Music

This week, Philadelphia's WXPN and World Cafe Live play host to the NON-COMMvention, an annual gathering of noncommercial music radio station staffers and industry pros.

The streaming platform Tidal, whose most public owner and champion is rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z, is facing heavy criticism and possible legal action from several Scandinavian artist organizations and other entities after a Norwegian business newspaper alleged last week that the company had faked hundreds of millions of plays on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's The

"I think this is one of my vaguest songs," Mitski says in this conversation about her new song, "Geyser." "Usually my songs have a narrative of some sort. But this song is all feeling."

Israel has won the Eurovision Song Contest, held this year in Lisbon.

The winning song, "Toy," by Netta, was a return to the over-the-top, cheesy style that many people associate with the singing competition.

When he won last year, Portuguese singer Salvador Sobral told the crowd he hoped his victory would bring back "music that means something." He said, "Music is not fireworks, music is feeling."

New Hanover High School senior Abigale Hawkins met me back in February at a local coffee shop to pitch an idea. Her concept for a senior project was to arrange music from the sacred classical and hymn traditions into a piece that she would sing - and she sings very well - that would then air on Classical HQR, if it met muster. Well, it did. Abigale then came in for a brief interview about her experience and her future: 

Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, whose bleak but often triumphantly arranged rock songs tackled depression, anxiety and self-doubt, was found dead at Port Edgar near South Queensberry, Scotland, around 8:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, Edinburgh Police confirmed in a statement provided to NPR. He was 36.

Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo were always bound to be overwhelmingly successful albums — returns after relatively long absences from two of the world's most well-known artists.

R&B singer Chris Brown, rapper Young Lo, and an unknown woman are being sued in a civil lawsuit by a woman who alleges that she was repeatedly raped at Brown's house in Los Angeles last year.

Gloria Allred — the prominent civil rights attorney who has also represented women who have accused President Trump, Bill Cosby and Roy Moore — filed the suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court yesterday on behalf of the anonymous woman, who is being called Jane Doe.

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET, May 10 with a statement from R. Kelly's management team.

After 27 years, Bill and Ted are on their way back to close the time loop in a new film, Bill and Ted Face the Music.

Liminal space can be both a beginning and a transition — it's the threshold that floats between worlds. When you just need to drift into nothingness from the aches of daily life, that unending quality makes for good ambient music, no?

After a 14-year absence, Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited rocked until dawn at Glamis Arena, an open-air stadium packed with some 20,000 fans of three generations. Mapfumo — Mukanya to his fans, a reference to his totem, the baboon — moved his family out of the country in 2000, to escape turmoil and harassment under the regime of Robert Mugabe.

Lowell George always took the road less traveled — even if it didn't lead to the bank. The revered singer and guitarist of Little Feat told Chicago's WXRT as much in 1979, two weeks before he died at just 34 years old.

The #MuteRKelly movement is picking up steam. Founded late last year by Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye, #MuteRKelly seeks to draw attention to the artist's controversial past and is pressuring companies to cut ties with him.

Updated May 4 at 6:35 p.m. ET

In a week of renewed attention to two decades' worth of allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against R&B singer R. Kelly, a pair of new reports from BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post were published on Friday, bringing forward allegations from three more women who say they were abused by Kelly.

Since its founding in 2008, Roc Nation — a business that encompasses artist and athlete management and development, film and television (the company launched a television production arm yesterday) — has been, outside of the booth, the nexus of Jay-Z's many business interests.

Aspiring orchestral musicians have long known that the road to a professional career is arduous and paved with risks. But new research from the U.K. shows that even attaining the brass ring of an orchestral job does not necessarily provide financial security. In fact, even with salaried, full-time employment, many British orchestral musicians are struggling to pay their bills.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Jab'o Starks, the drummer who provided the steady beat for James Brown's iconic mid-'60s band and who stayed with the King of Soul through the early '70s, died at the age of 79 Tuesday morning at his home in Mobile, Ala. According to his manager, Kathie Williams, Starks was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes, a bone marrow disorder, in January 2017, which developed into acute leukemia one week ago, after which he entered hospice care.

Activists have been trying since last summer to get the music industry to sever its ties to R&B singer R. Kelly, following years of allegations from women who say the singer sexually and emotionally abused them.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.

The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match fell 22 percent for the day.

Senior officials with Match welcomed Facebook to online dating in statements made on Tuesday.

The company behind the iconic Gibson guitars — whose instruments have been played by Les Paul, B.B. King and Jimmy Page, among many others — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. The Nashville, Tenn.-based corporation's current properties also include Baldwin Piano, Gibson Pro Audio and Wurlitzer, a company once famous for its organs but whose brand name Gibson now uses only for manufacturing jukeboxes.

The two most-nominated shows at this year's Tony Awards might sound familiar, even to those who don't keep an eye on Broadway: Mean Girls, based on the 2004 movie, and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, based on the long-running animated TV show, each earned a dozen nominations.

This past fall, when news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal was galvanizing the #MeToo movement, some of us who work in the performing arts had a peculiar experience: Colleagues started asking if they'd sexually harassed us. A few of these colleagues may have been attempting to head off allegations, but many of them genuinely didn't know if they'd crossed a line.

Pages