WordTips has a great feature - Singers Vocabularies. They counted the words used by 100 modern stars and the 100 greatest singers of all time and added up the number of unique words they used per 1,000 and used the formula for the feature. What they found is that the star with the biggest vocabulary overall is legend Patti Smith, who uses 217 unique words per 1,000 - she used 2,669 different words across a total word count of 12,291. The modern singer with the biggest vocabulary is Billie Eilish who uses 169 per 1,000. Legend Luther Vandross and modern star Trey Songz are tied with 66 for the smallest vocabulary. The song with the most unique words is Lou Reed’s 'The Murder Mystery', recorded by The Velvet Underground, with 639 words.

An interesting conversation on the Bandcamp with Weedie Braimah, a master of the djembe, a West African drum, the origins of which date back to the 12th Century. He talks about his position: "I am a quote-unquote percussionist. But let’s go deeper... There was a time when the drum wasn’t segregated. Let me say that again: There was a time when the drum wasn’t segregated. We, in this world in the West, segregated the instruments. We segregated the drums so bad that now cats be like, ‘Yeah, man I’m the drummer, and he’s the percussionist’". Braimah also goes on to explain the history of djembe.

The music theorist talks about working on music that explores human perception of time through irregular grooves in his latest video. Neely explains that "because they're grooves you're meant to feel them, to embody them, to move to them. With everything groove-related, when you overthink them, ever regular grooves you're kind of missing the point". It all started two decades ago with the song 'Soil' by System of a Down.

Raye

The first Black Lives in Music study found that 63% of Black music creators in the UK had experienced direct or indirect racism, including explicit racist language or different treatment because of their race or ethnicity, and 67% had witnessed such behaviour. Racial microaggressions were rife, experienced by 71% of Black music creators and witnessed by 73%. The report highlights the racial pay gap that disproportionately affects Black women. DJ Mag brings the important story.

Music writer Ted Gioia tries to see into the future, here are some of his predictions:

Record labels will gradually lose both the ability and desire to develop new artists. They will focus increasingly on their old catalog and archival materials.

More new artists will get their big break from web platforms... So I wouldn’t be surprised if a whole new platform emerges during the next decade—an interface that makes it fun and exciting for music fans to hear new music.

Listeners will have favorite new songs, but not know (or care) about the name of the artist.

Musician incomes will continue to shrink, but some young musicians will still earn large sums of money by being influencers.

Dead musicians will start showing up everywhere—via holograms, biopics, deepfake vocals, and other technology-driven interfaces.

Get ready for A-Pop from Africa, I-Pop from India or Indonesia, and a whole host of competing sounds and styles from Latin America, China, Eastern Europe, etc.

An interesting conversation by David Byrne and Lorde in Rolling Stone about catchy songs. Here's the elderly statesman: "You can say something quite profound, something kind of radical, even, but the melody can sound quite beautiful and seductive on the surface. And then it sucks you into something where it might really change your way of thinking. There was a time when I thought things had to be edgy. I was maybe afraid that if things sounded too beautiful or pretty, then it was shallow. Like a greeting card. You can’t be saying anything serious this way".

Produce Pandas are said to be China's first ever "plus-size" boyband, debuting in July last year, sing upbeat songs about being confident and true to oneself. Some fans are now revelling in the idea of having celebrities that look just like them, after years of seeing thin and clean-cut male stars known colloquially as "little fresh meat" - BBC writes looking at the bottom of the story.Five wonders

Pitchfork asked its readers to rank the 200 best albums released between 1996 and 2021, in celebration of the site's 25 years online. The People's List is also an interactive, infographical look at how their readers’ gender identities, ages, locations, and the number of years they’ve been reading Pitchfork. Check it out here.

"'Geist', an album largely focused on spiritual shifts and ruptures, is a quiet, lovely, undramatic rendering of the dramatic... How ruination can lead to resurrection, and life can feel sweetest when one surrenders to change" - Pitchfork reviews the new album by Shannon Lay. Clash describes it as "the vulnerable soundtrack to a person’s self-discovery during a period of long, hard reflection", whereas Narc hears "an incredibly beautiful and delicate record". Dusted likes the comforting side of it - "it’s humble, heartening and wise".

Mobile payment service Cash App launched Cash App Studios, an initiative designed to help independent creatives, including artists, musicians, directors, and designers, fund their projects. Any artist working with Cash App will retain ownership of their work and won’t have to pay back the cash. It all sounds great, but there's a back side of this story, explained by Trapital's Dan Runcie who sees the initiative largely as a marketing play—an extension of Cash App's hip-hop influencer strategy—while taking note of the Tidal/JAY-Z connection, as Matty Karas points out.

A beautiful and insightful TED talk by Hrishikesh Hirway, creator of Song Exploder, a podcast about the creative process of songwriting. He talks about how important it is to be fully engaged when listening to a song, and compares it to listening to people, giving them full attention and effort. He also plays one of his songs and goes into the construction of it. Great stuff!

Disney+ has shared a great new trailer for 'Get Back', Peter Jackson’s new three-part documentary chronicling the making of The Beatles’ penultimate album, 1970’s 'Let It Be'. Jackson said it is a “story of friends and of individuals. It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership. It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969. But it’s not nostalgia – it’s raw, honest, and human". The documentary features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row on January 30th, 1969. It is set to premiere over Thanksgiving weekend (November 25th, 26th, and 27th).

"The projection is sometimes intense, but I feel like people in the public eye and artists in particular are social activists by mistake, because we’re these screens upon which people project everything. They project light, they project what’s wrong, they project what they hate" - Alanis Morissette told Olivia Rodrigo in their Rolling Stone chat. Oliva Rodrigo spoke about her disowning her songs: "I always think that creativity is sometimes really magical and celestial, and if you’re a vessel for an amazing song, that’s awesome, but sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with you. I try to not attach a lot of ego to it".

Pitchfork is continuing to celebrate its 25th birthday, the latest b-day cake being a selection of favourite albums by some of Pitchfork's own favourite musicians. Some interesting choices: ANOHNI chose 'Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power in the Blood' ("Buffy is one of the people I am relying on to help me understand how to move forward as an artist and as a human being"), Bun B chose Radiohead’s 'OK Computer' ("when life starts moving too fast, 'OK Computer' is still there to help slow it down for me"), Daniel Kessler from Interpol chose Aphex Twin’s 'Richard D. James Album' ("pushed music to where it had never ventured before"), Thundercat chose Slipknot’s 'Slipknot' ("awesomeness"), Timbaland chose OutKast’s 'SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below' ("groundbreaking").

Jaimie Branch

South Arts, a nonprofit arts organization based in Atlanta, will award grants ranging from approximately $25,000 to $40,000 to 52 jazz artists, all summed-up $2 million to dozens of musicians like Damon Locks, Jaimie Branch, and Kip Hanrahan. Matty Karas compares this amount to hundreds of millions of dollars being paid out to pop and rock stars for their back catalogs: "Which of these sounds like the more meaningful contribution: the one designed to enrich music's one percenters and Wall Street speculators, or the one designed to support the ongoing, life-affirming work of music's vibrant middle class? Which will result in the creation of better music? Which will do more to sustain that creation, and enrich the rest of us, in the years ahead?".

Pitchfork talked to five promising new artists about structural racism, the many conundrums of relying on streaming services, the effect of COVID on their careers and communities, over recording techniques, album art, and other topics. Amaarae sums up their common identity - "We fought to have our voices heard and to unlearn a lot of our past traumas" - and looks into the future - "I think the generation after us is just so radical and self-aware in a way that we’ve just started to learn. They’re fearless".

An interesting conversation about being a performer with Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan in The New Cue. He says it takes him a while on tour to get in the zone for a show: "A whole day, and then it got to the point where I just sort of stayed in it. And that often happens with performance, especially if you're on a tour. Over the years, I've found that doing these really large tours with my band, I have to be fully in. You do step out every now and then because you do certain legs of the tour and you might have, like, a month in between certain legs and it's always very difficult to make that transition to come back home for a month, see your mates, see your wife and your kids and kind of be like, ‘oh, what's happening?’ At some point, you kind of switch and you end up like, ‘I've just got to stay in this until it's over’. You know, it's a long time, you're doing it for on and off for the best part of a year and a half, two years, so you invest a lot of yourself in it. After this last big tour Depeche did, it took me a good while when I got back home". He also talks about his new solo album 'The Imposter' and where the title came from: "I had imposter syndrome for a long time in Depeche. I mean, honestly, that's where the title for this record actually came from, the sort of final character, if you like, that I was using for myself to do that whole 'Spirit' tour. You know, he was the ultimate imposter, kind of on the edge of being maybe too old to be doing this".

Yves Tumor / Moor Mother / Navy Blue

Pitchfork made a list of 25 new artists "that help us consider the future of music: how it’ll be made, where it’ll come from, what role it’ll play in shaping scenes, and how genre lines may be increasingly dismantled". Some of the promising ones the P staff chose: MIKE for being "a beacon within the modern rap underground", Black Midi for "oddity and unpredictability", 100 Gecs for their "extreme pop music", Moor Mother for her "radical message", Bartees Strange for "his vision of what guitar music can encompass", Yves Tumor for their "restless experimentation", Amaarae for "bending the boundaries of Afro-fusion music", Navy Blue for being the "leader of a new class of introspective rapper-producers", Blood Incantation because they've "elevated old-school death metal into a psychedelic, ever-expanding solar system".

Primary Wave has acquired a stake in the company owned by the estate of the legendary Bing Crosby, in a deal "estimated in excess of $50 million’, AP News reports. This deal includes the Bing Crosby Archives, featuring thousands of recordings by Bing Crosby and other artists, many of which have never been released. Terms of the deal include artist royalties from master recordings featuring Crosby’s performances, writer royalties from songs written by Bing Crosby, his rights in the film 'White Christmas', as well as other film, radio, and television productions. In addition, Primary Wave has acquired a stake in his name, likeness, and rights of publicity.

“Honestly, even if their music didn’t completely get inside me, I would have wanted to make a movie about them” - director Todd Haynes says in a Rolling Stone interview about his Velvet Underground documentary. “It’s that whole era, which was so revolutionary, but it’s also what they were trying to do as well in reaction to that era as well. Even in their little world, they were heavy. It’s about being resistant. It’s saying no. That’s so important to rock & roll”.

Taylor Swift returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with her remade album 'Fearless (Taylor’s Version)', for a second non-consecutive week atop the list with the album, Billboard reports. Swift's version of 'Fearless' surges from No. 157 to No. 1 with 152,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in last week. The set vaults back to No. 1 after the Oct. 1 release of a signed CD available only in Swift’s webstore and its vinyl LP. The album debuted at No. 1 in April.

"In a postmodern pop cultural moment, when notions of purism and authenticity seem irredeemably old-fashioned, it may seem like an odd time to write a book that is not only a history of popular music’s defining categories – rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance and pop – but an unapologetic defence of them" - Guardian writes in a review of a new book 'Major Labels' by Kelefa Sanneh, about music’s top categories. The G concludes that "devotion to a sound, whether hip-hop or hardcore, is essentially about community and belonging; a way to signify our togetherness and signal our difference, often through allegiance to one style at the expense of all others".

Madonna held a secret ‘Madame X’ gig in New York on Friday night and ended it by taking the show to the streets of Harlem. Madonna told W Magazine that she “wanted to pay homage to Harlem with an intimate performance. Harlem is the birthplace of James Baldwin, my eternal muse and a great source of inspiration for my film ['Madame X']” she added. Madonna performed at the club with a band led by Jon Batiste and a quartet of backing vocalists, before leading the group and audience out onto the street and down one block of 126th Street while singing ‘Like A Prayer’ through a megaphone. The parade ended in front of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

"Now what do we do to find a way to really resist the stuff that is destroying the planet, that’s causing working people’s lives to be worse than their parents’ were? Poverty and hunger kill more people than anything else on the planet and they are human-made problems. Those are the things that we need to be digging into, rather than being sidetracked by this carnival barker bullshit" - Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello said in a Guardian interview. When asked about the events of 6 January he said "we came within a baby’s breath of a fascist coup in this country", adding "interestingly, one of my dreams has always been to storm the Capitol, but not with a bunch of all-white, rightwing terrorists, you know? The ugliest part about it is how they have co-opted the idea of standing against the Man, at least in the US".

Fossil, conodont fossil

Fossil named after Tony Iommi

A 469 million-year-old fossil of a newly discovered species of conodonts (extinct jawless vertebrates that closely resemble eels) has just been named after founding Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, Blabbermouth reports. A team of Danish and Swedish paleontologists retrieved the fossil from a succession of limestone in western Russia which, during the Ordovician Period (a 45-million year period dating 488.3 million years back), formed sea floor sediments. Mats E. Eriksson, one of the paleontologists on the mission, has an extensive background in naming newly discovered fossils after heavy metal legends, having already honored Motorhead leader Lemmy Kilmister, Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster and singer King Diamond in the fossil.

The 11-year-old music sensation Nandi Bushell has teamed up with Tom Morello’s 10-year-old guitar-playing son Roman for the new song 'The Children Will Rise Up'. The two deliver an ecological message, with Jack Black, activist Greta Thunberg, and Roman’s dad making cameos in the music video.

Californian musician Lanny Cordola six years ago started The Miraculous Love Kids, a music school for girls in Kabul, Afghanistan. Two months ago it just perished. Besides this precious and once unimaginable school being shuttered, these girls’ lives are in peril. For now, laying low in their homes, having to wear a Hijab to go out is something that they have not grown up with - Spin points out and looks behind the hijab.

"The ability of a machine to do or outdo something humans do is interesting once at most" - Jan Swafford writes in her review of Beethoven's X symphony, which was finished by AI in the last two years. "Artificial intelligence can mimic art, but it can’t be expressive at it because, other than the definition of the word, it doesn’t know what expressive is. It also doesn’t know what excitement is, because there’s a reason people call excitement 'pulse-pounding', and computers don’t have pulses".

Peter Buffett and Cellist Michael Kott

Ted Gioia looks back at the case of Peter Buffett, son of legendary investor Warren Buffett who had given his son some shares in Berkshire Hathaway, and at age 19 Peter wanted to raise money so he could prepare at leisure for a music career. To cover expenses, he sold his entire stock holdings for $123,000 - shares that would now be worth $275 million. “It was understood that I should expect nothing more” he later wrote in his memoir 'Life is What You Make It'.

1 2 3 187

WordTips has a great feature - Singers Vocabularies. They counted the words used by 100 modern stars and the 100 greatest singers of all time and added up the number of unique words they used per 1,000 and used the formula for the feature. What they found is that the star with the biggest vocabulary overall is legend Patti Smith, who uses 217 unique words per 1,000 - she used 2,669 different words across a total word count of 12,291. The modern singer with the biggest vocabulary is Billie Eilish who uses 169 per 1,000. Legend Luther Vandross and modern star Trey Songz are tied with 66 for the smallest vocabulary. The song with the most unique words is Lou Reed’s 'The Murder Mystery', recorded by The Velvet Underground, with 639 words.

An interesting conversation on the Bandcamp with Weedie Braimah, a master of the djembe, a West African drum, the origins of which date back to the 12th Century. He talks about his position: "I am a quote-unquote percussionist. But let’s go deeper... There was a time when the drum wasn’t segregated. Let me say that again: There was a time when the drum wasn’t segregated. We, in this world in the West, segregated the instruments. We segregated the drums so bad that now cats be like, ‘Yeah, man I’m the drummer, and he’s the percussionist’". Braimah also goes on to explain the history of djembe.

The music theorist talks about working on music that explores human perception of time through irregular grooves in his latest video. Neely explains that "because they're grooves you're meant to feel them, to embody them, to move to them. With everything groove-related, when you overthink them, ever regular grooves you're kind of missing the point". It all started two decades ago with the song 'Soil' by System of a Down.

Raye

The first Black Lives in Music study found that 63% of Black music creators in the UK had experienced direct or indirect racism, including explicit racist language or different treatment because of their race or ethnicity, and 67% had witnessed such behaviour. Racial microaggressions were rife, experienced by 71% of Black music creators and witnessed by 73%. The report highlights the racial pay gap that disproportionately affects Black women. DJ Mag brings the important story.

Music writer Ted Gioia tries to see into the future, here are some of his predictions:

Record labels will gradually lose both the ability and desire to develop new artists. They will focus increasingly on their old catalog and archival materials.

More new artists will get their big break from web platforms... So I wouldn’t be surprised if a whole new platform emerges during the next decade—an interface that makes it fun and exciting for music fans to hear new music.

Listeners will have favorite new songs, but not know (or care) about the name of the artist.

Musician incomes will continue to shrink, but some young musicians will still earn large sums of money by being influencers.

Dead musicians will start showing up everywhere—via holograms, biopics, deepfake vocals, and other technology-driven interfaces.

Get ready for A-Pop from Africa, I-Pop from India or Indonesia, and a whole host of competing sounds and styles from Latin America, China, Eastern Europe, etc.

An interesting conversation by David Byrne and Lorde in Rolling Stone about catchy songs. Here's the elderly statesman: "You can say something quite profound, something kind of radical, even, but the melody can sound quite beautiful and seductive on the surface. And then it sucks you into something where it might really change your way of thinking. There was a time when I thought things had to be edgy. I was maybe afraid that if things sounded too beautiful or pretty, then it was shallow. Like a greeting card. You can’t be saying anything serious this way".

Produce Pandas are said to be China's first ever "plus-size" boyband, debuting in July last year, sing upbeat songs about being confident and true to oneself. Some fans are now revelling in the idea of having celebrities that look just like them, after years of seeing thin and clean-cut male stars known colloquially as "little fresh meat" - BBC writes looking at the bottom of the story.Five wonders

Pitchfork asked its readers to rank the 200 best albums released between 1996 and 2021, in celebration of the site's 25 years online. The People's List is also an interactive, infographical look at how their readers’ gender identities, ages, locations, and the number of years they’ve been reading Pitchfork. Check it out here.

"'Geist', an album largely focused on spiritual shifts and ruptures, is a quiet, lovely, undramatic rendering of the dramatic... How ruination can lead to resurrection, and life can feel sweetest when one surrenders to change" - Pitchfork reviews the new album by Shannon Lay. Clash describes it as "the vulnerable soundtrack to a person’s self-discovery during a period of long, hard reflection", whereas Narc hears "an incredibly beautiful and delicate record". Dusted likes the comforting side of it - "it’s humble, heartening and wise".

1 2 3 561