Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Sam Smith, Royal Blood score big at Brit Awards

courtesy Sam Smith

The Brit Awards—widely regarded at the British Grammys—were held on Wednesday, and though for Minnesota music fans the huge news was local MC Allan Kingdom joining Kanye West on stage for a song debut, the big winners in terms of awards were Sam Smith and Royal Blood. Smith won Global Success and British Breakthrough Act, while Royal Blood won the British Group award. Ed Sheeran won the British Male Solo artist award as well as the British Album award. In addition to Kanye’s performance, another much-discussed moment was Madonna‘s accidental tumble to the floor during her performance. (Billboard)

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a global organization representing record labels, has made a statement declaring that the international music industry has agreed to set Friday as a global standard for the day of the week to issue new releases. The move, which will take effect this summer, is designed to combat the music piracy that takes place when music is first released in one country and leaks to another country via the Internet before it’s officially released there. Currently, most American releases come out on Tuesdays. (Billboard)

The “Blurred Lines” trial opened in Los Angeles on Tuesday, with Pharrell WilliamsRobin Thicke, and T.I. defending themselves against claims that they stole elements of Marvin Gaye‘s song “Got to Give it Up.” Thicke’s attorney said Thicke is standing by his claim that, although he’s credited as a co-writer, in actuality Thicke had no involvement with the writing of the song. All three credited co-writers are expected to take the stand. (Billboard) In court on Wednesday, Thicke performed a piano medley of songs by U2the BeatlesAlphavilleBob Marley, and Michael Jackson as part of his effort to demonstrate that similarities among songs don’t necessarily constitute theft. (Billboard) The lawsuit could become an important copyright case, in part because it hinges on elements of the recordings that aren’t present in the songs’ sheet music. (Billboard)

The Singles (the new band with members including Scarlett Johansson and Este Haim) have been issued a cease-and-desist order by…well, the Singles, an L.A. band who have been active since 1999. “Just a simple search on Google would have revealed that ‘The Singles’ was already a band name being used by another pop/rock band,” said frontman Vincent Frederick. (NME)

The eponymous Joshua tree that appears in photography for U2‘s classic 1987 album, has been vandalized: someone hacked off one of its limbs, apparently to claim a slice as a souvenir. The tree, located in the Mojave Desert, has been a popular tourist destination for hikers and U2 fans. The fine print: the tree previously fell over and died in 2000. (Local Current)

In other tree/music news, the George Harrison memorial tree that was ironically killed by beetles was scheduled to be replaced Wednesday in Los Angeles. (L.A. Times)

The rumors are true: the third headliner of Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival is Sir Paul McCartney. (Billboard)

“Big Decisions,” the new My Morning Jacket single, has been released on Pono a week ahead of its general release. (Local Current)

When Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones agreed to allow his song “Call Me” to appear in Fifty Shades of Grey, he thought the film was going to be a romantic comedy. (Jezebel)

Earlier this week Erykah Badu was trapped at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport due to poor weather, but when the local CBS affiliate interviewed her, she had a good sense of humor about the situation. Clad in a giant hat, Badu declared, “It’s hard out here for a pimp,” and then rattled off a series of school closings.

Lady Gaga will join the next season of American Horror Story—in a starring role. (Mashable)