Local Current Blog

Music News: The Strokes announce new EP

On the first episode of his new Sirius XMU show, Julian Casablancas premiered a new Strokes song, “OBLIVIUS,” and announced that a new EP — Future Present Past — will be released June 3. The EP’s two other songs, “Drag Queen” and “Threat of Joy,” later premiered on Beats 1 and BBC Radio 1 respectively, and all three are now streaming online. (Billboard)

Coloring Book set for wide release

After making history as the first-ever streaming-only release to chart on the Billboard 200, Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book is set for release “everywhere” on May 27. Whether “everywhere” includes physical editions remains to be seen, but the album — to date available only on Apple Music — at least is expected to hit Spotify. (Billboard) See Chance next month at Rock the Garden.

Today’s Prince tributes

Wednesday night in New York, Cyndi Lauper played “When You Were Mine,” a Prince song she covered on her classic 1983 debut album. (Rolling Stone) (Despite the title of the fan-shot video below, Prince didn’t actually write the song for Lauper — it first appeared on his own 1980 album Dirty Mind.)

Meanwhile, in Mexico City, Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel of Spoon covered Prince’s “Under the Cherry Moon” — as well as playing David Bowie’s “I Can’t Give Everything Away” and debuting a new Spoon song. (Rolling Stone)

B.B. King estate battle continues

Deliberations over who will inherit Prince’s estate, currently underway in Carver County courts, are complex and possibly contentious — but they look positively placid and clear-cut compared to the battle for the estate of the late B.B. King, who fathered 15 children by 15 different women. Just over a year after the blues legend’s death, his eldest daughter Shirley King describes the situation with King’s potential heirs as “totally haywire.” (Billboard)

Pink Floyd get postage

Pink Floyd will be honored with a set of postage stamps issued by the U.K.’s Royal Mail on July 7. The stamps will feature cover art from albums including Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were Here, and Animals. (Billboard)

Elton-Putin meeting off

A meeting between Elton John and Vladimir Putin will not take place as planned when Sir Elton plays in Moscow later this month, due to schedule conflicts between the pop star and the Russian president. John was fooled by pranksters into thinking Putin had invited him to meet — and then, when the ruse was revealed, the actual Putin offered the invitation for real. John has taken issue with Putin’s restrictive positions on gay rights. (NME)

New York concert shooting victim identified

A man killed in a backstage shooting before a planned Wednesday night concert by T.I. at Irving Plaza in New York has been identified as Ronald McPhatter — the bodyguard of rapper Troy Ave. Two others were injured in the shooting. (Billboard)

Jason Isbell beamed to Chicago

In one of the highest-profile interactive concerts ever, Jason Isbell and Old Crow Medicine Show were among Tennessee artists who performed sets transmitted to Chicago in 360º virtual reality this week. Old Crow even took a request from Chicago, for a cover of the Tom Petty song “American Girl.” The concerts were staged by the Tennessee Department for Tourism Development in hopes of spurring travel to the state. (Rolling Stone)

China promotes pro-Marx rap

State-owned media in China are promoting “Marx is a Post-90,” a rap song praising the anti-capitalism philosopher Karl Marx. (“Post-90” is a term used in China to describe the generation of young people born after 1990.) The pioneering communist thinker “will never completely go out of style,” says the People’s Daily, which says an accompanying video has “gone viral.” (Billboard) (Below is the song with audio only.)