A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JOAN ARMATRADING
Sometimes you need to step back in order to go forward. Female singer-songwriter and icon, Joan Armatrading, became a major artist in the 70s and 80s both here and in the US. The third of six children, she was born in St Kitts and emigrated to Birmingham with her family aged 3. During her teens, she honed her playing skills and songwriting chops on a cheap guitar and slowly worked her way into clubs and festivals around the country. Despite signing to major label A&M, it took a while for her to breakthrough despite her obvious talents. It was only after teaming up with uber-producer Glyn Johns (Eagles, Stones, Beatles) that her self-titled second solo album, Joan Armatrading, exploded into the Top 20 and spawned the Top 10 hit single “Love and Affection”.
I love her music, the intelligence, and gentle humour of her lyrics like the opening line “I am not in love, but I am open to persuasion…” She wrote many other hits, such as the pop classic, “Me Myself and I”, but for me, what makes her such a vital and legendary artist is the whole package: world-class voice, incredible guitar playing, lyrics like poetry, and a style that was all her own. She was a true pioneer. Not just because she was a woman of Caribbean descent, but because she was doing things musically that had never been done before. She did those things because she had a fierce talent – everyone recognized that about her from the minute they met her – but also because she was courageous. Often alone on the stage, with her acoustic guitar, paradoxically shy, she mesmerized the crowd with her music.
AD OF THE WEEK: SETAPP INTEGRATED
Laughter is good for the soul, so this week’s Ad of the Week comes from the awfully named, Sett App, which according to the company’s website is a “cross-platform suite of apps, solving your daily tasks”. Not sure what that means exactly, but if the company is as good as its ad is funny, it may be worth a try. Which brings up an interesting point: is it good that an ad is funny? Yes, it makes us laugh, but will that wonderful release of serotonin and endorphins translate into a sale or a download. Because the ad doesn’t tell us much about its service other than they made a really funny ad, it is difficult to know much about the product. Anyway, I am griping. Kudos to Sett App for making us laugh.
AMERICA TO INCREASE FOREIGN ARTIST VISA FEES BY OVER 50%
The DHS is set to increase visa fees for touring artists.
First proposed in November, the US Department of Homeland Security has now announced its plans to raise fees for those with P and O visa types, used by international groups and individual foreign touring artists. From 2 October, O visa fees will rise from $460 to $705 – a 53% increase. For the P visas there’ll be a 51% increase, going from $460 to $695. Artist visas will be capped at 25 people.
Furthermore, the application process will take longer. The Premium Processing Service will change from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
FACEBOOK SET TO CLAMP DOWN ON DJ LIVE STREAMING FROM 1 OCTOBER
Live streaming on Facebook looks like it is about to get much, much worse. Because as of 1 October, Facebook is introducing sweeping new rules that are more aggressive than ever towards DJ live streaming.
While big-name DJs, music industry companies and record labels continue to do behind-the-scenes deals with Facebook to host DJ live streaming events with impunity on the platform, it seems explicitly that “one rule for them, one rule for us” is about to be fully enforced.
As part of a more general sweeping change to the way Facebook polices content on its platform, there are new specific music guidelines, which state:
“You may not use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience … If you use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience for yourself or for others, your videos will be blocked and your page, profile or group may be deleted. This includes Live.”
It’s immensely frustrating for DJs, and such a shame that the law cannot seem to catch up with the tech and the way people want to use use it (especially as many would be prepared to pay for the privilege). It’s especially galling for DJs to see companies who rely on those same DJs as customers live streaming apparently with the blessing of the big platforms.
HUNDREDS GATHER AT BURNING MAN SITE DESPITE CANCELLATION
Hundreds have gathered at the Burning Man festival site despite the event’s cancellation.
After weeks of deliberation and uncertainty, which culminated in the postponement of the Burning Man annual gathering’s main ticket sale in July, the announcement was made on 10th April that Burning Man 2020 would not be going ahead due to ongoing concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival was scheduled to take place from Sunday 30th August until Monday 7th September, and despite a virtual, immersive Burning Man Multiverse for fans to experience online, burners have been putting on their own Burning Man events across the states.
On Saturday (5th), CNN reported that more than 1,000 people gathered at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach on Saturday to celebrate Burning Man culture. SF Mayor, London Breed, called the attendees “selfish”.
SONY ANNOUNCES TWO NEW MODELS IN ITS HIGH-POWER AUDIO SYSTEMS RANGE
Sony has announced two new models in its High-Power Audio Systems range.
The Sony MHC-V83Dand Sony MHC-V73D both feature Omnidirectional Party Sound, which is possible by bringing together the front and rear tweeters, the midrange, the woofer and JET BASS BOOSTER. This ensures the music reaches further and comes with greater clarity.
The systems work with the app Fiestable, meaning everything can be controlled via your smartphone. This also allows people to add their own tunes via WiFi thanks to the Party Playlist feature.
Available in October, the MHC-V83D and MHC-V73D are priced at £700 and £590 respectively. See more info here
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash