Pearl Jam have launched Deep, a digital collection of their official site which allows visitors access to 186 bootlegs and 5,404 tracks spanning from 2000 to 2013. Each gig is accompanied by show descriptions written by members of the band’s Ten Club fan club. Fans will also be able to create gigs via the Custom Setlist Generator with the dream setlist turned into a streamable playlist. Pearl Jam are planning to start European tour in June.

“What is heritage?. It is the culture you inherit. So if you’re moving to different societies, you’re inheriting these things that become your heritage, become what your music sounds like, become what you move around like” - Pakistan-raised Brooklyn-based musician Arooj Aftab says in a Pitchfork interview about her latest, great album 'Vulture Prince'. She compares singing in Urdu versus English - "it lives in a different place in your mouth, in your entire body. Everything changes a little bit—the intonation and inflection, the accent, the diction". She also touches the sensitive issue of her late brother - “you accept your losses as part of your life, instead of pointing at them”.

20,000 fans stood shoulder to shoulder for their first star-studded concert in over a year on May 2nd at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Foo Fighters, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin, and Eddie Vedder performed for Global Citizen’s Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite The World, at the first large-scale music event for a Covid-compliant audience in the US. It wasn't exactly like before - the show’s attendance was far lower than the 70,000 the L.A. stadium can seat, attendees had to show proof of vaccination, they were masked and alcohol and concessions weren’t available. The goal of the concert was to raise money to send vaccine doses to India, Africa and other places. Rolling Stone is happy to report from it.

"Despite all the restrictions and prohibitions, I will complete the album. Maybe that will lead to a return to prison, but it really does not matter to me. I am doomed to produce music" - Iranian artist Mehdi Rajabian (31) says in a Rolling Stone interview from a solitary confinement in a basement. He is about to release his new album 'Coup of Gods', where he mixes classical strings, Middle Eastern instruments, and gorgeous vocalizations, as well as female voices which could bring him back to jail.


Spinal Tap were a fake band constructed for a movie ('This Is Spinal Tap'), yet not being real didn't prevent them from recording two albums and going on a tour. Others followed, like Stillwater from Cameron Crowe's 'Almost Famous', 'That Thing You Do!’s the Wonders, 'Under the Silver Lake’s Jesus and the Brides of Dracula, and MTV's 2gether. The Ringer discusses the nature of fake bands with the people behind some of them - including Crowe, Zooey Deschanel, Andy Samberg, and Emily Haines.

Nova Twins

Bands from all corners of metal are creating ferocious music that offers new perspectives on discrimination, race, gender and sexuality - Guardian reports on the changing face of the world's most controversial genre. The change is being fronted by podcasts On Wednesdays We Wear Black and Hell Bent for Metal, online communities like Alt Together, and fanzines such as Blkgrlswurld and Tear It Down, as well as by bands such as Nova Twins (dealing with misogyny and racial microaggressions), Life Of Agony (fronted by a transwoman), Tetrarch (fronted by African-American female metal guitarist), Pupil Slicer (discussing issues such as transgender healthcare) etc.

The desktop version of Spotify now contains play counts for every track on every album available. InsideHook took a chance to find songs with a small number of plays, which deserve to be played much more, like Joni Mitchell's 'The Last Time I Saw Richard' and Metallica's 'The Struggle Within'.

In the past year, pop-punk has made its comeback with the help of hip-hop crossovers by 4kGoldn and iann, Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, MOD SUN, Trippie Red etc. Also, TikTok, good at nostalgia and promoting subcultures, also helped out bringing pop-punk back. Consequence gets a closer look.

Michael Jackson’s image was worth just $4 million at the time of his death in 2009, a U.S. tax court judge ruled, far below the $161 million valuation sought by the IRS. the AP reports. The Jackson estate, however, filled out a tax return in which it pegged the value of his image at $2,105 - roughly the same, the judge noted, as a “heavily used 20-year-old Honda Civic". Judge Mark Holmes sided with the government on the value of Jackson's music catalog, pegging it at $107 million.

"I am convinced the labels won the war against piracy when they stopped fighting it... Record companies spent 10 years making a dog’s dinner of trying to solve piracy, and then spent 10 years letting go of the old vine and reaching out to the new vine of streaming" - Will Page, Spotify’s former chief economist, says in Rolling Stone interview. The history is repeating, Page believes - "now, because of Covid, everyone is staring at their Napster moment". Page has published a book 'Tarzan Economics' where he lays out eight principles for entrepreneurship in the rapid-fire digital era.

Lego released a streaming-only album 'White Noise' which was made by the Lego pieces being poured out of tubs, sifted through and clicked together. Lego’s “head of creative” Primus Manokaran describes the streaming-only album as “a collection of soundscapes” designed to promote relaxation and mindfulness. Manokaran told Guardian that producing the album was “like composing with 10,000 tiny instruments”.

Boston journalist Larry Katz has digitized his collection of 1,000+ interviews he made in three decades with musicians such as David Bowie, Prince, Bob Marley, Alanis Morissette, Mariah Carey, and, obviously, hundreds of others. Find the amazing collection here.

In Australia, the road to recovery for live music is happening six to nine months ahead of the world, promoters say, according to Rolling Stone. Clubs are pumping in Brisbane, where venue capacities have been entirely lifted. Artists like Courtney Barnett, Keith Urban, Guns N' Roses and others are announcing tours on a daily basis. Festivals have resumed with all-local lineups, venue capacities are slowly lifting, and dancing is now permitted. By late April, Australia recorded 910 deaths due to Covid, with fewer than 30,000 confirmed cases among its population of 25 million. Community transmissions have been close to zero for months. Visitors aren't really welcome yet - a 2-week quarantine in a hotel room is compulsory.

Girl In Red / Dawn Richard

"‘If I Could Make It Go Quiet’ has all the qualities of a blockbuster pop record - incessant hooks, A-list producer credits" - DIY Magazine writes about the pop-rock debut album by the Norwegian singer. Dawn Richard comes from the opposite side of pop music's spectrum, with critics really appreciating her R'n'B/house: "The beats are decadent, but so too are the liberties she takes as an independent artist beholden to nothing but her own satisfaction" - Pitchfork.

Talib Kweli / Tom Morello

Tom Morello, DIIV, Talib Kweli, and 180 other musicians signed an open letter calling on Spotify to make a public commitment never to utilize, license, sell, or monetize a patent for technology that could monitor and record users’ speech and background noise to help curate and recommend music, Pitchfork reports. “Spotify claims that the technology can detect, among other things, ‘emotional state, gender, age, or accent’ to recommend music” the letter reads, outlining the five major concerns that the coalition has regarding the technology: “emotional manipulation,” discrimination, privacy violations, data security, and the exacerbation of inequality in the music industry.

Bobi Wine, the "ghetto president" of Uganda, is a singer, actor, and, now, a politician, whose music has inspired his nation with dreams of a better future. Wine's political career has turned his music into a crime, and his supporters into Museveni's (Uganda's sitting president) targets. Yet, even in the face of a brutal regime, Bobi Wine's music is still the most dangerous weapon in Uganda - High Snobiety writes presenting the rebel, and talks to him.

Cinephiles Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney, who recently released a collaborative album 'Superwolves', made a selection of the best music films for Vice. The boys chose 'Gene Vincent: The Rock And Roll Singer' (1970) - "a tough watch, but a revealing study of a rare talent", 'Cisco Pike' (1972) - "music-infused crime film has earned a sizeable cult following", 'Oulaya’s Wedding' (2017)  - "astonishingly familiar feelings and ripping tunes", 'Payday' (1973) - "down and dirty character study of a country star indulging every vice under the sun as he hurtles towards annihilation", 'The Decline Of Western Civilization' (1981) - "a documentary about energy that's so loaded with power that it will never die", and other films.

YouTube generated $6.005 billion from advertising in the three months to end of March this year, which is up by nearly $2 billion, or by 49%, on the $4.038 billion YouTube generated in the same period of 2020, Music Business Worldwide reports on staggering numbers by the streaming platform. Compared to 2019 the numbers are even more impressive - in Q1 2019 YouTube had $3.025 billion in revenues. If YouTube can maintain that +49% growth across the course of 2021, it will turn over more than $29 billion this year. The number MBW isn't giving is how much of that $6 billion YouTube made during the three first months of the year is going to artists.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are selling the publishing rights of their catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund for upwards of $140 million, Variety reportsThe transaction marks the latest catalog sale from a major legacy artist and one of the highest profile acquisitions to date for Merck Mercuriadis’ fund.

Spotify's former chief economist Will Page published a new study Twitch's Rockonomics which claims that artists make roughly 10 times more on Twitch than streaming providers. However, Twitch is very specific, and very different from Spotify - artists use Twitch to livestream content to their fans, charging monthly subscriptions (for $5, $10, or $25), earn digital tokens called Bits, or generate ad revenue. In general, Twitch aims super-fans willing to pay more for artists they like...

Metal band from California, Dig The Grave bought time of members of Mastodon, Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Alexisonfire, Sepultura, Shadows Fall and some others to be in their latest video 'ISO'. Dig The Grave lacked funds, so they used CAMEO to buy just seconds of metal master's time for a simple yet memorable video.

I'm a believer - in tours

The Monkees go on a farewell tour

American bands are on a tour-announcement spree, including the almost-forgotten The Monkees. The band's two surviving members, Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz have announced a Farewell Tour with dates across the US this fall, Brooklyn Vegan reports. The shows will featuring a "magical night of music: all the hits, deep cuts and fan favorites".

Drum-playing, motorcycle-riding grandmother Dorothea Taylor has gone viral on TikTok with her simple video of “How to Play Doubles”, Consequence reports. Quick lesson on “doubles” by the affectionately named "The Godmother of Drumming” has surpassed 20 million views in less than a week. The nice lady has previously earned 13 million views on YouTube for a drum cover of Disturbed’s 'Down with the Sickness' last year.

Indie pop bands Blossoms and The Lathums played Liverpool's Sefton Park in Liverpool Sunday evening in what was the UK's first live music gig in more than a year, NME reports. The 5,000 fans were required to take a supervised COVID test before arrival, with entry only permitted once a negative test had been received. Once inside, fans did not need to wear masks, socially distance, or stick to the rule of six, and could also enjoy bars and food stalls. Fans will need to take another lateral flow test in five days time to see the event’s impact on spreading the virus.

Moneybagg Yo’s album 'A Gangsta’s Pain' has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with 110,000 equivalent album units, Billboard reports. They mostly derived from streaming - 106,000 were earned from SEA units, while 4,000 came from album sales, and less than 1,000 from TEA units. 'A Gangsta’s Pain' marks Moneybagg’s 11th time charting, with this album being his fifth top 10 charting set.

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Beethoven's morning hygiene routine involved standing half-dressed before a mirror and pouring enormous pitchers of water over his hands while singing loudly to himself. After this, the German composer would count out exactly 60 beans and grind them, and make himself a coffee. Van Magazine's writer tried a week of this routine, as well as other somewhat strange daily routines of 4 other classical composers - Edvard Grieg, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, and Antonin Dvořák.

Jay-Z / Tina Turner / Dave Grohl

Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner have been announced as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees for the year 2021 in the Performers category. Additionally, LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads will receive the Musical Excellence Award. Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron and Charley Patton will get the Early Influence Award. NPR reports. "This is our most diverse class in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” - says chairman John Sykes.

Marvin Gaye

If there was a year when music was the agent of change it was 1971, the new Apple TV+ docuseries '1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything' argues, Rolling Stone reports. The documentary was inspired by the book 'Never a Dull Moment: 1971 the Year That Rock Exploded' by David Hepworth, and it features footage of artists, many of whom have albums turning 50 this year, including George Harrison, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Bill Withers, Elton John, Graham Nash, Bob Marley, Alice Cooper, and more. The eight-part docuseries also touches on the post-counterculture era and political and social upheaval.

Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey, and comedian Dave Chappelle have launched a new podcast, 'The Midnight Miracle', on the subscription podcast network Luminary, Complex reports. The first episode, titled “How to Inspire,” is available for free via YouTube. The hosts spoke about life between clips of the late Amy Winehouse. The second episode features Bey and Kweli’s first music as Black Star in over 20 years.

The 82-year-old folk artist Peter Stampfel has just released '20th Century', a 100-song album, featuring a cover of one pop song from each year within the 20th century, beginning in 1901 with 'I Love You Truly' and closing on Coldplay’s 'Yellow'. Punk gets its place with The Buzzcock’s 1978 single 'Ever Fallen in Love', disco got its place with 'Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive', whereas the 1990s are represented by The Spice Girls’ hit 'Wannabe' (1996), Beck’s 'Loser', Pulp's 'Common People' and others. The project took nearly 20 years to complete. American Songwriter talked to the cool old man.

Instrumental startup flagged Arizona Zervas nearly two years before Columbia signed the American rapper, Lil Nas X was on its radar months before Columbia came calling, while Tones and I was recognized by the tool long before the Australian-born artist signed to Elektra Records. Instrumental has built-in a new approach to finding musical talent looking only at data – from social media and streaming numbers. Wired presents the tool.

"It’s a wonderful way to say goodbye, a celebration of Tony Allen doing the thing he loved and doing it as brilliantly and as unassailably as ever" - the Quietus wrote reviewing the posthumous album 'There Is No End', by the afrobeat drummer. It's Guardian's choice for their Global album of the month as it "plays as a cohesive record because of Allen’s capacity to slot into place behind seemingly any collaborator without diluting his innate sense of rhythmic style" (collaborators include Sampa the Great, Skepta, Ben Okri, and Danny Brown). Pitchfork argues "'There Is No End' is Allen as his most copacetic, polished self. It doesn’t feel like the finish line, but rather a passing of the baton".

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