A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JEFF TWEEDY
It’s not every day a rock star writes a book about how to write a song. Jeff Tweedy, 52, from Chicago, singer and main songwriter of the cult alt-rock band Wilco, did just that. And he should know: he has written hundreds of them in a 25-year career that has produced 20 albums, two Grammy’s, and numerous successful collaborations with artists such as Nora Jones. In his new book, How to Write One Song: Loving the Things We Create and How They Love Us Back, Tweedy shares his detailed thoughts on the art of songwriting, from practical tips to philosophical observations on the creative process. I discovered this whilst listening to a podcast on Broken Record, with the ubiquitous Malcolm Gladwell interviewing. Tweedy is a fertile interview subject, at once completely open and yet suitably opaque to make it interesting. His tips are useful and easy to follow, but when he plays a song he has written as an example of his creative theories, it quickly becomes apparent that there is one element missing from his formula: talent. Below is one of his latest creations, Gwendolyn, written and recorded in lockdown.
#jefftweedy #wilco #gwendolyn #malcolmgladwell
Wilco website: https://wilcoworld.net/
AD OF THE WEEK: BURBERRY “SINGING IN THE RAIN”
In 1952, Gene Kelly created one of pop culture’s legendary scenes as he danced and sang through the city in the midst of a downpour, his face beaming the entire time. In time for the holidays, U.K. fashion brand Burberry and creative shop Megaforce reimagines that iconic moment from the film “Singin’ in the Rain” with a spectacular modern twist. Megaforce says that the idea for the film came from “digging through Burberry’s history. The founder, Thomas Burberry, created innovative weatherproof clothing that was used by polar explorers, which gave us this idea of a story that saw its characters braving the elements with ease.” That led them to the iconic scene from “Singin’ in the Rain.” Just love the choreography.
SPOTIFY JUST INVENTED AI TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL POLICE SONGWRITER PLAGIARISM
Songwriters of global hits getting sued for alleged plagiarism has become a recurrent story on the internet these past few years – and a recurrent source of misery for writers and their representatives in the industry.
But what if a songwriter or composer were able to use AI technology to avoid litigation altogether, by finding out if their song copies elements of other compositions, potentially in real-time?
That could now be a reality, thanks to a Spotify invention revealed in a new European patent filing from the company.
Spotify’s invention would allow for a lead sheet to be fed through the platform’s ‘plagiarism detector’, which would then, “having been trained on a plurality of preexisting encoded lead sheets”, immediately compare the composition in question to all other songs stored in its database. A set of messages would then be displayed – describing a detected level of plagiarism regarding “a plurality of elements” such as a chord sequence, melodic fragments, harmony, etc. of a song.
The AI software would also potentially calculate “a similarity value” of the song in question vs. other songs in the Spotify lead sheet library. This technology could work the other way around, too, says Spotify’s filing, reassuring a songwriter that “the melodic fragment [of your song] appears to be completely new”
SNOOP DOGG RECORDS FESTIVE TRACK, ‘DOGGY DOGG CHRISTMAS’: LISTEN
It’s a Christmas take on his Just Eat advert song
Snoop Dogg has recorded a new Christmas track.
The legendary West Coast rapper has released a festive take on his Just Eat advert jingle, ‘Did Somebody Say’.
Titled ‘Doggy Dogg Christmas’, Snoop lends the instrumental from the advert, rapping about everything from Santa and his elves, sushi delivered by Reindeers, and cold turkey sandwiches, to mistletoe, ice skating, and stuffed crust cheese.
Check out ‘Doggy Dogg Christmas‘ below.
SPOTIFY IS TRIALLING ADDING STORIES TO ITS PLATFORM
Spotify is looking like it will be the next platform to integrate stories into its interface.
The form of 24-hour disappearing image/video sharing was popularized by Snapchat and has since been copied by platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, and most recently Twitter with its ‘Fleets’ feature.
Now Spotify is testing adding stories to its playlists. As The Verge reports, Spotify’s Christmas Hits playlist showcases a number of artists including Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix sharing festival anecdotes and insights into their songwriting process. And similar stories have been spotted on other playlists too.
SAVE OUR SCENE ORGANISES PROTESTS IN LONDON AND BRISTOL
Save Our Scene is protesting the lack of support given to musicians from the UK government, with two demonstrations set to take place in London and Bristol this week.
The first bike ride protest will take place in the English capital on December 2, starting under Marble Arch at 7 pm and riding to Parliament Square. The Bristol protest takes place the following day, setting off from Clifton Downs at 7 pm and riding to St Andrew’s Park.
THE TW-E5A’S ARE YAMAHA’S AFFORDABLE IN-EAR OPTION
With up to 26 hours of music playback
Yamaha released two new wireless in-ear’s last month – the high-end TW-E7A, and the TW-E5A.
The TW-E5A are £50 cheaper than the TW-E7A. The main difference being the TW-E5A don’t have noise cancelling – so if you’re someone who doesn’t value that feature the TW-E5A make for a more affordable option.
Thanks to a feature Yamaha call Listening Care, the TW-E5A give a rich sound even at low levels. I only had to have them at about 60 percent of the iPhone’s volume to have a good listening level. The feature minimizes the onslaught your ears would normally get if listening to stuff cranked right up. As well as Listening Care, the TW-E5A have an Ambient Sound setting which lifts the noises around over your music if say you need to listen out for traffic.
They work with any device that allows Bluetooth 5.0 so can link to your phone, laptop, Smart TV, etc, and support high definition playback via Qualcomm aptX™ and AAC codecs. The buds are waterproof compliant with IPX5 standards – but the charging case isn’t.
Finally, if you’re the sort of person who likes listening to music as you drift off to sleep you can set an auto-standby time so you don’t waste hours of battery after you’ve slipped into dreamland. The TW-E5As are available in black or white here.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash