Category Archives: Music

LP Pop Culture Remix



Movies and music have been lynch-pins of popular culture going back to the middle of the 20th century, capturing and delivering on the zeitgeist of a generation. Many films and albums have become iconic, instantly recognisable from a scene, a track or an album cover…which makes them ripe for a send-up.

Steven Lear (aka whythelongplayface) takes on these sacred cows with some fantastic mashups of film characters and album cover art. Star Wars provides rich pickings and his Instagram account is full of album covers with characters from the films inserted into the scenes. Yoda as the baby in Nirvana’s Nevermind. Leia and Han Solo in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. massive at-at rather than massive attack. All instantly recognisable.

 

If you click through on the revised album covers in Instagram, Steven shows both his version and the original that inspired it.

  

Star Wars isn’t the only source of material – there are remixes from all across the film and LP canon. If there’s anything you particularly like, T-shirts and posters can be ordered via http://www.whythelongplayface.com/.

All images courtesy of Steven Lear.


iHeartRadio takes a trip south



When it comes to streaming music services, there’s no shortage of ones to choose from. Only a few have become big names – Pandora, Spotify and those run by major companies like Apple, Google and Amazon. Another popular one is iHeartRadio.

Now iHeartRadio is taking a trip south of the border, as the company announces its foray into Mexico. This is a team effort as the company is working with Grupo ACIR,.

“iHeartRadio México is available now in beta and will officially launch November 3 at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina so get excited! To listen now, music lovers across México can download the iHeartRadio app via Apple App Store or Google Play Store and listen online at iHeartRadio.mx“, the steaming service claims.

To celebrate the launch of iHeartRadio Mexico, Grupo ACIR will award a lucky music fan a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience at the fifth annual iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in Miami on November 3, Good luck in the contest.


Genius and Apple Music Team Up to Add Lyrics



As of yesterday, Apple Music became the official streaming platform on the Genius website. This means Apple Music subscribers who visit Genius will be able to play any song in full right from the song page, simply by signing into their Apple Music account.

Genius’s Chief Strategy Officer, Ben Gross, said: “Being able to read lyrics and annotations on Genius while you listen along on Apple Music is a dream Genius experience. We’re proud to make Apple Music our official music player, and we’re doubly excited to bring Genius lyrics to their amazing program.

To me, this seems like an excellent idea. When I listen to music, and can’t figure out what the lyrics are, it makes me want to do a search. That can be time consuming, and might be too difficult to do while listening to music during a walk or commute.

People who subscribe to Apple Music will now have a much easier time finding the lyrics of their favorite songs. Sign into your Apple Music account. Look up a song’s lyrics on Genius, and listen to the song right from the Genius page.

Image by Pixabay


Preorder Bungie’s Music of Destiny on Vinyl



Bungie has something special on the Bungie Store that should attract not only fans of Destiny, but also those who collect vinyl records. You can now preorder The Music of Destiny, Volume I, Collector’s Edition Vinyl Box Set. It is priced at $99.00, and is estimated to ship late 2018.

The Music of Destiny, Volume 1 is a Collector’s Edition Vinyl Box Set of the music of Destiny, including the first official release of Music of the Spheres. Each individually numbered box set includes six LPs, an exclusive booklet of liner notes and Official Destiny Collectible Pin keepsake.

This Limited Edition pre-order opportunity is available through June 15, 2018, at 11:59 PM PST. Orders will be fulfilled and shipped in late 2018. All sales are final. Each purchase comes with a digital download of the music sent via email after placing the order.

Product Description:

  • Includes Music of the Spheres and Destiny Original Soundtrack tracks
  • 6-LP box set features high quality pressings by Gotta Groove Records
  • Each LP is inserted into a custom innersleeve
  • Direct-to-board printed Gatefold Jackets house each of the LP’s in sets of two
  • Each heavyweight box is individually foil stamped with a unique number
  • 180 gram pressing
  • Includes exclusive Booklet and Collectible Traveler Pin

The image that Bungie posted on the page where you can preorder the Collector’s Edition (which is the same image I have posted here), is described as a “render image”. The final design may vary.

In collaboration with the Bungie Foundation, all profits from the sale of the Collector’s Edition Vinyl Box Set will benefit Melodic Caring Project. They are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that streams live personalized concerts to kids and teens who are battling serious illness in the hospital.


Spotify Removes Artists from Playlists Under New Policy



Spotify has created a Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy that it is using to determine what music will not be promoted on the service. Billboard reported that Spotify has removed the work of two artists from Spotify playlists after the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy took effect.

Spotify posted a blog post about the new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy.

…We love that our platform is home to so much diversity because we believe in openness, tolerance, respect, and freedom of expression, and we want to promote those values through music on our platform.

However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify – content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.

Billboard reported that Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly’s music on any of the Spotify’s editorial or algorithmic playlists. Users will still be able to find R. Kelly’s music on Spotify, but Spotify is no longer going to promote it in Spotify owned and operated playlists. Billboard also reported that XXXTentacion has also had his music removed from Spotify’s owned and operated playlists.

Spotify clarified why they will remove the work of an artist, who has violated the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy from Spotify playlists, but still allow the artist’s music to be on Spotify.

In their blog post, Spotify states: “While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children or sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”


Creators of Rocksmith Respond to Facebook Trolls



Rocksmith logoIt’s pretty much a given that if you do anything online that attracts an audience, you’ll run into internet trolls whose sole purpose is to harass you. This problem is as old as the internet itself, and it’s only gotten worse in the age of social media.

There are a lot of different ways to handle ‘net trolls. The old adage, “Don’t feed the trolls,” advises that simply ignoring troll commentary is the best way to go. Direct engagement rarely works, as trolls will use these interactions as an excuse to keep the harassment loop going. The truly brave (and patient) may try another route when it comes to trolls; An appeal to reason.

That third option was recently implemented by the makers of Rocksmith, a guitar-instruction program available on many platforms. Rocksmith offers up many songs by popular recording artists that can be downloaded and used within the program. And every time Rocksmith would announce new downloadable songs, the trolls would come out in force to complain about Rocksmith’s latest song selections.

Rocksmith recently responded to these naysayers on its Facebook page:

Folks, we’re going to say this as nicely as we can: Nobody cares what you don’t like.

Okay, now that we read it, that doesn’t seem all that nice. But it’s something worth considering before you post on our page and tell the world that whatever artist, song, or genre currently being discussed is “garbage,” “fake,” “worthless,” or any other negative adjective you can dream up. “Real,” “good,” “fake,” “bad” – none of that holds any power here. That’s simply not how we see music.

As the moderators of this page, our philosophy is simple: There’s music that inspires you to play guitar and bass, and there’s music that does not. We don’t make DLC based on what you *dislike* — we only make DLC based on what people actually tell us they want. That’s why we have a request app, embedded on this page – so you can offer specific song suggestions directly to the team. But once something’s released, it’s there for the people who want it. If that’s not you…honestly, we don’t need to know. Knowing what you’d rather see in the future is far more valuable. Something good could come from that. Nothing good comes from you suggesting that your entirely subjective taste in music is superior to everyone else’s.

What’s more, in all the time we’ve moderated this page, we have never seen someone respond to a “your band sucks” post with “Now that you mention it, I don’t like my favorite band anymore.” You cannot stop people from connecting with music; it’s a personal, emotional relationship, and it’s a fight you cannot win. It’s not a fight we want to host on our page, either. Don’t pick that fight here.

If it helps, think of Rocksmith like a restaurant. Check the menu, then choose only the items that seem appetizing. You’re not expected to order everything on the menu, and if you were to say “take this off the menu because I don’t personally want to eat it,” you’d get funny looks. If it’s not to your taste, just look for something else that is. Our menu has nearly 1,000 options for millions of customers, each hungry for something different, and we add to the menu every week. If you find something that doesn’t appeal to your tastes…keep looking. There’s gotta be something on that menu for you. There’s something for everybody else, too.

So, please: Before you waste any time or energy insulting music that does not inspire you to play — for the good of your own community — stop, and shift gears. Nobody cares what you don’t like, but there’s plenty of other things we can talk about.

Thanks.

Rocksmith’s response to troll comments is succinct and on point. Instead of lashing out, the message explains why positivity (telling Rocksmith what songs you’d like to see in the future) is so much better than negativity (telling Rocksmith why you hate the new songs they’ve added).

I hope this message helps to keep the trolls at bay, at least for a little while, on the Rocksmith page. This message also serves as a good example to other companies who are dealing with similar problems on social media.


Heed Audio Introduces the Elixir



heed-audio-elixirHeed Audio has a motto: “Forget hi-fi – remember music!” The company designs and manufactures its lines of CD transports, DACs, speakers, and amplification components in Budapest, with parts from around the world. Heed has introduced the Elixir Integrated Amplifier.

The Elixer has a neat place amongst Heed Audio’s Transcap technology amplifiers. It is the purest music performer of all, without any technical compromise and presents the music effortlessly. Besides the power amplifier, the headphone stage also benefits from the basic idea of the Transcap technology. Class-A darlington-driven capacitor-coupled outputs feed your headphones like nothing else.

The MN phono stage is based on the Questar’s circuit. As the standalone amp, this integrated incarnation is thick and warm and provides a great overall amplification for nearly all kinds of MM cartridges. It’s a very easy way to find your way back into the analogue domain and vinyl records.

Features:

  • 4 analogue and 1 MM phono inputs
  • Class-A headphone amplifier
  • Transcap – output capacitor technology
  • Discrete bipolar transistor architecture