Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Justin Vernon and Kanye West will appear on new James Blake album

James Blake performs at First Avenue in 2013. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

James Blake has confirmed that both Justin Vernon and Kanye West will appear on his new album Radio Silence. Previously, Blake and Vernon joined forces on the song “Fall Creek Boys Choir” on Blake’s 2011 EP Enough Thunder. (Pitchfork)

Justin Lowe, guitarist and co-founder of local band After the Burial, has died at age 32. Lowe apparently fell from a bridge over the St. Croix River, and foul play is not suspected. In recent weeks, Lowe’s bandmates had expressed concern about his mental health. (City Pages)

Members of Future Islands and Lower Dens have collaborated with a group of Baltimore middle-schoolers to record a song called “Believe in Baltimore” under the auspices of a music education program called Believe in Music. The kids wrote the lyrics, and Cara Satalino of Outer Spaces wrote the music. (Billboard)

Paula Abdul and late-night host James Corden recreated Abdul’s famous “Opposites Attract” video, with Corden in the role of the animated MC Skat Kat. (Rolling Stone) As it happens, Derrick Stevens—the rapping voice of MC Skat Kat—is The Current’s production manager. Read his story.

Yes have confirmed that they plan to continue as a band despite the death of bassist Chris Squire—the only person to play on every one of the band’s albums to date. Drummer Alan White, who’s been in the band since 1972, says it was Squire’s wish that Yes carry on. (Billboard)

Broadway star and folksinger Theodore Bikel has died at age 91. Bikel was best-known for playing the role of Tevye in over 2,200 performances of Fiddler on the Roof, and for being the first actor to play the role of Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music. (Billboard)

Dr. Dre and Ice Cube say that an N.W.A. reunion tour is in the works—with “honorary member” Eminem joining in, says The Hollywood ReporterStraight Outta Compton, an N.W.A. biopic, opens on Aug. 14.

Pharrell goes all over the world in his new video for “Freedom.” (Billboard)

Sinead O’Connor has canceled her remaining summer tour dates due to exhaustion from “an existing not resolved medical situation.” (Billboard)

Good news and bad news for Wiz Khalifa on the adult contemporary charts. His song “See You Again” from the Furious 7 soundtrack, which hit number one on the Hot 100, is #15 on the adult contemporary chart—but without Wiz Khalifa. The adult contemporary version omits the rapper’s verses, substituting additional sung verses by co-writer Charlie Puth, who sings the hook on the song’s original version. (Billboard)

Mylo the Cat, the video remix artist who made the Muppets sing along to songs by the Beastie Boys and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, has created a Miss Piggy version of Rihanna‘s latest single. (Billboard)