Blink-182 Has New Music; Single Coming at the End of April

Blink-182 are gearing up to release their first new music with Matt Skiba in late April. KROQ’s music director got to hear some of the new tunes and is saying good things. So, the hype begins.

“I think any fan of Blink-182 is going to be ecstatic when they hear the music. I really do! It sounds like Blink-182 but it sounds like Blink in 2016. Lyrically it’s clever.” Worden explains that of the songs she’s heard, it’s primarily Hoppus on vocals with Skiba adding harmonies. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

This goes right along with stuff I’ve been hearing as well — that it’s very Blink sounding but more rock tinged than atmospheric. I think I’m most looking forward to hearing Mark and Matt together, if that works, and Travis is as good as we know he is, I’m sold.

Jack Antonoff Writing A Book Called ‘Record Store’

Jack Antonoff, of Bleachers, is writing a book called Record Store. The New York Times has an interview with Jack:

Mr. Antonoff, 31, explained in an interview that the project was based largely on his own youth as a voracious CD consumer in suburban New Jersey — far from the popular perception of a record-store patron as a crate-digging vinyl obsessive.

“It seems like the nerdy, record-collector type owns the conversation,” Mr. Antonoff said. “But that wasn’t my experience growing up, and it wasn’t the experience of a lot of people I know.”

“Record Store” will be “the opposite of an old, crotchety, ‘things-were-better,’ dusty book about vinyl,” he added.

Is the Album Review Dead?

Dan Ozzi, writing for Noisey, asks: is the album review dead?

We are living in that age Bangs never got to see. There are enough services competing to offer us streaming music—Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Rhapsody, 8tracks, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp, to name a few (and that’s not even mentioning the illegal download market)—that it would take hundreds of thousands of years to listen to it all. So with every new album available at our fingertips completely for free at the instant of its release for our own personal judgment, you’ve got to wonder: Do we still need the album review?

Streaming Music Surpasses Digital Downloads

The RIAA has released their report on the state of the US music industry in 2015. Streaming is now the biggest revenue source.

The U.S. recorded music industry continued its transition to more digital and more diverse revenue streams in 2015. Overall revenues in 2015 were up 0.9% to $7.0 billion at estimated retail value. The continued growth of revenues from streaming services offset declines in sales of digital downloads and physical product. And at wholesale value, the market was up 0.8% to $4.95 billion – the fifth consecutive year that the market has grown at wholesale value.

The Complete Conceptual History of the Millennium Falcon

Michael Heilemann, writing for Kitbashed, goes deep on the history of Star Warsʼ Millennium Falcon:

But the Falcon’s conceptual development has always intrigued me because the conceptualization phase is unclear and hard to discern. I’ve researched this subject extensively over years and it’s only recently I’ve been able to make out some sort of sensible process.

So this then is The Complete Conceptual History of The Millennium Falcon or How I Started Worrying and Lost My Mind Completely Over a Fictional Spaceship Someone Please Do Something Send Help Why Are You Still Reading Someone Do Something.

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Review: Brian Fallon – Painkillers

Brian Fallon - Painkillers

There aren’t many people in music right now who are under more pressure than Brian Fallon. Labeled as the torchbearer of the classic rock tradition upon the release of 2008’s The ’59 Sound—the sophomore album from his Jersey-based quartet, The Gaslight Anthem—Fallon has spent the better part of his career not just having to live up to the quality of his own albums and songs, but to his idols as well. A lot of people got into Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan after hearing consistent references to each in Gaslight’s early music. In fact, Gaslight’s legacy got so entwined in the “inspired by Springsteen” narrative that fans started requesting Bruce songs at shows. Even Fallon’s side project, the Horrible Crowes, got whipped up in the Springsteen tornado, drawing at least a handful of parallels to Nebraska. Let’s be honest: figuring out a way to live up to an album as terrific as The ’59 Sound is hard enough. Doing it when everyone is comparing your stuff to albums like Born to Run and Damn the Torpedoes is just downright unfair.

The Great Tank Top Purge (Episode 118)

On this week’s episode of Encore we start by talking a little about the Academy Awards, do some follow-up on last weeks “best 10 albums of the last 15 years,” and then tackle some reader questions. Thomas recounts his history with Set Your Goals, we give some updated thoughts on The Wonder Years’ last album, and we look at how we’ve changed or matured how we handle conversations on the forums. We talk a bit about “where to start” with different forms of art by well known musicians or authors or filmmakers and then get into some of the big news over the last week: Transit have broken up, Yellowcard are back with Hopeless, and The Hotelier have released the track listing and album art for their new album. We end with some talk of Rolling Stone’s top 40 emo albums and The 1975 aiming for that number one spot on two charts. And there’s the return of the siren. Rejoice.

Social Media and the Music Industry

Harriet Gibsone, writing for The Guardian, looks at the pros and cons of social media in the music industry. The article itself is interesting, but this tidbit really stood out:

“I mean I’m not a drinker any more, but when Twitter first came out I was, like, drunk tweeting, and nearly put my foot in it quite a few times,” Adele told the BBC last year. “So my management decided that you have to go through two people and then it has to be signed off by someone, but they’re all my tweets. No one writes my tweets. They just post them for me.”

This is probably something that should be put into place by most bands/labels/management. I wonder if there’s a market for an app like this? One that looks and works just like regular Twitter, but any post or reply gets queued up instead of posted immediately. Combine that with some fancy screening of the at-replies section (to filter out harassment, assholes, and spam), and maybe Twitter would be more attractive to celebrities, sports stars, and other public figures.

Netflix Revamps Recommendation System

Ben Popper, writing for The Verge, looks at how Netflix has revamped their recommendation system to handle a more global audience:

“We were very worried that running the algorithms we knew worked well when we pulled data from a single country and a single catalog, if we tried across places where the catalog differed, the recommendations would be pretty bad,” says Carlos Gomez-Uribe, vice president of product innovation at Netflix, and the leader of the recommendation redesign.

This obsession over the data and delivering the best recommendations for every subscriber is something I think is sorely missing in the music world. Spotify cares more than Apple Music, but imagine if it gets this good?

MTV: ‘The Myth of Rare Black Genius’

MTV has been revamping their news and publishing recently and have put out just fantastic content. Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib recently wrote an article on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and the “myth of rare black genius.”

Assessing The Life of Pablo, like assessing the entire career of Kanye West, means considering the demand for black greatness and the toll it takes on the great. I am not commenting now on West’s mental or emotional state. I have no access to Kanye West, or his life, beyond what he shares through his work. I am talking about the toll it takes on artists in the black imagination, in the spaces where we hold them dear. It is equal parts frustrating and wholly understandable to see the way both white establishments and black consumers hold on to the idea of black genius. The concept is held so tightly and with so little change or evolution in what the black genius can or should represent. This leaves the imagination with so few established and named black geniuses that they must be protected at all costs. I have been guilty of this, both the limited naming and the relentless protection, more with Kanye West than anyone else.