At his “One on One” tour opener Wednesday night in Fresno, Paul McCartney played “A Hard Day’s Night” — the first time he’d ever performed the song as a solo artist, meaning the first time he’d played it publicly in 51 years. He also played “Love Me Do” for the first time as a solo artist, and dug out the Quarrymen song “In Spite of All the Danger.” Another notable entry in the setlist was “FourFiveSeconds,” McCartney’s hit 2015 collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna. (Rolling Stone) The tour comes to Target Center on May 4 and 5.
Time Out of Mind: The TV show?
Variety reports that Amazon is in talks to produce a TV series based on characters and themes from Bob Dylan’s acclaimed 1997 album Time Out of Mind. Writer-director Josh Wakely has made a deal that gives him rights to develop shows inspired by Dylan’s songs. (Variety)
Laura Jane Grace to play North Carolina in protest
Laura Jane Grace, perhaps the most visible trans musician, says she’s “eager” to play North Carolina with her band Against Me! Grace says, “I’m going to create an event around the show as a form of protest to say that despite whatever stupid laws they enact, trans people are not going to be scared.” Musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have canceled recent North Carolina gigs in protest against the state’s controversial HB2 law regarding transgender individuals. (Billboard)
New film tells the story of Bowie down under
Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under, a new short film set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, chronicles the making of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” video in 1983 in Australia. “Directed by Rubika Shah, the film interviews crew members, local residents featured in the video and talking heads like music journalist Kurt Loder to explore the clip’s diverse themes,” reports Rolling Stone.
T-minus two months to new Radiohead
Radiohead’s next album will be released in June, says the band’s manager Brian Message. It “will be like nothing you’ve ever heard,” said Message during a London interview. (Pitchfork)
End of an era at the Met
Huge news in the classical music world: James Levine will retire after 40 years as music director at the Metropolitan Opera. Perhaps the single most influential person in all of opera, Levine has kept the Met at the center of New York cultural life. The timing of his departure was reportedly contentious, with the Met board reportedly insisting Levine step down amid health challenges. (YourClassical)
Allen Toussaint posthumous release planned
Nonesuch Records has announced the release of American Tunes, the last album New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint finished before his death last year. The album, out June 10, “features Toussaint’s solo performances of New Orleans singer/pianist Professor Longhair songs, as well as band arrangements of songs by Toussaint, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Paul Simon, and more,” reports Pitchfork.
Vampire Weekend feel the Bern
At a New York rally for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Vampire Weekend performed as a trio for the first time since founding member Rostam Batmanglij departed the group in January. Acknowledging the group’s Columbia University origins, frontman Ezra Koenig said, “I know we’re down in NYU territory, but if there’s one place to put aside the bourgeois rivalries of public universities, it’s at a Bernie Sanders rally.” (Billboard)
Frehley and Stanley KISS and make up
Ace Frehley has cut a track with former KISS bandmate Paul Stanley for the first time in 18 years. The two appear together on “Fire and Water,” a Free cover from Frehley’s forthcoming covers album Origins Vol. 1. Hear it at Rolling Stone.
Elvis lives (on TV)
The creators of Sharknado are making a TV movie called Elvis Lives! The movie, which will appear on AXS TV, imagines that the King is still alive — and fighting crime. “With Elvis Lives! we intend to do for the life of Elvis Presley what Sharknado did for flying sharks,” said one of the movie’s producers. (Billboard)
While you wait for Elvis Lives! you can check out Elvis & Nixon, a new movie about the true story of Elvis’s meeting with then-president Richard Nixon. The movie opens in theaters on April 22; watch for Jay Gabler’s review on our site.