Thoughts and music of double J x


R.E.M. ‘The One I Love’: ‘Document’ @30

4836b19e0837ae377bba088af084701fDocument is the 5th studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released in September 1987 a few months after their rarities collection Dead Letter Office appeared and is the last album of new material by the band released on the I.R.S. Records label. It is the first album on which the band worked with producer Scott Litt. If Document was the turning point for R.E.M., then “The One I Love” served as the hinge. Released as the lead single of their fifth LP in August 1987, the song became R.E.M.’s first Top 10 hit by the end of that year. Even in the context of the album, “The One I Love” marked something of a demarcation line. While the tracks on side one were united by political thoughts (or, at least, implications) related to the state of America in 1987, side two (kicked off by this song) was a stranger, more eclectic musical experience. It was a counter-balance to the jackhammer cohesion of the other half, which was probably the closest R.E.M. ever got to making a concept record.

REM1The first song on side two was an incredible shift from the final tune on side one – “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” These would become the two singles, the twin radio songs off of Document, but they couldn’t be more different, at least from a lyrical approach. In contrast to the litany of calamities and references that he shuffled like a Las Vegas blackjack dealer on “It’s the End,” frontman Michael Stipe went spartan on “The One I Love.” The song has three verses, which are all identical with the exception of a key word in the third go-round. It has a one-word chorus (if you don’t count bassist Mike Mills’s backing contribution). Stipe only sings 20 different words in the course of a three-minute song – compared to “It’s the End…,” in which he passes the 20-word mark in the first 15 seconds.

“The One I Love” is plotted out like this. At first Stipe sounds like he’s making a nod to the Shirelles (or the Mamas and the Papas): “This one goes out to the one I love.” Then it’s revealed the subject is not a current lover, but a former one: “This one goes out to the one I left behind.” And then, there’s the turn: “A simple prop to occupy my time.” The first line is repeated to the listener, not with the understanding that this is not a loving gesture, but something bitter, ironic or cynical. So from where did this tightly wound blast of dark poetry come from? “I don’t know. That song just came up from somewhere, and I recognized it as being real violent and awful,” Stipe told Rolling Stone in ’87. “But it wasn’t directed at any one person. I would never, ever write a song like that. Even if there was one person in the world thinking, ‘This song is about me,’ I could never sing it or put it out.”

Remdocument-615807-1301617104_jpegThe track’s lyrical straightforwardness was matched, in some ways, by its musical simplicity. One writer called “The One I Love”’s short guitar solo “borderline rudimentary.” In typical R.E.M. fashion, the instrumental portion came before the lyrics. Guitarist Peter Buck came up with the riff on his front porch. “I remember Peter, showing me that riff and thinking it was pretty cool, and then the rest of the song flowed from there,” Mills told Uncut magazine. “We played the whole song as an instrumental until Michael came up with some vocals for it.” Stipe delivered the lyrics, including the howled eruptions of “Fire!” in the chorus, with a dark edge. Fire tied into a recurring theme on Document, representing passion, anger, or even unrepentant destruction (as on “Welcome to the Occupation”). The song following “The One I Love” is titled “Fireplace.” And the members of “Oddfellows Local 151” meet behind the firehouse. It’s no wonder that Document was listed as “File Under Fire” on its record sleeve (just as Reckoning had “File Under Water” printed on it).

As R.E.M. released their fiery single just ahead of their latest (and final) album for independent label I.R.S., “The One I Love” began to draw radio programmers’ attention like no R.E.M. single had before. Although the band had released singles before, only three had made the Billboard Hot 100, none higher than a brief tenure at No. 78. It wasn’t a facet of the music industry that had greatly concerned the band. “We don’t really worry about that. We just do the records and give ’em to the record company and say ‘do what you can,’ sell this,” Mills told Toronto’s Globe and Mail as “The One I Love” was picking up momentum. “Being the number two most-added single is kind of nice. I mean, we’re not a band that writes hit singles, but I suppose if we’re going to do this we might as well we have one.” While R.E.M. weren’t attempting a more commercial sound, the group’s sound had become clearer and more direct on this album and the one previous, Lifes Rich Pageant. Stipe’s vocals had been pushed into the front and Bill Berry’s drumming was recorded with an ear for crisp percussion. That ear belonged to co-producer Scott Litt, who was working on his first of six R.E.M. albums. If the band didn’t have their aims set on a hit single, Litt confessed that it was part of his plan.

960“With R.E.M., I thought it was important to show that the music belongs on the radio, that it was every bit as worthy as Whitney Houston or whatever else was on there,” Litt told the Chicago Tribune. “It was against my nature to do something murky – as opposed to raw – and basically I wanted to treat their vocals differently on Document. They weren’t really a great singles band then, but they became one, beginning with ‘The One I Love’ on that album. It’s a very linear song: the vocal stops, then you hear the drums, then the guitar comes in and takes your interest.”

In the decade after “The One I Love,” the partnership between R.E.M. and Litt would result in 14 songs that made the Billboard singles charts– three of them in the Top 10 – and multiple albums that either topped the U.S. album charts or came close. But with increasing popularity sometimes comes confusion. It seemed that a rash of listeners heard “The One I Love”’s distinctive riff and first lyric and stopped paying attention. Callers would phone DJs to dedicate the tune to their dearest. “I didn’t like the song to begin with,” Stipe told Mojo in 2016. “I felt it was too brutal. I thought the sentiment was too difficult to put out into the world. But people misunderstood it, so it was fine. Now it’s a love song, so that’s fine.”

web+scroll-rem+iiiFor a song that its lead singer hated, at least initially, “The One I Love” remains one of R.E.M.’s signature tunes. It’s been featured on every “best-of” compilation that includes the band’s I.R.S. years, and was R.E.M.’s most frequently played setlist entry in their live shows until the end of their career. It remains a modern and classic rock radio staple to this day.

Read More: R.E.M. Score a Big Hit with the Brutal ‘The One I Love’: The Story Behind Every ‘Document’ Song |


Pearl Jam ‘Ten’

pearl-jam-alive-multitrackThis was the album we were all supposed to hate.

At the dawn of the grunge era, authenticity (or at least the perception of it) was everything. The slightest whiff of “corporate,” “sellout” or “poseur” was the kiss of death in a scene typified by thrift store fashion and punk rock ethics. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains – they were the real deal. But those Pearl Jam guys? Slick sound, major label, good hair, come on! The irony, of course, was that Pearl Jam’s grunge roots ran deeper than almost any other band on the Seattle scene. Bassist Jeff Ament was a founding member of Green River, the granddaddies of grunge, back in ’84. Guitarist Stone Gossard joined later that same year. By 1988 the two (along with Green River guitarist Bruce Fairweather) had joined Andrew Wood to form Mother Love Bone, the band that everybody expected to be the breakout success from Seattle.

rs-mother-love-bone-3454438a-cd21-4b40-ba5a-69693cb5d751You know the story: Wood died before Mother Love Bone’s debut was released, leaving Gossard and Ament adrift on the edge of success. The two formed Mookie Blaylock along with lead guitarist Mike McCready. With the help of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons, they found a new lead singer, a San Diego surfer and gas station attendant named Eddie Vedder. With the addition of drummer Dave Krusen, the new band’s lineup was set.Meanwhile, Andy Wood’s former roommate, Chris Cornell, wanted to record some songs that he’d written in memory of his friend, and getting the guys from Mother Love Bone involved made that tribute that much better. Released April 1991, Temple of the Dog featured all of the members of Mookie Blaylock with the exception of Krusen. The odd band name was a nod to Mookie Blaylock, an NBA player, but according to an article in Deadspin “they dropped the name after deciding that being named after some other dude was weird, and misleading.” Jeff Ament is quoted in the same article as stating that the band used the name for a 10-show tour with Alice in Chains. Shortly thereafter, they changed their name to Pearl Jam.

pearl-jam-ten-things-you-didnt-know-55bfd901-9744-4664-864b-a2eb0422df43One of the demo cuts that Gossard and Ament sent Vedder down in San Diego was a song named “Dollar Short.” With the addition of the singer’s lyrics – a semi-autobiographical story – the song eventually became Ten’s leadoff single, “Alive.” It’s a stunning song: big, anthemic and open to interpretation. Those who wanted to hear a message of hope got what they wanted and those who wanted to hear a bitter tale of loss and parental deceit got that, too. And then there was that least punk rock thing of all: an actual guitar solo. And not just any solo. Mike McCready borrowed the sexy descending run down the fretboard made famous by Ace Frehley in Kiss‘ “She.” It was a big, cool rock star moment, and the grunge cognoscenti hated it. Pearl Jam were accused of being sellouts, making a brand of arena rock meant for jocks in Chevy Camaros rather than outcasts in cardigans and Doc Martens. A month after Ten was released, Nirvana’s Nevermind dropped, yet somehow the guys from Green River were labeled bandwagon poseurs.

TenReissue_japan_CDAlb_eicp1494_insideThe fans didn’t seem to care. The record just missed the No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s album chart, peaking at a very respectable No. 2. The second single, “Even Flow,” is another juxtaposition of heavy storytelling and deceptively feel-good classic rock vibes, this time combining the topic of homelessness with a musical nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan. After the 1999 Columbine tragedy, the album’s third single appeared to be remarkably prescient, but “Jeremy” was no eerie gaze into a crystal ball. The song is based a 1991 incident in which a Texas 15-year-old named Jeremy Wade Delle committed suicide in front of his classmates.

That song was written by Ament, with lyrics by Vedder, whose tasteful bass is the foundation of Pearl Jam’s sound, along with Stone Gossard’s rhythm guitar. McCready’s fireworks on lead guitar are certainly key to that sound, too, but what really makes Pearl Jam distinctive is Vedder’s voice. He can move from growling baritone to soaring wail, but his signature at the time was a sort of half-swallowed mutter that writer Stephen Thompson famously labeled “hunger dunger dang.” By the mid-’90s, Vedder’s unique style was anything but, powering bands like Bush, Creed and Nickelback.

DIPQlGRVYAAeZMjThe album’s fourth and last single, “Oceans,” feels more like a deep cut than a single. There’s no boom-boom-bap beat to dance to, no majestic guitar solo, just…vibe. “Oceans” is actually more indicative of the album’s tone than any of its predecessor singles. Along with songs like “Black” and “Release,” Ten is more meditative than mosh pit. Ten went on to sell 13 million copies, but before we submit that as exhibit Q that Pearl Jam were the sellouts of grunge’s first graduating class, keep in mind that Nevermind sold 30 million copies. Pearl Jam were far from sellouts: The band went on to put their muscle behind numerous causes, perhaps most famously taking on Ticketmaster. The only thing Ten has to apologize for is being too damned good. It still sounds as great as it did when we first cracked the shrink-wrap.

Read More: When Pearl Jam Took Flannel to the Masses With Their Debut, ‘Ten’ |

Robert Plant ‘Carry Fire’ Lp + Tour..

robplant-920x584The Former Led Zeppelin frontman has just announced the imminent arrival of his eleventh solo studio album, and will mark its release with an extensive UK tour this winter. The tour in support of new album Carry Fire, which is released in October, will take in Liverpool’s Olympia on November 25 as well as a further thirteen venues across the UK throughout November / December. It will mark the first time the music icon has graced the shores of the Mersey since a previous Olympia show in 2010, with his Band Of Joy project.

1401x788-1406905427image2extralarge_1402505965178Plant says: “It’s about intention. I respect and relish my past works, but each time I feel the incentive to create new work, I must mix old with new. Consequently, the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat – the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation.”

The follow-up to 2014’s Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar features backing band The Sensational Shape Shifters, which includes John Baggott, Justin Adams, Dave Smith and Liam “Skin” Tyson. Albanian cellist Redi Hasa and violist/violinist Seth Lakeman (who recently joined the group) also perform on three tracks.  He first used the phrase “carry fire” in his song Dancing In Heaven from 2005 album Mighty ReArranger. Track titles for the upcoming 11-track release include The May Queen, the album’s first single dealing in romanticism and losing oneself to those feelings. In keeping with mixing “the old with the new,” the song’s title refers back to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which contains the line “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow / Don’t be alarmed now / It’s just a spring clean for the May queen. Lay down in sweet surrender/ Your love so warm and tender,” Plant sings over winsome guitar melodies and rhythms, before layered vocals are ushered in. “Sweet surrender now/ So warm and tender now,” he sings over lush vocal harmonies.

Other notable tracks include New World, Carving Up The World Again and A Way With Words. Pretenders vocalist Chrissie Hynde makes a guest appearance on a cover of Bluebirds Over The Mountain, previously recorded by Richie Valens and the Beach Boys.

robert-plant-carry-fire-crown-preorder-printCarry Fire tracklist
The May Queen
New World…
Season’s Song
Dance With You Tonight
Carving Up The World Again
A Way With Words
Carry Fire
Bones Of Saints
Keep It Hid
Bluebirds Over The Mountain
Heaven Sent

Frequently voted amongst the greatest voices that rock and roll has ever produced, Plant has become a prolific solo artist with various projects meaning he is rarely a stranger to stage or studio. Since the dissolution of the band with which he made his name, his solo shows for years shunned Led Zeppelin material. But now Plant regularly reworks Zep classics in his sets, meaning fans of all eras should feel catered to.

5995a674075b2Full UK tour dates:

November 16: Pavilions, Plymouth
November 17: Colston Hall, Bristol
November 20: Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
November 22: Venue Cymru, Llandudno
November 24: City Hall, Newcastle
November 25: Olympia, Liverpool
November 27: SEC Armadillo, Glasgow
November 28: Concert Hall, Perth
November 30: O2 Apollo, Manchester
December 2: Ulster Hall, Belfast
December 6: City Hall, Sheffield
December 8: Royal Albert Hall, London
December 11: Guildhall, Portsmouth
December 12: Symphony Hall, Birmingham

The Alarm ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’ @ 30

Image42_zps4b899fd4Originally released in October 1987, Eye Of The Hurricane is one of The Alarm’s most celebrated & best selling albums and features the perennial Rain In The Summertime, along with live classics Rescue Me, Shelter and One Step Closer To Home.

Following a series of landmark Alarm gigs in both the USA (Spirit Of ’86 Concert in California – April ’86) & UK (Wembley Stadium – July ’86), Mike Peters returned home to Wales and spent the rest of the year travelling through and re/discovering his home country, from North to South, East to West and back again, all the while creating new music and lyrics while filming everything he surveyed with a basic VHS VideoCam recorder. Coinciding with the death throes of the industrial era and the beginnings of the new information age, Mike’s travelog would ultimately give rise to an air of self discovery and identity renewal for a band in need of a new dawn and at the same time, documenting the rebirth of a nation ready to throw down the shackles of it’s past.

StraightOuttaSomewhere (7)Continuing a modern tradition of honouring all the Alarm 30th Anniversary eras, Mike Peters will once again be re-imagining some of the Eye of the Hurricane songs and arrangements, and also taking a deeper look into the beginnings of a creative journey that would ultimately lead himself and the band through a trilogy of recordings that began with 1987’s Eye Of The Hurricane through to the Electric Folklore staging post and beyond into the maelstrom of 1989’s Change / Newid.

A musical odyssey that in its own way, came to simultaneously document a man and a nation both, coming to terms with identity and a need to better understand their place in a world made different by new values and generational differences. Armed with voice, acoustic guitar, harmonica and bass drum, Mike Peters will endeavour to set this amazing musical journey into a modern context by performing all of the Eye Of The Hurricane songs alongside some additional unheard material that had come to life during Mike Peters sojourn through Wales between the autumn of 1986 and the spring of 1987.

MikePeters_A3_Poster_V03-768x1011Eye of The Hurricane – 30th Anniversary Acoustic Concerts at the iconic Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay, Wales on Wednesday / Thursday 1st & 2nd of November and also on Sunday November 5th 2017.

The intimate setting of the concert space will provide attendees with an unparalleled up close and personal concert experience as Mike Peters takes listeners on an acoustic story telling journey through the creative passage of self discovery that lies behind this most enduring of Alarm albums and into the Eye Of The Hurricane itself. Each concert will feature two sets with the second performance made up of audience requests and other hallmarked songs that Mike Peters & The Alarm are known for throughout the world.

Every ticket holder will have the chance to meet with Mike throughout the course of the evening and also take part in a question and answer session following the first performance of ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’. Ticket holders will also qualify for a limited edition signed poster – unique to the 30th Anniversary ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’ concert performance at the Norwegian Church.



In 1987 I saw a video on MTV by this band called The Alarm for a song entitled “Rain In the Summertime”. The voice of Mike Peters froze me in my tracks. I loved it, and filed it away in my head to acquire later. Fast forward to November, 1988. I had just started dating a girl who was a metalhead, like me, but also had a deep affinity for bands like Depeche Mode, U2, and yes, The Alarm. I was at her house one day after school, all set for a hot make-out session when I saw it…in her wall-mounted tape case (remember those??) was a tape: The Alarm- Eye of the Hurricane! Naturally I turned on the charm and when I left the tape case was in my denim jacket pocket, and the tape was where? In the trusty Walkman, that’s where!! I took longer than normal to ride home that day because I was listening to sheer greatness.

The album opens up with one of my favorite songs even now, the aforementioned “Rain In the Summertime”, a song that was always my go-to whenever I was upset, pissed, or depressed, and it still works for me. The guitars of Dave Sharp are so fluid it actually reminds me of the rain, and no matter where I am or what I am doing, I am transported back in time whenever I hear it, and I end up smiling. It’s magical. “Newtown Jericho” is next, with decidedly dark subject matter for something so melodic. One thing The Alarm faithfully did on each album was address the plight of the working man, and “Hallowed Ground” is one of their finest examples of this. When they sing about no work on the docks, you can see it.

Powerful stuff, as was the mostly piano-driven “One Step Closer to Home” about a wayward young man. This is one I cut my vocal teeth to when I was first learning how to sing. Mike Peters’ voice has always been real, true, and full of emotion. When he sings it, you FEEL it, and that was the case with this one. And when the band comes crashing in later, the hairs on the back of my neck still stand up. It’s a song I used in my warm-ups for years, and if I am ever foolish enough to take the mic again, I will go right back to this one. And then “Shelter” closes out side one on a rocking note. We open side two with one of the most powerful Alarm songs I have ever felt in my heart, my mind, and my soul. That song is “Rescue Me”, and believe me, when this one was in my headphones I was pedaling like a goddamn Tour De France cyclist it got me so amped up!

Now this may be hard for you all to believe, but I was, and I still am, a love song junkie. When they are done just right, they actually melt this old Iceman’s heart and on this album we get TWO. In a row. “Permanence In Change” and “Presence of Love” both made their way onto the many love song mix tapes I was famous for in high school and college despite my unwavering assurances of “No, baby. These songs are yours and yours alone” to whoever was foolish enough to give me their heart back then. The thing is, I actually MEANT it at the time. God, I fell in love so easily back then. If you want examples of songwriting perfection, then look no further. The line, “And your name is forever written” still gets to me 25 years later.

Only Love Can Set Me Free” is a great anthem of unwavering hope and optimism, while closer “Eye of the Hurricane” carries us away on a wave of wistfulness and longing, showing the versatility of this band that never got its due. Dogged by comparisons to The Clash early on, then U2 starting with this record, The Alarm were never able to rise above the ranks of college radio darling for most of their career back then. That always upset me and pissed me off because of what lay not only on Eye of the Hurricane but the previous albums: real human emotions laid bare and out there for the entire world to see and feel. Some of us got it. Some didn’t. But ultimately this album stands the test of time. I remember buying it for my friend Jennifer for her Sweet Sixteen. When she looked puzzled, I simply said, “Just listen to it.” It wasn’t long before she was almost as in love with them as I was. Almost. I was pretty damn obsessed.

Mike Peters, Dave Sharp, Eddie MacDonald, & Nigel Twist were four lads from Wales who truly had something to say. But beyond that, I will associate so many things with this album: first dates, first kisses, my tumultuous teenage years dealing with the death of my father, and some of the heartbreak I put my mother through. Eye of the Hurricane served as the soundtrack for these things, good and bad, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because this album also saved my life on more than one occasion, but that’s another story for another time. ~dc

‘Get A Proper Job’ The World’s Highest-Paid DJs 2017! How Much?

DGzKUdeXcAUiW1NFew DJs make it to festival mainstages and Ibiza club gigs–only one has done it as an independent artist dressed like a marshmallow. Perhaps the only thing more absurd than Marshmello’s appearance–the anonymous DJ performs in a puffy white mask–is how much money he makes: $21 million over the past year, thanks to a rigorous touring schedule and six-figure nightly fees. “We were like, ‘How do we create something that’s not driven by who it is, or what it’s about?'” says Moe Shalizi, Marshmello’s manager at Red Light Management, who helped form the act. “We’re creating more of a faceless brand.” His music, a melodic, bubbly synth-scape infused with brief vocal hooks and nods to trap drum programming, sounded mellow to Shalizi–hence the name. Hits have followed: “Alone” has shifted some 800,000 units, according to his management, while his self-released Joytime–an album composed largely of tracks previously uploaded for free–peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic chart. Without a label, Marshmello enjoys bigger take-homes on his tracks and merchandise.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is no stranger to the masked marauder--Deadmau5, who last appeared on the list in 2015, performs in a mouse head. But Marshmello’s stratospheric rise is indicative of the music industry’s current state, where marketing and social media have never been more important. “We’re creating more of a faceless brand,” said Marshmello’s manager, Moe Shalizi. “That’s Marshmello … he’s only about two and a half years old and he’s one of the biggest DJs in the world.”

960x0That hasn’t stopped fans speculating about his identity. Many believe Marshmello to be an alias of Chris Comstock, also known as Dotcom, a DJ-producer on Shalizi’s management roster who reportedly shares a first name and tattoo with Marshmello. Further indication comes from royalty monitor ASCAP: Marshmello’s “Silence” lists Comstock as the only songwriter on the track aside from Khalid, who is the featured vocalist–Marshmello is not credited anywhere. (Shalizi declined to comment on Marshmello’s identity.)

That’s good enough for the No. 8 spot on our list of the world’s highest-paid DJs. The group pulled in a collective $298 million, up from $270.5 million in 2016. Much of that increase comes from the two newcomers, Marshmello and the Chainsmokers. The latter clocked 2.2 billion-plus streams over the past year, mostly from crossover hits “Closer” (with Halsey) and “Something Just Like This” (with Coldplay). “We work with artists because it makes sense, because we’re excited about them,” the Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall explained to Forbes earlier this year. “Anytime we work with someone, it’s because they offer something to us creatively that inspires us.”

vinyl-goldYet the highest-paid name on our list for the fifth consecutive year is Calvin Harris, who earned $48.5 million—roughly as much as Marshmello and the Chainsmokers combined. The Scottish DJ tops the Electronic Cash Kings on account of mid-six-figure fees for his Las Vegas performances and seven-figure music festival hauls. He’s also one of the most successful crossover producers on the planet, most recently releasing “Feels,” featuring Pharrell Williams, Big Sean and Katy Perry.

Tiësto, the 48-year-old Dutch DJ who has finished in the top three every year in the Electronic Cash Kings list’s existence, continues to outpace EDM stars half his age, playing 134 gigs in our scoring period en route to a payday of $39 million. The aforementioned Chainsmokers follow close behind at No. 3 with $38 million.

960x0 dgThe ranks of the top-earning DJs reveal an unfortunate lack of diversity—among the top ten, there are no women, and all hail from the U.S. or northern Europe. There is, however, a bit of a mix when it comes to age: the oldest, 49-year-old David Guetta (No. 7, $25 million), could easily be the father of Martin Garrix (No. 9, $19.5 million), who just reached legal drinking age.

Guetta still banks millions by combining festival gigs with club shows from Ibiza to Las Vegas. An international draw, he tallied 100-odd performances in 12 months across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. He remains one of a handful of EDM artists to have mainstream pop success, working with the likes of Rihanna, Sia and Usher. Very few artists have been able to straddle both worlds, hitting the top of the charts while maintaining the respect they’ve earned in the dance industry with tastemaking kids, but David Guetta has now been doing just that for well over a decade, and he shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. “When I started, our music was underground,” Guetta reminisced during a recent studio visit. “There was no such thing as DJ music that would be on the radio.

When David Guetta first stepped into the control room of a New York City recording studio to play some previously-unheard tracks for a handful of journalists, something about the man was different. He didn’t look like the same DJ I had seen perform live at shows or in hundreds of photographs throughout the years. His trademark lengthy locks were gone, he had upped his style game and he was, somewhat surprisingly, visibly both nervous and excited to press play on the tunes that would soon be hitting airwaves around the globe. The world has this man to thank, at least in part, for dance music finally reaching the masses. Around the start of the decade, he ushered in a new era of pop with hit songs of his own like “Sexy Bitch” with Akon, “Without You” featuring Usher and perhaps most memorably, “Titanium,” which highlighted the incredible vocals and songwriting talents of a still relatively unknown pop oddity by the name of Sia. In addition to his own singles, Guetta also produced for artists like the Black Eyed Peas, giving them their 14-week No. 1 hit “I Gotta Feeling,” and further inundating the public with an all-electro sound.

960x0 soOur rankings of the world’s highest-paid DJs take into account earnings from June 2016 through June 2017. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not subtracted. We create our list with the help of data from Nielsen, Pollstar, Bandsintown, Songkick, as well as interviews with industry insiders and some of the DJs themselves. It’s quite possible to earn double-digit millions as a DJ and still fall short of making the Electronic Cash Kings list. A number of well-known names fit that description, including some who had very big years: Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Deadmau5, DJ Snake, Kaskade, and Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike, to name a few. We’ll look out for them in 2018—after all, in the EDM world, a lot can change in a little bit of time.

Edited by Zack O’Malley Greenburg and Natalie Robehmed; additional reporting by Rebecca Lerner. Note: The first two paragraphs of this story appeared in the latest issue of Forbes, alongside names and earnings totals of the top ten highest-paid DJs.

Apple: iPod: Future-Now: Sync or Swim!

apple bootlegThe iPod showed Apple that it could be more than just a conventional computer company, and that changed everything. Earlier this week, Apple officially discontinued the iPod nano and shuffle by removing them from its online store and slowly phasing them out from retail locations. The move was somewhat out of the blue, but one that makes sense when you think of the current state of technology. I suppose a few people will be greatly annoyed. Others won’t care. iPod sales are so low now, Apple hasn’t reported the sales numbers for years. The iPhone is the new music player. (And for some, the iPod touch—which endures for now.) There are several ways to define innovation, and I think that contributes to an enduring misunderstanding. One can take the approach that innovation means a breathtaking, unexpected new product that ignites the company’s fiances and takes the tech world by storm. One can argue that the iPod and iPhone did just that. Apple Music’a long-awaited spinoff series Carpool Karaoke will launch on August 8th, and Apple launched a new video to promote it. The video is set to Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again, and it features many more celebrities than were originally announced, including Maisie WilliamsSophie Turner, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, Camilla Cabello, Metallica, Billy Eichner, Blake Shelton, and many more.

jobsyoungold“The Day Steve Jobs Launched the iPod and Changed Apple Forever.”

It was early October, 2001. I was at home in Wales when my they called “Make arrangements to be online for an event on October 23rd. This is important.” There are videos of the Apple event, so I won’t go into a lot of detail. There were lots of charts and figures and discussion about the music industry. What I remember most, however, was the first time I was in the same room with Steve Jobs. He was in his prime. He was in control. The first iMacs had shipped, and the product was an amazing success. He was very, very confident. The iPod might be the most important product ever produced because it cast Apple from being a so-called toy computer company into an integral part of our modern tech culture via the avenue of a powerful medium: music. It forever changed Apple. And the world.

By the time Steve was done launching the iPod, it seemed perfectly natural for Apple to make a music player. Its design blew everything else out of the water. It was beautiful. It was well engineered. It was to be coveted. Apple had worked with a partner to build a near-miraculous miniature 5 GB hard disk inside. “A thousand songs in your pocket,” he said with a grin and some charm. It synced nicely with music you’d ripped into iTunes. (The iTunes store would come along later in 2003.) We were in awe. It’s said that without the iPod, the iPhone wouldn’t have been possible, and I believe that. Apple, under Steve Jobs, came to realize that it could bring a new perspective and set of integrated electronics to our lives. Sony started on that path, but never quite got there the way Apple did.

Innovation-2Innovation 1st, 2nd & Future!

The first definition above is often applied to Apple when Steve Jobs was trying to save the company in the late 1990s. The dramatic “One More Thing” announcement at events was cleverly designed to whet our appetites and make us believe that Apple was imaginative and resurgent. That turned out to be true, but Steve Jobs knew that he had to back up the hype with real, desirable products. He demanded as much from his engineers. The other way to look at innovation, and I think this is he proper one, is the application of original thinking and engineering finesse combined with significant resources to attack modern problems and create solutions that make life better for customers. In new ways.

It seems as if every time anyone writes about the iPod, a growing number of people call for updated models with Apple Music support. While the iPod touch of course supports the streaming service, the iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and iPod Classic never did, but rather stuck to offering music via an iTunes transfer only. It’s interesting to me that so many people seemingly have an interest or need for an iPod with Apple Music. It’s not really an idea that I’d ever thought of before, and I can’t really think of an instance in which anyone would choose an iPod over iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. Personally, I do see myself interested in an iPod with Apple Music built in. (I was always a huge fan of the iPod classic)

apple productsApple has made some significant advances in terms of how we live (health and fitness) and how we interact with devices. For example, we have AirPods, HomePod, ARKit, HomeKit, HealthKit, and amateur photography to name a few. Our Apple watch tracks our pulse, exercise and soon, perhaps, our blood glucose. An iPhone with a fast 64-bit processor executes 100 billion instructions to deliver breathtaking photos. Another factor is the size of the company. In 2001, Apple’s total revenue for the year was about US$5.4 billion. Today, it’s over $200 billon. August 2017: US index hits fresh peak after strong results push iPhone maker to record valuation of $827bn. (Quarterly profit rose 12% to $8.7bn (£6.6bn). Revenues grew by 7% year-on-year to $45.4bn)

When a company is small, dramatic changes are a significant fraction of revenues. They have an impact. And the company can turn on a dime

Apple sends Dow above 22,000 for the first time

Sales of the iPhone, by far Apple’s biggest moneymaker, grew marginally to 41m judging by Apple’s revenue forecasts for the rest of the year, it means we can expect anticipation for a big upgrade to the iPhone to step into overdrive, what with it being the device’s 10th anniversary year. In those 10 years, 1.2 billion iPhones have been sold! But even more promising was a resurgence in the iPad, its tablet computer that has suffered steadily falling sales. Apple sold 11.4m iPads thanks to the release of a new model, up 15pc. Revenues from its burgeoning Services division, which includes sales of apps, music and cloud storage, grew 22pc.

Either way.. Steve Jobs & Apple Changed The Way We See, Hear & View the world forever in the 21st century, the rise & fall of the company is not an issue, the continuation of innovation is given & recieved with open arms.. Play Loud 🙂 xx

Bruce Dickinson ‘Autobiography’

3e09fa7a-cec2-4648-b1be-39f31ecd905bIron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson will release his autobiography titled What Does This Button Do? in October. The first print run of the UK hardback will feature black-sprayed edges.

“In What Does This Button Do?, Bruce shares, for the first time, the most fascinating recollections, including his 30 years with Maiden, the early days, his childhood within the eccentric British school system, going solo, realising his dream of flying jumbo jets and his recent battle with tongue cancer.” It continues: “Bold, honest, intelligent and very entertaining, What Does This Button Do? is the long-awaited window into the life, heart and mind of one of our most adventurous and multifaceted sons.”

4ed41520-0bd4-4c97-8885-9265e0d8f189It will be published via Harper Collins on October 18, with Dickinson writing parts of his memoir across seven A4 notebooks while the band were on their world tour in support of latest album The Book Of Souls. A statement from the publisher reads: “A true polymath, Bruce is, or has been, an airline pilot and captain, an aviation entrepreneur, a beer brewer, motivational speaker, film scriptwriter, twice-published novelist, radio presenter, TV actor and a world-class fencer.

Dickinson and Iron Maiden recently announced they had teamed up once again with Robinsons Brewery to release another branded beer – a Belgian-style beer titled Hallowed.