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Today’s Music News: Stephin Merritt to play 26 songs, in alphabetical order, at the Cedar Cultural Center

courtesy Stephin Merritt

Stephin Merritt, the brilliant and eccentric musician best known as the creative force behind the Magnetic Fields, has announced a rare solo tour that will stop at the Cedar Cultural Center on May 15. The show has an unusual premise (albeit somewhat less unusual for a guy who’s made an entire album of songs starting with the letter I): at each gig Merritt will play exactly 26 songs, starting successively with the 26 letters of the alphabet, in order. (Rolling Stone)

Paul McCartney is back in the top ten for the first time since the Beatles‘ reheated “Free as a Bird” was released in 1995: “FourFiveSeconds,” McCartney’s collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West, hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Since McCartney is credited as a lead performer on “FourFiveSeconds,” he now has the longest gap between lead-credited top ten hits: his most recent solo top ten hit was “Spies Like Us” in 1986. McCartney narrowly edges Carlos Santana, who waited almost 29 years between “Black Magic Woman” (1971) and “Smooth” (1999). (Billboard)

Everyone loves the Beatles now, but you know who didn’t love them back in the day? Lou Reed. “I thought they were garbage,” the late Velvet Underground leader says in a newly-unearthed 1987 interview clip. (Consequence of Sound)

Neil Young appears in advertisements and a new t-shirt from the streetwear line Supreme. (Pitchfork)

As of May 17, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will feature exhibitions dedicated to two music stars who are also known as artists: Björk, whose exhibit opens on March 8, and Yoko Ono. Before making her name in music, Ono had already established a career as a conceptual artist, and the MoMA exhibit will feature over 125 works created by Ono in the 1960s and early 1970s. (Rolling Stone)

Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival has announced its 2015 lineup: the festival, which will take place from June 18-21, will be headlined by Kings of Leonthe Killers, and a third big name that’s yet to be announced but is rumored to be Paul McCartney. (Consequence of Sound)

On Monday night, CBS aired a Stevie Wonder tribute concert featuring a cavalcade of stars. Among the highlights: BeyoncéGary Clark Jr., and Ed Sheeran played “Higher Ground.” (Consequence of Sound)

Van Morrison‘s next album will be a set of duets. Scheduled for release on March 24, Duets: Reworking the Catalogue will feature Morrison trading verses with guests on new versions of his earlier songs including “Some Peace of Mind” (with the late Bobby Womack), “Fire in the Belly” (with Steve Winwood), and “Lord, If I Ever Needed Someone” (with Mavis Staples). (Billboard)

Pharrell will write four books for kids, starting with a book called Happy that shows children “celebrating what it means to be happy.” (Rolling Stone)

Florence Welch has opened up about the turbulent year that led to the creation of her forthcoming album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. (NME)

“Weird Al” Yankovic appeared on The Late Late Show to demonstrate his “real passion” for “classic American folk music.” (Consequence of Sound)

Would you buy your medical marijuana from B-Real of Cypress Hill? You’ll soon have the opportunity. (NME)

Would you pay $50,000 for a life-sized sculpture of Pete Doherty being crucified? You’ll soon have the opportunity. (NME)

In addition to his new Adidas sneakers, Kanye West has designed a fashion accessory that every toddler-aged child of Kanye West apparently needs to have: a bulletproof vest. (Billboard)

Tom DeLonge is out of Blink-182, but he still has plenty to keep him busy, including making contact with aliens. (AV Club)