POINTS OF REFERENCE is a music news blog for people with actual lives and/or short attention spans: a weekly selection of topical, pop music talking points fit for bars and break rooms. It’s divided into three sections: NEWS (duh), ALBUM RELEASES (once more with feeling), and STUFF AND THINGS (random, music-related crap from the internet). So, I’m all finished up here. Scroll down, won’t you?
- Christie’s auctioned off the sunburst Fender Stratocaster Bob Dylan used during his set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. An anonymous buyer purchased the guitar for $965,000.
- The Recording Academy released the nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
- The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts honored Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Shirley McLaine, Martina Arroyo, and Billy Joel.
- Columbia announced that it will release a “lost” Johnny Cash album titled “Out Among the Stars.” The record, which includes two new Cash originals, comes out March 25.
- Led Zeppelin finally yielded to Spotify’s expanding empire.
- Wild Flag, the riot grrrl nostalgia act featuring Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timothy, and Rebecca Cole, is indeed over. In related news, “Portlandia.”
- Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, said she’s putting out a new album Feb. 25.
- Macaulay Culkin plays kazoo in a pizza-themed, Velvet Underground cover band called Pizza Underground. The bros in Pizza-punk (yes, that’s an actual sub-genre) outfit Personal & the Pizzas are pissed. Obligatory pizza-related VU lyric: “Marinara told Tomato / between crust and cheese sits a sauce / situations arise because of convection / and no kinds of pie / are better then others.”
- Beyonce randomly released an “exclusive, visual album.”
- Kanye West wore an unsettling mask and expelled some distraught fan from his concert in San Antonio, TX.
ALBUM RELEASES, DEC. 10:
Childish Gambino, “Because the Internet” (Glassnote).
Neil Young, “Live at the Cellar Door” (Reprise). Listen.
R. Kelly, “Black Panties” (RCA). Listen.
STUFF & THINGS:
- Jody Rosen wrote about Joni Mitchell’s worst song: the appalling 1980s pastiche “Dancin’ Clown.”
- Caroline Framke of The A.V. Club discussed “Santa Baby.”
- Neko Case did something cool, again.