A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: VULFPECK
How is possible for a band without a record label or a manager to sell out Madison Square Garden? That’s exactly what Vulfpeck, a funk band from Ann Arbor Michigan, did in 2019. The concert was a glorious celebration of virtuosic talent from the band members and a grassroots triumph from their fans. Who are these guys? A bit of desktop research reveals that they mostly hail from Ann Habour, Michigan, and formed in 2011. Since then they have released four EPs, six albums, and a silent album on Spotify, titled Sleepify. Perhaps this rebellious streak is what has kept them out of the music industry mainstream, but over the years its live shows have built them into a force, culminating in the MSG show. The video is a joy to watch, like at 5’04” when the drummer grimaces cheekily at the camera as if to say, “Can you believe this?” or when the musicians – slightly goofy, multi-cultural, multi-instrumentalist, and multi-sartorial – share and swap instruments throughout the show. There is talk of the band disbanding and maybe this was inevitable – after all, where can you go from perfection?
For the full concret: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv4wf7bzfFE
Vulfpeck are: Cory Wong, Jack Stratton, Theo Katzman and Joe Dart (bass)
AD OF THE WEEK: MOTHERHOOD PENALTY
What’s the most career-limiting thing you can do? It turns out that if you’re a woman, it’s having a baby. There’s a clear and obvious cost to women and their careers that goes hand in hand with their ability to have children. It’s often referred to as the ‘motherhood penalty’ and it limits a woman’s potential earnings by 12.5% – for her entire career. This brilliant ad quietly gets the message across with dead-pan humor and wonderful use of puppetry. The decision to use puppets instead of real actors makes it less preachy, turning the message into something more compelling. Good work from Saatchi & Saatchi.
STEVE AOKI SETS RECORD BY SELLING NFT FOR OVER $800,000
The growing hype around the concept of NFTs, also known as Non-fungible tokens, seems to show no sign of slowing down. Put simply, it’s a sort of digital art that can be sold on as limited edition merchandise which has become extremely interesting to electronic artists who are currently jumping on the new trend. One artist buying into the trend is Steve Aoki, and he just broke a huge record with his NFT sale.
NFT has been around since 2017, however, the concept has recently has been at the forefront of discussion amongst the EDM community, with numerous artists voicing their opinions both for and against. Opinions aside, since hearing the news from Steve Aoki last week that he was auctioning his own art we have been eagerly awaiting for news of how the sale would turn out for the producer and DJ superstar.
A particular part of the collection, a piece titled ‘Hairy’ has made the record-breaking sale of $888,888.88 announced by Nifty Gateway via Twitter, becoming the site’s most expensive and record auction sale for an NFT to date.
DAFT PUNK COLLECTIBLES SALES SOAR AFTER BREAK-UP
Daft Punk collectibles sales have soared following the duo’s split.
Just one week after Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo AKA Daft Punk announced that they were splitting up after 28 years in the business, sales of Daft Punk collectibles have sky rocketed.
According to a report from Billboard, Etsy user Dylan Thomas, who makes replicas of the duo’s robot helmets, made $20,000 in one day – telling Billboard he could have made five times that if he’d “had time to build the merchandise.”
Elsewhere, on eBay, a sealed copy of the duo’s last album ‘Random Access Memories’ had reached bids over $300, and a limited-edition Daft Punk action figure sold for $406.
Last Thursday, Rolling Stone’s analytic provider, Alpha Data, reported that streams for Daft Punk’s catalog had soared nearly 500% on Monday (22nd February) compared to Sunday, with song sales up 1,335%, and digital album sales up 2,650%.
JACK DORSEY’S SQUARE INC BUYS TIDAL FOR $297M
The financial services company has acquired a majority stake in the streaming service
Square Inc – the financial services company founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – has bought a majority share in Jay-Z’s TiDAL for $297m. TiDAL was founded in Norway in 2014 before being acquired by Jay-Z and other artists including Beyoncé and Rihanna in 2015. Those artists are now the “second-largest group of shareholders”, Dorsey explained in a series of tweets. “Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes and individuals through Cash App, we believe we can now work for artists to see the same success for them, and us,” Dorsey tweeted.
Jay-Z joins Square’s board as part of the deal. Of the acquisition, he said: “Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. Jack and I have had many discussions about Tidal’s endless possibilities that have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board. This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
THESE NEW DJ DECKS ARE MADE ENTIRELY OUT OF LEGO
Musician and designer Look Mum No Computer, aka Sam Battle, has designed a new set of decks.
The setup is made entirely of Lego — with the exception of the circuit board in the mixer — and even includes a pair of Lego slipmats.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash