A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: LONDON GRAMMAR
At the center of every successful band is a unique voice. And Hannah Reid, lead singer of London Grammar, ticks that box in every way. Breathy and strangely sonorous, her powerful and haunting voice anchors the band and provides its emotional gravitas. She also lends power to the trio’s music with her statuesque and confident looks. She doesn’t mug to the camera or dance. Rather she lets her pipes do the talking, leaning on the microphone stand with both hands as if it provides her with an invisible shield. Formed in Nottingham in 2013, the band quickly grew its fan base until it scored a #1 in the UK in 2017 with only its second album. Baby It’s You is the first piece of music the electronic trio has released since then. I just love this track – the lyrics, the melody, the beat, its space – and yes, of course, Hannah Reid’s soaring vocals beckoning me to hit repeat again and again.
AD OF THE WEEK: ALLSTATE ROLL UP
Any TV spot that has a Bill Withers song as the soundtrack is always a shoo-in for ad of the week. As a woman rolls out of bed and into her rug, gathering curtains and other household linens as she rolls straight out the door and onto the street, she only gains further protection, smiling gleefully the whole way. Allstate says that it’s simply how you’ll feel now that the insurance agency protects your identity, phone, auto, home, and life. Interesting to note that one’s digital life is now available for insurance.
ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE PICKS TOP 500 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME
Always controversial, never dull, Rolling Stone creates a new top 500 albums of all time. The last one was in 2003. More than 300 industry figures sent their top 50 lists, including Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Gene Simmons of Kiss, and The Edge and Adam Clayton from U2.
Soul legend Marvin Gaye has knocked the Beatles off the top spot. There are five women in the top 30 as well as 13 black musicians. Here are the Top 10 from that list.
1 Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On: Gaye’s most political album was number six in 2003. Its new higher position marks the chart’s move away from guitar-based rock.
2 The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds: The panel from 2003 and 2020 agrees that these delicious harmonies are the second best album of all time.
3 Joni Mitchell – Blue: Made in 1971, Mitchell’s self-produced masterpiece wrote the blueprint for every soul-bearing singer-songwriter for the next 50 years.
4 Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life: Another political disc, this features the autobiographical I Wish and a list of African American heroes in Black Man.
5 The Beatles – Abbey Road: White guitar music might be falling from grace but there’s always room for the Fab Four’s warmest and cuddliest album.
6 Nirvana – Nevermind: The game-changing album that defines grunge and contains the generation-defining anthem Smells Like Teen Spirit.
7 Fleetwood Mac – Rumours: The four-person band’s internal soap opera inspired the songs that make this the sixth best selling album of all time.
8 Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain: The 2020 list gives Prince his rightful place as one of the most inventive, genre-crossing musicians in rock history.
9 Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks: This hard-edged breakup album is the only survivor of three Dylan offerings in the 2003 top 20.
10 Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill: In 2003, this was at 312. The former Fugees frontwoman now takes her rightful place in the top 10 and is the magazine’s best rap album ever.
THIS ONLINE RECORD DEAL SIMULATOR IS HELPING ARTISTS FORECAST PROFITS
A new online record deal simulator has been launched to help artists, managers, and labels model deal options and forecast profits.
Record Deal Simulator is free and allows users to enter streams, deal options, advances, recording costs, and more to reach an estimated profit for both artist and label.
Play around with the Record Deal Simulator here.
ENGLISH PUBS FACE £1000 FINES FOR ALLOWING DANCING OR PLAYING MUSIC ABOVE 85 DECIBELS, NEW LAW STATES
English pubs will face £1000 fines for allowing dancing, or playing music above 85 decibels, a new coronavirus law states.
Coming as part of the flurry of new rules and laws being enforced by the UK government, it’s been announced that pubs in England could face hefty fines for playing loud music and allowing punters to dance.
The new move will see pub landlords fined £1,000 for allowing dancing on their property, or playing any music above 85 decibels, and is part of legal changes in England made late on Sunday night (27th September) without any prior approval by Parliament.
The majority of new measures introduced by the government are expected to remain in place until Spring, following a rise of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
On Tuesday (22nd September), the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced new restrictions on a number of UK industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the new measures announced were changes for the hospitality industry, with businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), and social clubs, required by law to close between 10PM and 5AM.
The announcement also noted that in licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table. Guidance made it clear cinemas, theatres and concert halls can continue operating beyond 10PM, but only if the performance started before 10PM and alcohol cannot be served after 10PM.
NEW SPOTIFY PATENT REVEALS COMPANY’S 3D AUDIO AMBITIONS
There’s a notable omission from Daniel Ek’s mission statement for Spotify to become the world’s No.1 audio platform: a commitment to improving the audio quality of the platform.
With competition from the likes of Amazon HD, TIDAL Hi-FI, and Deezer HiFi, Spotify’s lack of a high-fidelity music streaming could become a missed opportunity to woo potential audiophile subscribers.
Spotify is definitely taking audio quality seriously – and maybe working on an even more advanced sonic innovation for its service.
GRIME TV STATION CHANNEL U IS MAKING A COMEBACK
In 2018, the influential grime station ceased broadcasting after 15 years on air. Now, after a two-year hiatus, the TV channel will make its comeback in November with the launch of the film Against All Odds. Directed by Femi Oyeniran and Nicky “Slimting” Walker, the grime movie is set to be “a visual celebration of the scene that the grime forefathers created.” It features D Double E, Jammer, and Ghetts, who will play themselves.
Walker told Radio 1 Newsbeat, “We wanted to create something that celebrated the very important musical genre that is considered to have been the foundation of all the different scenes that exist at the moment.”
D Double E added, “Channel U returning is big for the scene, we (grime artists) haven’t really got much TV support so it will be good for us.”
The rest of the channel’s programme will include old grime videos and classic shows. Channel U was first launched in 2003, and was later renamed Channel AKA. It gave rise to artists such as Skepta, Giggs, Wretch 32, Dizzee Rascal and more.
VARIA INSTRUMENTS REVEALS DETAILS OF NEW FOUR-CHANNEL ROTARY MIXER
Varia Instruments has announced its new four-channel rotary mixer, the RDM40.
Features of the RDM40 include two analogue VU meters and a built-in linear supply unit with voltage 115v and 230v.
Housed in a solid metal casing, the inputs are 3 line/phono, and 1 line/microphone. The input channels come with gain, level, 3-band isolator, send and signal level indication LED.
The RDM40’s outputs are 1 master out (XLR balanced), 1 booth out (jack balanced), 1 record out (RCA balance) and 1 headphone. Made to order, the RDM40 is priced at £2,975.50 excluding VAT and delivery costs.
Head to Varia Instruments for more information.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash