Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 11:41 am
For the past 37 years, Down Home Music Store has sat on a lonely block in El Cerrito, Calif. For all that time, Chris Strachwitz has stocked the store with a treasure trove of American roots music. He produced many of the records filling Down Home's bins.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:12 pm
Three decades after giving the world The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden is poised to release its latest work — and it's a beer. That's the latest from the Metal Injection website, whose "Bands and Booze" section makes it uniquely qualified to present such news.
Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 4:30 am
In the 1940s and '50s, Tadd Dameron worked with everyone who was anyone in jazz, from Miles Davis to Artie Shaw, Count Basie to John Coltrane. Everything Dameron touched had one thing in common, says Paul Combs, author of Dameronia: The Life and Work of Tadd Dameron.
"A penchant for lyricism," Combs says. "Almost everything that he writes has a very lyrical grace to it."
Stompin' Tom Connors was a Canadian folk legend. He was 77 when he died Wednesday at his home in Ontario. To those of us stateside, his most well-known tune is "The Hockey Song," played at hockey games everywhere. But to Canadians, Stompin' Tom Connors was an inspiration because of his naked nationalist pride.
The world often feels full of fading traditions, from drive-in movie theaters to the dying art of good old-fashioned letter writing.
For the British, add brass bands to that list. Traditional brass bands have played an important cultural role in working-class British communities for centuries. But some warn that without funding, they could become a thing of the past.
Take the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in South Yorkshire. The band was originally formed in 1917, and nearly 100 years later, a group of tuba, euphonium and other horn players still bears the band's name.
Guitarist Alvin Lee, whose incendiary performance with the British band Ten Years After was one of the highlights of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has died.
He was 68. Lee's website says he "passed away early this morning [Wednesday] after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure." An assistant to his daughter also confirmed the news to NPR.
His band's biggest hit — "I'd Love to Change the World" — came a couple years after Woodstock. We'll embed a clip from that.
What it means to own something in the digital age is being re-negotiated.
Few of us own the music we listen to or the movies we watch in exactly the same way we did a decade ago. And today if you buy a smartphone from a cellphone company, what you can legally do with it — how and where you can use it — may be proscribed even if that phone is fully bought and paid for.
I keep a lot of music on my phone. I have the Stones, Janis Joplin and OK Go.
As a music journalist from the North Country, I'd be a fool to pass up the opportunity to head down Austin, Texas, each March for the South by Southwest Music Conference. It provides those of us on the ice-whipped prairie a respite from our endless winter season, not to mention a chance to binge on the best burgeoning artists before they make their way around the country on tour. It's become something of a requisite for many of the musicians, writers, photographers and fans from my hometown.
Screaming, crying fans are par for the course if you're teen idol Justin Bieber. But this is a bit different.
After a Monday concert at London's O2 Arena that reportedly started two hours late, the 19-year-old pop star has been forced to apologize for upsetting disappointed young concertgoers and their angry parents.
Audie Cornish has more on three Motown artists who died recently — Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the hit-making Motown group the Miracles; Richard Street, a member of the Temptations; and Damon Harris, who sang with the Temptations on many of their hits.
Richard Street, for nearly three decades a member of The Temptations, has died. He is the second former member of the fabled Motown group to pass away in two weeks; last week former Tempations tenor Damon Harris died. Both singers can be heard on the 1972 hit "Papa Was A Rolling Stone."
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:04 pm
Beatport, one of the most popular online stores for fans of dance music, has been bought by SFX Entertainment, a company that has invested heavily in the dance music business over the past year. According to sources with direct knowledge of the deal, the company was sold for around $50 million.
"[With this purchase] you now have a great one-stop shop for consumers of dance music," says SFX Entertainment CMO Chris Stephenson.
If I wrote operas, my next work would be called DSKNY. That's a snazzy abbreviation for Dominique Strauss-Kahn New York. The idea came last night when colleagues invited me for cocktails at the Sofitel Hotel, the site of DSK's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011, and the beginning of his fall from grace.
There's reason to be optimistic about the market for recorded music around the world, according to a new report released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time since 1999, the report says, the global trade value for the recorded music industry (a slightly vague/confusing term for record sales) went up last year by about 0.3 percent.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:05 pm
Gretta Harley arrived in Seattle in 1990, when grunge was redefining the city. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were turning Seattle into the epicenter of the music world. Harley was a punk rock guitarist searching for her tribe, and in Seattle's thriving music scene, she found it.
Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 9:31 am
Film scores are, by and large, manipulative. They do their work at the periphery of the senses, signaling danger, heralding victory, prodding us toward fear and joy in time with the unfolding story. Crucially, they are also empathic, letting us in on what the actors' words or faces may not convey. And when things get unpleasant, the score can step in as an emotional buffer — a layer of unreality between us and the action that lets us know we're safe. Sunday night at the Oscars, Hollywood will honor a film whose music manages to get all these things right.