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Sum 41 to Play ‘Chuck’ in Full on Upcoming Tour

Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 talked with Alt. Press about playing Chuck live on their upcoming tour:

It’ll be our longest, for sure. I think they’ll be two-hour sets. Not sure if it’s going to be 2:05 exactly, but definitely two hours. The good thing about those two is that they’re relatively shorter records, so it makes sense to play them at one show.

The thing is, we never played every single one of those songs before. Some of those songs we’re going to be playing, we’ve never played ever. There’s maybe a good four or five songs we’ve never gotten around to playing when the album came out. So yes, you are learning stuff. But there’s also the brand-new record: We’ve never played a lot of those songs off Order In Decline; they were built in the studio, but live is a whole different thing. What I’m trying to say is, there’s a lot of rehearsing going on.

Billie Joe Armstrong Talks New Green Day Album

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day talked with Kerrang a little about the band’s upcoming album:

Trump gives me diarrhoea (laughs), you know? I don’t want to write a song about it!

It’s just more about trying to empathise with people’s situations. It’s just a crazy time. When I was a kid, my parents had six kids. My dad was a trucker and my mother was a waitress, and they bought a home in California in the ’70s with five kids living in the house. That is an impossible thing to do right now in California – if not in other places. And that’s what scares me a little bit more – what’s going to happen to people in the future.

Taylor Swift: The Rolling Stone Interview

Brian Hiatt, writing for Rolling Stone:

She wants to talk about the music, of course, but she is also ready to explain the past three years of her life, in depth, for the first time. The conversation is often not a light one. She’s built up more armor in the past few years, but still has the opposite of a poker face — you can see every micro-emotion wash over her as she ponders a question, her nose wrinkling in semi-ironic offense at the term “old-school pop stars,” her preposterously blue eyes glistening as she turns to darker subjects. In her worst moments, she says, “You feel like you’re being completely pulled into a riptide. So what are you going to do? Splash a lot? Or hold your breath and hope you somehow resurface? And that’s what I did. And it took three years. Sitting here doing an interview — the fact that we’ve done an interview before is the only reason I’m not in a full body sweat.”

YouTube Music Cracks Down on Rampant Chart Manipulation

Sarah Perez, writing for TechCrunch:

YouTube will no longer allow paid views and advertising to influence its YouTube Music Charts, the company announced this morning. Instead, it will calculate its rankings based only on view counts coming from organic plays. In addition, it’s changing its methodology for reporting on 24-hour record debuts to also only count views from organic sources, including direct links to the video, search results, Watch Next and Trending — but not video advertising.

The 1975 Have Nowhere to Grow But Up

Larry Fitzmaurice, writing at Fader:

And she won’t be the last: Healy intends to log studio time with indie-centric artists like Phoebe Bridgers, as well as Dirty Hit-signed artists beabadoobee and The Japanese House, when the band returns to the studio later in the year to finish Notes. The ostensibly 22-song album is very much still in the early stages of creation, with four songs total in completion or close to it; besides “The 1975” and “People,” there’s the dusky, acoustic “The Birthday Party,” and “Frail State of Mind,” a 2step-driven slice of pop recalling UK producer Burial with Healy’s gorgeous, cloudy sigh weaving in and out of the beat.

RIAA Releases 2019 Mid-Year Report

The RIAA have released their mid-year report and vinyl sales are creeping up on CDs.

Net revenues from physical products bucked the recent trend in unit sales and grew 5% to $485 million in 1H 2019; however, this growth was the result of a reduction in physical product returns, and on a gross basis the revenues from physical product would have been down for the period. Vinyl albums grew 13% to $224 million, but still only accounted for 4% of total revenues in 1H 2019.

New Interview with Good Riddance

Russ Rankin of Good Riddance talked with about their new album:

There was no pressure, really. We decided to start playing again and after a year or two after that–maybe a year and a half–we were having a blast. Speaking for myself, five years away from it was good and the band’s place in punk rock history, modest as it may be, was pretty well cemented so there was nothing to prove. And being able to survive and be a human being apart from that band for five years was good for me. And so for me, when we started playing again, especially traveling and playing festivals, I really got a chance to just enjoy the opportunity rather than being concerned with the nuts and bolts of the business side of it or lapsing into imagined competitions in my head with bands I considered friends.

Can Music Journalism Transcend Its Access Problem?

Jeremy Gordon, writing at CJR:

Twenty years ago, a magazine could slot a profile of a smaller band alongside an interview with a popular artist, and hope that it might be read as part of the whole. Now, every article is packaged individually on the internet and measured to the last click, making it very clear when something isn’t being read, incentivizing coverage of artists with proven followings. “It’s a giant shift,” Ken Weinstein says. “It was kind of better when people couldn’t really put an absolute finger on it because art is not that.”

Most music journalists aren’t so craven as to go entirely by the numbers, but they work at businesses. “I could invest ten hours and do a long feature on something that no one has ever heard of, but five people will read it,” Julianne Shepherd, editor-in-chief at Jezebel and former executive editor at The Fader, says. “And then is my boss going to be like, ‘Yo, what the fuck are you doing?’”

I found that this piece hit a little too close to home a few times. Especially when thinking about and the machine it got sucked up in. However, now that we’re independent, and largely based around a member supported model, I don’t have to care about what gets the most pageviews or clicks. It’s freeing.

Blink-182 Apparently to Feature on Posthumous XXXTentacion Album

According to Sounds Music Group CEO, Solomon Sobande, Blink-182, Lil Wayne, Lil Nas X, and many more will be featured on the posthumous release from XXXTentacion:

There’s a healthy amount. Tory Lanez and Mavado; there’s a country song featuring Lil Nas X. One of the most surprising is Blink-182 — one of Jah’s favorite bands.

I’m not sure if this is a Travis Barker feature, or if the entire band is on a track, but to say this is disappointing to see would be an understatement.

The Adults in the Room

Megan Greenwell, writing at Deadspin:

The unstated, fuller version seems to be that he believed he could simply turn up the traffic (and thus turn a profit), as if adjusting a faucet, not by investing in quality journalism but by tricking people into clicking on more pages. While pageviews are no longer seen as a key performance indicator at most digital publications—time spent on the site is increasingly thought to be a more valuable metric—Spanfeller has focused on pageviews above all else. In his first meeting with editorial leaders, he said he expected us to double pageviews. Several weeks later, without acknowledging a change, he mentioned that the expectation is in fact to quadruple them. Four months in, the vision for getting there seems less clear than ever.

I think this article will resonate with anyone that’s ever worked for a large media company at one point or another.

How Artist Imposters and Fake Songs Sneak Onto Streaming Services

Noah Yoo, writing at Pitchfork:

Suspicious bootlegs and fraudulent uploads are nothing new in digital music, but the problem has infiltrated paid streaming services in unexpected and troubling ways. Artists face the possibility of impersonators uploading fake music to their official profiles, stolen music being uploaded under false monikers, and of course, simple human error resulting in botched uploads. Meanwhile, keen fans have figured out where they can find illegally uploaded, purposefully mistitled songs in user playlists. […]

However, it’s easy for leakers to simply lie and upload infringing music, which may or may not be caught by the distributors’ fraud prevention methods. By abusing the limited oversight in the digital supply chain, it’s possible that leakers can make significant amounts of money off music they have zero rights to.

Gen Z Is Keeping Emo Alive

Marianne Eloise, writing at Vice:

The first time I felt truly old was the first time I read someone comment “I was born in the wrong generation” under a My Chemical Romance video from 2006. For millennials like me, our emo phases are mostly relegated to our teen years, only resurrected in the dizzying glow of a karaoke booth. But back in school, belonging to a group was everything: you were emo to death, or you weren’t.

Now, as genre and culture melt and slam into one another, we’re witnessing a new sort of emo revival. Well, even to call it that would be a bit of a stretch. Rather, today’s teenagers are posting about how much they love Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave or Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends, second-generation 2000s emo albums that came out when they were barely born.

This is today’s entry in the “wanna feel old” box.

Welcome to Bon Iver, Wisconsin

Bon Iver is the center of a new feature at Pitchfork today:

For six weeks, everyone worked in different little studios, bringing ideas in and out to main rooms, auditioning riffs, futzing with samplers, pedals, gear, and synths until something genuinely surprising emerged. More than ever, Vernon was letting the band dictate the sound of the record: psychedelic and warm, dense and open. Even though there were plenty of false starts and dead ends, Vernon attests, “They’re all seeds—a mood that you can build around. I didn’t want to be worried about being the author of everything, it was more about trying to find something I can cruise on.”

Shura Tells the Transatlantic Love Story Behind Her New Album

Shura talked with MTV about her upcoming album:

So no one is more surprised than Shura now that her sophomore album happens to be about successful, all-encompassing love. But love changes things. Love radically alters perception and beautifies reality; it brings everything together in perfect, poetic harmony. Now Shura’s noticing patterns everywhere. “Wherever I go I’m followed by some kind of home improvement,” she says to MTV News.

Twenty seconds before our call, a drill starts in the London apartment next to hers. When she moved into her girlfriend’s New York home last November, the builders came in to do work on the house next door. “I think it’s because I just wrote a U-Haul lesbian album,” she says. Even in conversation, Shura can twist a great hook.

Taylor Swift on Sexism, Scrutiny, and Standing Up for Herself

Abby Aguirre, writing for Vogue:

I ask her, why get louder about LGBTQ rights now? “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she says. “I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. It’s hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It’s clickbait, and it’s a part of my life story, and it’s a part of my career arc.”

Vic Fuentes Named Co-Chairman/CEO of Living the Dream Foundation

Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil has been named Co-Chairman/CEO of the Living the Dream Foundation:

Living the Dream’s main focus is introducing sick children and young adults to their musical heroes and creating what the foundation calls Dream Days, which can include meet-and-greets with artists, VIP access to concerts and special events, or hospital visits. Hundreds of Dream Days have been realized since the foundation launched in 2007. In addition to Pierce the Veil, acts that have participated include Blink-182, Slipknot, Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson.

Toni Morrison Passes Away

Margalit Fox, writing at The New York Times:

Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel laureate in literature, whose acclaimed, best-selling work explored black identity in America and in particular the experience of black women, died on Monday in the Bronx. She was 88.

Her death, at Montefiore Medical Center, was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. A spokeswoman said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Ms. Morrison lived in Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y.

I think about this quote from Song of Solomon all the time:

Perhaps that’s what all human relationships boil down to: Would you save my life? or would you take it?


Meg & Dia Return: Inside Their Post-‘Voice’ Struggle & New Surprise Album

Chris Payne, writing at Billboard:

Those pressure-packed Voice performances drained Dia’s onstage exuberance over most of the past decade. “For years after The Voice, I had a really hard time performing,” says Dia. “Perfectionism took over my life.” Even worse, her newfound solo career ravaged her relationship with her older sister, once her closest confidante in an unforgiving industry. “It was like having my identity and my best friend taken away at the same time,” says the elder Frampton, now willing to criticize the way she reacted to Dia’s ascent.

For years, the sisters didn’t speak. “I had tied up all my self-worth in being famous, having money, and being a rock star,” says Meg. “I felt really jealous, thinking my sister was gonna be rich and famous, and I’d have nothing left.”

A Wikipedia for Generation Z

Taylor Lorenz, writing for The Atlantic:

If you want to know who the biggest TikTok star is right now, who is in Emma Chamberlain’s squad, or where Baby Ariel grew up, only one website will give you the answers: Famous Birthdays.

Despite its name, the site contains more than just birthdays—it’s more like a constantly updated, highly detailed map of who matters to the teen internet, featuring a mix of biographical information, photos, videos, rankings, and detailed statistics on every social-media star you could think of. And to teenagers, it’s a bible. “They have everything you want to know about everyone who is important,” says Grace, a 14-year-old in St. Louis.

Charles Porch, the head of global creative partnerships at Instagram, says that Famous Birthdays is like the younger generation’s Tiger Beat. “You might know about Famous Birthdays if you’re a parent,” Porch says. “But you definitely know about it if you’re a kid, and you definitely know about it if you’re a creator. Is it adult mainstream yet? No, but that doesn’t matter.” The site has 20 million unique visitors a month—more than a million more than Entertainment Weekly, and four times as many as Teen Vogue.

Well, reading this article gave me my daily “holy shit I’m starting to feel my age” moment.