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Everywhere you look right now, it seems like American symphony orchestras are fighting for their lives — strikes, lockouts, bankruptcy. Perhaps the biggest example is the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, which is just coming out of its own bankruptcy. Tonight, its new 37-year-old music director takes the podium as the venerable orchestra begins a reboot.

Jason Lytle is the man behind the Modesto, Calif., band Grandaddy. The band released its debut in 1997, but it was Grandaddy's second album — The Sophtware Slump — that broke through with critics and fans. Even David Bowie called himself a fan when he approached the band members after seeing them play.

Around The Jazz Internet: Oct. 12, 2012

Oct 12, 2012

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  • New York Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur, 85, has announced that he has been living with Parkinson's disease for several years: "I have had the fortune of receiving great medical care since the diagnosis, enabling me to continue my conducting activities. These recent events have served as a good opportunity to make a return to the podium with a greater sense of purpose and awareness."

Gangnam Style is, among other things, a high-tech, sophisticated export.

Yes, the video is totally crazy and awesome. But this is not some viral fluke. South Korea has been building up to this moment for 20 years.

Here are three reasons South Korean pop music is taking over the world:

Taking Stock Of The MP3 At Midlife

Oct 11, 2012

Last week, Joel Rose wrote about the compact disc on its 30th anniversary, but it could have been an obituary. In the last decade, CD sales in the United States have dropped by more than two thirds, fulfilling a cycle that dates back to wax cylinders and 78 rpm discs: the 20 to 30 year lifespan of a format, followed by the rise of a new technology. So we decided to look at the format that usurped the CD's place in music listener's ears and hard drives, if not always hearts.

In 2006, Roger Arias went into his garage searching for a long-lost treasure. He remembered a story about his grandmother and a Spanish translation of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"I dug through my boxes and sure enough, there was a folder," he says. "It said 'The National Anthem,' and she had version 1 through 10. She kept every one of them."

It's been a tumultuous time for American orchestras. Labor disputes have shut down the Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, and strikes and lockouts have affected orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta and Louisville in the past year.

You, Too, Can Print Your Own Guitar

Oct 10, 2012

Though it's been around for three decades, 3-D printing has finally started to take off for manufacturing and even for regular consumers. It's being used for making airplane parts on demand and letting kids make their own toys. One designer is pushing the limits of 3-D printing by using it to make an acoustic guitar.

Muse: Arena-Sized Entropy On 'The 2nd Law'

Oct 9, 2012

Known for its huge performances, the British band Muse has twice sold out London's Wembley Stadium — the second largest stadium in Europe. Muse has sold more than 15 million records worldwide to date, and was even chosen to write the official song for the 2012 London Olympics, called "Survival." The track is featured on Muse's new album, The 2nd Law, which is out now.

Around The Jazz Internet: Oct. 5, 2012

Oct 5, 2012

Happy long weekend.

  • Whither smooth jazz? Though straight-ahead and experimental fans might assume their, uh, less bumpy cousin is weathering the storm, the loss of many radio stations is affecting the field a lot. David Adler talks to many musicians and industry insiders for JazzTimes. That includes Kenny G, who is identified on subsequent reference as "G," in a sidebar.

(More) Lockouts, Lawsuits And Losses

Oct 5, 2012

  • As we've been anticipating, the Minnesota Orchestra is now in lockout after contract negotiations failed. And the orchestra has now canceled all concerts until November 25.

Shehzad Roy, one of Pakistan's most popular signers, rocketed to fame in the 1990s singing sweet songs about love. He was a favorite among Pakistani elites who like to dance to secular tunes but don't otherwise rock the boat.

So those fans might be slightly shocked by the Roy of today, who has traded candy-coated pop for fiercely political songs.

This blogger had a fit last year about Canada's Rush still not being honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Diana Krall Brings Sexy Back In Time

Oct 4, 2012

When listening to Diana Krall's fun, smart new recording Glad Rag Doll, it's helpful to consider a question recently posed by Gyp Rosetti, the sensitive psychopath lending sparks to this season of HBO's Prohibition-era series Boardwalk Empire.

Welcome To Jay-Z's Brooklyn

Oct 3, 2012

Last Friday two things changed. The shifts weren't seismic, or unexpected, but now Brooklyn is different and hip-hop is different. It's because of Jay-Z, who, despite owning only 0.067% of the Nets and less than 0.2% of the Barclays Center, has become the public face of Brooklyn – not the team, the town.

Known for his gritty baritone, Waylon Jennings embodied the outlaw side of country music. He was 64 when he died of complications from diabetes, leaving behind a collection of vocal tracks that remained unfinished until now.

"It was almost shocking when I first heard it," says the singer Jessi Colter, who was married to Jennings for more than 30 years. "It took me several times to be able to listen to it. It sounded like he was there, that he's opening his heart to you, and he's telling you how he feels."

The CD, At 30, Is Feeling Its Age

Sep 30, 2012

Today marks the 30th anniversary of a musical format many of us grew up with: the compact disc. It's been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash. The CD is just the latest musical format to rise and fall in roughly the same 30-year cycle.

Compact discs had been pressed before 1982, but the first CD to officially go on sale was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.

Symphony orchestras across the country are in turmoil. Musicians in Chicago went on strike (an action that ended on Sept. 24 with a new tentative agreement reached), their counterparts in Atlanta were locked out (with a new agreement reached on Sept. 26). Contracts for both the Minneapolis Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra recently expired, and all sides seem to be at an impasse.

Around The Jazz Internet: Sept. 28, 2012

Sep 28, 2012

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  • The biggest news of the week was the walkout at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which forced the cancellation of the first Saturday night concert of the 2012-13 season. Management and the players wrestled over players' health care contributions. How does their compensation stack up, you may ask? "The current average salary of CSO musicians, who have a base salary of $145,000, is $173,000.

Mumford & Sons Preaches To Masses

Sep 27, 2012

Marcus Mumford may not seem like the kind of guy who'd start a bar fight.

In terms of international prestige, it's hard to think of bigger prizes in the classical community than those given annually by the British classical music magazine Gramophone (where I served as the North America editor for several years). Sure, the Grammys have more general name recognition, but these Eurocentric awards, completely dedicated to classical music, offer far more depth and breadth than their nearest American counterparts, both in terms of artists and repertoire.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Elsewhere in program, we're reporting on a deal that appears to be ending a lock out of NFL referees. There's some other labor disputes that appear to be ending without weeks of terrible calls.

YouTube is well-known for videos, but a recent Nielsen study revealed 64 percent of teens and young adults go to it to listen to and discover music. The free website, which is owned by Google, has set up advertising deals to help musicians get compensated. But it's not clear how they're getting paid — or how much.

Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.

He was 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."

The streaming music service Spotify has garnered some 2 million users in the U.S. since its introduction a little over a year ago. The service includes many big acts like Katy Perry, but many musicians have mixed feelings about it. Some, like Adele and Coldplay, resisted putting new albums on Spotify, citing the service's low royalty payments to musicians. Others, like the Black Keys, won't allow full albums on the service at all.

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