LA-based collector Jonathan Ward released a new 100-track compilation, 'An Alternate History of the World’s Music', focused on music recorded across the non-Anglo world, and beyond popular music, between 1907-1967. There's Crimean Tartar Orchestra, as well as music from the Persian Gulf, the Okinawa islands, Afghanistan, Sudan, the former Yugoslavia, Uganda, Spain, Albania, Mongolia, Mexico, etc. Ward is a collector of old 78rpm records who started his website Excavated Shellac in 2007, posting up a recording every day, which means this is just a glimpse into his collection. Guardian's Garth Cartwright calls it "the best album of 2021" (it actually came out in December). Bandcamp sells digital copies for $35.

DJ Mag breaks down what the current rules post-Brexit mean for the UK-based artists touring in the EU, the EU-based artists touring in the UK, as well as for the roadies and tour-bus owners. There are also changes affecting event promoters.

Producer Terrace Martin narrates a video about how jazz influenced New York graffiti artist Basquiat. Martin delves into how the genre, and especially artists like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, played a role in his artistic vision.

New Zealand seems like Mars now with the rest of the world in some sort of lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, while the island-country in the southern Pacific holds big shows (it had 1,927 Covid-19 infections over the past year). Pop band Six60 held a concert in Hastings on Saturday night which was attended by - 20,000 fans. Hawke's Bay reports from the show.

Warfaze

A lovely article in the Bangla newspaper The Daily Star about a small music shop Rainbow Music Store which opened up in 1982 in the backstreet of its capital Dhaka only to leave a great influence on Bangladeshi hard rock. The owners of the store weren't just selling music, they were also educators in all things rock and metal – the bands, the albums, and the history. Several prominent bands rose from that foundation - prog metal band Artcell, RockStrata, and Warfaze.

A great interview in the Guardian with Jon Bon Jovi after his band performed at the American president's inauguration. "Bon Jovi at 58 looks like a man who spent his youth on yoga retreats as opposed to hanging out with Aerosmith. But how did he resist when he was so young?" the G's journalist asked - "To be honest with you, I didn’t have the capacity to handle drugs. I didn’t find joy in it, and I didn’t need to bury myself emotionally, so what was the purpose?". He's married to his high-school sweetheart, and still lives in New Jersey - “I got the house in Malibu, saw the guys who are looking over your shoulder to see if they should go talk to someone else. That whole lifestyle was so vapid to me. I couldn’t wait to get away from it”. So, a regular Jon...

South African anti-apartheid activist, composer, and jazz trombonist Jonas Gwangwa has died aged 83, NPR reports. “A giant of our revolutionary cultural movement and our democratic creative industries has been called to rest” - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said confirming the news. Gwangwa's death comes three years to the day after the passing of Hugh Masekela and exactly two after the death of Zimbabwean great Oliver Mtukudzi.

Prince's former lover and backing singer Sheila E. has announced that she’s making a biopic about her relationship with the musician - “Coming soon…Sheila E. to release ‘Girl Meets Boy’, a film telling the beautiful story of her time with Prince. Stay Tuned”, Spin reports. Sheila E. first met Prince at a concert in the late ’70s, years later she ended up contributing vocals during the 'Purple Rain' recording sessions as well as opening Prince’s 'Purple Rain' tour when the two developed a fleeting romantic relationship. They became briefly engaged after Prince proposed in 1987, but by the 1988-89 Lovesexy Tour, their relationship fractured. Over the years they remained close friends who would periodically join forces on-stage.

Morgan Wallen’s 'Dangerous: The Double Album' spends a second week in a row at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, earning 159,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Jan. 21, Billboard reports. 'Dangerous' might be the album to mark a shift in the way country-music lovers consume music - the big majority of its sales comes from SEA units, 133,000, equaling 177.11 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs. Album sales - where traditionally the majority of country music sales comes - comprise 22,000 and TEA units comprise 4,000. 'Dangerous' is the first country album to spend two weeks in a row at No. 1 since Chris Stapleton’s 'Traveller' in 2015.

"My daddy said I am starting to go through an emo phase as I discovered My Chemical Romance this week" - drum wonder-girl Nandi Bushell said about her latest video where she covers dark-emo band's 'Welcome to the Black Parade'. The 10-year old says she loves "being able to let out all my energy after a stressful week of home learning and online exams".

Olivia Rodrigo holds to the top of the UK Official Singles chart with 117,000 chart sales of her hit single 'Drivers Licence', some three times higher than her closest rival, Anne-Marie, KSI and Digital Farm Animals' 'Don’t Play'. The hit single clocks up 13.7 million streams, the biggest one-week figure for a Number 1 single in two years. the Official Charts reports. Also making waves is Longest Johns’ sea shanty 'Wellerman' which rides into the chart at No. 37 following enormous viral success on TikTok.

British Pearl Jam tribute act Pearl Jam has changed its name to Legal Jam, after receiving a cease and desist letter in September 2020 from the Seattle grunge icons, Metal Injection reports. Pearl Jamm indicate that the band with only one “m” requested they change their name and logo, claiming that it was too close to Pearl Jam’s actual name and logo. The original also requested Pearl Jamm to remove and destroy all the merchandise containing the name and the logo.

In other countries, it takes decades for musicians to get their images on coins and banknotes, but the Bank of Mongolia believes in The Hu so much that they plan to feature them on a new commemorative coin as soon as this February. Mongolian folk-metal quartet has seen a rise in popularity in the last few years, Loudwire reports.

Sea shanties are antiphonal music - one where there is a call and an answer in the song - and as such perfectly fitted for TikTok, music theorist Adam Neely says in his latest video about the latest viral trend. Neely, with help from his mom, explains how it works.

The Flaming Lips played their first space bubbles show in Oklahoma City's The Criterion on Friday night (it was postponed from December due to rising COVID numbers). The show had fans in 100 inflatable balls, each of which could hold three people. Members of the band were in their own capsules as well. The band put on a typically bombastic spectacle, Brooklyn Vegan reports.

Organizers of the Ultra Music Festival Miami 2021 cancelled the popular DJ techno fest for the second year in a row, citing COVID-19 concerns, Billboard reports. The Bayfront Park event would have happened in March in downtown Miami. Organizers of Ultra are requesting that City of Miami officials approve their permit request to stage the event next year in March.

th1rt3en

Rapper Hus Kingpin made a whole album inspired by Portishead, 'Beth Gibbons' is the stand-out track so far; Cassandra Jenkins' 'Hard Drive' is just a smooth-cool-groovey indie rock drive; Kendrick Lamar's hip-hop gets interpreted as jazz in 'How Much A Dollar Cost' by the jazz supergroup R+R=NOW which includes Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin, and Justin Tyson; Panopticon share a 12-minute epic black/sludge/post metal 'KnowHope'; Amanda Gorman's powerful Inauguration Day poem 'The Hill We Climb' gets even richer with a piano improv by Rostam; Madlib's 'Dirtknock' is a simple song, barely-there - just some guitar and vocals; Black Sheep Wall share a 13-minute psychedelic sludge/hardcore/post metal 'New Measures Of Failure'; th1rt3en is the new rap-rock group of Pharoahe Monch, Daru Jones, and Marcus Machado - 'Cult 45' promises a lot; Austrian post-blackers Harakiri For The Sky share a furious and melodic 'I'm All About The Dusk'; Matthew E White & Lonnie Holley share jazzy and arythmical 'This Here Jungle Of Moderness/Composition 14'; the Faith No More-Jesus Lizard-Helmet-M. Bungle super-group Tomahawk gets its groove back in 'Business Casual'.

He has not been two weeks from shore...

Sea shanty postman gets a record deal

Scottish postman Nathan Evans has signed a record label with Polydor and quit his day job, a mere month after storming TikTok with sea shanties. His rendition of 'The Wellerman' literary exploded in just a matter of weeks, and it had also made people interested in sea shanties as well. The 26-year-old said it goes to show that if you keep going anything can happen, BBC reports.

James and Levy in 1969

An amazing and hilarious article in the Guardian about Tommy James, the American pop-singer who in 1966, as a 19-year old small-town boy, signed a deal with Roulette Records, only to find out it is being run by a mobster Morris Levy. James scored 23 US chart singles, plus nine gold or platinum albums – selling 100m records, but he never got any royalties until 1986 when Levy sold Roulette to EMI. James believes Levy owed him up to $40 million when the mobster died in 1990. James however got poetic justice with his bestselling autobiography 'Me, the Mob and the Music' which is being adapted to a movie by Barbara De Fina, the film producer behind Martin Scorsese’s 'Goodfellas' and many other movies. James continues to play across the US...

Joey “Shithead” Keithley, frontman of Vancouver hardcore pioneers D.O.A., is the subject of a new documentary from Scott Crawford called 'Something Better Change' (named after D.O.A.'s 1980 debut album), Rolling Stone reports. It shows the journey of a punk-rocker to a position of power, and possibility to change stuff. The doc will explore "connections between music and activism," and it features Henry Rollins, Keith Morris, Jello Biafra, Krist Novoselic, Duff McKagan, and Beto O'Rourke.

Smaller summer festivals in the UK are "still possible" this summer, despite the cancellation of Glastonbury - Paul Reed, the head of the Association of Independent Festivals, told the BBC. Glastonbury 2021 was cancelled by its organizers, but, as Reed says, it is "a different beast to most festivals and most likely ran out of time due to the size and complexity of the event". Smaller events could still happen if the government ensures organisers can access cancellation insurance, Reed believes, adding - "for most festivals, the cut-off point is more likely the end of March". The UK government doesn't still believe that insurance is the right way to help the concert industry, Guardian reports

"People close to Britney Spears and lawyers tied to her conservatorship now reassess her career as she battles her father in court over who should control her life" - the press release for the upcoming documentary 'Framing Britney Spears' says. It is a part of 'The New York Times Presents' series and it comes out Feb. 5.

79 minutes and wasted is none

Rick Rubin: I always liked weird things

"I always liked things that most people didn't like" - Rick Rubin says in an interesting Stitcher podcast about his choice of artists he produced, and his creative process - "I've always been voraciously interesting in counter-culture. I'm just interested!". He says also how he guards his passion: "I try to be as true to my interests as possible. I don't listen to music to find out what's going on, I listen to music because I like music". Rubin also says how the creative moment isn't rational: "The magic doesn't happen in the head, the magic happens in the heart. The actual magic is not intellectual, it's faster than the intellect, it's much more primal, it's much more immediate, it's not to be figured out".

Disney Channel actor Olivia Rodrigo released her single 'Drivers License' to attract 82 million domestic streams across all platforms, the biggest US streaming week ever, and it had 15.17 million global Spotify streams on Jan. 11, a record for a non-holiday track. Stereogum argues the 17-year old's moody indie-pop ballad will have a big effect on pop music this year, and sees the song as a clear sign of a turn in pop-music: "Depressive guitar balladry might be a more reliable pathway to mainstream success than sparkling synth-pop. For years cultural critics have been noting that streaming, social media, and a lifestyle dominated by screen time were fostering a moodier, blearier mainstream".

Marlon Craft

Billie Eilish and Rosalía release their dramatic pop ballad 'Lo Vas a Olvidar'; Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou follow their last year's debut collaboration with a new EP - 'Orphan Limbs' is the stand-out track from it; Forhist of Blut Aus Nord shares a sympho/black-metal song 'II'; Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox bites hard on 'Good Fuel'; NYC rapper Marlon Craft releases a melancholic albeit determined political song 'State of the Union'.

"The attention economy is becoming a malign force for culture. Consumption is holding culture hostage" - Music Industry Blog writes in an interesting post about how the very nature is being changed due to ways we consume it - "artists and labels are locked in a race to increase the volume and velocity of music they put out... And because music attention spans are shortening, no sooner has the listener’s attention been grabbed, then it is lost again due to the next new track. In the attention economy’s volume and velocity game, the streaming platform is a hungry beast that is perpetually hungry. Each new song is just another bit of calorific input to sate its appetite".

A great read in LA Magazine - an excerpt from the book 'Sonic Boom' by Peter Ames Carlin about the rise of Warner/Reprise from a jazz small-house to a rock'n'roll powerhouse. It all started when Reprise Records president Mo Ostin signed Jimi Hendrix which turned out to be a great success, against expectations from other label bosses. Then, in an afternoon in 1967, Ostin gave the company’s troops the most unexpected direction ever uttered by a top executive at a corporate record label: “Let’s stop trying to make hit records”. Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, and Gordon Lightfoot followed.

Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled for 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and organisers have revealed that ticket deposits will be rolled over to 2022. "As with last year, we would like to offer all those who secured a ticket in October 2019 the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022" - the organisers said, adding - "we are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!".

Happy is the head that wears headphones

Why should we get into new music, regardless of age?

Huff-Post lists several reasons why we should try and discover new music, especially if it seems hard to do so:

It nourishes our brains - new music listening activates areas of the brain from root to tip, from the early auditory processing centres to the outer reaches of our cortex

New music provides the potential to add to our valuable music memory bank

Acts as social cue, helping us better understand other people

Music has ability to keep us open-minded, which experts believe is key to helping us think better.

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LA-based collector Jonathan Ward released a new 100-track compilation, 'An Alternate History of the World’s Music', focused on music recorded across the non-Anglo world, and beyond popular music, between 1907-1967. There's Crimean Tartar Orchestra, as well as music from the Persian Gulf, the Okinawa islands, Afghanistan, Sudan, the former Yugoslavia, Uganda, Spain, Albania, Mongolia, Mexico, etc. Ward is a collector of old 78rpm records who started his website Excavated Shellac in 2007, posting up a recording every day, which means this is just a glimpse into his collection. Guardian's Garth Cartwright calls it "the best album of 2021" (it actually came out in December). Bandcamp sells digital copies for $35.

DJ Mag breaks down what the current rules post-Brexit mean for the UK-based artists touring in the EU, the EU-based artists touring in the UK, as well as for the roadies and tour-bus owners. There are also changes affecting event promoters.

Producer Terrace Martin narrates a video about how jazz influenced New York graffiti artist Basquiat. Martin delves into how the genre, and especially artists like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, played a role in his artistic vision.

New Zealand seems like Mars now with the rest of the world in some sort of lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, while the island-country in the southern Pacific holds big shows (it had 1,927 Covid-19 infections over the past year). Pop band Six60 held a concert in Hastings on Saturday night which was attended by - 20,000 fans. Hawke's Bay reports from the show.

Warfaze

A lovely article in the Bangla newspaper The Daily Star about a small music shop Rainbow Music Store which opened up in 1982 in the backstreet of its capital Dhaka only to leave a great influence on Bangladeshi hard rock. The owners of the store weren't just selling music, they were also educators in all things rock and metal – the bands, the albums, and the history. Several prominent bands rose from that foundation - prog metal band Artcell, RockStrata, and Warfaze.

A great interview in the Guardian with Jon Bon Jovi after his band performed at the American president's inauguration. "Bon Jovi at 58 looks like a man who spent his youth on yoga retreats as opposed to hanging out with Aerosmith. But how did he resist when he was so young?" the G's journalist asked - "To be honest with you, I didn’t have the capacity to handle drugs. I didn’t find joy in it, and I didn’t need to bury myself emotionally, so what was the purpose?". He's married to his high-school sweetheart, and still lives in New Jersey - “I got the house in Malibu, saw the guys who are looking over your shoulder to see if they should go talk to someone else. That whole lifestyle was so vapid to me. I couldn’t wait to get away from it”. So, a regular Jon...

South African anti-apartheid activist, composer, and jazz trombonist Jonas Gwangwa has died aged 83, NPR reports. “A giant of our revolutionary cultural movement and our democratic creative industries has been called to rest” - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said confirming the news. Gwangwa's death comes three years to the day after the passing of Hugh Masekela and exactly two after the death of Zimbabwean great Oliver Mtukudzi.

Prince's former lover and backing singer Sheila E. has announced that she’s making a biopic about her relationship with the musician - “Coming soon…Sheila E. to release ‘Girl Meets Boy’, a film telling the beautiful story of her time with Prince. Stay Tuned”, Spin reports. Sheila E. first met Prince at a concert in the late ’70s, years later she ended up contributing vocals during the 'Purple Rain' recording sessions as well as opening Prince’s 'Purple Rain' tour when the two developed a fleeting romantic relationship. They became briefly engaged after Prince proposed in 1987, but by the 1988-89 Lovesexy Tour, their relationship fractured. Over the years they remained close friends who would periodically join forces on-stage.

Morgan Wallen’s 'Dangerous: The Double Album' spends a second week in a row at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, earning 159,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Jan. 21, Billboard reports. 'Dangerous' might be the album to mark a shift in the way country-music lovers consume music - the big majority of its sales comes from SEA units, 133,000, equaling 177.11 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs. Album sales - where traditionally the majority of country music sales comes - comprise 22,000 and TEA units comprise 4,000. 'Dangerous' is the first country album to spend two weeks in a row at No. 1 since Chris Stapleton’s 'Traveller' in 2015.

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