Video of the Week: The Making of ‘Aura’, the Stunning Light Show at ​Montréal’s Notre-Dame Basilica

Loreena McKennitt: Why I’m leaving Facebook

(Richard Haughton photo)

The invasion of privacy and erosion of human rights, the weaponizing of our personal data, the destruction of the music and news industries, a platform designed to be addictive — the time has come to act, writes Loreena McKennitt.

By (via the star)

I remember as a rambunctious red-headed tomboy running around the house with my playmates and my mother admonishing me, “Don’t run so fast, you’ll break something!” And sure enough, sometimes we did.

Now, decades later, those words come flooding back as I reflect on the defining motto of Silicon Valley, “move fast and break things.” In particular, I think of Facebook.

In response to the recent revelations of its misuse of personal data, I’ve decided to leave the platform and encourage my half-million-plus followers to instead keep in touch through my website. I’m told this is a path of professional suicide, especially as I’m about to release a new recording.

Times have certainly changed in the music business since I started out busking in the 1980s. Some would argue we were the first industry to be broken…

Read more:

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/04/19/loreena-mckennitt-why-im-leaving-facebook.html

The Low Notes: Examining The Worst Songs Of All Time

(via urbo) by Jamie Wiles

They say music is subjective, but don’t tell that to the critics.

Lester Bangs, the patron saint of U.S. rock criticism, once said that, “The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.” Yet plenty of music critics get paid to make that mistake, and even more do it on a volunteer basis.

Paid or not, critics seem to assume that the creators of a song are, like, morally culpable for the quality of their product. People hate few things like they hate a bad song. Maybe that’s just because no nuanced weighing of relative merits is as fun as a thorough critical hatchet job.

That’s why we have Sean Beaudoin in Salon sneering at the “10 Bands [He] Will Be Forced to Listen To in Hell.” (Beaudoin goes on to trash The Beach Boys, a band that inspired luminaries from The Beatles to My Bloody Valentine.) It’s why we have Pitchfork, the website that once said of Sonic Youth: “These 40+year olds continue to operate under the perception that they matter.”

Here’s the weird thing about paying really, really close attention to pop music, though: The closer you look at a given track, the harder it is to discard it out-of-hand. When you pry a song open to check out its composite elements—harmonic structure, melodic lines, counterpoint, rhythmic shifts, dynamics, all the nuts and bolts of the pop tradition—pretty much everything is at least interesting. Even the terrible stuff…

Read more:

https://www.urbo.com/content/examining-the-worst-songs-of-all-time/

Here’s What the Members of ABBA Have Been Up To During Their 35-Year Hiatus

© RB/Redferns Abba

(via msn entertainment) by Morgan Enos

BBA suddenly announced their return to the studio and stage Friday (April 27). The legendary Swedish pop band took to Instagram to clarify their full intention behind their upcoming “avatar” tour project, in which the band will be featured as holograms resembling their 1970s selves. Said the band: “We all felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did.”

This most unique pop ensemble, consisting of two married couples — Agnetha Fältskog with Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson with Anni-Frid Lyngstad — may not have produced any music together during their three decades apart, but they’ve hardly been out of commission. There have been plenty of dispatches from both camps prior to their reunion this year. Here is a breakdown of what the members of ABBA have been up to during their long silence…

Read more:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/heres-what-the-members-of-abba-have-been-up-to-during-their-35-year-hiatus/ar-AAwroXN?ocid=spartanntp

Thanks to streaming, recording industry revenues are back up to pre-internet levels, but musicians are poorer than ever

(via boing boing) by Cory Doctorow

Since the days of Napster, record labels have recruited recording artists as allies in their fight against unauthorized music services, arguing that what was good for capital was also good for labor.

But as Teresa Nielsen Hayden says, “Just because you’re on their side, it doesn’t mean they’re on your side.”

Since the rise of streaming services, recording artists have complained bitterly about the pittances they receive in royalties, while the streaming services countered that they were sending billions to the labels, who were pocketing all the money without passing it on to the talent…

Read more:

https://boingboing.net/2018/04/24/which-side-are-you-on-3.html

Did You Ever Realize…

Video of the Week: Rick Wakeman & Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) – Morning Has Broken

Writing credit for “Morning Has Broken” has occasionally been erroneously attributed to Cat Stevens, who popularised the song abroad. The familiar piano arrangement on Stevens’ recording was composed and performed by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist best known for his tenures in the English progressive rock band Yes. Live performances from both artists synced with the original recording.

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