Beyoncé rules Beychella, Indio, Calif., April 21, 2018.
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Beyoncé rules Beychella, Indio, Calif., April 21, 2018.
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Surprise: It's Beyoncé, Are Podcasts Killing Music?, Country-Rap Godfather, Billie Eilish, 'Strange Fruit'...
Marcus K. Dowling, guest curator April 18, 2019
quote of the day
Beyoncé does not bend to trend. It was clear, when she took the stage, that she would serve as a corrective.
rant n' rave

The surprise release of BEYONCÉ's HOMECOMING album on all major streaming platforms is reason to celebrate, and reason to reflect on how she and the music industry have changed since 2013, when Queen Bey shock-dropped her eponymous fifth album. That release was a disruption, making a larger point about a tradition-bound music industry standing against the ropes like a punch-drunk boxer. That fight is largely over, with little left to disrupt. Beyoncé’s provocative, groundbreaking 2018 COACHELLA performance, heard today as a live album—and seen as a NETFLIX movie—remains a grand display of the majesty of the African-American experience, as we remembered it. It also sounds like an artist celebrating some of the bellwether moments of classic American music at a time when the sound of pop is rapidly changing. It's well-composed, well-delivered and fun. It's peak entertainment. An homage, strangely, to tradition... JON CARAMANICA's NEW YORK TIMES profile of pioneering country-rap producer SHANNON HOUCHINS is noteworthy for how it places LIL NAS X in the context of predecessors like Alabama emcee BUBBA SPARXX, whom Houchins produced. And it still leaves room for a light to be shone on others who paved that road, including KID ROCK’s right-hand man UNCLE KRACKER and one-hit wonder REHAB.. It's a sizable history... TIME's "100 Most Influential People" include BTS, OZUNA, ARIANA GRANDE, RAMI MALEK, KHALID, LADY GAGA and TAYLOR SWIFT. Plus MICHELLE OBAMA, as profiled by Beyoncé... MusicREDEF will be off tomorrow for Good Friday and Passover. But Friday will still be FRIDAY, with new music from LIZZO, TECH N9NE, the TALLEST MAN ON EARTH, CAGE THE ELEPHANT, JOSH GROBAN, ANJÉLIQUE KIDJO, the O'JAYS, SHY GLIZZY, JADE BIRD and KELSEY LU.

Marcus K. Dowling, guest curator

April 18, 2019