Lyrics service Genius is suing Google for allegedly copying its song lyrics and using them in search results. Genius is asking for $50 million in damages from Google and its partner LyricFind, the Verge reports. Genius says they caught Google twice - first they placed straight and curved apostrophes within the lyrics of 301 songs […]
New female role models - working with what they've got, rather than submitting to what they’re told
The Guardian has an excellent article about female role models of this decade, in comparison to the ones from the noughties: "In their fallibility and resistance to commodification, the women who have defined this decade in pop look a lot more like role models than the corporate innocents sold to girls in the early millennium. […]
Guardian has an interesting essay about Sunn O))), especially about what did the American drone metal greats do to a change of perspective on metal music. "In an age where people crave spiritual meaning, psychological healing and escape from the hellscape of rolling news and the 'constant on' of social media in VR or expensive […]
Alexis Petridis: When did pop become so boring?
"Pop music is having a potentially fatal existential crisis: when did pop cease to suggest a life more glamorous or exciting than your own? When did it cease to be aspirational, strange and intriguing?" - Alexis Petridis asks - "how did we go from Lady Gaga wearing the contents of a butcher’s counter to the […]
How fizzy drinks swallowed music
The Quietus looks at the long history of fizzy drinks brands getting involved in popular music in an attempt to sell sugar to children: "Soft drinks exhibit the very essence of predatory behaviour. Reach them while they're young, addict them to sugar, caffeine, addict them to addiction itself, addict them for life. Both music and […]
Thunderdome 2019 - the biggest indoor hardcore dance event
Guardian looks back and Thunderdome 2019, held last week in Utrecht, with 50,000 ravers at a convention centre making it the biggest indoor hardcore dance event ever staged. It all started in October 1992 with four relatively unknown DJs, organized by two plucky 20-year-old schoolfriends from a village outside Amsterdam, to become the world’s greatest […]
BBC: New kind of punk - Slowthai, JPEGMAFIA, Rico Nasty...
The new breed of punk isn't so punky sonically, it's the attitude, BBC argues: 30-year-old US rapper JPEGMAFIA channels the aggression of the crowd into brutal bursts of movement that sit somewhere between an intoxicated Iggy Pop and an irate DMX; snarling Northampton rapper Slowthai blasts what he sees as the toxicity of Brexit Britain […]
"For someone who claims to be a rock star, he’s missing a major point of the job. Rock’n’roll was about subverting traditional engrained ideas, of not doing and believing what you’re told, of questioning the world and everything in it. Every radical musician from Lennon to Frank Turner has questioned religion in song and to […]
Controversial use of rap lyrics and videos as evidence in court
An excellent article in The New Yorker about a tendency of American courts to use rap lyrics and videos as evidence against rappers. The latest such example is a testimony of Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine. Before him, there were Texas rapper Tay-K, Florida rapper YNW Melly, and California rapper Drakeo the Ruler, whos videos and lyrics […]
NME: Do traditional album cycles help or hinder artists?
NME's writers argue pro and contra of traditional album-tour-album cycle. So, contra: "Over the past few years artists have started to eschew these traditional album release schedules again, and it’s exciting! It’s boring being constrained by these rules, especially when it’s so easy to write, record and drop a song on Soundcloud in the course […]
"Mark, My Words" Beaumont is happy - there's a subgenre breaking through
"It’s been around ten years since a new underground scene really broke through... So, with the South London scene already dubbed gristle rock, let’s continue with crank wave – Fontaines, Squid, Idles, Do Nothing, Life, Famous, insert your own band here; smart, modern guitar bands with a singer who sounds like someone having a psychotic episode […]
Mark, my Words: Devil's musical goal has always been to turn the world’s young into listless, hopeless, led-by-the-nose wretches
Lucien Greaves, co-founder of The Satanic Temple, recently listed his favourite devilish songs for NME - Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Iron Maiden... - and of course Mark Beaumont had to react: "The devil’s music is far more insidious... It’s the pleasing four-note trumpet fanfare you hear when paying ten quid for an ‘exclusive’ in-game plough, […]
Mark, My Words: Every band should have a sidekick
Dave Grohl played a concert in London with Rick Astley, an unusual pairing, but Mark, My Words thinks there should be more of it: "Simon had Garfunkel. Bowie had Iggy. The Beatles had Ringo... Primal Scream had Kate Moss, Oasis had Paul Weller, I’m pretty sure Radiohead had Stephen Hawking... Dave Grohl’s Astley bromance feels […]
BBC: Does a Pride event need Kylie or Ariana Grande?
BBC asks whether Pride events have lost their original purpose, and have became marketing tools to attract big crowds to commercial events. This weekend it's Manchester Pride Live, in a new site, Mayfield, with Ariana Grande as a headliner, that costs £70 (last year it was £28). Brighton Pride was similar, it was headlined by […]
Guardian on Jay-Z/NFL deal: Black legs matter, black lives don’t; Freddie Gibbs supports Jay-Z
Jay-Z will produce the Super Bowl halftime show, as part of the new, multi-year deal with the National Football League, and many people are surprised at best; betrayed at worst. The Guardian reminds Jay-Z how he name-checked Fred Hampton, a Black Panther party leader murdered by the police, who insisted: “We say you don’t fight […]
What do Bob Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks' and Tyler the Creator's 'IGOR' have in common?
PopMatters has an interesting article where they compare albums 'Blood on the Tracks' by Bob Dylan and 'IGOR' by Tyler the Creator, as the tipping points in each of artist's careers. As PM says: "Breakup albums have a rare power; they mark the moment when an image-conscious artist is suddenly compelled to let his guard […]
Katy Perry ordered to pay $2,78 million for plagiarism
Katy Perry, her collaborators and her record label must pay 2.78 million dollars for 'Dark Horse' sharing elements of song 'Joyful Noise' by Christian rapper Flame. Musician and teacher Rick Beato analyzed the two songs, arguing the similarities aren't that big (watch the good analytical video below).
Mark, My Words on Mercury Prize shortlist: It looks like it actually knows what’s happening, while it’s happening
"The rap, grime and future R&B (Nao, slowthai, Little Simz, Dave) represented the most incisive rising British talent, the guitar rock (Idles, Fontaines D.C., Black Midi) was suitably disjointed, angular and innovative, the poised and/or melodramatic art-pop (Anna Calvi, Cate le Bon) bore not the faintest trace of Paloma or Florence, the bigger names (The […]
Beyoncé is now selling the diet she followed to prepare for her 2018 Coachella set - for $14 a month, or $99 a year, all this can be yours. Except it can’t, because Beyoncé is selling a lie, the Guardian writes about Beyoncé's latest venture. Why is it to impossible? "The performance of physical perfection […]
Guardian writes how jazz is having a moment in the UK lately. The signs? Streaming sites are reporting a growth in young listeners, mainstream artists are collaborating with jazz stars and big music festivals are signing up more jazz acts than ever. The names deserving credit the most - Sons of Kemet and The Comet […]
RS: Woodstock 99 was one of rock'n'roll deaths
An interesting point made by Rolling Stone about Woodstock 99, and in a good moment since Woodstock 19 had died, it seems, before even being born: "It was, in all, a weird pre-echo of the future, maybe: hot and dry and violent and desperate. It hinted at the WTO riots that November, and a century […]
Is the term "world music" dead?
The term “world music” has become toxic, so a new word for this monthly planet-spanning roundup, however reductive, is needed - the Guardian writes in en excellent article about the music from around the globe (apart from pop music coming mostly from Europe and America). Womad festival has also stopped using the term, and Pete […]
Of the 16 singles that made the top of the US chart in the first half of 1979, only three were not disco tracks. The previous year, disco singles had been No 1 for 37 weeks out of 52. Than, on July 12 the Disco Demolition Night happened - after that, radio stations that had switched […]
Brian Eno conceptualized a new approach to music through dedicated use of tape loops and sampling, smuggling ideas previously offered by the avant-garde into the pop/rock lexicon, eventually breaking free to codify the ambient music genre and presage music created by algorithms and apps with generative music, Exclaim says in their context-article about Eno.
Mark, My Words: Stop the everlasting ‘80s revival
Funny and to the point, NME's Mark Beaumont in his latest column wants the 1980s revival to end: "The ‘80s revival has lasted far longer than the original decade itself. And that wasn’t even worth the ten years it hung about... It’s a source of unending frustration to those of us that lived through the […]
Stormzy wearing Banksy's stab-proof vest at Glastonbury: Banner of a divided and frightened nation
On his headlining set at Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Stormzy appeared with a customized stab-proof vest made by the elusive graffiti artist Banksy, a work of art set perfectly in the moment, and the one that makes sense only then and there. "It added a punch of visual tension to his verbal mash-up of modern […]
PopMatters has a great and an easy to read article about punk and industrial, the same starting points both genres had, and the different methods they used to make similar messages: "It is difficult to understand the past 40-plus years of industrial music without also recognizing its un-identical twin sibling of punk over that same […]
Bluegrass music has been considered unworthy of notice: low art, uncomfortably associated with white redneck culture, but now the things are changing - this music is becoming increasingly politically potent, because of it "fundamentally social tradition – and the democracy of the picking circle", as the Guardian points out - "bluegrass is unique in the […]
Fascism in Czech underground music: You could look at it as an attempt at a perverse joke
"We want to piss people off. We know where our place is, and our creed is solidarity and respect for others, even though we may bring knives or scythes to gigs" says 38-year-old Marek, singer of Czech band Bahratal, who insists that Nazi references in his band are just punk provocations, part of the theatre […]
From music that "felt so full of authentic, unfiltered emotion" on his first album to "his best album in years and his most stunning artistic achievement since he introduced himself to the world almost a decade ago" on this year's 'IGOR? - Brooklyn Vegan sums up Tyler, the Creator's career. BV sees him as one […]