Music News: Paul McCartney joins the Roots and friends for 'Wonderful Christmastime'

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'Wonderful Christmastime' video
'Wonderful Christmastime' video (NBC)

Love it or hate it, Paul McCartney’s "Wonderful Christmastime" has become an unavoidable part of the holiday season. If you're going to hear it, it might at least be fun — at least, that's what McCartney seems to have reasoned when he agreed to team up with Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and the cast of the new animated movie Sing (Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Seth MacFarlane, and Tori Kelly) for a new a capella version of his 1979 song. (Pitchfork)

Jack White restores Bob Dylan's couch

Wait, what? Yes, it's true: Jack White worked in upholstery to make a living before the White Stripes hit it big, and he's drawn on those skills to restore a couch from Memphis's Sam Phillips Recording studio. The couch was likely sat in by studio visitors like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, and Phillips's family reached out to White's Third Man Upholstery ("yes, a real thing," as Rolling Stone notes) to restore the couch. White decided to handle this job personally.

Inside "the Messina"

Bon Iver’s new album 22, A Million draws heavily on a synthesizer called "the Messina," named after Justin Vernon’s engineer Chris Messina. In an interview with W Magazine, Messina tries to explain how the synthesizer — which creates electronically processed harmonies in real time — works.

"It's many things working together and none of them are ours," Messina says, "but the product is. Basically, we used things the way they're not normally intended, and we put them together. That's how we get the sound."

Today's Prince news

How did Prince get his name? The New York Times goes deep to get the story behind the story behind the story. The short version: Prince got it from his dad John Nelson, who gave his son the stage name he'd used as a pianist. That name: Prince Rodgers. That name came from the right-hand man (and, likely, lover) of Prophet Jones, a preacher who John Nelson probably heard on the radio. (New York Times)

Get ready to learn some details about Prince's second marriage: the records of his 2006 divorce from Manuela Testolini will be unsealed on Jan. 13, in response to a motion filed by the Star Tribune. Despite Prince's celebrity, it was unusual for the divorce records to be sealed: court papers are typically available to the public. Nonetheless, Judge Thomas S. Fraser hinted that the records don't contain many scandalous details. "This court file is a sea of tranquility compared to the typical family-court landscape," he says.

Sharon Van Etten hits Netflix

Have you watched the new Netflix science fiction series The OA? If you have, you've seen Sharon Van Etten, who plays a character named Rachel. We won't say any more (no spoilers!), but FYI. (NME)

Danny Wilde remembers Alan Thicke

What does Danny Wilde of Minneapolis band the Rembrandts have in common with the late Alan Thicke? They both composed iconic TV theme songs. Wilde said he was "blown away" to realize the extent of Thicke's accomplishment as a TV theme writer, and revealed that the Rembrandts have been approached many times to write TV theme songs after their "I'll Be There For You" opener became indelibly associated with Friends. With most of the offers, though, "you just kind of sit there and scratch your head," says Wilde. (Billboard)


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