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Music News

The Sod Of Music

Aug 2, 2017

"I mean, look at this. Just look at this," said Scott Geiger, an account manager for DeLea & Sons Sod Farm. "Can't you envision yourself throwing a football right here? Or setting up a lawn chair and just sitting? It doesn't get any better than this."

It's accurate, but not entirely helpful, when thinking about the business of music to imagine in your mind a tangled knot about the size of an elephant. The free ends, rope made up of different gauges and materials, trail out from its center, resembling an asterisk. Holding each is a representative from one of the industry's many stakeholders — record labels and publishing companies, legislators and record store owners, tech companies and non-profit advocates. Oh, and artists too.

Cali Rivera, the Puerto Rico-born founder of the highly regarded JCR Percussion in the Bronx, died this past Sunday from complications of a brain tumor at 79 years old, according to his wife and business partner Lily Rivera.

Moments of unexpected magic are the Newport Folk Festival's calling card. The festival typically sells out well before its lineup is even announced — but the official lineup is more of a rough guideline, anyway, since the weekend is peppered every year with surprise performances and collaborations.

After flames engulfed the main stage, Tomorrowland UNITE organizers say all 22,000 attendees were safely evacuated on Saturday night. No injuries from the fire have been reported so far.

Video footage shows sparks spewing out of the stagecraft, growing into a full-stage inferno, obscured by massive plumes of smoke.

The fire was the result of a "technical malfunction," according to a statement from Tomorrowland's Facebook:

Quincy Jones has prevailed in a case he launched nearly four years ago against MJJ Productions, the record label founded by Michael Jackson, and Sony Music, over the "disguising" of royalties and breach of his contracts with Michael Jackson. In yesterday's decision, a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court awarded Jones $9.4 million.

Tori Amos has always been a diviner with musical and spiritual roots deeply planted in the natural world, drawing both inspiration and metaphorical lessons from Mother Earth. In April, when she announced her next full-length, Native Invader, she called it an album that "looks to Nature and how, through resilience, she heals herself. The songs also wrestle with the question: 'What is our part in the destruction of our land, as well as ourselves, and in our relationships with each other?'"

The best-selling Aboriginal musician in Australian history has died. Dr. G. Yunupingu had a sweet tenor voice and a gentle guitar style that took him far beyond his homeland. He was just 46 years old when he died on Tuesday in Darwin, Australia. His record label, Skinnyfish, announced his passing, but did not disclose its exact cause, citing only a "long battle with illness."

Stretch & Bobbito On Race, Hip-Hop, And Belonging

Jul 26, 2017

For most of the 1990s, Adrian "Stretch" Bartos and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia hosted a famous weekly hip-hop radio show on Columbia University's campus radio station, WKCR. Their no-frills, four-hour show was broadcast during the wee hours of the morning — 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday mornings — on a low-strength signal that listeners had to be deliberate about searching out.

"Despacito," the worldwide hit from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee which just last week was touted as the most-streamed song to date, has now become the subject of a surprise appropriation by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Justin Bieber has spent the last 18 months on the road promoting his album "Purpose." But after more than 150 shows on six continents, Bieber abruptly announced today that he is canceling the last leg of the tour. There were more than a dozen dates left across North America and East Asia, including high-profile stops at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. and Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium.

Mark Campbell is one of the most prolific and celebrated librettists in contemporary American opera. But, as he recently told an audience at the Guggenheim Museum, not everyone thought his latest project was a good idea.

Richard D. James loves to clear the vaults. A couple years ago, he sent Aphex Twin fans on a scavenger hunt through a series of anonymous SoundCloud accounts, where he had uploaded 200 old tracks and demos leading up to the release of Syro. Then he deleted them.

On Tuesday, two separate lawsuits were filed against Spotify in Nashville's federal court over a single issue. Both Bluewater Music, an independent publisher and copyright administration company, and Robert Gaudio, a founding member of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – and a songwriter behind the enduring hits "Sherry" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" — accuse the streaming service of improperly licensing song compositions.

Chester Bennington, one of the lead singers for the band Linkin Park and a former singer for Stone Temple Pilots, has died. His death was confirmed to NPR Thursday afternoon by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said that his body was discovered at a house in the 2800 block of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles and that investigators are currently on the scene. The death is "being looked at as a possible suicide at this time," according to Brian Elias of the coroner's office. Bennington was 41 years old.

"Despacito," the Spanish-language summer smash by Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and "king of reggaetón" Daddy Yankee, is now the most-streamed song in history.

Roland Cazimero, a guitarist and singer who helped define the nobly mellifluous sound of contemporary Hawaiian music, primarily as one-half of The Brothers Cazimero, died in Honolulu on Sunday at 66 years old, his twin sister, Kanoe, confirmed. No cause of death was given, though the artist suffered in recent years from congestive heart issues, diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome.

A four-part, nearly five-hour documentary film that began airing on HBO earlier this month, The Defiant Ones functions as a quintessentially modern-American bildungsroman. Its broadcaster describes it as "a master class in how to work your way up from the bottom to beyond your wildest dreams." But stories like these — here, of the hip-hop legend Dr. Dre, born Andrew Young, and the record producer and music executive Jimmy Iovine — never are. If one possesses the talent and drive, they don't need to take notes.

Copyright 2017 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

STEVE INSKEEP: We have an inside glimpse now at the life of a rock star.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So what do you do if you're a recently crowned head of state and you're already facing opposition — even from within your own family? One answer is optics. Make a big, public splash; throw a lavish party with A-list musical entertainment. That's just what happened in London — 300 years ago Monday.

"I'm working on the SoundCloud thing," Chance the Rapper tweeted last Thursday, sounding like an angel tasked with yet another miracle after rumors — later denied by the company — that SoundCloud's collapse was imminent. After having what he called "a fruitful call" with SoundCloud cofounder Alex Ljung, Chance tweeted "SoundCloud is here to stay," a day later.

Last night the penultimate season of Game of Thrones (the gravestone-final piece of monoculture we'll share until Star Wars returns at the end of the year) began, bringing fans wary of ceaseless political imbroglios and the impending threa

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