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Two summers ago, it was "Blurred Lines." This summer it was "Fancy." These days, it's "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift. Every year, there's a new song that we all hate until we don't anymore (see: playcounts). And it turns out that's because we were brainwashed to like them.
Research suggests that repeated exposure is a much more surefire way of getting the general public to like a song than writing one that suits their taste. Based on an fMRI study in 2011, we now know that the emotional centers of the brain — including the reward centers — are more active when people hear songs they've been played before. In fact, those brain areas are more active even than when people hear unfamiliar songs that are far better fits with their musical taste.
This happens more often than you might think. After a couple dozen unintentional listens, many of us may find ourselves changing our initial opinions about a song — eventually admitting that, really, Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" isn't as awful as it sounds. PBS' Idea Channel's Mike Rugnetta explains, it's akin to a musical "Stockholm syndrome," a term used originally by criminologist Nils Bejerot to describe a phenomenon in which victims of kidnapping may begin to sympathize with their captors over time.

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I understand the concept of brainwashing, but this is BS... People can change the radio station (analog or digital), they can listen to any number of online stations, buy a subscription to a music service etc. People have the choice to NOT listen to crap music... It's up to them. They aren't brainwashed, they're lazy.

Motel168 Music

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20 Aug 2015
soundcloud
Many independent artists and DJ/Producers have been receiving emails from Soundcloud informing them of copyright infringements and as a consequence, they have received strikes against their paid for premium accounts. In most cases the alleged copyright infringement was for music to which they had all the rights. That was certainly the case for Soulpersona, who in spite of being an artist, musician and producer of all his own material, was on the end of a third strike. So whom was he infringing against?
His Soundcloud was costing him nearly £70 a year, and as a premium member he had amassed over 2 million plays and 11k followers. For an independent artist it is essential to have a following, as this helps boost record sales and provides an audience, regardless of how small it may be.
Morgan said, “They claimed that I infringed the copyright of a track owned by Sony, a track which I had written permission to use”. He went on, “Soundcloud is owned by Sony, so they could have checked this themselves. As an independent artist this is a very sad era we are stepping into. The majors are trying to destroy independent music and it’s up to us as independent artists and fans of music to stand up to them”

You can now keep up to date with Soulpersona at his new music space Hearthis, which is becoming the new home for the independent artist. (https://hearthis.at/soulpersona/)
This stance is not exclusive only to the independent artists, as our very own DJ, Ronnie Herel, has also been on the receiving end of a strike against his account. Ronnie claimed “I uploaded a mix to my premium Soundcloud account about a year ago, then recently I received an email informing me that I had infringed copyright with a track within the mix and it would be taken down and I would receive a strike against my account.” “To be honest I wasn’t very happy about it, as all my mixes include jingles and I make sure that they are listen only and cannot be downloaded. Even if someone had ripped it, it would have been useless.”
Ronnie is now so disillusioned with the service offered by Soundcloud, that he no longer uses it and instead uploads his mix’s to rival platform Mixcloud.

It seems like something sinister is happening with Soundcloud. Is it a case that the service is evolving or has it just merely forgotten its roots. The three strikes and out rule seems to be largely targeting independent artists, which seems unfair. They don’t have the financial clout to instruct lawyers to prove material ownership. Of even more concern is where it will end? Once all the independent artists have been pushed out, will Soundcloud then start to purge the platform of Independent record labels?

That may not sound like pie in the sky when you read the news. Apparently Soundcloud are close to agreeing a deal with Universal. If this is sealed, which seems likely, then it could explain why independent artists are being targeted. Would a major record label want to share a digital music platform with a bunch of independent artists, particularly if they are producing better music than their own highly paid artists..?

Soundcloud seems to have forgotten who it was that made them what they are today. The independent artist was paramount in driving traffic to the platform and supported it from the outset. The management of Soundcloud seem to have lost sight of this… have they become too big for their boots?

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Motel168 Music

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#‎motel168music‬ ‪#‎concentration‬ ‪#‎productivity‬ ‪#‎scientificproof‬
Oftentimes we have innumerable distractions at work competing for our attention. Luckily, music can help put us back on a more productive track. Studies out of the University of Birmingham, England , show that music is effective in raising...
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Motel168 Music

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Nineteen-year-old Temi Mwale lost a friend to youth violence when she was only 16. 

A year later, she set up Get Outta the Gang, which aims to tackle gang violence in London. But, she has come to realise, there are widespread misconceptions about what gangs are, who joins them, and why.


Akala - Racism is a business ► http://bit.ly/akalacif
My hijab is not a symbol of oppression ► http://bit.ly/hijabcif

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Motel168 Music

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When the VMA 2015 nominations were announced on Tuesday 21 July, we figured we already knew the results. Sure, Taylor Swift would need to accessorise her designer dress with one of those shopping bags on wheels to cart about all of her awards, and of course Ed Sheeran would rack up two or three (or four, or five, or six) nominations for himself, too. And obviously Nicki Minaj - whose video for Anaconda broke the VEVO record for the most views in 24 hours when 19.6 million people watched it in the space of a day - was a dead cert too.

But despite the video's undeniable impact, Anaconda was only nominated for two awards - Best Female Video and Best Hip Hop Video - missing out on the Best Music Video of the Year category. And Nicki's collaboration with Beyonce, Feeling Myself, didn't make the cut at all.

Of course, this is 2015, so Nicki took to Twitter to question MTV's judging process. 'Hey guys @MTV thank you for my nominations. Did Feeling Myself miss the deadline or...?,' she tweeted, before adding: 'If I was a different "kind" of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well...If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.'
And the depressing thing is, she's not wrong. She's not being a sore loser, and she's not making a fuss about nothing. Because whatever you think of Nicki, or of her music videos, there's no denying the fact that racism is still rife within the music industry (and the rest of society).

To put it simply: When Britney Spears got naked and covered herself in sequins for Toxic, she was nominated for Best Music Video. When Emily Ratajkowski got naked next to Robin Thicke in Blurred Lines, he was nominated for Best Music Video. When Miley Cyrus stripped off and broke a million health and safety rules by riding a piece of construction equipment, she wasn't just nominated for Best Music Video of the Year - she won it. All of the above videos have been controversial, but they were acknowledged by the industry for their impact nevertheless.

But as soon as Nicki Minaj - whose black body deviates from Caucasian beauty standards - dares to own her own culture and dance in a similarly provocative fashion, it's glossed over and relegated to sideline categories of 'female' and 'hip hop'. Meanwhile, white artists who adopt black culture as their own continue to reap professional awards. And it's time to stop pretending that that's OK.
After all, at the 2015 Grammy Awards, every singer nominated for Best New Artist or Record Of The Year was white. Similarly, music companies such as Pandora, Live Nation, Apple, Spotify, AEG, Warner Music Group, SXSW, Clear Channel Communications, and Universal Music Group are all lead by teams of predominantly white executives. And for an art form that's supposed to be breaking down barriers rather than building them up, that doesn't seem good enough, does it?

Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/…/the-truth-about-racism-in-th…
Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/…/the-truth-about-racism-in-th…

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Motel168 Music

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The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that
David Leviathan
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Motel168 Music

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‪Apple Music is having a problem retaining its users, according to a new survey. Forty-eight percent of Apple Music users have stopped using the service, while only 11 percent of iOS users have tried the streaming service so far, according to MusicWatch. The music research company conducted a survey of 5,000 US consumers about their usage and knowledge about the service. In a statement to the The Verge, Apple has denied the 48 percent retention rate, stating that 79 percent of users who have signed up for Apple Music are still using the service.

APPLE MUSIC'S RETENTION RATE IS LESS THAN STELLAR

While the 11 percent usage level for Apple Music may seem low, it's right on par with usage levels for iTunes music purchases by iOS users, which is a good sign given that Apple Music is only two months old, but it could be much better. When current Apple Music users were asked if they would subscribe to the service once the trial ends, 64 percent said they were very likely, a decent rate, but not a great one for a company that loves to tout its customer satisfaction rates during every earning's call.

Sixty-one percent of current Apple Music users have turned off auto-renewal option for the service as well, a fact that will likely upset the music labels, who are withholding judgement on the service until the trial period runs out in October. There are some bright spots for Apple — 28 percent of Spotify Premium subscribers are also using Apple Music, and only 77 percent of iOS users are aware of Apple Music, leaving plenty of room for growth. But if this survey makes anything clear, it's that Apple Music may be in for a rough patch when it's time for users to pay up

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Apple Music is having a problem retaining its users, according to a new survey. Forty-eight percent of Apple Music users have stopped using the service, while only 11 percent of iOS users have...
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Motel168 Music

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Most people assume that they hear a song everywhere because it's popular. That's not the case — a song is popular because it's played everywhere. It is technically illegal for major labels to pay radio stations directly to play certain songs, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The phenomenon is called "payola" (an amalgam of the words pay and Victrola), and it was rampant in the 1960s up through the '80s, during which period the music industry was literally run by the mob. It still happens today, even though it isn't as blatant. Labels pay independent promoters to "incentivize" radio stations to play their music, or create program caps to make sure a song gets enough plays to have its effect. There's real neuroscience behind the strategy: If you hear something enough, you'll start to like it.
That Stockholm effect happens with culture, too. The scientific term for this phenomenon is the "mere exposure effect," discovered in the '60s by Robert Zajonc, and it can apply to anything — images, shapes, songs or people. In his study, participants reported liking songs more the second and third times they were exposed to them. This same response occurred even when participants weren't aware of any previous exposure. It seems then that people can easily mistake the fluidity of their ability to identify and fully comprehend a song with actually liking it. So once a song gets stuck in your head it may quickly transition from being irritating to being beloved. A good example of this is the inexplicable popularity of ear worms like the Black Eyed Peas' truly heinous "I Gotta Feeling."

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Motel168 Music

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Kodaikanal is a small city in India’s Tamil Nadu state. For years it was the home of a thermometer assembly factory owned by the Unilever corporation. That factory, locals allege, dumped toxic levels of mercury into the ground, resulting in everything from neurological and reproductive complications to death for the former factory’s employees. For over a decade, residents have been pushing Unilever to directly address their role in the mercury contamination, which has, to date, reportedly left 45 former employees dead, as well as 12 children. Recently, former employees staged a protest outside a shareholder meeting at the company’s regional headquarters in Mumbai, where they handed out pamphlets to passers-by, detailing their medical struggles as a result of having worked in the now-shuttered Kodaikanal plant.
But while pamphlets and marching are one way to draw attention to the cause, Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf has another way to highlight Kodaikanal’s environmental crisis: Rework one of the hottest dance tracks of the year into a fiery protest song.

http://magazine.good.is/…/nicki-minaj-anaconda-protest-envi…

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The brain is protected by formidable defenses. In addition to the skull, the cells that make up the blood-brain barrier keep pathogens and toxic substances from reaching the central nervous system. The protection is a boon, except when we need to deliver drugs to treat illnesses. Now researchers are testing a way to penetrate these bastions: sound waves.

Kullervo Hynynen, a medical physicist at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, and a team of physicians are trying out a technique that involves giving patients a drug followed by an injection of microscopic gas-filled bubbles. Next patients don a cap that directs sound waves to specific brain locations, an approach called high-intensity focused ultrasound. The waves cause the bubbles to vibrate, temporarily forcing apart the cells of the blood-brain barrier and allowing the medication to infiltrate the brain. Hynynen and his colleagues are currently testing whether they can use the method to deliver chemotherapy to patients with brain tumors. They and other groups are planning similar trials for patients with other brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease.

Physicians are also considering high-intensity focused ultrasound as an alternative to brain surgery. Patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease and dystonia are increasingly being treated with implanted electrodes, which can interrupt problematic brain activity. A team at the University of Virginia hopes to use focused ultrasound to deliver thermal lesions deep into the brain without having patients go under the knife.

“Using ultrasound to make lesions in the body is not a new concept; however, it's been limited for the brain because of the contours, density and thickness of the skull,” says neurologist and study investigator Binit Shah. The new technique overcomes that hurdle by training more than 1,000 beams onto a target area. Shah and his colleagues' pilot study of patients with essential tremor—a common, usually benign condition of rhythmic shaking—was published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year and found that ultrasonic lesioning of part of the thalamus decreased tremor. The group is expanding the trial and launching other pilot studies to explore several symptoms of Parkinson's.
The benefits of focused ultrasound might extend well beyond restoring mobility and delivering drugs. Other groups are exploring its use in treating neuropathic pain and obsessive-compulsive disorder, too.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/…/sound-waves-can-heal-b…/

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Why must we accept the casual racism in pop videos?

Ikamara Larasi

Parenting website Netmums published a survey last week that highlighted huge concern over young children viewing – and perhaps imitating – moves in music videos. A predictable debate ensued: paternalistic/moralistic comment on one side and, on the other, those who'd have us calm down and just turn it off. But music videos are not simply throwing more flesh at us, but loads of layered messages. Chief among these are narratives around race, which go largely unremarked on by the mainstream media. Why?
There's a huge debate going on about "sexualisation", but it is narrowly focused on explicit portrayals of sexuality in videos aimed at a young market. But what about race in these videos? When do we look at who is centre stage? And anyway, women – of any background – do it to themselves, right? And sexualisation is mainly hip-hop, isn't it? Miley Cyrus – she used to be a sweet girl, now she's restyled as a caricature of black culture (and surrounded herself with some faceless black women dancers for extra cred), so she's "adult" now.

There's a view that hip-hop "culture" alone is ultra-misogynistic, while other genres remain unexamined. It's somehow exceptional when a man such as Robin Thicke makes an extremely misogynistic video. And the way black women are sexualised? Well, they are only in hip-hop videos anyway and most rappers are black men. Therefore it's black men sexualising black women. Case closed.
I am a black woman, aged 24. There are many myths about young people, women and black people. What do you already know about me? I must be from somewhere else other than east London and perhaps I should text "home" to 78070. I'm carefully managing my urge to twerk all the time, I probably smoke, come from a "broken home" and it's likely I'm homophobic. I probably know criminals, if I'm not one myself.

These assumptions are racist, as is the use of black women and men in some music videos as motifs for deeply regressive ideas about race, class and crime. Videos are not without impact. Those who commission, produce, style and direct them should step up. These people are typically not young, black or female. (Which is why Imkaan is part of Rewind &Reframe, a group challenging the content of music videos.)
While it may be convenient to think that hip-hop, Rihanna or Miley Cyrus are the cause of society's ills, this creates a false sense of security. It assumes that without these influences, we would be fine. Writer Reni Eddo-Lodge is not alone in wondering if the conversations about women in pop move beyond a binary of agency or exploitation. Why is it that conversations about Miley Cyrus and Rihanna are so different? Why is it OK to say that Rihanna's on-stage fashion sense invites rape at worst, disrespect at least, or to use images of her bruised face to make a point? As Linnea Dunne usefully points out, Rihanna grew up in this world, too, shaped by the very structures that made her dress sense a public concern in the first place.

http://www.theguardian.com/…/10/black-women-music-industry-…

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Conscious music, intelligently written and, beautifully played!
Introduction
How many times has a song changed you? How many times have we put on a favourite CD and instantly it altered our mood, brought clarity, cleared the energetic vibes in the room, made us cry, made us burst into song?

As pure vibrations, music has always been, and always will be a powerful source of energy, but how is music adapting to the world we live in today? How is the humble song providing something good for the human spirit in these times? The answer lies in the other half of a song…  the lyrics.

There’s a breed of musicians and songwriters out there who are pioneering the “conscious music movement”. These artists are asking the big questions about life, death, spirituality, humanity and the universe, and are responding to what’s happening in our world currently. 

Throughout the last century there have been many songwriters who have put their spiritual wisdom in their lyrics (John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Cat Stevens,India Irie for example), but not until now has there been such a big push or need for music and songs to ‘step up’ and be more accountable for what goes out to listeners.

We see the “conscious music movement” like another form of alternative healing. Imagine songs that are like reading a book from Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Osho or the Dalai Lama, but the spiritually inspired lyrics in the songs are bathed in music, with great melodies, verses and choruses and live performance as well!

Can you imagine if radio stations across the world played at least 50% positive music/affirmation? As more and more people engage with songs from the “conscious music movement” I’m sure there will be a global decrease in people’s stress levels, anxiety, confusion, violence on each other and the planet… and there will be an increase in people’s general happiness, emotional and spiritual clarity, quality of life and well being.

Living in harmony with nature is what Mother Nature always intended. Living peacefully with others is what the Universe has always wanted for us too. It's never too late to start. One small conscious effort at a time is all you need to begin the journey of inner and outer change There are so many songs written about promoted that are born out of or herald frustration and hate. These are always the easiest to write because this is the domain of the human ego. The place where pain and hate live easily. To consciously write music that is spirited and heals is hard because it is often instigated by the ego. There are plenty of songwriters who admit that their songs just came to them in a flash. This we believe is divine intervention. The spiritual truth the Universe want s you to hear. The sonic comforter that is always placed in every generations lives to bring them peace and vibration complicity.

If you hear anything negative in your music do not believe it. It’s just someone else ego massaging yours. Remember misery loves company.