Thursday morning music news: Music trends take heat, Van Halen hits the road and Sam Rivers and Jim ‘Motorhead’ Sherwood pass on

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Lady Gaga will be dropping the big New Year’s ball in New York.

The Woody Guthrie Archive has a new home in Tulsa.

Stereogum looks back on all the bands we lost this year, even if we didn’t know they existed in the first place.

Alina Simone explains her name change.

Van Halen will tour in 2012.

Headphones ruled in 2011.

The Guardian rounds up its top music stories of the year.

Spin may not be the best authority on such matters, but its list of 2011′s best experimental albums is neat.

Guess what? Phil Spector really hated Christmas.

A conductor explains what a conductor does.

How well is Spotify doing in the U.S.? This well.

Wired explains how your Android phone is an electronic music machine.

RIP Jim Sherwood of the original Mothers of Invention.

The NPR staff picks the best music books of 2011.

Jeffrey Goho is really sorry about starting that whole Jon Bon Jovi is dead rumor.

The Quietus scores an interview with the Mekons.

Pitchfork’s list of 50 best albums of the year is out. Fluxtumblr compares sales figures. Meanwhile, Flavorwire analyzes the geography of Pitchfork’s top 100 tracks.

The Miami New Times hates these music trends.

Speaking of music trends: Pop music and profanity.

Breaking: Musicians said a lot of silly stuff this year.

Axl Rose complains about corporate radio to Pop & Hiss.

Jazz great Sam Rivers has died at the age of 88.

Members of Yes and Genesis form supergroup called Yesenis Squackett.

PETA names Janet Jackson “Grinch of the Year.”

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