Andrew Flanagan

"You're still walking around the block," observes Hope Sandoval on Mazzy Star's newest, to which we all — despite the promising green sprigs of spring making their way out of the branches — sigh and think, "Yeah."

Warning: The above video contains language some my find offensive.

As artistic introductions to the world go, repetitiously reinforcing "I am the controller" over a squeaky-clean dancefloor get-down is a strong one. That Channel Tres is doing so on the cusp of rooftop dance season is a savvy bit of scheduling. And a welcome one.

Since (at least) the release of good kid, m.A.A.d. city in 2012, the singularity of Kendrick Lamar has been plainly evident. But with the Pulitzer Prize in Music for 2018 being given to the Compton rapper for his 2017 album DAMN., his exceptionalism is now officially historic: It's the first time in the prize's history that it has been given to an artist outside of the classical or jazz community.

It was a uniquely busy weekend for music, with a handful of events having taken place that illustrated new and familiar concentrations of power or shifting alliances or institutions doubling down on the status quo: Coachella now has a new name; the Academy of Country Music Awards' 53rd year was held in Las Vegas six months after a mass shooting took place at a country music festival in the city; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted some vanilla rockers and two epochal contributors and Kanye West re-downloaded Twitter.

Last year, from spring to summer, two organizations — the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) — made their case to the Copyright Royalty Board that Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora weren't paying songwriters enough when people streamed their compositions, a process that NMPA head David Israelite likened to "war." Those compositions, which are legally discrete from the recordings of those songs, are covered by "mechanical" licenses, a term that's roughly 100 years old and originally referred to the punch-card c

Yvonne Staples, a member of the renowned soul, gospel and R&B group The Staple Singers, died Tuesday in Chicago at the age of 80, representatives for her sister and band mate Mavis Staples confirmed to NPR Music. No cause was given, and the Staples family has yet to issue a statement.

Of the many (we'll get to that) famed North African guitarists, Bombino has, over the past near-decade, seemed to be the most willing to kitchen-sink his sound, to give his music a modernist momentum and panoramic scope.

On Let's Make Love, Brazilian Girls' first record in a decade, "Karaköy" stands out for its timelessness and simplicity. It's a walk-skip along the ancient streets of its namesake neighborhood in Istanbul, with Sabina Sciubba's rich, gymnastic and apparently effortless voice left, right and center stage. When its chorus arrives, soft-washed trumpets in tow, Sciubba's volume rises to overpower them.

Republic Records — a label that counts among its roster many of the world's best-known artists, including Lorde, Ariana Grande and The Weeknd — has announced that the company and its president, Charlie Walk, are going their separate ways.

Warning: This post contains language that some people may find offensive.

As artists like Paul McCartney, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Demi Lovato and Andra Day made appearances during March for Our Lives demonstrations for gun control this past Saturday, the rapper Killer Mike was on the Internet, explaining his support of gun ownership in an interview with NRATV, the broadcasting arm of the pro-gun lobbying and advocacy organization.

Explaining "Miki Dora," the first song we heard from his fourth album as Amen Dunes, Damon McMahon wrote in January that the iconic surfer of the title served as "a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche" and "a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions." But listening to it, you could be forgiven for thinking the song is starry-eyed.

Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas last Oct. 1, which began while country star Jason Aldean was performing as the final act of the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, another country singer who had played the event, Lee Brice, appeared on a local news station in South Carolina.

James Levine, the famed conductor who was fired earlier this week by New York's Metropolitan Opera following its internal investigation into allegations of sexually abusive conduct towards young artists, has responded by suing the Met and its General Manager Peter Gelb.

Updated 1:04 p.m. ET

The "substantial doubt" that iHeartMedia's corporate leaders expressed around the company's likelihood of surviving another year, mentioned in its quarterly financial report last November, has been put to rest.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

"When I give these books away," serpentwithfeet wonders, "will my ink betray me?" His opening isn't a worry. These songs will be given away — serpentwithfeet's only concern is that his books will be greeted with the same genuine intentions that inspired them to travel in the first place: "Boy, whoever reads about how much I adore you... I hope my words bring them something new."

Two former attorneys for Marion "Suge" Knight, a co-founder of the seminal West Coast rap label Death Row Records, have been indicted for attempting to bribe potential witnesses for an upcoming murder case against Knight.

"Feels great to have the cat out of the bag. Transparency breeds trust," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek tweeted Wednesday, just after the Securities and Exchange Commission published his company's 256-page financial opus.

See SPOT list.

Spotify, the world's most-used on-demand music streaming service, has pulled the curtain back on its New York Stock Exchange debut, expected in late March or early April, when it will trade under the symbol SPOT, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

Several dozen music festivals and conferences held around the world have pledged to bring gender parity to their stages and panel discussions, the U.K.-based PRS Foundation announced yesterday as part of an ongoing project called Keychange. These events join eight other festivals who promised their participation when the project, described by PRS as "a pioneering European initiative which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry," first launched.

Since last fall, when reporting on film mogul Harvey Weinstein's decades-long pattern of sexual assault instigated the movements now known as #MeToo and #TimesUp, many have wondered when the music industry's own dam would break. While few high-profile music industry leaders have met with the striking repercussions brought to celebrities such as Louis CK and Charlie Rose, the movement within music hasn't been stagnant.

Kyle Frenette, longtime manager of Bon Iver and a co-founder of Middle West Management, "an artist management firm founded on the acute quiet of Midwestern work ethic," is planning a pivot to politics. The Wisconsin native will formally announce his campaign to represent the 7th Congressional District of his state this Thursday, his campaign manager Christian Duffy confirmed to NPR Music.

The Smashing Pumpkins has announced an extensive North American arena tour under the title Shiny and Oh So Bright. Its three dozen dates will begin on July 12 in Glendale, Ariz. and end Sept. 7 in Boise, Idaho.

As with most of the tours, reunions, albums and other assorted ephemera surrounding this, one of alt-rock's greatest acts, what might have simply been a greatest hits lap for a band that parted ways nearly two decades ago has turned into a bit of a referendum on its legacy.

Tom Rapp, a civil rights attorney and musician best known for his late-'60s and early-'70s recordings under the name Pearls Before Swine, has died while in hospice care at his home in Melbourne, Fla., his publicist confirmed to NPR Music. He was 70 years old.

Vic Damone, a singer who rose to fame along the tail end of the post-war era embodied by The Rat Pack, died yesterday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla., according to a statement from his family. He was 89.

A first-generation Italian-American, Damone grew up closely studying the work of another similarly situated artist, Frank Sinatra, who would later become a cherished friend. "Without Frank there would not have been a Vic Damone," Damone once said.

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