Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.
To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:31 pm
Pioneering American conductor, National Medal of Arts winner and poet James DePreist died early this morning in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 76 years old. His death, his manager told Deceptive Cadence, stemmed from complications following a heart attack he suffered nearly a year ago.
Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:38 am
One of the Twitter hashtags devised by rabid Beyonce fans before last night's Super Bowl halftime show was religious in nature: #praisebeysus. Praise Beysus! This bit of hyperventilating resonated in interesting ways. Strutting into the very center of America's biggest television spectacle, the 31-year-old superstar intended to secure her place in the musical pantheon next to recent Super Bowl-approved legends Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Prince.
Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Credit Scott Saltzman / Courtesy of the artist
Credit Courtesy of the artists
McCormick (right) with singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert. Gilbert's song "You Don't Know Her Like I Do," which McCormick co-wrote, hit the top of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in the summer of 2012.
Hugely good news for all you wandering minstrels: After years of pressure from groups like the American Federation of Musicians, the FAA has just passed a bill that (finally!) allows musicians to carry their instruments as carry-on luggage or, for larger instruments, to buy an extra seat. However, the federal agency has a year to implement the new standards.
The jazz musician Butch Morris was beloved by his fellow musicians and acclaimed by critics and fans for his ability to conduct improvisation. While that may sound like a contradiction, Morris pulled it off — with jazz musicians and symphony orchestras around the world.
A resident of New York City, he died yesterday in a Brooklyn hospital of cancer. He was 65 years old.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:20 am
Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris, an improvising musician who pioneered a system of ensemble interaction he called Conduction, has died at a hospital in New York City, his publicist confirmed. He had lung cancer, which was diagnosed last August. He was 65.
Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.
Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."
The longest-running Broadway musical ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, celebrated Saturday another milestone: its 25th anniversary.
When it all started Jan. 26, 1988, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost about 90 cents and a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera was a whopping $50. It was the hottest ticket in town.
Times have changed, prices have changed, but that disfigured, tortured genius who haunts the Paris Opera House, creating havoc and causing the chandelier to fall, has endured.
The Nazis imprisoned Czech composer Rudolf Karel (shown here in a sketch from 1945) for helping the resistance in Prague. He wrote his compositions down on toilet paper.
Credit Sylvia Poggioli / NPR
Italian musicologist Francesco Lotoro is on a decades-long mission to find and resurrect music composed by prisoners at camps before and during World War II. Here, he plays music in his home in Barletta, southern Italy.
Credit Plinio Lepri / AP
Lotoro displays a copy of music by Rudolf Karel, a Czech composer (in 1945 sketch at left) imprisoned by Nazis for helping the resistance in Prague, in a music shop in Rome, Feb. 22, 2007. Denied access to regular paper, Karel wrote his compositions down on toilet paper. He died of dysentery at the Terezin camp.
Credit Courtesy of Francesco Lotoro
Austrian musician Viktor Ullman composed more than 20 operas while imprisoned by the Nazis. In an essay, he wrote: "By no means did we sit weeping on the banks of the waters of Babylon and our endeavor with respect to arts was commensurate with our will to live." He died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz in 1944.
Credit Courtesy of Francesco Lotoro
Frida Misul, a singer from Livorno, Italy, was deported to Fossoli and eventually was at Auschwitz. She survived World War II and died in 1992.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:20 pm
Anne Akiko Meyers — the violinist who made news a year ago for an album recorded on her two Stradivarius instruments, including the then record price-breaking "Molitor" Strad, which she purchased for $3.6 million — announced yesterday that she's been given lifetime use of the 1741 "Vieuxtemps" Guarne