KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Music News

The coronavirus pandemic has affected musicians around the world. Many have had to cancel tours, delay album releases and find new sources of income. But some artists have found inspiration in the virus.

The music marketplace and streaming service Bandcamp will once again forgo its share of sales for a 24-hour period this Friday, May 1, the company announced Monday. The initiative will also repeat on June 5 and July 3, and will last from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. PST time on all three days.

An effort by China to express solidarity with an Asian neighbor that is also battling the deadly coronavirus pandemic has not gone exactly to plan.

Last week, the Chinese Embassy in Manila posted a music video titled Iisang Dagat, or "One Sea" in Tagalog, the language commonly spoken in the Philippines. The reference is to the South China Sea, which lies between China and the Philippine archipelago.

With public life paralyzed by the coronavirus shutdown, a sad announcement came last week from a beloved cafe and music venue in Austin, Texas. Threadgill's, the Depression-era beer joint where Janis Joplin got her start — and later a place that fed Austin's appetite for good food and good music — is closing for good.

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET.

The coronavirus pandemic has completely shut down the business of concerts and other live events. Some people, including Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, are even predicting that live events won't resume until next year.

On Thursday, Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott performed to millions of fans worldwide — not during a living room set or from an empty venue, but via the massively popular video game Fortnite.

Fortnite's developer Epic Games says the virtual concert drew in 12.3 million players, setting "an all-time record" for an in-game event.

Fred The Godson, the Bronx-based rapper and fixture of hip-hop radio, died Thursday in New York City. Fred revealed earlier this month on April 6 that he had been hospitalized after he contracted COVID-19. His death was confirmed by his publicist, David Evans, and the cause of death was due to complications of the coronavirus. He was 35.

YouTube

Empty streets and subway stations feature prominently in the video for "Living in a Ghost Town," the

Debbie Davis deleted most of what was on her Google calendar over the first weeks of April. "It was too depressing," she says, on a long phone call she likely wouldn't have had time for under normal circumstances.

Matthew Seligman, who played bass in the influential English psychedelic band The Soft Boys before joining backing bands for artists including David Bowie, Morrissey, Sinead O'Connor and the Thompson Twins, died Friday evening at St George's Hospital in London. Seligman was admitted in early April for symptoms of COVID-19; he had been on a ventilator for two weeks when, on Friday morning, he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.

Celebrities are coming together, virtually, on Saturday night for a massive livestreamed concert organized to recognize front-line health care workers and to support the World Health Organization's work in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting at 8 p.m. ET, "One World: Together At Home," curated by Lady Gaga, promises performances from Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Lizzo, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Late-night funnymen Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel will share hosting duties.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, prisons and jails remain some of the most vulnerable places for its transmission.

New York City jails are dealing with an outbreak of their own: The Department of Corrections told NPR it's dealing with 364 confirmed cases among inmates and already has two deaths as of April 16.

Rikers Island Jail is the city's most infamous facility. Prisoner Daryl Campbell is currently under quarantine after another inmate came down with a high fever.

Earlier this week, Drake's latest single "Toosie Slide" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making the Canadian rapper the first male artist — and second artist ever — in Billboard history to have three singles reach No. 1 upon release. But unlike the rapper's past No. 1 debuts, "God's Plan" and "Nice For What," this new chart-topper is a result of Drizzy's ability to harness social media in a new way.

Thanks for joining our live listening party for Fiona Apple's remarkable Fetch the Bolt Cutters. NPR Music's Ann Powers, Marissa Lorusso and I had the opportunity to answer some of your great questions about the influence of the rhythms of the African diaspora on Apple's first album in eight years, as well as talk about the experience of listening in isolation. Thank you for all your love and thoughts in the chat!

YouTube

Bob Dylan released "I Contain Multitudes" at midnight, his second new song in three weeks.

Lee Konitz, the prolific jazz saxophonist who maintained a singular style and devotion to improvisation throughout a career that stretched more than 70 years, died on Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York at the age of 92. His son, Josh Konitz, confirmed to NPR that the cause was pneumonia related to COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Death in hip-hop can feel so commonplace that sometimes, we're desensitized to it. A trending topic for the day, a bump in streaming numbers, some kind words about the artist's music and then, we move on. But in the case of Nipsey Hussle, his impact since his 2019 death feels different.

Andy González, a New York bassist who both explored and bridged the worlds of Latin music and jazz, has died. The 69-year-old musician died in New York on Thursday night, from complications of a pre-existing illness, according to family members.

Born and bred in the Bronx, Andy González epitomized the fiercely independent Nuyorican attitude through his music — with one foot in Puerto Rican tradition and the other in the cutting-edge jazz of his native New York.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It is Easter this Sunday. And in Milan, the renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will be sending a message of love and hope to the world, especially Italy, which has seen more death in this pandemic than any country.

On Thursday, New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announced that it was canceling all of the summer performances and activities it presents, including three signature, extended series: a three-week outdoor dance party with live bands called Midsummer Night Swing, the classical music-focused Mostly Mozart Festival and the artistically wide-ranging, multi-week festival called Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Richard Teitelbaum, an electronic artist, keyboardist and composer who combined an interest in non-western musical languages with a focus on experimental practice, died on Thursday at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston, N.Y. His wife, the classical pianist Hiroko Sakurazawa, said the cause was a major stroke. He was 80.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Before the country of Colombia largely shut down due to the coronavirus, reporter John Otis visited a town there notorious as a shipping point for cocaine. As John discovered, though, it's also home to a hidden treasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF STEVIE NICKS' "EDGE OF SEVENTEEN")

NOEL KING, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Noel King. About 40 years ago, Stevie Nicks wrote these lyrics in the song "Edge Of Seventeen."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EDGE OF SEVENTEEN")

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

John Prine, a wry and perceptive writer whose country and folk songs often resembled vivid short stories, has died at age 73. His death, from complications caused by COVID-19, was confirmed by his family.

John Prine, a wry and perceptive writer whose songs often resembled vivid short stories, died Tuesday in Nashville from complications related to COVID-19. His death was confirmed by his publicist, on behalf of his family. He was 73 years old.

The creatively voracious music producer Hal Willner, who for decades selected the music used in "Saturday Night Live" sketches, died Tuesday, one day after his 64th birthday. He had symptoms consistent with those caused by COVID-19.

Along with his work at "SNL" — where he began in 1980 — Willner was a multifaceted presence in the music community, earning fans and drawing critical praise for his work as a live event and record producer.

Andrea Bocelli, the superstar tenor, will livestream an Easter Sunday concert from Milan's famed Duomo cathedral. Just like practically every other church in the world, the pews will be empty, and Bocelli will be accompanied only by organist Emanuele Vianelli. The concert will stream live on Bocelli's YouTube channel on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

More than 500 people in Louisiana have died from COVID-19, and we're going to spend a moment now remembering one of them - DJ Black N Mild.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "RHYTHM AND BOUNCE")

Pages