Different kind of air-guitar
April 19, 2023

Adam Neely: The chaos of flying with musical instruments

A great video by the touring musician Adam Neely who brings out the pain and stress of having to give away a precious instrument to airline workers and just hope it'll come safe and sound to the destination. Neely gives advice on how to try and protect it, and how to talk to flight attendants in order to have the instrument treated as hand luggage.

Music YouTuber Rick Beato shares his thoughts in his latest video about how creators crushed the music business, he himself being a creator now, and part of the music business previously. He goes back to where it all began - file-sharing services and social media. However, he insists that it's still an opportunity.

James Brown's 'Funky Drummer' beat was sampled over 1,700 times, yet its originator, drummer Clyde Stubblefield never got a penny for it. He didn't really like his beat either, unlike Brown who heard "a mother" in it. Arthur "LA" Buckner and Linda Diaz delve into the history of it, tracing its impact on Hip Hop music and the cultural significance of this iconic rhythm.

Cemetery gates
February 13, 2023

Video: Why does gatekeeping hurt heavy music?

Rock and metal music YouTube channel has shared a video about gatekeeping, what it is, why it’s hurting heavy music, what can be done about it, and why it had increased over the last few years. The key point is to make the heavy metal environment as inclusive as it once was.

Shining bright
February 13, 2023

Video: Rihanna's Super Bowl show

Rihanna performed last night at the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show singing a medley of her biggest hits. She sang on a floating stage wearing an all-red ensemble, with her dancers all in white. Yahoo describes her show as a "historic, glass-ceiling-shattering". Rihanna also showed her baby bump during the performance. Watch her performance here.

Trapital Dan Runcie's latest podcast is about the Super Bowl Halftime Show, how it evolved since Jay-Z got involved, and why artists agree to play for free: "In 95% of situations, companies asking talent to do things free 'for exposure' is bullshit. But the Super Bowl halftime show is one of those 5% exceptions. It’s the rare event that the talent can reap the long-term rewards for the exposure." This year, Rihanna will perform and she has prepared her business for the "after". Listen/watch the podcast below.

The 2023 Grammys celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip hop with a truly star-studded, multi-generational medley of performances, including the Roots, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Jazzy Jeff, Salt N Pepa, Rakim, Public Enemy, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Method Man, Big Boi, Missy Elliott, The LOX, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Nelly, Scarface, Lil Baby, GloRilla, Too $hort, Lil Uzi Vert, and others.

A great new episode of How to Get Good at Music - Adam Neely and Elliott Klein discuss the legitimacy of writing your own solo. "Your ability to communicate an idea is based on your confidence in articulating it, and when you write stuff out ahead of time you fill a lot more confident... When you say things in your voice, you have to have your own way of saying things, and the way you develop that is by practicing and writing it out yourself" - Adam shares his advice. The two music experts also suggest you should sometimes fight to keep the imperfections in music.

Vibrato is that natural oscillation of pitch that singers often use when singing sustained notes - music theorist Adam Neely points out in his latest video. He gives examples like Schubert's 'Ave Maria', and Duke Ellington's 'Caravan', and how much they lose without using vibrato. YouTuber/musician also offers some advice on the approach to music - "Take music very seriously, but maybe don't take yourself so seriously as you do it", and about a career in music - "You should be passionate about what you do and you shouldn't make any decisions out of fear".

American-Kameroonian singer-songwriter Libianca has released the visuals to her viral hit 'People (Check on Me)'. Libianca's emotional music video shows the singer struggling through isolation, loneliness, and depressive moods. At the video's conclusion, the singer shares a heartfelt message saying, "Check in on your people. What they may be dealing with internally could be much more than American-Kameroonian sing-songwriter meets the eye. Your sense of kindness can break the wall of isolation and the feeling that no one cares."

Hungry like 12tone
January 18, 2023

12tone: Understanding 'Hungry Like The Wolf'

"There's plenty of good examples of incredible rock music that came out in the '80s, but the songs that stood the test of time have mostly done so by avoiding many of the cliches of the era. But what about the songs that are '80s to the core and yet still rule? Well, if you're looking for that, then we're gonna have to talk about Duran Duran," - music analyst 12tone introduces his latest video where he takes apart the quintessentially 80s song 'Hungry Life The Wolf'. Watch the video below.

Reign in drum
January 18, 2023

Video lesson: How to hit a drum REALLY fast

YouTuber Rob Scallon shared a new video with Tom Grosset, the world record holder in fast drumming. Grosset offers technical tips on the position of the hand and the wrist, and suggests it all comes down to practice and time, of course. Impressive drumming!

Music theorist Adam Neely takes a left turn in his latest video talking about musical gear. His band Sungazer had built a custom in-ear monitor system in order to avoid troubles with bad sound engineers. What also changed is the way they play. The Wednesday Night Titans drummer had told them - "You play like you can hear yourself".

The key to keys
December 24, 2022

Adam Neely: Is C flat the same note as B?

"Music can be complicated" - music theorist Adam Neely explains in his latest video about notes C flat and B, which sound the same and are placed on the same note in a piano but serve a different purpose. It's simple, but it's complicated at the same time. Watch the video below.

Watch and enjoy
December 15, 2022

The best music videos and movies of 2022

"From show-stopping set design and performances in videos by Björk and Rosalía to stirring documentaries on Phil Elverum, Sinéad O’Connor, and Poly Styrene, music-focused visual media helped to flesh out the stories and aesthetics of great artists past and present" - Pitchfork introduces its selection of the best music videos, movies and TV of 2022.

It walks the line
December 12, 2022

12tone: What's the point of a prechorus?

A great video by the music theorist 12tone, about the - prechorus, a relatively recent invention in Western popular music, which quickly established itself as an essential part of a song. "A good prechorus not only elevates the chorus, it transforms the song, changing its narrative and musical structure to more effectively tell certain kinds of musical stories. But where did they come from, and more importantly, how do they work?".

UK rapper Stormzy has released three number one albums in the UK, won three Brit Awards, and become the first British rapper to headline the Glastonbury festival. Prior to the release of his latest album 'This Is What I Mean', Stormzy met up with Rick Rubin to play the iconic producer songs from it. Stormzy explains why he decided to consider his audience, and about how a painful break-up and trusting God helped lead him to a new melodic, soulful sound.

Techno artist Kyoka has had her brainwaves measured at Tokyo and Berlin’s universities and used those brainwaves to make her newest composition using Elektron hardware, Mix Mag reported. “I am very much inspired by the systems or habits of the brain. I try to make my own brain-music syntax, which is almost like my own music language, and I assign it to my music composition after I check the brainwaves and analyze them as much as possible". Kyoka explains. “This is actually the first time I have tried to understand how the audience’s emotion or chemistry in a real scientific theory-based approach, like adrenaline or dopamine, is working. And I tried to assign that to my music” she noted.

Disco's not dead
November 28, 2022

The untold history of disco

YouTuber Polyphonic released his new video, 'The Untold History of Disco' about the music side of the disco and how it had reached the mainstream. Also, he puts it into a societal context, connecting it to the hippie movement, and the fight for minority rights. The disco decade finishes with the "murder" of the disco at a rally. Not much on the video side, but a great story!

The magic baton
November 28, 2022

A great video: How do conductors really work?

Composer, pianist, and YouTuber, Nahre Sol made a great short video about conducting. It features one of the most famous conductors of our time, Alan Gilbert, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and pianist Julio Elizalde. Good stuff.

Whose song is it anyway
November 14, 2022

Adam Neely: The grotesque legacy of music as property

Music theorist Adam Neely deals with music copyright and artists selling their music to investment firms in his latest video. He starts with a 1548 decision of French king Henry II which turned music from a communal cultural knowledge into private property that can be owned. The essential question Neely asks is: How do you own a musical idea and by whose authority?

Spanish guitar and handclaps carry Caroline Polachek's new song 'Sunset', a feel-good summerish hit quite indebted to flamenco. Sega Bodega co-produced the song, while the music video shows Polachek strolling through Barcelona. A great summer hit, in the southern hemisphere, right!?

Fighting the violence
October 25, 2022

A plea for peace - 12tone takes 'Zombie' apart

Music analyst 12tone goes deep in taking apart The Cranberries' 1994 song 'Zombie', an "undeniably powerful piece of protest music". 12tone goes into the music structure of the song, and connects it to the message it is putting out. 'Zombie', 12tone points out, "puts a voice to the grief of ravaged communities where violence has become a part of everyday life, and it reminds us to honor the dead by doing everything we can to avoid creating more of them".

Variations on a note
October 11, 2022

12tone: Is Brahms' composition impossible to play?

"Sometimes, there are musical ideas so complicated that they wind up being not just physically impossible, but conceptually impossible as well. But did Brahms write one of those? Well... It's complicated" - an interesting new music theory video by 12tone about Johannes Brahms' composition Variations on an Original Theme, opus 21, number1, which is supposedly just impossible to play.

Composer David Bruce connects the physical qualities of instruments and the music that's written for them. His video is essentially about the way the design and layout of instruments affect the music that's played on them. He starts off with samba, but also goes over to west Africa and Spain.

Sound on non-music
September 28, 2022

Adam Neely: The music theory of 'CBAT'

"Why did the sound of an inflatable clown toy falling down the stairs so capture the musical zeitgeist of September 2022?" - that's the question the music theorist Adam Neely explains in his latest video. The "sound" is the song 'Cbat' by experimental hip-hop producer Hudson Mohawke, supposedly the perfect "sound" to have sex to.

Into the wild
September 22, 2022

Alewya releases new single 'Let Go'

London-based singer/rapper Alewya is back with a new video 'Let Go', the first new music since her debut EP, 'Panther In Mode', from November last year. Alewya shared a thought about the new track: "The feeling of being on the precipice of something new but not there yet - it’s uncomfortable". It is to be a mark of a new shift into a "wild" new phase for her: "I'm freeing myself up, getting more confident in how lost I feel. With 'Panther In Mode', I was coming from a more poised space. The next phase is more wild. I won't hold back anymore."

Art if icial
September 19, 2022

Adam Neely: Will AI replace human musicians?

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely wonders what we expect from AI and how might it replace human musicians. He thinks "it's clear that something going to change somehow and something might get lost... but a great deal of other stuff [will get] added".

Fear of the start mark
August 15, 2022

Adam Neely: The shame and fear of failing on stage

Adam Neely's band Sungazer couldn't start a synth on their Hamburg show on a boat, which inspired the YouTube music theorist to make a video about stage fright. "Fear can be a good thing because it keeps you present and it keeps you hungry... We can use our fear and redirect our energy back out onto the audience to give our performances more vivid emotional color" - is the conclusion.

They still got it - that disco glam-trash garage-rock that Yeah Yeah Yeahs got famous for is right there in 'Burning'. It's short, direct, and powerful. Count on the lyric "Whatcha gonna do when you get to the water" to get stuck in your head. Watch the video below.

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