Local Current Blog

Music News: Tragically Hip say goodbye as Justin Trudeau pays tribute

Gord Downie with Justin Trudeau (via Justin Trudeau on Facebook)

With frontman Gord Downie facing terminal brain cancer, the Tragically Hip played their final show Saturday night in Kingston, Ont. Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau was on hand to pay tribute. (Pitchfork) Read Jim McGuinn’s story about taking a road trip to Winnipeg to see a show on the band’s goodbye tour.

Frank Ocean album finally drops

It’s finally here: the new Frank Ocean album, Blonde. The album was released this weekend on Apple Music, following the earlier debut of a related 45-minute film and accompanied by the appearance of pop-up shops in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London. (New York Times)

Controversial boy-band czar passes away

Music producer Lou Pearlman has died of undisclosed causes at age 62. At the time of his death Pearlman was imprisoned in Texas, serving a sentence handed down in 2008 for fraudulent financial activity that allowed the producer to illegally pocket over $300 million of investors’ money.

Pearlman was a dominant force behind the rise of the boy-band craze in the late 1990s. As manager of first the Backstreet Boys and then NSYNC, he led both groups to global superstardom. As news of Pearlman’s death spread, musicians and former colleagues paid tribute to his “creative genius” while acknowledging his “dark side.” (CNN)

Prince may have unknowingly ingested fentanyl

The Star Tribune reports “pills marked as hydrocodone that were seized from Paisley Park after Prince’s overdose death actually contained fentanyl, the powerful opioid that killed him, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.” The discovery could indicate that Prince took the mislabeled pills not realizing they contained such a powerful substance.

Nesmith to reunite with Monkees one last time

Mike Nesmith will reunite with his Monkees bandmates Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork for what Nesmith says will be one final time, at a Sept. 16 show in Los Angeles. The show will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the TV show that turned the Monkees into stars. The fourth member of the quartet, Davy Jones, died in 2012. Dolenz and Tork have been touring in support of a new Monkees album, Good Times, recorded with the participation of all three surviving members. (Billboard)

Lawmakers still pushing for BOSS Act

As Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band prepare for a trio of shows at MetLife Stadium in Springsteen’s native New Jersey, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) says he’s still pushing for Congress to pass a bill Pascrell first introduced in 2009. The BOSS Act — named for Springsteen, and an acronym for “Better Oversight of Secondary Sales” — would combat computerized bots used to buy huge swaths of seats for resale, and would compel Ticketmaster to disclose the specific numbers of tickets that go on sale for each show. (Billboard)

Aretha’s birthplace survives — for now

The Memphis cottage where Aretha Franklin was born in 1942 has been saved from bulldozers — at least temporarily. The house is in city receivership, in severely dilapidated condition; Judge Larry Potter has given the current homeowner three weeks to submit a viable plan for repairs. If a workable plan doesn’t appear, the house is slated for demolition. (Billboard)

Tony Bennett gets a statue for his birthday

On Friday, a statue of Tony Bennett was unveiled outside San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, where in 1961 Bennett sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” for the first time. The occasion celebrated Bennett’s 90th birthday, which was on Aug. 3. “Thank you for being so wonderful to me,” said the singer. “I’ll never forget this day.” (Billboard)

Barry Gibb to release debut solo album

58 years after the founding of the Bee Gees, band member Barry Gibb will release his debut solo album. In the Now is set for release on Oct. 7, and the 69-year-old Gibb — whose Bee Gees bandmates were his brothers Robin and Maurice — will again collaborate with family. Barry’s sons Stephen and Ashley are both featured on the new album. (Billboard)

Barry Gibb In the Now

Bob Mould gives Donald Trump a piece of his mind

When Bob Mould encountered a San Francisco statue caricaturing Donald Trump, the Hüsker Dü rocker shared an unfiltered opinion of the Republican presidential nominee. You can see exactly what that means over at City Pages.

Koko jams

Celebrity gorilla Koko recently hung out with Flea, even jamming out a little bit. “This is just the greatest thing that could ever happen,” said the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist. (Rolling Stone)