Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Music Notes: Replacements Reunion, Amazon's AutoRip Service, Maura Johnston's New Gig, & More

Here are some interesting recent pieces of news on various aspects of the music scene:

* Longtime Replacements manager Peter Jesperson talks about the band's reunion and its guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke last year, at Consequence of Sound. It was Dunlap's medical condition that got the band members back together to record an EP to raise money funds for his care.

* Amazon has thrown down another gauntlet in its battle with iTunes by introducing AutoRip, a feature that, when you buy certain music CDs, instantly gives you the MP3 version to download (and store in your Amazon Cloud Player, of course). The deal is good only on eligible AutoRip CDs; there seem to be over 37,000 listed now (the company says it is starting with 50,000, with many more to be added).

* Pioneering music blogger Maura Johnston, let go from the Village Voice a few months back, has launched her own publication, Maura Magazine, for the iPhone and other iOS devices on a subscription basis. The Columbia Journalism Review took a look at Johnston's new venture a few weeks ago.

No doubt contributing to her decision to start her own magazine was her thinking on the state of music writing, as expressed in a blog post on NPR last month.

* Finally, here are a couple of good recent TV music performances: The Joy Formidable on Jimmy Fallon, and The Lumineers on last week's Saturday Night Live.

The Joy Formidable, "This Ladder is Ours"

The Lumineers, "Hey Ho"

The Lumineers, "Stubborn Love"

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