founder of Vonage
Jonathan Teo, Co-founder, Binary Capital
Peter Paterno, Attorney for Dr. In other words, if one of your favourite singers/bands offers up a new track, you can actually purchase a piece of it that comes with any royalties the song may earn. (Listen to our Geeks&Beats interview with Steve here.)
The company just released this new video explaining how it works. Dre, Metallica

VETZ is currently talking to a number of artists, labels, and publishers and expects to make some announcement very soon. You’ll be paid case pro-rated to the percentage of the song you own. VEZT just announced more names to its advisory board.   Co-founded by Steve Stewart, the former manager of Stone Temple Pilots, VEZT is an intellectual property rights marketplace that lets music fans buy rights in their favorite songs. I can’t wait to try this thing. This is why so many people are looking for new ways to monetize music and to create new revenue streams. Making music is expensive, especially in the post-CD era.

Geeks and Beats Podcasts, Episode 179: Cabbage Rolls and Coffee

Forgot. And radio wackjob Art Bell is dead. (Apologies for the late post this week. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | RSS
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The horrors of childhood music lessons (specifically Alan’s accordion hell). The truth is Michael forgot to produce the podcast. How Ian Temple of New York-based SoundFly wants to be the mentor for those who survived them. Huey Lewis hangs up his microphone because of rare hearing disease. Or is he?
Geeks and Beats Podcasts, Episode 179: Cabbage Rolls and Coffee

Random music news for Thursday, April 19, 2018

Random music news for Thursday, April 19, 2018
This appeals to the audio geek in me: Rock tracks that can really test your music system. What did they do wrong? In case you haven’t done the math in a while, the combined age of the members of the Rolling Stones is now 294. Take a look at this issue. That’s faster than Spotify. A Seattle community radio station got a $10 million donation from a single donor. Record Store Day Story #: Toronto’s Discovery Records is going to close after 36 years. Ticket scalping and touting continue to be a big problem in the UK. If you can’t sing, try whistling. Tax evasion. You might find it easier to carry a tune that way. If you’re in Toronto, I’m holding another one of my Music Tech meetups TONIGHT at the Toronto Reference Library. I laughed: According to a UN report published this morning, Syria is now “just weeks away from a Bono charity single”, and opposing sides must “act with immediacy to prevent further unimaginable suffering”. Details here. I need some of these for The Wife. Why didn’t these streaming music services become as big as Spotify? Analysts think that Apple Music will grow at an annual rate of 40%. Prince’s memoir is finally going to be published later this year. Sloan: How they’re still together after 27 years. There’s more drama about what will become of the fortune of George Michael. Drake’s ex-manager is in prison for eight months. And now in music news for April 19, 2018…

Wait: You mean the Facebook data leak is even BIGGER than we’ve been told so far? Remember how Apple bought the magazine subscription service Texture? These earbuds are designed to stop people from snoring. No, that wasn’t a typo. The CBC archives have been mined for a pretty cool collection of blues. (Source)
We’ll find out today (Thursday, April 19) if Minneapolis prosecutors will pursue charges in Prince’s death. Record Store Day Story #1: Canadian musicians talk about their most treasured vinyl. There’s free food and drink, but we need you to RSVP so we know how to cater the thing. It looks like that Apple is planning to launch a subscription news service. Looks like it.

New Music From The Inbox: Middle Kids, Jac, Delgres, and More!

When we stop focus on ‘winning’ and can submit to something bigger, or to each other, we are better people,” and this hope can be felt in the track. Watch/Listen:

Artist: JAC
Song: 3-6-5

This electro pop is has a heartfelt joy that is impossible not to love. Accompanied at first only by acoustic guitar, she effortlessly flits between notes and shows off her soaring range in a delicate, chill inducing chorus, before growing into a towering, cathartic ending. Titled Mr President, it is unsurprising that the song expresses the “exasperation that comes from the refusal of the powers-that-be to listen to its people – a tale of struggle and hope.” Even though the lyrics are in spanish you don’t have to understand them to feel that frustration in the music. Middle Kids say it is “about rejecting the value system of the individual as the prime unit of society. Watch/Listen:

Artist: Hatchie
Song: Sugar & Spice
Album: Sugar & Spice
This indie-pop is magical with shimmering guitars, dreamy vocals, and upbeat drums. Artist: Middle Kids
Song: On My Knees
Album: Lost Friends
This is a vibrant, anthemic indie rock song with a triumphant chorus that just makes you feel good. Listen: It’s catchy and has an element of movement and glitchiness that makes a truly sweet sonic treat that I can’t get enough of. It’s also about how suffering and disappointment can help change our perspective in a healthy way. Listen:

Artist: Delgres
Song: Mr President

This Guadaloupe based trio’s latest track is a dark, blues-y rock song with gritty guitar, striking melodies, and most interestingly, a sousaphone filling the bass lines and giving them its unique brassy touch. Watch/Listen:

Artist: Rachel Caddy
Song: Reach For You

The simplicity of this song truly lets Rachel Caddy’s heavenly voice shine.
New Music From The Inbox: Middle Kids, Jac, Delgres, and More!

Behold the world’s first bionic/cybernetic drummer

Do NOT get into a paradiddle battle with this guy. In fact, it made him faster. Lose. You. Will. (Via Danny) Even though this dude lost his arm in an accident with an electrical transformer, but that didn’t slow down his ambitions as a drummer.
Behold the world’s first bionic/cybernetic drummer

Random Music News for Monday, April 16, 2018

Just $9,000 USD. Look out, Nietzsche: Kanye West is writing a book on philosophy. That is NOT a typo. Interesting premise. This seems to have eluded my attention: Last Wednesday was National 8-Track Day. Ed Sheeran is going to star in a movie set in a world where the Beatles never existed.   She’s 100% correct, too. More nature news: This punk rock turtle is now on the endangered list. Well, this was an awkward moment at the opening night of the Titanic musical. This dude thinks that Beethoven can be improved through speed. (Via Christopher)
The founder of the Hard Rock Cafe just sold an estate in Malibu for $110 million USD. There is going to be an announcement by the Province of Ontario about a new vision for the province’s live music industry tonight at 5pm ET. There is a big war going on over George Michael’s £105 million fortune. Interesting hockey factoid: On this day in 1910, the Boston Arena opened. And yes, they used drones for security at Coachella. It’s the oldest hockey rink still in use. In nature news, male hummingbirds sing with their tail feathers. Had I known, I would have bought a card. No one wanted another Las Vegas-style incident. Beyonce wants media outlets to stick with official pictures from her Coachella performance to avoid another derp incident. Gift idea: one of Justin Bieber’s old combs. Madonna has something to say about ageism. Five people were arrested in Britain for holding an illegal rave in an abandoned Toys R Us. A fire at an LA recording studio claimed two lives. Can it match Anthony Kiedis’ classic, Scar Tissue? Meanwhile, Flea is set to release his memoir. If there are 2.2 billion users, that’s a LOT of accounts. And when it comes to music news on April 16, 2018…

It’s possible that up to 10% of Facebook users have deleted their accounts since the privacy scandal broke.
Random Music News for Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekly survey: If you could go back to see a specific gig from a specific band, what would it be?

Weekly survey: If you could go back to see a specific gig from a specific band, what would it be?
August 4, 1979: Led Zeppelin plays Knebworth, one of their last appearances before John Bonham died. April 16, 1990: Nirvana plays Lee’s Palace with drummer Chad Channing. You can hear the shattering glass at the end of this YouTube clip. At the end of the set, Chad is assaulted by a volley of beer bottles, some of which are thrown at him by Kurt. Late last year I read a fun book called Every Anxious Wave, the story of failed-indie-musician-turned-bar-owner Karl Bender who discovers that he has a portal in his closet that allows people to travel into the past to see any gig by any band at any time. I’ve got a couple. What would be your time travel destination? This is the basis for this week’s survey question. He ends up running a nice secret side business sending music nerds into the past to see shows they missed or ones they need to see again. If you could go back to see one artist perform a specific gig, who, where and when would that be? January 30, 1969: The Beatles play their last-ever gig on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London.

28 years ago today, Nirvana played Lee’s Palace–and it got ugly

28 years ago today, Nirvana played Lee’s Palace–and it got ugly
At the end of the show (check the setlist here), Chad was subjected to a volley of beer bottles that smashed against the wall behind him.   Kurt started it and was joined by the audience. Keeping time that night was the much-abused Chad Channing. On April 16, 1990, Nirvana rolled into Lee’s Palace shortly after laying down some demos in Madison, Wisconsin, with producer Butch Vig. If you skip to the end, you can hear the shattering of glass as poor Chad tried to take shelter. All they knew was Nirvana was this noisy, semi-punky band from someplace in Washington State that recorded for Sub Pop. He wouldn’t join the band for another six months or so. Here’s full audio of that gig. Dave Grohl was still not in the picture. And he endured much abuse that night at Lee’s. Those songs would eventually be re-recorded as Nevermind. Some may even have been aware of the band’s debut album, Bleach. Fans who showed up that Monday night had no idea they were getting a preview of the band that changed the course of rock about 18 months later.

Random music news for Saturday, April 14, 2018

Or else. Rod Stewart paid tribute to the Humboldt Broncos at a show in Calgary this week. Good story: Five musical geniuses who overcame physical disabilities. Your data is being sold, too. Huey Lewis and the News has canceled all 2018 gigs because Huey can’t hear. A Mariah Carey memoir? You know Katy Perry’s plan to purchase that convent? They had 12 employees arrested. That could be weird. This reminds me: It’s time to watch Scarface again. Apple hates leakers. Advertisers are going after podcasts. Maybe Apple’s HomePod speaker isn’t selling so well. The doc-style TV drama, Autopsy: The Last Hours Of… is set to tackle the death of Chris Cornell. Go home, polar vortex. That’s all I’ve got–other than these music news items for April 14, 2018. (Via Tom) Art Bell, the former host of the late-night radio show Coast to Coast, has died at 72. Here’s how the money is being spent. Here are my weekly music picks for Global News. You’re drunk. Nuns are appealing all the way up to the pope to make her stop. He’s a hockey dad, too. An interesting auction: the doors to the rooms used by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Leonard Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel in New York have been sold for big money. If you’re going to go on an international tour, make sure you have all the proper permits. Fruit Punch Music is a streaming music service just for kids. Did you ever have a MySpace account? If you listen to music on SoundCloud, you might like this new mini-player that allows you listen while you browse. This is interesting.
Random music news for Saturday, April 14, 2018

Once again: No, Apple is NOT abandoning iTunes music sales

Once again: No, Apple is NOT abandoning iTunes music sales
Things just took off from there. The story has one main source. “It’s very simple.”
That was enough for stories to appear with headlines like Apple will kill iTunes and stop selling music downloads, boss Jimmy Iovine admits. 2. 1. However, DMN has been rabbiting on about “sources” inside Apple saying that the company had plans to shut down iTunes beginning on March 31, 2019. None of the sources have been named. Nevertheless, people have taken that date as gospel. People then freaked out over a throwaway quote. Apple’s Jimmy Iovine’s quote deep in a BBC article about streaming has been given far too much credence. The main source for the story is Digital Music News, a fine site that I read every day. That’s right, one. I quote:
 
Apple has previously denied rumours it would “phase out” the iTunes download store next year, but Iovine told the BBC such a move was inevitable. How long did Steve Jobs say Apple wasn’t working on a mobile phone or a tablet? Case closed. 3. (Then again, Apple has had a track record of denying things until they actually happen. Apple has now had to calm the waters
British paper The Sun managed to get an Apple spokesman to deny all the we’re-killing-iTunes rumours on the record. Let’s kill off this rumour about Apple killing off iTunes next year once and for all. Hmm….)
  There is no concrete timescale, but he said: “If I’m honest, it’s when people stop buying.

The yodeling boy of Walmart performed at Coachella. The Internet is both confused and bemused.

The Internet is both confused and bemused. The yodeling boy of Walmart performed at Coachella.
😂🤠🤠 pic.twitter.com/BIBqv3UEFo
— paul.psd (@pauldonatelli) April 13, 2018 ur welcome everyone. and it happened. i love u mason and i love the internet pic.twitter.com/VSjLjS9mU4
— eric turtle (@dubstep4dads) April 13, 2018

yo @whethanmusic just brought out the yodel kid at coachella!! after the yodel kid followed me i dmed him to try and get him to come out as whethans guest at coachella. He did. No, seriously. Mason Ramsey, the 11-year-old who has recently come to the Internet’s attention for his insistence on yodeling Hank Williams songs in the aisles of Walmart, has made his Coachella debut.

Coachella and the concept of “booking green bananas”

Organizers made the call that hip-hop and R&B would rule with their audience, so they’ve pivoted away from their traditional rock-based lineup. Saturday

You could make a case that Coachella got Sir Sly cheap. A year ago, no one knew much about her. But what about the second, third and four-tier bands you need to fill out your lineup? That’s a healthy loss of $460,000. On the flip side, is Haim really that much of a draw? Promoters spend a lot of time looking for acts that they hope will blow up (or be close to it) by the time the festival rolls around. Here’s where it helps to be psychic. When she was first approached months ago, her people negotiated a performance fee of $70,000 per weekend for a total of $140,000. You just dangle shipping containers full of money on front of them. Friday

Greta Van Fleet is heading towards something big but at the time they were signed for Coachella 2018, they only qualified to be mentioned in the second-smallest font. And it’s even worse when you consider that there are other costs: musicians, travel, roadies, and other staff. This is where the concept of “booking green bananas” comes in. Because she’s committed to delivering a top-level gig to her fans, she has no choice but to spend $600K on Coachella while only reaping $140,000. Her stage show has expanded with her star status and now tours with a production that costs $300,000 per show. In other words, she’ll be down half a million for the opportunity to play Coachella. That seemed like a lot of money back then, but given her current status, she could have commanded a much higher fee. Because there is so much worldwide competition for acts during the precious summer months, promoters have to read a lot of tea leaves if they’re going to put together an event that will sell tickets. That means nailing down bands months and months in advance. Sunday

Cardi B. They may be obscure today, but in 6-9 months time, the hope that their career trajectory will have made them household names. Booking festivals is a tricky thing, part social science, part data analysis and part voodoo. This brings us to Cardi B. Yes, a promoter will want to secure big-name headliners. Those are easy. Today, though, she’s one of the most-talked-about pop stars on the planet and a highlight of this year’s Coachella. Is it just me or have they failed to live up to the hype?  
 
  Meanwhile, Cardi B finds herself in a quandary. ‘Nuff said. Turns out they were bang on. Let’s talk a look at the 2018 Coachella poster and see if we can’t find any other green bananas. The whole weekend

Compare this year’s Coachella with previous editions. Good call, that. But which acts? Coachella recognized her as a “green banana” and ended up with a superstar act for a pittance.
Coachella and the concept of “booking green bananas”