A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: SLEAFORD MODS
It is increasingly clear that Brexit has become the most serious domestic crisis Britain has faced in the modern democratic era. So what does this sorry state of affairs sound like in music? Let me introduce you to Sleaford Mods. The duo, originally from Nottingham, describes its work as “electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class“. They are selling themselves short. Their music is for everybody. Some singers look like the act of singing hurts. They don’t have a singing voice. They can’t dance. They are not stylish or attractive. It is as if the words erupt out of their contorted bodies despite their better judgment to get up on stage and perform in front of a live audience. This is what it is like watching Jason Williamson perform Jobseeker on Jools Holland.
A modern version of The Sex Pistols’ Jonny Rotten, Williamson is the real deal. His staccato lyrics are poetry, spat out like bullets in his East Midland accent. And check out the other half of the act, Andrew Fearn, tilting back and forth with a plastic glass of beer in hand, looking like he stumbled out of a Netflix zombie series and landed on national TV.
Thank God for punk rock.
AD OF THE WEEK: DHL GIBSON GUITARS
The reason for choosing this week’s ad of the week – aside from the fact that it is pretty slick – comes down to two words: Bryan Adams. I am a massive fan of the Canadian rocker. And no song epitomizes why he became such a global star than the one used in this ad, Summer of ’69.
The ad is very cleverly shot and edited, with subtle references to the song that serves as the punchline. Along the Gibson guitar’s journey from Nashville to the stage “in front of thousands in London”, the action drops subtle hints as to who the final recipient will be. We see a “five and dime” store. Mmmmm, I wonder who that could be. The music, which is an ever-increasing crescendo of drums, adds to the tension. And when the guitar case opens and we hear the iconic chord progression, we recognize it immediately. Adams looks good. And he sounds damn good as well!
RADIOHEAD RELEASES OK COMPUTER ARCHIVE ON BANDCAMP AFTER REFUSING TO PAY A HACKER’S RANSOM
Radiohead has released 18 hours of new material from the OK Computer era
The release features 18 minidiscs with band material and music from Thom Yorke recorded by himself. The entire set is not broken into individual tracks and is available for $23 on Bandcamp. For the next 18 days, all proceeds from sales of the material will be donated to climate advocacy group Extinction Rebellion.
Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood confirmed the band suffered a hack in a post on Instagram. He says someone stole Tom’s minidisc archive and demanded $150,000 or the material would be released. Instead of complaining about the hack or ignoring it, the band decided torelease the content themselves.
“We’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion… So for £18, you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.” – Thom Yorke
SPOTIFY LANDS EXCLUSIVE PODCAST DEAL WITH BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA
Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, has inked an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify. The Obamas formed Higher Ground to ‘produce powerful stories to entertain, inform and inspire, and to lift up new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry’.
Under the Higher Ground partnership, President and Mrs. Obama will develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts, connecting them to listeners around the world on wide-ranging topics.
The multi-year agreement will be with Higher Ground Audio, an expansion of the Higher Ground production company that will oversee the move into podcasts.
“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation, it helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas.
We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.” – Barack Obama
MUSIC MAKES UP 5% OF ALL CONTENT ON YOUTUBE — AND 20% OF TOTAL VIEWS
Despite being one of the lowest paying royalty platforms, music is the number one format for engagement on YouTube.
A study by Pex, showcases which categories on YouTube are dominant drivers of growth and engagement on the platform. The study examined the performance of publicly available YouTube videos up to December 31, 2018. The results reveal that YouTube has over 5.2 billion videos, 1 billion hours of content, and 29 trillion views.
The YouTube platform saw around 621 hours of content uploaded every minute in 2018, or roughly 10 hours of content every second. Unsurprisingly, the length of these videos has increased each year since the restriction lifted.
Music is the category with the shortest videos, but generates the most views per average video. The music category received 20% of all total views on YouTube last year — but makes up only 5% of YouTube’s total content. Music and Entertainment are the two YouTube categories that deliver the highest returns, but YouTube doesn’t want you to know that.
Music and entertainment content must be licensed with royalties paid to creators, and YouTube is the lowest-paying royalty site around. No wonder YouTube is so busy focusing on trying to push original content: 45% of its total views in 2018 involved licensed content.
Since music content tends to be shorter than other categories like gaming, it costs YouTube less to host.
GLASGOW LABEL PARTY CHAT RELEASE NEW TEES
IN CELEBRATION OF EXTENDED NIGHTCLUB HOURS
Glasgow-based brand Party Chat have released limited edition t-shirts inspired by the 12-month pilot of 4am licensed nightclubs around the city.
As of 2019, a select number of Glasgow’s nightlife institutions have been granted the opportunity to demonstrate their deeply rooted dedication to the party with extended hours until 4am. Party Chat is independently giving force to the decision of it’s nu-wave government.
Released with the tagline “1 more hour of doof,” the release is intended to offer something different to ravers in the city, in the wake of the Glasgow Licensing Board’s decision. Buy here
TEENAGE ENGINEERING DESIGNS LIMITED EDITION RICK AND MORTY SYNTH
The synth wizards over at Teenage Engineering have linked up with the creators of Rick and Morty to create a limited edition Pocket Operator. Dropping this July, the PO-137 has its own Rick and Morty themed LCD screen and includes voice samples from the show’s co-creator and lead voice actor, Justin Roiland. These samples include common phrases you might hear from the pair of animated adventurers like “here we go,” “run Morty” and, of course, “wubba lubba dub dub.”
This limited edition pocket synths are expected to go fast, so Teenage Engineering has set up a link where you can sign up to get notified when the Rick and Morty PO-137 drops towards the end of July.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash