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SONG REVENUE CHART:
DRAKE IS MONEY
The most earnest of earners (2/23a)
THE BRITS: A FIRSTHAND TAKE
Rhian Jones reporting from the O2 Arena (2/23a)
SONGWRITERS HALL TO HONOR SIR LUCIAN
Once upon a time, the mogul was a humble song plugger. (2/23a)
5SOS DROPS A NEW ONE
The saucy Aussies are back. (2/23a)
KACEY'S GOOD
AS GOLDEN
Check out two new tracks from upcoming set. (2/23a)
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Investment in the biz and the coming speed bumps.
A NEW STREAMING PLAYER?
Who's getting into the game?
MY DOCTOR SAID NO MORE PIZZA
But she's not here.
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
At least try to be less obvious about it.
THE B-SIDE
ICYMI: REX ORANGE COUNTY
2/10/18

BY KENZ MEADOWS

Blossoming Brit-pop act, Rex Orange County, performed at the El Rey theater last night (2/8) in L.A. This was the second of two completely sold-out performances, and the young act (only 19) really delivered. 

He floated back and forth from performing solo—either on keyboard or guitar—and including accompaniment with drums, sax, trumpet and trombone. And there was plenty of audience involvement. Rex (his given name is Alex O'Connor) was funny and really engaged with his crowd, at one point requesting that everyone sacrifice the potential for Instagram stories by putting their phones down so they could just "hang out for twenty minutes."

I've seen acts request this at shows hundreds of times. The difference here was that everyone acquiesced. The whole house, packed with teenagers and twentysomethings, actually went ahead and danced to his jazzy pop tunes instead.

The next time a lit screen appeared was when everyone collectively needed to capture the finale. Complete with tons of swirling confetti and multi-colored balloons, which floated down like we were in a teen movie, his ending note struck a really lovely chord. 

Rex, who recently made BBC's Sound of 2018 shortlist, has worked with the likes of Skepta, Mac Demarco, Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean. So far, all of his music has been released independently, though he's rep'd by September Management. He's now headed back the the U.K. for a slew of sold-out shows. That said, European dates are still available; dates and details here. You can check out my favorite of his songs, which he performed second to last, below. 

PLAYLIST OF THE WEEK: WHAT'S POPPING?
2/6/18


When he’s not leading his global strategy and sales team at ADA, Brandon Squar and his associates are weathering the storm on their Spotify network, Indie Mixtape. With over 20 curators, Indie Mixtape playlists stretch beyond just diversity of content. A mix of genres, themes, moods and perspectives are woven throughout their profile.

Within a year, the profile experienced a colossal amount of growth, amassing over 74k followers. Only recently, the team began to branch outside of Spotify, using Instagram as a tool for news and media, including live coverage of shows in New York City, Los Angeles, the U.K. and more. With a worldwide presence and a global team that enjoys using the platform as a form of self-expression, Indie Mixtape brings unique authenticity to the table.

Indie Mixtape’s What’s Popping playlist is, of course, the most popping with over 62k followers. The playlist features a blend of new wave and trending artists like Stormzy, Jubel, LOVE SICK and Hayden James. By integrating tracks from more under-the-radar artists with what’s breaking, the playlist strikes a good balance between the familiar and the new.

Squar described the playlist as “an entry point for listeners to be exposed to music that they may have not heard of before, while being a central place for hits.” He continued, “For me it’s like making cassette tapes back in the day. You had all these underlying rules to follow, like only featuring new music and not duplicating any artists. It was all about creating the best experience possible.”

Intrigued? We thought so. Click here to discover more from Indie Mixtape, submit tracks here.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
"CHEETAH TONGUE"
1/31/18

The Wombats are anything but ordinary, and that's made abundantly clear by the recently released video for "Cheetah Tongue."

The Liverpudlian trio, who recently signed a label services deal with Kobalt, serves as an indie rock staple; without them, the current state of genre would be a hell of a lot more boring. As for this song—the third track off of their upcoming fourth studio album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, out 2/9—it's decidedly trippy for them, but I'm not complaining. And the same can be said for the clip, which includes a pastel color palette, '80s-esque aerobics, an odd abundance of canned beans and a group of elderly women who enjoy spinning men above their heads in their spare time. (Who doesn't though, right?)

The band's distinctive pizzazz is also exemplified by their live show. I had the immense pleasure of catching them in L.A. at The Fonda last week, and I think I'm still experiencing symptoms of vertigo. These charming lads are beyond talented, and the crowd response experienced at their shows is second to none.

Know this: I've become so jaded, thanks to my gig-packed work schedule, yet I never turn down an opportunity to see the Bats of Wom. So, if you give even the tiniest shit about my opinion, that's really saying something. 

The guys only have two shows left in the States, but the tour spreads to the U.K. (and later Europe) a week later. Catch 'em while you can.

xx,
Samantha Hissong


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