Thursday, May 21, 2009

Music Notes: Jay-Z leaves Def Jam, Massive Attack plan major world tour

- Jay-Z has left Def Jam, despite never actually recording the final album he owed them according to his contract. The rapper bought himself out of his own contract for $5 million, telling, "I can honestly say, working with Doug Morris and LA Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience and I respect them immensely. I've been in the family for almost my entire career.... I thank [Morris] for allowing me to be a completely independent artist. Not every artist can say they own or are given the opportunity to own all of their music." [MTV News]

- Massive Attack are back! A fifth album is due out in October, and the act has a huge world tour planned. More than forty dates are already planned for the UK and Europe, and it is likely that the full tour — which will include dates in the United States — could top 150 dates. [Billboard]

- Internet radio station-of-sorts/"music genome project" Pandora is launching a paid premium service. For $36 a year, users can get: all video and audio ads eliminated, 192 kbps streaming, five hours before timeout, a desktop app that allows play without a browser, mini web-based player, and custom player skins. [Hypebot]

- Cat Power will tour with The Pretenders and Juliette Lewis. [Pitchfork]

- And you won't find the latest Green Day album at Wal-Mart. Long story short? The chain wanted to sell "clean" versions of the album, which meant that some of the language and content would have been removed. Green Day said no. [Associated Press]

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