Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News, including at least a little news that’s not about U2 or Apple

Apple's colorful advertisements helped to make the iPod iconic.

The epic music news of the past 24 hours was the surprise release—for free—of U2‘s new album Songs of Innocence, announced at the Apple event announcing the Apple Watch and iPhone 6. Here’s more on that story, and here’s a huge story that was buried by the U2 news: Apple has discontinued the iPod Classic, the device that made it mainstream to listen to music from a hard drive instead of a disc.

Meanwhile, the reliably history-minded Rolling Stone—which had the scoop on the surprise release, having scored the only pre-release interview with Bono—has an interesting list of 15 innovative album releases that have previously surprised the music industry, including Prince‘s 2010 distribution of his album 20Ten inside copies of European magazines and newspapers.

Rolling Stone also dug through a pre-release copy of the posthumous memoir by Bob Dylan‘s former road manager Victor Maymudes to cull six interesting nuggets—including the fact that Dylan has been a teetotaler for the past two decades and the fact that Dylan saw the 1989 Batman movie in the theater.

In more local music news, the Replacements returned to NBC after a 28-year hiatus, playing “Alex Chilton” on The Tonight Show. The Current’s Mary Lucia was there to see all the action; read her backstage account here.

You can now listen to James Murphy‘s electronic music inspired by the U.S. Open. “Match 104,” for example, “like the match that inspired it, this track opens with beats that are balanced—intense but equal, just like the players—with no instrument clearly taking the lead. The music pulses steadily until the last half of the track, when the instruments start to break form as one player falls behind, and the other takes the lead. The track ends with a soft, high-pitched whistle that ushers the defeated player off the court.” (Rolling Stone)

Kate Bush is reportedly filming her landmark run of London concerts for a DVD release. (NME)

The Kinks hit #1 in the UK for the first time 50 years ago today, with “You Really Got Me.” To celebrate their half-century anniversary, the band announced the release of a career-spanning box set on Nov. 3. The set will include over 100 songs, including 25 previously unavailable tracks. The band, who haven’t played together publicly in 18 years, have said they’re now working on new material. (NME)

Linda Perry—the 4 Non Blondes frontwoman who’s produced and written hit songs for artists including Christina Aguilera, P!nk, and Gwen Stefani—is expecting a child with her wife, actress Sara Gilbert. (Billboard)

Mary J. Blige is coming back, and her the Bronx native’s new album will be a tribute to the London music scene. The London Sessions, due out on Dec. 2, will feature collaborations with Londoners including Sam Smith and Emeli Sande. (Billboard)

Annie Lennox has a new album of standards, Nostalgia, coming out on Oct. 21, and the Eurythmics singer says it might be her last. Why? She’s fresh out of angst. “I’ve stopped writing because I’m too happy.” (Rolling Stone)

Gerald Wilson, a jazz trumpeter and composer who worked with such greats as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, and Dizzy Gillespie, has died of pneumonia at the age of 96. (Billboard)

From Sept. 12 until Oct. 10, SiriusXM subscribers can listen to a channel playing nothing but Barbra Streisand. (Billboard)

Due to a “medical issue,” Mötorhead announced, Megadeth will no longer be joining the band on their Sept. 22-26 cruise, “Mötorhead’s Mötorboat.” Fear not: Anthrax and Testament are still on board.