As the 2016 presidential race heats up, America’s most important political class, celebrities and musicians, are beginning to declare their endorsements. Members of Vampire Weekend and The Dirty Projectors joined Bernie Sanders at an Iowa rally to sing “Unbelievers” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” while Kid Rock and country-music legend Loretta Lynn voiced their support for Donald Trump. UK singer Adele is staying out of the frenzy, though, saying that her music is not approved for any political campaign. That means no more “Skyfall” and “Rolling in the Deep” pumping-up the crowds at Trump rallies.
Three more artists join the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame this October. The third annual induction ceremony celebrates B.B. King, Kris Kristofferson, and Bonnie Raitt for their influential performances on PBS’s long-running TV show. Last year’s inductees included Loretta Lynn, Townes Van Zandt, and Asleep at the Wheel.
Boognish, rejoice! Levitation Fest (formerly Austin Psych Fest) continues to add to its already stacked list of high-caliber acts. The festival announced on Wednesday that rising super star Courtney Barnett and Cult Music legend Ween are joining a bill that already includes Brian Wilson, Animal Collective, and Flying Lotus. Ween announced a reunion tour in November after the group broke up back in 2012. Also added this week was Dan Auberbach’s Psychedelic side project, The Arcs.
2016 continues to be a rough year for music lovers, but in the last couple of weeks, the losses have been closer to home. Last week, on January 28, Jefferson Airplane lost two of its founding members, drummer and lifelong San Francisco resident Paul Kantner and singer Signe Toly Anderson. Anderson was in the band for just a year before being replaced by Grace Slick. And Wednesday, Memphis-born Maurice White, the founding member and bandleader of Earth, Wind, and Fire, passed peacefully in his sleep after a 25-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. All three musicians were 74.
Musicians no longer need to sell records to go platinum; they can now be stream-lined to that status. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is now allowing albums to achieve gold and platinum status through streaming. The system is fairly simple: 1,500 streams equals one album sale. 500,000 sales to Gold; 1,000,000 to platinum. The rule went into effect on February 1st, and a few artists have already reaped the rewards of this new rule. Alt-J’s (∆) An Awesome Wave has earned a gold award, while Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly has gone streaming platinum.
Electronic music doesn’t usually get a lot of love from the Grammy’s, so the industry has responded with a brand new award show this spring. FOX and Music Producer Paul Oakland are behind the inaugural Electronic Music Awards and Foundation show that will celebrate the genre’s trailblazers, tastemakers, and today’s hottest DJs with interviews, performances, and of course, awards. The red carpet event will air on Fox on April 23rd.
Boise-based Youth Lagoon called it quits on Monday via Twitter. It’s not necessarily the end of front man Trevor Power’s musical endeavors, but Youth Lagoon’s live performances are strictly numbered. The band will continue the scheduled international tour, so if you find this news especially disheartening, now is the time to snag some tickets.