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Update at 6:14 p.m. ET. Backing Off?

Capt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman for the United States Marine Corps, sent us a statement that seems to back off a bit from their earlier statements saying Beyoncé lip-synced her way through the National Anthem during President Obama's inauguration, yesterday.

Advisory: The videos on this page contain profanity.

The rapper Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball in Washington, last night.

As Politico reports, the Grammy-nominated rapper stayed on the anti-war song "Words I Never Said" for 30 minutes. Video posted by Now This News shows Fiasco dropping lines critical of President Obama, before the lights go off and men in black suits escort him off the stage.

In the Inaugural Parade following the president's swearing-in on Monday, regimental and high school marching bands will appear alongside groups showcasing the nation's diversity. These include a float representing South Carolina and Georgia's Gullah-Geechee culture, plus Native American groups and a mariachi band from Texas. Bringing the salsa is Seguro Que Si, a high school band from Kissimmee, Fla.

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

Jan 19, 2013

Louie talks with Melissa Colgin-Abeln, Associate Professor of Music at UTEP; and flutist Mary Kerr, who is a graduate of El Paso High School, the University of Southern California, and the Manhattan School of Music.  Colgin-Ablen and Kerr talk about the Southwest Flute Fest, which takes place January 18 & 19 at the UTEP Music Department.  Kerr also talks about her early interest in the flute and about the unique aspects of the instrument.  http://marykerrflute.com

Information on the Southwest Flute Fest: www.epflute.com, 915-747-7798.

Aired Jan. 18, 2013.  

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Jan 18, 2013

  • After a five-year search that encompassed some 50 contenders, the Houston Symphony has announced its new music director: Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The 35-year-old Colombian trained in Vienna and will take over from the retiring Hans Graf, who is departing at the end of this season.

Justin Timberlake Suits Up And Steps Out

Jan 14, 2013

Maybe it was an accident that Justin Timberlake's first single in six years hit the Internet less than an hour after the conclusion of the Golden Globes — the annual schmoozefest that features celebrities notoriously oiled up by an open bar, sharing what viewers are meant to think is a more than usually honest version of themselves.

Big Harp guitarist and lead singer Chris Senseney pulls his minivan into a gas station off Interstate 80 near the small town of Walnut, Iowa. His wife, and the band's bassist, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney jostles through children's books and toys scattered on the floor. Their kids do what kids do on long car trips: sing.

This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.

Bob Dylan has made some puzzling moves in his celebrated career, but the compilation that his record label recently released may be as odd as anything he's ever put out.

The compilation, 50th Anniversary Collection, is a limited-edition, four-CD set that was only released in Europe. It seems to have been designed by the label to exploit a recent change in European copyright law.

  • Simon Rattle announced yesterday to the Berlin Philharmonic that he will be leaving his position there as artistic director and chief conductor in the summer of 2018. Said Rattle, "In 2018 I will have been with the orchestra for 16 years. Before this I was chief conductor in Birmingham for 18 years. In 2018 I will be nearly 64 years old. As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles' question, 'Will you still need me ...

A Brief History Of Jazz Education, Pt. 2

Jan 8, 2013

As a teaching assistant for UCLA's undergraduate course "Jazz in American Culture," I spend much of my time in a scene found on college campuses around the world. My professor, the seasoned jazz guitarist Charley Harrison, lectures eager students on the music's geniuses. In the evening, he directs the college big band through classic Swing Era repertoire and modern reinterpretations of it. Harrison and his colleagues also lead smaller ensembles that take 1960s hard bop as their aesthetic core.

Amkoullel, a 33-year-old Malian rapper, sings about self-image, immigration and respect. He's among a new generation of young rappers in Mali, mixing traditional instruments with new themes. He has played all over the world, performing with Malian legends Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.

2 Pi: Rhymes And Radii

Jan 8, 2013

Bikini Kill Rises Again, No Less Relevant

Jan 5, 2013

Just over 20 years ago, one of the most influential bands in the riot grrrl movement released its first album. Bikini Kill helped define a movement that grew up as an offshoot of punk in the early 1990s, when many women felt marginalized by society, and in some cases, even by the punk-rock community.

2 Chainz: A Pop Star For All Of Us

Jan 4, 2013

Advisory: The videos on this page contain profanity and explicit imagery.

  • In its annual December feature called "The Music They Made" commemorating artists who have died in the preceding year, the New York Times Magazine once again neglected to include a single classical musician.

Patti Page, whose comforting voice made hits of heartbreaking ballads ("Tennessee Waltz") and novelty songs ("How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"), died Tuesday in Encinitas, Calif. She was 85 years old.

There's a new Internet video that might give the Web sensation "Gangnam Style" a run for its money. It's for a song called "One Pound Fish," and its unlikely star is a 31-year-old Pakistani man who until recently was a fishmonger in London's Upton Park.

Hearing A Mother's Song After Tragedy

Jan 1, 2013

I first heard Natalie Maines's version of "Mother," the Pink Floyd song, while sitting alone in my car on a particularly difficult Saturday morning. It was the day after Adam Lanza took his mother's guns into Sandy Hook elementary school and wreaked destruction, and like many people across America, I'd spent most of the previous day trying to grasp what had happened. I really mean grasp: like so many tragedies that don't involve me directly yet engross me as they unfold in raw, real time on the Web, this one quickly became a spectral burden that was difficult to shake.

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

Fond Farewells: Classical Musicians We Lost in 2012

Dec 31, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. The song "Strange Fruit" has been recorded by many musicians, but it belongs to Billie Holiday. She made it famous but she did not write it. The man who did did not have a big career as a songwriter but he did have an amazing life story, as NPR's Elizabeth Blair tells us.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: The man is Abel Meeropol and he really has two stories. They both begin at a public high school in the Bronx.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Dec 28, 2012

  • This week, BBC One premiered a made-for-TV treatment of the Joyce Hatto scandal called "Loving Miss Hatto," with Francesca Annis and Alfred Molina as the leads. Remember her?

What Happened To Music Writing This Year?

Dec 27, 2012

The question "what do readers want?" has hovered over any media business worth its advertising revenue for years, but in 2012, it took on more urgency. Any item worth its pixels this year was built for sharing, for posting on Twitter or in friends' Facebook newsfeeds and multiplexing from there. Sometimes these shareable pieces would dig deeply into a topic with a new perspective; more often they would play off already-existing biases, asserting them or proudly acting the contrarian.

2012 has been a strange year for content creators — authors, producers, musicians. It was a year when the very idea of physical ownership of a book or CD or even a song file became almost passe.

It was also the year in which music-streaming services like Spotify and Pandora launched major efforts to convince people to pay for something they didn't own. But it's been slow going.

Music-streaming services have been trying to win over two types of customers: a younger generation that doesn't buy at all and an older generation that still likes owning physical albums.

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