Music News: Local musicians play for Coachella-size crowd at Minnesota Women's March


Panoramic view of the Women's March crowd from the capitol.
Panoramic view of the Women's March crowd on from the second floor balcony of the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (Courtesy Jenel Farrell)

Chastity Brown, Maria Isa, K.Raydio, and the Prairie Fire Lady Choir were among the local musicians who performed on Saturday at the Women's March in St. Paul, one of a worldwide series of women's marches and rallies organized in response to the Friday inauguration of President Donald Trump. Nearly 100,000 attended the St. Paul event, a number comparable to the Coachella weekend capacity of 99,000. (MPR News)

In Washington, D.C., marchers saw performances by artists including Alicia Keys, Maxwell, and Janelle Monáe — who was joined onstage by the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mohamed Bah, Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, and Jordan Davis. (Billboard, Pitchfork)

Madonna also performed at the Washington march, after delivering a passionate speech laced with profanity and the instantly controversial statement that "I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House, but I know that this won't change anything." (Rolling Stone) She later clarified that the phase was meant strictly as a metaphor, but Trump administration spokesperson Kellyanne Conway called the remark "destructive" and cited unverified reports that the Secret Service is investigating the singer. (Washington Times)

In addition to those performing at Women's Marches, many more musicians marched in solidarity. Among them: The National, Tegan and Sara, Carrie Brownstein, Green Day, Kim Gordon, Courtney Barnett, Best Coast, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jessie Ware, and Jim James. (Pitchfork) Other music stars marching included Yoko Ono, Cher, Haim, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Pink, and Demi Lovato. Even Taylor Swift, widely criticized for remaining silent about the presidential election, tweeted that she has "so much love, pride, and respect for those who marched." (Billboard)

After the march, an official afterparty featured performances by The National as well as Sleater-Kinney — who covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s "Fortunate Son" with help from Matt Berninger, Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. (Pitchfork)

Elsewhere, many artists performed or spoke out in protest. Audioslave reunited for the first time in over a decade at Prophets of Rage’s "Anti-Inaugural Ball" on Friday in Los Angeles. (Rolling Stone) Roger Waters shared a video of one of his recent performances of Pink Floyd’s "Pigs," featuring visuals critical of Trump. (Pitchfork)

Bruce Springsteen, performing in Melbourne, Australia, told a crowd on Saturday that "our hearts and spirits are with the hundreds of thousands of women and men that marched yesterday in every city of America. And in Melbourne." He continued, "We rallied against hate and division and in support of tolerance, inclusion, reproductive rights, civil rights, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, the environment, wage equality, gender equality, health care and immigrant rights. We stand with you. We are the new American resistance." (Billboard)

Other performers chose to participate in the inaugural activities — including Jackie Evancho, who sang the National Anthem on Friday as planned. "This is for my country," she said about her decision to perform. (Billboard)

Remembering Maggie Roche

Folksinger Maggie Roche has died of breast cancer at age 65. She was best known as the eldest member of the sister trio the Roches. Natives of Park Ridge, N.J., the Roches were discovered by Paul Simon in the early '70s, when they sang harmony on his album There Goes Rhymin' Simon. They enjoyed modest but reliable success with a string of pop-folk albums from the '70s into the 2000s, and shared deep musical and personal connections across the folk music landscape. (New York Times)

Today's format comeback news

Jack White is opening a vinyl pressing plant at the Detroit location of his Third Man Records label. A Feb. 25 opening party will feature live music performances (lineup TBA) and exclusive records. Third Man is touting the plant as housing "eight of the first newly built presses in 35 years" and as being the "only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world." (Rolling Stone)

As vinyl sales continue to grow, guess what else is booming? Cassettes. Cassette sales in 2016 were up 74% from 2015, with the Guardians of the Galaxy mixtape being a particularly hot seller. Echoing the way the vinyl rebound unfolded, artists are starting to issue both cassettes of new releases (for example, Justin Bieber’s Purpose) and to reissue catalog favorites like albums from Prince and Eminem. (Billboard)

Goodbye to Prince's dove

Prince’s dove Majesty has reportedly died of a tumor. Majesty was one of two doves owned by Prince at the time of his death, the other named Divinity. The doves have been visible, if distantly, on recent Paisley Park tours: their cage was on the mezzanine of the venue's atrium, and occasionally you could in fact hear the doves cry.

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