A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: PET SHOP BOYS
Listening to PSB’s new album “Hotspot” is like winding back the clock to the 80s. Neil Tennant’s nasal, almost tuneless drawl and the electro-pop synths were the backdrop to that wonderful decade of big hair and shoulderpads. On Hotspot, their 14th album, they’ve stuck to what they do best – decamping to Berlin and writing some decent pop songs. The results do not reach the heights of 80s bangers like West End Girls and It’s a Sin, but there is quality with “Burning the Heather” and “Monkey Business”.
Seeing as they have not had a top 10 hit since 2006, the album could be seen as an excuse to launch a highly lucrative global tour in 2020. I don’t think Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe really care what anyone thinks – one of their strengths – and many would argue that they have earned their right to do whatever they want in the pop world. Fans will lap up the new material, but once PSB stride onto the stage in sold-out venues, I doubt anyone will be clamouring for them to sing any songs off the new album. Whilst PSB remains a “unique musical force”, much of that clout comes from material written 30 years ago.
AD OF THE WEEK: FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
Green does not have to be boring
Being green does not have to be boring. This ad gets its message across whilst still entertaining. In a new spot by agency Don’t Panic London, Jasmine Jobson, star of Netflix series “Top Boy,” stars as a young woman who bolts upright in bed in a panic and goes racing out of the house through the streets of London in pursuit of a speeding garbage truck. The chase takes on the feel of an action thriller with as we see Jobson making daring leaps and fast-paced sprints before she finally catches up with the truck by jumping off a bridge.
RADIOHEAD LAUNCH THE RADIOHEAD PUBLIC LIBRARY
The digital archive collects rarities, unseen concert footage, and playlists all in their right place
Radiohead have launched a massive digital archive called the Radiohead Public Library, collecting every aspect of the band’s career in a highly curated and organised format.
Needless to say, Radiohead fans are in for a real treat. They’ll find everything from rare B-sides and live recordings, to high-res performance footage and TV appearances, much of which has never before been seen. Additionally, fans can create their own personalised library card, and order previously out-of-print merchandise from past eras of the band.
Additionally, beginning January 20th, each member of Radiohead will spend a day as the site’s librarian, curating archival material across the band’s social media channels.
SPOTIFY ANNOUNCES PERSONALISED PLAYLISTS FOR PETS
The music streaming giant is now catering to iguanas, birds, hamsters, dogs and cats
Spotify has announced personalised playlists for pets following consultations with “experts in the industry”.
The company has created a playlist generator specifically designed for owners of iguanas, birds, hamsters, dogs and cats. Simply click on the appropriate animal, give some details about their personality and provide their name.
After syncing with your tastes based on account history you’ll be provided with a selection of tracks compiled especially for your furry, feathered or scaled friend.
OZZY OSBOURNE DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Osbourne, 71, revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkin’s II after suffering health complications due to a life-threatening fall in his bathroom in 2019.
Speaking on Good Morning America, he said: “It has been terribly challenging for us all. I had to have surgery on my neck which screwed all my nerves. I found out that I have a mild form of…”
Osbourne’s wife Sharon then took up the sentence, saying: “It’s Parkin’s II, which is a form of Parkinson’s. There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s. It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body.”
After postponing his 2019 tour dates, Ozzy is preparing to return to the stage. His rescheduled tour kicks off in May, with its UK leg beginning 23 October in Newcastle.
KORG ANNOUNCE REMAKE OF THE ARP2600
The iconic synth is being remade for 2020
Korg have remade the classic ARP2600 synth. The iconic mono, semi-modular synth is most famous for being the sound behind R2D2 in the original Star Wars movies, and more recently, the sound of ‘Inspector Norse’. The synth is famous for its lush tones and filters, as well as its flexible modulation options. The new Korg ARP2600 is a true recreation, with added MIDI DIN and USB ports, as well as adding the ARP3260’s duo-phonic keyboard, and a new arp and sequencer.
Aside from that, it’s a true recreation, and although at $3,899 it’s much cheaper than an original – usually going for over £10,000 second-hand – it’s still an expensive piece of kit.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash