Maryanne Amacher / Bebe Barron

“The history of women has been a story of silence, and music is no exception” - Lisa Rovner told Dazed about her documentary 'Sisters with Transistors' which tells the story of (almost) forgotten women who helped invent and create electronic music. The film is narrated by Laurie Anderson, features guest appearances by Aura Satz, Holly Herndon, and Kim Gordon, and it tells the stories of women like Bebe Barron who composed the first completely electronic score for any mainstream film, for 1956’s 'Forbidden Planet'.

Great PR just waiting to happen - Slipknot taking off their masks

What's a masked artist to do when everyone wears a mask?

Italian rapper, performance artist and L.G.B.T.Q. icon Myss Keta, the mysterious Queen of the Milan Night, used masks to lift herself from underground clubs to the cusp of national celebrity. Now, everybody in Italy is required to wear masks in public at all times, which stripped her of her defining shtick. “Before, it was a distinguishing characteristic. Now, it’s something we all have in common” - she told the New York Times.

"Barbie is an icon in her own right, so having her pay tribute to my work and personal style is a real honour" - Elton John told Rolling Stone about a Barbie doll based on him. The new doll sees Mattel's most beloved character decked out in head-to-toe Elton gear, and it's now available to pre-order for $50. The Elton John Barbie will drop on October 29. Elbarb

"I think the world's always been shit but it's always been great as well. There's a definite balance to these things. I always like to remind people that if you were born just over 100 years ago, you probably would have been drafted into some glorified muddy chess game. Human beings just haven't learned what it actually means to be human beings. So it’s always been dark" - Napalm Death singer Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway said in the Quietus interview, talking about the band's latest album 'Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism'. Talking about the band's lyrics and sonics he said - "I do like the artistic contradiction between the very humane lyrics and the absolutely inhumane sonics. But there doesn't have to be a distinction between pushing ideas and trying to understand people, trying to connect with people".

26-year-old busker Matt Grant was playing his guitar on a street in Edinburgh when an allegedly drunk woman smashed his only guitar (the young man is kind enough to call her a "lady" in a Tweet). “That’s a £300 guitar... Obviously, if I don’t have a guitar, I can’t busk. If you could help out, I’d be — massive appreciation” - Grant said and set up a GoFundMe, which was a great success (he got over £4,000) so he went and bought a new guitar, The Daily Record reports. While he was buying a new guitar, he got a call from Jack White's manager telling him the guitarist feels bad for what happened and wants to buy him a new guitar. And so he did - a £3,600 Fender Stratocaster. Good beats drunk, after all!

Podcaster Jake Brennan told a chilling-amazing story in his Dead and Gone podcast about the unusual spate of missing and murdered fans of the Grateful Dead, better known as Deadheads, the Daily Beast reports. Brennan names several out of numerous cases of murders and disappearances, plenty unresolved to his day, and offers a possible explanation - "Grateful Dead... live and preach this super anti-authority lifestyle, even after they became an institution themselves. Being a Deadhead and traveling on the road following the band was all about living outside of the bounds of society, and there's a lawlessness that goes along with that. It's ultimately part of what contributed to this environment of vulnerability where people went missing and lost their lives".

Both the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 - 24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior's 'Mood', and the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart - Pop Smoke's 'Shoot For the Stars, Aim For the Moon' were aided by massive popularity on TikTok. Fleetwood Mac have climbed to the Top 10 of the albums chart after going viral on the video-sharing service. Billboard staff discusses the impact of the video platform on its charts.

Short-video streaming service Quibi is shutting down six months after launching, in an attempt to return as much capital to investors as possible, The Wall Street Journal reports. Quibi cost $4.99 a month and hosted programs in 5-to-10 minute “chapters”, formatted to fit smartphone screens. Quibi included some music-related content, such as MTV’s rebooted prank show 'Punk’d' (hosted by Chance the Rapper), Eric André’s 'Rapper Warrior Ninja' show, and a new season of Reno 911. According to LA Times, Quibi raised $1.75 billion in funding from major Hollywood film studios, TV companies, telecommunications companies, technology companies, banks, and other investors including Disney, 21st Century Fox, Sony, Time Warner, Viacom, eOne, Lionsgate, MGM, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Alibaba. At the end of the summer, Quibi had $350 million in funds available.

A BBC investigation has found racist songs on major music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Deezer. These platforms do not allow such content, however, BBC easily found at least 20 songs with disturbing content. Searching out the music required no specialist skills or effort.

Elizabeth Cotten

She Shreds lists 7 early black female musicians - mostly guitarists and bassists, one vocalist - "who pioneered the path for music as we know it today". They are:

Mamie Smith (1891–1946) - made the Blues a national sensation in 1920

Elizabeth Cotten (1893-1987) - The Mother of Folk

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915 – 1973) - invented and pioneered the sounds of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Sylvia Robinson (1935 – 2011) - The Mother of Hip Hop

Beverly “Guitar” Watkins (1939 – 2019) - one of the first women to be recognized as a lead blues guitarist

Lady Bo aka Peggy Jones (1940 – 2015) - played a key role in the transition of Blues to Rock ‘n’ Roll

Barbara Lynn (1942 – present) - Mother of R&B Guitar

The Beths live in 2019

New Zealand is one of the only places in the world where musicians are touring right now, since they have successfully curtailed community spread of covid-19 with a total lockdown. Washington Post talked to the Beths, a band that's back on tour, happy to play and mingle with the crowd. However, they are limited to New Zealand, so by the end of their current tour, the Beths will have played 17 shows in their home country. Normally, they would have played 60 international dates...

Retired American musician and satirist Tim Lehrer, 92 years old now, has posted all his lyrics on his website and declared them public domain, to be "downloaded and used in any manner whatsoever, without requiring any further permission from me or any payment to me or to anyone else". His music is coming soon to the same website.

TikTok seemed like a space mainly for hip-hop and pop artists, but this year the door was opened for indie-rock as well, Water & Music reports on the change of trends. Mitski’s song 'Me and My Husband' went from roughly 100,000 streams a month to 100,000 streams a day, thanks to a TikTok trend. The most popular song on Spotify for indie-rock legends Pavement is a 1997 B-side called 'Harness Your Hopes', an unofficial, uncredited clip of which is currently included in over 20,000 videos on TikTok. The second most-streamed song on Spotify by the band The Front Bottoms is a 2014 deep cut 'Be Nice to Me', which, thanks to being featured in over 47,000 TikTok videos through an unofficial clip, is currently dwarfing every song from the band’s brand new record. There's an issue looming over TikTok's head - figuring out how to properly pay royalties on user-generated content.

The Staves

Newcomers Red Fiction mix metal, jazz and Eastern European folk on 'Kerberos'; gospel meets psychedelia on 'Unity (It’s Up To You)' by Badge Époque Ensemble; Nick Cave has shared his unreleased track ‘Euthanasia’, written during the 'Skeleton Tree' period; composer Olafur Arnalds and producer Bonobo team up for atmospheric gem 'Loom'; death metal meets western American music in Wayfarer's 'The Crimson Rider'; a good indie-rock song 'Good Woman' by the Staves; Chamberlain, making their first album in 20 years, released just a straight rock song 'Not Your War'.

“The beat box…was running fast, which means when you played the tape back, it came out slow. And that had an enormous amount to do with the sound of 'Nebraska'" - Bruce Springsteen said on his Apple Music radio series 'Letter to You Radio' talking to Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl about the beginning of their music careers, CoS reports. He explained - "'Nebraska' in its entirety is slowed down from its actual recording pitch. When I brought the pitch up to where it should actually be, it brightened a record up and took away a lot of its mysteriousness. So 'Nebraska' was this totally haphazard, happy accident that occurred over a few weeks with just whatever equipment we had laying around and the whole record cost us, including the price of the tape, it cost us about a thousand dollars to make”. Springsteen releases his new album 'Letter To You' this week.

Chet “JR” White, the bassist and producer in US indie rock band Girls, has died aged 40, Pitchfork reports. As a teenager, White played in a punk group called the Willies, and in 2007 he formed Girls with Christopher Owens, releasing two critically acclaimed full-length albums - 2009’s 'Album' and 2011’s 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost'. After their split in 2012, Chet worked primarily as a producer.

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher, Anthrax bassist Frank Bello, Korn drummer Ray Luzier, Men Without Hats keyboardist Ivan Doroschuk, and others have joined forces to cover Faith No More's 'We Care a Lot'. The collaboration was organized by Slaves on Dope members Jason Rockman and Kevin Jardine, who contribute vocals and guitar. Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzén handles the first verse, while other vocalists include Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC, Richard Patrick of Filter, Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth, rapper Esoteric of Czarface, and Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace. The performance was organized to support the Roadie Relief effort, benefitting concert crew members who have been out of work in the midst of the pandemic - buy the song via Bandcamp.

Global stars like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj have spoken out against police brutality in Nigeria, which has also drawn attention of the Amnesty International who reported about - "excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos". Nigerian musicians like Burna Boy, Davido, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, and Mr. Eazi have lent their voices to the #EndSARS movement, The Fader reports. SARS, or the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, was the name of Nigeria's notoriously cruel police unit, which was reportedly dissolved earlier this month.

Sigur Rós are facing a trial in Icelandic court for tax evasion, one the current and former band members say could leave them financially ruined and even jailed, Guardian reports. The band says the trial is a breach of European double jeopardy laws, since they were already tried for the same case, and the court is likely to impose a fine of at least 200% of the tax evaded. Bassist Georg “Goggi” Holm, former keyboardist Kjartan “Kjarri” Sveinsson, and former drummer Orri Páll Dýrason all say they are thinking about leaving the country, following in the footsteps of singer and guitarist Jónsi Birgisson, now based in Los Angeles. The band says they have already paid back the money in the same case (151m Icelandic krona, £840,000).

California rapper Nuke Bizzle - real name Fontrell Antonio Baines - was arrested for unemployment fraud after rapping about - committing unemployment fraud, The New York Times reports. Baines applied for unemployment benefits using stolen identities and was issued more than $1.2 million in fraudulently obtained benefits through at least 92 different debit cards, of which he cashed in more than $704,000 of them. He obtained them through a federal program that extended unemployment benefits to workers who are self-employed or independent contractors during the pandemic. He rapped about his actions in the music video for a song featuring Fat Wizza called 'EDD' in which he bragged about getting “rich off EDD” and having “swagger for EDD”, all while holding envelopes from the Employment Development Department. He faces up to 22 years in prison.

Lala &ce

The Quietus made a great collection of the latest French music, going from hip-hop and chansons, to French and North African folk, as well as power techno. There's also a band of children, Les Loustics, with members aged 7, 9, and 12. Listen to the October mix - here.

Chineke! Orchestra has created a composition inspired by the encouraging moment from the London Black Lives Matter protests in June when anti-racism protester Patrick Hutchinson carried to safety an injured counter-protester, BBC reports. The piece, composed by James B. Wilson and including powerful poetry by Yomi Sode, is performed by Chineke! Orchestra, the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of majority black, Asian and ethnically diverse musicians.

José Padilla, the Spanish DJ who created the hugely successful Café del Mar compilation series in the 1990s, has died aged 64 from colon cancer, El Pais reports. Padilla moved to Ibiza in 1976 and began DJing in the island’s clubs, making his name as resident DJ at Café del Mar, the San Antonio bar that became famous for pairing relaxed music with sunset vistas. He also made his own music.

"The Griselda philosophy is rap about what you know, sound like who you are, and let the world find you" - Music Redef writes in their new thread on Griselda Records, an underground hip-hop label and crew from Buffalo, New York. At the foundation of Griselda, there are Conway the Machine, his brother Westside Gunn, and their cousin Benny the Butcher, all of whom have released notable albums in the past five weeks as the label continues to edge its way into hip-hop's spotlight.

The Welsh guitarist was the driving force behind The Spencer Davis Group, who scored transatlantic hits with 'Keep On Running' and 'Somebody Help Me'. Inspired by blues and skiffle, Spencer Davis formed a band called The Saints with Bill Wyman, later a member of the Rolling Stones; and performed folk music with Christine Perfect - who, as Christine McVie, became a core member of Fleetwood Mac's classic line-up. After line-up changes, the band changed their name to The Spencer Davis Group, featuring also a teenage Stevie Winwood. Along with a number of other early British pop groups, they helped popularise the sound of US blues and R&B in the UK. The band toured with The Who and The Rolling Stones in the 60s. Guardian reflects on his career.

Avant-garde rapper Backxwash has won the 2020 Polaris Music Prize for her album 'God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It'. Backxwash, the stage name of performer Ashanti Mutinta, blends gothic elements of rap and metal music with her own personal experiences with faith, family and her queer identity. Also nominated were Caribou, Junia-T, Kaytranada, nêhiyawak, Pantayo, Lido Pimienta, Jessie Reyez, U.S. Girls, and Witch Prophet.

Next best thing after life itself

What would our lives be like without music?

Vice published a great text about the lack of live music, and what really we are missing (not the sounds coming out of speakers): "It’s the one thing, besides sports, that provides community when no one else gives a shit. The impact that has on opportunity and quality of life, even – in fact especially – in the context of financial hardship, is huge. So it’s baffling, although does not surprise me in the slightest, that when it comes to making 'necessary cuts' to 'save' the economy, cultural and social services are always the first against the wall. People rarely consider things they don’t need, and no one needs fun less than rich people".

Three 6 Mafia announced what they claim will be the first arena show in the US since the pandemic began, WTVQ reports. The Dec. 11 show at RUPP ARENA in Lexington will be reduced from a capacity of 21,017 to 15 percent, which amounts to 3,152 concert-goers and event staff. The attendees will be required to wear masks and to have their temperature checked upon entry. The audience will be located in pods of 4 people or less to ensure social distancing. Tickets go for $42 to $153.

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Maryanne Amacher / Bebe Barron

“The history of women has been a story of silence, and music is no exception” - Lisa Rovner told Dazed about her documentary 'Sisters with Transistors' which tells the story of (almost) forgotten women who helped invent and create electronic music. The film is narrated by Laurie Anderson, features guest appearances by Aura Satz, Holly Herndon, and Kim Gordon, and it tells the stories of women like Bebe Barron who composed the first completely electronic score for any mainstream film, for 1956’s 'Forbidden Planet'.

Great PR just waiting to happen - Slipknot taking off their masks

What's a masked artist to do when everyone wears a mask?

Italian rapper, performance artist and L.G.B.T.Q. icon Myss Keta, the mysterious Queen of the Milan Night, used masks to lift herself from underground clubs to the cusp of national celebrity. Now, everybody in Italy is required to wear masks in public at all times, which stripped her of her defining shtick. “Before, it was a distinguishing characteristic. Now, it’s something we all have in common” - she told the New York Times.

"Barbie is an icon in her own right, so having her pay tribute to my work and personal style is a real honour" - Elton John told Rolling Stone about a Barbie doll based on him. The new doll sees Mattel's most beloved character decked out in head-to-toe Elton gear, and it's now available to pre-order for $50. The Elton John Barbie will drop on October 29. Elbarb

"I think the world's always been shit but it's always been great as well. There's a definite balance to these things. I always like to remind people that if you were born just over 100 years ago, you probably would have been drafted into some glorified muddy chess game. Human beings just haven't learned what it actually means to be human beings. So it’s always been dark" - Napalm Death singer Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway said in the Quietus interview, talking about the band's latest album 'Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism'. Talking about the band's lyrics and sonics he said - "I do like the artistic contradiction between the very humane lyrics and the absolutely inhumane sonics. But there doesn't have to be a distinction between pushing ideas and trying to understand people, trying to connect with people".

26-year-old busker Matt Grant was playing his guitar on a street in Edinburgh when an allegedly drunk woman smashed his only guitar (the young man is kind enough to call her a "lady" in a Tweet). “That’s a £300 guitar... Obviously, if I don’t have a guitar, I can’t busk. If you could help out, I’d be — massive appreciation” - Grant said and set up a GoFundMe, which was a great success (he got over £4,000) so he went and bought a new guitar, The Daily Record reports. While he was buying a new guitar, he got a call from Jack White's manager telling him the guitarist feels bad for what happened and wants to buy him a new guitar. And so he did - a £3,600 Fender Stratocaster. Good beats drunk, after all!

Podcaster Jake Brennan told a chilling-amazing story in his Dead and Gone podcast about the unusual spate of missing and murdered fans of the Grateful Dead, better known as Deadheads, the Daily Beast reports. Brennan names several out of numerous cases of murders and disappearances, plenty unresolved to his day, and offers a possible explanation - "Grateful Dead... live and preach this super anti-authority lifestyle, even after they became an institution themselves. Being a Deadhead and traveling on the road following the band was all about living outside of the bounds of society, and there's a lawlessness that goes along with that. It's ultimately part of what contributed to this environment of vulnerability where people went missing and lost their lives".

Both the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 - 24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior's 'Mood', and the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart - Pop Smoke's 'Shoot For the Stars, Aim For the Moon' were aided by massive popularity on TikTok. Fleetwood Mac have climbed to the Top 10 of the albums chart after going viral on the video-sharing service. Billboard staff discusses the impact of the video platform on its charts.

Short-video streaming service Quibi is shutting down six months after launching, in an attempt to return as much capital to investors as possible, The Wall Street Journal reports. Quibi cost $4.99 a month and hosted programs in 5-to-10 minute “chapters”, formatted to fit smartphone screens. Quibi included some music-related content, such as MTV’s rebooted prank show 'Punk’d' (hosted by Chance the Rapper), Eric André’s 'Rapper Warrior Ninja' show, and a new season of Reno 911. According to LA Times, Quibi raised $1.75 billion in funding from major Hollywood film studios, TV companies, telecommunications companies, technology companies, banks, and other investors including Disney, 21st Century Fox, Sony, Time Warner, Viacom, eOne, Lionsgate, MGM, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Alibaba. At the end of the summer, Quibi had $350 million in funds available.

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