If it’s the end of the year — and it almost is — it must be time for lists. We’ve put out a few — a readers’ poll for best albums of 2016, and then our staff’s picks for the same — and lots of other publications have shared their own. Lists let us look back and remember what knocked our socks off over the past year. I like looking at other people’s lists to find out what I missed. In that way, a list looks back, but it’s also a way to build something to look forward to. In the case of music, lots of great listening in 2017.
In the spirit of looking back, NPR Music has compiled an outstanding look at musicians who died this year — and whew, there were a bunch. Give yourself some time to click around this site to read about the big names and not-so-big names who left us and listen to their musical contributions. [NPR Music]
But in cheerier news from NPR Music, the Tiny Desk Contest is back, with video submissions being taken Jan. 13-29. [NPR Music]
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its list of 2017 inductees. Joining the club will be Pearl Jam, Joan Baez, Tupac Shakur, Journey, Yes, and Electric Light Orchestra. Nile Rodgers will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. [Rolling Stone]
Those Darlins broke up early in 2016, and the news late in the year is even worse. Lead singer Jessi Zazu was diagnosed with cervical cancer shortly after the band’s last show, and after some initial success, her illness has strengthened. She has vowed to keep fighting, and you can help via YouCaring or by buying one of these badass “Ain’t Afraid” T-shirts. [Spin]
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is one of my favorite seasonal songs, but I get why a lot of folks don't like it — it’s creepy. Minneapolis-based singer-songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski decided to work up a version that replaces the creepy with consent. “Baby, I’m cool with that.” [NPR]
This has nothing to do with roots music, but I’m going to leave it right here waiting for you anyway. Eighties pop icon Richard Marx helped subdue a violent passenger aboard a Korean Air flight on Tuesday. You’d best believe it was all documented on social media. [NBC News]