Hi, if you're reading this, then you're alive during one of those poptastic winter/springs when LIZZO is dropping singles like this, this and (hi MISSY ELLIOTT) this on the regular, TIERRA WHACK is throwing down literally one.per.week, and, by the way, this exists. If we are our art, then we are better as a people today than we were three months ago. There remain fights to be fought, currents to be resisted, technology to be argued about and playlists and DJs to be mocked, but every once in a while I take time out to remind myself how fortunate I am to be living right here, right now, in an age of artistic abundance, an age when pop music refuses to rest, and pop musicians, as they so often do, keep doing the right thing. No matter what you might have read... TENCENT MUSIC issued its first quarterly report since going public, and either exposed "soaring license and content production costs," revealed slow user growth or had a pretty good quarter, depending on which account you read. On this, analysts agree: The Chinese music giant's stock tumbled. But the stock remains way up since Tencent's December IPO... HAL BLAINE isn't the only irreplaceable session musician we've lost this year; he was preceded into the GOOD LORD's 2019 studio band by guitarists REGGIE YOUNG and HAROLD BRADLEY and singer CLYDIE KING. Legends all. There have been session musicians for as long as there have been sessions—ready to add beats, riffs and all the cool parts in between on an hourly rate in LA, Nashville, Detroit, wherever they're needed. Some are almost as famous as the stars they played with; others spend their lives in pop's shadows. Either way, chances are good each of them played, and maybe wrote, the exact part on dozens of classic songs that are the reasons you still love those songs. And though we often associate the concept with a long gone era, session musicians very much still exist. MusicSET: "Be My Bass Player: Lives of the Great Session Musicians"... JAY-Z's THE BLUEPRINT, CURTIS MAYFIELD's SUPERFLY, CYNDI LAUPER's SHE'S SO UNUSUAL and DEXTER GORDON's GO are among the albums newly added to the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS' National Recording Registry. Also: NINA SIMONE's “MISSISSIPPI GODDAM," a SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! box set and (shoutout fellow RED SOX fans) NEIL DIAMOND's "SWEET CAROLINE"... Ask me one day to tell you about the time my phone (not a cellphone, but an actual, old-school, analog touch-tone phone) was confiscated by security on my way into a Neil Diamond concert in New Jersey... There aren't a lot of things the MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES do better than other basketball teams. This is one of them.