Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Justin Vernon shares personal ‘field guide’ to Eaux Claires

Justin Vernon at The Current's studios in 2012. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver has shared a personal “field guide” to the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, which he co-curated with Aaron Dessner of the National. The guide features a poetic capsule summary of each performer, along with custom circular band logos designed by Vernon.

Meanwhile, Vernon was called “one of the baddest white boys on the planet” by Kanye West, who brought his sometime musical collaborator on stage at Glastonbury this weekend to perform “Lost in the World.” West also sang the first verse of Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and had his eventful set interrupted by a stage crasher. (Pitchfork) Not to be upstaged, Patti Smith also produced a special guest: the Dalai Lama. Smith sang “Happy Birthday” to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who turns 80 on July 6. (Billboard)

Also at Glastonbury, Florence and the Machine covered “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters, the original headliner who had to bow out after Dave Grohl broke his leg falling off the stage during a performance. (Billboard)

The music world is mourning Chris Squire, a bassist who was a founding member of Yes and became the only member to play on every one of the group’s studio albums. Squire, 67, died just over a month after saying he had been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. (Rolling Stone)

On Saturday night, the Grateful Dead played the first in a string of what they’re calling their final shows, with Phish frontman Trey Anastasio filling in for the late Jerry Garcia. The set included hits like “Uncle John’s Band” and long jams like a 17-minute “Viola Lee Blues.” (Billboard) The performance concluded with a rainbow that seemed almost too perfectly timed, and early media reports said that the rainbow had been artificially-generated by the band at a cost of $50,000. Those reports were later retracted, but that hasn’t stopped rainbow conspiracy theories from continuing. (Consequence of Sound)

Sunday night’s BET Awards included a moving tribute to Janet Jackson and a slip that made Diddy the latest musician to fall off a stage in an increasingly accident-prone year.

Diddy BET Awards

Joni Mitchell‘s friend and spokesperson Leslie Morris has confirmed that Mitchell did suffer an aneurysm—as first disclosed by David Crosby. Morris, however, corrected Crosby’s speculation that Mitchell is not speaking. “Joni is speaking,” wrote Morris in a statement, “and she’s speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she’s getting better each day. A full recovery is expected.” (Billboard)

There was a semi-reunion of N.W.A. on Saturday night at the BET Experience in Los Angeles, as Ice Cube performed with MC Ren and DJ Yella together for the first time since the ’80s. Founding member Dr. Dre declined an invitation to participate. (Rolling Stone)

Ornette Coleman was remembered on Saturday at a three-and-a-half hour memorial service in New York. Several jazz musicians performed tributes to Coleman, and among the mourners was longtime friend Yoko Ono, who spoke while holding a scarf she’d been knitting for the late great saxophonist. (Billboard)

PETA has named Miley Cyrus this year’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity. This marks the second year in a row a musician has captured the honor: last year, one of the two honorees named was Ariana Grande. (Billboard)