The week in music: turning against Tidal, banned selfie sticks and more

From Tidal’s celebrity-focused launch to Noah and the Whale’s split and Mogwai’s 20th anniversary gigs, our weekly music roundup

A lot of rich people launched a music streaming service …

It seemed like a normal Monday, until rapper Jay Z and a few of his big-name musician mates started sharing cryptic social-media messages about something called “#TIDALforALL”. Tidal, we learned, was a high-fidelity music streaming service that Jay Z insisted would “change the course of history”. I’m sorry, isn’t this just a pricier version of Spotify? Am I missing something?

… And summoned a Tidal wave of scepticism

Post-launch, the backlash began. Across a spectrum that stretched from utter disdain to polite hesitation, music fans and the pop-culture press weighed in on Tidal. The general consensus? Either that this thing is garbage and overpriced, that Tidal is entering the streaming game too late to make an impact, or that it’s too early to make a judgment on the service’s potential success.

why they acting like they found the cure to cancer #TIDALforALL

— colin (@colinxcade) March 30, 2015

Joni Mitchell was taken to hospital

After being found unconscious in her home, the legendary songwriter was treated in an LA area hospital’s intensive care unit on Tuesday 31 March. Previously Mitchell has spoken openly about struggling with the symptoms of what she believes to be Morgellons disease, a little-known illness not currently recognised by America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Wednesday, Mitchell was awake and in good spirits.

Common’s song lyrics lost him a university speech gig

It turns out there are still some statements not covered by America’s freedom of artistic expression laws. Rapper and songwriter Common was nixed as a New Jersey university graduation speaker when the state’s police force expressed their anger over lyrics he wrote in 2000. The song in question, about a former Black Panther who was convicted of killing a New Jersey cop in the 1970s, is considered a civil rights tour-de-force by others. In any case, Common lost out.

Noah and the Whale broke up

This Twickenham four-piece started out twee-as-hell before transforming into a more polished, stadium-rock act. Then, on Wednesday – April Fools’ Day, no less – they announced their split. Chances are you might have forgotten about them anyway: Noah and the Whale last released material and played gigs in 2013. RIP 2008 indie.

Two major US festivals banned selfie sticks

Following in the footsteps of Tottenham and Arsenal’s footy grounds and several museums, both Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have preemptively said “Nah, mate” to selfie sticks. Well, not in those exact words. For Chicago’s Lollapalooza, held in Chicago in July, “photo attachments like sticks, selfie sticks and monopods” are “NOT ALLOWED”. Coachella were more succinct: “NO SELFIE STICKS/NARSISSTICS”. Fair enough – they’re nonsense.

Mogwai’s 20th-anniversary gig guests were announced

The post-rock five-piece are celebrating 20 years together with an ATP season at London’s Roundhouse. They’re bringing along a handful of other impressive guests, including the Jesus and Mary Chain, Public Enemy and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Diplo and Robert Plant might collaborate

Take screeching EDM synths and dancehall appropriation in one hand. Grab classic rock chops and a soaring, piercing vocal in the other. Mash them together and you might have a head-turning collaboration between producer Diplo and ex-Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, hinted at on Instagram on Saturday. There’s no word yet on just what this might mean for our ears, but we’re as intrigued as you are.

Frank Zappa’s final album is due for a release this summer

The hugely prolific artist recorded album Dance Me This before his death in 1993. It’s set to join his 99 other releases when it comes out in June. Though this news first broke on April Fools’ Day, it seems to be legit.

Cynthia Lennon died aged 75

Lennon died of cancer at her home in Spain, according to her family. Born Cynthia Powell, she was John Lennon’s first wife but split with the Beatle when he started a relationship with Yoko Ono. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both shared messages of condolence in the wake of Cynthia’s death.


Tshepo Mokoena

The GuardianTramp

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