We haven’t heard much from Daft Punk since the release of their multiple Grammy-winning album Random Access Memories in 2013. But it looks like that may be changing soon. In an interview with Billboard, Republic Records executive Wendy Goldstein was asked a question about what artists she’s always wanted to work with, and answered–rather nonchalantly–with some exciting news: “Actually, we [Goldstein and fellow hitmaker Ron Perry] have a session coming up in two days with The Weeknd and Daft Punk. I’m a massive Daft Punk fan, and this is the first time that I’ve actually been involved with an artist who’s going to go and work with them.”While this is the only information we have about the reported session, this is definitely exciting news for fans of both The Weeknd and Daft Punk. Watch the full video below (or skip to 2:39 for Goldstein’s comment):[h/t – YourEDM]
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey report suggests that business conditions improved last month in nine Midwest and Plains states.The report issued Wednesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 55.2 in December from 54.1 in November. The October reading was 54.9.Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the shortages of skilled workers are still holding back even stronger growth.The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline.The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is seen during during a news conference where his contract extension was discussed before a spring exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Starling Marte wants to be part of what he hopes will be a long run of success for the Pittsburgh Pirates.Less than two years after his major league debut, the 25-year-old outfielder finalized a $31 million, six-year contract with the Pirates on Thursday.“There are a lot of reasons,” Marte said through interpreter Peter Greenberg, his agent. “I didn’t feel I needed to wait because I like where I am. I have confidence in the organization and I feel comfortable.”Marte receives a $2 million signing bonus from the Pirates, who are coming off their first postseason appearance since 1991. He gets salaries of $500,000 this season, $1 million next year, $3 million in 2016, $5 million in 2017, $7.5 million in 2018 and $10 million in 2019.Pittsburgh has an $11.5 million option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout. If that option is exercised, the Pirates have a $12.5 million option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.If Marte finishes among the top five in MVP in any of the next six seasons, the option prices would increase by $500,000 each. If he finishes among the top five in 2020, the option for the next year would go up by $500,000. The option prices can increase by a maximum of $1 million each.The deal replaces a one-year contract agreed to earlier this month that would have paid him $516,000 while in the major leagues and $300,000 while in the minors. He would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season and for free agency after the 2018 World Series.Marte hit .280 with 12 homers, 35 RBIs and a team-high 41 steals last year, his first full season in the majors. When he made his big league debut at Houston on July 26, 2012, he led off the game with a first-pitch home run against Dallas Keuchel.Marte has a .275 career batting average with 53 stolen bases and a .773 on-base plus slugging percentage.“This is something that’s part of our plan to sign young men who are going to be great players,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We feel very fortunate Starling was willing to commit to us as we were willing to commit to him.”Marte becomes Pittsburgh’s fourth player with a deal beyond 2014: right-hander Charlie Morton and outfielder Jose Tabata have contracts through 2016 and outfielder Andrew McCutchen through 2017.“It’s an exciting time,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re not trying to build a house. We’re trying to create a home. This is tangible evidence that we’re creating a place where players want to be, a place where they want to thrive, a place where players want to settle.”Notes: Pittsburgh acquired OF Keon Broxton from Arizona for a player to be named and assigned him to Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League. … The Pirates optioned RHP Brandon Cumpton to Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League.