Music News

The Record
1:33 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Mumford & Sons Preaches To Masses

Mumford & Sons is led by singer Marcus Mumford (second from left). The band's second album, Babel, was released on Sept. 25 and is on pace to be the highest-selling debut of 2012.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:24 pm

Marcus Mumford may not seem like the kind of guy who'd start a bar fight.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:45 am
Thu September 27, 2012

The 2012 Gramophone Awards: Some Surprises, Lots Of (Repeated) Familiar Names

Tenor Joseph Calleja, the 2012 Gramophone Artist of the Year.
Mathias Bothor courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:07 am

In terms of international prestige, it's hard to think of bigger prizes in the classical community than those given annually by the British classical music magazine Gramophone (where I served as the North America editor for several years). Sure, the Grammys have more general name recognition, but these Eurocentric awards, completely dedicated to classical music, offer far more depth and breadth than their nearest American counterparts, both in terms of artists and repertoire.

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Business
2:50 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Musicians Ratify New Contract

When the two sides couldn't reach an agreement last month, players were locked out of the Woodruff Arts Center. With the season set to begin in just one week, the musicians approved a deal with $5 million in concessions.

The Record
10:03 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

YouTube Shares Ad Revenue With Musicians, But Does It Add Up?

Donna Summer in 1976. YouTube's Chris Maxcy says the company targets advertising to videos by artists like her and gives a share of the revenue from it to the track's label and publisher.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 8:04 am

YouTube is well-known for videos, but a recent Nielsen study revealed 64 percent of teens and young adults go to it to listen to and discover music. The free website, which is owned by Google, has set up advertising deals to help musicians get compensated. But it's not clear how they're getting paid — or how much.

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The Record
4:14 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

'Moon River' Singer Andy Williams Has Died

Andy Williams, shown here performing, died Tuesday at the age of 84.
Tony Russell Redferns

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Andy Williams Dies; Crooner Was Known For 'Moon River,' Christmas TV Specials

Singer Andy Williams in 1970.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:24 am

  • A bit of Andy Williams singing 'Moon River'

Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.

He was 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."

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The Record
1:28 am
Wed September 26, 2012

How Musicians Make Money (By The Fraction Of A Cent) On Spotify

Erin McKeown is currently recording her ninth studio album, to be released this fall.
Michael Weintrob Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:23 pm

The streaming music service Spotify has garnered some 2 million users in the U.S. since its introduction a little over a year ago. The service includes many big acts like Katy Perry, but many musicians have mixed feelings about it. Some, like Adele and Coldplay, resisted putting new albums on Spotify, citing the service's low royalty payments to musicians. Others, like the Black Keys, won't allow full albums on the service at all.

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The Record
10:03 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Crowd Funding For Musicians Isn't The Future; It's The Present

The Physics, with Thig Nat at the right.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:24 pm

By now, everyone's heard of Kickstarter, the website that lets people with an idea or project ask other people to contribute toward realizing it. It's called crowd funding, and this summer's big success story was musician Amanda Palmer. She raised more than $1 million to produce her new album. But crowd funding doesn't work for every musician every time.

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The Record
2:33 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

An American Punk-Rock Band On Tour In The Land Of The Arab Spring

The Black Lips, not in Cairo.
Courtesy of Biz3 Publicity

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Last year, after the Atlanta rock band Black Lips released the album Arabia Mountain, its members planned a trip to tour the Middle East, but the wave of Arab Spring protests forced them to change plans. Yet even with simmering anti-Americanism persisting throughout the region, singer-guitarist Ian St. Pe was determined to see this through. Cairo, where I spoke with them on Friday, was the band's second stop.

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A Blog Supreme
12:56 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Jamison Ross Wins 2012 Thelonious Monk Competition For Drummers

Jamison Ross competes in the semifinal round of the 2012 Thelonious Monk Competition.
Steve Mundinger Courtesy of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:17 am

In a ceremony and concert last night, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz recognized Jamison Ross, 24, as the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The competition, the highest profile event of its kind, was open to drummers this year.

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A Blog Supreme
3:37 am
Sat September 22, 2012

What Did The Monk Competition Ever Do For You?

Emmet Cohen performs in the final round of the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, where he placed third. The 2012 competition takes place this weekend.
Brendan Hoffman WireImage

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:17 am

Pianist Ethan Iverson launched a debate last month when he evoked "the dark side" of musical competition — specifically, of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, whose semifinals and finals take place this weekend in Washington, D.C. Iverson took issue with overemphasizing technical convention, and with the very nature of judging art, making the somewhat hyperbolic suggestion that Monk couldn't have competed in the contest named for him.

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The Record
4:17 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Universal's Purchase Of EMI Gets Thumbs Up In U.S. And Europe

The catalog of The Beatles, which was owned by EMI, will be among the assets that the Universal Music Group gets to keep.
Jim Gray Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:20 pm

And then there were three — record labels, that is. Regulators in the United States and Europe have approved the acquisition of EMI Music by Univeral Music Group. The combined label will own close to 40 percent of the world music market with a trove of acts that includes The Beatles.

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A Blog Supreme
12:03 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Around The Jazz Internet: Sept. 21, 2012

Guitarist John Abercrombie.
Howard Goodman ECM Records

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:10 pm

Happy John Coltrane birthday on Sunday.

  • Pianist Michael Wolff talks about his Cal Tjader tribute for the San Jose Mercury News. I do know Wolff as a New York pianist but didn't know he was musical director of The Arsenio Hall Show or that he's from the Bay Area.
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Deceptive Cadence
8:43 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Strad Swindler Goes To Trial And Netrebko Bids Adieu To Her Former Self

Con man/violin dealer Dietmar Machold holds a (purported) Strad in Moscow in 2003.
YURI KADOBNOV AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:25 am

  • The Washington Post has a long, fascinating piece on Dietmar Machold, the 63-year-old violin dealer/con man who went on trial in Vienna this week: "It is the largest fraud case in the history of a trade that goes back to at least the middle of the 18th century: Apart from criminal charges, Machold faces civil claims estimated at $200 million. ...
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The Record
2:37 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Why Some Musicians Last

The singer Aaliyah, performing in 1998. Since her death in 2001, many singers have applied her soft, sexy vocal style to R&B, pop and indie hits.
Tim Mosenfelder Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:53 am

The mists of eternity wafted over my Twitter feed the other night. Okay, not quite — but talk of eternity, or at least of the pop scene in thirty years, did make for a lengthy and spirited group exchange. It started when a friend who's not fond of singing competitions asked whether Kelly Clarkson will be remembered in 2042.

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The Record
9:00 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The Purple Tape: Only Built 4 Collectors

The Purple Tape: Raekwon's 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... was originally released on a limited-edition purple cassette that became a collector's item.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:09 pm

The Beatles had "The White Album." Prince's long-time work-in-progress became dubbed "The Black Album." Rapper Raekwon had "The Purple Tape," one the most storied cassettes in hip-hop history.

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The Record
2:14 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Listen To A Long Conversation With Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt accepts her Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Awards in Nashville on Sept. 12, 2012.
Susan Bibeau Folk Alley

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:12 am

  • Listen to Bonnie Raitt and Ann Powers at the 2012 Americana Music Conference

Last Wednesday I had the enormous privilege of sitting down with the masterful Bonnie Raitt for the keynote conversation at the annual Americana Music Conference and Festival in Nashville. Actually, I stood while blues fusion matriarch sat — I'd aggravated an old back injury moments before we took the stage, and my mentioning this to the crowd set Bonnie up for her first zinger of the chat: "What was his name?" she teased.

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