The Musics

By Luke Hokama | Articles about the creators, creations, or business of The Musics.

Funk Carves Out A Groove At The Funk Music Hall Of Fame In Ohio

James Brown once said, "I've only got seventh grade education, but I have a doctorate in funk, and I like to put that to good use."<p>While artists like Brown, George Clinton and Morris Day have schooled generations about funk for years, a brand new music hall commemorating the genre as a whole is …

Soul Music

Ice Music: Building Instruments Out Of Water

Many of us in the U.S. are freezing this weekend and looking for warmth, but halfway around the world is an artist whose career in music is dependent on frigid weather.<p>Terje Isungset is a Norwegian musician who makes his own instruments — out of ice. Among his creations are "icehorns," a …

Spotify Now Has 70 Million Paid Subscribers

Spotify today announced on Twitter (in a now-deleted tweet) that it has hit a new milestone, with the streaming music service reaching a total of 70 million paid subscribers.<p>Over the course of the last six months, Spotify's paid subscriber base has grown by 10 million customers, up from 60 million …

Stevie Nicks

Jimmy Iovine is reportedly leaving Apple Music this year

One of the main reasons why Apple purchased Beats might leave the company this year. According to <i>Hits Daily Double</i>, <i>Billboard</i> and <i>Bloomberg</i>, Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine is already preparing for his exit sometime in August after he gets his final payout from Cupertino's $3 billion Beats purchase. …

Carpool Karaoke

China’s ‘Saxophone Capital,’ a Factory Town Transfixed by Kenny G

SIDANGKOU, China — By day, the factory workers pound sheets of brass into cylinders and slather metal buttons with glue. By night, they take their creations to the street and begin to play.<p>The soothing melodies flow through cornfields, street markets and public squares. They interweave with the …

Horns

Roku aims to take over home audio with its wireless speaker platform

No, Roku isn't building a wireless speaker, despite rumors hinting at that. Instead, it's approaching home audio similar to how it tackled TVs: By offering its technology to other companies. Specifically, Roku is unveiling a new wireless audio platform, Roku Connect, that it'll license to third …

Automation

SFJAZZ Collective Plays Joe Henderson And MoreWBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Every year, each of the eight members of the SFJAZZ Collective is tasked with two writing assignments. The first: Compose a new piece specifically for the band, which gathers some of the most outstanding performers on the modern jazz scene. The second: Rearrange a composition by the elder artist …

Jazz

Rick Hall, Producer And Songwriter Who Put Muscle Shoals On The Map, Dead At 85

Rick Hall, a songwriter and record producer known as the "Father of Muscle Shoals Music," died today at his home in Muscle Shoals, Ala. after a protracted illness. The news was first reported by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and later confirmed by Judy Hood, chairperson for the Muscle Shoals …

Soul Music

Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit over song licensing

Spotify is no stranger to facing lawsuits accusing it of offering unlicensed songs, but the latest could prove to be very costly. <i>Hollywood Reporter</i> has learned that Wixen Music Publishing, which manages the song composition rights for artists ranging from Neil Young to Zach de la Rocha, has sued …

Patents

5 Hip-Hop Albums You Slept On In 2017

Hip-hop music is thriving more than ever as the most consumed music genre in the country. Kendrick Lamar reigned supreme over nearly everybody once again (shout out to KRS-One) and Jay-Z added yet another classic to his catalog. There was so much floating about the hip-hop stratosphere in 2017 …

Rap & Hip-Hop

The Roots' Black Thought on How He Spit Nearly 10-Minute Viral Freestyle

"People had given up hope that someone out there was still around who is doing it the way we had done it"<p>On December 14th, Black Thought – the voice …

Rap & Hip-Hop

The Story Behind 'The Christmas Song'

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.<p>NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest song, James — an accomplished …

Christmas

The Coup’s Pam the Funkstress Dead at 51

Pam the Funkstress, member of the Oakland-founded hip-hop group the Coup, has died following organ failure, as the <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i> and Bay Area radio station KBLX report. The DJ, born Pam Warren, had been reportedly hospitalized for over a month following organ transplant surgery. She was …

Aquaponics

NPR Music's Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2017

In spite of the back seat classical music often takes in America in terms of sales figures and sheer visibility, there's nothing wrong with the music itself. This ranked list of 10 albums is a testament to today's vibrant performers and composers, and of course some of the masters from the past. …

Orchestras

Inside Latin Pop's 2017 Takeover

Artists and industry experts on how pop's paradigm shifted – and what it means for 2018 and beyond<p>In September of 2016, a young Venezuelan singer …

15 Great Albums You Probably Didn't Hear in 2017

Rolling Stone critics choose LPs that flew under the radar<p>These albums – from lesser-known but more-than-worthy artists – may not have burned through …

Dr. Dre's 'The Chronic': 10 Things You Didn't Know

How the "Cop Killer" controversy, Dre and Snoop's family connection, and the D.O.C.'s raspy new voice played into the 1992 gangsta-rap …

Here's Why Black Thought's 10-Minute Freestyle Is So Remarkable

The Roots' Black Thought proved yesterday that eviscerating lyricism still matters in hip-hop when the rapper dropped a nonstop, awe-inspiring …

The Cars' Ric Ocasek on the Hall of Fame: 'It's a Good Cap to the Bottle'

The frontman shares memories of his late friend and bandmate Benjamin Orr, and reveals he's got songs for a possible new Cars album<p>Cleveland, Ohio, …

Tidal may only have enough cash left to last six months

Music streaming service Tidal is facing both money and user growth woes, according to Norway's <i>Dagens Næringsliv</i>. After reportedly losing roughly NOK$368 million ($44 million dollars) before taxes in 2016, Tidal is now left with just enough cash to last six months. This despite Sprint buying a 33 …

YouTube to Launch Music Subscription Service in March 2018

Apple's streaming music service will soon face another major competitor, as YouTube prepares to launch a paid music service in March of 2018, reports <i>Bloomberg</i>.<p>YouTube has already inked a deal with Warner Music Group and is in talks with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a …

Qualcomm made a USB-C DAC to show off its hi-fi audio tech

If you're familiar with the name Qualcomm at all, you may know them best as the maker of Snapdragon processors that power many, if not most, of the market's leading smartphones. But Qualcomm doesn't just make CPUs and modems, and it can now add Hi-Fi DACs (or digital-to-analog converters) to its …

The Designer Of The Most Iconic Indie Albums Of The ’90s Gets A Book

Vaughan Oliver designed album art for the bands that defined a decade, from the Pixies and the Breeders to the Cocteau Twins.<p>The Breeders’ song “Cannonball,” the lead single from the band’s 1993 album <i>Last Splash</i>, starts off with screeching guitar that sounds like ear-busting audio feedback. A …

New Jimi Hendrix LP Unearths 10 Previously Unheard Recordings

'Both Sides of the Sky' features tracks recorded between 1968 to 1970 including collaborations with Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter<p>Ten previously …

Jimi Hendrix

40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Recognize Hip-Hop For The First Time

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors last night (Dec. 3) recognized those in the arts who've made lifetime achievements in American pop culture, while ushered in some new traditions in the process. This year's honorees were dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, singer Gloria Estefan, rapper LL …

Eric Clapton Talks Addiction, Cream's Brilliance, the Future of the Guitar

The guitar icon looks back on his turbulent history, as chronicled in new doc 'Life in 12 Bars,' and ahead to what's next<p>There is a remarkable scene …

The Healing Sound Of A Broken Orchestra

In a cheerful rehearsal room at Temple University, a few dozen professional musicians inspect the instruments that they'll be playing to debut an audacious piece of music by a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.<p>The composition is called "Symphony For a Broken Orchestra" and, fittingly, these …

Neil Young's huge online music archive opens to the public

Neil Young has been talking up his giant online archive for ages, but he's finally ready to deliver on his promises. The veteran Canadian rocker has launched the simply-titled Neil Young Archives, a website that includes all the media he has produced to date. And we do mean everything -- every song …

Jimi Hendrix: 10 Great Pre-Fame Tracks

Hear the guitar legend in his early sideman days alongside Little Richard, the Isley Brothers and others<p>Before he was experienced, Jimi Hendrix was a …

The Isley Brothers