Local Current Blog

Music News: Paul Westerberg becomes ‘Dale Westerberg’ in new video

In a new video for the I Don’t Cares‘ “Whole Lotta Nothin’,” Paul Westerberg takes on the persona of songwriting teacher “Dale Westerberg.” (Pitchfork)

Prince is Bay (Area)

On Sunday night, Prince wowed Oakland in the first American show (except for two shows earlier this month at Paisley Park) on his “Piano & a Microphone” tour. “Prince presented what was essentially a collage of original material and covers performed as if it was all one ornate, intricately interwoven concerto,” wrote Barry Walters for Pitchfork. “The intensity and ingenuity of it was extraordinary.”

Pop art

Iggy Pop posed nude for a life drawing class at the New York Academy of Art. The resulting portraits — by students ranging in age from 19 to 80 — will form the basis of an exhibit that will open this fall at the Brooklyn Museum. “For me it makes perfect sense for Iggy Pop to be the subject of a life class,” said artist Jeremy Deller, who organized the project. “His body is central to an understanding of rock music and its place within American culture. His body has witnessed much and should be documented.” (Pitchfork)

Tidal hands make light payments, says band

Musician John Emanuele of the band the American Dollar has filed a class-action lawsuit against Tidal, accusing the streaming service of “systematic infringement” of contracts mandating payment to independent artists. In response, Tidal issued a statement saying they are “up to date on all royalties” and that Emanuele and his publishing company “are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them.” (Pitchfork)

Oscar: The grouches

Sunday night’s Best Original Song co-winner Sam Smith has apologized for suggesting, erroneously, that he was the first-ever openly gay Oscar winner. “My point was to shine some light on the LGBT community who i love so dearly,” tweeted Smith — particularly apologizing to openly gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award in 2009 for writing the film Milk. (Billboard)

The Amy Winehouse documentary Amy won an Oscar as well — and predictably, the late singer’s father is unhappy about it. Mitch Winehouse, who doesn’t come off well in the documentary, repeated his criticism that the film is “a negative, spiteful and misleading portrayal” of his daughter. (Billboard)

Chuck D has responded to the use of the Public Enemy song in the closing credits of the Academy Awards. “The point of the song is a call to making change eventually not just applauding the thought,” tweeted the MC. (Billboard)

Conchords taking flight again

Flight of the Conchords have announced a North American tour — and have hinted that they are working on new material. The sardonic New Zealanders will play the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis on June 17. (Rolling Stone)

Kim Gordon reads aloud

Kim Gordon must have enjoyed recording the audiobook for her recent memoir, because she’s returned to the studio to record an audiobook for Midnight Sun, a crime novel by author Jo Nesbo. (Billboard)

A Mexican tribute to Morrissey

A group of alternative rock musicians from Mexico have formed a group they call Mexrrissey: a Morrissey tribute band. The group — fronted by Camilo Lara of the group Mexican Institute of Sound — has an album called No Manchester coming out on March 4. The album is now streaming at Billboard.