Tag: Pop and Rock Music

The Music Industry Is Wrestling With Race. Here’s What It Has Promised.

What’s the fastest way to put music industry money into the hands of its Black creators? A small Swedish synthesizer manufacturer has a plan. Teenage Engineering, which makes sleekly designed, retro-sounding machines adored by dance-music producers, will soon begin sharing sales revenue with a set of Black musicians and other artists of color in the […]

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Haim Steps Into a New Groove on ‘Women in Music Pt. III’

Haim makes music of forward momentum, soundtracks for strutting confidently away from trouble. Its most memorable videos feature the trio’s members — the sisters Alana, Danielle and Este Haim — marching in loose lock step with one another, occasionally bursting into playful choreography. It’s a visual trope that lets them have some revisionist fun with […]

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James Brown’s Will: Is It Inching Toward Closure After 14 Years?

After more than a decade of litigation over James Brown’s estate, which he, the Godfather of Soul, had largely bequeathed to underprivileged students in South Carolina and Georgia, the chief justice of South Carolina’s Supreme Court seemed irritated. “Has one scholarship been given, pursuant to Mr. Brown’s will?” the justice, Donald W. Beatty, pointedly asked […]

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Why Obsessive K-Pop Fans Are Turning Toward Political Activism

In certain corners of the internet, the organizing prowess of K-pop fans — the typically young and diverse international enthusiasts of Korean pop music who congregate daily on social media — has long been the stuff of legend: Through coordinated group action, so-called fan armies of acts like BTS and Blackpink make sure that their […]

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How Jessie Ware Cooked Her Way Into a Musical Fantasy

In late April, Jessie Ware sang “Spotlight,” a sensual, disco-inflected single that showcases the velvety tone of her voice, on “The Graham Norton Show.” Her face was bathed in swirling, jewel-toned light, and she sometimes grinned and closed her eyes, as if momentarily lost in a dance-floor reverie. Then, all at once, the song was […]

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Aretha Franklin’s Unstoppable Faith, and 9 More New Songs

[embedded content] Aretha Franklin’s “Never Gonna Break My Faith” first appeared on the soundtrack for “Bobby,” the 2006 film about Robert F. Kennedy. Written by Bryan Adams, Andrea Remanda and Eliot Kennedy, it was a duet with Mary J. Blige backed by the Boys Choir of Harlem, affirming faith in the face of racism and […]

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Bob Dylan Still Bristles on ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’

Latter-day Bob Dylan is for die-hards. His voice is tattered and scratchy, not always bothering to trace a melody. His lyrics can be cryptic or throwaway when they’re not downright bleak. His music is adamantly old-fashioned, and he’s not aiming to ingratiate himself with anyone. But for those who have stuck with him this far, […]

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‘Was It a Lost Psych-Funk Classic?’ It’s Khruangbin, Right Now

In 2013, the producer and D.J. Bonobo released his version of “Late Night Tales,” the long-running musician-curated album series. The compilation’s theme was serene songs meant to soundtrack the night, and he included “A Calf Born in Winter” from a band called Khruangbin, an upstart Houston trio that hadn’t yet made a full album. Bonobo […]

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BTS Fans Raise $1 Million for Black Lives Matter Movement, Fan Group Says

Fans of the K-pop boy band BTS have raised more than $1 million for Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives and more than a dozen other civil rights and advocacy organizations, a fan group said on Sunday, as protests against police brutality and systemic racism continued worldwide. The fund-raising push began on June […]

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Breaking Down ‘Those Color Lines’ in a Music Industry That Drew Them

This week, a large portion of the music business shut down for Blackout Tuesday, a day meant to disrupt business as usual and take a stand against racial injustice. The initiative, which played out mostly on social media with black squares and hashtags, was met with mixed responses: support from those who said they’d use […]

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How Blackout Tuesday Became a Social Media Moment

What began as an attempt by two music insiders to pause business as usual across the industry on Tuesday, in response to the protests sweeping the nation, broadened and morphed overnight on social media into a less focused action, resulting in a sea of black boxes across Instagram and other platforms. Brands including Spotify, Live […]

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How Zane Lowe Became Pop’s Unofficial Therapist

Justin Bieber cried. Hayley Williams too. Sitting in a studio in Culver City, Calif., opposite Zane Lowe, the grey-stubbled Beats 1 host and Apple Music honcho, musicians tend to unspool, even shed a tear. They talk about their albums, but also their divorces and regrets, their influences and coping mechanisms. It’s therapy, but for an […]

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6 Things to Do at Home This Weekend

Theater/Film ‘Pass Over’ With Added Punch ImageJulian Parker, left, and Jon Michael Hill in “Pass Over.”Credit…Amazon Studios Nwandu hesitated — she had some rewrites planned — but Lee won her over, saying he wanted the script as it was. Five weeks later, in front of 10 cameras and an invited audience of mostly black Chicagoans, […]

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Carly Rae Jepsen’s Summery Throwback, and 11 More New Songs

Carly Rae Jepsen, ‘This Is What They Say’ [embedded content] Remember malls? Carly Rae Jepsen — our millennial Debbie Gibson — and her fizzy ’80s-inspired pop have returned to remind us drab, homebound zombies what the hot sizzle of neon sounds like. “Dedicated Side B” is a collection of material that didn’t make the cut […]

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A No. 1 Hit Vanished From Poland’s Charts. It’s Not Going Quietly.

WARSAW — Last Friday, Kazik Staszewski, a rock legend in Poland, achieved a stunningly short-lived success in the country’s oldest music chart. His song “Your Pain Is Better Than Mine” was named No. 1 on the beloved “Radio Three Chart” show — but only for a few moments. Within minutes of the show ending, the […]

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The 1975: Self-Aware, Self-Indulgent and, Yes, Sincere

The 1975 is a British pop band, not a graduate seminar’s sparsely attended lecture series, though the titles of its most recent albums certainly invite that clarification. The bold, eclectic “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” from 2018 found the verbose, self-aware frontman Matty Healy moving deftly between arena-sized anthems and confessional ballads, serving up […]

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Woods Became David Berman’s Band. Then They Picked Up the Pieces.

Jeremy Earl had been a father for two weeks when one of his favorite songwriters — David Berman, of the Silver Jews — emailed him with a plea: Help me make my first record in a decade. Since 2005, Earl’s wistful falsetto has anchored Woods, the twinkling psychedelic-rock band that will release its most magnetic […]

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Travis McCready Performs America’s First Concert in Months

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Travis McCready sang “Riders,” a song about perseverance, on Monday in a former Masonic Temple as Americans returned to hear live music in a concert hall for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic pulled the plug on the nation’s entertainment industry. “I think this means hope to a lot of […]

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Astrid Kirchherr, Who Helped Create the Beatles’ Image, Dies at 81

Astrid Kirchherr, the German photographer whose portraits of the Beatles when the musicians were a scruffy British bar band playing in Hamburg’s red-light district captured not only their toughness but also the sensitivity beneath their leather-clad exteriors, died on Tuesday in Hamburg, Germany. She was 81. The cause was cancer, said Chris Murray, who presented […]

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Eurovision’s Canceled, but Not for These Fans

LONDON — Last week, Renske ten Veen, a 21-year-old Dutch college student and Eurovision obsessive, took matters into her own hands. This year’s Eurovision Song Contest — the final of which was supposed be held on Saturday — was canceled because of coronavirus, but that wasn’t going to stop ten Veen or her friends celebrating […]

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Aventura’s Stripped-Down Livestream, and 10 More New Songs

Aventura, ‘Bud Light Seltzer Sessions con Aventura’ [embedded content] Enough with the livestreams. Seriously. They are, for the most part, a poor compensation, an unsatisfactory compression of artists still learning how to express the fullness of their gifts while on lockdown. Plus, there’s nothing worse than having an appointment to keep in a moment in […]

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Steve Earle’s Week: Pining for New York and Singing With His Son

Steve Earle misses New York. It’s the first thing he announced when he called from his home in Williamson County, Tenn. — a nest his business manager jokingly calls the Alamo, in reference to the number of divorces it has withstood. The country-rock musician fled the city in March after the coronavirus brought “Coal Country,” […]

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A Star-StuddVirtual Graduation: Livestreaming Today

Here are a few of the best events happening Friday through Wednesday and how to tune in (all times are Eastern). Star-Studded Graduation Event for the Class of 2020 Friday at 2 p.m. on Facebook No one’s ever had a commencement ceremony quite like this. On Friday, Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak of “The Office” […]

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Laurie Anderson and Michael Stipe on Music, Art and New Chapters

At 72, no one would fault Laurie Anderson, the avant-garde multimedia icon — an inventor, performance artist, musician, writer, filmmaker, painter and more — for being nostalgic. She is best known for her 1981 surprise hit song, “O Superman,” a visionary tirade against American imperialism, built on looped vocal effects that seemed to predict the […]

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