Posts Tagged ‘music’

Trivial Posts #25: The Amazing, The Afraid, And The A.I.s

Monday, September 19th, 2016

I thought work was going to be all about the iPhone this week. In terms of popular culture it was, but I picked up success somewhere else. And in the middle of all that, I found some fun things online… these are the Trivial Posts that kept me from falling down an Apple-filled rabbit hole.

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Dah dah dah dumm DUM!!

“Hum the music from Star Wars. Hum the music from James Bond. Hum the music from Harry Potter. Now hum the music from any Marvel film.”

And with that simple question. Tony Zhou nails another ‘Every Frame A Painting’ video on the magic behind the movies.

The Marvel Symphonic Universe (YouTube)

The Great Musical YouTube Debate

Times change, business models are tweaked, and the record industry still wants the same pound of flesh from those who consume it. That’s one angle. The other is that the music industry believes that many companies (primarily Google) is profiting from music without sharing the income fairly. Chris Cook takes time to look at the flashpoint issues for Complete Music Update:

Then streaming music started to take off. And then it started to really take off, in key markets like the US and UK. And as SoundExchange revenues started to grow in the former, and Spotify gained momentum in Europe, the monies being paid over by YouTube each month started to look much less impressive.

While YouTube continued to grow in terms of users, the royalties it paid over to the music industry did not keep up, with either YouTube’s own consumption growth, or the streaming market in general. Meanwhile, in Europe especially, it became clear that the real money in streaming was going to come from premium subscription services, not ad-funded free platforms.

Oh, and then download sales peaked. This was a key factor in the music industry’s changing relationship with YouTube

CMU Trends: The music industry and YouTube

We’re All Suspects So Watch Your Back

Once more, profiling and harassment at Airport security reveals far more about the humanity in the post 9/11 world. Riz Ahemd writes about his experiences at The Guardian.

My first film was in this mode, Michael Winterbottom’s The Road to Guantánamo. It told the story of a group of friends from Birmingham who were illegally imprisoned and tortured in the US detainment camp. When it won a prestigious award at the Berlin film festival, we were euphoric. For those who saw it, the inmates went from orange jumpsuits to human beings.

But airport security did not get the memo. Returning to the glamour of Luton Airport after our festival win, ironically named British intelligence officers frogmarched me to an unmarked room where they insulted, threatened, and then attacked me.

Typecast As A Terrorist

Let’s Teach The AIs How To Use Guns

For computers to learn how to drive cars, they need somewhere to practice. That could be on a real rod with a human co-driver, but that has to be late stage testing for obvious reasons. What could be used instead? Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto:

There’s little chance of a computer learning bad behavior by playing violent computer games. But the stunningly realistic scenery found in Grand Theft Auto and other virtual worlds could help a machine perceive elements of the real world correctly.

A technique known as machine learning is enabling computers to do impressive new things, like identifying faces and recognizing speech as well as a person can. But the approach requires huge quantities of curated data, and it can be challenging and time-consuming to gather enough. The scenery in many games is so fantastically realistic that it can be used to generate data that’s as good as that generated by using real-world imagery.

Self-Driving Cars Can Learn a Lot by Playing Grand Theft Auto

You Can Sing With It Or Hammer Some Nails Into The Wall

Where would the world be without music? And where would music be without the Shure SM58 microphone? Shure itself has celebrated its top product with a top ten list, but its hard to argue with the PR when the product is the indestructible microphone:

Ernie Seeler, the man behind the development of the SM58, didn’t like rock and roll.
It’s ironic that a quiet man who preferred classical music invented a mic that would become synonymous with rock and roll, first capturing the attention of acts like The Who and The Rolling Stones. Shocked by its widespread adoption on the rock stage, Ernie Seeler said, “I love classical music, but rock and roll, I don’t take very seriously.”

Ten Things You Might Not Know About The SM58.

What I’ve Been Up To

Well, the iPhone arrived in store and anyone could (allegedly) buy one. So it was off to brave the Apple Store so I could come home to my blanket fort to recover with the iPhone 7, open it up, and start reviewing it for Forbes. That said, this was the weekend of Android, as my weekly digest of Android news went viral and picked up over one million readers. Where do I pick up my ‘seven-figure blog post’ badge?

Today (Monday 19th) I’ll be attending the Next Radio conference in London. I’m here till Wednesday, so drop me a line if you’d like to meet up or talk technology while I’m in the capital. I’m also attending the Web Summit (Lisbon 7-10 November 2016) and SXSW (Austin, 10-20 March 2017)

‘Trivial Posts’ is a mostly weekly series of posts that brings together interesting posts, ideas, video clips, essays, images, and anything else that catches my eye on the Internet. Read it online, or subscribe to the email newsletter version here.

Start-ups, Music, and Copyright Avoidance

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Bas Grasmeyer for Hypebot:

What is needed is a Startup License that lets startups quickly and flexibly license music from the majors and largest indies for a set duration. After this duration, startups would still have to negotiate, but at least they’ve got their products figured out and investors will have a better understanding of what the business is potentially worth. The license should allow startups to opt in or out of territories. If you want to do UK-only, fine. If you want to pay more and do something global, it’s possible. A global startup music license would do tremendous things for innovation in music.

The problem is, it’s not in the interest of a powerful part of the music industry. For one, all of the larger music corporations own shares in music startups. Many of these startups still have to prove themselves, so you can see them as bets by the industry on what’s going to work. If it turns out it doesn’t work, the industry can stop licensing them, let them fail and move on to the next thing. If you want to launch a startup that seems like it undermines one of these bets, you’re going to have a difficult time getting it licensed.

If there’s anyone who can manage a paywall, it’s the music industry. Napster may have snuck through, but once that stable door was closed, nobody else was getting through without permission (or equity).

All About The Bass, The Stream, And The Revenue

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Alright then, a quick music business question, If you co-wrote ‘All About The Bass’ how much do you think, over the song’s lifetime, you would have earned from streaming music services?

Try $5,679.

“I’ve never heard a songwriter complain about radio royalties as much as streaming royalties,” Kadish said. “That was the real issue for us, like 1 million streams equals $90. For a song like ‘All About That Bass,’ that I wrote, which had 178 million streams. I mean $5,679? That’s my share. That’s as big a song as a songwriter can have in their career and No. 1 in 78 countries. But you’re making $5,600. How do you feed your family?”

That’s from producer and songwriter Kevin Kadish. More from that hotbed of music news, The Tennessean.

When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Seymour Quigley:

We weren’t related, and we weren’t close friends; I can’t tell you what motivated him, what kind of a husband or father he was, or how many sugars he had in his tea. But the simple fact is that John Peel, who passed away ten years ago this month, saved my life.

The internet may have allowed more music to be heard by more people, and reduced the barrier of entry, but we still need a curator.

When Records Were Made To Not Sell

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The delightful tale of a US tax loophole that saw vinyl being pressed , never sold, and all the costs recouped.

[the producer] was hooked up with some Beverly Hills accountant that was doing the write-off records. I think the investors were putting up around $15,000 per album. They [the producers] spent about $5,000 to produce [an album] and kept the balance. I think I heard the that the investors got a $250,000 write off as if they spent that much to promote and produce the album. And as you said on your website, during that time period there were a lot of tax scam releases happening. I was told that even major labels signed people who they never intended to succeed just for the write off.

And the kicker? Those very limited run records are worth thousands of dollars.

The SXSW Music Sampler for 2014 is now available

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Over on SXSW Baby!, the annual 80 track sampler of the SXSW Music Festival has just been posted. Covering a wide range of musical styles, sounds, genres, and performers all playing in Austin this week and next, it brings together YouTube videos, Soundcloud clips, and other media in one handy file for you to unzip and pop on your current ‘device with an MP3 player’.

DOWNLOAD the SXSW Baby! “Best of SXSW 2014″ sampler link (314 Mb)

I wanted to create some great moments when listening to the songs, to have the music flow into each other, to have sequences that would allow you to both dip in and out of the sampler, or stick it on a five hour playlist (which should just about reach from the TSA screening at your local airport to the reception desk of your hotel – or twice through if you’re flying from Europe).

If the eighty tracks feels too much for you, then you can break it down to eight ten-track playlists.

  • Welcome to SXSW (Tracks 1-10)
  • The Second Bite Sounds Just As Nice (Tracks 11-20)
  • Chill Out And Kick Back (Tracks 21-30)
  • The Music Of America (Tracks 31-40)
  • Foot On The Amplifier (Tracks 41-50)
  • The Wonderful World of Music (Tracks 51-60)
  • Turn On The Electrics (Tracks 61-70)
  • We Hope It Never Ends (Tracks 71-80)

If you’re not sure, here’s the deal. Listen to the first ten tracks. I’m confident that not only will this give you a great hit of SXSW Music, but you’ll want to listen to the rest of the sampler.

Oh and our 2014 performers in full?

Adam Arcuragi, Ages and Agesm Air Traffic Controller, American Authors, The Apache Relay, Band of Skulls, Barcelona, Basia Bulat, The Belle Brigade, Black Books, Blacklist Royals, Boy & Bear, Bring Me The Horizon, Caroline Rose, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cello Fury, Charli XCX, The Crookes, David Ramirez, The Devil Makes Three, East Cameron Folkcore, Elle King, Ezra Furman, Gabby Young and Other Animals, Good for Grapes, The Griswolds, Heymoonshaker, Hollis Brown, Honeyblood, Hozier, Hunter Hunted, James Bay, Jeetta, Judith Hill, July Talk, Kashmere Stage Band, Katie Herzig, Kill it Kid, Kongos, Kyle Andrews, Leif Vollebeck, Lincoln Durham, Lions in the Street, Little Daylight, London Grammar, The Lonely Wild, Los Lonely Boys, Magic Man, Mandolin Orange, Matrimony, Mia Dyson, Mighty Oaks, MisterWivers, Moon Taxi, Neulore, Nonono, Only Real, Pockets, Poolside, Quiet Company, Saintseneca, San Fermin, Shelby Earl, Skream, Sleeping At Your Door, Social Studies, Streets of Laredo, The Strypes, Talib Kweli, Timber Timbre, Tinariwen, Tom Easton, Typhoon, The Unlikley Candidates, Vnace Joy, Wardell, The Whigs, Wild Party, and The Wilderness of Manitoba.

Some festive music? Here’s this year’s Christmas Rocktacular!

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

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MP3 FileShow NotesRock Show RSS Feed

Every year I look out some great Christmas music online, avoiding the big name artists and million sellers you can hear on the radio and TV. They all feature in the ‘Christmas Rocktacular’ podcast which you can stream online, or download for free. Here’s this year’s festive collection.

Under Your Christmas Tree, by Jericko Rose (Jericko Rose on Reverb Nation).
O Come All Ye Faithfull, by Geoff Smith (
Christmas In A Cup, by Erica Sunshine Lee (
Broke The Bank This Christmas, by Mitch Benn (
St. Benedicts Christmas Fayre, by Lisa Redford (
Space Christmas, by Shonen Knife (
Lonely Night (Silent Knight), by Rachel Bloom (
Some Christmas Huggin’ and a Kissin’, by Geoff Smith (

Why do prospective artists need a plan B when lawyers don’t?

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Musiciain Blake Morgan, writing about his time at a school’s careers day:

The students’ faces lit up with curiosity. I added, “I hope you don’t listen to those other voices. I hope instead you listen to your own. That voice from inside you that guided you here today. I hope you go for it, with abandon and furious joy, and that you do so without a Plan B.”

Immediately, the teacher stood up and said, “No, no no…that’s wrong. You should always have a Plan B. Don’t listen to him, that’s not right.” She walked towards me to cut me off from speaking, and I said, “You see? Even here, in the arts and music room on career day, you’re being discouraged from answering your calling. From fully and freely going for this as a career choice.” I looked at the teacher and asked her, “Do you think the kids in the ‘doctor room’ are being told to have a Plan B? Or the kids in the ‘lawyer room?’ Or the ‘marketing room?’ No, they aren’t. And by doing so here, you’re telling these kids that this is a profession less deserving of pursuit. Less deserving of hope. Or necessity. Or respect.”

A quote is not enough here, go read the whole article.

All the variety of the Fringe, in an hour of podcasting

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

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Today’s Fringe podcast was a mix of live interviews in the Castle FM studios, on-location interviews from over the weekend, and music submitted by many of the performers at this year’s Fringe. Hopefully it’s bringing a great feel of the variety on offer in Edinburgh during August to you! Guests today are Lee Camp (a US comic), Hedluv and Passman (Cornish rappers), Claire Cunningham and Gail Sneddon (co-directors of this year’s National Theatre Scotland show, Mènage à Trois), and Tamar Broadbent (from the musical stand up show, Almost Epic).

What ‘P’ is an audio program coming from Edinburgh every day?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

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Today’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is live, with John Lloyd, Melmoth the Wandered, Patrick Monahan, and Tongue Fu.

The cultural melting pot plays some music, on The Rock Show

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

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Don’t Fight Your Lonely, by The Kids From Nowhere - - Rock Show permalink - Subscribe in iTunes

A new name, an old favourite, a track a day on The Rock Show

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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All The Way Home, by The EVT Band - - Rock Show permalink - Subscribe in iTunes

Not a Wizard, just great music… Rock Show’s Track a Day brings you Grace Potter

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

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The Lion The Beast The Beat, by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - - Rock Show permalink - Subscribe in iTunes

The Rock Show is still waiting on that 4th Hollow Horse album

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

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Blindsided by Love, by Hollow Horse -  - Rock Show permalink - Subscribe in iTunes

Holy Esque are on Saturday’s Rock Show

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

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Tear, by Holy Esque - Holy Esque on Facebook  - Rock Show permalink - Subscribe in iTunes