Jem Aswad-Senior: Last News


Scott Schinder, Veteran Music Writer, Dies at 61

Jem Aswad Senior Music Editor Veteran music writer Scott Schinder, who wrote for virtually every major music publication over the course of a three-decade-plus-long career, has died after a long illness, his friend Randy Haecker confirms to Variety. Schinder’s work can be read in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Time Out New York, the Austin Chronicle, Please Kill Me, Creem, Musician, Newsday, Stereophile, Musician, Tower Pulse, New Musical Express, Melody Maker, Texas Music, SXSWorld and probably many others. No cause of death has been announced; he was 61. A native of Long Island and a longtime New York resident, Schinder was a ubiquitous presence on the city’s music scene, where, beginning in the 1980s, he could be found most nights of the week at CBGB, Irving Plaza, Maxwells, Under Acme, Brownies and multiple other venues of the era. Indeed, the photo on his author page at Please Kill Me could have been taken at one of dozens of different venues in the city on any of a couple thousand evenings (it was actually taken at CBGB circa early 1990s).

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‘Girl From Ipanema’ Singer Astrud Gilberto Dies at 83
Jem Aswad Senior Music Editor Astrud Gilberto, the smooth-voiced Brazilian singer whose version of “The Girl From Ipanema” introduced bossa nova to much of the world and is likely one of the most recognized popular hits of all time, has died, according to the Guardian. No cause of death has been reported; she was 83. The daughter of a German father and a Brazilian mother, the singer was born Astrud Evangelina Weinert in Bahia in 1940 and mostly raised in Rio de Janeiro. She married bossa nova pioneer/ singer-guitarist João Gilberto in 1959, and although the marriage lasted only a few years, but she kept his name. In 1963, she joined him on a trip to New York to record the “Getz/Gilberto” album with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz. She ended up singing “Girl From Ipanema” inadvertently: Producer Creed Taylor had wanted to record an English version of the Brazilian song “Garota De Ipanema” and Astrud, whose father taught languages, was the only Brazilian at the session who spoke English. It was the first song she’d ever recorded, but her un-studied, lighthearted take on the song’s unforgettable melody turned it into a monumental international hit, which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy for Song Of the Year.
Grace Jones Electrifies New York With Eye-Popping — and Hilarious — Show: Concert Review
Jem Aswad Senior Music Editor Grace Jones was one of the most iconic artists of the early ‘80s, with a boldly androgynous and prescient image and string of brilliant albums with a pioneering sound and expertly curated covers that fused R&B, new wave and reggae into a fusion that has been echoed everywhere from Rihanna to Massive Attack and beyond. Now 75, she’s continued performing but hasn’t released an album since 2008, and seemed to drop below the radar for all but her fanbase, influencees and the LGBTQ and Pitchfork audiences until the past few years, when the brilliance of her “Warm Leatherette,” “Nightclubbing” and “Living My Life” albums became even more undeniable. Yet even fans who’d seen her shows in the past probably were not prepared for the eye-popping, mind-blowing concert she staged as part of Blue Note Jazz Festival at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday night, which mere words cannot do justice. At 75, her always-deep voice sounds as great as ever, her outfits and staging are as provocative as ever, and she could give Mick Jagger a literal run for his money in terms of fitness and dexterity at a certain age. Best of all, for all her hauteur, diva-tude and icon status, she never takes herself too seriously and every outfit, headdress, and staging touch had an undercurrent of humor that’s sadly lacking in most artists — and her stage banter is absolutely hilarious, although the humor often lay less in what she was saying than the way she said it (although lines like “Why do you need a dick if you’ve got a dildo?” land in a multitude of contexts).
Ezekiel Lewis Named President of Epic Records
Jem Aswad Senior Music Editor Epic Records has appointed Ezekiel Lewis to the post of president. He will continue to report to Sylvia Rhone, Epic Records’ Chairwoman and CEO, and to lead the A&R division while helping run the day-to-day operations of the company. Lewis has served as the company’s executive vice president and head of A&R since 2020, working closely with such artists as 21 Savage, Bia, Black Eyed Peas, DDG, Future, Giveon, Madison Beer, Meghan Trainor, Mimi Webb, Southside, Zara Larsson and more. Prior to joining Epic in 2017, Lewis served as senior VP of A&R at Motown Records from 2011, working with such artists including Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, Migos, Lil Yachty, T.I., and Rich Homie Quan. He is also a Grammy-winning songwriters who has co-written and co-produced songs for Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige and Usher, and also worked closely with Mariah Carey and Yo Gotti. In 2010, he founded Bar Music Group, a music publishing company that included projects Chris Brown, Future, Trey Songz and others. As a musician, he signed with David Foster’s 143 Records and played a key role in Trey Songz’s career. In 2004, Lewis co-founded the Clutch, a collective of songwriter-producers responsible for hits by Omarion, Ciara, Britney Spears, Timbaland and others.