Music News: Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande to headline Coachella


Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) performs in Las Vegas, 2018.
Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) performs in Las Vegas, 2018. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande to headline Coachella
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Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande will headline this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, taking place April 12-21. In an era of mega-festivals, nothing's more "mega" than Coachella, with dozens of big artists playing sets on two back-to-back weekends. The buzz immediately started — both about who is headlining and who's not headlining.

Many fans were excited to see the widely beloved Grande step in for Justin Timberlake — a previously rumored headliner who's been sidelined by wear and tear on his voice. Not only was Timberlake's Super Bowl show regarded as underwhelming, a Timberlake headlining slot would have meant that the headliners would have been all men, as they've been so often in the past.

Janelle Monae boosters were bummed to see that despite playing the festival and releasing one of 2018's best-reviewed albums, she wasn't deemed worthy of a headlining slot. That said, Tame Impala are a widely-respected indie band with a big following, and leader Kevin Parker has raised his profile via collaborations with hip-hop stars like Kanye West and Travis Scott.

In an analysis, Billboard notes the rise of global acts like Asian pop bands and Latin music stars, taking slots that might formerly have been filled with older artists. The senior statespeople of this year's Coachella will be Weezer, Aphex Twin, and longtime norteño band Los Tucanes de Tijuana.

Even if you're not heading to California, you'll be able to watch more of Coachella live than ever before, thanks to an expanded partnership with YouTube. Both weekends will have live-streamed performances, and YouTube Music and Premium subscribers will have access to a special selection of passes to attend. (Billboard)

Daryl "Captain" Dragon, of Captain and Tennille, dies at 76

Singer-songwriter Daryl Dragon has died of renal failure at age 76. You may not recognize that name, but you probably know his musical moniker: the Captain, of the group Captain and Tennille. Dragon's longtime wife Toni Tennille was the other half of that duo, who had a string of soft-rock hits in the '70s — most notably "Muskrat Love" and their smash 1975 cover of Neil Sedaka's "Love Will Keep Us Together."

Dragon's nickname came from a stint touring with the Beach Boys; Mike Love would introduce him as "captain of the keyboards." He added a hat to complete the effect, and one of the defining musical personae of the yacht rock era was complete. He launched a nightclub act with Tennille in the early '70s, and "Love Will Keep Us Together" dominated 1975, winning the Grammy for Record of the Year.

Although the world learned, after their 2014 divorce, that the marriage was to some extent a publicity sham, their musical partnership was clearly fruitful. "He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly," said Toni Tennille in a statement after Dragon's death. "I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him." (New York Times)

Singer-songwriter Pegi Young dies at 66

Singer-songwriter Pegi Young has died of cancer at age 66. She was best-known for her decades-long marriage to, and musical collaboration with, Neil Young; the couple were together from 1978 until their divorce in 2014. She was a backup singer for Neil Young until she launched a solo career, releasing five albums. Pegi Young also co-founded the Bridge School, a nonprofit that helps kids with physical and speech impediments; Pegi and Neil were inspired to found the school after their son Ben was born with cerebral palsy. (NME)

Calling Pegi Young an "undersung" musician, Billboard rounded up her ten best songs — including this one from her post-divorce album Raw in 2017: "You Won't Take My Laugh Away From Me."

Viral video: Brian May sings to the stars

If there's one rock star who's going to get excited about a space probe passing a trans-Neptunian object, it's going to be Dr. Brian May, an astrophysicist whose side hustle is playing guitar in a band called Queen. To celebrate the voyage of NASA's New Horizons, a craft going where no probe has gone before, May has released a new song named after the craft, a song he refers to as "an anthem to human endeavor."

Is there an official music video with CGI graphics of planets and stars and moons and asteroids? You're darn tootin'! (Rolling Stone)

Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Captain and Tennille: "Love Will Keep Us Together"
Pegi Young: "You Won't Take My Laugh Away From Me"
Ross From Friends: "Talk to Me, You'll Understand"
Brian May: "New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix)"

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