Paul McCartney

FREE MUSIC IS AWESOME, SHORTCHANGING ARTISTS IS STILL INCREDIBLY LAME
June 24, 2016 2:24 pm

For many of us that have grown up with the internet, it’s hard to imagine a world where music and film and games and literature aren’t readily available–for free–somewhere on the internet.

The internet has enabled us to access to whatever music we want, whenever we want, wherever we want–but, contrary to popular belief, this unlimited accessibility doesn’t come without a cost.

Instead, we’re shortchanging the artists, and that’s incredibly lame.

A rockstar-studded force of industry top-brass has assembled in an effort to urge Congress to reform the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to provide new standards of transparency in calculating royalties. Their primary culprit?  YouTube.

The petition, which has amassed 186 signatures and counting, is comprised of top-performing artists from across a wide span of contemporary genres, such as heavyweights like Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Jack White, and U2. The DMCA is a comprehensive set of policies designed to revamp our copyright protections for the digital age–or in theory at least. The petition asserts:

The law was written and passed in an era that is technologically out-of-date… compared to the era in which we live.  It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history their pocket via smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish.

youtubeYouTube in particular shields itself through the ‘safe harbor’ provision–which prevents the company from being punished for copyright infringement so long as they respond to takedown notices. However, DMCA lacks the teeth to allow individual artists–or even large groups of artists in the case of Universal Music Group–to fight larger stakeholders such as Apple or YouTube’s parent company, Google.

In the end, the DMCA appears to be most effective at punishing individual content publishers for posting videos of the their cats dancing to Beyonce’s newest single without first obtaining a license. Big time criminals.

YouTube meanwhile brings in revenue streams from all of its videos–and because it’s impossible to submit takedown notices for every unlicensed video–the artists end up with nothing in their pockets, while YouTube continues to bring in large profits, without being held to a higher standard of transparency.

On The other hand, Do we really need to vilify every tech firm that offers a music sharing service simply because they figured out the rules of the game faster than the rest of the music industry could catch up?

YouTube needs to change it’s model–but it’s a complex issue. Even if there was a more transparent model, one that allocated youtube-petitionroyalties based on a clearly known quantity of videos being watched or music being streamed at any given time, the process of dispersing royalties would still have to go through several layers–including major record label companies–before trickling back down to the artists.

Some have argued that if these streaming services can get it right, the music industry might be able to to convince our generation that its time to pay up.

On top of there being a strict standard of transparency, artists also need to arm themselves with more information regarding the royalties–a process that many artists are oblivious to so they can better judge their own recording contracts.

We’re really spoiled. Back in the day in order to listen to a new album, you didn’t get to just click a button and instantly listen to the new song. You had to get up, put clothes on, and go to the nearest record store, hand over money, buy a giant plastic disk in a cardboard sleeve, take it all the way back home, and place that giant wobbly disc on a spinning rubber wheel, dangle a fragile metal pin over it just so, as to cause the pin to scratch the plastic disc at 78 rotations per minute, so the new song you desired to hear 4 hours earlier would play. Heavens forbid that fragile metal pin snapped, or your power went out, or someone walked across the room during a good part of a song.

So at the very least, we can do our part to appreciate the convenience technology has provided us–that doesn’t mean never stream free music again, or never burn your friends a playlist of your favorite songs–that’s a ridiculous standard to try and achieve. It just means being aware of the obstacles facing new artists. It also means supporting new artists by, when you can afford it, purchasing some music (YASSOU ; TOW3RS ; IDGY) and giving yourself a giant pat on the back.

At ATYPICALSOUNDS, we’re dedicated to emerging artists–but more than ever, it’s really tough to make a living playing music. Too many stakeholders are taking too big of a cut–and unless we can established new standards of transparency, the grave reality is that artists might no longer be able to call their passion, their profession.

Let’s not let it get to that point.

WHY MOZART AND SKRILLEX WOULD BE BEST FRIENDS: AN ANALYSIS OF MODERN MUSIC’S DIRECTION
June 23, 2016 12:03 pm

The Case

Modern music is going all sorts of ways, from pop crazes to mind blowing electric drops, it can sound a lot like garbage while the music as we once loved and appreciated might seem to be dying off. But I offer you this comparison between Mozart and Skrillex to illustrate how music is not going down the drain but is instead doing more than it ever has.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a young master of music born in 1856, and Sonny John Moore (Skrillex), an edgy electronic king, are two of the greatest artists of their time. Even though 150 years and an unmeasurable amount of musical evolution separate these two men, they aren’t that different. Youthful attitudes, intense passions and powerful ambitions fueled these two for years. I am no expert in the history of Wolfgang Mozart or an ultra Skrillex zealot, but I’m sure they would be tight knit friends, and I’m going to give you three reasons why.

Young At Heart: Age Is In The Mindbaby+m

Mozart was pretty much the life of the party wherever he went. With strong talent and a passion for showing that talent, I am sure when he went out that he was the center of attention. He played for royalty, was commissioned to make various pieces for people of high status and did all this before he was 25. He died December of 1791, but in his 36 years on this green planet he wrote over 600 works. That’s roughly 16 works a year, that pretty crazy. Even Paul McCartney has only written/recorded 600 or 700 songs in his lifetime, which is more than twice as long as Mozart’s career. He also had an array of different pets, enjoyed dancing and wrote a few comedic pieces with his friends. To say Mozart had a youthful spirit is an understatement. His young spirit came through his music, it’s ability to be so light and joyous or dark and brooding is one of a kind.

Moore (Skrillex) may not have been playing for royalty at age 5, but he sure was quite the music fiend. He said in an interview with Katie Couric, ”I was that kid banging on pots and pans, making music anyway I could…I remember having these toy harmonicas that I would play all the time, just whatever I could get my hands on.” He has been exposed to the music since he was a toddler, wanting to play and create his own music. He also talked about how his music is stuff he would want for his 16 year old self, something loud, intense and fun. His music is made for the youth in all of us, not an age group, but an age of the soul.

WolfiMoz1756: Kind Sir Sonny, what plans hast thou tonight?

Skrillex88: Show’s @ 9:30, want to turn some tables?

WolfiMoz1756: Yes! I first must perform in Central Park at 7, soon after I’ll be there.

Dedicated To The Art: Soul Is A Part Of Art

The best way to describe Mozart’s love and devotion to music is by watching the movie or play Amadeus. It may be fictitious in a lot of ways, but from everything else I’ve read, his passion for music is just as obsessive as in the movie. He had been writing music since he was a child, his first work finished and transcribed by his father around age 5. He would spend all his time with music, going to shows, working with other composers and constantly imagining new and innovative pieces. But in his last years of declining health and some sign of depression, he still created some of his most notable works, The Magical Flute, Piano Concerto No. 27 and Ave verum corpus. This man literally wrote music till he died.

Skrillex-Jumping-Poster-Square.0.0With all that Mozart has dedicated to making music, Moore, might still have him beat. He played about 320 shows in 2011, just about one show a day. Seriously intense, that is hours of setup, playing and break down every day. This also doesn’t include how many hours he spent traveling, honestly I don’t know how he did it. From 2008 until now he has easily made/remixed and helped produce in over 100 songs, all that mixing and making while doing shows like a mad man all over the world. Moore has also gotten a lot of hate on him music and dubstep in general for it being curated inside a laptop and not really music but noise with a drum beat. But he just takes criticism and laughs it off humbly and continues to play for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE A YEAR. He is dedicated to playing and creating music that brings people together to have a great time.

WolfiMoz1756: I’m here. Where be thee? The venue looks magnificent.

Skrillex88: yea it is. Brought some tunes to drop?

WolfiMoz1756: You bet I did, thou are ready to party till daybreak?

Skrillex88: 3 times this week, still going strong. I’ll pass the table to you for a bit and sit back to watch the master at work.

WolfieMoz1756: We will see if they can fathom the newest of new music.

Skrillex88: sounds legit

No Risk, No Reward: One Must Sacrifice to Gain Greatly

The young Mozart was not a modest man, he knew the worth of his pieces and had no problem writing and presenting what was exactly in his mind. He wrote for various different people, different genres, operas for royalty, requiems and comedic piece for his friends in small venues. Mozart would create music that he wanted to and would play where he wanted; an apartment building, etc. After a performance of Mozart’s, the Emperor Joseph II of Austria said it was, “too beautiful for our ears, my dear Mozart, and monstrous many notes.” The Emperor and most likely some of his associates thought there were just too many notes in the song, and Mozart simply replied, “[there are] (e)xactly as many as are necessary, Your Majesty.”

Sonny is exactly the same. He is strong in his music and will produce what he wants, what he likes and what he wants others to hear. Dubstep was brand new and the dance scene was growing world wide, but it wasn’t a big competitor compared to other genres five years ago. Putting himself out their and creating music with screams, high pitched electro voices and sounds that you couldn’t imagine, he really set himself up for either success or failure, and that risk is what separates him from other artists. Sonny was one of the first mainstream (if not the first) dubstep artist to bring that style to the masses. His music has been criticized on many levels by journalists and artists, and yet he still produces hard hitting drops and speaker busting sounds. He was even brought onto Transformers 4 for sound design for the impressive and unique sounds that he could create. Sonny rocks his own hair cut, style and music, willing to go out on a limb to climb to the top while never succumbing to the modern music troupe or fads.

Skrillex88: Made it home? I’m dead beat

WolfiMoz1756: I did and I am exhausted. I do believe they enjoyed our collaboration, they went mad near the end.

Skrillex88: i know right! that new stuff you had was crazy. Crowd freaked out, all or nothing right?

WolfiMoz1756: Always till the end my good sir.

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The Verdict

In reality, any musician who introduces new sounds and styles are loved by some and hated by others. Mozart became one of the most influential composers of all time and Skrillex has helped pave the way for dubstep, these being their greatest achievements. People are taking the best of both worlds and creating new and beautiful songs, heck, even Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy and The Lion King Soundtracks) used dubstep in certain songs for The Amazing Spider Man 2. Rock bands are grabbing sythns, rap artists are using orchestras and everything in between is being created now. Mozart’s songs are remixed all over the internet and Skrillex has helped produce some sick new music for K-Pop band, 4-Minute. Music is a giant melting pot of all genres. I have no doubt that if Sonny was in Mozart’s time, he would spend night after night pouring over scores and symphonies to play for the biggest crowds possible. And if Mozart was here with us, he would be combining all sorts of genres and exploring every avenue of music possible. The greatest artists and songs need to brave the unknown and create with no limitations, that is where Mozart went, Skrillex is going and what the greats of the future will do. I rest my case. Music knows no time constraints. It will continue to expand, defy normalities and be better as time goes on.

The Dumbest Beatles Songs Ever
May 27, 2016 1:56 pm

While creating a catalog that’s stood the test of time and is universally adored by basically everyone, it’s amusing to see just how many stupid songs The Beatles were able to get away with. I love all of them, even the ones I say are terrible, but wow, there are simply alarmingly high levels of goofiness on a lot of their songs, especially in their later, more critically adored work.

All while bands of that era delved into psychedelic strangeness, obviously, but it would usually lead to more heaviness. For The Beatles, they always found the childlike wonderment in it, and could turn such a minimal idea into a song with so much room for interpretation. It’s a great testament to their dedication to production and their natural gifts as songwriters, because they seriously turned some of the dumbest ideas into timeless songs that would have been a completely forgotten about one-off novelty hit in less capable hands.

Bless these very dumb geniuses.

Mean Mr. Mustard

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x36m24b_mean-mr-mustard_shortfilms

Unsurprisingly, quite a few Abbey Road songs made this list. It’s incredible how detestable Mean Mr. Mustard the person is after just hearing about him within the confines of a 1 minute song. This guy comes off like a possible Roald Dahl character. My heart goes out to his sister Pam, who John Lennon then says looks like a man in the very next song like a real putzface. Who’s he to make that sort of comment about such a doting sister taking her dirtbag brother to see the Queen all the time? For shame.

Rocky Raccoon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sif7Br-K1mI

This is basically a Bob Dylan parody. It’s not as good as Weird Al’s, but it was fine for the time. And there are a lot of really spot-on Dylan elements here: a bare boned acoustic guitar, intimate, non layered, vocals and more stupid harmonica than you could ever ask for.

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-CMOMYdIlI

John was feeling a little lazy during the recording process of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. That’s not often talked about because the best moments from the album were heavily John related, but it happened. My favorite example of this has to be the fact that basically every word from Mr. Kite was taken off a vintage circus poster. On one hand, it speaks to Lennon’s genius as a songwriter that he can eke a psychedelic pop gem out of such an arbitrary piece of inspiration. On the other, my heart truly goes out to Paul for having to hear what must have been the most half baked and aloof pitch for a song ever.

I Am The Walrus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM5VF5U1DBE

Anything off Magical Mystery Tour should just be accepted as silly for the sake of silly. A lot of weirdness happens on that album. But ‘I Am The Walrus’ is a special case, considering how its meaninglessly weird lyrics were inspired by the desire to spite a high school teacher who wrote to John Lennon to tell him that he taught a class that analyzed Beatles songs.

Part of me hopes that Lennon spent the rest of his life jabbing this teacher throughout the years. Like, every month or so, this working class teacher would get a letter in the mail from John Lennon, the most famous person in the world, and it would be is a booger smeared on a blank sheet of paper with the message ‘analyze this, dickhole’ written at the bottom. I’m being too mean to John Lennon right now. I’m sorry, Ghost Lennon. Let’s make fun of Ringo.

Octopus’s Garden

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArkKbQG1_Mw

I’m limiting this list to one Ringo song because I am a merciful human being. The thing is, most of these dumb Beatles songs are able to toe the line pretty well. The lyrical content might lean towards being a goofy kids song, but the production choices are usually stellar enough for it to be a compelling listen. With Ringo at the helm, they go full Wiggles with the corniness. The guitar tuning is so so cheesy. I hate it. There’s even that stupid little guitar plucking finale that’s usually reserved for fucking hee-haw. Ugh. The worst.

And Your Bird Can Sing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IHtYGzzbfg

The way ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ is used here makes it seem as though John thinks it’s an already well known idiom or he’s trying to turn it into one. My mom does this all the time. Whenever I’m looking for something that winds up being in a place right in front of my face, she gleefully chants “water at the beach”. Because, you know, when you go to the beach, finding water is pretty easy. Hyuck hyuck. Well, that’s basically how I feel every time I hear this song. Just a failed attempt at trying to create a cool expression.

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c93n53XSf2A

The cheeriest ditty you’ll ever hear about a out of control murderer. Maxwell kills a lot of people. It’s this cute, charming little character quirk of his. The most disturbing/my favorite part of this song is the little chuckle Paul McCartney has when saying the word ‘writing’ in the second verse about Maxwell’s teacher reprimanding him. Because he knows that Maxwell’s about to murder again. For Maxwell is Paul’s creation and Maxwell will do whatever is asked of him. Also, it seems as though both Paul and John have strained relationships with educators. Who knows what that’s about.

Helter Skelter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eFJ8GqUyu4

Oh, and speaking of mass murderers… Look at all these connections I’m making! I mean, you’ve gotta get at least a few dumb points for inspiring one of the most psychotic minds of the last 50 years. Especially since the song is literally just Paul discussing what happens when he rides a roller coaster. Which says everything about the 8 year old boy essence of most Beatles songs. Their most hard rocking song ever is about a fun day at Six Flags.

BONUS

Piggies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KGizYSCa-c

I’m just going to add ‘Piggies’ here at the end because watching this animated video of pigs shitting for 2 minutes and then a choir of pig shits singing at the end is mandatory viewing for everybody.

WHAT CAN YOUTHS GAIN FROM THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY?
April 7, 2016 2:50 pm

Whenever The Beatles are brought on to a new music platform, everyone makes a big deal out of it. Ads are plastered all over subway platforms, and the faces of the Fab Four take over the borders of every website you visit for a while. When they were first put on iTunes, they even released a Rock Band game made specifically for their easily masterable songs and made the creepiest commercial possible to promote it.

The problem is that while Spotify or iTunes will never really get their money’s worth for having the Beatles catalogue, the library will always have an enormous hole without their universally adored albums. I mean, how can you call yourself the leading source for music consumption without REVOLVER?!?! So no matter how much the royalties are, it’ll be worth having their discography for that reason alone.

Their anthologies, however, is a different story.

Only superfans really care about the anthologies, and most, if not all, of them already have those collections in physical and digital format already. It would be pretty careless of them not to at this point.

From what I’ve read, the main point of having the Beatles on all these new music outlets is to make sure younger generations know about this band. It’s a respectable objective that’ll probably wind up being obtained no matter where their songs are made available. The last time I checked, Delia’s was still selling Abbey Road shirts, so that has to mean something, right? That can’t just be because Tidal now has ‘Come Together’ at the ready.

To me, the main problem with how The Beatles are digested by a younger generation is how they’re sold to them as this infallible music collective. A lot of this has to do with them never having a sloppy comeback after their initial run, or their biggest supporters relegating their less developed early work as a sign of the times they were a part of, instead of stand-alone work that simply wasn’t up to snub.

This is where the anthologies can be key to getting rid of all that unnecessary luster. When you look at each one at first glance, it’s a daunting task. All three anthologies have over 50 songs on them apiece. But it’s not really meant to be listened through like an actual album. The listener can pick and choose at his or her leisure because there’s absolutely no structure to any of these recordings whatsoever.  

What I think should be truly appealing to people is that most of these songs are unmastered rehearsals and very loose. You can hear banter being exchanged by each member before most tracks and stripped down piano/acoustic guitar versions of songs that were made into highly produced psychedelic treats. The recording quality on most of these tracks  is reminiscent of the covers you see on YouTube by the barrelfull these days. But instead of a random teen from Wisconsin singing his lo-fi version of “Yesterday,” it’s actually Paul McCartney.

Despite there being absolutely no marketing machine behind the anthologies, it might be beneficial in a backwards way to have a readily available version of Beatles songs, completely stripped down, sans pretension, and more aligned with the minimalist style that’s popular today could be beneficial to the younger listener. Whether they know it or not, Beatles fans have created a wall that’s impenetrable for any dissenter. If you don’t like their work, you’re immediately dismissed. Perhaps being given work that’s less fixated upon could put less pressure on a new listener to immediately fall in love with what he or she is listening to. And being given a more humanized version of such a deified rock band could potentially help newer fans get into them.

SXSW SPOTLIGHT ON: NEW MYTHS
March 16, 2016 11:51 am

“We are an all-girl electronic power trio”

Occasionally it’s just easier to let a band introduce themselves.  Drummer, percussionist, and backing vocalist Rosie Slater couldn’t have summed it up better in an article featured in Modern Drummer Magazine.

Post-Punk revivalists New Myths follow a deep tradition of New York underground rockers that have payed sonic homage to their music idols while offering their own sleek iteration. You can make easy comparison’s to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who introduced a new indie-obsessed generation to the icy shriek of Siouxsie Sioux, or Interpol’s metro-polished take on Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.  New Myths’ guitarist and lead-singer Brit Boras summons the haunting vocal muse of Blondie, but injects it with grungy guitar-pop more akin to Paramore.

 

??CMJ day 4! Today were playing @ @rockwoodmusichall @ noon & @thedelancey [downstairs] @ 2:15pm! thanks again to @melismaticdiva for the GIF! @pancakesandwhiskey @atypicalsounds #cmj2015 #cmjmusicmarathon #cmjmusicfestival #newmyths #melismaticblog #thedelanceynyc #rockwoodmusichall #nyc

Posted by New Myths on Friday, October 16, 2015

New Myths quickly gained traction in 2013 after an endorsement by the late Lou Reed. The legendary Velvet Underground singer-songwriter/noise-rock-pioneer hand-picked “False Gold” off of New Myths self-titled debut EP and showcased the track on XM Radio syndicated “Lou Reed’s New York Shuffle”.  When New Myths convened a year later to record their full-length Give Me Noise, they were fortunate to collaborate with veteran producer Seth Glassman, who’s worked side by side with Paul McCartney, James Brown, Elvis Costello, and many others. You can check out the bulk of New Myths music on their SoundCloud.

We’re excited to announce that New Myths will be performing at our very own ATYPICALSOUNDS SXSW Day Party this Friday, March 18th, at Darwin’s Pub. We’ll see you there!