Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Neil Young’s Pono player hits stores this week

courtesy Pono

Neil Young‘s high-end Pono music player, backed by the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever (measured in terms of number of supporters), hits select retailers this week at a price of $399. Young appeared at the Consumer Electronics Show to talk the player up. He dismissed questions about whether there will be room for the new player in a crowded audio marketplace, saying he’s not concerned about people who can’t tell the difference between the Pono and a conventional MP3 player. “If people can’t hear the difference between an MP3 and a Pono file,” Young said sarcastically, “I say bless you, you’re doing great. You don’t have to have anything else.” (Billboard)

On Feb. 19, the original 1953 prototype for the iconic Gibson Les Paul guitar will hit the auction block for the first time ever, alongside Chet Atkins‘s original Gretsch 6120. (Entertainment Weekly)

Daryl Hall says he spent $87,000 on his “You Make My Dreams Come True” float for the Rose Parade, and he’s suing the production company that Hall says promised to reimburse those funds, presumably from whatever profits they’re making on their Rose Parade DVD. (Billboard)

At the pre-Grammys MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony—a tribute to Bob Dylan featuring performances by Bruce SpringsteenJack WhiteBeckthe Black Keys, and many more—the MusiCares honor will be presented to Dylan by none other than former president (and Nobel laureate) Jimmy Carter. (Billboard)

After scoring a massive viral hit with her “Chandelier” video starring young dancer Maddie ZieglerSia has released a new video for her song “Elastic Heart.” Ziegler stars again, this time dancing in a cage with Shia LaBeouf.

‘Tis the season for summer music festival announcements. Following the announcement of the Coachella lineup, New York’s Governors Ball (June 5-7) revealed that its performers will include Drake (who’s also co-headlining Coachella), the Black KeysDeadmau5, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. (Billboard)

The Libertines reunion means, among other good things, more outrageous Pete Doherty stories. The latest: while in rehab in Thailand, Doherty tried to recruit “a warlord’s daughter” to play drums for him. No dice, though. “She’s off the radar at the moment.” (NME)

Cool C, a pioneering Philadelphia rapper whose 1989 debut I Gotta Habit was released on Atlantic Records, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection today, 19 years after being convicted of the fatal shooting of police officer Lauretha Vaird during an attempted bank robbery. (Village Voice)

Rapper Bienie Sigel is out of the hospital and in rehabilitation after being shot last month outside his New Jersey home; however, he’s now breathing with only one lung, the other having been removed due to penetration by bullet fragments. (Pitchfork)

Your new Rebecca Black is 11-year-old Ellen correspondent Sophia Grace, whose new music video is called “Best Friends.” (Billboard)