Bruce Springsteen turns 66 years old today, and the whole world can sing him his song without being chased down by copyright laws. On Tuesday this week, the higher ups in court decided that the copyright to “Happy Birthday to You” was deemed invalid. Celebrate with a slew of good music news elsewhere, too. Ryan Adams will be the first musical guest on The Daily Show, A Tribe Called Quest are reissuing all of their albums, over 40 J Dilla exclusive instrumentals will be released, Disclosure shared their new song with Lorde, Wavves made us smile with their new single, Kurt Cobain’s cover of The Beatles will be pressed to vinyl, and Madlib, DOOM, Blu, and MED join forces on “Knock Knock”. It’s a big ol’ pile of news to make you grin.
Arguably the most famous song in history, “Happy Birthday to You”, may soon enter the public domain. A federal judge in Los Angeles deemed that the longstanding copyright on the track was invalid, allowing for $2 million in annual royalties to slip away. The rights have slipped from one pair of hands to the next for decades where they greedily soaked up useage rights in films and TV shows. Now, that copyright claim is only valid for the specific piano arrangement for which it was written in 1935. If today’s your birthday, well, you have twice the reason to celebrate. Go ahead and make everyone sing it twice. [Rolling Stone]
On Monday, September 28, The Daily Show will reboot on air with Trevor Noah as the new host. The show’s first musical guest will be the one and only Ryan Adams. He’s slotted to step on air on October 1, but there’s no word yet if he will strictly talk 1989-related matters or his own material. [Pitchfork]
Most parents don’t enjoy rap, but play them 15 seconds of A Tribe Called Quest and they’re likely to start nodding along to the beat, captivated by the ’90s hip hop group’s ability to craft easy-going lyrics over jazz-influenced bass. Now they plan on reissuing a massive set of their work on November 13, starting with their 1990 groundbreaking LP Peoples’ Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Can you and mom kick it? Hell. Yeah. [Rolling Stone]
If you saw Montage of Heck, then you already know Kurt Cobain is a fan of The Beatles. Brett Morgen’s documentary from earlier this year shared an eerie, beautiful cover of “And I Love Her” as performed by the Nirvana frontman. Now, that cover, along with rare B-side “Sappy”, will be released on vinyl on November 20, and they’re going to be snapped up likely before they even hit store shelves. [The Guardian]
Moms know best. On October 30, more than 40 rare instrumentals by J Dilla will be released on his latest posthumous compilation, Dillatronic, courtesy of his mother, Ma Dukes. The 3xLP set has various deluxe edition packages which offer t-shirts, bags, posters, and more. “I can smile in my heart, knowing my son’s work is being shared with the people as we planned before he passed,” she said in a statement. “I only share the best, and I only hope to continue introducing the world to the genius of J Dilla.” Bless her soul for blessing our earbuds. [Pitchfork]
Disclosure has been secretive in sharing select tracks off their highly anticipated sophomore LP, Caracal. While the last couple have been good, but not great, their most hyped number, “Magnets”, features none other than Lorde herself. It’s a smooth, sultry, sneaky clip that is generous in its tone. The song is finally here and we can admit that it’s different than expected, but we’re totally down with that. [Consequence of Sound]
Wavves have always been poppy. But whereas the band was gritty and racous in the past, they’re now clean shaven and positive. On “Pony”, Nathan Williams strums through some uplifting chords while repeating “This much is true: I’ll always be lost without you/ It gets better.” Sounds like California has made his heart grow a couple extra sizes. [Stereogum]
MF Doom is back to collaborating on the regular. On new track “Knock Knock”, he’s standing beside Madlib, Blu, and MED for a swaggering number that’s more funk-based than you would assume. As for the swagger, they’ve got that under control, too. Doom’s verse alone is supposed to read like a text message as he’s rummaging through MED’s house, drinking his beers, and flipping through DVDs. Classic. [Consequence of Sound]
That’s it for today! Check back on Friday for another Music Dispatch!