Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Saruman, 92, releases heavy-metal Christmas single

Okay, it’s not actually Saruman, heroic-turned-evil wizard of Middle-Earth: it’s Christopher Lee, the 92-year-old actor who plays Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. Among Lee’s many pursuits on stage and on record have been heavy-metal holiday singles he’s released each year since 2012. Previous releases included Lee’s takes on “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Silent Night,” “My Way,” and a seasonal number called “Jingle Hell.” This year’s offering is titled “Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing.” (Bloody Disgusting)

The upcoming EP from Ty Segall will double as what Segall is calling “the world’s first pair of playable 3D glasses” in the form of red- and blue-tinted translucent vinyl. Mr. Face will be released on Jan. 13. (Consequence of Sound)

Ty Segall EP copy

A New York federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit alleging that Jay-Z improperly sampled a single syllable (“oh”) of Eddie Bo‘s “Hook & Sling Part I” in his song “Run This Town.” Without determining whether or not the song had in fact been sampled, Judge Kaplan said that a single syllable, as allegedly used by Jay-Z, was simply too little to constitute theft. (Billboard)

Sinead O’Connor says she’s applied to join the controversial Irish political party Sinn Féin, since she’d “like to see a proper socialist Ireland.” In so doing, however, she called for the party’s leaders to step down. A Sinn Féin spokesperson said “we look forward to working with Sinead,” but defended the party’s leadership. The leadership of Sinn Féin has been criticized for its handling of charges that party members sexually abused children. (BBC)

Billy Corgan, having previously said that he and the late Kurt Cobain were the two “top scribes” of alternative rock (“everybody else was a distant third”), has expanded on that verdict, telling Howard Stern that Pearl Jam “don’t have the songs” in league with the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana; and that the Foo Fighters “just haven’t evolved.” (Consequence of Sound)

Bob Dylan announced a release date—Feb. 3—and track list for Shadows in the Night, his forthcoming album of Frank Sinatra covers. (Local Current)

The final Hot 100 chart for 2014 has been published, so Billboard can now definitively state that the biggest song of the year was Pharrell‘s “Happy.”

A class-action lawsuit against Apple will move forward despite an unusual situation: there are no plaintiffs. The last remaining plaintiffs have been disqualified because their iPods weren’t among those that allegedly blocked the use of music purchased from Apple’s competitors; the presiding judge is allowing the legal team representing the class of iPod owners to find a new plaintiff to advance the suit. (Billboard)

Avril Lavigne isn’t pregnant, her reps confirm, but they’re not saying what precisely is the undisclosed health issue that’s motivating Lavigne to accept her fans’ prayers and good wishes. (Billboard)

Target Center in Minneapolis has scheduled a Thursday morning press conference at which they’ll make what they’re calling a “major concert” announcement. Watch @LocalCurrent for details as they become available.

Bob Geldof has two words for people who criticize the lyrics of his four-time hit charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The second word is “off,” and the first word isn’t one that we can say on the radio. (Rolling Stone)