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These Days: Friday, February 10th, 2017


Tomas Doncker by Michael Dent


Happy Birthday, Tomas Doncker: The estimable and then some Crown Prince Of New York (Now) celebrates a birthday today to shepherd in a year that found the New York Times listening, SXSW knocking on his door, playing at Disneyland, meeting Robbie Robertson, burning down Mercury Lounge,  release after release after release (including the deluxe The Mess We Made), and  producing EVERYONE (the latest Marla Mase is superb). Doncker is on the verge of a huge breakthrough into the pop firmament and if you don’t consider himself already a stalwart of the pop art firmament, you ain’t paying attention. Happy Birthday, my friend.

Prince Signs With Universal, Rolls Over In His Grave:  Prince went out of his way to keep his post-WB relationship with the major labels to a minimum. So, within a year his inheritors have signed up with UMG. Immediately, the major will have its hands on all the post-95 NPG material (though when will we?) and as soon as WB’s contract for the heart of the matter, the 78 – 94 superstar stuff, they will get their hands on that. Meanwhile, I wonder if Tidal didn’t have a contract with Prince? So when does NPG get to streaming outside Tidal?

The Trump Administration: The Muslim ban’s banning has been upheld and is on the way to Supreme Court, Supreme Court Nominee Judge Gorsuch called Trump’s insulting of a Judge “dismaying” and then the Administrator claimed he didn’t say that, China refuses to speak with Trump even after he sent them a Happy New Year Card,  Sean Spicer continues to fight with the Press Corp. And finally,  New Jobs: the administration gains 3,000 while, according to NYT,  the California-based chip maker GlobalFoundries announced a $10 billion project in China (, showing how the center of gravity continues to shift across the Pacific.

New Music: I am not crazy about the new Rag’N’Bone Man album, but he sure has a voice now doesn’t he? Otherwise, a disappointing week for new albums lead by Lupe Fiasco who I had sky high hopes for though “Tranquillo”wasn’t much. The Eric Church live EP is pretty good.

Old Music: I have stepped all the way back to the Carolina Chocolate Drops with my ongoing obsession with all things Rhiannon Giddens.

The Weather: Stranded at home last night and missing yet another show, it is freezing cold on Manhattan and all I want to do is hibernate. Luckily I am spending a long weekend in Vegas next week and can start to defrost.


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