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Off Notes: 11 Music Happenings You Should Know About

Happy Friday!

This week was full of musical announcements and discoveries from around the internet. Read on for our round up of the latest news on the music industry, crazy music videos, a spring reading list, and the smooth stylings of a young Bruce Willis!

1. Turmoil in Streaming Music

  • Billboard: Sony pulled all their artists’ music off of SoundCloud this week, citing “a lack of monetization opportunities”.
  • Hypebot reported on rumors that Jay Z, who has historically been uniquely supportive of producers remixing his material, may be taking legal action against unlicensed use of his work, and the timing has fingers pointing at TIDAL.
  • VentureBeat put together some side-by-sides of Tidal and Spotify and the results look pretty incriminating…
Tidal Vs Spotify
Spotify on the left, Tidal on the right… or was it the other way around? (via VentureBeat)

2. Nick Cave’s Sick Bag Song

Nick Cave revealed The Sick Bag Song project this week. The idea for the multimedia piece came from lyrics, notes, and doodles the Bad Seeds’ frontman had written on airline vomit bags during his 2014 tour. 220 copies of the book (10 for each stop on the 22-city tour), complete with clear vinyl audio book, e-book, and a personalized sick bag all your own, go on sale June 4th.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Sick Bag Song
Sick bags featured in the book (via The Sick Bag Song)

3. Son Lux’s New Video

NPR: Son Lux’s video for “Change is Everything” is mind-blowing. The captivating stop-motion video was painstakingly created with foam board, map pins, strings, and rubber bands.

4. Virtuoso Plays Tiny Pink Piano

Classic FM got virtuoso pianist Stephen Hough to play a toy piano. They posted the charming results to their Instagram.

Stephen Hough discovers the ‘Music Box’ setting

A post shared by Classic FM (@classicfm) on

5. Introducing the Yaybahar

Vimeo: Turkish musician Görkem Şen has invented an instrument that uses strings, springs, and drumheads to create otherworldly tones.

6. Improvising in the Unknown

Youtube: This submission came courtesy of our Improviser’s Toolkit practice group! A few years ago at the Aldeburgh Festival in the UK, Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero asked the audience to shout out the name of a commonly-known musical theme for her to improvise on top of. The first person yelled out “Gone with the Wind” — a film Montero had never seen. She asked the man to hum a bar, and where she takes it from there is unbelievable.

7. Spring Reading List

Brooklyn Based put together a list of 12 rock biographies and music histories to add to your library.

Music biographies

8. Jimmy Fallon and Jack Black’s More than Words

The Tonight Show put together a shockingly accurate cover of Extreme’s 90s classic “More than Words” starring Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon.

9. Great Caesar Gets Creative

Mashable put together an inspiring profile on our friends Great Caesar! (You can hear more of their thoughts on how to get creative with your band’s promotions in our Touring on a Shoestring course!)


Great Caesar, an indie band with a creative vision by Mashable

10. U2 Busks in Grand Central

Daily News: U2 gave a surprise performance in the New York City subway this week, busking on the S platform in Grand Central Station.

u2 in the subway
U2 in the shuttle platform (via Mario Batali’s Instagram)

11. Something Silly to Start Your Weekend off Right

the return of bruno
Wikipedia: This last “happening” is certainly not new… but it was new to me, and I think you probably want to know about it as well. In 1987, burgeoning action star Bruce Willis released an album entitled The Return of Bruno [ed. note: where had he been?] in support of a fictitious documentary of the same name, featuring back-up vocals by Booker T. Jones, Ruth Pointer, and The Temptations [ed. note: <— what were you people thinking?!]. The smirking album cover will warm your heart while the transcendent tunes carry you through the weekend!

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Zoë Young
Zoë Young

Zoë is an internet enthusiast and writer who wants to empower everyone to find the knowledge they need to pursue their dreams through the magic of the internet. When not working on web tools and articles to support the Soundfly community, Zoë cooks up a storm and plots ways to recapture her former glory as a third grade recorder soloist. Follow her @parsnipsbk.

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