Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Al Green and Sting to receive Kennedy Center Honors

Al Green and Sting will join Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, and dancer Patricia McBride as recipients of Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 7. As part of the award ceremony, which will be broadcast Dec. 30 on CBS, both will perform in front of Barack and Michelle Obama. Previous musical recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors—which have been awarded annually since 1978 to “our nations’ most prestigious artists” (the placement of that apostrophe is important, given that Sting is British)—include Led Zeppelin (also British), the Who (yep, more Brits), Paul McCartney (recognizing a pattern here?), Bruce SpringsteenBrian WilsonPaul SimonChuck Berry, Johnny CashAretha FranklinRay Charles, and Minnesota’s own Bob Dylan. (Billboard)

Speaking of President Obama, he’s arguing that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) should use its legally permitted discretion to refrain from deporting over half a million immigrants who entered the country as children; the INS has claimed that is has no such permissible discretion, but attorney Leon Wildes has uncovered over 1,800 instances in which the agency did use that discretion. Among those cases is the case of Wildes’s former client John Lennon, who was permitted to escape deportation for marijuana possession on the grounds that he needed to stay in the country to help his wife Yoko Ono fight for custody of a daughter from a previous marriage. (Billboard)

Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine has funded a three-year scholarship for music production students at BIMM Dublin. Shields was born in New York in 1963 to Irish immigrant parents; in 1973 the family moved to the Dublin suburbs, where Shields was thereafter raised.

Metallica have set a world record that’s truly a world record: having played a show in Antarctica last December, they’re being recognized by Guinness as the first band ever to tour to all seven continents. (SPIN)

Courtney Love says she’s “over” her beef—recently rekindled on Twitter—with former beau and musical collaborator Billy Corgan. For his part, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman—who says Love used his songs on Hole‘s 1998 album Celebrity Skin without his permission—hasn’t recanted his 2010 statement that “I have no interest in supporting her in any way, shape or form. You can’t throw enough things down the abyss with a person like that.” (Rolling Stone)

Nick Cave‘s new movie 20,000 Days on Earth—a movie, in the tradition of the Beatles‘ A Hard Day’s Night, that’s a partly fictionalized chronicle of a day in Cave’s life—has been winning critical raves, and Cave has shared a new song from the film: “Give Us a Kiss.” (Billboard)

Prior to her death in May at the age of 86, Maya Angelou collaborated with Shawn Rivera and RoccStarr on an album that has the two producers setting Angelou’s poetry and spoken word—some that already existed, and some that was recorded specifically for the album—to hip-hop beats. Angelou was a hip-hop fan and had “great stories” about her interactions with Tupac Shakur, says her grandson. The new album, Caged Bird Songs, will be released on Nov. 4. (Billboard)

When you buy an album or CD, that’s your property to resell as you please—but it doesn’t work that way for digital downloads, a district court judge has ruled in a case that pits Capitol Records against ReDigi, a startup company that wants to facilitate the resale of music purchased digitally from services like iTunes or eMusic. ReDigi’s founders say they’re continuing to develop their technology and hope to move forward with their business model. (Billboard)

In local music news, the mysterious internet teen phenom Spooky Black has signed with the Windish Agency—a booking agency that also represents the likes of alt-JCHVRCHESGotye, and the xx. (Billboard)

Who shot hip-hop mogul Suge Knight at Chris Brown‘s pre-VMAs party? As perhaps befits a man who had already been shot at a previous year’s VMAs party, Knight has a nonchalant attitude towards the question of his assailant’s identity. “There’s gonna be some times where you might get in a few bar fights,” he told TMZ. “There’s gonna be some times where you might get a few shots.” (Rolling Stone)