Earlier this week, Twitter increased the number of partners who could take advantage of their Expanded Tweets function, which allows users to view photos, play videos, preview a story, and even listen to audio right from their timeline. YouTube and Instagram have been integrated for some time now, but this recent batch of partners is notable as SoundCloud is the only music-streaming site.
SoundCloud integration will embed the ubiquitous HTML5 waveform player into twitter cards, giving users the ability to play, like, and share music without ever leaving the Twitterverse.
“Partnering with Twitter for this rollout allowed us to create a richer experience for our users […] Overall, we’re super excited that SoundCloud can unmute tweets,” SoundCloud founder and CEO Alexander Ljung told Rolling Stone.
The music industry is undergoing one of the largest shifts in recent history. For the first time ever, the folks behind the mixing board are getting just as much recognition as the pop starlets singing over their beats. In a sense, hip hop was the first genre to bring the producer/writer to the forefront with the likes of Dr. Dre, Primo, and Kanye, but even still the MC was the focal point as lyrical content was the most important aspect of the style.
Now, it is the button-pushers, knob-twisters, and fader-flickers that have taken the reigns of the music industry. As EDM continues to rise in popularity, a new breed of rock star seems to be emerging. These are mostly guys who spent their childhoods taking apart computers instead of learning power chords. Gathering production techniques from dark corners of Internet music production forums, instead of making out with groupies in dark corners of the club. Up until a couple years ago, electronic music production was very much a bedroom hobby for most of the community. Occasionally, if you had some real talent and the right connections, one or two of your singles might be picked up by some obscure European label, and a stream of royalty checks may start showing up in your mailbox, but only if DJs decided your track was worth the purchase. But even this model still kept the DJ relegated to a booth hidden from the crowd, the maestro of the party, not the focal point. As EDM shifts and takes on a new identity in America, a country so deeply invested in our celebrities, it makes sense that the DJ/Producer has moved out of the booth and onto the stage. Because of this, producers who often never intended to leave the confines of their bedroom are being thrust on stage and asked to develop some sort of live performance for a genre that is largely dominated by playing pre-recorded songs over a PA system. While we’re sure Kaskade and Avicii would not claim any reluctance to their newfound stardom; it certainly comes with some bumps in the road.
Take Deadmau5, arguably the biggest star EDM has seen since Tiesto, for example. Deadmau5, a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman, kicked off the electro-progressive-house revolution long before every frat boy in America was womping to Skrillex.
But he got his start as a computer programmer and sound designer. Always having an attraction to EDM after attending some of the illegal ’90s era warehouse raves, he spent much of his free time on music production forums, adopting the handle DEADMAU5 after finding a dead mouse (literally) behind the fan of his computer tower (the ‘5’ was a necessary reduction to stay within the 8 character limit imposed on many early forums). His infamous mau5head has given him and his music an instantly recognizable brand; rabid fan base not withheld, making him the wealthiest of the “new generation” of EDM stars.
Earlier today, The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson picked up the latest issue of NME and, while perusing the latter’s rock-solid take on Fiona Apple‘s new album, noticed the wrong angsty-brooding-’90s-era-songstress looking casually over her shoulder. And she shared her discovery on Twitter…
NME had run a picture of Alanis Morisseette above the review, and while the two artists do share a vague resemblance (i.e. they are both white women with…hair), we’re amazed that no one in the editing process caught the mistake before plastering it across half a page of prime real estate. Only a few hours later, the reblogging had started; Idolator ran a full story, Dangerous Minds called NME out for their rough week, and MTV questioned the integrity of the review after such a big blunder.
Here’s hoping we haven’t made any major typos, or you know, confused two of the biggest female music stars of our generation in the past couple weeks. Those (re)bloggers are ruthless…
As Las Vegas quickly becomes a centralized location for America’s dance music craze, Insomniac Events and their touring Electric Daisy Carnival have taken an unofficial residency as the summer festival ringmasters. Kicking off the yearly festival season, EDC attracts hundreds of thousands of bass-loving, booty-shaking fans to the desert for three nights of dance music, carnival rides, and circus performances.
On Saturday, EDC was forced to shut down early due to wind gusts that threatened the structural integrity of the enormous temporary stages sprawled across the Las Vegas desert.
Insomniac later made this statement on the EDC website:
Insomniac, in consultation with public safety officials, made the decision that due to extremely high wind conditions, the crowd would be cleared away from the stage areas. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution and with fan safety in mind.
Fans inside the festival were allowed to stay until 5:30 a.m. and enjoy music from temporary sound systems located on the infield grass of the stadium.
Earlier tonight, entry of new fans was stopped and inbound traffic is being managed by the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. As of 1 a.m. there were approximately 90,000 fans that had cleared the turnstiles into the venue.
Insomniac shares our fans’ disappointment that weather conditions changed the second night of the Electric Daisy Carnival experience, said Insomniac CEO, Pasquale Rotella. Our top priority has always been fan safety and we expect that Mother Nature will be more cooperative tomorrow as we prepare for an amazing day three.
It is still unclear whether refunds will be issued for those who did not get into the festival, but Insomniac did make the decision to honor any Saturday tickets for entrance to the show on Sunday night (which went off without a hitch).
While we’re sure many fans left Vegas disappointed, safety should always come first. Especially for a promotion company whose reputation was already tarnished after the death of a 15-year-old girl during the final Los Angeles-based Electric Daisy Carnival in 2010.
In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of Bad, a previously unreleased track by the late Michael Jackson has seen the light of day, as reported by The Atlantic. “Don’t Be Messin’ Around,” originally recorded during the Thriller sessions, and subsequently reworked for Bad, never made it onto an official release. The track is one of many demos that will be made available to the public in September for the 25th anniversary re-release. The unfinished demo serves as an intimate view into King of Pop’s recording process; perhaps most surprising is MJ on the piano, a skill the talented performer is not often recognized. Many of the vocal lines are ad-libbed as Michael snaps along to the infectious Latin rhythm. The fuzzy, funked-out bassline lays a foundation for flourishes of percussion, accented by the singer’s innate ability to fill silence with infectious vocal ticks. The final two minutes of the song are a highlight – MJ calls out “Bridge!” and proceeds to playfully scat new parts, emulating and eventually harmonizing with the surrounding parts. Listen to the song yourself and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary as modern day rulers of old school funk, the seven-piece Brooklyn-based juggernaut Lettuce drops their third studio album Fly”a decidedly raging slab of relentless groove, hyper-charged syncopation, and psychedelicized soul anthems. Having blown up stages from coast to coast last year, ranging from The Fillmore in S.F. to Terminal 5 in N.Y.C., Bear Creek Music Festival to Camp Bisco and all points in-between, Lettuce entered Brooklyn recording studio The Bunker this winter with a fresh batch of road-tested material and a revitalized sound honed razor sharp by a year spent on the road.
I got the chance to catch up with drummer and main songwriter Adam Deitch last week to talk about the evolution of the band, and how his newfound place in the electronic music scene has influenced his funk and hip-hop roots. A few months ago, I spoke with Deitch and his Break Science partner Borahm Lee about emerging as live musicians in the EDM scene; what I found was a musician who clearly had immense respect for his funk and jam band beginnings, but was also very excited to work in a new style that presented a challenge. This time around, Deitch was on home court, fresh off a newly recorded Lettuce album (which you can pick up here), and about to embark on a supporting tour.