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.

An interesting point by Interpol's Sam Fogarino in The New Cue interview about live rehearsals: "When you’re in a room together, even if you’re really close, and the band has never come to fisticuffs over the years, we’ve had heated arguments, but nothing more, but still, you get with everybody’s daily mood, stuff that’s unrelated to the task at hand. There’s ego and desire and we’re all emotionally bound in this sexless three-way relationship, you know what I mean? It’s worse than a marriage, because it’s all the emotional shit but no sex at all! There’s no outlet in that way. Being separate, you were able to fully express yourself before sharing it with anybody. Then when we finally went to upstate New York to get together to play the material, it was extra special. We’d bypassed this whole usual laborious process".

William Basinski

Ambient music has risen in popularity, Pitchfork is wondering what will this mean to artists and the genre itself: "There’s something perversely thrilling in the idea that listeners with little to no professed interest in experimental music might be served genuinely outré sounds under the auspices of self-care... But I have also wondered—when these playlists command so many listeners, and are so explicit in their presentation of the music as something to play while you’re doing something else—whether they might end up tipping the delicate balance of Eno’s famous dictate about ambient: away from the interesting and toward the ignorable".

Justin Timberlake has sold his song catalog - copyrights on musical compositions he wrote - to Hipgnosis Song Management. Hypgnosis bought 100 percent of Timberlake’s catalog, which includes hits such as 'SexyBack', 'Cry me a River', 'Rock Your Body', 'Suit and Tie' and 'Can’t Stop the Feeling', MBW reports. Justin Timberlake's sales are currently in excess of over 150 million, including 88 million as a solo artist and 70 million with NSYNC. He has 26.5 million monthly Spotify listeners, over 6.4 billion video views, and his total YouTube subscribers fast approaching 10 million.

“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".

Trapitals's Dan Runcie looks into the lockdown past and thinks about metaverse future in his latest post: "As exciting as the metaverse, NFTs, and web3 are, it heightens the desire for artists to be on every medium and platform possible. As entertainment becomes more and more fragmented, it takes more effort for artists to be everywhere, even the superstars... Two of the biggest opportunities for music in the metaverse are letting artists and fans create their own worlds, and getting more women artists and fans involved".

ces by Pitchfork's Jeremy D. Larson: "As one of nearly half a billion people who pay a small fee to rent the vast majority of the history of recorded music—not to mention the 2 billion people per month who use YouTube for free—I have found that, after more than a decade under the influence, it has begun to reshape my relationship with music. I’m addicted to a relationship that I know is very bad for me. I know I am addicted to Spotify the same way I was addicted to nicotine or Twitter. It makes me happy, aggrieved, needlessly defensive". However - "the beauty of the algorithm of your mind is that it makes perfect sense to no one but yourself".

“I take the month off of gigs and use Ramadan to focus on my spirituality, giving back, making time for family and close friends, revisiting the areas in my life that need improvement. Islam is all about being intentional with the way we live our lives" - Minneapolis-based DJ Yasmeenah told Mix Mag about how she spends this month-long period. Kan D Man says “It is a detox for me for the mind, body and soul. Sometimes in our industry, we are always rushing and on the go, especially being in London my whole life; I know how fast-paced life can be on a daily basis. It is a month I like to detox, switch off and reset everything”.

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.

"'Mr Morale & the Big Steppers' is absolutely crammed with lyrical and musical ideas" - Alexis Petridis writes reviewing the new album by Kendrick Lamar. Clash Music is equally enthused: "One of his most profound, complex, revelatory statements yet, a double album fuelled by sonic ambition, the will to communicate, and Kendrick’s staunch refusal to walk the easy path". Consequence hears "another bonafide masterpiece", whereas NME says "this album is as much about struggle as it is freedom, and what a beautiful sentiment that is".

A great essay about life lessons from Fugazi: "The band that I believed knew more about how to live a better, more just, more punk life, were vegan, even on tour, eating veggie burgers out of their van in between shows across the country... Veganism involves questioning the dominant worldview, doing things for yourself, and sticking to principles. Being vegan means saying “fuck you” to a system even many meat eaters know is wrong — and that’s punk rock, even if there’s no crashing drums and searing guitar involved".

"This was a savage festival, a free-for-all, beyond chaotic. The survivors in the film, they gave a good picture of what happened that night, and they were all fortunate they didn’t die or get seriously injured" - film-maker Charlie Minn says to LA Times about his documentary 'Concert Crush', on the Astroworld disaster in November that left 10 concertgoers dead at the Travis Scott show. Minn reconstructs the night’s events from phone footage and interviews with survivors - "with 50,000 people there and everyone on their phone, imagine how much footage is still out there". However, High Snobiety points out Minn was previously accused of sensationalizing tragedy and exploiting trauma for profit.

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.

Adam Neely gives a detailed breakdown of all of their last West Coast tour expenses in his latest video. He also explores why it is so risky to tour as an independent artist in the year 2022 and why they do it anyway. However, it did almost cost them $17,000. A great video, almost terrifying at some points.

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.

Music YouTuber Rick Beato made a list of the top 20 strangest guitar solos of all time, based on a few criteria - weird harmony, unusual sounds, and odd techniques. Included on the list are Nirvana, The Police, Rush, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Allan Holdsworth (very high on the list), and Jeff Beck at the top.

The Face asks whether Coachella is being transformed from a festival into a platform: "As hundreds of thousands influencers and festival-goers flocked to Indio, California for the festival over the past two weeks, an abundance of content surrounding everything except the music flooded the internet. The veil of manufacturing fun and doing things solely for the internet has lifted, begging the question: has Coachella transformed from music festival to content festival with music in the background? And what does that mean for festival style?".

The List Pistols

The 20 best punk movies

"The best punk movies are stories that tap into the spirit of the time through imagined characters and invented situations. A biopic can’t help treating its protagonists as exceptional figures—stars commanding the stage of History—in a way that undercuts the iconoclastic, 'no more heroes' spirit of punk" - the Simon Reynolds writes introducing his best punk movies list, which goes from "the first punk movie" 'Jubilee' to 'We Are the Best!' by Lukas Moodysson.

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!

An interesting angle on music-making by Paddy Considine from Riding The Low in The New Cue interview - "It’s purely my own self-expression. It’s completely unfiltered. It doesn't go through any other process. I'm not giving a performance and second guessing what I'm doing. I'm not having to run it past script supervisors, or financiers or anything like that. I'm not doing a performance and leaving it to the mercy of editors. It's the thing that I find is the truest form of expression that I have, really... I think only a few times when I've acted, and possibly directed, has it been purely from my soul, if you like".

"The album is the sound of a band stretching into new shapes" - NME writes in a review of Fontaines D.C.'s 'Skinty Fia'. It's also Alexis Petridis' Album of the Week, because - "In a polarised era, there’s something cheering about Fontaines DC’s bold refusal to join in, to deal instead in shades of grey and equivocation. There’s also something bold about their disinclination to rely on the most immediate aspect of their sound". Pitchfork tries to go to the bottom of it: "The Irish post-punk band’s most demanding and musically adventurous album is also its most open-hearted,  striking a perfect balance between tough and tender".

"Recent rulings may herald a turning of the tide. It is hoped that the US appeal in Dark Horse and the UK court’s findings in Smith v Dryden and Sheeran v Chokri signal the end of a damaging, regressive culture of speculative claims over commonplace and, critically, much-loved musical elements" - lawyers Simon Goodbody and Mark Krais that represented Ed Sheeran in his recent copyright infringement bat

"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."

Plenty of tamed sexuality and running in the latest Interpol and ††† (Crosses) videos. New York post punk band shared 'Something Changed' from their upcoming seventh studio album with a video showing a naked pair on the run from Interpol's own Paul Banks. “Reality and reverie converge and our two lead characters find themselves in a kind of dream state – being pursued inexorably by an ominous figure (played by myself.) The lives of the three are intertwined in a nebula of fear, retribution, desire, and defiance. I’m sure you could look at a psychoanalysis, in the context of a pandemic, why an artist who typically writes morose shit might go in a different direction” - Banks explained the narrative behind the video. ††† (Crosses) also go to explore sexuality in their latest video 'Protection'.

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

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Trapital's founder Dan Runcie stopped to think about this Talib Kweli's quote: “I was touring before the pandemic. I was doing 200 shows a year… how was I doing that? That’s not sustainable. I was on some superhuman shit… I got a lot of shows coming up, but I can’t let it get back to 200 a year… 20 years straight, I did that for 20 years”. Runcie concludes "artists really have to love living on the road to do it for that many nights per year. It’s ironic to think about the touring grind given the remote work vs in-office debates in Corporate America. Many 9 – 5 workers will never go back to a job that requires them to commute 200+ days per year again. Imagine doing that in a different city every night?! Artists’ travel is on another level".

Some really interesting thoughts by singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin in The New Cue about how songs come to life and how they change: "I feel like this record in particular, when we finished it, it was just like, ‘oh, OK, this is what I made, cool’. It wasn’t exactly what I imagined but also I was just very open to the journey and for it to be what it needed to be, which is a relaxing way to be sometimes... Sometimes I think crowd responses informs me what the song is and how it should be played, I think they can really transform on the road".

Jack Probst shared with his fascinating story from his years as a janitor at a music venue ten years ago. He was collecting fans' letters that bands such as My Chemical Romance, Death Cab For Cutie, and many more had left behind. "Reading the intimate stories fans shared with their idols kept me going as I mopped sticky floors and scrubbed permanent marker graffiti off bathroom stalls. They are a unique part of music history, the human side of a cold industry most of us never get to see".

Roxy Music's guitarist Phil Manzanera talked to The Telegraph about how much he makes from music: "Luckily, Roxy have continued to be popular, so it’s like having a pension. I don’t have any other pensions... I was also lucky to have my guitar riff from my 1978 second solo album 'K-Scope' sampled in 2011 by Jay-Z and Kanye West, who built a whole song around it. The track, 'No Church in the Wild' on the 'Watch the Throne' album, won a Grammy and was hugely successful and used in films and lots of ads. It was like winning the lottery out of the blue. I get more than they get for it: a six-figure sum over 10 years. And they continue to pay me multiples of six figures because they’re so successful and I partly own my share. It’s prob­ably more than I ever earned in Roxy: we had all the gold albums but no gold!".

Sudan Archives is releasing her second album this year, and one of the tracks on it is “Selfish Soul”. She talked to Song Exploder about how the idea for this song "started when she asked her boyfriend, James (who is the rapper Nocando) to shave her head. Cutting off her hair made her reflect on her whole hair story, from experiences she had as a kid, to the cultural and racial issues that have historically surrounded Black women’s hair".

generated recommendations, means: "Besieged by automated recommendations, we are left to guess exactly how they are influencing us, feeling in some moments misperceived or misled and in other moments clocked with eerie precision. At times, the computer sometimes seems more in control of our choices than we are".

First-timers Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

Women and first-timers dominate the Mercury Prize shortlist

Joy Crookes

Women and first-time nominees dominate the 30th anniversary of the Mercury Prize, which celebrates the best British and Irish albums of the year. 11 of the 12 shortlisted albums are from the first-timers like Kojey Radical and Yard Act. Little Simz is the only artist here with Mercury history: her third album, 'Grey Area', was nominated in 2019, with her second nod coming for its follow-up, 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert'. Simz also leads a pack dominated by women, with seven of the 12 albums by female solo artists or mixed groups, like Wet Leg, Jessie Buckley, and Joy Crookes. Guardian delivers a good insight.

Adam Neely and his Sungazer bandmate Shawn Crowder watch people play covers of their band's songs like 'All These People', 'Threshold', 'The Dark', and others. At one point, what their fans did becomes "almost impossible". Quite impressive stuff.

“Next year, Pulp are going to play some concerts" - Jarvis Cocker said during a Guardian-hosted live Q&A. Next year also marks the 25th anniversary of the band’s 1998 album This Is Hardcore. This isn’t the Sheffield band’s first reunion. After splitting in 2002, after the release of seventh album, 'We Love Life', the five-piece reunited in 2011 for a series of festival dates.

Will these memories come back to haunt him?

Bruce Springsteen’s manager defends $5,000 ticket prices

Fans with access codes for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s much anticipated 2023 tour were offered tickets priced between $1,000 and $5,000, in Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing" system. “In pricing tickets for this tour, we looked carefully at what our peers have been doing” Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau said to the New York Times, adding - “We chose prices that are lower than some and on par with others. Regardless of the commentary about a modest number of tickets costing $1,000 or more, our true average ticket price has been in the mid-$200 range". Ticketmaster argued that only 1.3 percent of tickets sold went for more than $1,000.

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