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Home Β» blog Β» Ten Musical Notes and New Music for the Week of December 10, 2017
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Ten Musical Notes and New Music for the Week of December 10, 2017

New music this week is “Burden Down” by Jennifer Hudson (above) and “Running” by Bully (below).

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame finally did the right thing by selecting The Moody Blues for the class of 2018. Only Phil Rizzuto was unjustly denied entry into a hall longer. Other inductees, as most people reading this already know, are Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, Nina Simone and the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who will be overlooked no longer.

Essence has named Missy Elliot as the 2018 Black Women in Music honoree. The award will be presented at an event at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on January 25.

Sister Rosetta Thapre was an influence on Chuck Berry. That alone qualifies her for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (Photo: Johnnie Hamp)

I’ve often noticed that my local supermarket plays great music. It is no accident. How Stuff Works offers a feature on how retailers use music to sell things. It started with Muzak, which launched in 1934 based on “stimulus production” research that showed instrumental music played at very low volumes increases worker productivity. That concept has been brought to retail, where music is used to create a bond between shopper and store.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has not had enough of Alexander Hamilton. Cosmopolitan reports that the father of the hit show says he will release a track per month of music about the founding father and related topics. The first cut, “Ben Franklin’s Song,” is scheduled to be released this week. The song, from the Decembrists, was cut from the show

It seems that the Grateful Dead tributory of jam band music finally has transcended the death of Jerry Garcia. There are some great tribute bands around, such as Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Another is the China Cats. A Mercury News advance on a performance by the band dealt with an interesting issue: The essence of a jam band is that no two performances are alike. There is a trick for such a band to sound like the original without losing its own inspiration.

Splice, which Billboard calls a “music creation and collaboration platform,” aims to change the way musicians and producers “share samples, stems, patches and ultimately music.” The story says that the company has paid artists $5 million and raised seven times that amount in funding. The investors are DFJ Growth (which led), True Ventures, Union Square Ventures and Flybridge.

Pandora is making a big move by allowing users – even those along for the ride for free – to listen to music on demand after a 15-second pre-roll ad, according to The Verge.

TDMB last week highlighted some 2017 music lists. One that is worth mentioning published this week is from Junkee. It features the best writing about music for the year that is winding down.

There is only one John Fahey. He is so unique that it is impossible for somebody not well trained and incredibly articulate to explain what he did. On one level, he played acoustic guitar. But it was far more. He also was highly eccentric. Check out this excellent commentary by Pitchfork’s Grayson Haver Currin — who indeed is articulate — on the importance of Fahey’s Christmas music. Also, check out his music and, if you have time, this podcast.

Just about everything in The New Yorker is worth reading, so check out Carrie Battan’s favorites for the year that is winding down. There are six entries, starting with Drake and ending with Playboi Carti.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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