I believe he can't fly
June 30, 2022

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison 

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of all counts of racketeering and sex trafficking against him at his Brooklyn federal trial last year, CNN reports. Prior to sentencing, seven of Kelly’s victims addressed the court - “I am a representation of every woman, boy, child, man that you have ever afflicted with your deplorable, inexplicable acts and with that I leave you with yourself, Robert Sylvester Kelly” - “Angela” said to Kelly - “You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification". “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years” - judge Ann Donnelly told the defendant announcing the prison sentence of 30 years for Kelly, five years more than the minimum prosecutors sought.

On Friday (June 24), a free livestream performance from the Backstreet Boys was watched by 45 million viewers in China via WeChat, the social app owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, MBW reports. It was the highest-attended livestream concert on WeChat by an international artist. An additional element to the event saw UK-headquartered Driift, a producer and promoter of live streamed music events, produce a guest appearance on the livestream from Irish boy band Westlife. Broadcast from Smock Alley in Dublin and directed by Chris Howe and, the Driift-produced livestream saw the two boy bands duet remotely on the Backstreet Boys’ hit 'I Want It That Way' and Westlife’s 'My Love'.

Lizzo has decided to change the lyrics in 'Grrrls' the latest single from her forthcoming LP 'Special', after receiving criticism for using ableist language. The song’s original lyrics, “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/Do you see this shit? I’ma spaz,” have been changed to: “Do you see this shit? Hold me

With a beat inspired by South Asian music seasoned with a dash of South LA, and lyrics [in Urdu] that demand respect from oppressors, 'Rozi' will make anyone feel like a superhero" - Consequence presents the new single by Eva B. She has been called Pakistan's first female rapper. who decided to keep her face and identity hidden.

42-year-old Daniel Lucey with the word "GOD" on his shirt tried to burn down the Satanic Temple building on Bridge Street in Salem, MA on Friday night, the Boston Globe reports. Lucey has since confessed to traveling to Salem with the intention of lighting the temple on fire, and that he intended for it to be a hate crime.

Mariah Carey is being sued by New Orleans songwriter Andy Stone for $20 million in damages over her holiday hit 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'. Stone alleges that he co-wrote a song with the same title five years prior to Carey’s release. Stone’s song was recorded by his country-pop band Vince Vance & the Valiants and released in 1989. Carey’s single was issued on her 1994 Merry Christmas LP. Pamela Koslyn, a Los Angeles attorney specializing in music and intellectual property rights, noted there are 177 works, many of them musical compositions, with 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' as the title. “Song titles aren’t entitled to copyright protection” Koslyn added, Deadline reports. Apart from the title, it is truly hard to find similarities between the two songs.

The Face was at the Flesh, "intimate festival", which "took place in a leafy location just north of London". The - "tunes were mostly hard-hitting techno, with an indulgent dose of crowd-pleasing edits thrown in". The looks - "pretty amazing". Check out the photos.

Next week, July 8 The Weeknd will play the first date of his ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ world tour at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, MBW reports. His stadium tour will be “the first global concert tour to integrate Web 3.0 technology for an enhanced fan experience”, with cryptocurrency exchange Binance named as the tour’s official sponsor. To mark the launch of the tour, Binance says it will donate $2 million to the XO Humanitarian Fund, which is administered by World Food Program USA.

“We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher” Depeche Mode announced in a statement today regarding the passing of their founding member and keyboardist. Fletcher served many roles for Depeche Mode behind the scenes, including acting as the band’s de facto manager, and spokesperson (Rolling Stone).

The biggest music streaming providers in China, Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music, added 4.0 million paying music users quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2022, and 7.8 million respectively. TME’s official ‘paying online music’ user-base now stands at 80.2 million customers, while NetEase now stands at 36.7 million customers. Spotify net-added 2 million paying customers to its service in Q1 2022, and now stands at 182 million Premium subscribers outside of China. When it comes to finance, however, the numbers go in the Swedish company's direction - its Premium subs business generated €2.379 billion (USD $2.67bn) in the first quarter of 2022. Tencent Music online music services revenue fell to USD $413 million, while NetEase Cloud Music’s online music services generated USD $140m. MBW has all the numbers and comparisons.

Rolling Stone presents the new David Bowie documentary 'Moonage Daydream', Brett Morgen’s "extraordinary portrait of the late artist as cosmic philosopher, glam trickster, and sage-like cypher via a stream-of-consciousness blend of vintage performances, rare archival clips and career-spanning interviews... For Morgen, the project would turn out to be a five-year odyssey that included a near-death experience, a hobo-like trip through New Mexico, and a radical rethinking of what it means to balance the professional and the personal when making a music doc".

Ricky Gardiner, a guitarist for Iggy Pop and David Bowie, has died aged 73, Pitchfork reports. Gardiner is best known for his close collaboration with Iggy Pop, with whom he co-wrote 'The Passenger'. In addition to Iggy Pop’s 'Lust for Life', Gardiner was a significant presence on David Bowie’s Low and Tonight.

Groups representing songwriters, music publishers and record labels have reached an agreement about mechanical royalty rates in the US paid to songwriters for sales of physical music, as well as downloads, MBW reports. Since 2006, the mechanical rate paid to publishers/songwriters for music purchased on a physical disc (or a download) has been set at 9.1 cents per track. The new settlement proposes a 32% increase to that current royalty rate, to 12 cents per track. The agreement also provides that these songwriter royalties will increase automatically each year of the rate period in connection with the inflation.

Regine, who claimed to have invented the term “discotheque” as she ran a nightclub empire that stretched from Paris to Los Angeles, died Sunday at 92, Vulture reports. Regine opened her first nightclub in Paris’s Latin Quarter in the 1950s, installing turntables and disc jockeys instead of the usual juke boxes. Thus was born a new format, she claimed, the “discotheque.” Her venues included “Regine’s” in New York in the 1970s, and others in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles. At its height, her nightlife empire had 22 venues.

Experimental music newsletter Tone Glow selects 31 albums and songs from the first quarter of 2022. An interesting selection of albums by ASP Doze, Voivod, Toshimaru Nakamura, Bengt Berger, Matches and others. Check the full list here!

"When you enter into that space, try to be mindful of what's happening and pay attention and don't talk" - Big Thief's Adriane Lenker says in her recent Instagram video about the need for silence at concerts - "There is a real magic that happens when there is... actual silence."

The year of the Drake
April 19, 2022

Drake out-streams all pre-1980 music in the US

Drake has generated more U.S. on-demand streams in 2021 than the total number of pre-1980 records combine, according to Billboard. The Luminate numbers show that tracks from the ’50s to 1979 made up only 0.6% of streams last year, whereas Drake, whose first album came out 15 years ago, was responsible for 0.8% of all streams in 2021. Across the 988.154 billion U.S. streams from 2021, the catalog business made up 69.8% of the album consumption units in 2021, a 4.1% increase from 2020. Of that number, 90% of these units were from records relea

These days it might be harder than ever for young bands, and not only because of astronomical gas prices and rising food costs. The pandemic has been devastating for the live-music industry, for artists and behind-the-scenes workers alike. Many bands were forced off the road for much of the past two years; now that they’re back, they could test positive and be forced to cancel a string of tour dates - Rolling Stone reports on the issue.

A new David Bowie documentary 'Moonage Daydream', directed by Brett Morgen (best known for the Kurt Cobain doc, Montage of Heck) and the first Bowie doc to have the approval of the late musician’s estate, is set to screen at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. The film is described as both a concert documentary and an “experimental cinematic odyssey” that will track Bowie’s life and career, delving into his work as a musician, but also his multidisciplinary approach to his craft. Ethan Coen’s doc, 'Jerry L

Bridge over troubled brexit
April 14, 2022

UK suspends post-Brexit rules for music truckers

The U.K. government has agreed to temporarily suspend post-Brexit “cabotage” rules for some music haulers, following warnings from live-industry executives that the regulations were placing more than 100 European summer tours at risk, some of which have already been cancelled. The relaxation of rules allows some of the U.K.’s biggest trucking firms to work and travel freely across Europe by temporarily switching their vehicles from an EU operator’s license to a U.K. one for the home leg of a tour. Since January of 2021, truckers in both regions have been subject to the cabotage rules, which require haulers to return to the EU or the U.K. — wherever their business is based — after making three stops in the other market, NME reports.

Beth Gibons of Portishead

Pink Floyd have released a new song 'Hey, Hey, Rise Up!' featuring Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox. The lineup on the track includes David Gilmour and Nick Mason with bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney, Guardian reports. 'Hey, Hey, Rise Up!' is the first original music from the band since 1994’s 'The Division Bell'. In similar news, Portishead will regroup next month for their first show in seven years, playing a short set as part of a War Child benefit concert supporting relief efforts in Ukraine, Consequence reports.

To tour is to suffer?
April 07, 2022

Is a touring band allowed to book an Airbnb?

A viral Twitter thread from Asheville indie rock band Wednesday about not being paid enough for live shows sparked a conversation about the economics of touring in 2022. Stereogum talked to a few bands about their touring experiences, including one which does delivery on the side while on tour. Also, a burning question - should a band book an Airbnb or sleep in the van?!

Jon Batiste won album of the year for 'We Are', Silk Sonic won record and song of the year for 'Leave the Door Open' and Olivia Rodrigo walked away with best new artist ath the Grammy awards. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared mid-show to speak of Ukrainian musicians: "The war — what's more opposite than music? We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. In our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with their bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today. To tell our story. Tell the truth about war". Check out all the winners.

Stay negative!
March 31, 2022

Musicians want their fans to wear masks

It seems like Covid-19 is disappearing, especially now as there's a much more sinister threat. However, for musicians, Covid is still hanging above their heads. Pitchfork explored the issue:: "For rising bands and independent musicians tours are a crucial way to pursue a viable career path as a musician and often serve as the crux of their income. If musicians catch COVID-19, that’s potentially hundreds if not thousands of dollars down the drain... With mask and vaccine mandates evaporating around the country, artists are forced to once again ask themselves an important question: Should they risk their health by heading out on the road, or should they risk their income by missing out on another year of touring? Lately, it seems like indie artists are realizing there’s a hidden asterisk in this ultimatum; they can give touring a try so long as fans mask up".

Billie Eilish and Finneas won an Oscar for their song 'No Time to Die' from the James Bond film of the same name. In the other music-related Oscar category, Hans Zimmer won an Oscar for best original score for 'Dune'. The Roots' Questlove was awarded an Oscar in the Documentary feature category for 'Summer Of Soul'.

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