There’s just something about the intersection of music and TV that can be magical when everything is just right. Think the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, or that Nirvana set on MTV’s “Unplugged.” Sturgill Simpson may have just launched himself onto the list of iconic TV musical performances with his high-energy, guitar-drop (even better than a mic-drop) segments last weekend on SNL. The right songs ("Keep it Between the Lines" and "Call to Arms") at the right time played righteously. If you missed it, do yourself a favor and tune in.
Vinyl is on track to become a billion-dollar industry soon. But is it only a blip? [NME]
Jack White sure hopes it’s more than a blip. Looks like his Third Man Pressing plant in Detroit is getting ready to open. [FACT]
US State Department cultural exchange program American Music Abroad is accepting applications from artists and bands through Jan. 27. Participants share American roots music in other countries, and learn about the host countries’ musical traditions to bring home. Della Mae, Henhouse Prowlers, and Laura Cortese are among the alums. [American Music Abroad]
Two great musicians passed away this week. Singer-songwriter Greg Trooper died Sunday at age 61 after battling pancreatic cancer. He wrote “We Wont' Dance,” recorded by Vince Gill, and tunes recorded by Billy Bragg, Robert Earl Keen, and more. And he kept plenty of great stuff for himself. We also learned of the passing of fiddle player and music documentarian Alan Jabbour at age 74. He is credited with helping fuel the revival of old-time fiddle tunes in modern folk music.
Liz Phair is working on a new album (a double!), and Ryan Adams says it’s real good. [Stereogum]