Local Current Blog

Music News: Walking with Westerberg

Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg at Riot Fest in Chicago (Photo by Ben Clark)

Local writer, historian and doodler Andy Sturdevant strikes again. In his semi-regular MinnPost feature, “The Stroll,” Sturdevant takes Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys as a “star map” of sorts to the old stomping grounds of The Replacements. While it recounts some of the more familiar landmarks chronicled elsewhere, the article draws a strong connection between the songs and the sense of place therein. “So many of the songs are connected to the city’s streets, to the point where you can run through half of the Replacements’ catalog in your head while walking down Bryant and point to the shops, street corners, buildings and vehicles where they play out.” Highly recommended. (MinnPost)

Better than Nirvana?

Former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe made a rare public appearance last night to perform a strangely airy version of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” on The Tonight Show. The performance comes ahead of two David Bowie tribute concerts taking place in New York City later this week, one at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, March 31 and one at Radio City Music Hall on Friday. Stipe is among the artists slated to perform both nights. (NPR Music)

A Bird in the hand

Andrew Bird is using his music to promote gun safety. He will donate $1 for every ticket sold to the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, and will also sell a custom “Wear Orange” T-shirt at his events. Bird says, “I want everyone to be able to walk or bike the streets of my hometown without fear of gunfire. I want to help, somehow, though it’s hard to know how to do that.” Bird’s album Are You Serious is out April 1, and he plays the First Avenue Mainroom on April 19. (Pitchfork)

Stream half of Brian Eno’s new album

Soundscape master Brian Eno is back with his first solo album since 2012. The two-track album called The Ship, will be out April 29 on Warp Records. Stream one of the songs below. (Stereogum)

An ‘Empire’ state of mind

With the Fox soap opera Empire returning March 30 after a mid-season cliffhanger, Pitchfork devotes 1,500 words to the real-life inspiration behind the characters in the historical fiction series. Is Lucious Lyon more like Puffy or Jay-Z? Is Hakeem really Yeezy? “‘Empire’ is rife references implicit and explicit — some well-known, others more obscure, and sometimes even ones spoken aloud by characters in weirdly meta moments,” writes author Paul de Revere. (Pitchfork)

Nothing Compares 2 UTube

Prince is notorious for issuing take-down notices of videos of his performances posted to YouTube. In a series of tweets, he clarified his thinking on the issue. Consequence of Sound collected the tweets and added some context to his explanation. (Consequence of Sound) If you want to stay up-to-date with Prince news, sign up for our Purple Alerts newsletter.