A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: HOLLY HUMBERSTONE
A poet disguised as a songwriter, Holly Humberstone, 21, has been quietly making sophisticated pop for a couple of years and building a solid following, signing this year to major labels Interscope and Polydor and performing live on Jimmy Fallon. This latest song, Scarlett, might be the best of the bunch. Upbeat, driving, with a super catchy chorus, Humberstone weaves in and out of the music like a voyeur. As she told the crowd at a recent UK music festival, she wrote the song about a friend’s breakup. Maybe, but a lot of the action sounds awfully close to home. Her observational skills are what sets her apart from the current crop of confessional female popsters, but what hooks the listener is how she invests herself emotionally in her music. Her voice is not a big one, but it carries far and wide. Big hopes on Humberstone’s slender frame, but something tells me she can handle it.
#hollyhumberstone #polydorrecords #interscoperecords #glastonbury #jimmyfallon #damienrice #benhoward #phoebebridgers #haim
AD OF THE WEEK: LIDL
A clever and slightly frightening ad about what future Christmases could look like. The Groundhog Day plot works as perfectly as roasted chicken as stale jokes and nauseating relatives reappear ad infinitum to the backdrop of technological and sartorial change. Love those outfits! I especially like Uncle Gary and his new (wife?), “We like it.” The patriarch puts up with bad jokes pretty well until about the year 2053…The creative comes from ad agency Karmarama.
EIGHT KILLED IN CROWD CRUSH AT TRAVIS SCOTT’S ASTROWORLD FESTIVAL IN TEXAS
Eight people have died and many more have been injured in a crowd crush at the opening night of Astroworld Festival (November 5).
The third edition of the festival, founded by Travis Scott, was taking place in the rapper’s hometown of Houston, Texas.
50,000 people attended the sold-out event, with the tragedy occurring around 9:40PM local time when the crowd became squeezed near the stage and panic broke out.
Cases of death are currently being examined by the medical examiner.
“The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and people began to panic,” reported Fire Chief Samuel Peña.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner appeared at a news conference on Saturday November 6, confirming that there was a “very, very active investigation” to find out how the crush happened, and it may go on “for quite some time.”
Turner also revealed that of the eight people that have died one was just 14-years-old, one 16, two were 21, and another was 23.
11 people were hospitalised in cardiac arrest, and eight died. 300 people were treated for injuries with 17 transported to hospital, reportedly including a 10-year-old.
Travis Scott has released the following statement on Twitter.
HMV REVENUES SLASHED IN HALF BY THE PANDEMIC
HMV has issued its financial results for the 12 months to May 30, 2021 – and they make sobering reading.
While the retailer has been open for business again since April in England and Wales, the period covered by its strategic report included several months of closure at HMV.
The entertainment chain, which celebrated its centenary this year, had 106 HMV and Fopp stores in the UK in May this year. Despite the impact of the pandemic, most stores returned to trading.
During the 12-month period, revenues at HMV dived from £187.9 million in 2020 to £90.4 million – a drop of 51.9%. Gross profit decreased by 52.8% year-on-year to £39.7m, while EBITDA was actually up 122.2% to £920,000.
HMV registered an operating loss of £231,000 (£187,000 in 2020).
“The decline in turnover is primarily down to the government lockdown, which meant stores were closed for the majority of the year,” said HMV’s strategic report.
HMV’s directors remain “confident” about managing any future disruption. The retailer has also invested in its online sales platform.
“Traffic to the UK High Streets has been in decline for a number of years as customers increasingly shop online,” added the report. “Footfall decline risk is being managed by offering products with sufficient exclusivity or collectibility that customers will make specific trips to the HMV stores to shop.”
PIONEER DJ ANNOUNCES NEW STANDALONE DJ UNIT WITH 10.1-INCH TOUCHSCREEN
Pioneer DJ has announced a new two-channel all-in-one DJ unit called the XDJ-RX3. The new unit features a multi-touch 10.1-inch screen, borrowing a lot of features from their new flagship CDJ-3000 standalone media player. A new feature called Playlist Banks lets you select up to four playlists you use often to avoid having to scroll excessively mid-set, and the Touch Preview feature from the 3000s allows users to cue a track from the browser without loading it into a deck has also been added.
Performance features have been added to the touchscreen too, such as the X-pad you might be familiar with from the DJM range. Users can store up to four FX in an FX Bank, for easy access. Other features from the 3000s include three-band waveforms for a clearer indication of each part of the track by separating the highs, mids and lows into different colours.
The XDJ-RX3 works with rekordbox DJ and will be compatible with Serato DJ in early 2022. The XDJ-RX3 will cost £1,699 and is available now.
Watch the video below for a full walkthrough from Pioneer DJ and find out more on Pioneer DJ’s website here.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Badger and Gustav Balderdash
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