Spotify Has Made It Difficult For Indian Subscribers Of Their Free Plan

Spotify is applying new restrictions on users who listen to music on the streaming service’s free plan in India. The company has started to place limits on how users on the free plan can play tracks, including the ability to choose the order in which songs are played on the streaming platform. The move is part of the Swedish company’s attempt to turn its large userbase in the company that is currently on the ad-supported free tier to paying subscribers. As part of a recent update that rolled out earlier this week, Spotify has begun to restrict how users on the free plan will be able to access music via the platform.

Users will not be able to turn off the “Smart Shuffle” playlist option, play songs in any order, or use the traditional shuffle option without a Spotify Premium subscription. In addition to the limitations placed on the track order, Spotify will also prevent users from “scrubbing” tracks. This means that once a song has started to play, users won’t be able to go back to a specific part of the track — or tap the back button to go to the start of the track. They will also need a Premium subscription to play a song on repeat.

These new restrictions appear to have rolled out to users widely over the week, with users complaining about the change on X (formerly known as Twitter) and commenting on the company’s Instagram posts. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that the limitations have been enabled on Spotify for Android after updating to the latest version. As per the Music Ally report, India is in Spotify’s list of top 5 countries — with regard to monthly active users. While the percentage of Indian users who pay for a Premium subscription is reportedly higher than other regions, the country is not one of the most profitable regions for Spotify.

In India, users can purchase automatically renewing Spotify Premium plans starting at Rs. 119, or opt for prepaid plans instead that start at Rs. 129. The former is slightly more cost effective on a monthly basis, while the annual prepaid Premium subscription offers a considerable discount — at Rs. 1,189 — compared to the free plan, which would cost Rs. 1,428. Spotify also offers smaller plans that start at Rs. 7 per day, called Spotify Premium Mini — this plan limits the benefits of the subscription to the mobile apps.

Dean ML Guitar : The Name Behind The ML

The Dean ML is an electric guitar made by Dean Guitars in 1977 along with its counterparts, the Dean V, Dean Cadillac and Dean Z. The Dean ML guitar was one of the most iconic designs by Dean Zelinsky during his time at Dean Guitars. It has an unusual design, with a V-shaped headstock and V-shaped tailpiece. Many have described as the bottom half of a Gibson Flying V and the top half of a Gibson Explorer and a headstock shape that resembled the Gibson Futura, a model that Gibson designed in 1957 and was the precursor to the Explorer, even though Gibson never produced them, aside from a handful of prototypes, until 1996.An already legendary guitar, it was popularized by the guitarist Dimebag Darrell of Pantera.

Dean Zelinsky, the founder of Dean guitars, created the ML in 1977, striving for improved sustain and tone. Higher string angles and string length, due to the size of the headstock, contribute to the overall resonance. Dean has made the ML available to other manufacturers by licensing arrangement. But what does the ML stand for? While the legacy of the ML is undeniable, many have speculated what the ‘ML’ stands for. Because of the guitar’s popularity among those in the metal genre, some have assumed it was an abbreviation for ‘METAL”.

As it turns out, the true story has a much more personal story to it. “M.L.” were the initials of Dean Zelinsky’s childhood best friend, Matt Lynn. Matt and Dean bonded over a mutual love of music and playing guitar. The two lived only two blocks apart. Matt passed away from cancer at the tragically young age of 17. The death of his best friend weighed heavily on Dean as he began building guitars just two years later – his first original body shape was a guitar that would become the ‘ML’ in honor of his dearly departed childhood friend.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Greatest Piano Rock Songs has a list of what, in their minds, are the 36 greatest piano rock songs ever. Now they haven’t mentioned which is #1, #2 etc but based on my musical tastes, I picked the 11 that I think are the best (I haven’t heard some of the others) and I am placing them in my order of greatness. So here is my top 11 greatest piano rock songs of all time:

  • November Rain – Guns N’ Roses (1992)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (1975)
  • Hey Jude – The Beatles (1968)
  • Walking In Memphis – Marc Cohn (1991)
  • Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey (1981)
  • Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
  • Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx (1989)
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel (1973)
  • Layla – Derek & the Dominoes (1971)
  • Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis (1956)
  • Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles (1961)

The Song That Can Get You Killed In The Philippines

In the Philippines, karaoke is king. Every barangay is equipped with 10 or so karaoke bars, each of which is alive until well into the early morning. However one song can cause your death. And it’s surprising that it is this song. Popularized 50 years ago, in 1969, “My Way” is one of Sinatra’s greatest records. Critics claim that the song is one of Sinatra’s best, vocally and creatively. But in the Philippines, when you sing Sinatra, you could get killed. Some were killed for singing out of tune, others were killed for hogging the microphone, and quite a few were killed for singing the song on repeat for hours on end.

Filipinos discovered this  when a spate of karaoke-related killings took place between 2002 and 2012. Within one decade, it’s suspected that at least 12 people were killed in connection to singing Frank Sinatra’s hit song “My Way.” In 2007, a karaoke bar’s security guard shot a 29-year-old man singing “My Way” in San Mateo, Rizal. Apparently, the young man was off-key, and when he wouldn’t stop singing, the guard lost his shit, pulled out a .38 caliber pistol, and shot him dead. That’s just one incident from the many that took place in 10 years. The string of killings shocked society, and some bar owners removed the song from the jukebox or videoke machine.

Some won’t even sing the song in public, and if they do want to sing it, they’d get a private room at a karaoke bar so no one would be triggered by their off-tune vocals. Just when they thought the murders had ended, the “My Way” killings struck again just last year in 2018, when a 60-year-old man was stabbed by his neighbor, 28, during a birthday party in Zamboanga del Norte. According to reports, the senior grabbed the mic from his neighbor just when “My Way” was about to play. A fistfight ensued, ending with the neighbor stabbing the elderly man. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

RIP Bernie Marsden

Bernie Marsden – former Whitesnake guitarist and a legend in the blue-rock sphere – has died at the age of 72. The news, first broken by bassist and friend of Marsden Neil Murray, has since been confirmed by Marsden’s record label Conquest Music, which writes: “On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden. Bernie died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia, by his side.” Bernie Marsden – former Whitesnake guitarist and a legend in the blue-rock sphere – has died at the age of 72. The news, first broken by bassist and friend of Marsden Neil Murray, has since been confirmed by Marsden’s record label Conquest Music, which writes: “On behalf of his family, it is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden. Bernie died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia, by his side.”

Born in Buckinghamshire, England on May 7, 1951, Bernard John Marsden landed his first professional guitar gig with UFO in 1972. Thereafter, he worked with Glenn Cornick’s Wild Turkey, Cozy Powell’s band Cozy Powell’s Hammer, and Babe Ruth, with whom he played on two releases: Stealin’ Home (1975) and Kid’s Stuff (1976). He later played in short-lived band Paice Ashton Lord, which was formed of former Deep Purple members Ian Paice and Jon Lord with singer Tony Ashton. But the gig he perhaps became best known for came in 1978, when he formed a new band with David Coverdale and guitarist Mick Moody, originally named David Coverdale’s Whitesnake. The band later changed their name to simply Whitesnake.

Marsden was a member of Whitesnake between 1978 and 1982, during which time he appeared on the band’s first EP, first five albums and a live album: Snakebite (1978),  Trouble (1978),  Lovehunter (1979),  Ready & Willing (1980), Live In The Heart Of The City (1980), Come An’ Get It (1981) and Saints & Sinners (1982). Saints & Sinners would see Marsden, alongside Coverdale, pen the biggest hit of his career: the anthemic Here I Go Again. Following his departure from Whitesnake, Marsden formed a short-lived band called Bernie Marsden’s SOS. Not long after, Bernie Marsden formed the band Alaska with Robert Hawthorne on vocals and Richard Bailey on keyboards. Alaska released two melodic rock albums in two years, Heart of the Storm (1984) and The Pack (1985), before splitting. In 1986, he put together MGM with former Whitesnake members Neil Murray and his replacement guitarist in Whitesnake Mel Galley. The band, briefly, also included former Toto vocalist, Bobby Kimball. Recordings were made but still remain unreleased.

The guitarist’s star-studded list of collaborators also includes names such as Robert Plant, Paul Weller, Jon Lord, Ringo Starr, Rory Gallagher, Jack Bruce and Warren Haynes. He has also had a wide & varied solo career. PRS Guitars released a Bernie Marsden Signature Edition guitar, and Gibson Guitars made a limited edition number of his Gibson Les Paul guitar known as “The Beast”. His second book, released in 2018, is Tales of Tone and Volume and is a large tome featuring his guitar collection. Marsden contributed a column to Guitarist magazine in 2018–19. Marsden released his autobiography Where’s My Guitar in 2017. On the evening of 24 August 2023, Marsden died with his wife and two daughters at his side.

RIP Robbie Robertson

Rock legend Robbie Robertson, who was a guitarist and the songwriting force behind The Band has died at the age of 80 at home in Los Angeles. Born in Toronto, Robertson as The Band’s lead guitarist and songwriter who in such classics as “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” mined and helped reshape American music. The Band only lasted eight years after the release of their 1968 debut LP, Music From Big Pink, but during that time they forever changed the pop-culture landscape by releasing brilliant Americana music at the peak of the psychedelic movement. Their first album sent shockwaves through the industry, inspiring Eric Clapton to break up Cream, the Beatles to attempt their own stripped-back project with Let It Be, and a pair of young British songwriters named Elton John and Bernie Taupin to begin writing and recording their own material.

The Canadian-born Robertson was a high school dropout and one-man melting pot — part-Jewish, part-Mohawk and Cayug. An only child The family lived in several homes in different Toronto neighbourhoods during Robertson’s early years. He often travelled with his mother to the Six Nations Reserve to visit her family. It was here that Robertson was mentored in playing guitar by family members, in particular his older cousin Herb Myke. He became a fan of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B through the radio. In 1957 he formed Robbie and the Rhythm Chords with his friend Pete “Thumper” Traynor (who would later found Traynor Amplifiers). They changed the name to Robbie and the Robots after they watched the film Forbidden Planet and took a liking to the film’s character Robby the Robot.

After Ronnie Hawkins noticed the band Robertson began shadowing Hawkins. After the Suedes opened for the Arkansas-based rockabilly group Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks at Dixie Arena, Hawkins hired Robertson for the Hawks’ road crew and then wrote songs for him. It was in Hawkins’ band where he first played with drummer Levon Helm, keyboardist Richard Manuel, organist Garth Hudson, and bassist Rick Danko. They formed a tight musical bond that would form The Band. Before the Band began making their own music, Robertson was one of Bob Dylan’s key collaborators, playing guitar on Blonde on Blonde and convincing the songwriter to hire the other members of his group as his backing band. They toured the world in 1965 and 1966, facing a torrent of boos by enraged folk purists.

Robertson took on the role as the group’s leader, writing the majority of their songs and pushing them forward when substance abuse issues and infighting threatened their existence. It was also his decision to pull the plug on the group in 1976 when he couldn’t take it anymore, setting the stage for their legendary farewell concert The Last Waltz, directed by Martin Scorsese. It was the beginning of a long feud with Helm over credit and songwriting royalties that was never fully resolved, though Robertson did visit his old friend in the hospital during the final days of his life in 2012. Keeping the promise of The Last Waltz, Robertson never returned to touring, though he did release five solo albums beginning with 1987’s critically acclaimed Robbie Robertson. In 2011, he collaborated with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails on the blues-steeped How to Become Clairvoyant.

The Last Waltz was also the beginning of a tight bond between Robertson and filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who hired the songwriter as the musical supervisor for his movies The King of Comedy, Casino, Gangs of New York, Shutter Island, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Robertson had a role in the 1980 film Carny, and the documentaries Dakota Exile (1996) and Wolves (1999). His most recent solo release was 2019’s  Sinematic, which featured guest appearances by Van Morrison, Derek Trucks, and Citizen Cope. He also oversaw the music for Scorsese’s Silence, The Irishman, and the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon, capping off a five-decade relationship with the director.

In 1989, the Band was inducted into the Canadian Juno Hall of Fame. In 1994, The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 1997, Robertson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters. n 2003, Robertson was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2008, Robertson and the Band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, Robertson was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. On May 27, 2011, Robertson was made an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston. In 2014, the Band was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

In 1967, Robertson married Canadian journalist Dominique Bourgeois, with whom he had three children. They later divorced. In 2014, Robertson’s son Sebastian published a children’s book, Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story, about his father’s life and legacy. In March 2022, Robertson became engaged to his girlfriend of four years, Canadian entrepreneur, restaurateur, and Top Chef Canada judge Janet Zuccarini. Less than five months before his death Robertson and Zuccarini were married, which was shared on her Instagram account.