Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Chinese government issues statement against Kenny G

A tweet from Kenny G

Plenty of people have made statements against Kenny G, but it’s not his smooth jazz that’s upsetting the Chinese government—in fact, the saxophonist is a huge star in China. That’s why his participation in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong inspired a reprimand by China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman. “Kenny G’s musical works are widely popular in China,” said Hua Chunying, “but China’s position on the illegal Occupy Central activities in Hong Kong is very clear. We hope that foreign governments and individuals speak and act cautiously and not support the Occupy Central and other illegal activities in any form.” (Billboard)

Neil Young made an album about his car (Fork in the Road, 2009), and it turns out that he demonstrates his love for automobiles in other media too: prose (his forthcoming book is subtitled A Memoir of Life & Cars) and paint. From Nov. 3-29, Young’s paintings of cars will be on display at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica. The artist will be present at the show’s opening reception. (Stereogum)

Stan Goldstein has been giving tours of Bruce Springsteen landmarks in New Jersey for 15 years, but this past weekend for the first time ever, one of his tours included the landmark: Springsteen himself. When Goldstein was driving a pair of U.K. fans through Red Bank, they spotted the Boss and his wife Patti Scialfa paying a parking meter. They snapped a quick photo through the window, but didn’t stop the car. “We didn’t want to be rude,” said the tour guide. (Billboard)

Forget YouTube: the newest way to break a hit record is to have it played at a spinning class. Artists including Britney SpearsLady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj are promoting their new music by having songs played during classes at SoulCycle, a hot NYC-based chain of fitness centers. “It’s like a listening session, but it’s a workout listening session,” said one record executive about SoulCycle classes, which sometimes even have surprise visits by the artists themselves. (Billboard)

“I just never imagined it would be possible to connect with an audience on such a powerful and intimate level,” wrote Kate Bush in an open letter posted on her website after her recent run of comeback shows in London. “To feel such, well quite frankly, love.”

Sting is still having tantric sex, and talking about it on TV. “If we had seven hours,” he told James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, “I would demonstrate.” After reiterating his view of sex as a “sacrament,” he clarified: okay, “not seven hours.” (Billboard)

The Dukes of Hazzard are recording a Christmas album. Yes, you read that right: Home for Christmas, a holiday album by John Schneider and Tom Wopat—co-stars of the 80s hit—will be released on Oct. 28. (Rolling Stone)

Aretha Franklin did an amazing day of TV press for her new album, despite struggling with limited sleep, a low-volume earpiece, a satellite delay, and some dumb questions.

Ariel Pink has a new album coming out next month, but more people are talking about what numerous commenters have called his insensitivity and even misogyny. It’s no fair, Pink told The New Yorker, adding flame to the fire. “Everybody’s a victim, except for small, white, nice guys who just want to make their moms proud and touch some boobies.”

As promised, Minnesota native Jessica Lange sings a Lana Del Rey song, “Gods and Monsters,” on the current season of American Horror Story. It’s pretty great, and you can hear it at SPIN.

A portion of Franklin Avenue in St. Paul will be renamed Dave Ray Avenue in tribute to the local folk-blues legend. (Local Current)

Listen to the Morning Show’s music news roundup on the Current every weekday at 9:00 a.m. to hear Jill Riley and Steve Seel discuss the latest music news.