Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Grateful Dead to reunite for ‘last shows,’ with Trey Anastasio of Phish

The four surviving members of the Grateful Dead have announced that they will reunite for three 50th anniversary shows this July, at Chicago’s Soldier Field—the venue where the band played their last show with Jerry Garcia before he died in 1995. Standing in for Garcia at the reunion shows will be Trey Anastasio of Phish, perhaps the most successful jam band inspired by the Dead. “These will be the last shows with the four of us together,” says the Dead’s Bob Weir. (Billboard)

Hip-hop influential A$AP Yams (Steven Rodriguez) has died at age 26. The cause of death was not announced, but Yams was known to be struggling with drug addiction. Yams was the founder of the A$AP Mob, the hip-hop collective that’s produced stars including A$AP Ferg and A$AP Rocky. (Rolling Stone) The music world is also mourning Dallas Taylor; the Crosby, Stills and Nash drummer has died at age 66. (Billboard)

After eight years of legal proceedings, it took a Syracuse jury just one hour to clear Rick Springfield in a lawsuit alleging that the “Jessie’s Girl” rocker severely injured a woman with his buttocks while performing at the New York State Fair in 2004. (Billboard)

In other legal news, the Beastie Boys are asking Monster for an additional $2.4 million in legal fees, in addition to the $1.7 million they’ve already been awarded in damages, in a lawsuit over the energy drink company’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys’ music in a 2012 promotional video. (The Guardian)

Reviews are tepid for Whitney, the Lifetime biopic—directed by Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett—about Whitney Houston. The TV movie, which debuted on Saturday night, was strongly opposed by Houston’s family. (Rolling Stone)

After just two episodes, Fox has decided to renew Empire for a second season. The new series tells the story of a fictional hip-hop mogul; though it’s been criticized by music insiders for inauthenticity, the show has proved a hit with viewers. (Billboard)

Just one day after playing a successful show at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, on Saturday night Fleetwood Mac had to cut a Nebraska concert short because—Stevie Nicks reported from the stage—Mick Fleetwood became ill during the show. The band plan to perform a Tuesday night concert in Michigan as scheduled. (Billboard)

Sky Ferreira has joined the cast of Elvis & Nixon, a forthcoming movie based on the true story of Elvis Presley‘s 1970 meeting with President Nixon. Nixon will be played by Kevin Spacey, and Michael Shannon will portray the King; Ferreira will play the love interest of Presley’s friend Jerry Schilling. (Pitchfork)

Increasingly popular, selfie sticks are being banned by major U.K. venues including the O2 Arena and SSE Wembley Arena. Will American venues follow suit? (Billboard)

On Saturday Night Live, musical guest Sia performed “Chandelier” with the help of a mime, and “Elastic Heart” with two dancers including Maddie Ziegler. The singer obscured her face, as has become her wont. Watch the video on Pitchfork.

Trumping whatever may or may not have happened when Danny Brown played the Triple Rock, on Thursday night at a Dead Kennedys concert in Solana Beach, California, two fans openly engaged in on-stage oral sex. “Of course, we don’t condone this activity in our establishment and security stopped it right away,” said management of the venue, the Belly Up Tavern, in a statement. “This is certainly a first for us.” (Billboard)