A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: PHOEBE BRIDGERS
As winter lingers on and the news inflicts daily blows to our psyche, it helps to listen to music that speaks to our current reality. Phoebe Bridgers, 25, is an indie-folk artist from Los Angeles who was signed to a major label back in 2016 and is something of a hidden talent for those in the know. She received glowing reviews for her 2017 debut album, Stranger in the Alps, and has since collaborated with a number of well-known artists, most notably Conor Oberst. She is supporting two mainstream acts, The 1975 and The National, on tour through 2020. Her website URL is pretty full on: phoebefuckingbridgers.com. The music is defined by stripped back hypnotic arrangements and her ethereal voice. But it also carries two secret weapons: her lyrics and choruses. Many artists can write beautiful verses, but often they fall short at the chorus, the part of song where alchemy delivers gold and the audience is gifted a lyric and a musical hook that lodges in its mind forever. Bridgers defines herself with these two abilities and as such, she separates herself from the pack.
AD OF THE WEEK: Heineken | Father & Son
F1 world champions, father and son, Keke (71) and Nico Rosberg (34) from Finland, compete with each other in everyday life to prove who’s better and gets to drive. The champions soon discover that there’s no need for tricks when it comes to driving: the better driver is always the one who doesn’t drink. The relationship between the two men seems genuine and the scene where Keke smashes his son’s pétanque ball out of the way is something many of us have experienced (Tu tires ou tu pointes?). I also love the use of the song, Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle, because it is a classic and also because the lyrics appear to have been written to picture. Ed note: people who like beer say the non-alcoholic Heineken is actually really good.
KRAFTWERK ANNOUNCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The concerts will be in 3D
Kraftwerk have announced a North American tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The electro pioneers will bring their beloved 3D visuals, music, and performance art on the road to play a career-spanning set this summer.
When it comes to having a noteworthy career, Kraftwerk have too many accomplishments to list. Since forming in 1970, the group of friends merged machines with man to help popularise electronic music as we know it, released 10 studio albums, charted on mainstream radio worldwide, and redefined our expectations for technology within music. They’ve since been nominated for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame not once, but twice, among countless other awards.
Here’s hoping this anniversary tour is similar to the magic caught on ‘3D-The Catalogue’, their Grammy-winning live album. Come to think of it, it’s hard to imagine Kraftwerk playing music that isn’t profoundly cool. After all, they’re the band that performed live from the International Space Station with a little help from a German astronaut.
Kraftwerk’s ‘Future Music From Germany’
In conjunction with the 50th Anniversary Penguin Books have released a book dedicated to the electronic group and their influence on whats known as todays electronic music scene.
This is the story of Kraftwerk the cultural phenomenon, who turned electronic music into avant-garde concept art and created the soundtrack to our digital age.
PUBLIC ENEMY HAVE FIRED FLAVOR FLAV
The band made the decision following a disagreement at a Bernie Sanders rally
The band will be “moving forward” without founding member Flavour Flav following a disagreement over the group performing at a Bernie Sanders election campaign rally.
On Sunday, Public Enemy’s co-founder and core member, Chuck D, performed as Public Enemy Radio at the rally in question. Prior to this Flavor Flav’s lawyers said he “has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle” and that Bernie wasn’t authorised to use the group’s image without his permission.
Flavor Flav has been in the legendary group for close to 35 years however this is not the first time he has clashed with other members. For example, in 2017, Flav sued Chuck D and the group’s management company, Eastlink, over owed earnings.
BEHRINGER PULLS MOCKING VIDEO FOLLOWING PUBLIC OUTCRY
Behringer has seemingly launched a cruel and unusual attack on a widely respected music technology journalist who has previously criticised parent company Music Tribe’s legal practices. In the crosshairs is veteran industry commentator Peter Kirn, founder of CDM and co-creator of MeeBlip synths.
Behringer has since taken down a video posted earlier this week which seemed to attack veteran music industry commentator of CDM.
The video, which showed a render of a “satirical” product called the KIRN CorkSniffer, has been taken down along with the social media posts amplifying the original YouTube content.
This comes after social media outcry and accusations of bullying and “punching down”. On Twitter, some users called for consumer and retailer boycotts of the brand, with others describing the brand as “cancelled”.
HOW CORONAVIRUS COULD AFFECT GLASTONBURY AND OTHER CULTURAL EVENTS IN 2020
From rock tours to movie premieres, events are being cancelled or postponed around the world due to coronavirus.
There are growing question-marks over the public-health security of large British festivals such as Glastonbury, which last year was attended by approximately 175,000 people, after France, Italy and Switzerland all imposed restrictions on large public gatherings.
So far, 135,000 tickets have been sold for Glastonbury 2020, due to take place from June 24–28. Organisers have said they cannot yet confirm whether the festival will go ahead.
On March 4, Adrian Coombs, Glastonbury’s head of event operations, told Somerset Live: “With our 2020 Festival still 16 weeks away, we continue to plan and prepare for the event, whilst at the same time closely monitoring developments with the coronavirus situation.
“We work closely with all of the relevant agencies, including Public Health England and the NHS, and always review our plans as any circumstances change.”
Many other large scale music events are beginning to cancel or postpone shows due to the pandemic, Mariah Carey, Stormzy, Avril Lavigne and Green Day have all recently announced cancelled gigs in certain countries.
RIDGED GLASS GUITAR PICKS
Inspired by the beauty of molten lava and its similarity to glass, these luminous guitar picks by Hawaiian artist Rosemary Pierro bring the rhythm of glasswork to music. Rare and exceptional at producing a harder, metallic sound, the Ridged Glass Guitar Pick works with all guitar strings and is sturdy enough to withstand different musical styles. Each individually-torched borosilicate pick features easy-to-grip texture for turning your jam session into a work of art. Handmade in Hawaii. Available here
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash