Music News 1.19.17

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Music News 1.19.17

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017

Who’s Performing at Donal Trump’s Inauguration?

Well tomorrow is the Presidential Inauguration swearing in Donald Trump as our 45th President of the United States. If you’ve kept up with Trump’s struggle to secure big name acts to perform, you know that “struggle” is putting it lightly. Every major act Trump’s people have asked to perform have declined the invitation including Moby, Elton John (not an American), and R. Kelly. After scrimping to stitch together a line-up, here’s what the final list looks like. Easily the biggest star on the list is Sam Moore of the famous soul duo Sam and Dave. Also slated to perform are the Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, 16-year-old classical singer Jackie Evancho, Country-Pop star Toby Keith, several cover bands, and 3 Doors Down. (Telegraph)

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Strange Brew Closes Its Doors?

What was thought to be a temporary closure seems to permanent for South Austin music venue and coffee shop Strange Brew. Since employees initially found themselves locked out of Strange Brew last Thursday, the doors have remained locked and a for lease sign now stands in the parking lot. Employees were told that despite the closure, Strange Brew would be open for its weekend performances, a story which turned out to not be the case as singer-songwriter Steve Forbert discovered upon arriving to town and finding the venue locked-up. Court records show Strange Brew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in August, owing nearly half a million dollars to a dozen federal, state, city, and individual creditors, including the IRS. Several thousands of dollars are also owed to music acts in unsecured claims. Strange Brew has officially all but called it quits, and musicians who have weekly residences have sought out new spaces. If you’re looking for a way to help and support the South Austin gem, there is show happening Sunday to raise money for Strange Brew’s employees who are now out of work. Shinyribs, Jeff Plankenhorn, Sam Baker, Guy Forsyth, Jaimee Harris, and others are playing Donn’s Depot on West Fifth from noon-7 p.m. The story of Strange Brew is ongoing, and you can count on SoundCheck and KUTX to keep you up-to-date. (Austin360)

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Photo: Peter Blackstock

-Taylor Wallace

Music News 1.18.17

SoundCheck

Music News 1.18.17

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017

Nigerian Funk Musician Willian Onyeabor Dies at 70

Influential Nigerian funk musician William Onyeabor passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday after a brief battle with illness. Onyeabor is credited as a pioneer of a “futuristic brand of afro-funk music that was heavily rhythmic and synthesized in style,” that featured politically charged lyrics bemoaning war and oppression. Owning his own pressing plant in southeast Nigeria, he composed, self-recorded, and self-pressed and printed nine albums between 1977 and 1985, affirming his place as a political and musical influencer in the region and other parts of the world. Onyeabor all but abandoned his musical career after becoming a born-again Christian in 1985, but saw renewed interest in his work after the successful release of an compilation album of his music organized by Talking Heads’ David Byrne. Byrne went on to form the William Onyeabor-tribute supergroup Atomic Bomb! Band whose fluid lineup included David Albarn, Dev Hynes AKA Blood Orange, and LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney. William Oneyeabor was 70. (CoS)

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New Animates Series from Mike Judge Based on the Stories of Country Singers

Mike Judge has a new animated series debuting later this year on Cinemax “chronicling the tales of some of country music’s most eccentric characters.” The show, called “Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus,” is created in collaboration with Hank Williams biopic co-author Dub Cornett. The exact format of the show has not been announced, but speculation leads audiences to believe the show will either have a Drunk History type of feel with country stars narrating true stories to Judge’s animation, or if it’ll be original cartoons based on the true stories of country singers. In either case, Cinemax has ordered eight episodes of the show, set to premiere later this year. (Austin360)

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-Taylor Wallace

 

Music News 1.17.17

SoundCheck

Music News 1.17.17

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017

Five Killed, More Injured During Mexico’s BPM Festival

At least five people were killed and over a dozen others were wounded early Monday during the final day of the 10-day long BPM festival at the Blue Parrot Nightclub in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Festival organizers say the gunman acted alone, shooting three festival security guards who intervened in the exchange of fire between the gunman and an uninvolved shooter, in what local media outlets are calling an incident of a regional drug war. Another man was shot, and one woman died after falling into the stampede. The shooter has not been captured or identified.

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Apple Music Head to Video

Apple Music head exec Jimmy Iovine announced Apple Music’s desire to be an entire pop cultural experience, meaning, Apple Music will be breaking into original video content. They’ve begun dabbling in the video sphere, hosting concert movies for Skepta and Taylor Swift, and hosting a streaming platform for The Late, Late Show with James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke. They’ve also released for their upcoming Before Anything documentary chronicling the rise and fall of Cash Money Records, and plan to take this visual venture into a “dark, semi-autobiographical drama,” based on the life of Dr. Dre. A four-part docu series based on the working relationship of Dre and Iovine will debut later this year. With all of these varied ventures into the visual, Apple Music’s video fame might be on the rise.

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-Taylor Wallace

 

Music News 1.12.17

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Music News 1.12.17

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017

Bon Jovi Holds Contest for Opening Act

Alright Gen X’ers, get out those Fantasy Bucket Lists…Bon Jovi needs an opening act for their upcoming tour kicking-off next month, and they’re looking to their fans to fit the bill. The inspiration for the contest comes from Bon Jovi’s own legacy, being a no-name band in the early 80’s gaining exposure opening for major acts like ZZ Top, Kiss, and the Scorpions. “Every great band starts small and builds their rep one show at a time,” said Jon Bon Jovi in the band’s official announcement, “That’s the opportunity we were given, and now we want to pay it forward.” Full bands or solo acts can upload videos of themselves performing original music, and the contest promoters at Live Nation will select 10 finalists. From those 10, Bon Jovi’s management will pick the winners to perform 20-minute sets on the tour running tentatively from February 8-April 11th.

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Korg Kicks off 2017 Making Two Major Announcements

Korg has made two major announcements this week. After leaking several images last year, the electronic music instrument company confirmed a full-size reissue of its famed vintage ARP Odyssey synthesizer next month, which totes a reputation for being one of the best synths of the 1970’s. The new model will run as a limited edition and comes with all the bells and whistles of the 70s model, plus USB and MIDI connections to bring it up to speed with the 21st century. Korg also announced this week that it’s popular all-in-one iOS production studio, Korg Gadget, is coming to Mac. The software has been available on iPhone and iPad since 2014, and while the Mac version is inherently the same, it does have some added features. Users can access two new “gadgets” that allow audio recording and a new drum machine featuring 16 pads. Keeping in tandem with the iOS version, the Mac version comes Abelton Link-equipped and supports MIDI connections over Bluetooth. Korg has yet to announce a release date or price for the product.

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-Taylor Wallace

Music News 1.11.17

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Music News 1.11.17

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017

Norway Phases Out Analog Radio

As of today, Norway has become the first country in the world to phase out analog signals in a move towards Digital Audio Broadcasting or DAB. By the end of the year, Norway’s radio will be 100% digital. While the digital way promises to be cost-effective for the radio stations while providing a more reliable signal for the sparsely populated, mountainous country, this decision is being met largely with anxiety and concern from Norway’s 5 million residents. One worry is the lack of digital radios in cars and the pressure to spend the money needed to keep up with the change that cost anywhere from 1,500 to 4,000 kroner (that’s $175-468 US dollars). Only about 25% of Norway’s cars are fitted with digital radios or adapters compared to 70% of outfitted Norwegian households. Another concern is for Norway’s elderly, who rely on their radios to remain tethered to the outside world, and many may be left isolated when the country switches to digital unless they have the cash and support to upgrade to a new device that picks up the signal, but the upgrade isn’t cheap, and expecting an entire country’s worth of elderly people to easily adapt and willingly upgrade to devices supporting the new technology is hopeful at best.

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Photo: Richard Beebe

 

Album to Raise Funds for Ghost Ship Fire Victims

Former DFA Records label manager Kris Peterson has curated an album over 40 tracks long to raise funds for the victims and families of the Ghost Ship fire which claimed the lives of 36 people in Oakland late last year. The album includes tracks by YACHT, Daphni, and Helado Negro, and will be available for purchase on January 31st. Peterson has made several of the tracks available for preview now via Bandcamp.

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-Taylor Wallace