Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Sam Smith, Beyoncé lead Grammy nominations

courtesy Sam Smith

Nominations for the 57th annual Grammy awards were announced on Friday. Leading nominees are Beyoncé and Sam Smith, who each received six nominations; that vaults Beyoncé past Dolly Parton to become the woman with the all-time most Grammy nominations, now a total of 47. Minnesota’s Okee Dokee Brothers were nominated for Best Children’s Album, an award they won two years ago; Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus, who died this year at the age of 65, earned a posthumous nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Competition.

During Kurt Cobain‘s life, says Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpins, Corgan and Cobain were “the top two scribes” of the rock world. “Everybody else was a distant third.” (Consequence of Sound) If you want to judge Corgan’s songwriting chops for yourself, today you can pick up a copy of the new Smashing Pumpkins album Monuments to an Elegy at “Physical GraffiTea,” a tea shop on the ground floor of the New York building that appears on the cover of Led Zeppelin‘s album Physical Graffiti. The shop will sell the album and Smashing Pumpkins merch; Madame Zuzu’s tea (a brand owned by Corgan, who runs a permanent tea shop in Chicago); and Christmas ornaments. (SPIN)

Last week the owners of Nye’s Polonaise Room announced that they’ll be closing the Northeast Minneapolis landmark after 65 years; shortly thereafter it was revealed that the owners have entered into a partnership with a real estate developer to explore options to build a high-rise apartment tower on the site currently occupied by Nye’s. The Star Tribune reports, though, that in order to demolish the buildings currently occupied by Nye’s, the owners “would need to prove they are structurally unsafe or that no reasonable alternatives exist for reusing them.” The owners say they plan to close the venue regardless of what their future options might be.

Green Day guitarist Jason White has been diagnosed with tonsil cancer. It’s a treatable form of cancer, and the band says doctors are optimistic that White will be able to quickly and fully recover. (Consequence of Sound)

Bradford Cox, frontman of Deerhunter, was hit by a car last week and says he’s in “incredible pain” as he recovers at a trauma center in his home town of Atlanta. (Billboard)

Phil Collins cited a neurological affliction in canceling his scheduled performance Saturday night at a Miami benefit concert for his Little Dreams Foundation. It would have been Collins’s first solo gig in four years. (Rolling Stone)

Paul McCartney says he’s “pulling his hair out” thinking of all the people listening to his music through the “tinny little speakers” on their phones. “I spent hours making that high-fidelity sound! Get a decent set of headphones! Please!” (Rolling Stone)

Celebrating 40 years in the E Street BandMax Weinberg says that he was among the band members who voted for the now-iconic view of Bruce Springsteen‘s derriere to grace the cover of Born in the U.S.A. because that’s the view Weinberg, as the drummer, always sees. “The music is timeless and so is the butt.” (Billboard)

Lifetime is hoping that their upcoming Whitney Houston biopic will be better-received than their Aaliyah movie, which was widely panned among the friends and associates of the late performer. Whitney debuts on Jan. 17. (Billboard)

Brian May of Queen has joined Richard Dawkins and Bill “the Science Guy” Nye to raise awareness about the danger of possible asteroid strikes. “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time,” said May, arguing that funding to track near-Earth objects should be increased lest we all go the way of the dinosaurs. “Nobody knows when the next big one will hit. It takes just one.” (Billboard)