The Musics

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

'Rolling Stone' Magazine Is Put Up For Sale

Wenner Media, the company founded by <i>Rolling Stone</i> publisher Jann Wenner, is selling its controlling stake in the iconic music and culture magazine, citing a desire "to best position the brand for future growth."<p>The news comes one year after Wenner Media sold 49 percent of <i>Rolling Stone</i> to BandLab …

Journalism

Get a glimpse of the music behind ultra-hard platformer ‘Cuphead’

<i>Cuphead</i> will probably be equally remembered for two things: Its already-infamous punishing difficulty and its gorgeous hand-drawn look. But folks shouldn't count out its delightful big band/swing soundtrack, which pairs perfectly with the game's 1930s-esque animated style. Studio MDHR released a …

Duke Ellington

Kamaiyah on Making Feel-Good Hip-Hop, Becoming a West Coast Icon

Oakland MC of "Why You Always Hatin?" fame talks hometown pride, navigating a male-dominated market<p>"If I've [made a hit] once, I can do it again," …

Rap & Hip-Hop

The Last Word: Ozzy Osbourne Talks Marriage, Sobriety, Life After Black Sabbath

The Prince of Darkness on his regrets, the state of the music industry and why retirement isn't in his future<p>For nearly five decades now, Ozzy …

Love

'We Shall Not Be Moved': A New Opera Traces The Legacy Of The 1985 MOVE Bombing

<i>We Shall Not Be Moved</i> is a new opera that takes its name from both the old spiritual-turned-civil-rights anthem and the Philadelphia black liberation group, MOVE. That group might be best-remembered for a 1985 tragedy: A police helicopter bombed the MOVE house, and the resulting fire killed 11 …

The Arts

The Urgent 'Sonic Blast' Of Prophets Of Rage

In the late 1980s, Public Enemy emerged as a pioneering voice in American hip-hop, injecting the charge of politics into its music.<p>MC Chuck D and his fellow Public Enemy members, including Flavor Flav and DJ Lord, made rap music that carried strong political messages with all the ferocity of punk …

Chuck D

A robot conductor led a live orchestra performance

Just a month after humanoid robot Pepper conducted a Buddhist burial ceremony, a robo-contemporary has conducted the world-renowned Lucca Philharmonic orchestra alongside operatic greats such as Andrea Bocelli. Do robots need a heart to complete tasks of passion? As shown by YuMi, the robotic …

Orchestras

China's Two Largest Tech Companies Sign A Deal Over The West's Biggest Music

Among the deals being signed that shape the way the world experiences culture, a new partnership will exert a great influence on the flow of content from the world's three remaining major record labels to an enormous and growing marketplace — as long as everyone plays by China's opaque rules around …

China

Mos Def on retirement: "I'm always going to be creating"

ATLANTA (AP) — Hip-hop star Yasiin Bey performed for what appears to be the last time in his career.<p>But the rapper also known as Mos Def said in a backstage interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night, he'll continue creating and will return to the public spotlight in the future. He …

Entertainment

A Tribe Called Quest play their “last show ever”

<i>Photo by Philip Cosores</i><p>As A Tribe Called Quest toured in support of their final album, 2016’s <i>We got it from Here…</i>, the legendary hip-hop collective …

Rap & Hip-Hop
U2

'MTV Unplugged': The 15 Best Episodes

To celebrate the show's return, we look back at its greatest moments – from Jay-Z to Nirvana<p>MTV's newest reinvention scheme involves getting back to …

Eric Clapton

Record your band’s demo with this tiny cylindrical recording studio

If you've ever attempted to record a little music demo of your own, you know that these days, the wealth of technological options can be a little overwhelming. Audio company iZotope, known for its pro-level recording gear and software, might just solve this problem with a pared-down little gadget …

Guitar

Apple Establishes New Streaming Deal With Warner Music Group, Will Pay Lower Rates

As Apple's original Apple Music deals with record labels begin expiring, Apple has been pursuing lower streaming rates as it negotiates new deals. Apple recently reached a deal with Warner Music Group, reports <i>Bloomberg</i>, and the Cupertino company was indeed able to secure a lower rate.<p>Warner Music …

Universal Music Group

Walter Becker, Steely Dan Co-Founder, Dead at 67

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted guitarist's partnership with Donald Fagen yielded classic LPs like 'Aja,' 'Katy Lied' and 'Pretzel Logic'<p>Walter …

William S. Burroughs

In Indonesia, 3 Muslim Girls Fight for Their Right to Play Heavy Metal

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The three teenage girls — shy and even seeming slightly embarrassed as they peer out from their Islamic head scarves — do not look much like a heavy metal band.<p>But a dramatic change occurs when they take the stage. All pretense of shyness or awkwardness evaporates as the group …

Indonesia

Watch Maynard James Keenan Talk Tool, Bowie, Winemaking

Arizona

First Listen: Gregg Allman, 'Southern Blood'

<i>Southern Blood</i> is the kind of farewell every rock 'n' lifer hopes to make. But when the fateful hour arrives, few are blessed with both the time and the touch to pull it off. David Bowie was one of the few who did. Prince surely could have, if the end hadn't come so unexpectedly. Gregg Allman made …

Gregg Allman

alt-J, 'In Cold Blood' (Live)

alt-J has won critical accolades since its debut, selling over a million records to its devoted fanbase. After taking some much-needed time off from touring and recording — and from and each other — the band recorded its latest album, <i>Relaxer</i>, and gave a phenomenal live performance for <i>Morning</i> …

Movies

First Listen: Neil Young, 'Hitchhiker'

Recording is a little bit like fishing. Sometimes you make elaborate preparations, get the best gear and set up in advantageous surroundings ... only to wind up with zilch.<p>Sometimes you grab whatever is close at hand and just get busy. The hours go by like minutes, and the next thing you know, the …

Neil Young

Bootsy Collins Recruits Snoop Dogg, Chuck D, Buckethead for New LP

Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Victor Wooten and the late Bernie Worrell also appear on funk bassist's 14th LP, 'World Wide Funk'<p>Bootsy Collins …

Rap & Hip-Hop

Forebears: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Godmother Of Rock 'N' Roll

<i>This essay is one in a series celebrating women whose major contributions in recording occurred before the time frame of NPR Music's list of</i> <i>150 Greatest Albums Made By Women</i><i>.</i><p>Rock 'n' roll was bred between the church and the nightclubs in the soul of a queer black woman in the 1940s named Sister …

Black History

World Air Guitar Champion Is In Finland To Defend His Title

<b>Update at 3:40 p.m. ET</b><p>[The Air Guitar World Championship has crowned its winner. Scroll to the end of the story to find out who won.]<p>Great rock guitarists need great nicknames. There's Slash, Slowhand and The Edge.<p>Meet a new one: Airistotle. No, that's not a misspelling. The nom de rock belongs to …

Guitar

Spotify's deal with Warner Music clears path to going public

Spotify just signed a deal with Warner Music to secure its artists for the streaming service's users worldwide. This is the last big label after Universal Music Group, Merlin and Sony to renew ties with Spotify, and now pretty much everyone's on board.<p>Spotify didn't provide any details on the …

Spotify

John Abercrombie, Jazz Guitarist, Dies At 72

John Abercrombie helped define the sound of jazz guitar: from jazz-rock fusion to funky organ combos to the distinctive less-is-more sound he created on dozens of albums for the ECM label.<p>Transcript<p>(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN ABERCROMBIE'S "BACKWARD GLANCE")<p>ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:<p>That's guitarist John …

Jazz

Pearl Jam Detail New Concert Film Let’s Play Two, Share New Trailer: Watch

The movie hits theaters in select locations on September 29 alongside its soundtrack’s vinyl release

Pearl Jam

It's Not Just Reggae, Says Chronixx: Call It 'Black Experimental Music'

The artist Chronixx, born Jamar McNaughton, is 24 years old. But he's already been hailed as the leader of Jamaica's roots revival moment: an island-wide return to old-school reggae.<p>He's not so sure, though, that what he plays should be considered <i>purely</i> reggae. His debut album, <i>Chronology</i>, released …

Reggae

These Artists Are Making Music With Sonic Weapons

The artist collective Postcommodity is using sound cannons–normally used in combat–to broadcast an opera of migrant stories.<p>Sound can be an incredibly powerful, spiritual, and transportive force. It can also be weaponized.<p>Contemporary use of sound warfare dates back to World War II, when Albert …

United States

The 50 Greatest Jazz Drummers Of All Time

Drummers have often been the butt of jokes, many of which focus on their supposed lack of musicality and dubious time-keeping skills. But the truth …

Jazz