This Week In Music: 2nd March 2023
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: KENNY STOCKARD “Getting out of here”
Wow. That seems the only word to describe Pittsburgh-based RnB singer and songwriter Kenny Stockard. With shades of John Legend and a dash of PJ Morton thrown in, this artist literally blows the speakers off the wall with his voice and his sound. “Getting out of here” is a traditional pop song, with a subject matter similar to Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, about escaping to a better place, but the similarities fade as the track evolves into a raw celebration of life. The instrumentation is lush and full, with a gospel-flavored choir and horn section weaving in and out of Stockard’s vocals. The song is a tour de force, with the starring role belonging squarely to Stockard’s killer voice. It soothes, cajoles, and at other times dazzles with technical ability. As the promise of warmer weather pokes its head above the grass, this song might be the one to carry us out of the winter and into spring.
@kennystockard #kennystockard #pittsburgh #pittsburghpa #johnlegend #pjmorton https://kennystockard.com/
AD OF THE WEEK: SAMSUNG G23 “Love at First Sight”
It seems that Samsung spends most of its time lately trying to persuade everyone that its phones are more sexy and desirable than Apple phones. They are not. But this almost evangelical belief has driven Samsung to achieve one thing: making really good ads. About a year ago, Samsung launched an ad for the Galaxy S22 Ultra featuring a cute spider falling in love with the flagship phone. Samsung is now trying to repeat that success using the new Galaxy S23 Ultra and fish love as a theme. The storyline is fanciful and original, delivered with the latest in technical wizardry. I won’t spoil the ad, but it delivers. Good work from Leo Burnett Germany. Music by Prince, sonic logo by Sixième Son.
#samsung #samsunggalaxy #leoburnett #prince #kiss #germany #samsungmobile
REGIONAL BBC STAFF VOTE TO STRIKE OVER CUTS TO LOCAL RADIO
Staff working for the BBC’s regional services have voted overwhelmingly to strike in protest against the broadcaster’s planned cuts to local radio.
In a ballot with 1,000 journalists of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) who work across BBC Local on radio, regional TV and online, 83% voted for strike action, according to an NUJ statement.
They will walk out for 24 hours on March 15 – a crucial day in the public broadcaster’s calendar, as the planned date the British government will release its Budget and lay out plans for spending and taxation for the year ahead.
The walkout comes in the face of controversial planned cuts to public radio, which would see local services – including its music platform BBC Introducing – merge programming after 2:PM on weekdays, with up to four radio stations sharing the same output.
It comes as the BBC plans to “modernise” its services, through a stronger focus on more digital and online content.
Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ general secretary said: “This emphatic result demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst BBC members and their determination not to stand by and see local radio dismantled.
GOOGLE’S NEW AI TURNS TEXT CAPTIONS INTO MUSIC
Researchers at Google have been working on a new AI tool called MusicLM that can turn text captions into music.
An academic paper obtained by TechCrunch reveals that the tool was trained on a dataset of 280,000 hours of music and is capable of generating songs of “significant complexity”, which range from “enchanting jazz song with a memorable saxophone solo and a solo singer” to “Berlin ’90s techno with a low bass and strong kick.”
Music LM will have the potential for going beyond song clips to generate songs from existing melodies, which could be sung, whistled or hummed. However, TechCrunch point out that among the failings of the tool are its nonsensical ‘lyrics’. TechCrunch also reports that Google currently has no immediate plans to release MusicLM.
Check out the academic article, which includes examples of the tool in action. Captions veer from “melodic techno” to “a fusion of reggaeton and electronic dance music, with a spacey, otherworldly sound” and other eerie clips.
A NEW SONOS-COMPATIBLE TURNTABLE IS DUE FOR RELEASE THIS MONTH
A new Sonos-compatible turntable by Victrola is due for release this month.
The Victrola Stream Onyx, which follows the release of last year’s slightly more expensive Stream Carbon model, allows users to stream vinyl through their Sonos system. It’s furnished with an aluminium tonearm, an Audio-Technica VM95E or an Ortofon OM 5E moving magnet cartridge, and an RCA output for regular non-Sonos speakers.
The turntable is priced at $599.99 (around £490). Watch an intro video below and pre-order a turntable from the Victrola site here.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
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