A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS
When is Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier, known professionally as Christine and The Queens (or Chris depending on her mood) gonna become a global superstar? She is one of the most electrifying performers today. She has the prodigious talent, the voice, the dance moves, the music, everything, but she is also quite hard to categorize, which may account for her global “cult” status rather than global status. After two successful albums, Chair Humaine (2014) and Chris (2018) and headlining the main stage on the last Sunday at Glastonbury 2019 with a full band and a troupe of dancers, this enigmatic performer sits just outside the mainstream, especially in the US. Now she is releasing her third album, People, I’ve been sad. The album is more commercial than its predecessor, with a nod back to her first album. Simple dry drum beats, ethereal pads, and synth baselines pulse underneath her world-class vocals. The songwriting is strong across the album, but for me the standout is I Disappear into your Arms, which she has also released as a French version, which you can check out in the video below starting at 2:42. A star is born, encore one fois.
AD OF THE WEEK: VOLKSWAGEN
Part 1 of a three-part series of ads plug the new Atlas Cross Sport crossover by making a statement against celebrity ‘excess’
From the first line when you hear Paul Giamatti’s distinctive growl/whisper, this ad grabs your attention like no accountant ever could. One liners zing across the screen, such as “A solid gold jetski is not deductible” or “you can’t claim that as a dependant…because its inanimate.” Part one of a three-part series of ads plugging the new Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport crossover by making a statement against celebrity ‘excess’, the ad makes good use of its celebrity cast’s on-screen personas, with “Billions” actor Giamatti playing the stolid bean counter and “Succession” spoilt rich kid Kieran Culkin appearing as the out of control client.
The story centers on a road trip the client and celebrity take from Las Vegas through the Nevada desert. The ads were shot on location in New York and Las Vegas, including Caesar’s Palace. The director is Steve Rogers of Biscuit Filmworks.
BJÖRK LAUNCHES NEW INSTAGRAM FACE FILTER TO PROMOTE NEW EXHIBITION
This is the second of three virtual masks made exclusively for Björk Digital, an immersive virtual reality exhibition that’s previously showcased Björk’s digital and video works in London, Russia, Sydney, Tokyo, Montreal and more. The new filter has been launched in celebration of the exhibition’s opening at Rio de Janeiro’s CCBB tomorrow (11 March), where it’ll run until 18 May.
‘CLOUD RAVES’ GO VIRAL AMID CORONAVIRUS FEARS
As China quarantines millions of people — meaning ravers can no longer go out to party
China’s web addicted youth in quarantine are resorting to memes, short videos and live streams which have become a lifeline for many, as they seek to replace physical meetings with virtual interactions.
Clubbers have been tuning into video platforms like Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, and participating in them virtually.
While some DJs have been performing live, others are prerecording their gigs and broadcasting them on Douyin’s livestream later on.
People then comment on them in real time, giving the illusion that everyone is partying together.
According to one report almost 2.3 million people tuned into Beijing club SIR TEEN’s cloud rave on February 10, with more than 100,000 viewers joining within the first 30 minutes.
GENESIS TO REUNITE FOR MEGA UK TOUR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 13 YEARS
They will perform in multiple arenas across the UK in November and December with tickets going on sale later this month.
But Peter Gabriel, 70, is not expected to be involved in the series of shows.
The group hinted at the news the other day by posting a photo on their official Instagram account with the caption: “And then there were three.”
The English rock band has sold more than 100million records worldwide since releasing their debut From Genesis to Revelation in 1969.
PIONEER DJ HAS BEEN SOLD, AGAIN
Pioneer DJ has been sold by owners KKR equity firm to Japanese company Noritsu for $606 million. The sale comes off the back of a change of corporation name last year to AlphaTheta, when Pioneer DJ said: “Our brands and brand names, including Pioneer DJ, will not be affected. We’re updating our corporate name to better reflect our values and vision. The change is not related to any merger, sale, or reorganization.”
As expected, Pioneer DJ has released a further statement on the sale declaring ‘business as usual’, saying: “Our business, operations, brands, including brand names, will not be affected. We will continue contributing to the music industry with our innovative products and superior service through Pioneer DJ, Rekordbox, KUVO, TORAIZ, Pioneer Professional Audio brands.”
SEGA IS EXPANDING INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WITH AN INVESTMENT IN AN INDIAN MUSIC-DISCOVERY START-UP.
Flutin uses music data to surface new artists based on a variety of factors. SEGA sees that as important since indie music is especially popular in Japan. Streaming music is growing in popularity in India – but Flutin has its sights set on expanding to the United States and Japan.
Flutin founder and CEO Vishu Gupta says SEGA’s investment is an important one. He says 63% of Japanese music revenue comes from indie artists. “Investing in Flutin is part of SEGA’s effort to advance into the music industry,” Gupta relayed. “They believe in us because of the approach we are taking in supporting emerging musicians and providing them with substantial tools to grow their fan base.”
Platforms like Flutin that help emerging artists surface and gain attention from the music industry are essential. Music discovery platforms could power the next wave of change in the music industry.
SEGA boss Toshihisa Kiyomiya says music streaming is the next frontier for expanding beyond the game industry and into entertainment at large.
SPOTIFY TO CHARGE LABELS AND ARTISTS FOR IN-APP ADVERTISING SERVICES
Spotify is asking labels and artists to purchase adverts within the app in a bid to boost revenue. As Bloomberg reports, the streaming platform has already rolled out one such plan, Marquee, which allows artists and labels to send notifications to fans when new music is released for a fee of $5000 and up.
Bloomberg also reports that Spotify has been placing sponsored songs into listener’s playlists and is reportedly discussing plans to begin charging artists for access to their listener’s data. While details have not yet been announced, the streaming company is reportedly planning another new advertising model within the app, responding to shareholder pressure over low advertising revenue.
However, while several major labels have already used Marquee, smaller and independent labels are unhappy about the proposed changes, seeing it as a backdoor cut to royalties. Richard James Burgess of the American Association Of Independent Music told Bloomberg, “People aren’t very happy about it. Some labels feel like they’d promote music to people they will reach anyways, and it just reduces the royalty you make.”
THE GVIDO DIGITAL MUSIC SCORE REVOLUTIONISES THE THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD TRADITION OF NOTATION
One of the best The Best e-Readers for Musicians and Pianists
The GVIDO was developed in Japan, but the same architect as the original Sony Digital Paper, so the build quality is quite high.
The GVIDO features two 13.3-inch E Ink Carta screens that are grafted together by a proprietary hinge that allows the device to open and close like a real book. Each screen features a resolution of 1200 x 1600 and there is a WACOM layer, which means you can take notes or edit sheet music with an accompanied stylus.
There is 8GB of internal memory to store all of your files and it has an SD card, which means you can expand it, further up to 32 GB. You can connect up to the internet via WIFI and download sheet music from the new GVIDO music store. It also has Bluetooth for the accessories the company sells.
GVIDO has done something truly fascinating, they have two infrared keys in which you can just hover your finger over it and it will turn the pages of your PDF sheet music. If you are apart of a duo and share the device, there is a smaller infrared key on the left hand side.
There is a sheet music store built into this e-reader with thousands of different scores available. They are all in PDF format. You can access them directly on the e-reader.
The GVIDO costs $1600 USD and there is a foot pedal you can buy that will automatically turn the pages, when you press down on it. The foot pedal costs $300 USD.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash