Nick Cave praised Nina Simone and her live recording of ‘My Sweet Lord’ in his latest Red Hand Files blog, calling her rendition of George Harrison song a "howl of spiritual abandonment and accusation". He explained: "In this extraordinarily bold statement, Nina Simone stands defiant in the face of spiritual oblivion, and a world (and God) that so readily allows war and senseless carnage to occur, he continued. “It is a protest song par excellence that serves as a form of transport, a vehicle that takes us on a complex and nuanced journey into transcendent rage".

Eddy Lee Rider

'Expected to Fly' by Eddy Lee Rider is a big-rock song about losing a friend; Illuminati Hotties' awesome titled 'Will I Get Canceled If I Write a Song Called, 'If You Were a Man You'd Be So Cancelled' is a minute-and-something noise-rock and punk attitude blast; Michael Kiwanuka's dance song? - yes, when remixed by Bonobo; Mexico City's Mint Field go shoegaze psychedelia on 'Contingencia'; an average Kid Cudi and an awesome Eminem on their collaboration 'The Adventures Of Moon Man & Slim Shady'; it's more of the old stuff, but it's still great celebratory & happy Sufjan Stevens in 'My Rajneesh'; Kaytranada doesn't go wrong with his dance-pop - 'Look Easy'; Calabashed is a sort-of jazz-supergroup delivering smooth soul-jazz in 'Ode To Jazzman John Clarke'; Bettye LaVette remade songs by mighty women, one of these is timeless and powerful 'One More Song'; Avenue Beat don't appreciate this year particularly, but 'F2020' is huge on TikTok; Pallbearer go trad-doom on 'Forgotten Days'; 'Midnight Watch' by Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian is, well, just lovely; Greg Puciato formerly of Dilling Escape Plan is back with post-hardcore sludge combo - 'Do You Need Me To Remind You'.

Spotify will launch in Russia next Wednesday (July 15), which will by Spot's first major global expansion in 16 months, following its launch in India in February 2019, Music Business Worldwide reports. Russia is home to a population of approximately 144m people, including an estimated 95m+ smartphone owners. Russia was the fastest-growing major market globally for the record industry in 2019, with a 50.3% revenue increase year-on-year, generating above $170m last year, making it the world’s 17th biggest music market.

UnitedMasters is bringing a shift in music ownership - they are offering artists to either let the digital distribution and tools company take a 10 percent cut of their royalties, or pay a $5 monthly fee and keep all the royalties to themself. Artists who pay the monthly fee will have a chance to have their music be considered by ESPN. Seems an obvious choice for any artist whos monthly revenue from streaming music services is $50 or more. The company says it has distributed and promoted music for more than 500,000 artists across all the major streaming services and social-media sites.

"I put up a photo of Obama smoking a cigarette, looked like he was enjoying it, and these people were arguing for days. But I’m not gonna get involved because you can’t argue with stupid" - country singer Margo Price told LA Times about alienating some fans with posts on social media. "There have been so many times where I’ve put in some kind of thoughtful response to somebody, and it rarely does any good. I’m not really worried about losing a few fans. I think I’m gaining an equal amount". She released her new album 'That’s How Rumors Get Started' this week.

Massive Attack have released a new EP called 'Eutopia', featuring Algiers, Saul Williams, and Young Fathers, tackling three of the most immportant issues of our time - climate emergency, tax haven extraction and Universal Basic Income. The songs also feature three political speakers: Christiana Figueres, who wrote the UN Paris Climate Agreement; universal basic income theorist Guy Standing; and Gabriel Zucman, the professor behind the “wealth tax” policy in America.

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine has spoken of his experiences with racism and encounters with the KKK - “In Los Angeles, dozens of times, I was pulled over when driving, going on official band business but in my old Chevy Astro van when I was driving through Beverly Hills. ‘Why is there a thirty-something-year-old black man in this neighbourhood?’", Radio X reports. While he was growing up, in Libertyville in Illinois, he was "the only black person. Once, there was a noose in my family\s garage, there was the occasional burned cross on the lawn", and then, “I was in a popular band that had songs that were predominantly played on white, rock-oriented stations, the way I speak is not typically urban vernacular, and there’s a large part of my fan base that freaks the fuck out when I say that I’m black".

"Although free speech remains the fundamental bedrock of a free society, for everyone to enjoy the benefits of freedom, liberty needs to be tempered by two further dimensions: equality and accountability. Without equality, those in power will use their freedom of expression to abuse and marginalise others. Without accountability, liberty can mutate into the most dangerous of all freedoms – impunity... When reason, respect and responsibility are all under threat, accountability offers us a better foundation on which to build a cohesive society, one where everyone feels that their voice is heard" - musician and activist Billy Bragg wrote in Guardian on the issue of "cancel culture", after an open letter that is decrying cancel culture, signed by 150 academics and writers, has been published. Actor Ricky Gervais joined the discussion saying there are “outrage mobs that take everything out of context” and that "some people have lost their sense of irony". Gervais pressed that free speech was not the same as criticism-free speech - “some people think freedom of speech means, I should be able to say anything without consequences and it doesn’t mean that”.

Fiona Adams, one of the Beatles' most frequently used photographer, has died at the age of 84, BBC reports. Adams is best known for the memorable shot of the Fab Four jumping off a Brick Wall on London’s Euston Road, which famously adorned the cover of 1963’s ‘Twist And Shout’ – the group’s first UK EP. Adams also went on to photograph some of the 60s’ other defining icons too – including Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.

Iggy Pop is taking his song back - he shared the music video to ‘The Passenger’, 43 years after the song has been released, and covered numerous times since. In the visuals, black and white photos of a young Iggy Pop fade into view over vignettes of night-time motorway driving (watch below). ‘The Passenger’ was the B-side to Pop’s song ‘Success’, the first single released from his second solo studio album ‘Lust For Life’ (1977).

Lady A / Lady Antebellum

"You don’t get to just come and take because you have that privilege" - blues singer Lady A, real white Anita White, told Vulture about a lawsuit that the country band Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum) had brought up against her. The band claim that White's attorneys "delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand" of $10 million. The lawsuit they've now filed does not ask for monetary damages, but an official declaration that the band are lawfully using the Lady A trademark. White also told Vulture (via Exclaim) that while the band Lady A's presence grew in the public eye (and on search engines, Spotify and Apple Music), hers shrank. When she tried to upload her new independent single via independent distribution service DistroKid, she couldn't verify her name. She believes it's a thing of racism - "here we go again with another white person trying to take something from a Black person, even though they say they’re trying to help. If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing. And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased”.

Fugazi in 1987

Sohrab Habibion, staple of post-hardcore, punk, and indie rock for over 30 years, filmed dozens of punk and hardcore shows in the DC area in the 1980s. With the help from Roswell Films and the DC Public Library's Punk Archive, many of those classic videos have been digitized and are now available to watch on YouTube, including full '80s-era sets by FugaziDag Nasty, Government Issue, Moss Icon, Shudder To Think, Scream, 7Seconds, Descendents, Marginal Man, Gray Matter, One Last Wish, Soul Side, Half Japanese, Fire Party, D.O.A., Saccharine Trust, Doughboys, GWAR, Gang Green, Jerry's Kids, The Lemonheads, and whole lot more. Watch the videos at Sohrab Habibion's YouTube channel.

Thanks to the United States’ current perfect storm of dire and radical socioeconomic conditions, the country music industry must immediately broaden its social perspective. For both the genre’s economic preservation and, more importantly, to highlight an intrinsic, industry-wide acceptance of the empathetic kindness needed to define America's future, it's necessary - The Boot argues in a brave text about unity.

He likes his stuff black - clothes, wine, metal...

Satyricon frontman sells his wine business for $5 million

Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven, frontman for Norwegian black metal group Satyricon, has sold 90 percent of his wine business, Wongraven Wines to Norwegian alcohol manufacturer and distributor Vingruppen, for NOK 51.3 million (roughly $5.4 million or €4.8 million). Satyr had been producing wine since 2010, and In recent years, the brand has become an industry leader in the singer's home country.

Five people have been arrested in connection to the murder of Brooklyn rapper, Pop Smoke. So far, three adults and two juveniles, 15 and 17 years, were charged for their roles in the deadly shooting. The three men were identified as Jaquan Murphy, 21, Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre D. Rodgers, 18, all of Los Angeles. The news of the arrests comes on the heels of the release Pop Smoke's posthumous album 'Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon'. The 20-year-old rapper was fatally shot and killed at a rented Hollywood Hills home on February 19. Authorities believe Pop Smoke was shot and killed after his social media posts led five suspects to the house he was renting.

Americans are increasingly interested in returning to live events in the near future, music sales have picked up significantly as stores reopen, audio and video streaming also have rebounded following a significant dip at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, a new survey has shown. The majority of concerts-goers is willing to accept new rules at gigs - empty seats around each group, wearing masks, temperature checks, limited number in bathrooms...

YouTuber Vance Kotrla has made a hilarious black metal song 'Wear a Mask' that explains why everybody needs to wear masks. The video starts out with him holding an acoustic guitar standing, saying he is in a folk band, so he decided to write a song encouraging people to wear masks. So he did - a short and funny black metal banger, with lyrics like "Wear a mask / Over your nose and mouth / Wear a mask / To stay above the ground". Watch below.

Ugandan electronic music festival Nyege Nyege will take place this year as well, from September 3 - 6, as both physical and online celebration, Fact reports. Nyege Nyege Tapes and Hakuna Kulala will be throwing a party in full compliance with COVID safety measures, featuring a stacked lineup including Afrigo Band, Jose Chameleon and East African dancehall queen Cindy, as well as a full Nyege Nyege roster including Kampire, Slikback, MC Yallah, Fulu Miziki, Nilotikaa and more. Digital edition will involve live reports from the site, 360 degree live cameras, virtual stages, an industry-focused “artists only” area, with international crews joining the party from Portugal, Canada, Spain, Palestine..

Some of the biggest acts in music - including Eagles, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Tool, Nickelback, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Chainsmokers, and Chris Stapleton - have received funding from the US government to support their crews for any current and future tours postponed due to coronavirus. The Eagles, Pearl Jam and Disturbed took out some of the larger loans among the listed touring musicians, being granted somewhere between $350,000 and $1 million. American government helped some small labels as well - Sub Pop Records, Third Man Records, and Knitting Factory Records each received a minimum of $350,000. J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, Light in the Attic, ATO Records, Dim Mak, Rostrum, Cleopatra, and Stones Throw Records each received at least $150,000.

Behemoth bandleader Adam "Nergal" Darski was in court this week to defend his band's "The Republic of the Unfaithful" logo, which takes its inspiration from the white eagle on Poland's coat of arms. Nergal explains - "They think that copyrights of white eagle is solely owned by Poland and every other interpretation of the bird is a blasphemy. My antagonists seem to be sooo desperate to nail their favorite scapegoat to their rotten moral cross that they missed all the common sense in the narrative".

The average tempo of 2020's top 20 best-selling songs is 122 beats per minute, the highest it's been since 2009, BBC reports. The lyrics follow suit - this year they celebrate joy and sensuality and thrill. For the last few years, pop has been getting slower, as artists like Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish incorporate the leisurely cadences and rhythms of southern hip-hop and trap music into their songs. This year the songs are faster and happier, just like in the times of the last crisis.

Hum

Brooklyn Vegan, inspired by the latest Hum album, has put together a list of 28 essential songs from the crossover between shoegaze and heavier genres of music like punk, metal, post-hardcore, and grunge. It goes from songs that helped sew the seeds of the genre like Failure and Shiner, to the more recent bands who took this sound and turned it into something more prominent than ever, like Alcest, Torche, and Holy Fawn.

That last musician in the White House was there ages ago, time for a new one?!

Kanye West unveils his political platform - conservative, anti-vaccine, pro-life...

Kanye West talked in lengths with Forbes about his presidential bid - he has chosen a party name, Birthday Party, a slogan, “YES!”, and a vice president - Wyoming preacher Michelle Tidball. His political views are quite conservative - he said vaccines are “the mark of the beast”; he believes family planning is racist - “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work”; he envisions a White House organizational model based on the secret country of Wakanda in 'Black Panther'. NME's Mark Beaumont argues that West's "Presidential bid, by swaying even a small amount of liberal and minority voters away from Biden, might well serve to aid Trump’s re-election chances. You might even wonder if the whole idea for the West 2020 campaign came from POTUS sliding into his DMs to stroke his permanently priapic ego".

Helene Fischer, the “queen of schlager”

"I love schlager, and unironically so" - Guardian's Angelica Frey writes in favor of one Germany's biggest cultural exports. Why does she? - "I love the frequently occurring one-two rhythm – the oompah! – and the cheerful, sweet melodies and lyrics, which, while lacking wit and bite, are unbridled expressions of joy". Finally -"I also love the way this bright, shiny thread is woven so closely into the fabric of pop music".

Martin Scorsese is directing a documentary about New York Dolls frontman David Johansen, based around a performance Johansen gave at NYC's Café Carlyle, Variety reports. "His music has been a touchstone ever since I listened to the Dolls when I was making 'Mean Streets'" says Scorsese, adding - "Then and now, David's music captures the energy and excitement of New York City". The film will follow Johansen’s arrival in New York’s East Village in the late 1960s and the start of his musical career started in the 1970s as lead singer for the punk/glam pioneers the New York Dolls, along with his role in the swing revival as Buster Poindexter in the 1980s and in the blues as part of the Harry Smiths in the 1990s.

A small tribute by Loudwire to the Native Americans in rock and metal:

Testament vocalist Chuck Billy is a descendent of the Pomo Native American tribe; he spent much of his youth on the Hopeland Indian Reservation north of San Francisco

Jimi Hendrix often spoke about his grandmother, who was a member of the Cherokee tribe

Jimmy Carl Black was a Cheyenne drummer for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Rock band Blackfoot - founded by musicians with Cheyenne, Cherokee and Lakota Sioux - experienced major success in the late 1970s

Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna is a descendant of the Iroquois tribe...

"This past week alone, the hip-hop world loudly celebrated Black voices at the BET Awards, in popular interview podcasts, and during Monday night’s Verzuz battle. But the industry continues to be silent on its own transgressions: Those same platforms have also conspicuously amplified the voices of men accused of abusing Black women. In reflexively offering praise and visibility to such figures, hip-hop institutions implicitly condone their alleged behavior. This support reflects a pattern apparent across the music industry of protecting, and even uplifting, men facing serious allegations of assault against women - particularly against Black women" - The Atlantic brings out a serious issue.

Across the UK, young people are ignoring lockdown, strapping on bumbags and making for woods and fields. With the coronavirus pandemic having closed bars and clubs and cancelled or postponed festivals, raves are sweeping the UK - Guardian reflects on illegal raves being held in the UK. There were plenty already - 4,000 people in Daisy Nook; 2,000 people attended a “quarantine rave” in Carrington; 1,000 people raved in Brookhay Woods, near Lichfield; hundreds of revellers danced to house music in a forest near Kirkby; 1,000 people gathered in Stokes Croft near Bristol; police shut down a rave in an underpass of the M1 motorway in Leeds; hundreds gathered in a courtyard in Moss Side in Manchester. One raver Katie, who attended an illegal rave in a forest near Glasgow, summed it up pretty close: “I had this feeling of: wow, people really will go far for a party, won’t they?”.

"The history of Black rockers is crazy. Little Richard and Chuck Berry were literally risking their lives. At any point, they could have been shot by cops at the side of the road" - music journalism veteran Scott Sterling told Los Angeleno in conversation with Tony Pierce about black guitar players. And they're one the most important ones; "Bad Brains was kind of like on some Miles Davis jazz thing. Those guys could really play"; "We can talk about [Thin Lizzy's] Phil Lynott all day and twice on Sunday"; "Lenny Kravitz is a guitar hero. A lot of his great solos are themes. It’s not about blowing everyone away, it’s creating a little melodic theme that people can latch onto"; "Eddie Hazel from Parliament-Funkadelic... is one of the main dudes"; "Tom Morello is literally a guitar hero. An educated Black man who can play with Bruce Springsteen just as easily as he can play with Zach"; "Isn’t it interesting that most people don’t consider Slash a Black guitarist?".

"I understand that streaming is what people use, but in terms of artists getting direct benefits from their art immediately, Bandcamp, I would say, is obviously the superior tool for that" - Wyatt Stevens, founder of Haus of Altr label, told Resident Advisory about his favourite streaming service. Bandcamp's founder Ethan Diamond told RA they get support from many sides - "If there's one thing I hear more than anything else, it's 'please, don't change'". People say stuff like, 'I was able to quit my job to focus on music full-time because of the money I made from fans through Bandcamp. I was able to focus on my label full-time. You're the last hope.' Extreme stuff like that. I definitely take the trust that artists have put in Bandcamp over the last decade very seriously and try to remember that in pretty much everything that we do".

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Nick Cave praised Nina Simone and her live recording of ‘My Sweet Lord’ in his latest Red Hand Files blog, calling her rendition of George Harrison song a "howl of spiritual abandonment and accusation". He explained: "In this extraordinarily bold statement, Nina Simone stands defiant in the face of spiritual oblivion, and a world (and God) that so readily allows war and senseless carnage to occur, he continued. “It is a protest song par excellence that serves as a form of transport, a vehicle that takes us on a complex and nuanced journey into transcendent rage".

Eddy Lee Rider

'Expected to Fly' by Eddy Lee Rider is a big-rock song about losing a friend; Illuminati Hotties' awesome titled 'Will I Get Canceled If I Write a Song Called, 'If You Were a Man You'd Be So Cancelled' is a minute-and-something noise-rock and punk attitude blast; Michael Kiwanuka's dance song? - yes, when remixed by Bonobo; Mexico City's Mint Field go shoegaze psychedelia on 'Contingencia'; an average Kid Cudi and an awesome Eminem on their collaboration 'The Adventures Of Moon Man & Slim Shady'; it's more of the old stuff, but it's still great celebratory & happy Sufjan Stevens in 'My Rajneesh'; Kaytranada doesn't go wrong with his dance-pop - 'Look Easy'; Calabashed is a sort-of jazz-supergroup delivering smooth soul-jazz in 'Ode To Jazzman John Clarke'; Bettye LaVette remade songs by mighty women, one of these is timeless and powerful 'One More Song'; Avenue Beat don't appreciate this year particularly, but 'F2020' is huge on TikTok; Pallbearer go trad-doom on 'Forgotten Days'; 'Midnight Watch' by Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian is, well, just lovely; Greg Puciato formerly of Dilling Escape Plan is back with post-hardcore sludge combo - 'Do You Need Me To Remind You'.

Spotify will launch in Russia next Wednesday (July 15), which will by Spot's first major global expansion in 16 months, following its launch in India in February 2019, Music Business Worldwide reports. Russia is home to a population of approximately 144m people, including an estimated 95m+ smartphone owners. Russia was the fastest-growing major market globally for the record industry in 2019, with a 50.3% revenue increase year-on-year, generating above $170m last year, making it the world’s 17th biggest music market.

UnitedMasters is bringing a shift in music ownership - they are offering artists to either let the digital distribution and tools company take a 10 percent cut of their royalties, or pay a $5 monthly fee and keep all the royalties to themself. Artists who pay the monthly fee will have a chance to have their music be considered by ESPN. Seems an obvious choice for any artist whos monthly revenue from streaming music services is $50 or more. The company says it has distributed and promoted music for more than 500,000 artists across all the major streaming services and social-media sites.

"I put up a photo of Obama smoking a cigarette, looked like he was enjoying it, and these people were arguing for days. But I’m not gonna get involved because you can’t argue with stupid" - country singer Margo Price told LA Times about alienating some fans with posts on social media. "There have been so many times where I’ve put in some kind of thoughtful response to somebody, and it rarely does any good. I’m not really worried about losing a few fans. I think I’m gaining an equal amount". She released her new album 'That’s How Rumors Get Started' this week.

Massive Attack have released a new EP called 'Eutopia', featuring Algiers, Saul Williams, and Young Fathers, tackling three of the most immportant issues of our time - climate emergency, tax haven extraction and Universal Basic Income. The songs also feature three political speakers: Christiana Figueres, who wrote the UN Paris Climate Agreement; universal basic income theorist Guy Standing; and Gabriel Zucman, the professor behind the “wealth tax” policy in America.

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine has spoken of his experiences with racism and encounters with the KKK - “In Los Angeles, dozens of times, I was pulled over when driving, going on official band business but in my old Chevy Astro van when I was driving through Beverly Hills. ‘Why is there a thirty-something-year-old black man in this neighbourhood?’", Radio X reports. While he was growing up, in Libertyville in Illinois, he was "the only black person. Once, there was a noose in my family\s garage, there was the occasional burned cross on the lawn", and then, “I was in a popular band that had songs that were predominantly played on white, rock-oriented stations, the way I speak is not typically urban vernacular, and there’s a large part of my fan base that freaks the fuck out when I say that I’m black".

"Although free speech remains the fundamental bedrock of a free society, for everyone to enjoy the benefits of freedom, liberty needs to be tempered by two further dimensions: equality and accountability. Without equality, those in power will use their freedom of expression to abuse and marginalise others. Without accountability, liberty can mutate into the most dangerous of all freedoms – impunity... When reason, respect and responsibility are all under threat, accountability offers us a better foundation on which to build a cohesive society, one where everyone feels that their voice is heard" - musician and activist Billy Bragg wrote in Guardian on the issue of "cancel culture", after an open letter that is decrying cancel culture, signed by 150 academics and writers, has been published. Actor Ricky Gervais joined the discussion saying there are “outrage mobs that take everything out of context” and that "some people have lost their sense of irony". Gervais pressed that free speech was not the same as criticism-free speech - “some people think freedom of speech means, I should be able to say anything without consequences and it doesn’t mean that”.

Fiona Adams, one of the Beatles' most frequently used photographer, has died at the age of 84, BBC reports. Adams is best known for the memorable shot of the Fab Four jumping off a Brick Wall on London’s Euston Road, which famously adorned the cover of 1963’s ‘Twist And Shout’ – the group’s first UK EP. Adams also went on to photograph some of the 60s’ other defining icons too – including Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.

Iggy Pop is taking his song back - he shared the music video to ‘The Passenger’, 43 years after the song has been released, and covered numerous times since. In the visuals, black and white photos of a young Iggy Pop fade into view over vignettes of night-time motorway driving (watch below). ‘The Passenger’ was the B-side to Pop’s song ‘Success’, the first single released from his second solo studio album ‘Lust For Life’ (1977).

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