XPN MusicNotes: Chris Thile of Nickel Creek & Punch Brothers to take over as host of “A Prairie Home Companion, and Tom Waits and Moby to judge songwriting contest.


After more than 40 years as host of the much beloved public radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” Garrison Keillor has announced his retirement.

“A Prairie Home Companion” debuted in 1974 & is heard by 4 million listeners nationwide on nearly 700 public radio stations each week. With his distinctive voice Garrison Keillor has entertained legions of listeners and theater attendees with his folksy comedy sketches about Lake Wobegon, his mythical Minnesota hometown “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Garrison Keillor also takes summer bus tours for live shows. His 30-city “America the Beautiful” cross-country tour, billed as his farewell tour, starts next week. Taking over as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion after next season will be musician Chris Thile of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek. Thile, 34, is a 2012 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner. He was only 15 when Nickel Creek debuted on “A Prairie Home Companion,” in 1996, and has filled in as host in the past.

The panel of judges for the 2015 edition of the International Songwriting Competition has been announced.


Tom Waits is one of the judges this year along with Moby, Lorde, Kesha, Boyz II Men, Sara Evans, Bastille, and Pat Metheny. They’ll join a group of music-biz executives, including presidents and CEOs from Atlantic, Epic, Elektra, Sony Music & Warner Bros.
The annual International Songwriting Competition, which was created in 2002-

“Encourages songwriters to develop and challenge their artistry by creating something truly meaningful,”

Australian singer songwriter Vance Joy won the Grand Prize earlier this year for his song “Riptide.” Previous winners include Bastille, The Band Perry, and Andrew Bird. The International Songwriting Contest gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among 68 winners) including the overall Grand Prize. The competition is open to amateur and professional songwriters. All told, the ISC offers 22 categories representing all genres of popular music. More details can be found at: Songwriting Competition.com. The deadline for submissions is September 10th.

Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips will make his debut as a visual artist at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum.


Wayne Coyne‘s drawings and sculpture, as well as an immersive installation called “King’s Mouth,” will be part of “The Big Hope Show.” The theme of Wayne Coyne’s exhibit is “hope”. It opens in October and runs through August 2016. read more about it at TheBaltimoreSun.com



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