Media Roundup: A Cup of Lists, A Pinch of Controversy, and A Handful of Tasty MP3s

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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MTV may not be as cutting edge as it once was, but its website is currently in the middle of an advertising controversy.

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Pete Doherty lets fans in on some of the details of his forthcoming solo album, featuring guitar work from Blur’s Graham Coxon.

Pete Doherty

Pete Doherty

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Be sure to catch Fleet Foxes on Saturday Night Live this week.

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Your bootleg this week comes courtesey of the Aquarium Drunkard blog.  Check out a great Guided By Voices’ 1995 show.

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Ben Taylor will play the High Noon Saloon on February 8th.  Blog readers looking for a handful of mp3s to sample before he hits town should head over here to have a listen.

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor

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NPR celebrated 50 years of Motown Records with a discussion with Detroit critic and author, Gary Graff.  Click here to listen.

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Reflections on the great year in music that was 2008 keep pouring in.  Check out this local fan’s impressions here.

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Rolling Stone has rounded up the favorites of your favorites! See what musicians like Ezra Koenig, Noel Gallagher, Gregg Gillis, and Santogold liked in 2008.

Santogold

Santogold

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Hip-hop fans will want to check out NPR’s list of the best “mixtapes” of 2008.

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It’s hardly news anymore:  Kanye West overreacts.  This time it’s over grey hair.  Seriously.

Kanye West

Kanye West

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Billy Zantzinger, the villian inspiration for Bob Dylan’s “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” passed away on January 3rd.  Here is Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Robert Levon Been performing the moving song in a session for Minnesota Public Radio.

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Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder

Steveland Morris was born in Saginaw, Michigan on May 13, 1950. He has delivered to us 35 U.S. albums , & 28 major studio releases. The singer/songwriter has scored more than 30 Top Ten Hits, 11 #1 Pop singles, winning 19 Grammys (and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in ’96) and a host of other awards, including, most recently, Billboard’s 2004 Century Award. (http://www.steviewonder.net/).

Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre- adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. A multi-instrumentalist, Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, talk box, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, bass guitar, organ, melodica, and clarinet. In his early career, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills.

Factoids:

Born prematurely, he became blind due to the high level of oxygen in his incubator. In 1954 his family moved to Detroit, where he became active in a church choir.

His daughter, Aisha Morris, was the inspiration for his hit single “Isn’t She Lovely.” Aisha Morris is a singer who has toured with her father and accompanied him on recordings, including his 2005 album, A Time 2 Love.

Wonder is an activist for civil rights and championed the effort to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday, was a driving force behind 1985’s USA For Africa campaign has (http://www.steviewonder.net/), & has endorsed 2008 United States Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Several artists have acknowledged Wonder’s contributions to music, including opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who once referred to him in a concert as a “great, great musical genius”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevie_Wonder)

A history in video. Enjoy the stroll.

Fingertips Part 2, 1963

Superstition, 1973

If You Really Love Me, 1981

I Just Called To Say I Love You, 1984

Part Time Lover, 1985

For Your Love, 1996

From The Bottom of My Heart, 2004