Big Machine Is Releasing Taylor Swift's Early Singles on Vinyl

The move follows an that included Taylor Swift’s valuable early masters.

Perhaps timing isn’t Big Machine’s strong suit.  Or, maybe the just-sold label group doesn’t really care.  Either way, recently-acquired Big Machine Label Group is now hawking colored 7″ vinyl releases of some of Taylor Swifts earliest (and most valuable) hits.

For $10 a pop, Big Machine is now selling vinyl copies of Swift’s ‘Tim McGraw’ and ‘Teardrops on My Guitar,’ both from Swift’s classic, self-titled debut album from 2006.  And those are just the first two singles being re-released.

The singles are part of a broader 13th anniversary celebration of that release, which arrives in October.

Accordingly, Big Machine is staggering the release of singles from the album to heighten anticipation.  Of the two, ‘Tim McGraw’ is a traditional black vinyl, while ‘Teardrops’ starts the colored rotation.

Taylor Swift fans are being alerted to the 7″ limited-edition vinyls email (guess Big Machine kept the email list, too).  Earlier today (July 10th), Big Machine alerted fans to the availability of the ‘Teardrops’ vinyl.  It looks like the alert for ‘Tim McGraw’ was sent weeks ago, quietly kicking off the series (and right before the sale of Big Machine was announced).

“Act fast!” the latest email urges. “We just released a Limited Edition 7” Vinyl of ‘Teardrops On My Guitar’ with Acoustic B-Side Recording!”

The acoustic recording was recorded in 2007, just one year after Swift released her debut.

Interestingly, Big Machine also announced the vinyl releases on Instagram — with comments turned off.

Of course, there’s nothing especially interesting about a 13th anniversary, especially one that arrives in October.

So perhaps this July-timed release is happening at exactly the right time — at least for Big Machine to rub this one in.

Just last month, Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) was sold to Scooter Braun-owned Ithaca Holdings in a deal valued north of $300 million.  The acquisition was blasted by Taylor Swift, who lambasted Scooter Braun as scum and blasted Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta as a sellout (to put it mildly).

Swift said she didn’t have an opportunity to repurchase her own masters, something Borchetta flatly denied.

“This is my worst case scenario.  This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept,” Swift slammed on Tumblr, referencing Borchetta.  “And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”

Taylor Swift’s attorney, Donald Passman, later stated that Swift never had a chance to gain ownership control over her masters.  Apparently only Scooter Braun was afforded that luxury, which may explain Swift’s consternation.

Drama aside, Swift fans are quickly scooping up the limited-edition gems.

‘Tim McGraw’ is now sold out.  ‘Teardrops on My Guitar’ remains on pre-order, and is likely to be sold out within days (if not hours).  Other singles are now in the pipeline.

And the drama continues…

 

 

Devin The Dude Drops "Still Rollin’ Up: Somethin’ To Ride With" Album

Devin The Dude is back with a brand new album titled Still Rollin’ Up: Somethin’ To Ride With. The project is the Coughee Brothaz veteran’s first studio LP since 2017’s Acoustic Levitation.

The weed-friendly MC’s latest work is comprised of 12 tracks. Fans will have an opportunity to see Devin perform some of the songs in person as he’ll be touring throughout the summer in support of the album.

Check out Devin’s Still Rollin’ Up: Somethin’ To Ride With stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Devin The Dude Drops "Still Rollin' Up: Somethin' To Ride With" Album

1. You
2. Don’t Be Afraid
3. Trap-A-Nigga
4. Plates of Ramen Noodles
5. I’ll Say Anything
6. Pretty Little Thang You
7. I Tried
8. Sorry
9. You Got Me
10. Spinal
11. Somethin’ To Ride With
12. The Doobie Drop

New Music: Chris Brown feat. Justin Bieber ‘Don’t Check On Me’

In just three days, Chris Brown will release his highly-anticipated album Indigo featuring collaborations with Drake, Lil Wayne, H.E.R., and Justin Bieber.

The R&B heartthrob and pop superstar reunite on “Don’t Check On Me.” The melancholy acoustic jam, which was also produced by and features Ink, finds the two ruminating about a breakup.

“Don’t check on me / If we’re not together, then it’s probably for a reason,” they sing over the guitar-driven instrumental. “Every heartbreak has its season / It ain’t always summer in June.”

The pair previously worked together on “Next to You” off 2011’s F.A.M.E. and the remix to Bieber’s “Up.”

Bieber recently shared his support for Breezy on Instagram by comparing him to Michael Jackson. “Everyone wants to wait til people die To give them the credit they deserve,” he wrote. “I’m calling it now when CB passes away after a long full life, you will miss what you had in front of you the whole time … trust me watch you will see.”

Brown’s double album Indigo arrives Friday featuring the Drake-assisted hit “No Guidance,” plus collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, H.E.R., Gunna, Joyner Lucas, and more.

Post Malone’s "Dolly Parton" Ensemble Elicits Response From Dolly Herself

It’s no secret that Post Malone‘s influences extend well beyond hip-hop. After all, this is the man who helped Young Thug arrange a Bright Eyes cover, adding additional slime to the indie lovebird jam “First Day Of My Life.” Not to mention, his vast accumulation alternative covers, ranging from Bob Dylan, Green Day, and Nirvana classics. While his eclectic and varied tastes have occasionally drawn scrutiny from hip-hop purists, Post’s unique musical stylings have played a role in appealing to a wide-ranging audience. Now, it would appear the man is looking to infiltrate another musical market, by ficially donning the likeness a country icon. 

Post Malone's "Dolly Parton" Ensemble Elicits Response From Dolly Herself

David Becker/Getty s

During his set at Bonnaroo, Post repped for Dolly hard, adorning himself in various depictions her face. While a single shirt would be enough, Posty took it one further, opting for a matching getup that may very well draw the undying wrath  Trick Daddy. It didn’t take long for the ensemble to catch the eye Parton herself, who took to Twitter to send a little bit love in Posty’s direction.

“Love the outfit from head to toe @PostMalone,” she wrote Twitter, adding a wink for additional emphasis. As now, Posty has yet to make the most the interaction, but who knows what might become it? In all honesty, a Post Malone and Dolly Parton collaboration wouldn’t be entirely bizarre, especially in a post-old-town road landscape. 

Selena Gomez "Relieved" That Her Album Is Finally Complete

Selena Gomez hasn’t dropped f an album since 2015’s Revival. While she’s been featured on some singles here and there, fans are really here for a full body work from the singer and it looks like it’s finally complete. Selena paid a visit to Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show and discussed the project and how she feels so relieved that it’s finally finished.

Selena Gomez "Relieved" That Her Album Is Finally Complete
Samir Hussein/Wire/Getty

“I’m actually done. I have to do a few finishing things with it, but I’m just relieved. It took me four years now to even feel at a good place with this album,” she said, as seen in the clip below. “It’s just because I had such huge moments that happened in my life personally, that, how was I gonna capture that, and how was I going to actually feel good about what I was saying? So I just kept going and I’m relieved now.” 

As for the genre, it will be pop-focused. “I think there’s always going to be a sense strong pop in my music, but I definitely explored more with electric guitar, a lot more soulful tracks underneath things, acoustic guitar,” she explained. “It all kind hits different places that I feel like is my lane for music.”

There’s no word on when the tape will arrive, but at least we know it’s coming soon.

Blueface Adds Some Ukulele Flavor To "Bleed The Chicken"

Though Blueface has yet to drop f a debut studio album, the fbeat wonder has been building anticipation like never before. He’s already received co-signs from several prominent plays, and “Thotiana” proved to be somewhat a breakout hit, prompting remixes and challenges rivaled only by 2018’s “Who Run It” revival. In any case, the West Coast rapper is on the verge hitting ubiquity, and now he’s ready to bring his sound to an entirely different market. If you’ve been wondering if and when Blueface would deliver a ukelele remix “Bleed The Chicken,” consider your wishes answered. 

Yesterday, Blueface posted a video himself and ukulele player Einer Banks holding it down with a reimagining “Bleed The Chicken,” a title disturbingly rich in euphemistic imagery. As Banks plays the main riff (which sounds an awful lot like The East Flatbush Project & Des’ “Tried By 12,”, Blueface inquires about the pressing questions in life, IE, where’s the meat? While the answers have yet to be found, those appreciative imaginative acoustic remixes may find some passing joy through this video. Check it out below, and see for yourself.

Anderson .Paak Brings Out Lil Nas X To Perform "Old Town Road" In Boston

Lil Nas X has been everywhere for the past two months. After Billboard decided to remove his single, “Old Town Road” from the country charts, the song soared to the top the Billboard Hot 100. It’s maintained its position for the past seven weeks which is incredible for a breakout single. Since the song was released, he’s received praise from everyone in the entertainment world from Cardi B to John Mayer and more. His most recent co-sign came from one the hottest artists coming out California these days.

Anderson .Paak brought out Lil Nas X during his set at Boston’s Calling this past weekend. According to Billboard, .Paak’s keyboardist kicked things f with a rendition Ginuwine‘s classic hit, “Pony” before transitioning into Lil Nas X’s hit record. Lil Nas X made a grand entrance in his all white cowboy fit. It was previously announced that he would be a special guest at the festival but it was a surprise for the audience to see the young star join Anderson .Paak on stage.

Anderson isn’t the only artist to bring him out on stage to perform the hit record. A few weeks ago at Cardi B’s Fashion Nova Launch party, she surprised the audience by bringing out Lil Nas X to perform the single.

Peep the footage below. 

Interview With A Legend: Todd Rundgren (Our Latest Podcast)

I had the opportunity to speak with one of music’s most influential figures, Todd Rundgren.

Todd is a true pioneer of DIY.  He’s among the first to record, produce and play all the instruments on his albums.

He’s also teamed up with various bands throughout the years, including The Nazz, Utopia, The New Cars and Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band.   You may know Todd from hits like “Hello It’s Me” or “I Saw The Light,” but he’s also famous for “Bang On The Drum All Day”.

Rundgren is a constantly changing artist.  No two albums sound quite the same, he’s not afraid to progress.  Even being on the forefront of technology is par-for-the-course with Todd!

In 1992, he had the first ever commercially available downloadable music CompuServe.  He then pioneered a subscription platform (suspiciously similar to Patreon…. yes, shade) called Patronet.  It allowed fans to bypass the CD makers and industry middle-men and get content directly from Todd for a subscription fee of $40 per year.

He is also one of the most respected producers in music, having worked on albums for Badfinger, The New York Dolls, Grand Funk Railroad, The Tubes, The Band, Hall and Oates, MeatLoaf, Patti Smith, XTC and many more.

There was way too much to go over in 20 minutes, but I did my best with the time allotted.  Here is what we discussed (full transcription below).


Noah Itman: Excellent. Well Todd, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me; it’s really an honor to have you on the line.

Todd Rundgren: Oh, thank you so much.

NI: Excellent. So I wanted to talk to you just about all of the facets in your career within 20 minutes, so I’m going to try to cram a lot in there.

TR: No problem.

NI: So from The Nazz to now, you’ve reached so many different parts of music. And I feel as though the variety of albums you’ve created has been extremely diverse. So I’m curious, what has been sort of like the catalyst for change? What has allowed you to be such a shape shifter within music?

TR: Well, it’s part of what I grew up with. The Beatles were, well they were more than like a musical inspiration; they had a form factor that didn’t really exist before. I mean, there were always guys that [had] put bands together, but there was no sort of success [to] where The Beatles defined it. So that was the excuse to get into music in the first place, just find three or four other friends in the neighborhood, you form a band. And that meant that me, a guy who wasn’t too handsome, and too forward, I could be in a band. And once you became a Beatles fan, you realized that they didn’t stay still, they just kept evolving, and changing. So I thought that’s what you were supposed to do; so that’s what I did.

NI: Well, I think it turned out to be a fantastic path. And with The Beatles in mind, the first time that I actually got to see you was at a Beatles tribute in Minnesota where I lived, you were doing a tribute with Ann Wilson, John Entwistle, and Alan Parsons. I’m wondering what that experience was like, to be able to do a cover show for a band that influenced you so greatly.

TR: Well I mean, that was a lot of fun, but more significantly I guess was playing with Ringo, and actually playing with a Beatle; as opposed to just playing Beatles material. And I guess through that, I also got — getting to know Ringo, you sort of get — you absorb a lot of history. It’s not like you sit down and grill him, but over the years, he tells you little anecdotes and stories about what The Beatles went through. So it’s as if you were a temporary Beatle, yourself.

NI: Wow, what a feeling.

TR: I know. You have to kind of — it’s something you have to sort of get over, if you’re going to play with Ringo; you can’t be in constant awe of the fact that he was in the world’s most influential band.

NI: Yeah, absolutely. I can see that being a hurdle myself. I also wanted to talk a little bit about your intersections with The Beatles production, specifically with Badfinger Straight Up. So within that album, it’s always been a favorite of mine, particularly your versions of songs. And one always stood out to me that I was curious about, and that is with the song “Suitcase.” I find the version from your production, versus George Harrison’s production, to be so wildly different that I’m wondering if it was the same tracks that were initially used, or if it’s completely re-recorded.

TR: Some things were re-recorded. When I got there, they had — actually, they were halfway through a second version of a record. So they did a whole album with Jeff Enric, and from what I understand, Apple America didn’t feel like there was a single on it. That’s when they went back and started working with George Harrison. But then George got distracted by the concert for Bangladesh. So he dropped out of the project, and then essentially just left it to me to tie together whatever there was from the first two recording projects. And then whatever else I did new. So when I first got there, we started recording material that had been written in the interim; that had not been available for the first two projects. And then when we got through those, went back and evaluated both the Jeff Enric sessions, and the George Harrison sessions, and then pulled out what I thought would fit. Even the George Harrison stuff had overdubs and remixes done to make it sound less like Phil Spector, which is what George — what all of his records sounded like in those days, like five acoustic guitar players, and the drums, like in the soup, way back, and lots of reverb and stuff. So I sort of undid that, trying to find a sound that wound unify all three sets of sessions.

NI: Well, it did really turn out fantastically; it’s one of my favorite albums. So moving forward to, I wanted to ask about A Cappellaa little bit. So within A Cappella, there’s — I feel like that’s a really unique album, in and of itself, just for the recording methodology that you used. Was there — so I know that you already mentioned that The Beatles were a major influence for allowing you to be so — just changing, in an evolving way. But with A Cappellaspecifically, was there a certain moment in time that spurred that influence?

TR: I don’t know that there was a particular moment.

I had in my head a lot of different possible projects that I wanted to try; I mean even at one point, I wanted to do an album that was essentially all marching band.

NI: Wow.

TR: But I never got to that. I could still get to it, I suppose. But essentially, I had in my head the possibility of doing an album that was essentially all vocally based. And it just seemed like, to me, the time to do it, mostly because of sampler technology. By then, I had a sampler, and I could like put vocal sounds into it, and essentially play it like a keyboard. So it could have been a much more sort of conventional sounding acapella record if all I did was sing, but I did a lot of processing of vocals, and vocal sounds, and putting them into a sampler, and playing them with the sampler and that sort of thing. So I think that technology did, ironically enough, have a hand in the Acappellaalbum, in terms of making it possible.

NI: So I’m glad that you mentioned technology, because I feel as though technology has been something that you’re always on the forefront of. I remember watching a video of you doing digital rendering of video in the 80s. And so I wanted to know what the future holds for your video and music combinations.

TR: Well, I’ve done a lot of video for the current show that we’re touring.

NI: Oh, awesome.

TR:  Since it’s a combination of the usual spring tour that I would do. But since I don’t have a record out, we’re sort of focusing on the book that was released in December. And that entails not just playing the songs, but there’s also a lot of archival material. And it’s essentially parts of the show where the band almost becomes a soundtrack to the video; in other words, the point of focus would be the video more than would be the actual live performance. Because there’s a travel log, essentially, about the trip that I made around the world. There’s sort of a fashion show video that shows all of the different outfits that I’ve worn, and that sort of thing. So yeah, I continue to do video, and actually, it’s become so much easier than it used to be; that I’m able to do the lion’s share of it just on my iPad.

NI: Wow, that’s impressive.

TR: Well, yeah. The impressive part is the fact that I can do it on the iPad.

NI: Yeah, just as a one man act, I mean, that’s extremely cool. And it’s really your voice that’s being translated then, so it’s your visual message, which I think is extremely cool. On the technology note. So being the first like major artist to be commercially available download, what was the inspiration, like what got that as such an important factor for you to have that available?

TR: Well I was attending a lot of computer conventions, and things like that, and symposia, and I was giving talks about certain stuff. And I got invited to one that was focusing in particular on sort of music and arts, and computers. And had reached a point here, in around the mid ‘90s, that unfortunately, everyone is now scrambling to monetize the internet. I think up until that point, it had been, essentially, a free forum of ideas and stuff. So I got the idea, since I didn’t have anything in particular that I wanted to speak about, or I wasn’t hyping a product. I was just listening before I had to do my speech, and it occurred to me that you could devise something that would replace what a record company does; in that a record company, essentially, is a bank, in a way, and they get money from people who buy the records.

And then they give it to you, but they usually give it to you in advance, before the record has sold. And I realized, if you already had an audience, and you went directly to that audience, and you said, okay, I will give you a behind the scenes look at what I’m doing, and give you things that the average public would not have access to, if you pay me upfront, essentially, to make the record. And that was the basis of Patron basically replacing the record company, or taking them out of the formula, and allowing the artists to go directly to their audience to get funding for their projects.

NI: It’s so interesting, and especially with the name being Patron. I wonder with the service Patreon becoming so prevalent currently, if you feel as though there’s sort of a similarity between the two concepts.

TR: Well, that was the essential concept, the whole idea was to build an environment that fans of artists would occupy. But that it would also be — it would be like an authoring environment, so everyone who was a member could also have a space that people could visit, and you could expose your work even if you didn’t have an audience yet. You could build an audience using that environment. But I also discovered all of the issues that are now plaguing YouTube and other similar services, bad actors within your own system, privacy, and security issues, and all of that other stuff. In the end, I didn’t have the resources to keep up. So that’s when I just stopped supporting it.

NI: I can understand it. I also had a music tech venture that had a similar outcome, but nowhere near as cool as Patronet, so definitely can relate to that. So to go back to music, with White Knight, there was — the focus seemed to be collaborations. I’m curious, what was the order in which that was determined? Did you decide that you wanted to do an album of collaborations and then reach out to the different artists that participated? Or was it that you had this pool of artists that wanted to work with you, and so that was the creation of the White Knightalbum.

TR: It was more the former than the latter. I wanted to get into collaboration for a couple of reasons. One is it’s actually a more normal way to work nowadays; the music world is rife with collaboration, so I thought, let’s give this a try. It was also, aside from the creative possibilities, when you’re in a world where you have to essentially promote yourself, in a post recording industry world. One of the best ways to do it is to collaborate, because every time you work with someone, you get exposed to their audience, and they get exposed to yours. So I think aside from whatever musical successes White Knight might represent, it was the audience expansion part that I was just as interested in, and that seemed to be going fine. So I’m going to continue to do collaborations, although I won’t necessarily base entire albums on them. It’s kind of the other issue we’re dealing with; the fact that audience listening habits have changed so radically, that making an album is sometimes overkill, because people buy songs. And then occasionally, they buy albums, but they don’t make the kind of quality time to listen to a whole album anymore. So you’re kind of wasting — to a degree, it’s wasted effort, for some portion of audience.

NI: I can understand that, but I still feel, at least on a personal level, that the cohesive nature of an album is something that I personally really appreciate, and [that] I feel as though you particularly excel at. I mean, A Wizard, a True Star, which I had the pleasure of getting to see live at the anniversary tour, through Liarsand White Knight.  Just the cohesiveness of the album, to me, it’s always been something that I really appreciate. So if there’s any — just thought that I could interject there; I think that your fans still very much appreciate it.

TR: Well, I’ve always been an album artist; it’s been easier for me to come up with an overarching concept to guide the writing process. And I probably will continue to make records that way. It’s just that the way that the music finds its way into people’s ears may naturally have to change; in other words, it goes back to something like before the ‘60s, when an album was exactly that, it was a collection of songs that had been previously released. So it’s possible to record an album, but you don’t release it as an album, you release a bunch of songs, and then eventually, you release the album.  And that can, I guess, ostensibly satisfy both kinds of listeners; those who are just taking things a song at a time, and that dwindling audience who makes time to sit down and listen to a whole album.

NI: That makes sense, and I think that there’s definitely a place for both. So thinking of just individual tracks. One question I had for you was, for the various places that you’ve had synchronized placements, is there one that was a favorite for you? That you were like oh, it really blends well with my song, or you just particularly like the film or TV show that you were being synced in?

TR: Well, I don’t think about it too much. It’s not like I — when you’re doing sync licenses and things like that, that’s kind of found money, so you don’t mettle with it that much. There are probably circumstances in which I wouldn’t want the music to be used, but otherwise, if someone thinks that it’s especially appropriate, I’m not going to be precious about it. It still bothers me to hear Beatles songs used in commercials, but it’s a whole other audience now; a lot of times they’re selling products to people who weren’t even born when The Beatles were big. So they don’t feel the same way about it. And likely people don’t feel the same way about my stuff. I do have to say that it’s never been a large part of my income, except for one instance, and that was “Bang The Drum All Day.” And especially when it became the theme song for Carnival Cruise Lines, I almost could have retired on that. But then they started sinking all those boats, and they had to change their image. So waiting for someone else to come along to nab that spot.

NI: Okay, well thank you so much for your time, Todd. I really do appreciate getting this opportunity to speak with with one of the most important figures in rock n’ roll history.

TR: Thank you very much. I wish we had more time, but it’s one of those things.

Travis Scott Teases New Track "Highest In The Room" At Rolling Loud

Have we reached a point where Travis Scott‘s outward antics, including his widely-publicized relationship with Kylie Jenner, have come to garner more interest than his actual music? We can only hope that is not the case, as Travis once again looks to be cooking up in the studio. And why wouldn’t he seize momentum? The man has proven to be a genuine superstar, with Astroworld topping charts and spawning a multi-million dollar tour. Though he’ll likely ride Astroworld until the wheels fall f, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him ushering in some new music in the coming months. 

We’ve already seen the fruits his recent labour, as Kylie Jenner previously previewed an unreleased Travis track, which finds Travis taking a smooth acoustic guitar and high-pitch “Tiny Tim”-esque sample. Over the weekend, Scott implemented the upcoming song into his Rolling Loud set, which has been tentatively titled “Highest In The Room.” The track itself is relatively laid-back, but Travis brings no shortage live energy to the mix. You can check out footage the performance YouTube below, as originally posted by HypeBeast

Does Travis have another hit on his hands? Sound f below.

Isaiah Rashad Teases Smooth New Track From Upcoming Album

Isaiah Rashad has solidified himself as TDE‘s unsung hero, having amassed an excellent discography while taking his sweet time in crafting each effort. Of course, the idiom suggests art cannot be rushed, and Rashad ascribes to that theory in principle. Yet another idiom suggests that good things come to those who wait, a bittersweet truth with which his fans are well familiar. Still, the rapper has not been frugal with his snippets, and once again he’s taken to Instagram Live to preview an upcoming look at his new project.

Isaiah Rashad Teases Smooth New Track From Upcoming Album

Frazer Harrison/Getty s

The track features a misty, wandering synth pad, paired with a steady drumline – arranged with an acoustic kit, at that. Rashad brings forth a laid back chorus, creating a smooth, melodic, and soulful vibe. Around a minute in, Isaiah switches up his cadence and begins spitting, evoking memories The Roots on the somber How I Got Over. Overall, the track sounds extremely promising, and we can’t wait to hear this one arrive in full.

At this moment, no release date details have been released, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see him drop at some point this year. It’s been three years since The Sun’s Tirade, and even the most ardent perfectionist must have his due. For now, it’s till in Rashad we trust.

Cardi B Brings Out Lil Nas X At Fashion Nova Launch For "Old Town Road" Performance

Cardi B is the latest major celebrity to give Lil Nas X a co-sign. Last night, the “Please Me” rapper launched her new Fashion Nova collection at Fashion Nova’s Party With Cardi event in Los Angeles. As a surprise guest, she brought out Lil Nas X to perform his single, “Old Town Road” before publicly praising him for his success.

“It’s mothafuckin’ hard to get a #1 on the Billboard Hot 100,” she said before bringing out Lil Nas X. “That shit is hard as fuck! So every single time I see somebody getting that spot I be like ‘Damn, I’m proud you bitch. I’m proud you, nigga.’ When I got my first #1, I cried like a muthafucka. So I wanna say that I’m so proud this young guy who’s about to come up and fuck up the stage because his #1 is still #1 after they tried to deny his mothafuckin’ entry.”

Lil Nas X later thanked Cardi for bringing him out on Twitter along with a clip the performance. The single’s been doing numbers on the chart and streaming services. It’s currently on its fifth week atop the Billboard Hot 100. It recently blocked Taylor Swift‘s latest single from getting to the top spot on the Billboard chart. 

Along with performing with Cardi B last night, he made his television debut on Monday on Desus & Mero. 

John Mayer Links With Lil Nas X For "Old Town Road" Acoustic

The legend the “Old Town Road” continues to flourish. Following the ficial country co-sign from Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X’s crossover hit has transcended mere meme-glorybecoming a full-blown hit in the process. Now, the occasionally (emphasis on occasionally) hip-hop adjacent John Mayer has decided to add his take, linking up with Lil Nas for an acoustic rendition the breakout single. 

The jam session transpired during an IG Live session, which found Mayer holding it down on the six-string for a stripped-down rendition. Sans trap production, the country-skeleton is revealed in full, as evidenced by Lil Nas X’s own sincere vocal performance. Vocally, Mayer sits the track out, though his presence remains felt all the same; it’s not the first time he’s collaborated with a rapper, and it won’t be the last.

What do you think this take on “Old Town Road?” Should Lil Nas X experiment further down this stylistic lane? At this point, it feels strange for him to dive into fully-blown trap, but stranger things have happened.

Beats Introduces a $250 AirPods Alternative — 'Powerbeats Pro'

Beats Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones will be available to pre-order on Apple.com starting on May 3rd.

The Powerbeats Pro will be available for purchase in stores one week later on May 10th.  The new Beats earphones are powered by the same Apple H1 chip featured in the AirPods 2.  That means they work with the ‘Hey Siri’ command.

Beats Powerbeats Pro features a longer battery life, and physical playback controls missing on the AirPods. These two features alone may make them superior than Apple’s , which released for $159 ($199 with wireless charging case) earlier this year.  The Powerbeats Pro will retail for $249.95.

The Powerbeats Pro features a few major upgrades over the Powerbeats 3 wireless earbuds.  For starters, the Powerbeats Pro earphones are entirely wireless; there’s no cord between the earbuds.

Beats says they have completely re-engineered the new earphones from the inside-out.

“The earphones boast an upgraded linear piston driver that leverages an efficient, pressurized airflow to create a powerful acoustic response in a small package. Enhanced sound quality means incredibly low distortion and great dynamic range across the entire frequency curve.”

Powerbeats Pro earphones are available in one of four colors including Black, Ivory, Navy, and Moss. Currently, only the black Powerbeats Pro will be available at launch. The colored versions will be released later this summer.

Each pair of Powerbeats Pro ship with four sizes of changeable ear tips and an adjustable ear hook for keeping them in place.

Powerbeats Pro earphones are rated for wet and water resistance, while Apple’s own AirPods are not.

The Powerbeats Pro command a premium price compared to AirPods ($250 vs. $199), but the ear hooks and water resistance may be worth the extra fifty bucks to many people.

Apple is rumored to be hard at work on a third-generation of AirPods that may have an entirely different design from the first two generations. AirPods 3 is also rumored to feature .

Check out this video from Beats to see more differences between these earphones and Apple’s AirPods.

The Powerbeats Pro command a premium price compared to AirPods ($250 vs. $199), but the ear hooks and water resistance may be worth the extra fifty bucks to many people.

Apple is rumored to be hard at work on a third-generation of AirPods that may have an entirely different design from the first two generations. AirPods 3 is also rumored to feature .

Beats Introduces a $250 AirPods Alternative — 'Powerbeats Pro'

Beats Introduces a $250 AirPods Alternative — 'Powerbeats Pro'

Weekly Vinyl Record Sales Surge to 827,000 Following Record Store Day

A Nielsen Music report says Record Store Day drove record-breaking vinyl sales, with more than 827,000 sold that week.

Nielsen Music says this year’s — held on April 13th — was the third-largest sales week for vinyl albums since 1991 (the first year the company started publishing stats). More than 827,000 vinyl records were sold during the past week, with 673,000 coming from independent record stores.

The sales total beats the .  Seeing the trend here?

Nielsen Music estimates that it was the biggest week ever for vinyl at independent stores.

Vinyl sales surge every year in April with the annual celebration of Record Store Day.  The coordinated event produces hundreds of unique and specialty vinyl releases, only available at participating indie stores.

The top-selling Record Store Day-exclusive album was Grateful Dead’s live archival acoustic concert.  The release was available as a double-vinyl LP package and as a 2-CD set.  The album generated over 10,000 sales of both the vinyl and CD release.

You can see the full top ten list below.

Top Record Store Day Exclusive Album Sales

1. Grateful Dead – Warfield: San Francisco, California, October 9th, 1980 / October 10th, 1980
2. Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks: Test Pressing
3. Green Day, Green Day Live! Woodstock 1994
4. Greta Van Fleet, From the Fires
5. Pink Floyd, A Saucerful of Secrets
6. Fleetwood Mac, The Alternate Fleetwood Mac
7. Prince, His Majesty’s Pop Life / The Purple Mix Club
8 (TIE). Pearl Jam, Live at Easy Street
8 (TIE). Weezer (Teal Album)
10. The Doors, London Fog: May, 1966

Nielsen says total album sales across all formats rose 29.6% during Record Store Day week.

Vinyl album sales jumped 193% compared to the previous week of just 282,000 sales. 29.5% of all albums sold in that week were vinyl albums.

Beyond that, an astonishing 81.3% of all album sales during the past week week were sold by an indie store, showcasing just how important Record Store Day is to independent retailers.

Weekly Vinyl Record Sales Surge to 827,000 Following Record Store Day

Weekly Vinyl Record Sales Surge to 827,000 Following Record Store DayWeekly Vinyl Record Sales Surge to 827,000 Following Record Store Day

Weekly Vinyl Record Sales Surge to 827,000 Following Record Store Day

Weekly Vinyl Record Sales Surge to 827,000 Following Record Store Day

UK High Court Tosses Royal Opera House Appeal Over Violinist's 'Acoustic Shock'

Undeterred with two defeats, the Royal Opera House vows to fight on.

Last year, the High Court found the Royal Opera House (ROH) to violinist Christopher Goldscheider’s permanent hearing loss.

The violinist had accused the classical venue of being liable for hearing damage sustained during a rehearsal venue seven years ago.

While rehearsing Wagner’s ‘Die Walkure’ in 2012, the ROH ignored UK Noise Regulations.  Sound levels during the performance reached 130 decibels.

As a violinist, he sat directly in front of the horn section.  The ‘bell’ of the trumpet remained close to his ear.

According to classical music buffs, ‘Die Walkure’ is an incredibly loud piece.  Despite the ROH providing Goldscheider with earplugs, these proved insufficient.  The sounds allegedly reached the level of a jet engine.

Now, after filing an appeal against the initial ruling, the ROH has suffered yet another major setback in court.

Yes, the Royal Opera House contributed to Goldscheider’s ‘acoustic shock.’  No, it won’t have a devastating effect on the music industry.

For eighteen months following the rehearsal, the violinist unsuccessfully attempted to manage the situation.  Doctors had diagnosed Goldscheider with permanent high-frequency hearing loss.

Due to his inability to hear sound without pain, the violinist had to leave the ROH in 2014.

In a filing with the Court of Appeal, the Royal Opera House claimed it offered Goldscheider – and other musicians – hearing protection.  The earplugs, the venue argued, remained consistent with industry guidelines.  It was up to individuals to wear the earplugs in the correct way.  In addition, it’s impractical to have staff members standing next to musicians at all times to ensure the proper use of hearing protection.

Lawyers for the ROH also dismissed the notion Goldscheider suffered ‘acoustic shock,’ as the term doesn’t exist.

Unfortunately, judges disagreed.  The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal yesterday.

Lawyers for the ROH had also argued should the original ruling stand, it would have wider ramifications for the music industry.  Judge Sir Brian Levenson dismissed that argument.  He noted few venues have the same exact space constraints the ROH has.

I simply do not accept that this cataclysmic scenario represents a proper understanding of the consequences of this decision.

For most musical venues, space will not be the problem that it is at the ROH.

He added the case underlined the obligation orchestras had to comply with the requirements of employment legislation.  Judge Levenson also slammed the ROH, stating the venue had “two years within which to prepare” legal compliance.

[The case] emphasizes that the risk of injury through noise is not removed if the noise – in the form of music – is the deliberate and desired objective rather than an unwanted byproduct (as would be the case in relation to the use of pneumatic machinery).

The court has yet to assess the actual damages Goldscheider is now entitled to.

In a statement, the Royal Opera House vowed to fight the rulings.  Alex Beard, the venue’s Chief Executive, stated,

[We’re] disappointed by.. the appeal court’s ruling and will work closely with our insurers and legal team to explore our next steps.