music

For two decades now, Beck Hansen has been keeping his music fresh and compelling by never letting it be defined by genre or convention. He gets his listeners to rethink pop formulas by deconstructing, combining and transcending them. Every release by Beck is different from the last one; previous albums have merged and reexamined rock, hip-hop, latin and folk styles. With his latest release, Song Reader, Beck has outdone himself.

Carlie Armstrong / Matador Records

1. The group, which was founded in 1984 in Hoboken, New Jersey, takes its name from a sporting anecdote: Legend has it that during the 1962 season two members of the New York Mets––center fielder Richie Ashburn and shortstop Elio Chacon––collided on an all-too-frequent basis. A native of Venezuela, Chacon was confused when Ashburn would yell, “I’ve got it!” as he was going after a ball. A teammate intervened and told Ashburn that he might have more luck yelling "¡Yo la tengo!" (Spanish for “I’ve got it!”) instead. He did––only to be knocked about by left fielder Frank Thomas, who allegedly quipped, “What’s a yellow tango?”

freakgirl / flickr

“Happy Birthday to You” is one of the best known songs in the world, but one rarely hears it in a movie or on TV.

There is a monetary reason for this: “Happy Birthday To You” is copyright protected, and to use it can cost a producer as much as $30,000.

It is incredible to me that the song is not in the public domain, but this is one of those strange stories born at the intersection of popular music and copyright law.


The tune was written for a song "Good Morning to All" in 1893 by Louisville kindergarten teachers Patty and Mildred Hill.

Musical Space: Merch

Feb 5, 2013
Split Lip Rayfield

Now that CDs aren’t making money, more of a musician's income is from selling "merch" - merchandise: T-shirts, stickers, guitar picks, etc.

Merch might not be the main part of a band’s revenue stream, but I think it has become a bigger part of the musical experience since the beginning of the digital age.

Merch is essential for the true fan. An MP3 is a transitory and abstract thing; a concert T-shirt on the other hand is tangible and enduring.

Michael Gomez

For more than two decades, Carla Williams has worked as a gospel music executive. She’s helped manage the careers of platinum and Grammy award-winning gospel artists.

A couple of years ago, she started her own company, CW Creative, and recently returned home to Wichita to start a new initiative to help area artists.

KMUW’s Carla Eckels talked with Williams about her expertise in the industry and launching The Gathering Network.

This Wednesday evening, Chris Heim features one of the artists profiled in Robin D.G. Kelley's book Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz In Revolutionary Times.

Heim's review of the book:

Dan Racer teaches bass, music theory, composition and directs the Chamber Orchestra at Friends University. He is an active musician in the Wichita area performing as principal bassist for the Wichita Grand Opera and as a jazz bassist with many groups in the Wichita area. He also is an active composer with works in a variety of genres from classical to jazz and beyond. Many of his works have been premiered by Friends University ensembles as well as musicians in Wichita and around the world.

Arleigh Aldrich has been a cellist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra for five years. She grew up in the Wichita area and was cultivated by the thriving music community. She graduated from Wichita State University with her degree in marketing, and works for the orchestra as a marketing and public relations manager.

John Cage, one of the most influential and revolutionary composers of the 20th Century, was born almost exactly 100 years ago. He was very well schooled as a composer, but it seems as though his mission was to reject nearly every compositional technique he was taught, and instead push the boundaries, even the very definition of music. His results were, to say the least, interesting.

As jazz continues to evolve, what becomes a standard in the jazz repertoire has also changed.

One of the most remarkable things about jazz in '40s and '50s was how musicians could appropriate a popular song and turn it into a jazz composition. It was a beautiful artistic juxtaposition - someone could hear a song sung in a film or on a Broadway stage, and then the same night hear that song turned into a bebop tour-de-force in an after-hours jazz club.

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