Category: Music

The Best Kind Of Music To Listen To While Working – HuffPost

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Apple Music launches a TV channel for music videos – The Verge

Today, Apple launches Apple Music TV, which is exactly what it sounds like: Apple Music on television. It’s a free, curated, 24-hour live stream of popular music videos (though it’s only available to US residents); you can watch it in the browse tabs of the Apple Music app and on the Apple TV app.

Apple Music TV is interesting because it seems like a direct shot at YouTube’s dominance of the music video space. The new channel will host video premieres at noon ET every Friday — starting with Joji’s “777” and Saint Jhn’s “Gorgeous” on the 23rd — and it’ll be a home for the other original content Apple Music has created over the years, like concert films and interviews. On the 22nd, the channel will play host to Bruce Springsteen, the Boss himself, in advance of his upcoming album Letter to You with dedicated music video blocks, a live stream, and an exclusive interview with Zane Lowe.

And it feels like Apple is throwing its weight around. Today, for instance, the service is running through a countdown of the top 100 most streamed songs on Apple Music as a kickoff event. While it remains to be seen whether Apple can unseat YouTube (RIP to MTV), it’s fascinating to watch it try something new.

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The streaming startups trying to save the music industry mid-pandemic – The Guardian

Two decades ago, digital technology pulled the record business inside out, a shock from which it has only recently recovered. But in 2020 it is helping, at least partially, to remedy a live business obliterated by coronavirus cancellations.

Early in the pandemic, the likes of Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook filled a gap with their livestreaming capabilities. Since then, dozens of new companies have launched with a streaming-specific remit – some taking a more egalitarian and ethical approach than the tech giants – while other event companies, who until recently were dedicated to real world gigs, are offering performers and fans the option to participate in pay-per-view livestreams.

“Before lockdown, we couldn’t have cared less about livestreaming,” says Phil Hutcheon, founder and CEO of ticketing app Dice. Watching “boring” livestreams on Instagram spurred him to set up a new team to launch Dice TV – Scottish superstar Lewis Capaldi was the first act to use it, charging £5 a head; acts can now sell merchandise alongside their streamed shows. “Selling 100 T-shirts at £30 a pop as they are limited edition – that’s their lifesaver,” says Hutcheon.

Laura Marling performs to an online-only audience from London’s Union Chapel in June.
Big audience … Laura Marling performs to an online-only audience from London’s Union Chapel in June. Photograph: Lorne Thomson/Redferns

Some acts have reaped serious money from ticketed livestreams: Pollstar reports Laura Marling sold 4,500 (UK) tickets at £12 each for her show at London’s Union Chapel in June; YouTube says Japanese artist Reol made $130,000 from a livestream on its platform in August; and BTS’s management company Big Hit said they had 756,000 fans watch their Bang Bang Con live stream in June, each paying between 29,000 won (£19.41) and 39,000 won (£26.10), meaning a minimum gross of £14.6m.

These well-known artists are, however, among the tiny percentage of acts who can even hope to start making up for the dramatic shortfall they have suffered this year. To help smaller acts and venues, Andrea Cockerton of immersive live show production company We Are Sound is launching DIUO later in October. The platform will stream one-off concerts on a pay-per-view basis, as well as allow acts to set up their own subscription-based channels to host regular events. Cockerton says she does not want the entire platform to run on subscriptions: “That is what Spotify does, and we all know how that works out for the majority of artists.”

Supporting artists and crew … DIUO chief executive Andrea Cockerton.
Supporting artists and crew … DIUO chief executive Andrea Cockerton. Photograph: Jules Klass Photography

DIUO takes what Cockerton calls an “ethical approach to doing business” whereby 10% of all revenues is paid out in grants to road crew, sound engineers and others whose entire livelihood has gone and for whom there is minimal, if any, financial help coming from the UK government. “We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” Cockerton says, giving the first 100 bands who stream with DIUO a stake in a 10% portion of the company.

Artists staging DIUO shows take the lion’s share of revenue and can draw on in-house production and marketing expertise. Cockerton wants them to use small venues to stage their performances, which in turn will receive a room-hire fee and provide jobs for out-of-work crew. She estimates that acts need to sell around 400 tickets to cover costs, a figure she considers viable for smaller artists. “The only way through this is to innovate and do something differently,” she says.

Also attempting to innovate in this space is Oda. Founded in 2016 as a speaker company, its latest offering is festival-style curated programming whereby fans enjoy live performances beamed directly to Oda’s bespoke connected speakers, sold for $299 and supplemented by a $79 (£60) subscription fee every three months.

Oda was in part set up to help Phil Elverum (AKA Mount Eerie) play live without having to physically tour, which became difficult after his wife Geneviève Castrée died in 2016 and he was left to care for their infant daughter. He likes the fact Oda is audio-only as he feels video streams are incompatible with how he works. “To me, live performance is about this exchange between two or more people in a real space,” he says. Video streaming, he says, “seems like it was trying to simulate something from the past in a diminished form”.

Curated programme … Oda speakers offer audio-only concerts.
‘Sunset sessions’ … Oda speakers offer audio-only concerts. Photograph: Daniel Dorsa

With Ann Peebles and Don Bryant among the artists programmed for Oda’s launch, the focus is on less obvious artists, creating unique listener experiences: “sunset sessions” throughout the week and more concerted weekend events including music, readings and talks. “At the end you feel you’ve spent the weekend with an artist and that you now know them well,” says Oda co-founder Nick Dangerfield. He adds that acts can expect to generate $7,000-$30,000 (£5,300-£23,000) per weekend since making the experience audio-only lowers production costs. “What is important is that our platform is as inclusive as possible and that everyone is welcome,” he says.

Gig deprivation has spurred a burning desire for a return to live music. Dice is responsible for ticketing the 2021 Primavera festival – this year’s, like most festivals, was cancelled. Despite no guarantees about the viability of music festivals next year, the Barcelona weekender is already sold out and Hutcheon says there are “tens of thousands” of people on the waiting list for tickets.

In the interim, streaming is the only viable option for audiences stuck at home pining for live music. Although Nick Cave’s Idiot Prayer concert, streamed live from Alexandra Palace in July, will receive a cinematic release in November, Hutcheon argues that having streams that exist in that moment and then vanish is the best way to create a sense of occasion, as diminished as that might be compared to the real thing.

“One of the things that you get from live shows is scarcity,” he says. “Watching it at that moment when people are watching actually enhances the experience. This whole thing has been a fascinating study in human behaviour.”

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Country music star says coronavirus pandemic forces adjustments – KSAT San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – For decades, country music’s Steve Wariner has been playing to sellout crowds across the nation. But in early March, all that changed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, making those crowds a thing of the past.

“Not getting to see the reaction and hearing the reaction from people in the crowds, that’s terribly missed,” Wariner told KSAT’s Paul Venema during a Zoom interview from his home outside Nashville, Tennessee.

To fill the void, Wariner has found a way to keep in touch with his fans. It is an interactive Facebook page that he calls “Wariner Wednesday.”

He responds directly to his followers as they text messages that includes everything from questions to song requests. He often adds personal stories about his life on the road as well.

“People like that,” Wariner said. “They like the stories about our times on the road and famous folks we’ve shared the stage with.”

He said that Texans make up a big portion of his fan base and that Floores Country Store in Helotes is one of his favorite Texas stops.

He said that it will likely be one of his first stops when the pandemic ends.

“We always love playing Floores,” he said.”The history of that place is unreal.”

Though Wariner’s biggest hits came in the 70′s and 80′s with a string of number one songs, he says his live shows are clear evidence that his music is still very relevant.

He said, “You look on the front row and there’s young girls and they’re all singing along.”

When he is not working on writing new music in his Nashville studio, Wariner is busy in another studio, trading a guitar for a paint brush.

He has recently set up an art studio at his home.

“I’ve really hunkered down and I’ve been painting a lot,” he said. “And I’ve been trying some things and studying some artists.”

Whether painting or picking, in spite of the pandemic, Wariner is upbeat.

He said, “If I went away right now, I would go ‘Oh, man it’s just been .. what an incredible journey.’”

RELATED: Mother hopes late son’s life lives on through his music

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YouTube Music still doesn’t work for kids with Google Play Music set to shut down any day now – 9to5Google

With streaming music being the norm now, just about every major service offers a family plan so everyone can enjoy it at a discounted rate. With YouTube Music, though, family plans get complicated for younger kids, and there’s no fix in sight either.

For quite some time now, parents have been able to sign up for Google’s various family plan offerings for everything from ad-free YouTube to sharing movie and app libraries. It’s a handy way to save some cash while still allowing each family member to have their own account.

With Google Play Music, families were able to get their own libraries on a single subscription, kids included! Play Music is set to shut down this month, though, meaning the service could quite literally stop working at any moment. It’s already dead on Google Assistant speakers. That’s a real shame for families because YouTube Music just isn’t up to par.

Google has been working to bring more features to YouTube Music over the past several months as we’ve covered heavily, but with days to go, family plans still aren’t fixed for kids. Currently, any child under the age of 13 cannot use YouTube Music in any capacity, meaning when you switch from one service to the other, they’ll lose all of their music and playlists instantly with no way to get it back until they turn 13. This restriction is described on a Google support page (emphasis our own) and was highlighted back in June by our friends at Android Police.

When you use Family Link to create a Google Account for your child under 13, your child can use the YouTube Kids app where it’s available. However, they can’t use any other YouTube apps, websites, or features until they turn 13 and manage their own Google Account. Your child will be able to use YouTube if you added supervision to their previously existing Google Account.

This is a problem for many parents right now, as it’s crunch time to move from Play Music over to YouTube Music. One user on Twitter posted how his daughter can’t listen to music anymore and there’s nothing he can do about it. Further, the founder of Linus Tech Tips also briefly spoke out in an episode of TechLinked clearly frustrated over the restriction.

So, what’s the solution? Either Google needs to get things working as they should in the next two weeks, or a lot of families are going to need to switch to another music streaming platform. Somewhat luckily, just about every other major platform supports this. Spotify charges $14.99 a month for six accounts with no age limits and even offers a kid-specific app. Apple Music has the same pricing. Amazon Music also offers the same price, but like Apple’s option, it won’t work on Google Assistant speakers. What you shouldn’t do is create a fake Google account for your child. That can lead to problems down the line if Google finds out the account is being used by someone underage.

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Ariana Grande Confirms Dates for New Music – Teen Vogue

Well, it’s official. Ariana Grande’s sixth studio album will likely be out in the world on Friday, October 30 — less than two weeks away. But we don’t even have to wait that long for new Ari music, because the album’s lead single will seemingly drop this Friday, October 23.

The singer-songwriter revealed all to her fans in the form of a cryptic countdown on her website this weekend. With an all-black screen and white text, the page simply reads POSITIONS in all caps, along with two sets of countdown clocks: one possibly for her single, and the other for the album itself.

Ari’s big announcement came just hours after teasing the word “positions” with a mysterious video of a perfectly manicured hand typing on a glowing green keyboard, leading many fans to think this is the title of her album (and possibly the lead single as well).

Of course, Ariana’s breadcrumbs of clues are no surprise; the singer-songwriter has been known to tease fans in the days and weeks leading up to an album release, sometimes tweeting song lyrics without any explanation, or sharing tiny snippets of what’s to come. It’s all part of the fun of an Ariana album celebration.

But it’s not exactly as though Ari has been on a musical hiatus. During the past few months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the singer has released collabs with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, and has repeatedly hinted that more was on the way. That’s all likely because making music is what brings Ariana happiness, as she explained last year in a candid Instagram post. “I always say Imma take a break and not make songs but then I remember that making songs is literally the thing that brings my heart and soul SOOO MUCH JOY and SOLACE, and I’m right back where I was,” Ariana wrote at the time. “I’m always making [music]…it’s my lifeline.”

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Rapper who bragged about defrauding government in music video gets arrested for actually doing it – ABC News

Baines could face a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.

A rapper who bragged about defrauding the government’s unemployment program in a music video has been arrested on federal charges of carrying out the exact scheme he mentioned in his video, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, who goes by the stage name “Nuke Bizzle” was arrested after applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits and using stolen identities in a scheme to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Baines, originally from Memphis Tennessee but who now resides in the Hollywood Hills in California, was allegedly exploiting the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision of the CARES Act which the DOJ says is designed to expand access to unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others who would not otherwise be eligible.

“Baines possessed and used debit cards pre-loaded with unemployment benefits administered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD),” the DOJ said in a statement announcing Baines’ arrest. “The debit cards were issued in the names of third-parties, including identity theft victims. The applications for these debit cards listed addresses to which Baines had access in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.”

The DOJ says that during their investigation they discovered at least 92 debit cards that had more than $1.2 million in fraudulently obtained benefits and that he had accessed more than $704,000 of those benefits through cash withdrawal as well purchasing merchandise and other services with them.

To make matters worse, Baines openly bragged about the fraudulent activity in one of his music videos.

Said the DOJ: “Baines bragged about his ability to defraud the EDD in a music video posted on YouTube and in postings to his Instagram account, under the handles “nukebizzle1” and “nukebizzle23.” For example, Baines appears in a music video called “EDD” in which he boasts about doing “my swagger for EDD” and, holding up a stack of envelopes from EDD, getting rich by “go[ing] to the bank with a stack of these” – presumably a reference to the debit cards that come in the mail. A second rapper in the video intones, “You gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim.”

Baines was subsequently arrested in Las Vegas Nevada on Sept. 23 and was found with eight debit cards, seven of which were in the names of other persons, according to the DOJ.

Baines now faces three federal charges in the case — access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property.

If convicted of all of these charges, Baines would face a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.

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Music review: “Strings Attached” is DSSO done virtually – Duluth News Tribune

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra board and staff decided to start with a three-concert fall and early winter season, beginning with a hybrid of a small live audience and a virtual live streaming audience.

The DSSO’s “Strings Attached” concert on Saturday night gave a string section of 25 players a chance to shine, for both the few socially distanced masked in-person concert-goers and those sitting by a crackling fire at home enjoying it virtually.

The players and Music Director Dirk Meyer were masked and socially distanced onstage as well. Despite what seemed a bit surreal at times with so few people in the audience and the players spaced apart from one another, the orchestra ably brought back the sweeping magic and majesty that symphonic music played well provides.

With a colorful mix of American folk music, bluegrass, and classical music, the work of exciting young American composer Jessie Montgomery opened the evening with her delightful composition, “Strum.”

“Strum” has moments that are at times jubilant and celebratory and in others wistful and longing. Montgomery’s weaving of melodies and strumming pizzicato help to create her own unique 21st century voice.

Astor Piazzolla’s composition “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” was written as an homage to Vivaldi’s beloved “Four Seasons.” Without being derivative, Piazzolla instead uses some distinctively familiar strains and phrases from Vivaldi, but gives his own Argentinian slant with a full range of emotions from the tender to the sultry to the exultant.

Using his own unique style, combining jazz, classical music and tango, Piazzolla also created his fervent homage to his beloved Buenos Aires. Concertmaster Erin Aldridge gave the right amount of passionate swagger to her brilliant solos in the piece, with wonderful support from the rest of the players.

Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” the evening’s most heartrending and emotional composition, has been referred to as “the saddest classical work ever.” It was performed at the funerals of FDR, JFK, Albert Einstein, and Princess Grace of Monaco, as well as at a ceremony to honor the victims of 9/11.

In his opening remarks before the concert, Mark Monson, President of the DSSO Board of Directors, noted that Barber’s piece was a fitting tribute to all those who have died during the many months of the worldwide pandemic.

With Meyer bringing the string orchestra to a somber conclusion that faded away to airy nothingness, the solemnity of “Adagio” was maintained when there was absolute silence with no applause at the end of the piece.

“Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings,” the evening’s final offering, was finely paced and shaped, with the Russian composer’s homage to Mozart in the opening movement, his sweeping and elegant waltz movement, the emotional elegy, and spirited dance themes in the final movement.

Meyer expressed so well what bringing the orchestra back together meant when he said, Music brings a renewed sense of hope and joy to all our lives.”

If You ‘Go’

What: DSSO “Strings Attached” concert

When: Streaming online at dsso.com

Tickets: For all three concerts (October 17—streaming, November 7, and December 5) $25 at dsso.com or (218) 722-5573

Sheryl Jensen is a former teacher, magazine editor and director. She reviews theater for the News Tribune.

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Easy Life are set to return with new music next week – NME

Easy Life have announced they will release new music next week.

The fresh material will follow recent two-track single ‘who gives a f**k?’, which the band shared back in July.

“new easy life music on wednesday” (October 21), the band tweeted. See the announcement below.

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Alongside the ‘who gives a f**k?’ single from July, the Leicester band also shared new songs ‘peanut butter’ and ‘petty crime’ back in May as part of a demo release called ‘see you later maybe never’.

The demos and singles followed the band’s ‘Junk Food’ mixtape from January, which NME said saw the band on the way to becoming a “genuine phenomenon”.

Reviewing the ‘Junk Food’ mixtape, NME wrote: “The Leicester band relay globetrotting antics over inventive indie-jazz. They’re poised for the stardom in 2020.

“There’s little to prevent Easy Life from becoming Britain’s next big band, from transcending cult word-of-mouth status to become a genuine phenomenon. They’ve got the tunes, the killer live show and a welcoming sense of community. Watch out, Metallica, the Masters of Pop Hits are ready to book the flamethrowers soon.”

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Following the release of the mixtape, Easy Life won Best New British Act at the NME Awards 2020 in London in February.

The band celebrated their victory with a unique acceptance speech that saw frontman Murray Matravers play a spot of Maroon 5 karaoke. Backstage, they revealed to NME that the speech came as the result of a £5 bet.

Head on the road with Easy Life in this 2019 NME feature.

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Feds arrest rapper who bragged about committing fraud in music video – ActionNewsJax.com

In a news release, Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, of Memphis, whose stage name is “Nuke Bizzle,” was arrested Friday and charged with access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property — all felonies — according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Central District of California. If convicted, Baines would face a maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.

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