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Leonard Cohen Wins Ninth Glenn Gould Prize

David Ng
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

LOS ANGELES — Leonard Cohen — the eclectic artist-musician whose output spans rock, classical and new music — has won the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize. The prestigious award, handed out once every few years, honors individuals for lifetime contribution in the arts.

The prize, named after the late Canadian piano virtuoso, comes with a cash award of 50,000 Canadian dollars ($51,845 American) as well as the opportunity to name a young artist as a "prize protege," who will receive an award of 15,000 Canadian dollars.

Cohen said in a statement that the award is "a great honor, sweetened by my love of the work of Glenn Gould, and our collective appreciation of his invigorating and enduring presence in the world of Music and Imagination."

This year's prize jury included filmmaker Atom Egoyan, actor Stephen Fry, pianist Gary Graffman, recording executive Costa Pilavachi, producer Phoebe Greenberg, singer Elaine Overholt and the Chinese artist known as Dadawa. The jury was headed by Paul Hoffert.

The previous winner of the Glenn Gould Prize in 2008 was Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of Venezuela's El Sistema music-education program. He chose as his protege for the prize conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who at the time had not yet begun his tenure as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Other past winners include conductor Andre Previn in 2005; conductor Pierre Boulez in 2002; cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1999; composer Toru Takemitsu in 1996; jazz artist Oscar Peterson in 1993; violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1990; and composer R. Murray Schafer in 1987.

Kuinka appeal to ornery Renaissance royalty with a joyous song in their infectiously fun new music video.

With the release of Americana band Kuinka's Stay Up Late EP earlier this year, the quartet took creative steps forward to deftly expand their sound into folk-pop territory. Riding in on the trend of moves made by bands like the Head and the Heart and the National Parks in recent years, they've traded in their raw roots sound for a bit more pop polish. Kuinka has kept the same singalong, celebratory vibe that they've been toting all this time, but there was a fork in the sonic highway that they boldly took this go-around. In this writer's opinion, they succeeded in once again captivating their audience, just in a respectably newfound way.

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From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

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Music

The Best Country Music of 2017

still from Midland "Drinkin' Problem" video

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

Year to year, country music as a genre sometimes seems to roll on without paying that much attention to what's going on in the world (with the exception of bro-country singers trying to adopt the latest hip-hop slang). That can feel like a problem in a year when 58 people are killed and 546 are injured by gun violence at a country-music concert – a public-relations issue for a genre that sees many of its stars outright celebrating the NRA. Then again, these days mainstream country stars don't seem to do all that well when they try to pivot quickly to comment on current events – take Keith Urban's muddled-at-best 2017 single "Female", as but one easy example.

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It's ironic that by injecting a shot of cynicism into this glorified soap opera, Johnson provides the most satisfying explanation yet for the significance of The Force.

Despite J.J. Abrams successfully resuscitating the Star Wars franchise with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many fans were still left yearning for something new. It was comforting to see old familiar faces from a galaxy far, far away, but casual fans were unlikely to tolerate another greatest hits collection from a franchise already plagued by compositional overlap (to put it kindly).

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7

Yeah Yeah Yeahs played a few US shows to support the expanded reissue of their debut Fever to Tell.

Although they played a gig last year for an after-party for a Mick Rock doc, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs hadn't played a proper NYC show in four years before their Kings Theatre gig on November 7th, 2017. It was the last of only a handful of gigs, and the only one on the East coast.

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