This Week In Music: Mac Miller Returns, Neil Peart Bids Farewell, Dolly Plans To Stay Awhile


Sometimes, the end may just be the beginning. Sometimes, though, the end is truly the end.

In the news this week, the late rapper Mac Miller’s family has issued his first new music in two years. And then there’s Dolly Parton, who claims she’s recorded a ton of songs with her voice and a click track that she hopes an innovative producer can use to construct new music from her long after her departure.

On a sadder note, the world bid farewell to Rush drummer Neil Peart, the band’s lyricist and widely acknowledged as one of the best stickmen ever.

This week in music:

MAC IS BACK: The family of the late rapper Mac Miller said they will release a posthumous album next week. Circles has already spawned a single that’s out, Good News. An accompanying video shows in-studio footage of Miller

DOLLY PLANS AHEAD: Dolly Parton is, thankfully, still with us. But she plans to be around even after visiting that Grand Ol’ Opry in the sky. Parton, in an interview on the podcast Dolly Parton’s America, says she has a vast collection of unheard songs recorded that she hopes will be re-edited by a savvy producer. “There’s enough stuff to go on forever with my music, to do compilation albums, to do, actually, new and original stuff, and I am purposely trying to put songs down for that very purpose. To have a click track and my vocals, to where any arrangement can be done,” she says. “So I think ahead.”

HAIGHT FAREWELL: San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury Music Center will close on Jan. 21 after 40 years in business. An untenable rent increase is the cause, and since a new buyer has not emerged, owner Massoud Badakhshan is closing it down.

FAREWELL NEIL PEART: One of rock’s greatest drummers died this week, as Rush’s Neil Peart passed from brain cancer. Rush’s second drummer and, more importantly, its lyricist on its most classic albums retired in 2015, citing arthritic pain. He leaves behind a strong legacy, including many drum instructionals and a book, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, that details his motorcycle trips designed to ease his sorrow following the deaths of his wife and teenage daughter within a short span of each other.

OPRAH ENDS SEX HARASSMENT DOC INVOLVEMENT: Oprah has rescinded her title as executive producer on an Apple TV+ documentary on sexual harassment in the music industry. Winfrey said while she supports the victims of abuse, she didn’t like the way the stories were being told. The documentary from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering allegedly targets music/film mogul Russell Simmons  is scheduled for a Jan. 25 release at the Sundance Film Festival. The filmmakers indicate they will continue without Oprah’s involvement.

JIMMY FALLON MUSIC PROJECT: The Tonight Show star will executive produce and host the primetime show That’s My Jam, billed as a comedy-variety event series based on his music segments on his talk show. It will premiere after the Tokyo Olympics in August and feature singing and dancing celebrities competing against each other in musical games.

SONOS SUES GOOGLE: Speaker maker Sonos has sued Google, claiming patent infringement. The New York Times reports that the lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages as well as a ban on sales of Google’s speakers, smartphones, and laptops in the United States. Sonos also believes Amazon has infringed its patents, but decided it could only afford to sue one of the tech behemoths at a time. A Google spokeperson denied the claims and said they will vigorously defend them.

CONCORD BUYS A PULSE: ConcordMusic Publishing has acquired Fujipacific Music’s stake in Los Angeles-based Pulse Music Group, one of the hottest pop music publishers in the world today. Concord will administer the catalog and all future signings from Pulse, which will continue to be led by principals Scott Cutler and Josh Abraham.Pulse’s roster includes Starrah, Ty Dolla $ign, OZ, Tyler Johnson, YEBBA, Rich The Kid, James Blake, YBN Cordae, El-P, Bonnie McKee and more.


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