The Legend of Drizzt, an anthology of short stories based on the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, has been produced as an audiobook featuring celebrity readers including “Weird Al” Yankovic and Ice-T. In a promotional video, the rapper—who’s said in his podcast that he took the gig reading an audiobook without realizing what the subject of the book would be—discusses the challenges of reading a fantasy story. “This guy got a talking sword…it’s interesting. It’s definitely far from where I grew up.” (That would be Newark.) For a limited time, the audiobook is available as a free download. (Consequence of Sound)
The music world is buzzing about a report on the New York Post’s gossipy Page Six that Sir Paul McCartney and rap royal Kanye West are secretly recording together—including one track called “P–s On My Grave.” The collaboration “could develop into an album,” reports the Post. This is all very unofficial and unconfirmed, of course—but the mere suggestion has been enough to get tongues wagging.
Meanwhile, there’s no ambiguity about another upcoming release that seems just as incongruous: Glenn Danzig took the occasion of the 37th anniversary of Elvis Presley‘s death to announce that Danzig is working on an album of Elvis covers. The working title: Danzig Sings Elvis.
A spokesperson for U2 confirmed that the band expect to release their 13th studio album later this year. After 38 years together, the foursome have been in what might be considered a slump for one of the world’s biggest bands: their most recent album (2009’s No Line on the Horizon) and “Invisible,” a single released earlier this year, were commercial disappointments. (Rolling Stone)
In other album-release news, classic rock god Bob Seger is preparing to drop Ride Out, his 17th studio album, on Oct. 14. At 69, Seger has dropped hints that this might be his swan song. “I don’t want to overstay my welcome,” says the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. (Billboard)
In a piece of sad local music news, longtime Minnesota music writer Tom Hallett has died at age 50, of diabetes-related complications. Hallett was well-known as a writer for Pulse of the Twin Cities and Reveille Magazine. “Tom Hallett was our Lester Bangs,” wrote musician Martin Devaney in tribute. (Local Current)
“Whoever keeps putting the few quotes i said early in my career about drugs back into my wikipedia page is an a–hole,” Grimes wrote on Tumblr this weekend. “I don’t want that to be part of my narrative, and if it has to be I want people to know that i hate hard drugs. All they’ve ever done is kill my friends and cause me to be unproductive. Editing a website that people take seriously and reference all the time so that it looks like i think amphetamines are cool is incredibly irresponsible.”
Early Monday morning, New York’s Metropolitan Opera has reached a tentative agreement with unions representing its orchestra and chorus. With the fall season set to open in just a few weeks, there had been fears that America’s largest performing arts company could have been shuttered if an agreement hadn’t been reached. (New York Times) It’s the latest in a cascade of serious labor disputes that have rocked the foundations of classical music ensembles in the United States; strikes and lockouts have been common, with the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2012-2014 lockout setting a record as the longest labor dispute in American orchestral history. (infographic via Classical MPR)
The latest musician to run afoul of Instagram’s strict no-nudity policy is the perennial provocateur Madonna. After a 56th birthday pic the pop icon posted with a topless dancer was removed by Instagram, Madonna posted a different photo of the dancer—this time with the nipples covered by her arms, with the caption “Instagram can take away our nipples but they cant take away our fun!!!!” (Billboard)