Music News: NASA sends Mars rover off with Billie Holiday

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Billie Holiday performs in New York, Feb. 1947
Billie Holiday performing at the Downbeat Club in New York, Feb. 1947. (William P. Gottlieb Collection / U.S. Library of Congress)
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NASA sends Mars rover off with Billie Holiday
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail and join our Facebook group.


This one was just too sweet to pass up, so even though it happened last week, I figured we'd talk about it, in case you missed it. Last week, you may have heard that the Mars Opportunity rover sent out a final message: "My battery is low and it's getting dark." While that is just a poetic translation of the data dump that the robot sent to indicate low battery, the way NASA responded to the rover wrapping up its 15-year exploration of the surface of Mars was fairly sweet.

As reported by the AP, NASA made a final attempt to contact Opportunity Feb. 12th with a transmission of Billie Holiday's "I'll Be Seeing You." Which isn't a bad way to wrap up a job well done.

More Ryan Adams fallout

Last week the New York Times reported on Ryan Adams's abuse of several women, including his ex-wife Mandy Moore and Phoebe Bridgers. Since then, more people have come forward with musicians Karen Elson — who claimed to have had a "traumatizing experience" — and Liz Phair, who said that the stories in the article echoed her interactions with Ryan Adams.

Adam's forthcoming album, Big Colors, has been pulled from its release; the FBI is investigating the alleged sexual communications that the report described Adams having with an underage fan; and now one of his bandmates has come forward with a statement.

Ariana Grande matches Beatles chart record

Ariana Grande's latest album, Thank U, Next, is making all kinds of moves. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with the biggest streaming week ever for a pop album, and now we're talking about it again.

Why? Because three of the album's songs currently hold the number one, two, and three spots on the Billboard Hot 100 with "7 Rings," "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored," and "Thank U, Next." This is the first time since the Beatles in 1964 that an artist has held the spots simultaneously.

It's Ariana's world, we're just living in it. (BuzzFeed)

Dueling music festivals highlight humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela will be highlighted this weekend as dueling festivals take place along the border.

On Friday, British billionaire Richard Branson will host an aid concert on the Colombian side of a border bridge that has been blocked — by Venezuela's embattled president, Nicolas Maduro — with shipping containers to stop the flow of much-needed food and medicine. According to the press release for Venezuela Aid Live, the goal of the event is "to draw global attention and inform about the tragic situation lived by Venezuelans inside and outside of their country" and "to raise $100 million that will be destined to cover Venezuela's humanitarian crisis."

Maduro, who denies there is a humanitarian crisis, responded by hosting his own festival that same weekend with the slogan "nothing for war, hands off Venezuela."

No word yet on the performers for Maduro's festival, but Branson's Venezuela Aid Live, which will be streaming live on Friday, has announced several artists, including Paulina Rubio and Luis Fonsi, the name behind the biggest hit of last summer, "Despacito." (New York Times)

Viral clip: Mötley Crüe get their own biopic

Rockers Mötley Crüe are getting the Netflix biopic treatment. The Dirt is coming to out in March, and looks like it will showcase all the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll — covering the band's early years in the Sunset Strip metal scene to their collapse in the '90s.


Audio sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
Instrumental Hoodz: "Instrumental 18 Urban Backing Beats"
BoxCat Games: "Against The Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Phoebe Bridgers: "Motion Sickness" (Live at The Current)
Ariana Grande: "7 rings"
Ariana Grande: "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored"
Ariana Grande: "thank u, next"
Billie Holiday: "I'll Be Seeing You"
Luis Fonsi: "Despacito (feat. Daddy Yankee)"
The Dirt trailer


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