On January 14th, M.I.A. was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, according to The Associated Press. She received the honor from Prince William at Buckingham Palace as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours.
M.I.A. said in a statement on Instagram that she accepted the medal in tribute to her mother. “Today I’m accepting this in honour for my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life,” she wrote. “As a working class first generation immigrant it’s great to be recognised for my contribution. Having freedom to speak my truth and to do it through music has helped me speak for those who do not have those privileges. I will continue [to] fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others.” Find the post below.
Hi, it’s Isabella, the editor, here. The postings on here have been sporadic and I feel like I should clarify why now, I have been meaning to give an update for a long time but I can never bring myself to it.
I started this website when I was 16 years old, I had just gotten my driver’s license and I wanted an excuse to write abut the music I was listening to at the time, and hopefully one day, meet the musicians I loved. Over the next few years I started taking pictures, collaborated with other writers and photofraphers, and even went to a few festivals through this. Little did I expect it to grow the way it did, on a local scale.
However, this past year changed the way I approach this website and I regret it deeply. I started to prioritze school (by the way, I graduated college and made my first short film, I will upload it on here soon, hopefully), and got a new job slinging coffee in order to survive as I have yet to make much money on this website and got progressively more exhausted and less motivated because of it. I think about what I hoped for this past year, so much could have happened if this or that had not happened, however, The Melodic Tree is not going anywhere, think of this sort of absence as a hibernation. Now that I am (mostly) done with the schooling aspect of my life, I can prioritize this website like I did when I was 16, five years ago, with only a few album reviews (heavily influenced by the Needle Drop, for some reason) and an interview with my favorite mambo musician at the time under my belt.
Take these sporadic postings as a form of hibernation, not truly gone but rather in a much needed rest and break in order to accomplish other priorities in my life. As there is only one of me. Expect more posts, expect more stuff to come out of this website.
According to the Music in Africa and The Guardian, Kehinde Lijadu, one half of the iconic Nigerian duo the Lijadu Sisters, has died following a cancer battle. There is a GoFundMe the family has organized for her memorial service. Taiwo Lijadu, her twin sister and band mate, writes, “Kehinde was my light, my love, my soul mate… my everything. I am bereft and will miss her dearly.” She was 71.
She was born on September 18th, 1948 in Ibadan, Nigeria, where Kehinde and Taiwo began performing together as children. The pair demanded a session of their own after working as session singers in 1969. The Lijadu Sisters released several albums on the Decca subsidiary Afrodisia. They performed at the Munich Summer Olympics with the band Salt. The Lijadus often addressed the political unrest in Nigeria in their music and they also talked about the lack of women in the West African music scene.
Iconic lo-fi singer and visual artist, Daniel Johnston has passed away at the age of 58 after having suffered from a heart attack, his former manager manager Jeff Tartakov confirmed to The Austin Chronicle. Johnston’s sincere and simple music, which was primarily recorded on homemade cassettes, was beloved and influential.
Jeff Feuerzieg directed a documentary about Johnston’s life in 2005 called The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Around the same time, he created his own record label, Eternal Yip Eye Music where he released his last album through Space Ducks: Soundtrack, in 2012. In 2018, the city of Austin honored Johnston by naming January 22 “Hi, How Are You?” Day.
The band Beirut have cancelled the rest of their tour for 2019 after announcing in a message on Facebook that singer Zach Condon had been diagnosed with “acute laryngitis” and was told not to sing or tour, requiring them to cancel shows through the end of the year. Read the full post below.
The band was set to play on September 30th in Stockholm, Sweden.
09-30 Stockholm, Sweden – Munchenbryggeriet
10-02 Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
10-04 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
10-05 Aarhus, Denmark – Train
10-06 Utrecht, Netherlands – TivoliVredenburg – Grote Zaal
10-08 Paris, France – Salle Pleyel
10-13 Zagreb, Hungary – Culture Factory
10-15 Linz, Austria – Brucknerhaus
10-16 Vienna, Austria – Arena Wien (Open Air)
10-17 Warsaw, Poland – Progresja Music Zone
11-11 Mexico City, Mexico – Plaza Condesa
11-12 Mexico City, Mexico – Plaza Condesa
11-18 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
11-19 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
11-21 Austin, TX – ACL Live
11-22 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
11-23 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
11-25 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
11-26 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
11-27 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
11-29 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
11-30 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
12-01 New York, NY – Terminal 5