Welcome back to the newsletter, which I haven’t sent since December. Please enjoy and thank you.
An 18,000-year-old musical instrument was rediscovered in a museum in France, Lina Zeldovich writes at smithsonianmag.com. It’s a conch that the ancient peoples modded by drilling holes and painting it, and possibly added a mouthpiece. “Early humans were known for making simple musical instruments even before that time—such as flutes carved from bird bones,” the article says. Interesting how musical our ancestors were. Listen to the conch being played at the museum at the link.
Evan Dando of the Lemonheads lost his wallet this week and serenaded the Walgreens where it was turned in. Chris DeVille wrote up the fun details at Stereogum.
SoundCloud is going to announce that its users can pay artists directly on the platform, Micah Singleton writes at billboard.com. This is important because SoundCloud currently uses “the same method used by all major streaming services, pooling subscriber revenue and doling out earnings to the artists who brought in the most streams, directing most of the revenue to the world’s biggest acts,” and “payments aren’t distributed to artists based on who [users] personally listen to, and they can’t ‘tip’ or steer their subscription fees toward their favorite acts.”
And singer-songwriter Nadine Shah wrote an opinion piece about the streaming economy for The Guardian late last year.
The Justice at Spotify campaign from the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, which I posted about at the blog, has released a new message: “On March 15th we are organizing an in person (socially distanced) action in front of Spotify offices around the world where we will deliver our demands to their front door!” If you’re interested in signing up, here’s the link.
A “mad XR scientist” named Lucas Rizzotto wrote on Twitter: “I made my first AR musical instrument! I call it a particle synth.” It’s worth checking out.
Decibel Magazine (based in Philly) is donating the profits of individual sales of issue #198, with the cover story “A Year Without Shows,” to the organization Philadelphia Independent Venues Organizing Together.