Music News

Havana will meet the Rolling Stones later this month.

The band has announced they'll play a free open-air concert in the Cuban capital on March 25.

That will make them "the most famous act to play Cuba since its 1959 revolution," the Associated Press reports.

The technology of the day has everything to do with how you get your music — and the music business is pushing more and more toward streaming.

With services like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal and Apple Music, there are a bunch of companies that want your ears — and your money.

What was behind the decision not to invite the artists behind two tunes nominated for Best Original Song to perform on Sunday night's Academy Awards broadcast?

This story was inspired by a question at an insanely hard Oscars trivia night in Los Angeles last year: Which family has the most Oscar nominations?

If your memory of virtual reality still includes climbing on a platform at the mall and strapping on a clunky headset, know that the '90s are long over and the future is in your hands ... literally. Recently VR has evolved into a medium where anybody with a computer or smartphone can experience it.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. Most died in a concert hall, the Bataclan, listening to an American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Three months after their concert at the Bataclan music hall was ended by a deadly terrorist attack, California band Eagles of Death Metal is back in France. The rock group's members say they have a "sacred duty" to finish the show.

It won't happen until Tuesday night, but the concert was already making headlines, particularly after frontman Jesse Hughes, speaking to a French TV station about the fallout from the attacks that killed 130 people, criticized France's gun control laws.

Watching Beyoncé From New Orleans

Feb 16, 2016

The low rumble of Beyoncé built like thunder, starting on the first Thursday of February, as the #BEYONCEISCOMING hashtag began trending on Twitter. Rumor spread that not only was the reigning Queen of Pop about to unleash a Super Bowl performance that would render headliner Coldplay a sideshow, but the Internet had gotten wind that there was new music afoot, too.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MARK RONSON SONG, "UPTOWN FUNK")

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, the 58th Grammy Awards were last night on CBS. The top prize, Record of the Year, went to Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UPTOWN FUNK")

It seemed like there was something for everybody at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Mark Ronson's high-spirited "Uptown Funk," featuring Bruno Mars, won Record of the Year. The songwriting award, Song of the Year, went to Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge's "Thinking Out Loud," while Taylor Swift won Album of the Year for 1989.

The nominations for the 58th annual Grammy Awards, though, were pitched as something of a showdown between pop and hip-hop. In certain ways, neither won outright — but both genres' reigning queen and king emerged as winners.

Sometime tomorrow, Linda Holmes and I will break down Monday night's Grammys telecast in a Small Batch edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour. And, for a variety of reasons, we're not likely to spend much time on the awards themselves.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Grammys are tonight, and many believe the biggest winner is going to be rapper Kendrick Lamar.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALRIGHT")

KENDRICK LAMAR: (Rapping) Alls my life I has to fight. Alls my life I - hard times like, God.

Genya Ravan's name has always been a hurdle: Strangers tend to stress the wrong syllable, or reduce it to something more conventional. (Jimmy Fallon once casually referred to her as "Gina.")

I'm not sure there's ever been a record release as confounding as the one for Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo. He's changed its title and track listing several times in as many weeks, and even up until the very moment I'm writing this, it's not 100 percent certain what will be on that final album, whenever and wherever it comes out.

Author Jesmyn Ward won a National Book Award for Salvage the Bones, her gritty and lyrical novel of Hurricane Katrina-era Mississippi. In this essay, as in all of her work, she doesn't mince words.

When the video dropped on Saturday, we galvanized. Cleared our schedules, watched on repeat till our eyes turned red. Got into screaming matches with loved ones about what kind of hot sauce belongs in a #swagbag. Even made preemptive Valentine's Day reservations at Red Lobster, because you never know.

Here's what we know: Coldplay and Beyoncé will perform at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime. The duo just released a song called "Hymn for the Weekend."

All that is solid melts in the presence of funk. Maurice White — the prolific songwriter, singer, producer, arranger, bandleader, organizer and conceptualist at the helm of multi-platinum act Earth, Wind & Fire who transitioned on Thursday at 74 after a 25-year struggle with Parkinson's Disease — gifted us with years of optimistic, exuberant music that could instantly evaporate your frown into thin air.

Tonight, Showtime presents a new documentary on the late pop star Michael Jackson, called Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall. Director Spike Lee explores his journey from child prodigy to recording his best-selling 1979 album. It's the second in what Lee hopes will be a trilogy of films dedicated to Jackson's musical legacy.

Off the Wall was Michael Jackson's first solo album as an adult.

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