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    Bananarama peels back the hits, heals old wounds before Bay Area audience

    Friendships can make a band like Bananarama. But they can also break it when one member is at odds with the others. That’s what happened in 1988, when Siobhan Fahey left the famous trio, which emerged out of Britain’s post-punk scene in the early 1980s. Whether, as she’s alternately claimed in previous interviews, she felt excluded from band members Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward’s longer-term friendship, became disenchanted with the dance-pop direction the band was going in or couldn’t endure their sexist ex-producers Stock Aitken Waterman any longer, any outstanding issues were resolved before Bananarama took the stage at the ... Read More

    Pandora Premium finally works in your web browser

    Pandora Premium on the web offers just about everything you'd expect from an on-demand streaming service. The default view shows everything that users have added to their collections over time, including albums, songs, playlists and -- of course -- the radio stations that Pandora has always offered. When updating playlists, Pandora carries over the "suggested songs" feature that makes adding songs a little easier. And if you know what tunes you want to add, there's a search bar right in the playlist interface. It's one of the easier ways to find tunes and add them straight to a playlist that ... Read More

    Japan’s latest sensation is a cryptocurrency pop group

    The group's first single, "The Moon and Virtual Currencies and Me," warns listeners about the perils of fraud and extols the virtues of good online security. And yes, there's a reason for the exceptionally timely theme. Katsosuka Shojo is promoting the idea that cryptocurrency isn't a "tool of speculation," but rather a means of creating a "wonderful future." It helps that Japan is one of bitcoin's biggest markets, with legal recognition and one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. There really is an audience for this, then. The real question: how long will this last? If you think regular pop groups ... Read More

    Sony recruits Khalid for its next VR music event

    The second lap of Lost in Music kicks off with a two-day live event at LA Hangar Studios on January 19, followed by VR experiences at the annual SXSW conference in Austin, TX on March 15 and 16, where Khalid will take the wraps off his VR music vid. Naturally, the clip will be made available on PlayStation VR in spring. Like Google before it, Sony is also readying a Lost in Music VR series to debut in February ... Read More

    ‘Flying Lotus in 3D’ is a jam session between music and holograms

    Dubbed the "electronic Jimi Hendrix," Ellison has worked with Herbie Hancock as well as Kendrick Lamar, and is the great nephew of Alice and John Coltrane. But he is also a trained filmmaker and says that's where his heart is. "I've always wanted my shows to feel more cinematic because that's how I enjoy my music," he said. "I love this idea that people, when I look out into the crowd, it looks like they're going to the movies." The problem with 3D, however, is that eight years after the release of James Cameron's Avatar, the technology falls squarely in ... Read More

    Samsung smart TVs gain Amazon Prime Music support

    Amazon Prime Music has a limited choice compared to services like Spotify or Apple Music, but it has one huge advantage: It's free if you're already a Prime member, at least in the US and UK. Unlimited Music gives you more choice, but is a paid service with a discount for Prime members and Echo owners. Up until now, however, the services have been pretty much limited to your phone, PC, Amazon's Echo or other Alexa devices from Sonos and others. The music services will work on most Samsung Smart TV models, provided you're in the US, United Kingdom, Germany, ... Read More

    Google’s latest VR series takes you to the set of ‘Austin City Limits’

    Some of Google's VR show offerings include a Discovery travel series, tours of supermodels' closets, an MLB series that profiles up-and-coming baseball stars, a look into the lives of NFL players, coaches, executives and fans as well as Google's Immerse series that explores race, diversity and identity. Austin City Limits: Backstage will be a 10-part series with each episode featuring a different artist or group. The first three episodes, which are available now, focus on Ed Sheeran, the Zac Brown Band and Unsung Heroes. You can check them out using your Cardboard or Google Daydream View here ... Read More

    You can now stream Deezer on Roku devices in the US

    This probably won't sway you if you're already using Spotify's Roku channel. And Deezer support is arguably more important in the service's European home turf, where the Roku channel is already available (Latin America receives support soon). Consider this, though: there aren't exactly many choices for streaming music on Roku boxes, so this adds some much-needed competition ... Read More

    Peter Buck of R.E.M.: “How many people write songs when they’re 70? I want to be one of them”

    (Credit: Getty/Paras Griffin) Peter Buck is the hardest-working man in rock ‘n’ roll — and that’s no hyperbole. This was always the case when R.E.M. was an ongoing entity; the guitarist could always be found producing bands or hopping onstage for guest appearances. But since the Athens quartet called it a day in 2011, Buck’s activity has accelerated significantly. In fact, when Salon dials up Buck to talk about the reissue of R.E.M.’s 1992 opus “Automatic For The People,“ which is out on November 10, he’s brimming with news about new albums in the works with Alejandro Escovedo, Joseph Arthur ... Read More

    Universal Music taps AR and VR to hype new releases

    The companies will work together to create immersive music, which will then show up on Within's app, which is available on iOS, Android, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PSVR and Google Daydream. The idea of this new partnership is to begin collaborations early in the music creation process to better integrate VR and AR into the creation, production and promotion of new tracks, rather than just as an add-on after the fact. "Music is one of the most uniquely transformative mediums of human expression; combining it with immersive AR and VR experiences creates a new art form exponentially more powerful ... Read More

    The best book about the Beatles you will ever read is “Love Me Do! The Beatles’ Progress”

    (Credit: Getty/Hulton Archive) Ever since I got into the Beatles as a 14-year-old, I have been reading Beatles books rapaciously, ranking them in my head with only slightly less of the zeal I deploy in ranking Beatles albums. For instance, I will all but throw down — rhetorically speaking, of course — in arguing that Peter Brown and Steven Gaines’ “The Love You Make“ has more of the visceral truth than the rah-rah cheerleading of the “Anthology,” that Philip Norman’s “Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation“ is the best tome on the pre-fame years, and that acclaimed Beatles chronicler Mark ... Read More

    A new reissue of the Rolling Stones’ oft-demeaned “Their Satanic Majesties Request” flips the script

    If you were alive in 1967 and old enough to be listening to music, I imagine the last thing you would have expected, after the summer of that year, was for the Rolling Stones to get in on the lovey-dovey act of prevailing good vibes. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” had happened, Monterey Pop had happened, but the Stones had had a quiet year, as if they were busy formulating a response. That rejoinder to the zeitgeist came in the form of “Their Satanic Majesties Request,” which has just been lavishly reissued by Universal Music in a set that ... Read More