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. 


The Winston-Salem, NC venue hosting a September gig by Tinariwen, the highly acclaimed, professionally respected rhythmic guitar band from Northern Mali, has been receiving racists comments and death threats towards the band on their Facebook page. An alternative weekly in the area who covered the story, has also received xenophobic remarks on their social media platforms. The band of nomadic Tuareg, have been touring the world to avoid extremist violence at home. In fact, their lead singer was once kidnapped by terrorists and later released. John Prine will undergo a heart stent procedure and, as a result, has had to cancel shows in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. He's expected to make a full recovery. And ex-Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones has formed new band Sons of Chipotle with a Finnish cellist, and will play concerts in Japan.

Classic rock is winning social media, as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" becomes the first video made before 1990 to be streamed over a billion times on YouTube. Songwriter Angel Olsen, known for her powerfully raw, yet complex song arrangements released her first new music since 2016. Tributes are pouring in for keyboardist Art Neville of the Neville Brothers and The Meters, including a poignant Instagram post from his brother Aaron, and Bruce Springsteen will premiere a companion film for his new album Western Stars at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. 


Keyboardist and founding member of New Orleans First Family The Neville Brothers, as well as funk ambassadors The Meters and Funky Meters, has passed away at age 81.  Singer-songwriter and core alt-country artist Ryan Adams has emerged from a self-imposed exile of sorts, with a rambling Instagram post, in which he says he has a lot to say and he's going to say it soon. Adams was accused by multiple women of sexual and psychological abuse. French alt-pop-dance band Phoenix will celebrate thirty years of existence with the release of a book in the fall, which chronicles interviews, photos and lyrics. And Memphis cult singer-songwriter Bob Frank, who experienced a late-in-life revival after copies of his initially commercially unsuccessful 1972 debut album started selling for a hundred-dollars-each, has passed away at the age of 75. Memphis producer Jim Dickinson (Big Star) once called Frank "the greatest songwriter you never heard of."

Chicago Sun-Times

Grammy-nominated country rock band Confederate Railroad was recently removed from the lineup at the Du Quoin State Fair by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who cited what he calls racist and white supremacist imagery like the confederate battle flag that often accompanies their shows. Fans and some in the media claim political correctness is behind the move and that the stars and bars is a symbol of southern pride and heritage and not slavery and racism. Brewer Goose Island has partnered with witty indie band Parquet Courts for an exclusive witbier for next weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. And baritone Jerry Lawson of longtime a cappella group The Persuasions passed away yesterday after a long illness. He was 75.  The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa, who discovered The Persuasions, were big fans.

The Guardian

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," toy maker Mattel has unvieled a Ziggy Stardust Barbie Doll! It features the character's iconic forehead emblem and striped space suit, the glam-rock legend used to sport when in full alter ego mode. Texas cult cowpunk legend Jon Dee Graham went into cardiac arrest on the 4th of July after performing a set a festival just outside Chicago. Amazingly, not even one week later, the 60-year-old former member of The Skunks and True Believers with Alejandro Escovedo rocked his regular Wednesday night gig at The Continental in Austin last night.  And Justin Vernon has announced Bon Iver's fourth album, I, I will come out August 30th. What he calls his most "adult" record,  features guest turns from Moses Sumney, Bruce Horsnby, Aaron & Bryce Dessner of The National and Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak.



Spoon bassist Rob Pope has quit the band. The co-owner of Harold's in Moorhead, along with Eric Odness, Har Mar Superstar and others cited the wish to spend more time with family and other projects as reasons for leaving the popular alt-indie band. Pope laid down some seriously cool grooves on well-known Spoon songs like "Don't You Evah," "The Mystery Zone" and "Inside Out." Innovative jazzman Kamasi Washington has accused a security guard at a show in Austria of assaulting his father, who is a member of his band. And longtime Montreal resident and Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler is now a Canadian citizen. He'll have dual citizenship, as he was born and raised in Texas. 

The Independent

Fashion mogul Stella McCartney took in a 50th anniversary screening of Yellow Submarine last year, and was so deeply moved and inspired, she created a men and women's fashion line based on lyrics from the animated film and song lyrics from her dad Paul and his Beatles bandmates. The first line "All Together Now" came out yesterday and a bigger psychedelic collection will be out in the fall. Celebs and musicians sported a preview at Glastonbury last week. Farm Aid will take place in East Troy, Wisconsin this year. The September 21st festival features usual headliners Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp as well as Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Yola, Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real and Tanya Tucker. The first Farm Aid took place in 1985! And Car Seat Headrest released the final installment of their behind-the-scenes online documentary I Haven't Done (BLEEP) This Year, which shows the genesis of a new song.


While The Who is enjoying a latter day renaissance, with solo records, memoirs, rock opera revivals and a current orchestral tour, lead singer Roger Daltrey says he expects his voice to give out within the next five years. A new surreal animated video for the B-52's 1979 summertime earworm classic "Rock Lobster" has popped-up online. And Baz Lurhmann has narrowed down the list of actors to play Elvis Presley in his new biopic to Harry Styles, Austin Butler, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He's already cast Tom Hanks as Col. Tom Parker. 

Rolling Stone

Robert Plant and his band played "Immigrant Song" for the first time in 22 years at a festival in Iceland over the weekend.  The capital city Reykjavik was the inspiration behind the Led Zeppelin classic, when the band's gig there in 1970 almost didnt' materialize because of a civil servants strike. But a local university stepped up and provided an alternate venue. Plant thanked the Icelandic audience for the song's inspiration and belted it out with the Sensational Space Shifters, though the high notes were a bit elusive for rock's lion. Fiona Apple is turning her biggest hit "Criminal" into an immigrant song of sorts. She is donating two years of profits from streaming and sales to a nonprofit helping detainees at the border navigate the minefield of legal issues facing them. And actor and pianist Jeff Goblum enlists Sharon Van Etton and an orchestra to preview songs from his forthcoming Decca jazz record, his second for the label, at last weekend's Glastonbury.


In a blog post, goth/post-punk icon and Bad Seeds's frontman Nick Cave said that Morrissey's controversial, and some say, racist political stances should be looked at as seperate from his art. Drummer Janet Weiss has quit Pacific Northwest alt-rock goddesses Sleater Kinney. And Spotify is ending the practice of allowing artists to directly upload their music onto the platform.