Music News: Country radio top 20 has zero female acts, for the first time since at least 1990

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Lauren Alaina performs in Arkansas, 2018.
Ironically, Lauren Alaina - seen here performing in Alabama in May 2018 - has landed on the country charts with a song about how there used to be more women on the radio. (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Bentonville Film Festival)
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Country radio top 20 has zero female acts, for the first time since at least 1990
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For the first time since 1990, when Billboard started tracking the most-played songs on country radio, there's not a single woman in that format's top 20. The top-ranked song by a female artist is Carrie Underwood's "Love Wins," coming in at number 22. There are only seven more female acts in the top 60, and ironically one of them is Lauren Alaina with the song "Ladies in the '90s," which is actually about how there used to be more women on the radio — with shout-outs to artists including Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. She's not wrong: on this week in 2000, there were seven songs by women in the country airplay top 20. (Billboard)

This year's most-tweeted artists are...guess which band

What celebrity was tweeted about most in 2018? Donald Trump? LeBron James? Lady Gaga? Nope, nope, and nope. According to Twitter, the answer is BTS, the massively popular group who this year became the first K-pop group ever to top the American album chart. They also had this year's most-liked tweet: their video for Drake's "In My Feelings" challenge. (Billboard)

Flaming Lips announce album narrated by a member of the Clash

The Flaming Lips have announced their next album...and it features Mick Jones of the Clash, but not as a singer or guitarist. King's Mouth will be released on the upcoming Record Store Day, April 20. According to frontman Wayne Coyne, Mick Jones will be on almost every track, providing narration. (Spin)

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... ok.. so... our King’s Mouth album that will be coming out on @recordstoredayus in April has Mick Jones on it... yeah Mick Jones from The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite.. he’s doing the narration ... he’s on almost every song... it really it quite unbelievable.. ill post a little video clip so you can hear him ... but yeah!!!!! Man!!! Sooooo cool❤️🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️#waynecoyne #theflaminglips #spongebobbroadway #flaminglipsconcert #flaminglips #kingsmouth @stevendrozd @scott_booker @jenstark @irreversibility @mtekbot @katyweaver @denniscoyne @kwkakwka @rockworth @nicholas_ley @spacefacemusic @oliverhibert @hein_koh @wow_elec_tron @nilerodgers @tannermariehull @wilco @waynecoyne5 @unitheband @dandeacon @mileycyrus @the_avam @gabbytwin @iiswhoiis @mtekbot @postmalone @paulsmith

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Is Dave Grohl hiding a Sunny Day Real Estate album?

Sunny Day Real Estate drummer William Goldsmith raised eyebrows this week with the claim that "the greatest Sunny Day Real Estate record ever made" is buried in Dave Grohl's sock drawer. Goldsmith later clarified that he didn't mean that literally, but he did mean it. "Dave's sock drawer was meant to figuratively represent studio 606."

Let's back up a little. Goldsmith was in Foo Fighters from 1994 to 1996, but left the band after Grohl re-recorded his drum parts on The Color and the Shape. The unreleased Sunny Day Real Estate record he's referring to dates from 2010, when the band did some recording in Northridge, California at Studio 606, which Grohl owns. What happened to the album? Former frontman Jeremy Enigk "did not receive the moral support as well as engineering that he deserved and I hold myself accountable just as much as everyone else involved for that mistake."

To further clarify, Goldsmith wrote on Facebook, "No I was not meaning to claim Dave single handedly prevented the record from being finished. He just owns the place where it was abandoned." (Spin)

Apollo Theater expanding

For the first time since 1934, the legendary Apollo Theater is expanding. It's not adding on to the 1,500-seat auditorium made famous by the likes of James Brown and Aretha Franklin, though: it's acquiring the Victoria Theater, just a few doors down in Harlem.

The theater will be redeveloped into the Apollo Performing Arts Center, which according to the New York Times "will be used to incubate works by up-and-coming artists, particularly performers of color, who might not be ready for the main theater."

The Victoria is a historic landmark owned by the state of New York, which has been working for decades to get it redeveloped. Now, construction is finally underway on a project that will ultimately encompass condos, a hotel, and the performing arts center. The Apollo first considered taking the project on 20 years ago, only to back out after 9/11 as the city faced a host of challenges.

Now, the Apollo is financially healthy — it's run a surplus for five straight years — and ready to take on the challenge of developing two new black-box spaces that will not only host more intimate performances but will be more flexible for various presentations. The theater's CEO says she wants the Apollo to become Harlem's version of Lincoln Center.

Viral clip: Musical side of George H.W. Bush surfaces in rare inauguration video

The late George H.W. Bush wasn't exactly known for his musical savvy, unlike later presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Newly-surfaced video from his 1989 inauguration, though, sees the 41st president playing a little air guitar on stage with Percy Sledge and Sam Moore.

The clip comes from an inaugural concert organized by Bush's campaign manager Lee Atwater. Although Atwater has been strongly criticized for the racially inflammatory tactics he masterminded, he was also a fan of blues and soul music whose bookings for the inauguration concert included Bo Diddley and Willie Dixon.

A video of the concert was released a few years ago, but one key moment was not included: a moment when the newly inaugurated president took the stage to receive a guitar with "the Prez" painted on it. Bush did a little air strumming while Atwater, who would die two years later, ripped a solo next to him. The previously unseen footage has now been released by Howell Beagle, who helped produce the concert and plans to give a copy of the video to Bush's Presidential Library.

See the video at the New York Times.


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Lauren Alaina: "Ladies In the '90s"
Sunny Day Real Estate: "In Circles"
Night Train: "Live at the Apollo Theater"
George Bush's 1989 inauguration concert


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