Category Archives: INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Neil Young Pulling Catalog From Streaming Services

Neil Young announced Wednesday that he is pulling his music off streaming services over frustration with the medium’s sound quality. On Facebook, the Harvest singer wrote that while he also has issues with how streaming services compensate artists, it’s how his music sounds when streamed that pushed him to his limit. “Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans,” Young wrote. 

“It’s not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent,” Young continued, addressing the same royalties accusations that artists like Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke have levied against Spotify. “It’s about sound quality. I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music.”

After telling fans about his plans to abandon streaming, Young then shared a second message further slamming streaming’s sound quality. “AM radio kicked streaming’s ass. Analog cassettes and 8 tracks also kicked streaming’s ass, and absolutely rocked compared to streaming,” Young wrote. “Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history. If you want it, you got it. It’s here to stay. Your choice.” Young adds that he doesn’t care if fans “copy” his songs for free as long as it’s with the sound quality that he intended. “All my music, my life’s work, is what I am preserving the way I want it to be,” Young wrote. “It’s already started. My music is being removed from all streaming services. It’s not good enough to sell or rent.”

Young has long championed for better sound in the digital age, and the rocker is one of the driving forces behind Pono, a portable music player that offers digital recordings at a much higher quality than its streaming and MP3 counterparts. While services like Tidal boast high quality audio files, Jay Z’s service also carries a monthly fee that’s twice as much as Spotify and Apple Music to access those files. Spotify streams at a higher quality – 320 kbps – for Premium subscribers, but that’s still significantly lower than the FLAC-level files that Young’s Pono download service offers.

It’s unclear which services will be affected by Young withdrawing his catalog. Representatives for Young, Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music did not immediately return a request for clarification.

“There’s nothing wrong with digital: it’s a tool, it’s a way to do things,” Young told Rolling Stone last year. “In 1982, I first got my 16-bit digital machines with Sony, and I used a lot of the digital master players to create things. But I noticed that if I went to digital, I lost the echo. After that, the ability to play loud went away – it was really loud, but whoa, it hurts. I never had it hurt before. And it went downhill from there, instead of getting better. That was devastating. So I made the records analog for myself, and transferred them to digital. Part of me went backwards: as the resolution went up, I went backwards with the technology.”

Young didn’t close the door on streaming his catalog again in the future, however. “For me, It’s about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that,” he wrote on Facebook. “When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Miguel Gives Billy Corgan Writing Credit Over '1979' Similarity

When Miguel realized his spiky guitar riff for Wildheart track “leaves” reminded him of Smashing Pumpkins‘ 1996 hit “1979,” he reached out to the band’s mastermind, Billy Corgan, and ended up giving the musician a co-writing credit. “Kind of after we finished the song, it was like, ‘You know what, this is reminiscent of this song,’ so we made sure that they heard it and made sure that it was all good,” Miguel told The Associated Press

Miguel felt he needed to be extra careful following the game-changing guilty verdict in the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit, in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell were ordered to pay over $7 million (now reduced to $5.3 million) to Marvin Gaye’s estate after it was ruled that “Lines” borrowed from Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got to Give It Up.” 

“We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants,” Miguel added. “There’s nothing that hasn’t been done… There’s going to be moments where you do things that are reminiscent of other things. And even if you’re not aware of them, I think it’s just best out of respect to reach out.”

Compare the two songs below:

The neo-soul singer previously touched on the “1979” credit in an interview with news.com.au, noting that “dreams” “literally wrote itself in minutes” after he channeled the guitar riff “in such a subconscious way.” 

“It was kind of reminiscent of ‘1979,’ he said. “I was a fan of them growing up, but I never bought their albums or saw them live. It’s weird how some things just sink in…Towards the end of the song when the drum programming kicks in, it’s even more reminiscent [of ‘1979’]. You realize it in a more straight-on way. It’s cool they were cool about everything. It’s all about respect.” 

Miguel recently spoke to Rolling Stone about his grand ambitions for Wildheart, his third studio album. “Nothing great ever happened because the person was antiquated or was completely by the book,” he said. “They had to be a little delusional, a little wild. They had to dream a little.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Chris Brown's Home Invaded, Aunt Locked in Closet

Chris Brown‘s Los Angeles home was invaded early Wednesday morning by three armed men in masks who ransacked the property of valuables. The singer was not in the residence at the time of the robbery, but the suspects locked Brown’s aunt in a closet. Brown’s aunt, whose name was not released by authorities, was not hurt in the robbery, which yielded an unknown amount of cash, electronics and personal items. It’s unclear whether Brown was targeted in the theft or if his house was selected at random.

Investigators have not yet released detailed descriptions of the suspects, who wore bandanas around their faces and were armed with handguns, The Associated Press reports. “We’re trying to see if there’s any video evidence that might have picked up the suspects,” LAPD Lt. Kirk Kelley said.

Brown’s gated property was at the end of a secluded street in the San Fernando Valley. After the 2 a.m. robbery, Brown, who was reportedly at a Los Angeles nightclub at the time of the home invasion, returned to the house to check on his aunt. Brown’s aunt managed to free herself and call authorities.

Brown has yet to comment on the robbery on social media. The robbery comes two months after a bizarre incident where a female Brown fan broke into the singer’s Agoura Hills, California property and lay naked in Brown’s bed. The stalker was charged with three felonies stemming from the incident.

Although not verified by police, Brown’s mother Joyce Hawkins speculated to TMZ that the latest robbery was an inside job and placed the blame on the singer’s “no-good–ass friends” and hangers-on that have occupied the home in recent years.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Young Thug Arrested for Making Terroristic Threats

U.S. Marshals arrested Young Thug early Wednesday morning for allegedly making terroristic threats. Authorities claim the 22-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, threatened to shoot a security guard at Atlanta’s Perimeter Mall in the face, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. An arrest warrant claims the rapper was being escorted out of the mall on July 7th when he made the alleged threat.

Williams was apprehended without incident at a residence in Sandy Springs, Georgia around 6 a.m. Jim Joyner, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force – which was aiding local police in serving Young Thug with a warrant – confirmed the arrest.

A representative for the rapper did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The arrest comes one month before the August 28th release of Young Thug’s debut album, HiTunes. His Barter 6 mixtape came out in April. Most recently, he delayed the release of another mixtape titled Slime Season, according to HotNewHipHop. In 2013, his 1017 Thug release made Rolling Stone’s list of the 10 best mixtapes of the year, and “Picachu” made Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 best songs of the year.

The rapper’s song “Stoner” was a Number Five rap hit last year, and his single “Check” made the Hot 100 earlier this year. “Anyone can rap if you’ve got brains,” Young Thug told Rolling Stone last December about how he fell into making music. “So I just went with it.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/

DMX Sentenced to Six Months in Prison for Unpaid Child Support

DMX has been sentenced to six months in jail for failing to pay $400,000 in child support. The 44-year-old rapper was placed in the Erie County holding center in Buffalo, New York on Tuesday, July 14th, The Guardian reports, citing the Erie County sheriff’s office. 

The “Party Up” rapper was arrested on June 26th, prior to a scheduled performance at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, forcing him to miss the Masters of Ceremony concert – which also featured appearances from Mase, Rakim, Pete Rock, the Lox and others. DMX was apprehended by New York Sheriff deputies based on multiple outstanding warrants. 

In addition to the $400,000 in child support owed to Erie County, a separate arrest warrant from White Plains, New York cited DMX with bail jumping. A warrant from Yonkers accused the rapper of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, with an additional complaint naming DMX as a suspect in an April 5th robbery at a New Jersey gas station.

In the latter incident, a 21-year-old man accused a member of DMX’s entourage of pointing a gun and demanding money. The victim claims that the rapper himself grabbed $3,200 out of his hand before fleeing in one of four black Escalades. No charges were filed that night, and DMX performed a show that same evening. 

The rapper’s prison sentence is the latest in a string of legal issues. In recent years, DMX has faced charges of drug and weapons possession, driving under the influence, reckless driving, animal cruelty, dog fighting and probation infractions. 

Redemption of the Beast, an album bearing the DMX name, was issued in January via Seven Arts Music, though the rapper’s management denied its legitimacy, calling it an unauthorized release. DMX’s most recent official LP, Undisputed, came out in 2012.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Hear Will Hoge Slam the Confederate Flag in 'Still a Southern Man'

When Will Hoge was in high school, he used to proudly wave the Confederate flag at high school football games. At the time, it made perfect sense — his school’s team was the Franklin Rebels, its mascot a rebel soldier. “It’s something I’ve been surrounded with for years,” says the Tennessee native over coffee. Back then, he bought in to the idea that the stars and bars represented a harmless heritage.

“In my 17-year-old innocent mind, it was exactly what I hear everybody saying now: It’s this sign of independence for a rebel, a guy who is willing to take a stand for something and be his own man,” Hoge continues. “In that symbol, you wanted it to go hand-in-hand, and it did for me for a long time.”

Once the “Little Bitty Dreams” singer graduated and began touring the world, however, he increasingly saw things differently. The more miles he traveled and people he met, Hoge found it difficult to balance his identity as a proud Southerner with the flag’s association with slavery, oppression and secession. As the debate over flying the flag reached fever pitch in the wake of the June 17th massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Hoge was compelled to work through his own conflict in the studio.

The result is “Still a Southern Man.” Recorded in a single night at historic RCA Studio A in Nashville, the song is a ferocious bit of rock & roll, pushed along by slashing guitars and Hoge’s defiant vocal. “There’s an old flag waving overhead/and I used to think it meant one thing,” he unashamedly admits in the opening verse, before offering his own stunning revelation: “Now I know it’s just a hammer driving nails in the coffin of a long dead land.” Listen to it below:

As the lyrics unfold, the fury of the singer-songwriter — who released the excellent album Small Town Dreams in April — only increases. By song’s end, he’s shouting a call-to-arms: “Take it down, I wanna take it down.” Like Hoge, other artists have also raised their voices in asking flag supporters to reconsider their views. Patterson Hood of Southern rock titans Drive-By Truckers penned a recent op-ed in the New York Times in which he wrote it’s “time to quit rallying around a flag that divides,” and singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey titled a song “Take Down Your Flag” that has since been covered by artists including Ani DiFranco, Keb’ Mo’ and Jeff Daniels. Tom Petty, meanwhile, expressed remorse to Rolling Stone for using the flag during his 1985 Southern Accents Tour.

Even so, the removal of the flag (which was lowered at the South Carolina Statehouse for the last time on July 10th) wasn’t Hoge’s primary mission. His intentions with “Still a Southern Man” were closer to home and more personal.

“I was on Facebook watching idiots on parade  . . . that really makes my blood boil.”

“It’s not about taking the flag down in South Carolina or taking [the stars and bars] off the flag in Mississippi. It’s me telling my story in how I found my way in this,” he says, pausing. “If I have any hope for the song, it’s that there could be this 16-year-old Southern kid hearing it who has never been able to make sense of his place, and maybe it is something that can spur that along.”

While Hoge experienced the beginnings of his enlightenment at the tail end of high school — when a classmate suggested it might not be the best idea to take the flag to a football game in Memphis — others, he contends, remain mired in ignorance. As the flag debate took off, especially on social media, where the “post first, think later” attitude rules, Hoge became agitated. “I was on Facebook watching idiots on parade, people who were just insensitive to the whole thing. And that really makes my blood boil,” he says.

In the chorus to “Still a Southern Man,” he makes his feelings known.

“I don’t want your stars ‘n’ bars/or your blood on my damn hands/I’m looking away now, Dixie/’cause I’ve seen all I can stand,” he sings. “But I’m still a Southern man.”

Capturing that kind of dichotomy is something at which Hoge the songwriter, who received a 2013 Grammy nomination for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” excels: the small-town dreams versus the stark reality, the family man versus the unrepentant rocker, the Southerner versus the symbol with a dark side.

“There are a lot of Southern white kids who aren’t racist who see the rebel flag as being proud to be Southern,” Hoge says. “And there are a lot of things to be proud of. But there are a few things on the ‘don’t be proud’ side. Put the flag over there.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Joseph Robinson Jr., Sugar Hill Records Exec, Dead at 53

Joseph Robinson Jr., heir to hip-hop’s first label, Sugar Hill Records, passed away on Saturday at the age of 53, as confirmed by NorthJersey.com. The executor of Sugarhill Music Publishing succumbed to cancer, according to his family.

Though Sugar Hill was founded by recording artist Sylvia Robinson and her husband Joe Robinson Sr., their oldest son, known as Joey, played no small part in helping bringing hip-hop culture from the Bronx to the rest of the world. The teenaged Robinson served as the bridge between his mother, a record label veteran who was running the R&B label All-Platinum, and his rapping peers.

In 1979, on a tip from his friend Warren Moore, the younger Robinson headed down to the New Jersey pizza parlor where Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson was making pies. Jackson and Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien auditioned in the back of Robinson’s Oldsmobile 98. Along with Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright, they became the Sugar Hill Gang that night and what is widely regarded as the first recorded rap song, “Rapper’s Delight,” was laid down within days.

In the Nineties, Robinson reformed the Sugar Hill Gang. Since O’Brien wasn’t returning, Robinson stepped in to the performer role and, much to the contention of the band (as revealed in the documentary I Want My Name Back) often referred to himself “Master Gee.” As Master Gee, Robinson performed at the inaugural Vh1 Hip-Hop Honors. In 2013, Robinson was sentenced to three years probation for failing to pay taxes.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

William Control Announces Details for New Aiden Album

William Control of Aiden will be releasing a new album the last one for Aiden by Halloween of this fall of this year. He has given a further update of mentioning that this album will …Read More

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Parents Outraged Over Seattle Birth Control Program Should Take Stock of Themselves, the Abysmal History of ‘Parent Taught’ Sex Education

Neither is marriage nor waiting to have sex, have a ring on your finger before having sex the panacea to social ills we think it is; there were pregnant teens and unwed mothers circa the 1950’s. Elders, parents just shoved them off to convents, homes for unwed mothers because they were too shameful to be in public…Classmates I knew in high school who at least had the sense to wait ended up with kids and at least one worthless baby daddy; one classmate who got pregnant senior year, went on to marry her child’s father have at least 2 more kids with him losing her children and her parental rights because he did drugs and beat her. Proving doing it right is no assurance you won’t end up a statistic of one kind or another. Read More

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

September Mourning Releases "Children Of Fate" Lyric Video & Announces Kickstarter Campaign Alongside Top Cow Productions

Dark Alternative, Hard Rock Transmedia Project September Mourning have launched a Kickstarter page as well as released a lyrical video for the song “Children Of Fate”. September Mourning is a character that was created by …Read More

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