Prairie Public Music News | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Prairie Public Music News

  • Hosted by Erik Deatherage

Erik Deatherage, host of Prairie Public Music News

Prairie Public Music News is a fun, conversational recap of stories from the world of roots, rock and alternative music, the digital spectrum, milestones from music history and music birthdays. Get the scoop on upcoming releases and get wise to new artists you'll be talking about tomorrow. Erik Deatherage takes you on a two-minute journey of news from the cool and diverse genres of music you hear on Prairie Public every day.

One of rock's greatest and most cantankerous drummers, Ginger Baker of Cream, is critically ill and in a hospital, according to an official tweet. No word yet on what he's specifically suffering from, but in the past, he revealed he had chronic lung disease and he underwent a major heart surgery in 2016. The highly un-prolific Fiona Apple reportedly is hard at work at a new album which she hopes to have out in early 2020. And The Mountain Goats just released a previously unreleased minimalist homage to Robert Smith and co. called "Get High and Listen to The Cure" on Bandcamp.

American TV star and cheesetastic German pop superstar David Hasselhoff enlists The Cars' lead guitarist Elliot Easton for a surprisingly faithful and credible rendition of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Head On", which appears on his new album due Friday called Open Your Eyes.  Innovative King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp says he's owed royalties and "Featured Player" credit on two Bowie albums, Scary Monsters and Heroes, the latter of which he had that sustained. memorable riff on the title song. And two Vampire Weekend members have started their own podcast about the fascinating and multi-layered world of touring.

Grateful Dead lyricist and collaborator Robert Hunter, known for his vivid words on staples like "Ripple," "China Cat Sunflower," "Uncle John's Band" and many more died yesterday at the age of 78. No cause of death was given by his family, but he recently toured to help raise money for medical bills.  Jerry Garcia met Hunter in the early 1960's and asked him to join a jug band, which he refused. The two reunited in San Francisco, where Hunter wrote words to a Garcia instrumental, which later became "Dark Star." Bob Dylan will kick off a ten-day residency at New York City's Beacon Theater in November, his longest stint since his Greenwich Village days in the early 60's. And Sharon Van Etten reflects on her fifteen years making music in New York City in the short film documentary, Departure, which is out Thursday.

Agribiz giant Monsanto began collecting data on Neil Young after he put out a 2015 album critical of the multinational conglomerate.  The company also kept tabs on other individuals and media outlets that spoke out or reporting any negative. Paul Simon played a transcendent set at Outside Lands in San Francisco last night. He brought out Bob Wier for a duet of "The Boxer," the first time they ever played together. He hushed the crowd with a particularly moving "Sound of Silence," after what had been a tumultuous week in our political discourse. Foster the People tweeted out wild conspiracy yesterday that claims convicted sex offender and wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein is still alive. And a coroner has concluded that Silver Jews and Purple Mountains frontman David Berman died by his own hand last week.

In San Francisco this weekend, Outside Lands will become first major music festival to allow the consumption and sale of marijuana. Normally, nothing can be smoked in Golden Gate Park, but the city issued a waiver to festival organizers. Roger McGuinn has said "no" to David Crosby's very public efforts to reunite The Byrds. And World Cafe mothership station, WXPN in Philly, has announced that they will broadcast the ENTIRE Woodstock Festival, as it happened 50 years ago next week!


Silver Jews and Purple Mountains frontman and revered indie rock poet David Berman has died at the age of 52 of, thus far, unrevealed causes.  He had battled depression and substance abuse in the past and once attempted suicide. Friends and fans like Stephen Malkmus, Neil Halstead and Kurt Vile have tweeted out loving tributes. Brian Wilson's longtime guitarist Nicky Wonder is dead at age 59. Wilson said in statement that Wonder, who fronted power pop band The Wondermints, passed away in his sleep and that he'd dedicate a show to him tonight. Willie Nelson has had to scrap the remaining dates of his current tour, save for his planned appearance at Farm Aid in East Troy, WI in September, because of breathing problems. And Bon Iver surprise-released their fourth, and what Justin Vernon called their most "adult" album, I,I on various digital platforms today. The physical release is still slated for August 30th.

On Late Night with Seth Meyers last night, Noel Gallagher revealed that when he gets the rights to Oasis' masters in five years, he'll sell them to the highest bidder and use the profits to buy a plane, a rocket and a monkey with a top hat who will go on tour with him and have his own bus! The go-to funny rocker guest also complained that young fans don't know the names of his songs, just the track numbers, and that when he introduces a tune in concert by name, it's crickets. But when he introduces it as a track number, wild cheers erupt. Ha!  In celebration of the release of his debut Grace 25 years ago, Columbia/Legacy is reissuing Jeff Buckley's entire catalogue with tons of rare and bonus material, including four live albums. In the wake of three recent mass shootings, online music biz critic and provocateur Bob Lefsetz has proposed three mega-concerts somewhat near the three areas affected. He wants to reunite Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for the Bay Area gig, Destiny's Child for Texas and the James Gang for the Ohio concert. And he wants an accompanying manifesto which demands universal background checks and assault weapons bans. Several musicians on his mailing list have chimed in with their support and eagerness to participate. Woodstock 50 or Fyre Fest or Live Aid? We shall see. 

Rolling Stone

In the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH that left 31 dead and scores injured, noirish singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey debuted a new song on Instagram. After hearing the news, she quickly recruited producer and fun. guitarist Jack Antanoff to get to a studio and play electric guitar on her sparse "Looking For America." Lucy Dacus penned an op-ed in the New York Times on her reflections on the cancelled Woodstock 50 and the legacy of the original event and the brand. And to celebrate what would have been Elliott Smith's 50th birthday today, Universal Music has released deluxe digital editions of the singer-songwriter's last two albums, 1998's XO and Figure 8 from 2000.

Members of Manic Street Preachers say they are not involved with a forthcoming biopic on Richey Edwards, their missing and presumed dead guitarist whose car was found on a Welch bridge notorious for suicides in 1995. A book that came out earlier this year alleged that Edwards faked his own death and is living on a kibbutz in Israel. D.A. Pennebaker, the filmmaker famous for documentaries on Dylan, Bowie and Bill Clinton has died at the age of 94. The Strokes, fresh off their lukewarmly-reviewed Lollapalooza performance have announced a New Year’s Eve gig in Brooklyn. And the life of Rickie Lee Jones will be the subject of a new TV series from the CW Network. The Horses will depict the acclaimed jazz/beatnik singer-songwriter’s turbulent childhood and her early music career in Los Angeles. 


Vampire Weekend has partnered with a restaurant in their adopted hometown of Los Angeles for the signature "Vegetarian Weekend" taco and fajita. They're chocked full of good things like shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, cilantro, cheese and guac. Proceeds benefit an LA homeless charity. Canadian power-pop supergroup The New Pornographers (featuring A.C. Newman and Neko Case) are set to release their eighth album In the Morse Code of Brake Lights in September. And the David Bowie cult classic sci-fi flick from the 70's, the Man Who Fell to Earth, in which the Thin White Duke starred as alien trying to siphon the earth's water for his planet, is being turned into a tv show on CBS. No premiere date or cast has yet been released.