Music

There's an emblematic photograph of Herbie Hancock on the back cover of his album Sunlight, which he began recording 40 years ago this month. He's depicted against a red backdrop with a Sennheiser vocoder headset on his cranium, which is bowed in deep focus.

The music distribution site Bandcamp will be donating 100 percent of its share of music sales Friday to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit based in Oakland, Calif.

R. Kelly's upcoming tour is quickly becoming shorter than he expected.

The Office of the County Attorney for Fulton County, Ga., issued a letter to Live Nation on Thursday requesting an upcoming performance by the Grammy-winning singer at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater be canceled. Fulton County owns the 5,420-seat outdoor venue in College Park, Ga.

Thirty years after becoming rap's first sex symbol, LL Cool J will be the first hip-hop artist to receive Kennedy Center Honors in its 40-year history.

The rapper-turned-actor born James Todd Smith will be inducted with a prestigious 2017 class — including pop stars Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie, television icon Norman Lear and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade – on Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.

The honorees will be saluted by performers while seated alongside President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

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(SOUNDBITE OF DIO'S "METAL WILL NEVER DIE")

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. That is heavy metal great Ronnie James Dio. He's got tour dates coming up in Finland, Sweden, Spain. Of course, one minor detail - he's dead. But as he sang...

Last year, Kanye West's tour in support of his album The Life of Pablo was inarguably star-crossed. On Oct. 2, West's wife, Kim Kardashian-West, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, resulting in the cancellation of two shows (one which of which he walked out mid-set after hearing the news). Seven weeks later, the producer and rapper was admitted to the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital for eight days. As a result, West canceled the rest of the scheduled tour.

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.

Don't bother trying to pigeonhole the music of Aaron Martin and Dag Rosenqvist, who record under the name From the Mouth of the Sun. If their mission in this instrumental miniature is nothing more than beauty itself, they have succeeded on a disproportionate scale.

The music in "Light Blooms In Hollow Space" summons exactly what its title suggests. A simple, two-note piano figure ticks like a clock while wheezy organ chords slowly emerge and a sprinkle of ukuleles falls from above. The space may be hollow, but it's painted with impressionistic detail.

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.

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