Music News: 'Let's Go Crazy' is a star-studded 'Grammy Salute to Prince'


The Current Music News for April 22, 2020 (MPR Video)

On Tuesday night, CBS aired "Let's Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince." The star-studded tribute concert, recorded in January, was hosted by Maya Rudolph and included highlights like Gary Clark and H.E.R. opening the show with "Let's Go Crazy"; Miguel getting hot and horny with "I Would Die 4 U"; Usher, Sheila E., and FKA twigs collaborating on a medley with choreography; Gary Clark Jr. sizzling on "The Cross"; Mavis Staples joining the Revolution for a magisterial "Purple Rain"; and Beck's jubilant "Raspberry Beret." (Billboard)

Derek Jones of Falling in Reverse dies at 35

Guitarist Derek Jones, a co-founder of the Las Vegas post-hardcore band Falling in Reverse, has died of undisclosed causes at age 35. Falling in Reverse were popular festival attractions and saw all four of their studio albums climb into the top 40 on Billboard's album chart, with their 2011 debut My Drug is You hitting number 19. In a tribute on Instagram, Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke wrote, "Your spirit will be interwoven through the music I write forever. Rest In Peace Derek Jones. My heart is broken." (Billboard)

Loopmakers grow more integral to hip-hop production as sampling gets ever-pricer

The days when it was financially feasible to release a sample-heavy hip-hop album like the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique are long gone, and it's only getting riskier and more expensive to use samples at all. Pitchfork reports on a growing class of loopmakers who collaborate with producers to provide original sound clips that can be manipulated on a track as though they were samples — but the loops have never actually been on any other track. The loopmakers come from around the world, sharing or selling their work online. Even if you're not sampling another artist's track, you have to be careful: a fight between Justin Bieber and Asher Monroe over who stole from who on their similar-sounding tracks ended up revealing that both artists' producers grabbed the same free loop from a producer in the U.K.

Pitbull copyrights his yell

One sound you definitely can't sample for free, or even imitate yourself: Pitbull's trademark yell. It's now literally trademarked: you can't yell EEEEEEEYOOOOOO on a song without Pitbull's permission. Pitbull's attorneys were so proud of their achievement, they just published an article (co-authored by Pitbull himself) detailing how they convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that Pitbull's yell is so distinctive, listeners might think it's him on a track anytime they hear someone yell EEEEEEEYOOOOOO! (Billboard)

Vans releases sneaks to support small businesses, including many in music world

Vans, the sneaker company, writes, "We know how important small businesses are: We were one." That's why, they say, they've released a new line of sneakers paying tribute to small businesses across the country, with proceeds going to support those businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Among the kicks you can get: a pair with stars (including a gold star for Prince) like those on First Avenue in Minneapolis; a pair with the logo of Salzer's Records in Ventura, California; and a yellow flowered pattern paying homage to the Mohawk in Austin, Texas.

Bandcamp announces a second day of fee waiving

After the wild success of a day last month when Bandcamp waived its fees to put more money in artists' pockets, the streaming and sales platform is doing it again. On Friday, May 1, Bandcamp will once again let the full amount of music and merch sales flow directly into artists' pockets. Last time, that generated $4.3 million for Bandcamp artists, basically all of whom are struggling with live music and other activities called off to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Consequence of Sound)

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