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Today’s Music News: Technics turntables are coming back

Photo by Travis Leech (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

One of the most iconic names in music hardware—Technics—will once again produce turntables, Panasonic announced at a Berlin consumer electronics show. The line was discontinued in 2010; last year the name was revived for a line of other products, and now comes confirmation that Technics turntables will again be available sometime in 2016 or possibly early 2017. The Technics brand is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. (Wall Street Journal)

Prince has announced a three-day “international dance party” this weekend at Paisley Park to celebrate the upcoming Monday release of his new album HITNRUN. (Local Current)

“I can’t do it,” said Motörhead‘s Lemmy Kilmister, leaving the stage three songs into the band’s set in Austin, Texas on Tuesday night. The band previously had to cut Denver and Salt Lake City concerts short as the 69-year-old frontman had difficulty performing at those cities’ high altitude. The band later canceled a planned San Antonio performance, saying, “This is a direct follow-on from the altitude issues in Colorado, and clearly, Lemmy tried to get back at it too quickly. […] Lemmy will resume duties the moment he is properly rested and firing on all cylinders again.” (Rolling Stone) Heads-up: the fan-shot video, below, contains some NSFW language.

Taylor Swift is facing criticism for her new “Wildest Dreams” video, which premiered on MTV immediately before the VMAs on Sunday night. Critics say the video, which depicts a film shoot in Africa in the 1950s, glorifies colonialism and fails to represent the black African experience. The video’s director, Joseph Kahn, issued a statement noting that the video was produced by a black woman and edited by a black man, and that “black actors are seen in some of the clips from a distance.” (Billboard)

MTV executive Van Toffler says that plans involving exactly what Kanye West would do after accepting his Video Vanguard award at the VMAs were…fluid. Apparently there were initial plans for West to perform a medley of his songs, but then prior to the show he decided he’d just talk. Then, during the show, he changed his mind and a backing track was cued up for him to perform—and then he changed his mind again and decided to deliver the speech that climaxed with his announcement of a 2020 Presidential bid. (Pitchfork)

Unreleased Elliot Smith material will soon see the light of day as part of a soundtrack to Heaven Adores You, a recent documentary about the late singer-songwriter. “Right now, my track list is 20 Elliott songs from the film with only around four or five having been previously released,” says producer Kevin Moyer, who was a personal friend of Smith’s. Moyer says that an official announcement about the soundtrack’s release will likely come in the next few weeks. (Pitchfork)

Neko Case announced plans to release a career-spanning eight-disc vinyl box set. Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule will be released November 13, containing all of Case’s studio albums, a live LP, an EP, and an 80-page book. (Rolling Stone)

Swans are now taking pre-orders for their live album The Gate, which will be released in only 2,500 copies—with individually customized artwork by frontman Michael Gira on every copy. The live album will serve as a fundraiser for the group’s next studio album; those who order copies at the $500 level will have portraits of themselves drawn by Gira. “Best efforts will be made at obtaining a likeness but not guaranteed! Style will be expressive and whimsical and drawing will be peppered with praises for your virtues and presumptive status amongst the Gods.” (Pitchfork)

On Monday night, T-Pain sang the National Anthem before an L.A. Dodgers game—and he did it without Autotune. (Billboard)