Apple Music Classical launches on Android before getting a real iPad or Mac version

The Apple Music Classical app has come to Android devices – several months after the service landed on iPhone, but before either iPad or MacBook devices have received an official app (via 9to5Mac).

Apple Music Classical is a distinct app from Apple Music, focusing exclusively on (you guessed it) classical music, instead of the broader offering found in the primary Apple Music app.

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Apple Music Classical launches on Android before

The Apple Music Classical app has come to Android devices – several months after the service landed on iPhone, but before either iPad or MacBook devices have received an official app (via 9to5Mac).

Apple Music Classical is a distinct app from Apple Music, focusing exclusively on (you guessed it) classical music, instead of the broader offering found in the primary Apple Music app.

Source link


Dream Big: Kevin Hart’s ‘Dream Big’ Tribute To Heaven’s High School Graduation

Heaven Hart, a child of Kevin Hart, has completed high school. The 43-year-old comedian and actor sent a touching message on Instagram on Friday to honor his eldest daughter’s accomplishment. Hart also praised his niece Sanny, who has now become a graduate, for setting an example for his 18-year-old niece Heaven by working hard in school.

He posted on Instagram saying that it wasn’t about him but his younger daughter whom he was extremely proud of as well as his niece, who was the first member of the family and earned a degree. He thanked her for having been an excellent example for Heaven, his daughter since she was headed toward a similar situation.

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Kevin Hart On Having Mixed Emotions About His Eldest Daughter Leaving Home For College

Kevin Hart further added to his heartfelt homage to his daughter by emphasizing how her accomplishments serve as an example for each of her siblings and him. Along with his daughter, Kevin Hart is the father of Kenzo, and Kaori, with his spouse Eniko Hart, and Hendrix, with former partner Torrei Hart. Hart hinted at Heaven’s college choice in February last year by telling Ellen in the show that his daughter wants to attend a university outside of the state.

At the time, Kevin Hart jokingly said that he had been attempting to persuade her to continue living in Los Angeles with her family since the schools there were much better but she had been discussing New York. He also spoke about how much he loved his daughter and the beautiful woman she was growing up to be. “Central Intelligence” star further added that although he was very proud, he hated how his daughter would soon leave the home. The most recent academic year-end event that he has attended is Heaven’s graduation.

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AI has created areas so grey, you could write a song about it

sound waves abstract

Getty Images/maxkabakov

These days, it feels like I needs to put a disclaimer at the top of my stories so no one assumes any part of the content is generated by artificial intelligence (AI). However, only human brains were involved in the making of this piece — one writer’s brain and two editors’ brains, to be precise, and none have been implanted with a chip.

Unfortunately, we’re now at a stage where we can no longer easily distinguish between humans and robots. We’ve not reached the all-controlling level of Skynet yet, but the power of AI today marks a pivotal point for a technology that had been chugging along — mostly in the backend — for years and is now finally more accessible, and understood, by the general public. 

Also: AI could automate 25% of all jobs. Here’s which are most (and least) at risk

This emergence is all thanks to generative AI platform, ChatGPT, which has fascinated many of us with its ability to mimic humans and assist with various tasks, including software coding, creating travel itineraries, and composing email messages and essays. Venture beyond ChatGPT and you’ll find other AI-powered applications that can produce images and songs “inspired” by popular artists and writers.

And herein lies the crux of a debate over where the lines should be drawn on how AI is used in some industries. 

For me, in my work as a journalist, the lines are crystal clear. Factual inaccuracy and plagiarism are big red flags. It is for these reasons that tools such as ChatGPT have absolutely no role to play in my craft, not even as a research assistant. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT: Everything you need to know

I’m guessing lawyers probably share my concerns, particularly after one of their peers in New York was called out for citing judiciary decisions of past cases that never existed. Yep, he let ChatGPT do the research and it generated content based on false sources. 

The lines, however, may not always be as clear. 

AI increasingly is used to create music based on the styles of popular artists, but also produce songs that are “sung” by a voice that sounds very much like a specific pop star. Singapore-based singer Stefanie Sun, for instance, apparently recorded a cover of Avril Lavigne’s Complicated — except she actually didn’t.  

To an untrained ear, the AI-generated voice sounds just like Sun, who has sold more than 30 million records since her debut in 2000. Her fans, though, say her AI counterpart is easily distinguishable because it lacks the emotive nuances of the singer.

That perception, however, could change, Sun herself has acknowledged. In a blog post last week, she joked that her AI persona is enjoying more fame now that her own heyday is over, and that it’s impossible to compete with someone capable of releasing new albums in mere minutes.

Also: How I tricked ChatGPT into telling me lies

Sun says AI has got better at processing and piecing together information to form opinions and thoughts — something humans were once convinced could not be replicated. The singer adds that it may only be a matter of time before AI makes further advancements and is able to mimic human emotions. 

“This new technology will be able to churn out exactly everything, everyone,” Sun writes. “You are not special. You are already predictable and also, unfortunately, malleable.”

The singer’s label reportedly isn’t considering legal action because there’s currently a lack of regulation around generative AI. 

While Sun sees her AI counterpart as a potential competitor, Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes is more open to the idea of music created using an AI version of her voice. That is, if anyone who does so shares the royalties 50/50. Grimes has invited immitators to register their music via her website, where she plans to make her vocal samples available to aid the AI process. “I think it’s cool to be fused with a machine and I like the idea of open sourcing all art and killing copyright,” Grimes tweets.

Others in her industry are less generous with the new revenue model.

Also: ChatGPT is more like an ‘alien intelligence’ than a human brain, says futurist

US rapper Ice Cube said in a podcast interview he would sue anyone who makes a song with his AI-generated voice as well as the platform that plays it.

His comments come on the heels of a song called Heart On My Sleeve, which was presumably created by AI and made to sound like rapper-singer-songwriter Drake and singer-songwriter The Weeknd. The two Canadians are known collaborators. 

Heart On My Sleeve went viral on various platforms including TikTok and Spotify, before it was removed at the request of the singers’ record label. Copies of it still are available on YouTube.

The source behind the song reportedly created it using AI models trained on the artists’ works, styles, and voices. 

There are lawyers who are better equipped — and articles featuring interviews with lawyers — that have already debated the potential legal issues around AI-generated songs like Heart On My Sleeve, so I’m not going to do that here. Suffice to say the song throws up a bunch of questions around fair use and misrepresentation, and some correlation to professional impressionists or impersonators and tribute acts. 

What truly matters as AI becomes everything, everywhere

I am, however, keen to draw some parallels with how human artists and musicians find inspiration for their work. We often hear how great songwriters are influenced by those who came before them. Bruno Mars cites Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys among his music influences, while Billie Eilish points to the Beatles and Green Day.

These artists grew up listening to and learning from musicians, applying what they feel are most in sync with their own styles and creating their own art.

Also: AI can write your emails, reports, and essays. But can it express your emotions?

In some ways, that’s exactly what large language models and generative AI tools such as ChatGPT do. They produce new works based on what they learn from past works. The only significant difference is that human minds are shaped and influenced by works we admire as we grow and learn, while AI models are not inherently partial and have the compute capacity to not be discriminatory over what they choose to learn as they grow. 

So, assuming no copyright was breached and there is no misrepresentation, why should AI-generated content that draws inspiration from famous works be any different from human-generated content that also draws inspiration from famous works? And aren’t most products based on basic foundational structures and best practices anyway? 

That’s roughly the argument that British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran used in the lawsuit he won against Marvin Gaye’s estate, in which he was found not liable for copyright infringement. Sheeran’s lawyer Ilene Farkas told jurors that similarities in the chord progressions and rhythms used in Gaye’s and Sheeran’s songs in question were “the letters of the alphabet of music”https://music.einnews.com/article/636984629/.”These are basic musical building blocks that songwriters now and forever must be free to use, or all of us who love music will be poorer for it,” Farkas said.

Also: Just how big is this generative AI? Think internet-level disruption

Musician and YouTuber Rick Beato says it plainly: “You cannot copyright a chord progression.”

So, where does that leave humans, as AI continues its growth trajectory and its use becomes pervasive? How can we differentiate ourselves when we have to compete against an entity with a greater capacity to process and learn? 

I think we have to continue to innovate and be creative in how we apply our knowledge. We must put our own unique spin on top of these basic foundations and incorporate elements not commonly used by others. 

Just like when the internet emerged and then became popular, we can’t let access to new technologies like AI make us lazy. “Don’t keep repeating things,” Beato says.

I recently moderated a roundtable discussion when I cheekily said my questions for the participants were generated by my human brain, without the assistance of AI. “But why not?” a couple of the attendees asked. 

My response to that question was a no-brainer (pun intended). A generative AI tool like ChatGPT could very well have come up with a list of brilliant questions based on the roundtable dialog, which ironically enough was on AI. However, it would unlikely be able to adapt and modify the questions in real time, as the conversation moved along. 

Also: AI bots have been acing medical school exams

I always have a list of questions ready at the start of every discussion I moderate, but I’m constantly following up with new ones based on insights participants share as the roundtable conversation progresses. I tweak my questions along the way to adapt to the evolving discourse, which is often filled with references to local industry developments and personal anecdotes previously unshared. 

All of these insights, including my cheesy sense of humor, can’t be easily reproduced by an AI model — for now at least. And that’s how I hope my knowledge and skills can retain some relevance in the AI era. 

After all, there is tremendous potential for what AI could bring to healthcare, and there’s even more urgency to address issues around AI ethics and data security — before it’s too late. 

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The Summer Soundtrack of Cut Worms

Cut Worms

“I feel the world is opening up / For nobody but me,” Max Clarke sings near the beginning of Cut Worms, the new, self-titled chapter of his beloved project. It’s an apt-yet-diligent reminder that folks from all over are still recalibrating after COVID-19, and we touch base again with Clarke three years after his last major Cut Worms project—the 2020, sophomoric double-album Nobody Lives Here Anymore, which cemented his status as one of the 21st century’s best purveyors of pop standard-injected rock ‘n’ roll. If you aren’t hip to his work as Cut Worms, perhaps you know Clarke and his artwork—as he designed the cover of Greil Marcus’ most-recent book Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs.

But here in the musical stratosphere, Clarke pairs the mythical, treasured DNA of his sonic heroes with a language of modern narrative devotions and fashioned Nobody Lives Here Anymore into a contemporary gesture of intimate retro adoration. And, in a world full of generational imitators, Clarke’s then-opus arrived urgently—becoming a project so indescribable in its fusion of new and old that it defied the very notion that any familiarity it conjured could be considered a relic of a different millennium.

Clarke grew up in Strongsville, Ohio, no more than two hours east of where I call him from early one chilly April afternoon. After graduating a Mustang bathed in green and white, he ditched the Cuyahoga for a spot in Chicago, where he attended art school for four years and met his partner, whom he currently lives with in Brooklyn. Clarke played in Windy City bands before departing for the Big Apple, most-notably a garage rock band called The Sueves—who are still at it, having released their Tears of Joy LP in 2021. “I’ve always been writing my own stuff since I was a lot younger and, at some point, I stopped playing in the Sueves and started focusing on my own stuff,” he says. “I did some home demos that I put on Bandcamp, and people seemed to respond pretty well to those.”

Though Clarke wasn’t getting immense attention from industry gurus in Chicago before moving to New York, heading to the East Coast without a label behind him wasn’t a detriment at all—as he got caught up, quickly, in the whirlwind of the city’s glowing, dynamic pace. “I played a couple of shows and then, immediately, met a bunch of people who were really enthusiastic and helped me out a lot, as far as introducing me to people,” he adds. “I was able to get a record deal and I haven’t stopped from there.” Since arriving in New York, Clarke has bounced around different parts of the Brooklyn burough over the last decade, migrating everywhere from Bushwick to East Williamsburg to South Brooklyn, where he and his partner reside now.

Graduating from the DIY basement and warehouse shows of Chicago where everyone who played music knew each other, Clarke was vaulted into New York’s musical ecosystem, which was rife with creatives from all genres in every quadrant of the biggest city in the country. But he soon found community with folks he still keeps close to this day. “The second show I played was at a place called Paliasades [in Bushwick], which no longer exists, and I met people who are still good friends of mine,” Clarke says. “One of them is in my band, John Andrews. Another one [was] John “Catfish” DeLorme, the pedal steel player who has been in and out of my band all the time for years now. I got real lucky that it all just fell into place.” Andrews’ influence was particular, as he was in a band called Quilt and knew a lot of people around the city and got Clarke’s work in front of many others.

Though his first release as Cut Worms was Hollow Ground in 2018, it was on Nobody Lives Here Anymore two years later where Clarke came into his own. Though it arrived as a 17-song, hour-long double-album, that wasn’t Clarke’s intention. “I had all of these songs that I was writing and I knew I was going to be working with the producer, Matt Ross-Spang, down in Memphis,” he says. “I just wanted to go down there and record as many as I possibly could, with the thought that maybe I would release some of them or maybe even get two records’ worth if I could. But then, after it was all done and I had done overdubs, we ended up getting 17 songs in two weeks down there. I think, at that point, the songs, to me, felt like they all went together. And, even though it was a lot, it didn’t make any sense to hold anything back.”

Nobody Lives Here Anymore, catalyzed by some truly grand tracks like “Sold My Soul,” “Veteran’s Day” and “Always On My Mind,” was a handsome album made by a guy who never burrowed himself too deep in the riches of yesteryear. Sure, you can point to those JFK-era bubblegum rock sparkles—or the pastiches of George Harrison and Badfinger—and call them evocative of a bygone time, but Clarke brings something to the table that most songwriters fail to capture: There’s a haunted echo first whispered by rock ‘n’ roll’s forefathers that Clarke keeps no denser than an outline. Rather than letting it inform the direction of his songs, he restrains it to merely being the compass he glances at here and then to keep himself grounded.

Whether he’s singing about finding his soul for sale on Antiques Roadshow or balancing a soldier’s story with lines like “Oh, you don’t know / What a love can do to a fool like me,” Clarke ensconces his sun-soaked doo-wah-ditties with a meticulous songwriting genius. He understands the power of a black-and-white story varnished with an earworm melody. And that’s where he welcomes us on Cut Worms. After spending a lot of time writing long songs for Nobody Lives Here Anymore, Clarke found himself stretched thin by their length when he was finally able to tour them for the first time at the end of 2022. “Most of the music that I like are two-and-a-half to four-minute pop songs,” he says. “So, it was a challenge for me to get back to that and trim away the unnecessary things, because it’s pretty easy to get precious about things when you’re writing. You think you’ve come up with something good and you don’t want to cut it out.” Clarke was able to translate that on Cut Worms, which, in its final shape, burgeons into an arrival of lean, pithy and charismatic psalms.

A precursor to Cut Worms was the 2022 standalone single “Dream Most Wild,” which featured some of Clarke’s most-alluring and hypnotic vocalizations yet. It was a striking hybrid piece of rockabilly and doo-wop cast beneath a curtain of present-day, bedroom-inspired jangle-pop and slacker indie. “Something better’s gonna happen, I feel it now / I just gotta find a way to believe somehow,” Clarke hummed as an outcry of optimism, as the world began leaving their homes again. Though it might seem like the methodical prologue to Cut Worms, “Dreams Most Wild,” after going through many iterations, was never meant to become one of Clarke’s most-popular tracks. “I was using it as a sharpening block to try to get better at my home-recording and ‘producing skills.’ I did n’t know, really, what I was going to do with it. I was hoping that, if it turned out well, then I would just be able to do a whole record that way,” he says.

After listening to a lot of “Surfin’ U.S.A.”-era Beach Boys, Clarke wanted to try and write a song like Brian Wilson, with an emphasis on four- and five-part harmonies. He kept layering more pieces onto the final product, and invited his friend Noah Bond—who plays drums in the Cut Worms live band and did percussion on Nobody Lives Here Anymore—to record his drum parts remotely, which has become a regular gig for him now (which Clarke has asked me to advertise below and, per his wishes, I will oblige).

“He can always use the work.” – Max Clarke

“Dreams Most Wild” is, as Clarke calls it, “a halfway point between a demo and a finished recording,” though it arrives like this inescapable, entrancing combination of Roy Orbison and Dirty Beaches. It leap-frogged Clarke into another dimension with his artistry and, though it doesn’t appear on Cut Worms, is—and will be—integral to his catalog forever and has propelled him into doing all of the mixing on the new record. “Doing that song gave me the confidence that I could mix [Cut Worms] myself. Whether or not that was false confidence remains to be seen,” he says, chuckling. “It’s really the ideal way to do it, in my mind, because I have the most control over the final product. Even on the last record, Matt Ross-Spang did a great job mixing. I felt like I was able to communicate really well to him what I wanted and he felt like he was able to know what I was after. But, even if you have the best person [on the job], nothing’s going to be better than your finger on the knob stopping it where you want to be.”

It makes sense that Clarke titled this new LP after the band itself. When the leftover lulls of Nobody Lives Here Anymore’s cycle getting upended by COVID finally subsided, he had the beginnings to a few unfinished tracks—which he calls “cold storage”—that he came back to and completed for Cut Worms. But most of the record was written in the last year, or so. Clarke has a very deliberate imprint on his own songwriting process, in which the checkpoints a track goes through from beginning to end are not spread too far apart. “The quicker that I can record an actual version of something after I’ve written it, the better, usually, so it doesn’t sit around for too long,” he adds. “Or, if it does sit around for a long time, when I do come back to it I have to change it somehow to make it new again, which was also part of the process [for Cut Worms].”

Cut Worms isn’t just Clarke’s brightest entry yet, it’s also one of the best rock ‘n’ roll records of 2023. I’m thankful everyday that it’s set to arrive in July, because it’s an immaculate summer project that shimmers and quakes like the night-drenched roar of a packed drive-in theater. You could throw any of its nine songs into the runtime of American Graffiti and none of them would feel out of place. But, what’s even richer about Cut Worms is how essential it will be to the zeitgeist of right now. In the wake of TikTok making the virtually unknown 1965 Daughters of Eve tune “Hey Lover” a massive hit, the sonic amalgam of Clarke’s new LP feels more urgent than ever.

Lead single “Ballad of the Texas King” is the perfect representation of “What if the Byrds made a chamber-pop song in post-9/11 America?” Recorded with Florist’s Rick Spataro at Onlyness Analog in the Catskills of Southeastern New York, the murder ballad-esque guise pairs a heavenly lap steel with Bond’s snare-forward percussion and a teardrop piano. Clarke sings of a chance encounter with an ominous figure that feels akin to selling your soul at the crossroads: “I found a new song / Pulls me along / To that other plane / I’ll see you some time / Off down the line / Where it never rains.” With a lucky number’s worth of tracks to parse through, “Ballad of the Texas King” is a perfect, shadowless return for Clarke, who coalesces Pete Drake with “Flying On the Ground Is Wrong”-era Buffalo Springfield and Donovan.

Many of the chapters on Cut Worms showcase various novelizations of romance, innocence and sorrow. Clarke never gives us a bounty of exposition, nor do we need it. The gift that keeps on giving from the Cut Worms universe is his ability to piece together a perfect rock track almost every time he picks up his guitar to write. Thus, Cut Worms is a melty, visceral benchmark of pop traditionalism. The guitar tone on “Is it Magic?” sounds like it oozed out of the thickest Gibson ES-345 drenched in velvet this side of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, while “I’ll Never Make It” is one of the sweetest, Crickets-style cut with an opening riff that conjures as much yearning as Clarke’s own lyricism does.

And his vocals always arrive like a cosmic, coarser Davy Jones, as he tumbles gently through cozy arrangements fit for a tenor drunk on heart and soul. On Cut Worms, Clarke is a long way away from the Beatlemania-summoning notes of Hollow Ground. This new work is lived-in and homegrown, lamenting the paradox of a post-quarantine world. How do we continue to love so deeply when we stopped living for 700-plus days? Cut Worms doesn’t set out to turn an answer into some intimate coda. “Hearts pounding cold and slow / I have wandered out of touch / And my compass’ face is blank / And the map I have shows too much,” Clarke sings on closing track “Too Bad.” He’s on the same playing field as the rest of us, trying to make some—if any—sense of how we all might begin rebuilding.

The world of Cut Worms intersects with that of Foyxgen, Drugdealer and Temples. For “Don’t Fade Out” and “Living Inside,” Clarke called upon his fellow song-cycle thespians Brian and Michael D’Addario of The Lemon Twigs to play bass and piano and help shoulder the tracks across the finish line at their rehearsal space in East Williamsburg—near where Clarke used to live. Through a mutual connection with Jonathan Rado (the Foxygen frontman who worked on Hollow Ground), Clarke and the D’Addario brothers formed a sonic bond and have worked together on and off ever since, continuing to expand the habitat of stewards to a timeless sound.

Brian and Michael recently released their own opus, Everything Harmony, and brought their outrageous talents into the studio to match Clarke’s—though he does find himself in awe of their playing habits and gifts more often than not. “I always feel like an old man when I’m around them because they can just play circles around me, so it’s somewhat intimidating,” he says. “But, on top of being really good musicians, they’ve gotten very good at using the equipment that they have. It all came together pretty quickly and it was cool, playing live in a room with guitar, bass, piano and drums. Getting that feeling of four people playing through a whole take, it lends an exciting live quality to the songs that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.”

Clarke is a rock ‘n’ roll historian at heart. We talk for 15 minutes about the genesis of contemporary pop music alone, surfing through the origins of 1920s-era showtunes all the way to the Buddy Holly school of rockabilly in the 1950s, when the chorus-verse-chorus formula fully took off. He’s a pop essentialist to the bone, a purveyor of pure harmonies and melodic sensibilities. But, his lyrics account for the day-to-day happenings of a planet freefalling further into catastrophe every second rather than the idyllic, American Dream of bobby socks and hot rod races that men in their 30s were peddling more than a half-century ago.

“Trying to tap into the melodies of that time but also bringing in the contemporary feeling of all the normal, fun things that we live with today, like the existential dread of having too much information at your disposal,” Clarke says. “It used to be the religious nuts [professing] about Doomsday, but now it’s on the scientific side and it’s scarier, because it’s more real and because it’s multi-national, global corporations that are, like, 98% responsible for all of those things.”

When I ask Clarke about his use of the term “pop traditionalism,” he points to how he wanted to make his own Cut Worms version of when Devo hijacked the name of a Japanese right-wing political group in the title of their 1981 album New Traditionalists. Originally, Mark Mothersbaugh and company bought the faction’s slogan pins as a joke, but, when they set out to record their first post-Freedom of Choice project, they recalled the pins and deemed the name emblazoned across them to be a perfect representation of what the band had encompassed on the 33-minute album. “We became the New Traditionalists but turned it on its ear. We appropriated the idea of that, meaning we were going to provide you with new traditions to forget about the old ones,” Devo bassist Gerald Casale once noted.

Clarke, ever the iconoclast, is employing the same philosophy by lifting the rib that virtually all of modern music is born from and turning it into a reliquary of present-day classics. If Del Shannon tried to write a song about reconstructing yourself into a semblance of a person again after a two-year (still ongoing, if we’re being honest about it) epidemic, he would surely combust. But it’s such an Americanized thing to reach backwards to the sounds of old. There’s a reason Motown endures; an understanding that Elvis’ arsenal of a couple-dozen number-one-hits often stands the test of time. It all comes down to the architecture, how the songwriters of mid-century, post-World War II North America had a lightbulb moment that would reap the rewards of the social and entertainment climate for decades. Clarke has harnessed a similar prowess, one that has turned his beloved Cut Worms namesake into a fortress of high pop music watermarks that speak to themes unbound to the confines of eras: love lost and gained amid the throes of navigating early adulthood.

I’m always intrigued by the inspirations behind a band putting out a self-titled album that isn’t their debut. But, for Clarke, the origins of the Cut Worms title stem from him—after a long period of brainstorming—not being able to think of any other concrete language to describe the variety-style tracklist that made the final cut. “The songs all seemed different in a way that was very much not a concept album. I feel like, nowadays, with the way that the whole social media rollout and the whole narrative you have to make around an album that has to be this cohesive story, rarely is that my experience,” he says. “With [Nobody Lives Here Anymore], I definitely didn’t go into it with a concept in mind. I just stood back and looked at it afterwards and was like, ‘This is a concept that you could easily apply to it.’ And it worked easily.”

It’s unlikely that Clarke will mimic Weezer’s style of making almost every record a self-titled project, but, for now, these songs remain the greatest signifier of what the singer/songwriter has aimed to do for nearly a decade. The nine chapters aren’t as cut-and-dry or as thematically tethered as the 17 across Nobody Lives Here Anymore. Instead, they are affectionately spun into a movement that I am comfortable categorizing as his true opus.

“The only unifying factor in my mind was that I made all of them, so it seemed like as good a title as any to just call it Cut Worms,” Clarke says. “It seems like the closest I’ve gotten so far to being the epitome of what I’m trying to do with this project.” With the temperatures slowly rising outside, Cut Worms is an earned reprieve from the bustling landscape of artists now reckoning with the heaviness of their own post-quarantine affairs. I’m much more interested, at this checkpoint in the hazy tomorrow of a global catastrophe, in listening to Clarke re-learn how to love through a now-opened door. It’s lighter on this horizon line, and I’m riding off into the crumbling sunset with Cut Worms. And I hope, once July hits, you’ll allow yourself the kindness and space to do the same.

Cut Worms arrives July 21 via Jagujaguwar. Pre-order the album here.

Matt Mitchell is Paste‘s assistant music editor. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, but can be found online @yogurttowne.

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Apple Music Classical arrives on Android

Apple has released an Android version of its Apple Music Classical app. You can download the new app from the Google Play Store (link below). It’s a dedicated app for streaming classical music and works independently of Apple Music.

Apple Music Classical is an outcome of the company’s August 2021 acquisition of Primephonic. The Netherlands-based streaming service focused solely on classical music and had made a name for itself in this category. Apple shut down Primephonic soon after buying it with plans to replace it with a new service. The company said that its forthcoming classical streaming app will offer everything it acquired from the Dutch service in lossless and high-res audio, along with support for spatial audio if available.

A year and a half later, Apple Music Classical debuted on iPhones in March of this year. A few months down, the app is available for Android devices as well. Not many first-party Apple apps get this privilege. Apple Music, Apple TV, Move to iOS, and Tracker Detect are the only other Apple apps on the Play Store. As pointed out by 9to5Mac, which first reported the availability of Apple Music Classical on Android, the company has yet to launch an optimized version of the app for iPads or even release a Mac app.

This move does make sense, though. For one, people mostly use their mobile phones to stream music rather than a tablet or computer. Releasing Apple Music Classical on Android may help the company add more users rather than a dedicated app for iPads and Macs. People using those devices are likely to have an iPhone already. Moreover, since Primephonic existed on Android before Apple’s purchase, many Android users may have been waiting for a replacement. It’s finally here in the form of Apple Music Classical.

Apple Music Classical is included in an Apple Music or Apple One subscription

Apple Music and Apple Music Classical share a lot when it comes to design, UI, and functionality. However, there are a few notable differences. They handle the metadata differently and also have distinctive navigation and font. The company offers access to Classical with a standard Apple Music or Apple One subscription. The Android version offers the same set of features as the iOS version. You get ad-free classical music in up to 24-bit/192kHz lossless quality with spatial audio. You can click the button below to download the latest version of Apple Music Classical from the Google Play Store.


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Apple Music Classical lands on Android–but iPad and Mac

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To-Do List (May 31-June 6): Kevin Hart at Township, Outfest happens in the Vista | To Do List


Kevin Hart at Township

So we have a question: Is there anywhere on Earth right now that comedian/actor Kevin Hart is not? He’s in every movie. He’s in every commercial. He might be behind the counter at your local McDonald’s serving you up your Big Mac. It’s a really, really good thing Hart is actually funny and talented, or else he’d be unbearable. Hart brings his Reality Check tour to the Township Auditorium tonight, and you can count on laughing til you cry. Showtime for the June 6 is 7 p.m. and tickets range from $99.50 and $249.50. Visit thetownship.org for more info. VINCENT HARRIS



Not to get political, but the LGBTQ community is going through a scary time right now all across the country. In a time where representation matters a lot, Outfest Columbia 2023 is one of the most important events on the local calendar. Of course, it also helps that it’s one of the best, biggest parties of the year. Outfest, the music, the pageant, the people and all of the spectacle, takes place on the 1200 block of Park Street and starts at noon on Saturday, June 3. It’s free to attend. Visit scpride.org/outfest for more info. VINCENT HARRIS


Those Lavender Whales & Family & Friends

The surviving members of Those Lavender Whales and Fork and Spoon Records are reuniting for a concert-and-potluck this Friday, June 2 at New Brookland Tavern to celebrate the memory and music of Aaron Graves, the bandleader and label co-founder who passed away in 2019 after a years-long battle with brain cancer. With the surviving members and special guests coming from across the country to break bread and sing songs, the concert will likely have the feel of a grand family reunion of a Columbia music scene diaspora. A new limited edition printing of Those Lavender Whales’ 2012 debut full-length Tomahawk of Praise will also be available for purchase. Tickets are $10. Potluck starts at 6 p.m., music to follow. More info at newbrooklandtavern.com. KYLE PETERSEN


First Thursday on Main

It’s almost that time again, folks. Every first Thursday of the month, Columbia locals gather on Main Street for First Thursday on Main, an event that features Main Street’s unique galleries, restaurants, shops and live music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This month, First Thursday falls on June 1. The best part? Boyd Plaza has a special treat with Preach Jacobs kicking off the night spinning fresh hits and pop punk band, Flippant, putting on a live show. Plus, it’s free. More information at firstthursdayonmain.com. HALLIE HAYES


The Vulnerability Project

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. If you’re in a relationship, single, searching, engaged, divorced, married or just plain curious about what cements relationships or rents them asunder, look no further than Curiosity Coffee Bar. The open, inclusive and community-minded hang hosts The Vulnerability Project, night of games, music by Airborne Audio and relationship talk with Calvin Graham, a licensed professional counselor associate. Tickets for the June 2 event are $5. More info at facebook.com/curiositycoffeebar. PAT MORAN


‘Tall Women’ Collection at 701 Whaley

Sure, 701 Whaley is a great event venue, with an awesome contemporary art gallery upstairs. But don’t forget The Hallway, the downstairs space that showcases work by local artists. Up next is “Tall Women,” a collection of collage artwork from Ginny Merett, that doesn’t so much depict statuesque physiques as celebrate women who stand tall in the face of adversity. An opening reception will be held from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, along with music and refreshments. The event is free. For more info, visit facebook.com/GMerettArtist. AUGUST KRICKEL


Much Ado About Nothing at Icehouse Amphitheater

Lordamighty, they got Shakespeare up in Lexington County now. The SC Shakespeare Company brings the Bard’s sparkling rom-com “Much Ado About Nothing” to downtown Lexington’s Icehouse Amphitheater for six performances, running June 1-10. Just remember, Shakespeare was doing broad comedy, slapstick and double entendre centuries before SNL, Seth Rogan or your favorite site for naughty memes, right along with tender romance and happy endings that might put a Hallmark movie to shame. So broaden your horizons, and see what all that much ado is about exactly. The show is free. For more info, visit shakespearesc.org/in-the-spotlight. AUGUST KRICKEL


Meet Miles at Spotlight Cinemas

Miles Morales, Brooklyn’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, gets catapulted into the multiverse in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The animated adventure pits Miles against a team of Spider-people, in a quest to save the people he loves most. With all that on his plate, Miles still finds time to swing by Spotlight Cinemas Capital 8 for a meet and greet at the Columbia screening of his new Spider-Man movie. Tickets for the June 2 and June 3 screenings are $8. More info at spotlightcinemas.com. PAT MORAN


Float the River at Columbia Riverwalk

What better way to kick off the “almost” summer season than with a good ol’ float down the Saluda River? Well, now’s your chance with Columbia’s third annual Float the River event on June 4. The event will kick off at the Saluda Riverwalk at 11 a.m. Be sure to bring your float, cold drinks, snacks and sunscreen. Oh, and maybe a few friends, too. HALLIE HAYES


Collaboration Dinner at The War Mouth

Join guest Chef Mikey Fredericks of Tiffany’s, a sweets bakery in Columbia, at The War Mouth to explore Polish cuisine with a “War Mouth Twist.” The dinner happens June 4 beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $80 per person and wine and cocktail pairings will be included. To make reservations, email the restaurant at thewarmouth@gmail.com or call (803) 569-6144. HOLLY POAG


Women in Business talk at Indah Coffee

Are you a woman in business? Do you love coffee? Well, Cottontown’s hip coffee shop, Indah, has just the event for you. Women in Business, a local group of women in the corporate or business world, meet on June 6 at the coffee shop for their bi-monthly coffee talk. The event, hosted by You Go Girl Networking, is meant to inspire women entrepreneurs and bring together a community of locals. More information can be found at facebook.com/YGGNetworking. HOLLY POAG

Looking ahead

June 28-July 2: Dear Evan Hansen at Koger Center for the Arts

Sept. 9: First 2023 home football game for Gamecock football at Williams-Brice Stadium

Sept. 14: Mt. Joy at Township

Oct. 10: Jonas Brothers at Colonial Life Arena

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RØDE Releases The Streamer X

RØDE has released the Streamer X. They say that, combining a professional audio interface, video capture card and control surface in a compact, easy-to-use-console, the Streamer X is the ultimate all-in-one streaming solution.

 RØDE CEO Damien Wilson, told us, “The Streamer X is incredibly exciting for a few reasons. As RØDE’s first hardware product with video functionality, it represents a huge milestone for the company and a signpost for big things ahead. It also represents a significant paradigm shift in streaming technology. Just like the RØDECaster Pro, which made podcasting super simple by combining what otherwise required thousands of dollars in equipment to achieve, the Streamer X will make streaming more accessible than it has ever been. Now anyone from professionals and educators to content creators, streamers and gamers can capture pro-quality audio and video with absolute ease.”

Here’s the company’s press release with the full details…

RØDE – creators of the world’s first all-in-one podcasting studio, the RØDECaster Pro – is revered for producing revolutionary products that make creating professional-quality content accessible to everyone, and the Streamer X proudly follows this lineage. For the first time ever, both broadcast-quality audio and video capture are now possible using a single device, making capturing content that looks and sounds incredible simpler than ever before. For even more versatility, the Streamer X is also a fully customisable control surface for triggering sounds, voice effects and keyboard shortcuts on-the-fly with the press of a button, offering creators unmatched control and creative flexibility. The next generation of streaming technology is here.


  • Professional audio interface, video capture card and control surface integrated in one compact, easy-to-use device
  • Up to 4K30 video capture and 4K60 pass-through via HDMI
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support
  • Neutrik® combo jack for connecting XLR microphones or instruments, with an ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution Preamp™ for pristine audio quality
  • 3.5mm TRRS input for connecting headsets and 1/4-inch headphone output for zero-latency monitoring
  • Integrated wireless receiver for connecting RØDE Series IV wireless microphones, including the Wireless GO II and Wireless ME
  •  Internal DSP for advanced audio processing powered by APHEX® including a compressor, noise gate, high-pass filter and legendary Aural Exciter™ and Big Bottom™ effects
  • Four fully customisable SMART pads for triggering sounds, voice effects and keyboards shortcuts or other actions on a computer
  • Dual USB-C interfaces for connecting to two computers or mobile devices
  • Easy configuration and control via RØDE Central desktop companion app
  • Compatible with free UNIFY streaming software for advanced audio routing, mixing and configuration
  • Designed and made in RØDE’s precision manufacturing facilities in Sydney, Australia



The Streamer X is a groundbreaking device that offers a new way to livestream with incredible audio and video. For the first time ever, a professional audio interface, video capture card and control surface are available in a single compact console. For beginners, this makes it exceptionally easy to create high-quality content, making streaming more accessible than ever. For experienced streamers, it offers a streamlined solution that replaces a complex, multi-device setup, while delivering world-class quality.


 Whether it’s for streaming or gaming on Twitch, video podcasting, creating content for YouTube, or capturing professional presentations while working from home, the Streamer X is the ultimate all-in-one streaming solution.


When it comes to streaming, creating content that both looks and sounds incredible is of the utmost importance.The Streamer X features cutting-edge technology for capturing broadcast-grade audio and video whilst being highly intuitive, so that literally anyone can stream with professional quality, even with no prior experience.

It features a HDMI input for connecting a camera, gaming PC or console, or any other HDMI video source and supports up to 4K30 streaming for incredible video quality. It also offers HDMI passthrough up to 4K60 for high-resolution real-time monitoring with zero latency. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support ensures smooth gaming without lag or screen tearing and two USB-C connections allow for easy integration with dual PC setups. The Streamer X is plug-and-play compatible with Mac and Windows computers and works seamlessly with all streaming software and platforms, no setup or additional software required.

On the audio side, the Streamer X is just as powerful and versatile. It features a studio-grade Neutrik® combo jack for connecting XLR microphones or instruments, with an ultra-low-noise, high-gainRevolution Preamp™ ensuring pristine audio quality. Headsets like the RØDE NTH-100M can be connected via the 3.5mm TRRS input ­– ideal for everything from gaming to video calls – and headphones can be connected via the 1/4-inch output. All connections are located on the rear of the console, ensuring users can keep their setup tidy. The Streamer X also features an integrated wireless receiver for connecting RØDE Series IV wireless microphones, including the Wireless GOII and Wireless ME. Powerful internal DSP allows users to easily add studio-grade APHEX® processing to their microphone, including a compressor, noise gate, high-pass filter and legendary Aural Exciter™ and Big Bottom™ effects for next-level audio quality. On the front of the console are hand-on controls for microphone gain, input selection and headphone level, as well as mute buttons for the audio and video feeds.

The Streamer X offers performance that was previously unimaginable in such a compact and easy-to-use device.  Never before has professional video and audio capture been this simple or streamlined, making it the perfect solution for creators who want to eschew complexity without undermining the quality.  


Not only is the Streamer X the world’s first integrated professional audio interface and video capture card, it’s also an incredibly flexible control surface, completing the trinity of features that make it the ultimate all-in-one streaming solution. In addition to its hands-on audio and video controls, it features four SMART pads. First introduced on the revolutionary RØDECaster Pro II, these powerful pads can be customised to perform a variety of functions. This includes triggering audio – from sound effects and to music beds – or voice effects like echo, reverb, pitch shifting, robot, and other special FX. They can also be configured to send MIDI commands to a computer for triggering keyboard shortcuts and other actions with the press of a button, useful for everything from changing slides in a presentation to switching scenes in streaming software. Two bank switching buttons offer access to up to 16 banks of pads for a total of 64 unique actions, giving users unmatched control and creative flexibility at their fingertips.  


The Streamer X is fully compatible with RØDE’s suite of desktop apps and software. This includes the easy-to-use companion app RØDECentral, which can be used to activate and control the on-board processing, including adjusting every parameter using the advanced editor, just like a professional-grade plug-in. RØDE Central can also be used to quickly access audio configuration profiles, which are optimised for different types of content creation, as well as customise the SMART pads. The Streamer X also seamlessly integrates with RØDE’s free virtual mixing software for streaming, UNIFY. Not only can users configure and control their Streamer X via the software, they can also combine its professional audio capture capabilities with UNIFY’s powerful audio mixing and routing features. Together, the StreamerX and UNIFY are the perfect combo for livestreamers and gamers.

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BGaming wins Slot to Watch 2023 and Game/Music Soundtrack categories at CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards

iGaming content provider BGaming won two subcategories at CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards, held last Thursday in Valletta, Malta. The provider’s Potion Spells won Slot to Watch 2023, while Elvis Frog TRUEWAYS’s soundtrack won in the Game/Music Soundtrack subcategory.

Yulia Aliakseyeva, co-CPO at BGaming, said: “We’re over the moon with our two wins at the prestigious CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards 2023! Taking home the top spots is a testament to the hard work and passion of our entire BGaming team. Thanks for the devotion and recognition. We’re excited to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation in the industry and creating unforgettable gaming experiences.”

Potion Spells is a 7×7 Cluster-based slot game packed with stunning graphics, high volatility, and 96.24% RTP. With a feature set of Second Chance, Bonus Buy, and Progress Bar, it gives players instant access to explosive Wilds, as well as a “dynamic gaming experience and mind-blowing rewards.”

Meanwhile, Elvis Frog TRUEWAYS jumped to victory in the Game/Music Soundtrack subcategory. “With captivating tunes, it’s a melodic masterpiece that keeps players singing along,” the company noted. The soundtrack is combined with innovative gameplay and over 260K ways to win. 

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