Local Current Blog

Music News: R.I.P. Vine

Sunset photo by Bryan Pocius (CC BY 2.0); photoillustration with Vine logo by Jay Gabler/MPR

Twitter has announced that it’s discontinuing the Vine app. The six-second looping video app never caught on like Instagram or Snapchat — or even like Twitter itself, which bought Vine in 2013, just before the app’s launch. Still, Vine had an undeniable impact on the music world, proving an unlikely launching platform for the careers of music stars. Most notably, Shawn Mendes took off on Vine before becoming a major mainstream pop star with two hit albums. (Pitchfork) Further, Vine was significant as a tool used by social justice activists and gave “young minority performers a platform to express themselves and a way to grow a following outside the confines of conventional media,” notes the New York Times, citing observations by writer Tracy Clayton.

Here are a couple of our favorite Vines from The Current.

Today’s punk news

Tommy Stinson (the Replacements), Wayne Kramer (the MC5), Clem Burke (Blondie), and Walter Lure (the Heartbreakers) are teaming up to form a punk supergroup that will play a one-off benefit show on Nov. 15 in New York City. The show, which will feature a complete performance of the Heartbreakers’ L.A.M.F., will raise money to pay health care costs for ailing writer and rocker Stephan Saban. (AV Club)

The challenge of funding health care has faced many aging punk stars — including Ivan Julian of Richard Hell & the Voidoids, who told Billboard about how crowdfunding medical expenses helped to save his life.

Meanwhile, Iggy Pop is still on the victory lap with Josh Homme behind their recent album Post Pop Depression. They recently played Austin City Limits, with Iggy sporting a blazer over his trademark bare chest. (Pitchfork)

Palace Theatre moves forward despite overruns

Work on the renovation of downtown St. Paul’s Palace Theatre is moving forward and is expected to be complete by the end of 2016, despite cost overruns totaling $1 million. “Construction bids came in over budget, and unforeseen expenses, such as the need for sump pumps in the theater’s basement, contributed to the rising cost,” reports the Star Tribune. We’ve been recording musicians — most recently, Sarah White — playing songs in the venue while it’s still under construction.

Today’s opinions

Rock has reached a “dead end” and pop has turned “meaningless and forgettable,” with rappers left as “the only people left saying things that matter.” That’s according to Roger Daltrey of the Who, who doesn’t exclude himself from his condemnation of rock — the Who have been “stuck in a cycle” for 40 years, he says. (WZLX)

Ryan Adams went to see the new Oasis documentary Supersonic during its one-night-only screening, and he shared a rave review via Twitter. “How boring has music become since these roughhouse giants came crawling from nowhere places with their guitars,” he wrote. “Their souls afire…Sigh.” (Pitchfork)

Now That’s What I Call a Lot of Records!

Now That’s What I Call Music!, the compilation series that thrived in the early 2000s before streaming took over and CD sales plummeted, is still going — the series will release its 60th volume on Nov. 4. Every single one of the preceding 59 volumes has charted in the top ten of Billboard’s album chart, and 18 of them have hit number one. “The average American car is 10 or 11 years old, so it has a CD player,” says an executive at Now Music, explaining why sales of the series remain robust. (Billboard)

Wilco turn to clay

Wilco have released a new stop-motion video for their song “Someone to Lose,” from Schmilco. The video “follows the story of a griffin, a cupcake, and an ill-fated wedding cake couple,” notes Pitchfork.