Between 2011 and 2015 in Argentina more than four million students received a computer, a netbook - measuring in at 10 inches, with a 1.66 Ghz processor, a 300K pixel camera, one to two-GB of RAM, the netbook didn’t pack much of a technological punch. But, for most kids, it meant they didn’t have to ask for permission to use a computer for the first time. And - these were exactly the years that saw the rise of a budding generation of rappers, trappers, and freestyles. The Rest of the World tells the encouraging story.

Peter Jackson has expanded his upcoming Beatles documentary from a standalone film to a mini-series composed of three two-hour installments, Vanity Fair reports. 'The Beatles: Get Back' chronicles the making of The Beatles’ penultimate album, 1970’s 'Let It Be', whereas part of the reason for its expansion was due to the insistence of Jackson, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr to have the full rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row - the final performance of the band’s career - shown in full. 'The Beatles: Get Back' will air over Thanksgiving weekend.

Warner Bros. has acquired 'What’s Going On', a new biopic on Marvin Gaye from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which will be directed by Allen Hughes ('Menace II Society', 'The Book of Eli'). The script was written by poet and playwright Marcus Gardley. The film has the full support of Gaye’s estate and Motown Records, and will feature music from the singer’s catalog. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has committed a budget north of $80 million for the film, which would mark the biggest budget ever for an African American musical biopic.

Across 70 major and independent music companies, just 13.9% of top executives across were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, 4.2% were Black, and 13.9% were women - an authoritative new study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has found. Across the members of the senior management teams at nine major companies as shown on their websites, only 18.8% of executive board members were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, 8.5% were Black and 30.8% were women. The report notes that half of the U.S. population are women, 14% are Black, and 40% identify with an underrepresented racial/ethnic group, LAist reports.

French pop singer/songwriter Françoise Hardy, who found fame in the 60s yé-yé movement, has said she feels “close to the end” of her life and has argued in favor of assisted suicide in a new Femme Actuelle interview. Years of radiation and immunotherapy due to cancer have caused Hardy immense pain, making it difficult to swallow, and impossible to sing.

Warner Music Group has confirmed that it has acquired the entire recordings catalog of French DJ/producer superstar David Guetta. Financial Times reports that the Guetta deal cost Warner more than $100 million, whereas MBW's sources say the price was lower than $150 million. This news is interesting, among other reasons, because it hints that Warner’s catalog acquisition strategy today may be leaning towards hits created in the past 20 years.

The London rapper starts her new song as a furious rap, only to turn to psychedelia at the second half. Little Simz is releasing a new album, called 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert', via her own Age 101 label this September.

"A gorgeous, hazy batch of songs that are somehow both haunted and buoyant in equal measure. It’s also a perfect escape into a masterfully created world" - New Noise reviews new album by the psychedelic garage guitarist Night Beats. The Quietus hears hope on the record: "Created during global pandemic and in the midst of Californian wildfires, Outlaw R&B' is an album reflective of a staggering turbulence of pain and suffering. Written, produced, and compiled amongst a ruckus of complete chaos, the album looks ahead to the light on the other side".

Video games is a sector which targets fundamentally the same market as music, and has done so outrageously well over the past two decades, Music Business Worldwide argues and looks to find lessons for music. MBW picks out five potential areas:

1. Embracing technology -  every great new technology ultimately expands the market for entertainment

2. Diversity of channels - the increasingly overwhelming dominance of premium streaming means music is well on its way to being effectively a single format business again

3. Proactive marketing at all demographics - music may be universal but only a minority have an active commercial relationship with it

4. Deal with the limitations of exclusive rights - copyright needs to be used to facilitate new ideas, rather than to block them

5. View the consumers as an equal - more than ever, popular culture is about the fan as much as it is about the art itself

6. Music needs to embrace its future - the example of the games business shows the benefits of developing a portfolio of channels to market

NFTs for music won’t really take off until (1) income streams are attached to the token, or (2) the owner’s name is commemorated (and displayed prominently) in a sufficiently elitist master-of-the-world manner - music writer Ted Gioia offers his opinions on NFTs, and raises some possibilities:

  1. A band could sell shares in its music, with potential for spinning off ownership of individual musicians as separate tokens
  2. Artists could do mergers
  3. Artists would be free to issue new shares
  4. When artists run into career problems, they could turn to their powerful billionaire owners for help in resolving them
  5. Fans would have endless opportunities for demonstrating their loyalty
  6. Artists would face the complex financial trade-offs

Music theorist Rick Beato discusses the overuse and impact of auto-tune in modern music, which he believes is being overused. He starts with famous Cher and Lenny Kravitz, to end with Maroon 5 and T-Pain. His argument is that auto-tune is making the vocalists sound like computers.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has scrapped the plan to ease restrictions on live music in the country next week due to the pandemic, which will bring British musicians, fans and promoters to the brink of losing another summer of live music. Live music events industry believes they are treated differently than other events. Indie venues say a four-week delay in reopening will cost them £36 million, NME reports. The Association of Independent Festivals says 86 percent of the festivals planned for this year in the UK will be canceled, Billboard reports.

Boomer rock acts such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Paul Simon have made the biggest splash selling their music catalogs for 9-figure sums. Synchtank explores the possibility of catalogs of hip-hop artists reaching those levels. Trapital's Dan Runcie believes hip-hop catalogs are indeed undervalued and that the "music that came out from the mid-90s to mid-2010s will be especially popular with the Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z. Some investors may undervalue hip-hop because they identify more with Paul Simon than Paul Wall. Another group of investors will recognize the opportunity".

Chris Schlarb

Pitchfork recommends eight recent releases that "show the guitar’s boundless potential". Among the selected ones there are: new album by Brooklyn’s Rachika Nayar who "uses her electric guitar to make quiet, visionary ambient music"; Rob Noyes is a 12-string guitarist based in Japan. whos music "enters the room like a strong gust of wind and resonates long after"; Chris Schlarb & Chad Taylor offer "droning 12-string ragas, gentle folk melodies, and quietly psychedelic mood pieces that transport listeners to a higher plane of thinking" on their collaborative album.

Bandcamp has pledged to donate 100 percent of its share of sales made on June 18 for a 24-hour period. This year, the event will again coincide with the music platform's Bandcamp Fridays program. All the proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in honour of Juneteenth. This will be Bandcamp's second summer in a row to observe Juneteenth in this manner.

Elton John has warned members of the UK parliament that their national music industry could lose "a generation of talent" because of post-Brexit restrictions on touring the EU. The biggest threat stands before young musicians, John warned on his Instagram - "this gravest of situations is about the damage to the next generation of musicians and emerging artists, whose careers will stall before they've even started due to this infuriating blame game. If I had faced the financial and logistical obstacles facing young musicians now when I started out, I'd never have had the opportunity to build the foundations of my career and I very much doubt I would be where I am today".

Consequence looks back into Philadelphia International Records, the staple of 1970s soul music and its house band (Mother Father Sister Brother), a cadre of more than thirty musicians who would record hits for PIR. Two of their biggest early hits were 'T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)' and 'Love Is The Message'. Consequence looks into the influence of those two songs, their creators and the band's second album.

The leader of North Korea described K-pop as a "vicious cancer" corrupting the young people of his country, and has started a crackdown on the cultural import, the New York Times reports. Kim Jong-un has declared a new culture war to halt the spread and influence of South Korean movies, K-dramas and K-pop videos to his citizens. Punishment for owning and/or watching South Korean entertainment has been lifted from five years of hard labor to up to 15 years in labor camps.

"Exactly what I said would happen is happening, I’m being erased. And that is something that this country is good at doing: Erasing black folks and disenfranchised people they feel do not matter" - blues singer Lady A says in the Rolling Stone interview a year after the country band Lady Antebellum effectively took her name. "The folks who made the statement that black lives mattered to them and the reasoning behind changing their name, I don’t want anybody to ever forget that". The two parties are counter-suing each other.

Rave New World is investigating a new party trend in Los Angeles post-covid. They found: a tea party at a Persian garden paradise of cannabis plants and chickens; a public art park with punk-techno on picnic tables; an art rave at a Route66 biker bar; DJs playing cosmic disco in a hidden nook of trees.

"Jubilant, unapologetically massive, and bursting with a cozy, melancholic sense of communal belonging" - RogerEbert.com's writer reviews musical drama 'In the Heights' about a shop in Washington Heights, New York City, where each member of the community pursues their dream of a better life. MovieFreak.com sees "a joyously rhapsodic spectacle", whereas Wall Street Journal asks "How much pleasure can you take? How much joy can you stand without flinching?".

18-year-old British composer/producer Rachel Sandy has gone viral with her parodies of indie-rock and indie-pop stars, Consequence reports. She launched her channel back in May by crafting a spot-on take on the type of Phoebe Bridgers song that the Pharbz would “eat right up” - the video racked up nearly one million views in just a few weeks. Since then, she has expertly lampooned the signature styles of Hozier (complete with *Irish forest sounds*), Mitski (“What key are we in?”), and Maggie Rogers (“More percussion please”). She garnered more than 12 million views so far for her six parodies.

The new episode of Sound Field explores the current debate in classical music of how much recordings should be edited. It explores why do classic musicians edit at all, how it differs from pop music, how it affects musicians, and what the future brings.

ex-directory presents several new artists and audio-makers who are producing field recordings in order to tell stories, connect online communities and even distill entirely new, otherworldly sounds. Field Recordings is a podcast dedicated to (literally) “standing silently in fields”. There are over 240 episodes, including ASMR-like clatter of fisherman sorting clams on a Portuguese beachchirping froglets in New South Waleswaves crashing on the frozen shores of Lake Ontario and a dog dreaming in the Wirral. Sounds of The Forest is an interactive "sound map" platform with one-minute recordings from local woodland from all over the world. MycoLyco's producer connects synthesisers to giant oyster mushrooms and quartz crystals, then records their output, with sounds ranging from the gentle ambient bubbling of an amethyst playing a Eurorack to the erratic chatter of oyster mushrooms performing on a modular synth

Music Business Worldwide goes into the reasoning around the precedent business move by Sony Music, as the big publisher has announced it is disregarding unrecouped balances for heritage catalog artists. "This would see modern-day royalty earnings of these acts get paid into their pockets, rather than being swallowed by a record label with whom they may have ended dealings decades ago". MBW argues that's a "small reduction in Sony Music’s margin today is worthwhile if it means that his company establishes a long-term reputation amongst the artist community – where power keeps growing – for generosity and fair dealing. (Quick math: if there’s, say, 2,500 legacy Sony artists who will benefit, and they’re paid through an average of $5,000 to $10,000 each per year that they weren’t getting before, the move will cost Sony Music $12.5m to $25m per annum)".

An interesting interview in Kerrang! with a new pop-punk star and Travis Barker (of Blink-182) collaborator KennyHoopla: “I love genres. Genre is very important, because there’s a certain language that only comes with certain genres. There’s so much stuff coming out right now that’s looking to blend genres, but I’m at a point where I want to make something real and not hide behind these undertones of doing something ground-breaking. I miss straightforward rock, pop and rap music... A lot of people think pushing music forward is just about blending a whole bunch of sounds together".

Morgan Wallen has quietly slipped back onto the air at most country stations in the US in the last few weeks, after being banned for four months due to a racial slur. Wallen however remains persona non grata at awards shows and other high-profile events. Variety reports. “It’s a thing that people are going to do quietly and not want to make a lot of noise about. It’s like, have him blend back into the mosaic of the thing and not make a big deal about it” - says a radio insider, who added that Wallen’s ongoing status is “the most over-discussed topic in the history of country music”.

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Between 2011 and 2015 in Argentina more than four million students received a computer, a netbook - measuring in at 10 inches, with a 1.66 Ghz processor, a 300K pixel camera, one to two-GB of RAM, the netbook didn’t pack much of a technological punch. But, for most kids, it meant they didn’t have to ask for permission to use a computer for the first time. And - these were exactly the years that saw the rise of a budding generation of rappers, trappers, and freestyles. The Rest of the World tells the encouraging story.

Peter Jackson has expanded his upcoming Beatles documentary from a standalone film to a mini-series composed of three two-hour installments, Vanity Fair reports. 'The Beatles: Get Back' chronicles the making of The Beatles’ penultimate album, 1970’s 'Let It Be', whereas part of the reason for its expansion was due to the insistence of Jackson, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr to have the full rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row - the final performance of the band’s career - shown in full. 'The Beatles: Get Back' will air over Thanksgiving weekend.

Warner Bros. has acquired 'What’s Going On', a new biopic on Marvin Gaye from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which will be directed by Allen Hughes ('Menace II Society', 'The Book of Eli'). The script was written by poet and playwright Marcus Gardley. The film has the full support of Gaye’s estate and Motown Records, and will feature music from the singer’s catalog. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has committed a budget north of $80 million for the film, which would mark the biggest budget ever for an African American musical biopic.

Across 70 major and independent music companies, just 13.9% of top executives across were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, 4.2% were Black, and 13.9% were women - an authoritative new study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has found. Across the members of the senior management teams at nine major companies as shown on their websites, only 18.8% of executive board members were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, 8.5% were Black and 30.8% were women. The report notes that half of the U.S. population are women, 14% are Black, and 40% identify with an underrepresented racial/ethnic group, LAist reports.

French pop singer/songwriter Françoise Hardy, who found fame in the 60s yé-yé movement, has said she feels “close to the end” of her life and has argued in favor of assisted suicide in a new Femme Actuelle interview. Years of radiation and immunotherapy due to cancer have caused Hardy immense pain, making it difficult to swallow, and impossible to sing.

Warner Music Group has confirmed that it has acquired the entire recordings catalog of French DJ/producer superstar David Guetta. Financial Times reports that the Guetta deal cost Warner more than $100 million, whereas MBW's sources say the price was lower than $150 million. This news is interesting, among other reasons, because it hints that Warner’s catalog acquisition strategy today may be leaning towards hits created in the past 20 years.

The London rapper starts her new song as a furious rap, only to turn to psychedelia at the second half. Little Simz is releasing a new album, called 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert', via her own Age 101 label this September.

"A gorgeous, hazy batch of songs that are somehow both haunted and buoyant in equal measure. It’s also a perfect escape into a masterfully created world" - New Noise reviews new album by the psychedelic garage guitarist Night Beats. The Quietus hears hope on the record: "Created during global pandemic and in the midst of Californian wildfires, Outlaw R&B' is an album reflective of a staggering turbulence of pain and suffering. Written, produced, and compiled amongst a ruckus of complete chaos, the album looks ahead to the light on the other side".

Video games is a sector which targets fundamentally the same market as music, and has done so outrageously well over the past two decades, Music Business Worldwide argues and looks to find lessons for music. MBW picks out five potential areas:

1. Embracing technology -  every great new technology ultimately expands the market for entertainment

2. Diversity of channels - the increasingly overwhelming dominance of premium streaming means music is well on its way to being effectively a single format business again

3. Proactive marketing at all demographics - music may be universal but only a minority have an active commercial relationship with it

4. Deal with the limitations of exclusive rights - copyright needs to be used to facilitate new ideas, rather than to block them

5. View the consumers as an equal - more than ever, popular culture is about the fan as much as it is about the art itself

6. Music needs to embrace its future - the example of the games business shows the benefits of developing a portfolio of channels to market

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