Andrew Flanagan

Next year, Missy Elliott may become the first female rapper to be admitted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She'd become only the third rapper to join the Hall's ranks — which number around 400 — following the induction of Jay-Z in 2017 and Jermaine Dupri last year. The Hall announced this year's nominees yesterday through the Associated Press.

In the afterword to Absolutely on Music, a book of conversations between novelist Haruki Murakami and the conductor Seiji Ozawa — who has won practically every major award there is for his work — Ozawa observed of the writer: "I have lots of friends who love music, but Haruki takes it way beyond the bounds of sanity."

Malcolm James McCormick, the chart-topping rapper known as Mac Miller, had fentanyl, cocaine and ethanol in his system at the time of death on Sept. 7, according to Los Angeles County's Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

This Halloween, a formidable lineup of hip-hop artists and John Mayer will pay tribute to rapper Mac Miller, who died on Sept. 7 at the age of 26. In spite of the rapper's association with his hometown of Pittsburgh, the event will be held at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, where Miller had been living prior to his death.

"Dear Mr. Trump: We write you on behalf of our client, Pharrell Williams, composer and performer of the hit song 'Happy.' On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged 'nationalist,' you played his song 'Happy' to a crowd at a political event in Indiana.

"Society, have mercy on me / I hope you're not angry if I disagree," go the closing lines of "Society" — a three-chord folk song written by Jerry Hannan. Last week, amidst a contentious midterm election season, two aspiring politicians in Vermont performed the song as an elegant aisle-crossing and a rare cross-party collaboration.

The "whistling" of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica's largest, is beautifully eerie. It's also potentially a divining rod for changes to shelves' composition that can be monitored in real time.

Listening to it, the opening moan of Fever Ray's song "If I Had A Heart" comes to mind, or the dramatic composition Inuksuit from John Luther Adams:

When T Magazine profiled the French artist Sophie Calle in April 2017, she appeared to be pregnant. Calle was 63 then, and the writer, Mary Kaye Schilling, admitted to being surprised at the sight of the artist's swollen belly. A pregnancy would have been more than possible, as an Indian woman proved a year before Schilling showed up on Calle's doorstep.

In 2014, Cohen surprised the Manhattan audience of a closed listening session of Popular Problems, his newest album at the time, by popping in not to sing, but simply say hello and look at everyone like they were aliens. At the time, I remember thinking that everything seemed to be a Very Serious Lark to Leonard.

Two years later, Cohen died. But just before that, he had put the finishing touches on a final book, The Flame, which was released on Oct. 2. It comes with an audio version of the works inside it, read by stars of film and literature.

Billy McFarland, a co-founder of the schadenfreude-rich, hospitality-poor debacle known as the Fyre Festival, has been sentenced to six years in prison and three years on probation; he also will have to pay restitution of just more than $26 million. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald presided over McFarland's sentencing in the U.S. Southern District Court in Manhattan on Thursday.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2019 nominees on Tuesday, and in what has become an annual tradition, the list came with the Hall's usual heap of opacity and a dash of acrimony.

One nominee has already been inducted, two are receiving their fifth nominations, and one previously said it would decline the honor before changing its, ahem, tune on Tuesday morning.

Geoff Emerick, an audio engineer best known for his work with The Beatles, died Tuesday at his home near Laurel Canyon, Calif., due to complications related to his pacemaker. Emerick's manager, William Zabaleta, confirmed his death to NPR. He was 72.

Emerick had been in the hospital two weeks prior after experiencing trouble walking, but was ruled to have been dehydrated.

Marty Balin, a co-founder, vocalist and songwriter for psychedelic mainstays Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, died Sept. 27 in Tampa, Fla., a statement from his family confirmed. No cause was given. He was 76.

In 1965, Balin was an aspiring folk singer and co-founder of San Francisco's The Matrix, a club that quickly became a petri dish for Jefferson Airplane — which began as the club's house band on Aug. 13, 1965 — as well as San Francisco's developing rock music scene writ large.

In 1979, a young East German named Micha Horschig made a prediction: The fall of his country's socialist government, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), would take 10 years.

On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell.

Among the many other things to happen in the decade between was the gestation and maturation of punk in the GDR, a movement that would become stained with blood and colored black and blue, and which has now been fascinatingly traced — through extensive interviews and research that took nearly a decade — in Tim Mohr's new book Burning Down the Haus.

Earlier this month, British pianist James Rhodes received a notification from Facebook. A short video he had recorded and uploaded of himself playing a passage of Bach's Partita No. 1 had been flagged by Facebook's copyright identification system as belonging to Sony Music, resulting in 47 of the video's 71 seconds being muted.

"Stop being a**holes," Rhodes tweeted in response.

Satellite radio giant SiriusXM is buying the Oakland, Calif.-based digital radio company Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at $3.5 billion, the companies announced Monday. The deal is expected to close in early 2019.

The merger would create "the world's largest audio entertainment company," SiriusXM CEO James Meyer said in a conference call. The deal would still need to be reviewed by antitrust regulators and shareholders, he added.

On Tuesday evening, the Music Modernization Act (renamed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act at the 23rd hour — in honor of the retiring Utah politician who also happens himself to own a platinum record), was passed unanimously in the Senate, as it was earlier this year by the House. In an age where political and artistic consensus is increasingly found only in cultural warrens populated by the like-minded, the bipartisan support of the bill is perhaps a small beacon of unity. (But still.)

Pyotr Verzilov, a prominent member of the Russian art and activist collective Pussy Riot, is suspected to have been poisoned in Moscow on Tuesday, according to the group and local media.

YouTube

Walking through the warm, vanilla hallway of Grand Central Terminal, I tried to enter a barricade when an army sentry — helmet, muted green-and-sand uniform, a pistol

The cause of the surprising January death of Dolores O'Riordan, singer of Irish band The Cranberries who rose to fame in the '90s with a string of radio hits including "Zombie" and "Linger," has been determined. London Inner West coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe found O'Riordan's death to have been an accident, caused by alcohol intoxication and drowning.

Updated Aug. 28 at 3:07 p.m. ET

"They want to see that I fall / 'Cause I'm Michael Jackson."
Lyric from "Breaking News"

Maybe. Maybe not.

Two days ago, on Monday, police in Uganda fired upon protesters who were demonstrating against the detention of Robert Kyagulanyi — a lawmaker better known as the musician Bobi Wine — and others.

This week, two individuals became the focus of global celebration following an unlikely and joyous confluence of circumstances.

The viral story went that two elderly men escaped their care facility to attend a metal festival in northern Germany (or, as one headline put it: "Elderly Men Escape Retirement Home to Go RAGE!!").

Except they weren't, and they didn't.

Demi Lovato, who was hospitalized in late July following an unspecified overdose, has issued a statement addressing her ongoing struggles with addiction.

"I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction," Lovato wrote in a statement posted to Instagram on Aug. 5. "What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.

In early April, when Channel Tres' debut single, "Controller," was pinged into my email by his label co-head and the song's co-songwriter, Nick Sylvester of the independent label Godmode, it had the benefit of landing with zero expectations attached; no associative "sounds like," no particular publication or blog or influencer or publicist pushing connections into the brain. We ended up premiering the song.

Vivendi, a French media conglomerate that is the parent company of the world's largest record label, Universal Music Group, announced during its half-year financial review that it plans to sell up to half of the share capital of the label group. UMG is the parent company is several noteworthy labels, including Capitol Music Group (and its landmark Los Angeles tower), classical label Deutsche Grammophon and the pop powerhouse Republic Records.

The Kennedy Center annually recognizes artists who have had a uniquely wide and enduring impact on American culture. On Wednesday, the Washington, D.C.

"Today is the day you've been waiting for," R. Kelly claims in an Instagram post Monday morning in which he directs his followers to listen to a new, 19-minute song titled "I Admit," in which the singer obliquely or directly addresses allegations levied against him over the past year.

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