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The Best and Worst TikTok Music of 2021 – Pitchfork

In this extended universe is Olivia Rodrigo, whose soaring power ballad “drivers license,” about suburban rites of passage and romantic betrayal, tore through TikTok at the start of the year en route to global domination. Prior to that, she’d appear on the app with just her guitar and share unreleased songs. The rise of intimate, diaristic music on TikTok corresponds to a larger shift in pop, articulated by Rodrigo’s 39-year-old producer Dan Nigro in a Guardian essay by Laura Snapes about a new generation of power balladeers. “It’s all about being honest,” Nigro said. “When I was making music in my early 20s, what was in vogue was to be more metaphoric or suggestive. Nowadays, you have to be as literal and specific as possible.” TikTok is part of this shift because artists know it’s where they have the greatest chance of getting noticed, but also because the app is so personality-driven, erasing the distance between an artist and their songs.

Someone needs to check in on Charlie Puth

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“Edging is fun yeah?” tweeted one Charles Otto Puth Jr. last month—a cringe post made even worse by the fact that New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay decided to weigh in with a reply (“It’s not bad, Charles”). Although he is 30, the pop singer spends an inordinate amount of time acting like a sex-obsessed nincompoop online, as if he’s still of the age where he’s Googling “hentai” on his mom’s computer.

So if you find yourself suddenly wanting to browse his TikTok, wondering when he’ll finally release the follow-up to 2018’s Voicenotes (a good album!), be warned: It’s weird. When he’s not playing the role of “most pedantic Berklee grad you’ve ever met,” he’s jumping vigorously up and down so his pants drop or turning a Sara Bareilles lyric (“head underwater”) into a blowjob joke. He also loves to riff on the common wisecrack that he, upon hearing a queef, would either remark that its precise tone is an F-sharp or ask to sample it in a future song. Charlie, I’m begging you—log off.

Hexes, vampires, and the rise of the occult underground

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Every so often, TikTok will dredge bizarre music from a remote substrata of the internet—buried in a SoundCloud microscene, with chatter about it concentrated in niche forums—and expose it to masses of people who know nothing about where it came from. Last year, the rise of “Alt TikTok” brought attention to a host of relatively left-field artists like David Shawty, WHOKILLEDXIX, and 645AR, many of whom make liberal use of vocal manipulation techniques and fall loosely within hyperpop, digicore, or some adjacent fringe-rap scene.

Source: https://pitchfork.com/features/article/tiktok-songs-2021/

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Google AI Tool Creates Music from Written Descriptions – VOA Learning English

This week, Google researchers published a paper describing results from an artificial intelligence (AI) tool built to create music.

The tool, called MusicLM, is not the first AI music tool to launch. But the examples Google provides demonstrate musical creative ability based on a limited set of descriptive words.

AI shows how complex computer systems have been trained to behave in human-like ways.

Tools like ChatGPT can quickly produce, or generate, written documents that compare well with the work by humans. ChatGPT and similar systems require powerful computers to operate complex machine-learning models. The San Francisco-based company OpenAI launched ChatGPT late…….

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Bringing music to the masses… on a tram – BBC

French pianists, Hervé Billaut and Guillaume Coppola, brought a piano on to a tram in Nantes, as part of the opening of the annual La Folle Journée classical music festival.

They played to passengers all afternoon on Wednesday.

Mr Billaut said that they wanted to bring music to places you don’t expect it: “Perhaps someone, a child, a young person or a pensioner will have a musical shock.”

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