Bob Dylan Still Surprising After Nobel Prize Win

Perhaps the most famous singer-songwriter from the 1960s and 1970s, Bob Dylan is drawing criticism for potentially quoting without attribution parts of his Nobel Prize speech.


A stunning report out of Slate magazine assets that large portions of Dylan’s Nobel Prize were cribbed from, of all things, a SparkNotes’ synopsis of the Herman Melville classic “Moby Dick.”


It’s often said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in this case the evidence might be more compelling than you initially thought.


Now, Dylan has always cited “Moby Dick” along with “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “The Odyssey” as personal inspirations that motivated his most easily recognized lyrics. Some are saying that all of this inspiration goes beyond fertilizing new ideas to something more insidious.


Although certain excerpts from Dylan’s Nobel Prize speech don’t find their counterpart in Melville’s actual text, there are some striking similarities between Dylan’s speech and the SparkNotes’ summary of Melville’s classic. There are an estimated 11 points of overlap between Dylan’s speech and the SparkNotes’ summary of “Moby Dick.”


Whether there’s anything to these allegations is up to the reader, although the evidence does beg certain questions. A certain passage from the SparkNotes’ summary that discusses the prophet Gabriel’s role in the plot of “Moby Dick” has a striking resemblance to Dylan’s own words in his Nobel Prize Speech.


For comparison, the SparkNotes’ version reads: “One of the ships carries Gabriel, a crazed prophet who predicts doom.” Dylan copies that passage almost word-for-word in his Nobel Prize speech, which left many critics scratching their heads and many fans wondering why Dylan would do this.


Is it a grand spoof or an artist just winging it? The report from Slate is brand-new so it may take some time to work out. Interestingly, though, this isn’t the first time that Dylan has been accused of quoting without attribution, as large parts of the album “Modern Times” drew controversy.


Helium’s Mary Timony Speaks Out

Helium is one of those critically acclaimed indie bands that never seemed to receive the recognition or acclaim they truly deserved. Sadly, this band only released two studio albums in its short career. As the lead singer and guitarist of this band, Mary Timony made a lasting contribution to indie music culture. In a recent interview, Timony provided some context about her decision to reissue Helium’s albums. Apparently, Timony was frustrated by the fact that it had become fairly difficult to find Helium albums on vinyl. According to Timony, all remaining vinyl copies were becoming prohibitively expensive. Since she is an indie rock veteran, it is not surprising that Timony is so enamored with the old-fashioned joys of vinyl.


Apparently, Timony is going to play some solo tour dates in support of the new reissues, which will feature unreleased material. Initially, Timony had planned to put the original band back together. This plan proved too difficult, logistically speaking. Now Timony is planning on playing some solo shows with two sympathetic souls she met in New York City. Naturally, it is disappointing to learn that the world narrowly missed experiencing a Helium reunion. I’m happy that Timony is planning on playing many Helium songs at her upcoming shows. These shows should prove very invigorating to music fans of all ages.


As Timony has revealed, the band had difficulties getting along and dealing with the stress of touring. Also, Timony and another band member had been in a relationship. When that relationship fell apart, it naturally created friction within the band. It’s been about 20 years since Helium called it quits. Under Mary Timony’s guidance, Helium participated in an era of growth and resurgence for alternative rock. After Bikini Kill hit the scene and paved the way for female-fronted punk bands, Helium followed up with its unique, gritty sound. Many Helium songs sounded poorly, murkily recorded. However, I think this actually worked in favor of the group’s relatively dark songs.

The Indie Extravagance of Prog Rock

What is prog rock’s place in the history of music? Did prog rock mark the end of pop music history, or can the jazz-influenced genre that features odd instruments, long and complex songs, difficult time signatures, and fantastical lyrics be considered the first real example of alternative music, an indie underground, say, to the mainstream classic rock movement that defined the 1970s?


The prog rock pioneers, who include British bands like King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, embraced conceptual extravagance and musical virtuosity. The early prog rock albums were novelistic, borrowing highbrow themes from English poetry, allegory, and mythology, while the execution of the songs was often futuristic. The Mellotron, an electronic keyboard, was a favorite instrument of “the Prog spring,” that first wave of prog music that originated in the 1970s.


Music critics have always called prog rock pretentious. The music is too artsy, the live shows too theatrical, and the musicians too classically trained. While the genre flourished briefly in the 1970s, prog rock was quickly crushed by the loud, angry, three-chord assault of punk. According to music critics, order in the rock and roll universe had been restored.


Prog rock has long been maligned and misunderstood by critics. The goal of prog rock isn’t to improve upon old-fashioned rock or roll, but to give listeners a sneak peak at the future. In other words, prog rock is more of a concept than a musical genre. It’s a vision of evolution animated by playful musical exploration. A prog band continually changes its sound. It resists commodification, and that makes it independent of the mainstream.


As indie music and alternative rock have become more mainstream, prog rock has tightened its outsider and outlaw status. Prog rock will never favor major labels or short, radio-friendly songs. The music will always be preposterously overblown. Prog rock isn’t featured on film soundtracks or advertisements. It’s stubbornly uncommercial, and that anti-establishment ethos is the definition of indie.

SZA Releases Her Fourth Album To Great Acclaim

Alternative R&B artist SZA just released her highly anticipated fourth album, entitled “CTRL.” This up-and-coming indie artist has reached a new milestone in her remarkable career. In a recent interview, SZA opened up a bit about her writing process. According to the agile singer, most of the lyrics on this record were essentially ad-libbed in the studio. SZA explained that although she writes plenty of lyrics down, she often finds that her improvised lyrics feel more honest, real and unguarded. For this album, SZA recruited several high-profile guests like Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad.


If SZA is able to capture the imagination of the public, she’ll be able to graduate from the status of indie R&B artist to the mainstream of the music world. It seems reasonable to assume that SZA hopes to establish a larger audience, just like any other artist. At the same time, members of the indie music sometimes lose some independence when they graduate to the next level of professional success. I hope that SZA can successfully balance her personal artistic needs with the demands of being the center of a commercial brand. While every artist needs albums sales and airplay for commercial viability, I hope that SZA is able to evolve as an artist without forgetting her roots.


SZA has a prodigious talent and I expect that this singer will accomplish many great things in the future. Over the course of her career so far, SZA has earned her place as a true auteur. Although she is technically classified as an R&B artist, there can be no doubt that SZA’s music intersects with several different genres. This is the kind of fluidity that defines the very best artists working in the indie music scene today. Arguably, SZA is well on her way towards creating a musical legacy that will stretch far into the future. Though no one can predict the future, I am fairly confident that SZA will continue to grow as an artist.


How Technology Is Fueling the Indie Music Scene

Culture and technology are forging new frontiers for many people throughout various industries. No other industry has seen this more than that of music.


Bandcamp: Works Like Netflix


Bandcamp is a part huge part of this change – a $100 million part of it. That is the cash figure they reportedly paid out to thousands of artist back in 2015. And sales have continued to rise as more and more people start streaming their favorite artists’ albums online. Their revenue stream back then was somewhere in the ballpark of $3.5 million a month. Towards the end of 2016, Bandcamp did a “Year In Review.” They claimed that the money they helped the indie artist make rose to $200 million.


Not everyone sees this as a good trend. Some say it is threatening to cause a major disruption in the music industry. A disruption that will be bad for not only the music labels but also for the artists and consumers alike. As of now, the two camps – ones for it and ones against it – are at a stalemate. The only fact that remains is that their business model seems to be building momentum.


Social Media Is Growing as a Go-To Platform for Indie Artists to Market Their Music


Facebook has been a marketing tool for quite some time now. And indie artists have also been using it to promote their music ever since MySpace fell to the wayside. There are websites such as who have published articles guiding musicians on how to promote their toons using Facebook. With the fairly new Livestream option it offers, artists can get far more personal with their fan base than ever before.


Has Facebook really helped any true bonified indie musicians?


Facebook hasn’t been as big in helping artists get known as have Snapchat and Instagram. According to Forbes, Instagram is most likely the king (or queen) of marketing for indies music artists – or any kind of artist for that matter. And to think that over half of the tops 10s on Instagram are musicians means this is a very powerful tool indeed.


Kate Hudson’s Fabletics Continues to Grow

Kate Hudson is the face of Fabletics and she has worked hard to make her name better known and to make Fabletics a more popular option for everyone. She does what she can to provide people with the options that they need and she even designs many of the outfits so that they are able to be used by anyone who wants to be able to workout fashionably. Fabletics is focused on providing people with convenience, savings, trendy outfits and new opportunities for people who want to be able to get more out of the athleisurewear company.


Fabletics is a brand that is dedicated to being convenient for all of their customers. That is one of the key things that Kate Hudson wanted when she came up with the idea. She also wanted it to be different and better than many of the other celebrity fashion companies. She knew that to be able to provide people with the best options possible, they had to be convenient and show people that they were convenient. They also had to be able to make things easier for customers instead of requiring them to do things like come into the store or shop at different places for the clothes.


Even when Fabletics was just getting started, they knew that providing their clients with the savings that they received was a necessary part of the process. They wanted people to know what they would be able to do and wanted to show people that there was more to doing things with workout clothes than spending a lot of money on other options. Since Fabletics has grown, they continue to pass their savings to their customers and want to make sure that people know their prices are reflective of their abilities, not of their quality.


It is important to feel good while you are working out and Kate Hudson knows that. She also knows the trends of fashion at any given moment because she is a big part of celebrity life. While she was just an “almost celebrity” before Fabletics, she has grown much bigger than that now. She tries to follow the trends so that she can design the clothes that the company offers. Each outfit has been designed or approved by Kate Hudson to make sure it meets her standards. She tries to make sure that all of the clothes are trendy and fashionable even though they are just workout clothes.


Now that Fabletics knows that they are a successful company, they want to continue growing. For the company, this means that they need to do things like to go other places to sell. For the first time since the company started, they will be selling on a website that is different from their own. By offering their clothes on Amazon, they are providing even more convenience for their customers. They are also offering their clothes in flagship stores around the world that people can walk out of with a brand new Fabletics outfit.

Big Thief’s New Album has the Power to Captivate

Big Thief, an indie rock band from Brooklyn, has managed to avoid the sophomore slump. Their debut album, Masterpiece, made critics swoon in 2015. Masterpiece was a beautiful record that tapped into the feelings surrounding being both young and uncertain. In June of 2017, Big Thief released their second album. Called Capacity, this album is filled with folksy stories that effortlessly tumble out of singer-songwriter Adrianne Lenker’s soul.


The cover of Capacity wordlessly explains one of the album’s key messages. The album cover shows Lenker’s uncle gently holding Lenker as a baby. However, the uncle looks mysteriously like Lenker herself. The resulting message is that we have dueling forces in our souls. We are our own mothers and daughters, and we are also our own fathers and sons. The popular thinker Erik Erikson would be pleased with this idea.


On one track, Lenker recounts a childhood accident both bloody and unsettling. However, instead of telegraphing feelings of anger and resentment to the listener over this experience, Lenker expresses her empathy with her once young mother. Lenker may have only been 5-years-old during the accident, but her mother was only 27. With the passage of time, a 27-year-old mother seems like a child herself. Lenker empathizes with her mother’s bewildering and terrifying sense of responsibility. It’s moments like these that make Capacity stand out.


Interestingly, Lenker was born into a religious cult. However, her parents picked her up and left the congregation when she was still little. The following years brought plenty of fascinating experiences that sneak their way into narratives on this album. However, Lenker’s songs never sound exploitative. Instead, they come across as genuine passageways into the experiences of others. This remarkable talent for both insight and empathy elevates this indie album above a crowded field of artists. It also makes us look forward to what Lenker will bring in later decades.


3 Indie Artists and Groups to Watch for in 2017

Though there are still may corporate record company manufactured artists on the scene, indie music is sure starting to pick up some steam. I don’t really know what’s driving the whole thing either – I’d be lying if I claimed to know. Maybe society as a whole is just getting tired of big business – “Hey! Let’s support the little guy” frame of mind is taking over.


Whatever it is, I guess it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. What matters is there are a lot – and I mean a lot – of great indie artist out there these days. And most of them don’t have a problem touching base with their followers (because the term fans is kind of played out).


So, what are three indie artists you should watch out for? Let’s take a look.


  1. The Aces


I actually thought girl bands were, like, so not in. But, apparently, I was so wrong. The Aces claim to be “four girls about to rule the world.” Maybe they got inspired by the Animaniacs cartoon Pinky and the Brain, who knows. They don’t seem close to ruling the world, but they are ruling the music scene with their hot looks and great music.


  1. Louis Berry


Can you imagine signing a publishing deal after just one live show? Well, that is how good Louis Berry is. His singing style has been compared to Johny Cash and Alex Turner. Berry came from a rough background, his father being addicted to heroin. He got the attention of tastemakers and ended up being named 2015’s “One To Watch” at Liverpool. He has started going on tour in the UK this year.


3.The Amazons


Here is an example of how indie artists have been utilizing web-based platforms to gain momentum in the industry. The Amazons’ first work of art, Something In The Water, gained a buzz after they uploaded it to SoundCloud. Since then, they have opened for famous artists such as The Kooks and Jimmy Eat World. It looks like they’ll be taking their show on the road starting in the UK and Europe.


Chance the Rapper Brings American Sign Language interpreters on Tour

Chance the Rapper, a young Grammy award winning American rapper, singer, record producer, songwriter and subject of a hilarious Kit-kat commercial is well underway with his Be Encouraged tour. His tour began on April 24th in San Diego California and since April he has performed his show 34 times in 26 states and only has three more performances before his Spring Tour concludes. But instead of just finishing his tour using his perfected performance method, Chance the Rapper has decided to step up his performance game and make an exciting breakthrough in concert performance protocol.

American Sign Language Interpreters are used in numerous performance venues such as movie theaters, theatrical performances and sometimes even on the side of music festivals throughout the season. However, it is extremely uncommon to go to a concert and see an interpreter. But Chance the Rapper has never shied away from forging his own path and has a long history with philanthropy and community building, which led to an exciting development for hard-of-hearing Chance the Rapper fans. Chance has invited an Atlanta based organization called DEAFinitely Dope to join him on his Be Encouraged tour. Although there are only three performance dates left before the Be Encouraged tour takes a short hiatus, this announcement is nonetheless an exciting development for hard-of-hearing Chance the Rapper fans. There has not been word yet as to whether Chance will continue to partner with DEAFinitely Dope before he picks up again in October, but fans have so far gone crazy about this announcement! Hopefully other artists will follow in the same footsteps forged by Chance the Rapper and strive to make their own concerts equally as inclusive.


Cotemar Builds Corporate Foundation on Safety and Quality

When it comes to oil and gas products it appears that Cotemar is the offshore service product that is leading the way in quality. This company has managed to become recognized for the workers that have have established a quality system of checks and balances for environmental protection.

The workers for Cotemar take the job of being a world class oil and gas company quite seriously, and safety measures are always at the top of the list for the work that is being done.

What the Cotemar family believes is that excellence is the thing that keeps this company on top, and that is why cutting edge technology is utilized for the procedures that are done in order to deliver the services that Cotemar provides.

EPC solutions are what many people know Cotemar for, and this company has proven that it is one of the best for various of things like water treatment design, oil separator design/installation and gas management.

The list of things that the Cotemar family specializes in is an ongoing list. The gas management and facility fabrication services are definitely core services, but that is not the only thing that this company has been known for. Product engineering optimization and facility evaluation is also a part of the asset solutions that the Cotemar team provides.

This company is also known for corrosion management and asset integrity management. These are all part of the bountiful services by Cotemar that allowed many people to take notice of what Cotemar is doing in the oil and gas industry.

Cotemar is a company that has a bevy of international standards that have to be followed, and the team of engineers that are are in place are making sure that these standards and regulations are being followed at all times. The Cotemar family takes on the financially responsibility of seeing that the legal requirements are being met for the jobs that the workers are performing.

There are many people that are taking notice of what this company is doing because it is growing. Cotemar may have origins in Mexico, but this has become an international company that has been able to build a huge customer base largely because this company offers so many different services.

Safety and quality are the pillars of the Cotemar work environment, and that has made this one of the most trustworthy companies for E&P offshore services.