Britney Spears spoke for the first time about the New York Times' documentary 'Framing Britney Spears' saying that she had cried for two weeks after seeing parts of it (she never saw the whole thing), Billboard reports. However, it's the other thing that she has said that speaks volumes about her mental health: "I do what I can in my own spirituality with myself to try and keep my own joy … love … and happiness !!!! Every day dancing brings me joy !!! I'm not here to be perfect … perfect is boring … I'm here to pass on kindness !!!! ... My life has always been very speculated … watched … and judged really my whole life !!! For my sanity I need to dance... every night of my life to feel wild and human and alive !!!".

Grateful Dead

Brian Rohan, the San Francisco “dope lawyer” who represented rock clients like Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Santana, Aerosmith, Boston, Jefferson Airplane, and Kris Kristofferson, has died at 84, Consequence of Sound reports. Rohan's rock career was opened by Grateful Dead in 1966 when he helped them organize their first album contract with Warner Bros. Several months later in January 1967, the police arrested nearly 100 people on charges of loitering and “being hippies” after the Human Be-In. Rohan brought the case to trial and won, getting all other charges dismissed. Rohan also co-formed the Haight-Ashbury Legal Organization that same summer and often set up a table in front of the band’s house where he offered service to live-in and walk-in clients alike who needed help. A story has it also that Rohan punched David Geffen for having his phone calls for clients ignored, earning the applause of “Jann Wenner, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, and Leonard Cohen".

Aphex Twin has partnered with British start-up ODDSound to develop MTS-ESP, a software plugin that allows for the use of nonstandard tunings. Most Western music is created using the 12 Tones of Equal Temperament (12 TET). However, other cultures have used various tunings for millennia, such as the microtones in Arabic maqam, the complex tuning systems of the Indonesian gamelan, or perhaps most famously, the micro-intervals in Indian ragas. MTS-ESP allows users to import, edit existing tuning files, or define tuning systems using its built-in algorithms, Pitchfork reports.

“Humour, optimism and positivity” are the main ideas behind Hell Bent for Metal, a new podcast about heavy metal from a gay perspective. HBFM founder and co-host Tom Dare’s hope was to be visible to other LGBTQ+ lovers of heavy music, and to offer a queer perspective that he felt was missing from a scene that is still affected by homophobia, as the Guardian reports. Titles to some of the episodes describe the content as well as the spirit of the podcast: 'Gay Satanic Love Songs', 'BDSM Gear and Black Metal', 'Horny German Werewolves', 'Anaal Nathrakh’s Adaam Ant Armograaphy', 'Between The Balls, The Wall And Me'...

Nike is suing Brooklyn art collective MSCHF over a pair of "Satan Shoes" that contain a drop of real human blood in the soles, feature an inverted cross, and a pentagram, the Verge reports. MSCHF released 666 pairs of shoes in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X who wears a pair in his latest video 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)', where he hangs out with the devil. The trainers, which cost $1,018 a pair, sold out in less than a minute. Nike claims trademark infringement, and believes they’ve harmed its reputation since consumers might think "that Nike is endorsing satanism”. MSCHF is known for stunt products like its 2019 “Jesus Shoes”, a $1,425 pair of white Nike Air Max 97s with custom stitching and 60ccs of water from the River Jordan. Nike didn’t object to the Jesus Shoes. UPDATE: Nike's lawsuit succeeded in halting production.

Paying a minimum per diem of £75 / $120 to each songwriter working with your artist would be a sensible and structure-preserving measure. This per diem would be non-recoupable from the artist share - a group of over 300 songwriters wrote in an open letter to record labels to guarantee them and their peers a per diem payment for collaborating with artists. The reason? Songwriters' work in sessions isn't guaranteed to actually see the light of day, let alone become a hit. Songwriters who've signed up for the Pay Songwriters campaign include Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Stargate, Savan Kotecha, and dozens of others.

Streaming had the biggest impact on recorded music revenue growth last year - 62% came from streaming. Trapital emphasizes three few less discussed but interesting findings from IFPI reports. Vinyl sales grew 23.5% last year - vinyl are collectibles. It's a callback to a time when fans valued owning art. Synchronization - the use of music in media like games, TV, film, ads, podcasts, etc. - declined 9.4%, but that dip came from pandemic-related production delays. Now that vaccinations are up and production is back on, this will bounce back. South Korea's music revenue grew 44.8% last year. It's now the sixth-largest music market (behind the US, Japan, UK, Germany, and France). It's driven by K-Pop, which is driven by the world's biggest musical act of 2020, BTS.

Korean boyband BTS have expressed "grief and anger" in response to deadly mass shootings in Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Insider reports. A statement from the band - published in Korean and English - refers to discriminatory experiences that made them feel "powerless". The recent spike in the deliberate targeting of Asian parts of the US population is thought to come from people blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic.

Pioneering music producer and engineer Malcolm Cecil has died at the age of 84, Consequence of Sound reports. Cecil produced plenty of big releases in his time, including numerous Stevie Wonder albums, still, he is best known as the co-creator of the TONTO — the world's largest analog synthesizer. Over the years, the TONTO has been used by the likes of the Isley Brothers, the Doobie Brothers, Joan Baez, Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, Weather Report, Gil Scott-Heron, Diana Ross and many others. TONTO was obtained by Calgary's National Music Centre in 2013, it was fully restored by 2018 and is available for contemporary artists to use.

John Mayer posted a snippet of his new song to TikTok, and young British singer/songwriter and Mayer-lover Mary Spender couldn't wait so she composed the rest of the song. It took her three days to come up with the rest of the song, to record and mix it. She even made a video of the whole process and her version of the song.

Belarus has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest after its entry failed to comply with the non-political nature of the competition, CMU reports. Galasy ZMesta's first song 'Ja nauchu tebja' ('I will teach you') was rejected due to complaints that the lyrics mocked the mass protest movement against long-time Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The new song entry by the same band has also been disqualified by the EBU.

Kodak Black / YoungBoy Never Broke Again

"We love antiheroes and complicated figures, and can acknowledge the ways in which the system preys on young Black men, but as long as we pretend that their upbringing completely stifles their agency, we allow them to avoid accountability for their actions [like Kodak Black and YoundBoy Never Broke Again]. To be 'complicated' is a patriarchal privilege. When Cardi B or Azealia Banks admit their past misdeeds or act out on social media, they aren’t contextualized; they’re policed" - Complex writes in an excellent essay.

Mozart expert Timothy Jones, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, has released an album of his completions of several fragments for violin and keyboard that Mozart never finished, the New York Times reports. Posthumous completions are not unheard of in the classical world. This new Mozart-Jones recording is unusual, though, in its choose-your-own-adventure approach. Jones, testing different aspects of Mozartian style, made multiple completions of each fragment, and the album includes some of that variety, leaving the listener to choose the version they like the most.

Billy Childish has released over 130 albums under various guises including The Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats, The Buff Medways, CTMF, and last year he’s suddenly started releasing albums - he’s delivered five LPs over the last four months with a new group, The William Loveday Intention. All these are surprisingly influenced by Bob Dylan - "it’s the lizards’ fault because I ended up stuck on a YouTube loop of all his songs and films", as he's told to The New Cue. Why so many albums in such a short time: "I had this silly idea where I thought it would be good to do a career in a year. Ten albums in a year".

Pete Davidson, Chris Redd and musical guest Jack Harlow delivered an Eminem-inspired rap about NFT on the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. Rapping on Eminem’s 'Without Me' video Davidson acts as a superhero, he is then joined by Redd’s Morpheus from The Matrix, and Harlow as a janitor.

Justin Bieber's newest release 'Justice' debuts on top of Billboard 200 chart with 154,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending March 25, Billboard reports. It's his eighth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart - all 10 of Bieber’s charting albums have reached the top 10, and he’s only missed the top slot twice. Bieber this week also stops the chart-topping domination of Morgan Wallen’s 'Dangerous: The Double Album', which spent 10 consecutive weeks in a row (it's at No. 3 this week). Lana Del Rey’s 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club' debuts at No. 2 with 75,000 equivalent album units earned.

Five thousand people attended a concert in Barcelona on Saturday night (March 27) as part of a COVID-19 experiment looking at the possibility of holding live music events with no social distancing if rapid testing is employed, al Jazeera reports. All attendees at the gig were tested ahead of the gig and the antigen test results were reported back to the attendees within 10 to 15 minutes via an app on their phones. The ticket price of $23 came with a rapid test and mask included. The show, which saw Spanish rock band Love of Lesbian playing at the Palau Sant Jordi arena, is said to be the biggest concert in Europe since the pandemic began last year.

Thorn / Morrison

"Women have been written out of history for centuries, their contributions to culture diminished, dismissed, or viewed solely in relation to the men in their lives. But through her entertaining, affectionate and righteous book, Thorn invites us to witness her friend in all her gobby glory" - Guardian writes in the review of 'My Rock'n'Roll Friend' by Tracey Thorn on Everything But The Girl, and her relationship with Lindy Morrison of the Go-Betweens. The G adds that "the author brings wit, candour and vividness to her storytelling... as well as providing a portrait of a mercurial and brilliant musician, the book exposes the sexism and hypocrisy of an industry, and attempts to right a terrible wrong".

Beyoncé was robbed two times in the last month - three separate storage units holding expensive bags and clothing were hit once, and then within a week burglars came back to the same facility, making off with handbags, kids toys, and photos belonging to one of Beyoncé’s stylists, TMZ reports. Stolen goods are estimated to value $1 million.

Ja Rule sold a non-fungible token, or NFT, of a painting of the ill-fated Fyre Festival logo for $122,000. The rapper told Forbes (via Complex) that he decided to sell the oil painting of the doomed festival's logo - which had been hanging in the festival's New York office while it was being planned - because he "just wanted that energy out". The artwork was accompanied by a handwritten note from Ja Rule which read "F**k this painting".

Dubliner David Balfe shared an artistic punk band with a best friend who killed himself, and now says his farewell with a project For Those I Love. Alexis Petridis chose it for his Album of the Week describing it as "bedroom dance music and spoken-word vocals" and "eerie post-dubstep". NME gives it perfect 5 stars arguing it's "a testament to the power of catharsis", whereas Independent hears "a staggering album". 'For Those I Love', however, goes beyond Balfe's story of love, as the Line of Best Fit points out - "his creation of such an overt sense of nostalgia, grief, loss and mourning, whilst also making time to make statements on social justice issues is impressive".

'Promises' is a collaborative project by producer Floating Points, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra, but the one holding it together is - "Sanders, his warm tone and fluid technique undiminished even at 80 years old, listening to his surroundings and finding brilliant patterns to stitch the work together and thus elevate it", as Pitchfork hears it (tagged it Best new music also). The New York Times appreciates the unity of it: "When [Sanders] plays his final notes of the album... he does not so much disappear as become one with Shepherd’s web of humming synthesizers".

90 percent of women in music had experienced "unconscious bias", 63 percent felt excluded from songwriting and production gigs - the new Be the Change report, which included 401 female artists, songwriters, producers and DJs, shows. A huge 82 percent of women said they had experienced harassment themselves, with 27 percent saying it happens frequently.

Critics really like the new Tina Turner documentary by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, a "must see", because, as The List says - "whether you're a fan or not, it's hard not to get swept up in the sheer strength of her story". Vulture sees the broader picture: "Frames itself as the final word on this music legend, strongly implying in its closing moments that this two-hour movie is essentially Turner’s farewell to the wider world".

From a different time and place

Joy Ride Mixcloud - gems from around the globe

The New Cue very highly recommends a mix by Heavenly Records supremo Jeff Barrett on his Mixcloud. The one you can listen to here "is an absolute cracker, filled with gems from around the globe, particularly Africa".

Mysie

Vijay Iyer Trio share some groovy piano virtuosity with 'UnEasy'; Paul McCartney seems much younger in a Beck remix of 'Find My Way' - the younger musician got the idea for the mix remembering seeing McCartney dance; supergroup Satanic Planet (featuring members of Slayer, Locust and Planet B) share their first song - a, obviously, satanic industrial electro 'Baphomet'; Mysie shares an R'n'B velvet 'Keep Up With Your Heart'; Luminous Kid shares an emotional same-sex song 'Mountain Crystals’ featuring spoken word by Phoebe Bridgers; U.N.K.L.E. just go dancing on 'If We Don't Make It'.

“I grew up listening to Edith Piaf, Barbara, Jacques Brel, Lara Fabian, Patricia Kaas. The pared-down French classicism of their songs was what I always wanted my own music to be about” - 26-year-old Parisian singer Yseult tells the Guardian about her musical background. And about her intentions: “I want all the previously invisible minorities in France to become visible in the cultural landscape. Not for the sake of representation, but for what we can bring to the table. We want to be present in culture because we are present in society. We want to have our contributions credited.”

Movie director Andrew Dominik is making a new documentary about Nick Cave and Warren Ellis "attempting to play 'Carnage' and 'Ghosteen' live", Cave has announced in his Red Hand Files blog. Cave also describes how he and Ellis recorded 'Carnage' while not really trying to make a record - "I had been sitting at my desk — suddenly and shockingly not travelling — writing lyrics and poems into a void, with no real objective other than to make sense of this stationary moment. The world felt weird. My body felt weird. I had been jet-lagged for forty-five years. Now my inner clock had begun to tick regularly. Some nights I even slept. I think Warren’s experience was not dissimilar. I think we both felt the enforced stasis, not just unnerving, but also strangely and fitfully energizing, and so, when we began working in the studio, Carnage came out fast and necessary, as proof of life".

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Country rockers Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson are the latest to be cast for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film 'Killers of the Flower Moon', Deadline reports. Jesse Plemons would take on the lead role, next to Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. 'Killers of the Flower Moon' follows FBI agent Tom White (Plemons) as he tries to solve the serial murders of members of the Osage Nation over oil rights. A prominent local cattleman named William Hale (De Niro) and his cousin Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio) were among those implicated in the murders. Isbell will make his feature film debut as Bill Smith, an adversary of Burkhart, while Simpson portrays the infamous rodeo champion and bootlegger Henry Grammer.

"Taking from ambient, soundtrack, harsh noise, jazz, and a host of other types of music, 夢遊病者 simply does not care about fitting into one specific mold" as they "craft something indistinguishable from anything else" - Brooklyn Vegan writes in awe of this extraordinary debut album by the anonymous international avant-garde metal trio. The band as an entity is also quite fluid - their early Bandcamp releases credit them as a Russian/ Japanese/American entity, they use Chinese characters for their name (Sleepwalker in English), the title of the album 'Noč Na Krayu Sveta' is in Slovenian, while the band members are named as PBV, NN, and KJM.

“I remember listening to this song in the car while riding to middle school with my Mom. I think it has one of the strongest melodies ever written" - Jeremiah Fraites of the Lumineers wrote as he released his cover of Nirvana's 'Heart-Shaped Box' on the 27th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, Spin reports.

9:30

Pitchfork did a great job of talking to the owners, bookers, and managers of 36 independent music venues in the US to see how they’ve been doing over the past year, and what their fans can do to help. The thing all of them are waiting for is best described by the Washington, D.C., 9:30 Club operator: "The show’s been booked, tickets have been sold, production is finished, soundcheck is done. The artist is excited and ready to go, and the audience is, too. It’s a magic moment".

Flying Lotus has scored and executive produced the new anime series 'Yasuke', which is set to premiere on Netflix on April 29th, and the trailer is out now. LeSean Thomas, a veteran of 'The Boondocks' and 'Black Dynamite', created and directed the series, while LaKeith Stanfield ('Atlanta') voices the titular character. Yasuke takes its name from the first Black samurai to serve a warlord in Japan.

H.E.R. has released a new video for her song 'Fight for You' from the 'Judas and the Black Messiah' soundtrack. The short clip offers a condensed history of the Black Panther Party and the events that led to the assassination of Fred Hampton, the subject of the new movie.

American DJ and record producer Bassnectar is being sued by two women who allege that he groomed, trafficked, and raped them while they were underage, EDM.com reports. The women are suing for damages, past and future emotional distress, and medical expenses. Last year, the popular EDM musician announced that he was “stepping back” from his music career after an Instagram page called @evidenceagainstbassnectar collected dozens of sexual misconduct accusations against him. Now, two of the women who shared their experiences on that page are taking the musician to court.

'You’re History: The 12 Strangest Women in Music' by Lesley Chow is a look at twelve groundbreaking female artists who remain criminally underappreciated, including Neneh Cherry, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks, Kate Bush, Sade, and TLC. "I wanted to come up with a different value system, celebrating music which has a hot, immediate effect on your body - seizing your impulses as much as your conscious mind" - as the author had told in the Music Journalism Insider interview.

Rolling Stone renewed their list of great one-of albums by artists who published their debut LP and were promptly derailed by death, internal band politics or the simple desire to put something down and never pick it back up. Here's the top 10:

10. Madvillain - 'Madvillainy'

9. The Postal Service - 'Give Up'

8. Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - 'L.A.M.F.'

7. Buena Vista Social Club - 'Buena Vista Social Club'

6. Minor Threat - 'Out of Step'

5. The Modern Lovers - 'The Modern Lovers'

4. Jeff Buckley - 'Grace'

3. Lauryn Hill - 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'

2. Derek & the Dominos - 'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs'

  1. Sex Pistols - 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'

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