A weekly update on all things music, entertainment and technology, coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CHARLES M. SCHULZ
Snoopy, Charlie Brown and co. come to Somerset House in a cultural celebration of the world’s most influential comic strip.
This week we celebrate a visual artist, actually a comic strip artist, rather than a musician. Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons, with work from a wide range of acclaimed contemporary artists and designers who have been inspired by this highly influential and much-loved cartoon, is currently showing at London’s Somerset House. What made an impact on me beyond Schulz’s rigorous work ethic is how he managed to tackle difficult subject matters such as anxiety, despair, dread, depression, fear, misery and alienation whilst still keeping a wry sense of humour and innocence.
His prodigious workload meant that he created literally tens of thousands of strips which were syndicated the world over and read by millions of adoring fans for over 50 years. As if his talent as an illustrator was not enough, he also became famous for his quotes.
‘All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.’ Charles M. Schulz
The word genius gets bandied about, but in this case it is safe to apply it to Schulz. If you have the chance, go see the show, at Somerset House until 03 March 2019.
AD OF THE WEEK
Sheetz, a US-based convenience store chain, sends out fleet of art trucks to bring attention to its children’s charity
Keeping in the same vein of illustrators, this week’s ad focusses on how one of US’s fastest growing convenience store chains has partnered up with Creative Agency Tattoo Projects to create a snappy TVC with a purpose.
All proceeds of the campaign will benefit Sheetz For The Kidz, a charity created in 1992 by store employees to help local children. The mission of the charity is to provide support, hope, joy and happiness to children in need within the communities in which Sheetz operates. To date, the charity has impacted more than 110,000 children living in the communities Sheetz serves.
AN ANALYSIS OF THE BEATLES DISCOGRAPHY
Who wrote their greatest hits?
I love a good info graphic and this one caught my eye. An analysis of the Beatles and their songs between 1964 and 1970 when the band released a staggering 18 albums and 175 songs. Within that timeframe the Fab Four had 52 top 100 hits and 21 #1’s!!! One of the most interesting facts revealed in the info graphic is who was mainly responsible for the band’s runaway success. The debate about who is better – Lennon or McCartney – may forever continue, but the info graphic tries (and almost succeeds) in settling the question once and for all. Lennon wrote the most songs (31%), but he was only responsible for 14% of their #1 hits. He had more success writing hits with Paul. McCartney on the other hand wrote 29% of all songs – less than Lennon – but was responsible for 43% of their #1 hits. Does this settle the eternal debate once and for all? Not really, because not all #1’s are valued alike, but it does show that McCartney was a massive contributor to the band’s success, especially in the band’s later years, writing a staggering 8 out of its 11 #1 hits!
Ed note: who do you think is better, Lennon or McCartney? Or does it even matter?
INDIE FESTIVALS CONTRIBUTE OVER £1 BILLION TO THE BRITISH ECONOMY
Latest report reveals the growing power of indie music festivals in Britain.
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has published a new report revealing that the UK’s indie music festival scene has contributed over £1 billion to the British economy between 2014 and 2017.
At its Festival Congress, the UK trade association revealed that festival goers spent £386 million in 2017. Of that amount, people spent £34.7 million in the local area of the festival they attended.
SPOTIFY ANNOUNCED THEIR FIRST NET PROFIT IN ITS HISTORY
Spotify really didn’t make a very big deal out of the fact that – in this quarter, at least – it did something which some said would always be impossible: turn a net profit.
It wasn’t very much money, relatively speaking (€43m). And the firm’s operating performance – a better indication of a business’s true health – showed a small, if drastically improved, loss (-€6m). As you can see, Spotify was officially in the black in Q3, albeit by the tiniest of margins: that €43m made up just 3.2% of its €1.35bn turnover in the quarter.
MUSICAL BIOPIC ‘BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY’ SOARS TO A $51.1 MILLION OPENING WEEKEND IN NORTH AMERICA
People just can’t seem to get enough of nostalgia-inducing movies featuring classic songs.
Bohemian Rhapsody, a musical biopic surrounding the life, fame, and fortune of Freddie Mercury and music group Queen, raked in $51 million in its opening weekend in North America. Beating low-end projections of $35 million, and even the studio’s own internal projection, the movie now ranks second behind Universal’s Straight Outta Compton. What is interesting about these numbers is that the film was savagely panned by critics. The New York Times called it a “Lego palace of clichés” whilst the Guardian gave it 2 stars out of 5. This is the second time in recent months that critics have been out of sync with their public. Critics similarly crushed the anti-superhero movie Venom, starring Tom Hardy, and it went on to become a box-office phenomenon. Perhaps it is time for the critics to come down from the VIP boxes onto the stadium floor. Galileo Figaro. Magnifico-o-o-o-o.
KANYE WEST HAS DESIGNED AN ANTI-DEMOCRATIC PARTY CLOTHING RANGE
The rapper is trying to make ‘Blexit’ happen
Kanye West has designed an anti-Democratic clothing range, encouraging black Americans to quit the political party. ‘Blexit’ which means ‘black exit’, is the brainchild of Candace Owens, an American conservative commentator and pro-Trump supporter. Speaking during a young black conservatives meet in Washington, Owens declared: “Blexit is a renaissance and I am blessed to say that this logo, these colours, were created by my dear friend and fellow superhero Kanye West.”
Kanye, or ‘Ye’ as he now insists on being called, designed T-shirts which carry the ‘Blexit’ logo, as well as other shirts which state ‘We free’ on the front. The broader range for the campaign can be found on Blexit.com.
XIAOMI ANNOUNCES $30 AIRPOD CLONES CALLED ‘AIRDOTS’
Xiaomi is known for its simple, inexpensive accessories almost as much as it is for its phones, and the company’s latest effort is particularly eye-catching: AirPods-style wireless earbuds for under $30. They’re called AirDots and feature much of the same functionality as Apple’s product, including tappable controls and a compact charging case. Unlike AirPods, however, the AirDots have silicone tips that could allow for better sound isolation and a more secure fit. They also support Bluetooth 5.0. Pre-order here.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash
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