After living 90 long years, the prolific producer behind The Beatles’ albums, Sir George Martin, passed away on Tuesday. To honor him, Paul McCartney penned a gorgeous letter that calls George “the fifth Beatle.” Before George passed away, Q-Tip was named the Kenndey Center’s artistic director, Kendrick Lamar announced a lyrics contest for his untitled album, Paul McCartney announced a solo tour, the full list of Record Store Day 2016 releases was revealed, John Carpenter shared an eerie new single, and Julianna Barwick dropped a gorgeous new song.
For every great artist is someone behind the scenes making sure their performance goes smoothly. For musicians, that’s often their producer. The Beatles‘ flawless catalog is often credited as having immaculate production. The man responsible for that, George Martin, just passed away at the ripe age of 90. Sir Paul McCartney took the time to write a beautiful, heartfelt letter in honor of Martin. “If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle, it was George,” McCartney writes. “It was so thrilling to know his idea [to add strings to ‘Yesterday’] was so correct that I went round telling people about it for weeks. His idea obviously worked because the song subsequently became one of the most recorded songs ever with versions by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and thousands more.” [Vulture]
A Tribe Called Quest co-founder Q-Tip just got even cooler. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts named him the first artistic director for hip-hop culture. As such, he will curate a variety of programs that will take place at the center this year and next. First up on his list? Poetry slams, breakdancing workshops, and DJ Spooky’s “Rebirth of a Nation.” [Rolling Stone]
Kendrick Lamar dropped his free album, untitled unmastered., several days ago. Now, the Compton rapper announced a lyric contest inspired by the release. At 7 pm EST, Lamar will tweet eight questions, one for each of the record’s tracks, and the first person to respond with the correct answer will win a t-shirt, hat, and backpack. “Get your copy now and listen to the lyrics closely,” he warned fans. “These will not be easy!” [Pitchfork]
Sir Paul McCartney never seems to run out of energy, and for that we’re thankful. The founding member of the Beatles is hitting the road in April for his “One On One” tour. It will feature a brand new setlist, revamped stage production, and even some fireworks. Considering how strong his arsenal of a musical catalog is, we’re beginning to think we’ll be so overwhelmed that the entire performance brings us to tears. Actually, “Hey Jude” alone could do that. And “All You Need Is Love.” And “Dear Prudence.” And… [Consequence of Sound]
Previously, we reported that one-of-a-kind David Bowie picture discs would be pressed for purchase at this year’s Record Store Day. Now the musichead’s holiday has plenty of other must-haves. Bob Dylan, Run the Jewels, Patti Smith, Mac DeMarco, Deftones, Mudcrutch, and more all have incredible records available for sale. The full list is too long to type out, so check that out here and mark your calendar for April 16. [Consequence of Sound]
As a follow-up to her 2013 album Nepenthe, Julianna Barwick has announced a new LP is on the way. The record, called Will, drops May 6 via Dead Oceans. In anticipation of its release, she’s shared single the gorgeous single “Nebula.” Prepare to be knocked off your feet by Barwick’s haunting vocals. She learned how to sing in that wispy, full-lunged way back in her church choir days. [Consequence of Sound]
See you back here on Friday for another Music Dispatch!
Image Credit: The Beatles Archive