Music News: Ray Davies says the Kinks are reuniting

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The Kinks
The Kinks, (L-R) Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Peter Quaife, and Mick Avory, wait on the set of a television show, ready to perform, 1968. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

For the first time in over 20 years, the Kinks are getting back together. In fact, they already have, says bandleader Ray Davies. He told the BBC that he'd brokered a rapprochement between his brother Dave Davies and bandmate Mick Avory, and that the three have been spending time in the studio and will be making a new Kinks album.

"It won't be well-organized like the Rolling Stones," Davies said about the reunion, "but the Kinks will probably be playing the local bar." Who's going to hint that the band that landed at number 84 on The Current's poll of 893 Essential Artists can probably sell a few more tickets than that? (Telegraph)

Grammys expanding nominee numbers

The Oscars did it, and now the Grammys are as well: expanding the number of nominees in top categories. There will now be eight rather than five nominees in the categories of best album, record, and song of the year, and best new artist. The New York Times notes that the change "may help increase gender diversity after the awards were sharply criticized this year for their lack of recognition for women artists."

Among other tweaks, the definition of "alternative music" for awards in that genre has been updated. "To address confusion surrounding this category, the criteria and definition have been broadened and updated as follows," wrote the Recording Academy. "Alternative is defined as a genre of music that embraces attributes of progression and innovation in both the rock or a more intense version of pop and is typically regarded as more original, eclectic, or musically challenging. It may embrace a variety of sub-genres or any hybrids thereof and may include recordings that don't fit into other genre categories."

Got that?

Spotify hires content officer

Spotify has hired industry veteran Dawn Ostroff as its new chief content officer. The reason that's news is the job title: it signals Spotify's growing ambitions to be not only a streaming platform but also a producer of content. That will probably include podcasts and videos, which offer greater revenue opportunities than music. The service has announced a push into video before, but it's never quite taken off. (New York Times)

McNally Smith sale raises $1 million

A sale of the building and equipment formerly belonging to the defunct McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul has raised almost $1 million, reports the Pioneer Press. However, well over $6 million of claims have been filed against the bankrupt college, so creditors will still lose millions.

The building has been purchased by a group of local investors. Plans for the former McNally space haven't yet been announced, but the History Theatre — which has long rented space in the building — says it expects to renew its lease with the new owners.

Congratulations to Sir Barry

As music writer Matthew Horton pointed out on Twitter, any publication is missing an opportunity today if it doesn't run the headline KNIGHT FEVER.

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees is now officially Sir Barry. Prince Charles knighted the singer-songwriter on at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday "for services to music and charity."

Acknowledging the honor, Gibb cited his late brothers and bandmates Maurice and Robin Gibb. "If it was not for my brothers, I would not be here," Sir Barry said. "If I had spent my whole life writing songs on my own, it would have meant something else altogether." (Pitchfork)


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