Music News

The Record
7:42 am
Tue November 27, 2012

A Critic Atones

Lana Del Rey performs in France in July. Her album, Born To Die, came out in January, to mixed reviews.
Sebastien Bozon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 9:07 am

It's beginning to look a lot like craziness — end-of-the-year craziness, to be precise. Now that Gray Thursday has officially reduced Thanksgiving to carbo-loading for the holiday shopping marathon, many people's winter holidays have become little more than a massive spinout.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

State Department: Andrew W.K. Won't Party In Bahrain On Government Dime

Becky Lettenberger/NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 3:29 pm

Andrew W.K., whom NPR Music described as the "long-haired, wild-eyed, keyboard-pounding, sublimely over-the-top party-rocker," won't be taking his party to Bahrain.

At least not on the government's dime.The State Department has rescinded its invitation, stopped the music if you will, just as word started to spread that the U.S. Embassy in Manama had invited W.K. to perform.

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The Two-Way
11:53 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

Never Enough 'Gangnam': K-Pop Video Is YouTube's Most-Viewed

Korean rapper PSY is responsible for the song Gangam Style, whose flashy and humorous video has brought K-pop to new ears.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:19 am

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The Record
2:35 am
Fri November 23, 2012

How Much Does Crowd Funding Cost Musicians?

The Mallett Brothers Band is, from left to right, Brian Higgins, Wally Wenzel, Luke Mallett, Will Mallett, Nate Soule and Nick Leen.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:25 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
8:37 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Chopin, whose Ballade No. 1 in g minor is one of the "musical moments" that inspired a New York Times series.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:29 am

  • In the New York Times this week, Anthony Tommasini has a series in both print and video about those microcosmic musical moments like "a fleeting passage, a short series of chords, some unexpected shift in a melodic line — when something occurs that just grabs us." What links these diverse bits from Chopin to Puccini to Mahler together?
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A Blog Supreme
2:57 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Pete La Roca, Top Post-Bop Jazz Drummer, Has Died

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:16 pm

The drummer Pete La Roca, a top freelance drummer during New York's post-bop heyday in the 1950s and '60s, died early this morning in New York. The cause was lung cancer, according to Randa Kirshbaum, a former girlfriend. He was 74 years old.

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The Record
2:40 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

It Isn't (Just) Ironic: In Defense Of The Hipster

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:30 pm

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The Record
12:41 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Jesse & Joy, Juanes Win Big At Latin Grammys

Jesse & Joy accept one of their four awards during the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 2:31 pm

Click the audio link to hear Alt.Latino's Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd discuss the Latin Grammy Awards with Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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A Blog Supreme
12:31 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Top 5 Jazz Stories This Week

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 2:25 pm

Tweets like these will make more sense in a second:

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Deceptive Cadence
8:59 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä, whose pleas to his symphony's management and players just went public.
Todd Buchanan courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 9:07 am

  • Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä has finally (and unusually for a conductor) spoken out about management's lockout of his players.
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The Record
1:17 am
Wed November 14, 2012

A&M Records: Independent, With Major Appeal

Herb Alpert (left) and Jerry Moss, who founded A&M Records in Alpert's garage in 1962.
Courtesy of A&M Records

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:12 pm

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The Record
12:58 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Iran To Israel And Back To Iran: Rita's Music Goes Home

Rita reimagined classic Persian songs for her latest album, My Joys.
Courtesy of Fistuk Artists

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:12 am

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Music News
3:32 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Verdi's 'La Forza,' Born Under A Bad Sign

Soprano Maria Slatinaru and bass Paul Plishka perform in a 1986 production of Verdi's La Forza del Destino at the San Francisco Opera.
Ron Scherl Redferns

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:59 am

One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.

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Music News
3:09 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Love To Hate Nickelback? Joke's On You

Nickelback's Chad Kroeger performs during halftime of a Canadian football game in Vancouver. On the band's own tours, expensive pyrotechnics are more rare.
Jeff Vinnick Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.

But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank — as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.

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Music News
10:10 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

A Veteran's Standing Ovation, 70 Years In The Making

This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
Kevin Gift

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:55 am

When you reach a certain age, big life surprises tend to come few and far between, unless you're Harold Van Heuvelen. Van, as everyone calls him, has had a blockbuster week full of dreams fulfilled. The story of his dream starts more than 70 years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.

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A Blog Supreme
12:27 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Top 5 Jazz Stories This Week

Trumpeter Ted Curson, depicted here on the cover of his album Urge, died last Sunday morning.
Fontana Records

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:06 am

Autumn Leaves edition.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:41 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

American composer Elliott Carter, circa 1975. He died this Monday at age 103.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images
  • Elegies poured in this week for composer Elliott Carter, who died Monday, a month shy of his 104th birthday. My colleague Tom Cole: "He saw his music go from derision to international acclaim.
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Planet Money
1:17 am
Fri November 9, 2012

The Secret Genius Of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's fourth studio album, Red, sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, the highest first-week sales total in a decade.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:14 am

Taylor Swift's new album, Red, sold more 1.2 million copies in its first week — the highest first-week sales total for an album in over a decade. She did it partly by answering a surprisingly complicated question: What's the best way to sell an album?

There are so many ways to release your music these days. You can sell it at Amazon, iTunes, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks. You can release it to streaming sites like Spotify. You can go on tour.

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The Record
10:03 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Studying How, And What, We Download

Drake, who had the top torrent downloaded in the U.S. in the first half of 2012, according to Musicmetric, poses at the MTV Video Music Awards in September.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:27 am

As we near the end of another year, the music industry has a few reasons to be optimistic. Digital music sales are expected to reach record highs this year, and legal streaming services continue to gain in popularity. But unauthorized music file sharing is still going strong.

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Music News
12:38 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Always A Rose: Elliott Carter Remembered

Elliott Carter at Tanglewood in 2008 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is sitting right behind Carter.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:02 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
1:50 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:08 pm

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The Record
12:20 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

The Week In Music: What To Read Now That Isn't About The Hurricane

Steven Tyler, Jimmy Fallon, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel participate in NBCUniversal's Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together Relief Benefit on Friday in New York City. Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi and Sting also performed. And now we're done talking about that.
Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:25 pm

This week tour dates and flights and meetings were rescheduled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and music writers in the Northeast have been preoccupied. And even though the mood is darker, the show did go on; here are three stories to divert and edify you while we all try to get back to normal.


One Man Metal

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Deceptive Cadence
3:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Storm Scores: Finding Poignant Reminders In Water-Damaged Music

A window-screen view toward conductor Marin Alsop's studio, badly damaged during the hurricane.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:18 am

This past week has been filled with some truly tragic stories of loss and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. There are also a few stories of near misses and disasters averted. Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, fortunately has one of the latter.

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Music News
12:03 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Radio Tanzania: A Disappearing History On Tape

Radio Tanzania archivist Bruno Nanguka stands with just a few of the 15,000 reel-to-reel tapes stored in the station's archives.
Jonathan Kalan

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:10 pm

At the archives of Radio Tanzania, more than 15,000 reel-to-reel tapes are stacked in floor-to-ceiling shelves. Each band, musician and recording date is painstakingly notated. The tapes reside inside three musty rooms of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corp., which occupies the old brick-and-concrete BBC building in Dar es Salaam.

Radio Tanzania was the country's only station from its birth in 1951 until the mid-1990s, when competing stations came on the air and state-controlled radio became irrelevant.

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The Record
2:53 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Go See The Old Guys

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 5:22 am

Neil Young made me write this. Before last Thursday, when ol' Shakey and his golden garage band Crazy Horse stomped through my local amphitheater, the last thing I'd thought I'd be excited about was a bunch of guys hovering around 70, playing loud rock and roll into the night.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Bill Dees, Who Co-Wrote Roy Orbison's 'Oh Pretty Woman,' Dies

Bill Dees during his 2008 interview with NPR.
YouTube/kjvideoman

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 8:43 am

  • Bill Dees on NPR in 2008

Bill Dees, who kicked off the creative process that produced one of rock 'n' roll's greatest songsOh Pretty Woman — has died. He was 73.

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The Record
1:30 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Dance Music Looks Beyond EDM And Hopes The Crowd Will Follow

Richie Hawtin performs at Moogfest in Asheville, N.C. on Friday, October 26. Hawtin's CNTRL: Beyond EDM tour with Loco Dice is scheduled to launch this week.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:46 pm

It's 4:30 in the morning in Washington, D.C., and dank pools of sweat are collecting on the dance floor beneath a dripping basement ceiling. I can see Sonny Moore's heart beating through his shirt. The 24-year-old DJ, whose producing alias, Skrillex, is a major keyword for the new wave of American dance music, just wrapped up an intimate surprise show at U Street Music Hall (my local gateway to electronic music and a place where I also DJ from time to time).

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Rocker Gary Glitter Arrested In Connection With U.K. Sex Abuse Investigation

Former British rock star Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, returns home in central London on Sunday after he was arrested earlier in the day by British police as they investigate the mountain of sexual abuse allegations against the late TV star Jimmy Savile.
AFP/Getty Images

There's a new development in the British investigation into the allegations of child sex abuse against a late BBC television host: U.K. media, including the BBC, are reporting that police Sunday arrested rocker and convicted sex offender Gary Glitter on suspicion of sex offenses.

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The Record
12:03 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

What To Read This Week: Four Parts Taylor Swift, One Part Free Jazz Edition

Taylor Swift performs on Good Morning America earlier this week. Her fourth album, Red, was released Monday.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 9:46 am

This week, we learned how the TV show Nashville fits into the long tradition of the country duet, why Meshell Ndegeocello covering Nina Simone makes all the sense in the world, and how Gary Clark, Jr.

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The Record
2:20 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

'Nashville' Duets: Voices In Harmony And Conflict

Nashville veteran Deacon (Charles Esten) and upstart country-pop star Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) record a duet in a scene from ABC's Nashville.
Katherine Bomboy-Thornton ABC

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:07 am

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