Local Current Blog

Music News: ‘Hamilton’ wins Pulitzer Prize

Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, bows with other members of the cast at 'Hamilton' opening night at Richard Rodgers Theatre in August 2015 (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The musical, a retelling of the Founding Father’s story, has won near-universal critical acclaim and become the hottest Broadway ticket of the 21st century (as well as, possibly, keeping Alexander Hamilton’s face on the ten-dollar bill). The Pulitzer Prize for Music went to a long suite by jazz-influenced composer Henry Threadgill. (YourClassical)

Today’s Nirvana/Beatles news

A Fender Stratocaster played by Kurt Cobain on Nirvana’s final tour is up for auction online, expected to fetch approximately $140,000. (Rolling Stone)

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney welcomed Cobain’s former bandmate — and McCartney’s fellow bassist — Krist Novoselic onstage Sunday night in Seattle for a rendition of the Beatles‘ “Helter Skelter.” (Rolling Stone)

Fans of McCartney’s Beatles bandmate George Harrison will be pleased to hear that the Traveling Wilburys‘s two-album discography is headed to streaming services. The Wilburys, a supergroup who originally came together to record “Handle With Care” as a Harrison b-side, included Harrison along with Bob DylanRoy Orbison (until his 1988 death), Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. (Billboard)

Jack White steps up to bat(s)

Jack White has invested in a baseball bat company: Warstic, a Texas-based company that produces unusually stylish bats. “Most baseball bats and equipment in the sports world do not impress me much, but I think that there is a lot of room to explore aesthetic ideas in just baseball alone that can bring beauty and purpose to the weapons that athletes use to accomplish their goals,” said White in a statement. (NME)

Today’s Kanye/streaming news

Kanye West and Tidal have been hit with a lawsuit that might become a class action, seeking compensatory action on behalf of the many fans who bought tidal subscriptions after West promised his new album The Life of Pablo would be available only on that service. The album is now available on numerous platforms. The lawsuit contends that the supposedly exclusive release netted Tidal two million new subscribers. (Billboard)

West has also apparently begun tinkering with older releases: fans have discovered that subtle changes have been made to Apple Music versions of tracks from West’s 2013 release Yeezus. (Pitchfork)

After going into freefall after the late-90s advent of Napster and music piracy, record industry revenues have started to slowly but steadily climb again, with rising revenue over the past three years reversing the industry’s downward trend for the first time in this century. Among the factors contributing to that trend: rising revenue from streaming, an ongoing vinyl boom, and colossal sales for Adele’s 25. (Pitchfork)

Aretha ready to approve biopic

The famously image-conscious Aretha Franklin says she’s “ready to sign” a deal for a biopic that’s been in development for the past four years. Her faith in producer Scott Bernstein can’t have been hurt by the fact that he was a force behind Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. movie that was released last year and became the highest-grossing music biopic ever released. (NME)

The Gambler gets ready to fold

Kenny Rogers has announced a “farewell tour” that begins next month with two Minnesota casino gigs. The name of the tour? In reference to the country star’s signature song, it’s “the Gambler’s Last Deal.” (Rolling Stone)