Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Larry Mullen Jr. listens to his son’s belly button in new U2 cover art

Cover art for U2's "Songs of Innocence"

When U2‘s new album Songs of Innocence was released for free to half a billion iTunes users, it came with temporary cover art. The album’s official cover has now been revealed; it features drummer Larry Mullen Jr. embracing the midsection of his 18-year-old son. Bono says the cover represents the idea that “holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else’s.” (Rolling Stone)

Aretha Franklin has released the first single from her new album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, on YouTube: a cover of Adele‘s “Rolling In the Deep.”

Brian WilsonSpoon‘s Britt DanielNorah Jones, and many others performed George Harrison covers at a Sunday night charity show in tribute to the late Beatle. Even “Weird Al” Yankovic was there—and he didn’t perform his “Got My Mind Set On You” spoof “(This Song’s Just) Six Words Long.” Instead, he sang “What Is Life” from All Things Must Pass. (Stereogum)

It was recently announced that founding AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young had left the group permanently, due to an unspecified illness. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Young, 61, has moved to a nursing home specializing in care for patients suffering dementia.

In an interview with BillboardStevie Nicks admits that she was once pregnant with Don Henley‘s daughter. The unborn child, Nicks says in confirming an account Henley gave previously, was partial inspiration for the 1979 Fleetwood Mac song “Sara.”

On Friday, Thom Yorke became the latest musician to release an album by surprise. In what he said was a test for possible future projects, Yorke offered Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes for purchase via BitTorrent. (Local Current)

The Who have a new song out. “Be Lucky” references the Daft Punk hit “Get Lucky” and will appear on Who Hits 50!, a new compilation celebrating the band’s half-century mark. (Billboard)

On Nov. 24, R.E.M. will release a six-DVD box set collecting the band’s appearances on MTV, VH1, and other Viacom networks. (Rolling Stone) It’s now Motown 56, and finally Motown 25—the 1983 TV special that’s become legendary for numerous performances including the debut of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk—will be released on DVD. On Sept. 30, depending how many extras you want, you’ll be able to pick up a single disc, a three-disc set, or a deluxe six-disc set. (Billboard)

Here’s more of the forthcoming Pink Floyd album, highlighting the piano work of the late Richard Wright.

Conan O’Brien, Mavis StaplesChance the Rapper, and other celebs make cameos in Tweedy‘s delightfully weird video for “Low Key.”

A forthcoming Harvard Business School case study looks at the business of Beyoncé—specifically, her notably risky decision to release her self-titled album via iTunes, completely by surprise, last December. The move excited many fans and generated a blitz of media attention, but alienated major retailers including Target and Amazon, who refused to stock the album. (Harvard Gazette)