New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (Aug 14, 2018): Jack Drag, Phantastic Ferniture, Sonny Falls, and more!

Watch/Listen:  Why does 8 bit work so well in it? Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Clairo and SG Lewis
Song: “Better”
Album/EP: Single

Modern synth-funk full of wubbly effects and accompanied by smokey-yet-saccharine vocals, Clairo and SG Lewis’ collaboration scratches an 80s retro-futurism vibe with “Better”. Blame the synths and your brains, but keep dancing! Artist: Jack Drag
Song: “Hope Revisited”
Album/EP: 2018

Dynamic and building folk with a heavy and appreciated futuristic synth sci-fi twist, “Hope Revisited” cleverly spins what could’ve easily been a gimmicky tune into an effective opus. Why is this unapologetic late-electronic-production tune so catchy? Not quite a three-act story but still somewhat epic in its own right, this single does a fantastic job of building interest in what hopefully will be a great album. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Phantastic Ferniture
Song: “Dark Corner Dance Floor”
Album/EP: Phantastic Ferniture

Smouldering alt pop with a wicked edge and presented with a sly grin, “Dark Corner Dance Floor” manages to maintain an ominous sinful vibe yet still feel welcoming and alluring. Is this what bedroom pop would’ve sounded like back in the day of neon and vogue? It does in my head) and a confounding hook that is simultaneously grating and infectious, “Paradox” lives up to its own name. Why isn’t this annoying? The approach of cold deserves a grandiose yet bittersweet farewell, and the Some Kind of Spectre single nails it. Exotic vocals, trance-like guitars, and a heavy does of reverb help flesh out this siren’s song. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Sonny Falls
Song: “Flies”
Album/EP: Some Kind of Spectre

Tinny and trebly alt rock with a melancholic streak and finely accented by the odd brass or string instrument, “Flies” is the kind of reflective tune late-summer soundtracks relish. Watch/Listen: 

Artist: Sextile
Song: “Paradox”
Album/EP: 3

Industrial post-disco with a pre-post-punk tinge (does that make sense?
New Music From The Inbox – Tuesday Edition! (Aug 14, 2018): Jack Drag, Phantastic Ferniture, Sonny Falls, and more!

Not everyone in the world streams from Spotify or Apple. Check out these emerging market companies

Check out these emerging market companies Not everyone in the world streams from Spotify or Apple.
Like who? Read more here. MIDiA Research has this graphic featuring streaming companies of which you’ve probably never heard. Streaming continues to find adopters all over the world, but not all of them are hooked on Spotify, YouTube Music, or Apple Music. Baidu Music, Gaana, Hungama, iRoking, Jio Music, Kugou, Kuwo, Mdundo, Mkito, MTN, MTN Music+, Mzliki, Netease Cloud Music, QQ Music, Quan Min K G, Saavn, Simfy Africa, Vkontakte, Vkontakte Music, Vuga, Wynk Music, Yandex, Yandex Music, Zvook.

What Makes The Ultimate Driving Music?

What Makes The Ultimate Driving Music?
Part of this is attributed to the nature of the lyrics. Because pop and rock tend to address various topics and address the listener directly less often, it interferes with active attention less. Their use of beats and rhythm make harmonic surprise easier, which can improve mood and cause a subconscious sense of fulfillment. But studies found that metal and other intense genres have a much more complicated relationship with driving. [A post by Jess Walter on how to make the best of your next road trip. Summing it Up
What makes the ultimate driving music? This is why studies have focused on the role of harmonic surprise in driving music. This creates a sense of joy similar to completing a difficult task. And being relaxed can improve driver reaction speeds. One study showed that songs that have intense rhythms and provocative lyrics increased the chance drivers would change lanes and drive aggressively.  
  The Popular Genres Might Be On To Something
If we’re talking genres, studies say that as of 2017, pop music was still the king of car radios. These genres also address common topics that pertain to more people, which can create a sense of community that causes drivers to relax. Shifts In Tone And Satisfying Cords Can Make Drivers More Attentive
So, enjoyment often makes drivers of larger vehicles more clear-minded, and safety focused, while distress or aggravation can cause risky behavior. Popular, non-challenging genres like pop are still the most listened to on the other hand. – AC]
The best music to listen to while driving is very much a personal preference, but a lot of work has gone in to studying what gives some songs an edge over others. Songs that pull this tension off well can be excellent driving music. Songs with intense rhythms that challenged or threatened the driver, for example, actually caused safer driving as it made drivers more mindful. The best genre may come down to the listener, but popular genres such as pop and rock have the edge. And songs with harmonic surprise can improve mood and, indirectly, driving. But songs that dare the user to act recklessly can increase the chance of wrecks. It was songs that dared users to take risks and be aggressive that caused more reckless driving. Harmonic surprise focuses on pauses or bouts of erratic music, which are paid off by strong or smooth cords afterward. What They’re Saying Matters
The first thing you may think when we mention violent music and driving is that it makes for poor driving music. Music that employs threatening or intense beats can cause a driver to focus on their own safety.

Billy Corgan, cat lover

Billy Corgan, cat lover
Read more about William’s new album and tour and Chloe’s faux fur business that supports homeless animals. Everyone’s on vacation, so you take whatever music news is out there, you know? A post shared by PAWS Chicago (@pawschicago) on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:24pm PDT

(Via Exclaim!) Pick up a copy of the new magazine at the Smashing Pumpkins concert in Chicago this Monday and Tuesday. Link in bio! Shiny + Oh So Bright – the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of the PAWS Chicago magazine featuring @SmashingPumpkins @WilliampCorgan and @ChloeMendel is here! Copies of the newest edition of the magazine will be available in honor boxes in the coming weeks! For the second time in the last few years, Billy Corgan is on the cover of Chicago-s pre-eminent cat lover’s magazine. Hey, it’s mid-August.

Need a new music play and you have too much money? One of these might do.

One of these might do. Need a new music play and you have too much money?
A little more than an old-school Walkman. What have we got here? You’ll take two, right? How much?   At the Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show last week, Sony showed off this audio player from its Signature Series. Gold-plated. Just $7,882 USD. Internal storage clocks in at 256 GB with expansion available through two microSD slots available. Well, the DMP-Z1is a digital music player that supports all formats (including High-Res Audio, of course) and something called a “vinyl processor” that’s supposed to add analogue warmth to a digital signal. The headphone amp is rated as “audiophile grade” and the battery lasts up to 10 hours. Hardcore audiophiles will often stop at nothing when it comes to acquiring esoteric stereo gear. Oh, and that knob on the front?

Cool infographic: Audio recording through the decades

Cool infographic: Audio recording through the decades
Click on the image to see the whole thing. It’s worth it. This graphic from Audioburst shows how much this tech has changed and evolved over the decades. I’ve always been fascinated at the evolution of sound recording technology.

Got a stressed out dog? Try this music written especially for canines

Try this music written especially for canines Got a stressed out dog?
Okay, so there’s a chance that I might be reading too much into what I think I see. Note the use of the human heartbeat. Or maybe not. The music works on pets, too. Here’s the music at work in a shelter. Her little stepsister, Squirt, seems to prefer Adele ballads. Our first, Willy Bumpers, became hypnotized by both the theme from the TV show Dallas and Rough Trade’s “High School Confidential.” Sponge seemed to prefer classical music as long as there weren’t too many high strings (“Rhapsody in Blue” was a favourite). Music for Airports will bring her right into the room whereupon she will curl up and fall asleep. Schmooze, the elder of the two BTs currently resident in the house loves any of Brian Eno’s ambient works. And if you have a dog that’s terrified by thunderstorms, watch this. His current gig is “Canine Lullabies,” a playlist designed to de-stress dogs, especially those caught in shelters. He says the music can “console whimpering puppies, minimize separation anxiety, minimize fear of thunderstorms and comfort a sick or hurt pet.”
Here’s an example. As the servant for a line of English bull terriers, I’ve noticed their distinct interests in music. His music has been heard by dogs from Britain to Australia and has been proven to calm dogs, reduce barking and bring down stress levels in kennels. If you want to learn more, there’s a story at the Washington Post. Or you can skip right to Terry’s website here. Terry Woodford is a songwriter, producer and engineer who has worked with the Commodores, the Supremes and the Temptations.

Random music news for Saturday, August 11, 2018

Random music news for Saturday, August 11, 2018
Alexa in your car? Well, this music festival porta-potty led to something unexpected. A blockchain toilet? These dance crazes are changing the world. A record shop in Kingston, Ontario, could be done for following a water main break. Instead “I shit you not” comment here. Chris Martin of Coldplay will appear on a posthumous Avicii track. Yep. This just emphasizes that how music can live even in war zones. Queens of the Stone Age is another band that’s aligned themselves with a Canadian cannabis company. I’m sure the place is a breeding ground for hantavirus. Handy tips: How to start recording your own demos. This guy has been waiting a long, long time to have a hit song. This is a good read: What, exactly, is “social music” in the age of streaming? I’ll let you know. I finally cleaned out the shed as part of my staycation duties. This is disturbing: 47% of Canadians won’t pay for news. The singing black hole. This defunct streaming company has been found guilty of scamming an Alzheimer’s patient out of $6.6 million. More handy tips: How to write a great song lyric. Facebook) for “news.” Uh-oh. This could mean drifting to non-official news sources (i.e. A much-regarded musician was one of the victims in the Fredericton shooting that left four dead. Cool! Leave it to Pussy Riot to constantly defy the Russian government. Meanwhile, here’s some music news for August 11, 2018. Eleven women have accused the former manager of The Lumineers of sexual assault and misconduct. Music festivals in Lebanon? Forget the algorithm. Good on them. Here’s his story. Here’s a look at Alexa Auto. Here’s how six music industry insiders find new music.

Pearl Jam Come Home to Seattle: Watch and Listen

Pearl Jam Come Home to Seattle: Watch and Listen
Among the many highlights was the dusting off Mirror Ball gem “Throw Your Hatred Down” (from their underratedly awesome 1995 collaboration with “Uncle” Neil Young), bringing out folkster Brandi Carlile to punk up her “Again Today”, and Vedder inviting his daughters’ fave teachers onstage to sing a cover of The White Stripes’ forever tender “We’re Going to Be Friends”. At a time when alt-rock contemporaries Foo Fighters and The Smashing Pumpkins are putting on 3-hour, time capsule-filled productions, Pearl Jam might have outdone them all with a 33-song tour de force that both reminded Seattleites just who helped build The City of Goodwill’s grunge reputation, as well as who cares about important issues facing the place where the now world-famous band cut their teeth. #TheHomeShows Night 1 setlist shirt will be available at Noon at the outside merch stand at @SafecoField! It was the band’s first of two “Home Shows” before moving the concert series “away” to Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Montana, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park (Chicago and Boston respectively for any non-baseball fans). Seriously, if anyone out that way wants to pick me up a Double XL I’d be good for it! They cranked out another 30+ songs, with only a handful of repeats. Through the charitable Vitalogy Foundation, more than $11 million was raised to address homelessness in Seattle.
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 9, 2018

Night 2 may have been even more impressive, if that’s somehow possible. Pearl Jam played their first Seattle show in five years on August 8th and by all accounts, it was as awesome as even the most hardcore Ten Club member could ever imagine. Thankfully there’s video. We are Pearl Jam … and we are from Seattle, Washington. The bromance between Pearl Jam and Jack White continues! Pearl Jam-branded wine was sold, local restaurants “band”ed together, even Starbucks got in on the action! PJ definitely came to play ball at Safeco Field, or in Eddie Vedder’s words, “We didn’t come all this way to fuck around too much”. Kim Thayil from Soundgarden was on hand to “Kick Out the Jams” (literally), as well as help out on additional covers “Search and Destroy” by The Stooges and Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer”. The only one that couldn’t be added to the playlist below is “Missing” (ironically), by Chris Cornell from his 1992 Poncier solo EP which his friends in Pearl Jam performed as an emotional tribute to him. And in one of the coolest merchandise things I’ve seen, Pearl Jam are having T-shirts done up with the Night 1 setlist printed on the back.

Get An Earful: Stranded at The Opera House

Little Boxer sounds like my kind of straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll who wouldn’t be afraid to change up genres, not unlike The White Stripes when bluesy punk tracks from the year 2000 breakthrough De Stijl blew Torontonians’ minds. Wait, I must have the ’50s drive-in where Sandy ditched Danny Zuko confused with iconic Toronto concert venue The Opera House, scene for this year’s Stranded Fest on Saturday, August 11th. (Sugar!)
Git yer last-minute tix to Stranded Fest here. Finally, not sure Deadwinter’s guttural, Damian Abraham-meets-George Pettit growling is the best fit in terms of Fall Out Boy’s emotionally charged screams, although they should definitely do “Saturday”, as that’s when this is all goin’ down. Well, how about instead of debating what would be your deserted island discs, a thousand buoys and gulls were landlocked inside a 100+-year-old former vaudeville theatre experiencing once-in-a-lifetime cover sets by amazing local bands? Seaway’s animated brand of pop-punk matches well with Weezer. Darenots mash up hip-hop, reggae, trap and rock, all of which will come in handy if they are to faithfully pay tribute to The Offspring, who graced The Opera House with their rowdy presence in both 1993 and 1994 (promoting Ignition and Smash, respectively). It features “original” songs from the Greater Toronto Area groups that will be performing for listeners to get to know them, as well as one by each of the legendary alternative artists being imitated as a form of flattery. What’s even cooler IMO is how four of the six acts to be covered are Opera House alumni! By the time the latter played the grand old lady on Queen Street East in late 1994, everyone – and I mean everyone – seemed to know all the words to their much-beloved Blue Album. It’s a pretty innovative concept now in its third go-around courtesy of founders Zachary Richman and Martin Perez, as is this Soundsgood playlist. Not sure that’s a prerequisite for getting to tackle Red Hot Chili Peppers; I’d personally love to hear a lesser-known sexy funk jam off of the classic Blood Sugar Sex Magik, wouldn’t you all? That, and you don’t need a Spotify, Apple Music or even YouTube premium account to enjoy these tunes. Sayyy, isn’t that a song from Grease? Satanic Mills take the honour of having the coolest band name on this lineup. Ahoy hoy, what the devil is Stranded Fest, you ask? The Look Back Now had better put their power pop hooks and harmonies into overdrive, as they have the arduous task of replicating The Killers’ whirlwind energy on Hot Fuss when they first blew into town circa 2004.
Get An Earful: Stranded at The Opera House

Back into vinyl but hate the clicks and pops? There’s a gadget for that.

Back into vinyl but hate the clicks and pops? There’s a gadget for that.
These annoyances only increased through the 70s and into the 80s as the quality of the raw polyvinyl chloride got worse. That led to even worse-sounding and easily-damaged vinyl. Dust, static electricity, and damage to the grooves were the culprits. With the price of petroleum byproducts skyrocketing, labels began to rely on recycled vinyl which introduced all sorts of impurities into the process. There were some audiophile solutions to the problem. I remember a device manufactured by a company called dbx that reportedly EQ’d out some of those clicks and pops. I never tried it, but it was an analogue solution (these were, after all, pre-digital days) and didn’t work in certain situations. Now there’s some new technology. If you don’t find those vinyl clicks and pops charmingly retro, you can excise them with a new device called the SugarCube SC-1. Read more here after you watch the video. One of the great selling points of the compact disc was that the technology eliminated the clicks and pops inherent to vinyl.

Check out these photographs from the Black Label Society/Corrosion of Conformity show

Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society played for close to two hours. His most recent assignment was the Black Label Society/Corrosion of Conformity/EYEHATEGOD gig at Rebel in Toronto on August 7. CoC was on second (sorry, not EYEHATEGOD pics), running through hits like “Bottom Feeder,” “Broken Man,” “Paranoid Opioid” and more. The highlight came when Zakk wandered out into the crowd and played surrounded by punters. In an effort to bring more high-quality rock shots to this site, Andrei Chlytchkov is being thrust into various photo bits to capture whatever he can.
Check out these photographs from the Black Label Society/Corrosion of Conformity show

Has It REALLY Been 22 Years Since Oasis Played Knebworth?

Has It REALLY Been 22 Years Since Oasis Played Knebworth?
And sometimes not even in anger! That’s where the doc opens and closes, the southern countryside location where Oasis famously played to 250,000 of their compatriots over two days in August of 1996. The question that begs to be answered therefore is what will it ultimately take to get Liam and Noel Gallagher to put aside their squabbles for a reunion tour or another album together. Makes you wonder how deep the capacity to hold grudges can get…
Blood apparently isn’t thicker than water, and that’s the real shame here. Oh, and here are the songs they played those two memorable nights. All parties involved see eye to eye that no matter what’s happened in the years since, Oasis’ Mach-force trajectory was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon that will arguably never repeat itself. Here’s part of a seven thumbs up review I did upon its release in 2016:

Lifelong sibling rivals Liam and Noel Gallagher went from common-or-garden Manchester City footy fans to bandmates in the world’s most popular group before either of them could say “Knebworth”. Today marks 22 years since night 1 of Oasis' legendary Knebworth gigs. Phil Collins and Sting were disparagingly name-dropped as bigger threats on route to the top of the heath. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the Gallaghers shouldn’t be shocked by this yobbish behaviour. As an admitted enthusiast, I appreciated the well-deserved love Alan McGee and Creation Records got for discovering Oasis and nurturing their talent organically. Well, with the possible exception of the crystal meth everyone in Oasis took before their first US show at the infamous Whisky a Go Go. As if Blur, Pulp, and other bands had nothing to do with helping propagate Oasis’ popularity, especially on their side of the pond. Thank you to whoever runs Oasis’ Twitter for reminding me how old I’m becoming. Liam and Noel have never made any bones regarding the Fab Four’s influence on them, but what legitimately surprised me was how there wasn’t a single utterance of the term “Britpop” over the course of the 2-hour biopic. Through the use of freshly-recorded audio interviews with the battlin’ brothers, their mum Peggy, original members Bonehead, Guigsy, and even punted drummer Tony McCarroll, Oasis: Supersonic looks back at the glorious period between Noel agreeing to join the former Rain as songwriter, set to archival footage right up until the fireworks celebration that sent everyone home happy at Knebwoth’s conclusion. They’ll always have that 5-year run, wonderwallfully summarized in Oasis: Supersonic. If they’re not holding their proverbial cards close to the vest, that’s some mighty strong contemptuousness for one another. Jeebus, just reunite already you blokes! If you are, perhaps you’d be better suited for something more sugar-coated…perhaps The Beatles: Eight Days a Week. It’s on Netflix, so you’re welcome for me making your weekend viewing plans. Mind you, it’s tempered with curse-filled boasts by the lads about how they were destined to become rockstars and started to believe in their own press clippings. More than 4% per cent of the population (c. 2.5M) applied for tickets, with 250K fans watching the band over 2 nights!
— Oasis (@oasis) August 10, 2018

If you haven’t seen Mat Whitecross’ excellent rockumentary Oasis: Supersonic, I suggest you get right on that, mate. Listen, with the number of hits the supposed “potato” has under his belt, I could have made this nothing but nonstop Oasis lyric puns. While it was as iconic a moment anyone could hope to achieve in music, it didn’t come without a good amount of bumps and bruises along the way. Despite the fact Whitecross wasn’t quite able to get the Gallagher boys reminiscing at the same time together in the same place (he’s a filmmaker, not a miracle worker), where his doc triumphs is how they seamlessly agree on the importance of chronicling this era in history, however whirlwind-like and retrospectively fleeting it may have been. The closest rock-based example I can think of is Arctic Monkeys; I won’t go down the road of reality TV creations such as One Direction, who weren’t singled out although the concept of manufacturing success certainly was. A familiar theme in music-related films I’ve seen recently (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Gimme Danger, and so on) is how the high of performing live in front of adoring fans is more intoxicating and addictive than any drug. Literally. Seriously though, no one makes guitar-leaning, test-of-time-standing albums any longer in the manner of Definitely Maybe and (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?.

Attention, math geeks: Here’s a musical representation of the Fibonacci Sequence

Attention, math geeks: Here’s a musical representation of the Fibonacci Sequence
Now check out what Indian percussionist B.C. Not only is nature full of physical manifestations of Fibonacci (branching of trees, the formation of chambers of a nautilus shell, and the family tree of honeybees are just a few), it can also be found in music. It’s a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers:  1 + 1 = 2; 2+1 = 3; 3 + 2 = 5; 5 +3 = 8; 8 + 5 = 13; 13 + 8 = 21, and so on. The semi-magical properties of this sequence have been know as far back as 200 BCE. More background can be found here. Manjunath has done with some percussion. If you’re unclear (or maybe you don’t remember your math), this is what we’re talking about. And who said math wasn’t cool? The Fibonacci sequence is one of the most fascinating stretches of numbers in the universe. For example, the lyrics of Tool’s “Lateralus” follow a Fibonacci pattern.

This Kiki Challenge from India resulted in three arrests

As you watch the video, note the cop who tries to beat a kid who’s dancing in the middle of the road. We love your safety and can’t leave it to be decided by Kiki! The Railway Protection Force, the police force that’s supposed to look after security on the country’s rail network, didn’t find this funny. (Via NPR) #DanceYourWayToSafety #InMySafetyFeelingsChallenge
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) July 26, 2018

So note to those travelling to India: Leave your challenge jones at home. They arrested Sharma and the two Shahs. Maybe. But police across Indian aren’t keen on the whole Kiki Challenge thing. #GetInToTheCar #kikiChallenge #InMySafetyFeelings
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) August 2, 2018

Not just a risk for you but your act can put life of others at risk too. The Kiki Challenge continues unabated around the planet, showing that humanity will always love a good dance craze. See? In today’s episode, we bring you Indian TV actor Shyam Sharma and his two friends Dhruv Shah and Nishant Shah, who run a YouTube channel called  Funcho Entertainment,
The plan was to show the world people from different Indian states doing the challenge, poking fun at stereotypes along the way. Desist from public nuisance or face the music! A Saudi Arabian-style overreaction?
This Kiki Challenge from India resulted in three arrests