Local Current Blog

Music News: Bob Dylan remembers Muhammad Ali

Bob Dylan as seen in a recent music video

Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at 74, is being remembered by people from all walks of life — including musicians such as Bob Dylan. Having long taken an interest in boxing — he wrote the songs “Hurricane” and “Who Killed Davey Moore?” about boxers, and dedicated a verse to Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) on 1964’s “I Shall Be Free No. 10” — Dylan wrote a brief tribute to Ali. “If the measure of greatness is to gladden the heart of every human being on the face of the earth,” wrote Dylan, “then he truly was the greatest. In every way he was the bravest, the kindest and the most excellent of men.” (Rolling Stone)

NYC festivals affected by weather

Severe weather on the East Coast affected two major music festivals on Sunday. Day three of Governors Ball was canceled, prompting artists including Kanye WestCourtney Barnett, and Prophets of Rage to plan performances at alternative New York venues. (Billboard) West’s rescheduled show at Webster Hall was subsequently re-canceled, after a crush of fans caused what one observer characterized as “near-riot” conditions. (Billboard)

One of the stages at Hot 97’s Summer Jam was also canceled, meaning that performances by artists including Chance the Rapper and Desiigner couldn’t take place as planned. (Pitchfork)

Today’s Prince news

Andrew Kornfeld has penned an essay about his experience as one of the three people who discovered Prince had died on April 21 at Paisley Park. Kornfeld, the son and colleague of a California physician noted for treating opioid addiction, had flown to Minnesota to initiate Prince’s treatment; he became the person to call 911 and alert the authorities to Prince’s death. “What happened has made me think, long and hard, about what steps we must take to prevent such entirely unnecessary loss of life,” writes Kornfeld, who argues that it should be made easier for doctors to prescribe buprenorphine — a medication used to treat painkiller addiction. (CNN)

As Prince’s birthday — on Tuesday — approaches, people around the world are celebrating. Spike Lee threw a dance party in Prince’s honor Saturday night in Brooklyn (Billboard); click here for information on how Minnesotans are celebrating, including with a Saturday dance party at First Avenue.

On Saturday night in Michigan, the Dixie Chicks covered Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” (as well as Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi”). (Billboard)

Dave Chapelle quoted Prince (“bring your foot spray cause it’s gonna get funky!”) in announcing a Monday night “Juke Joint” party at Aria in Minneapolis. (City Pages)

Brian Johnson optimistic about returning to stage

With Axl Rose temporarily filling in as AC/DC frontman, singer Brian Johnson — who had to stop touring with the band due to concerns about potential hearing loss — has been testing new ear monitors that could provide more effective protection. A hearing technology specialist named Stephen Ambrose (inventor of the original in-ear monitors for musicians’ use) made a YouTube video in a successful attempt to get Johnson’s attention, and Johnson says Ambrose’s newest in-ear technology “really works.” If the technology can be miniaturized, Johnson suggested in a statement, he might be able to return to “performing live music onstage.” (Rolling Stone)

Musicians’ Twitter accounts hacked

Twitter accounts belonging to Keith RichardsBon Iver, and Tame Impala were hacked on Sunday. Before the accounts were restored to the control of their rightful owners, the accounts were used to tweet messages including bomb threats and racial slurs. (Pitchfork)

Congrats to Tito

Tito Jackson, 62, has a new single — “Get It Baby,” featuring Big Daddy Kane — that’s broken into the top 30 of Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs chart. There’s a special significance to that feat: it means that every one of the nine Jackson siblings has now placed at least one solo single on Billboard’s charts. Every other sibling has at least two singles that have charted; the most successful siblings, of course, are Janet Jackson (ten number one hits on the Hot 100) and Michael Jackson (13 number ones, more than any other solo male artist). (Billboard)