I’m somewhat of a music news junkie. Every now and then I post something here that is especially interesting to me, and I thought I might turn that into a more frequent venture with a new weekly “music news” series. Some of it will be drum-oriented, but most of it will just be about the music world generally. I’m going to call it “Mews,” in honor of everybody’s favorite Radiohead cover band.

This week’s music news so far…

– In case you haven’t heard, legendary producer Phil Spector was convicted of murder earlier this week.  BBC

– A new legal download service just launched called Free Music Archive.  The site features indie tracks selected by various music critics and available for download at absolutely no cost.  The tracks are completely restriction-less and available by permission from the artists.  Pitchfork.com

The Beatles Rock Band game is in the works, and GameStop recently revealed some of the contents of the “bundle” that consumers will receive when purchasing the video game.  It includes a vintage Ludwig Super Classic replica as the controller for the drums, complete with a metal kick pedal and “pearl” finish (um, black oyster!?).  artstechnica.com

– Pearl Jam, the band that first helped me realize that music was something to be passionate about, has a new record due out this fall.  The record will be produced by Brendan O’Brien and released independently (without a label!), as the trend of huge bands leaving the world of record labels continues.  Rollingstone.com

– Ziggy Marley has an album of his dad’s songs lined up for a children’s record due out this summer. Hopefully this “Reggae for kids” will have minimal marijuana references.  Billboard.com

– No joke… Justin Timberlake is planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the African water crisis.  Sheesh.  MTVnews

– Ben Folds is soon releasing an album of “a capella” versions of some of the big BFF hits.  Folds discovered via Youtube various college vocal groups that were using his songs in their repertoire, and he hand-selected 14 of the groups to arrange and perform the tracks for the record.  Despite what you might think, Folds is excited about the record for more than just comedy reasons.  Billboard.com

– Internet radio AccuJazz recently announced a new line-up of streaming stations: Jazz By Composer.  The stations feature original compositions by history’s great jazz composers, performed both by the composers themselves and by other jazz artists.  So far the site has stations for Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, and Bird/Diz.  ejazznews.com

– Editorial: Chris McHugh puts on a freaking clinic with his playing on the new Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts albums.  I’ve been listening to them on Rhapsody for the past couple weeks.