Children's' music star Laurie Berkner new plan

Children's' music star Laurie Berkner new plan

NEW YORK (AP) — This fall, Laurie Berkner has been on a mission that likely will make children and parents happy: making more Laurie Berkners.
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Russia's jailed punk band member hospitalized, husband says

By Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW (Reuters) – A jailed member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot was hospitalized on Friday after going on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions, her husband said, but her condition was not clear. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was admitted to the hospital at the prison where she is serving a two-year term for a protest against President Vladimir Putin in Russia's main Orthodox Christian cathedral, Pyotr Verzilov said. Verzilov said the acting head of the prison had described Tolokonnikova's condition as “horrible” but had given no further details. …
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Colombian singer Carlos Vives scores five Latin Grammy nominations

Colombian singer Carlos Vives scores five Latin Grammy nominations

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Colombian singer Carlos Vives and Argentine fusion group Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas led the Latin Grammy Award nominations with five nods a piece, the Latin Recording Academy said on Wednesday. Veteran singer Vives, 52, snared nominations in key categories of album of the year for “Corazón Profundo,” while his song “Volví A Nacer” was nominated for record of the year and song of the year. …
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Canadian rapper Drake lands third No. 1 album on Billboard chart

By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rapper Drake vaulted straight to No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, as his latest album garnered the second-largest sales week of the year so far. “Nothing Was the Same,” the third studio album from the Canadian rapper, sold 658,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. Only Justin Timberlake's “The 20/20 Experience,” which opened with 968,000 copies in March, outsold “Nothing Was the Same” in a one-week period. All three of Drake's studio albums have debuted at No. …
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Miley Cyrus mocks "motherly" advice from Sinead O'Connor

Miley Cyrus mocks "motherly" advice from Sinead O'Connor

LONDON (Reuters) – American pop star Miley Cyrus has snubbed some prim motherly advice about her new bad girl image from Irish singer and sometime rebel Sinead O'Connor. The “We Can't Stop” singer – who has ditched her squeaky clean Hannah Montana Disney image for a solo singing career as a tattooed sex siren – rebuffed an open letter from O'Connor calling on Cyrus to tone down her sexualized persona. “Sinead. I don't have time to write you an open letter cause I'm hosting & performing on SNL (U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live) this week,” Cyrus tweeted. …
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Russian parents group asks Putin to cancel Elton John concert: media

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian parents' committee has asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel a planned concert by gay musician Elton John, saying he intended to violate a ban on “homosexual propaganda”. In an open letter to Putin, the local parents' group in central Ural region was reported by media as saying: “The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children. …
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Almanac: G.K. Chesterton on “candid” friends

Almanac: G.K. Chesterton on “candid” friends

“What is bad in the candid friend is simply that he is not candid. He is keeping something back—his own gloomy pleasure in saying unpleasant things.” G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
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Taylor Swift to receive country music songwriting award

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Country-pop singer Taylor Swift will be honored as this year's songwriter and artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, making her the only artist to win the award six times, her record company said on Wednesday. The 23-year-old singer and writer of pop crossover hits “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” will be officially named the award's recipient on Sunday, Big Machine Records said. The annual award recognizes country music's songwriters who scored top 30 hits during the past year. …
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Snapshot: Bertolt Brecht testifies before Congress

Snapshot: Bertolt Brecht testifies before Congress

A rare film clip of Bertolt Brecht’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee on October 30, 1947: (This is the latest in a series of arts-related videos that appear in this space each Monday and Wednesday.)
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Miley Cyrus aimed to 'make history' with video awards performance

By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Disney star Miley Cyrus says she was out to shock and “make history” and is unapologetic for her raunchy performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards. In a documentary, “Miley: The Movement,” airing on MTV on October 2, the 20-year-old singer and actress comes across as a shrewd, ambitious performer determined to see her single, “We Can't Stop,” hit No. 1 and put her roots as the wholesome Disney Channel star of “Hannah Montana” far behind her. …
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Kings of Leon draws on sounds of its past for 'Mechanical Bull'

Kings of Leon draws on sounds of its past for 'Mechanical Bull'

By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) – Grammy-winning Kings of Leon marked a decade in music with a new album on Tuesday which critics have praised for showcasing the best of the band's talents while still moving forward in its sound. “Mechanical Bull” is the sixth album by the Nashville-based group, formed by the Followills: brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew. The band broke into the mainstream music scene with their 2008 album “Only By the Night,” which included the hits “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire. …
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Hunger striking Russia's punk band member moved to solitary cell

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A jailed member of Russia's dissident Pussy Riot punk band was moved to a solitary confinement cell on Tuesday after she went on hunger strike to protest against what she called “slave labor” at the penal colony. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was jailed for two years over a “Punk prayer” protest against Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012. Kremlin critics say her sentencing along with other band members is part of a crackdown on dissent since Putin returned to the presidency for a third term in May 2012. …
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Almanac: Max Beerbohm on envy

Almanac: Max Beerbohm on envy

“The dullard’s envy of brilliant men is always assuaged by the suspicion that they will come to a bad end.” Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson
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Williamsburg Dive and Music Hall Spike Hill Is on the Chopping Block

The bar will likely serve its last beer in early December. Let's face it, Williamsburg has pretty much morphed into hipster Disneyland, complete with two Starbucks locations and absurdly priced condos. Now, Spike Hill, a bar and music venue that's long been an anchor for Bedford Avenue, is shutting down. The building is under contract and there's no official word on when the doors will close, but an employee told Gothamist that “early December” seems likely.
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Lookback: Hitler, the murder artist

Lookback: Hitler, the murder artist

From 2003: If Hitler’s artistic gifts were modest, he nonetheless acquired from his hands-on experience an intimate knowledge of the expressive power of art, and it is at least conceivable that, given sufficient encouragement, he might have used that knowledge in innocent ways. He could have become an architectural painter—or, given his passionate interest in […]
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MUSIC: Fleetwood Mac Reunites the Full Band After 16 Years

Rock legends Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood are jamming together as if no time has passed during their 2014-2015 world tour. Their recent stop in Tacoma, Washington proved one thing: they're still on the map as one of rock's greatest bands.Nicks had an unusually intimate moment with the nearly…
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American Music Awards 2014: Complete Winners List

American Music Awards 2014: Complete Winners List

See who took home the most awards.
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Aussie film kicks like a mule, skips cinemas for iTunes debut

By Sue-Lin Wong SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian film about a hapless drug mule has bypassed cinemas to make its debut on the iTunes online store in a novel attempt to beat piracy and woo audiences drawn to big-ticket Hollywood releases with huge advertising budgets. “The Mule”, available for paid downloads, was the most popular “indie” film on iTunes in the United States and Australia at the weekend. It will be launched on DVD on Dec. 3. In a promotional campaign targeted at Twitter users, audiences around the world have been invited to watch the black comedy on Dec. …
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Just because: Samuel Barber talks about his music

Just because: Samuel Barber talks about his music

In an extremely rare TV appearance on 200 Years of Woodwinds, a 1960 public-TV series that featured the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet, Samuel Barber talks with the members of the quintet, after which they perform his Summer Music. The players are Robert Cole on flute, John deLancie on oboe, Anthony Gigliotti on clarinet, Mason Jones on […]
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Artists weigh in on music streaming services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While music fans largely embrace free streaming music services such as Spotify, musicians and artists from pop to country have expressed reservations about the impact on the financial and creative value of music. Here are some recent quotes from artists talking about the issue:
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