Disposable Underground blog newsletter inside, so let’s go! September 1, 2023

Welcome back to the Disposable Underground newsletter, a companion to the blog of the same name. Please enjoy.

Music News

Eminem has asked a Republican presidential hopeful, the Trump 2.0 Vivek Ramaswamy, to stop using his songs. Through the rapper’s licenser BMI, he attempted to preempt Ramaswamy from performing “Lose Yourself” as the latter did at a campaign stop, Mariana Alfaro and Jonathan Edwards write for The Washington Post. This is a different situation than many others where politicians simply play other people’s songs without asking, a subject I blogged about a couple of times. 

Billy Bragg released a response to “Rich Men North of Richmond” entitled “Rich Men Earning North of a Million.” It’s on his YouTube channel along with the lyrics. Check it out: 

Touring to the U.S. is something U.K. bands have been aspiring to since the 1960s, and recently the U.S. was planning to increase visa application fees to a ridiculous amount and make ensembles such as orchestras apply for multiples of them. Luckily, the U.S. hit pause on that idea for now, UK Music reports. I remember reading in a ‘zine back in the ’90s that British magazines wouldn’t talk to the band Carcass until they went to the States, even though they were a British band. 

The Internet Archive is being sued by a bunch of mega-music companies like Sony and Universal for copyright infringement over its “Great 78 Project” where it’s digitizing old 78-RPM records. The funny thing is, the companies’ complaint makes the Internet Archive sound pretty awesome with phrases like, “Internet Archive unabashedly seeks to provide free and unlimited access to music for everyone” and that hundreds of thousands of tracks have been posted to the Internet Archive “where anyone in the world can download or stream them for free.” Daniel Tencer provides more information at Music Business Worldwide.

Public Enemy will be one of the headliners of “The National Celebration of Hip-Hop” in Washington, D.C. in October. The flyer is below and there’s a website set up where you can get tickets. It looks like it’s gonna rock.

Flyer for The National Celebration of Hip-Hop

NME is relaunching its print magazine after shutting it down in 2018, Ellise Shafer writes for Variety. It’ll be bi-monthly and not available everywhere. The redesign of the magazine will be “fun and fresh,” NME‘s Holly Bishop says in the Q&A from the article.

Music industry jobs have a new portal in ROSTR, a free jobs board. ROSTR joins Livejobs, which launched in 2021, Bruce Houghton writes for Hypebot. When I was temping and contracting before and during the pandemic, I did some searching for music-related jobs and didn’t get anywhere, but I wish everyone else luck.

Interest in music—listening to music that’s new to us—goes up and down through the course of our lives, Timothy McKenry writes, posted at ABC NEWS from Australia. He shares research about the trends our listening follows and a list of tips for expanding our tastes.

NASA astronauts observing the Orion capsule

The way the AP reported on an “acoustic test” that NASA ran for its Artemis II Orion capsule made the test sound pretty cool: “More than 200 rock concert speakers were stacked around the capsule” and “NASA planned to blast the place with up to 143 decibels of rumbling noise—imitating the thunderous sounds of liftoff—to see how well the windows, wiring and other parts of the capsule hold up.”

Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Rest In Peace

Brian McBride was the cofounder of ambient group Stars Of The Lid. He died last month, as announced by the band. I’m not familiar but it sounds like I need to be, based on the reporting from Resident Advisor, which wrote about how the band “put out several classic albums in the ’90s” in the ambient and drone genres. 

John Gosling died last month at 75. He was one of the keyboard players for The Kinks. The Guardian writes that his audition was the recording session for “Lola.”

Gary Young, the original drummer of Pavement, died in California last month at 70. Erik Pedersen writes for Deadline that the band’s first album was an indie rock landmark. 

Jamie Reid was best known for his design work for the Sex Pistols, but he had a long career besides helping “define the look of punk with his brightly subversive collages and protest art,” Min Chen writes for Artnet. “Radical ideas will always get appropriated by the mainstream,” Reid once said in an interview. He died at 76 last month.

There’s plenty more music writing at the Disposable Underground blog.
Thanks for reading.


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