Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Prince’s high school basketball pic goes viral

via Libor Jany on Twitter

When Star Tribune reporter Libor Jany tweeted a photo of Prince‘s high school basketball team, he couldn’t have guessed it would go viral—after all, the photo was already published in the newspaper, in 1984. National blogs loved the rediscovered photo of an afro-sporting Prince in his Bryant Junior High days, though, and Jany got hundreds of retweets. Jon Bream, the Star Tribune music writer who wrote the original article, has the story behind the suddenly-famous photo.

In other Prince news, the Bonnaroo co-founders have revealed that they invited Prince to headline this year’s festival. He passed. Another band who passed on the opportunity were the Grateful Dead. (Consequence of Sound)

Having dropped out of Harvard to play in WeezerRivers Cuomo went back to school two decades later and completed his degree. Now, he’s producing a pilot episode for a proposed TV series based on his back-to-school experience. (Pitchfork)

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders will release a memoir on Sept. 8. The publisher says the as-yet-untitled book will be “incredibly frank.” (Billboard)

The National Transportation Safety Board is reviewing a petition to reopen the investigation of the most famous plane crash in music history: the “day the music died” accident that claimed the lives of Buddy HollyRitchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson when their plane crashed in Iowa in 1959. The crash was officially attributed to pilot error, but the board will look into whether any other factors might have been overlooked. (Billboard)

A Songwriter Equity Act has been introduced in both houses of Congress. The act, if passed, would provide for more flexibility in setting songwriters’ royalty rates, which are highly regulated; songwriters have long complained that they get the short end of the stick compared to performers and record labels when royalties are paid. (Billboard)

Jay-Z is bidding to pay $56 million for Swedish music streaming service Aspiro. The company’s board of directors were on board with the sale, but it’s been blocked by minority shareholders. Negotiations will continue, and a deal may still be reached. (Rolling Stone)

As SoundCloud proceeds with a plan to open new revenue streams for artists using the service—including a planned subscription service to be launched later this year—they’ve announced that so far, their OnSoundCloud promotional-partner service has resulted in payments of $1 million to artists and labels. (NME)

15 years after releasing their most recent album, the Violent Femmes will release Happy New Year, a four-song EP of new material, on Record Store Day (April 18). Hear “Love Love Love Love Love,” a song from the EP at Stereogum.

Big Sean has landed atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the first time with Dark Sky Paradise. (Rolling Stone) The fast-rising rapper made a virtual appearance at the Xcel Energy Center this past weekend in the form of a prerecorded video duetting with his girlfriend Ariana Grande, and he’ll make an actual appearance in May at Soundset.

Megaselling pop-country star Shania Twain announced what she’s calling her final tour, which will stop at Target Center on July 28. (Rolling Stone)

Amanda Palmer, the musician and multimedia artist who lives in Wisconsin with her husband Neil Gaiman, has recruited close to two thousand backers on Patreon, a crowdfunding site that provides artists with ongoing support (as opposed to a site like Kickstarter, which is meant to fund one project at a time). Palmer’s fans have pledged a total of over $15,000 per unspecified “thing” Palmer creates for their benefit. (Billboard)

David Gilmour will follow the release of Pink Floyd‘s recent album The Endless River with a new solo release later this year. (Rolling Stone)

Avery Fisher Hall, the longtime home of the New York Philharmonic, will be renamed David Geffen Hall this September. The famed producer donated $100 million towards the renovation of the hall after Fisher’s original naming donation was essentially returned to his family so that the orchestra could seek a new, deeper-pocketed naming donor like Geffen. (Classical MPR)