Local Current Blog

Music News: ‘Purple Rain’ wins fourth American Music Award…31 years later

Purple Rain won its first American Music Awards in 1985, for Favorite Pop/Rock Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Album, and Favorite Soul/R&B Single (“When Doves Cry”). There was no Top Soundtrack award that year, but don’t worry: the album scooped that one too, Sunday night at the 2016 American Music Awards. (AMA nominations are based on popularity and other factors; the surge in Purple Rain sales and listening this year landed it among the nominees.) For a complete list of this year’s winners, see the Hollywood Reporter.

Prince defied the odds,” said Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson, accepting the award. “A black teen in Minneapolis with a goal to electrify the world, he had the courage to be different. With his vision and God given talent, he is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists. What he told me was that he wanted to be known as the world’s most prolific songwriter. With 984 titles to his credit and counting he has done just that. In the words of Prince, ‘With love, honor, and respect for every living thing in the universe separation ceases and we all become one being singing one song.’ On behalf of Prince, our wonderful friend, teacher, and brother, I humbly accept this award.” (City Pages)

Prince 4Ever Giveaway

Use this form to enter The Current’s Prince 4Ever giveaway between 11 a.m. CDT on Monday, Nov. 21 and 11:59 p.m. CDT on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016.
Five (5) winners will receive one (1) double CD copy of Prince’s 4Ever album. Three (3) back up names will be drawn.
Prize retail value: $15
We will contact the winners on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Winners must accept by 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016.

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This giveaway is subject to Minnesota Public Radio’s 2016 Official Giveaway Rules.

Trump vs. Hamilton

On Friday night, VP-elect Mike Pence attended the Broadway musical Hamilton. At the conclusion of the show, actor Brandon Victor Dixon addressed Pence from the stage, reading a statement written by show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda along with other members of the creative team.

“We, sir,” said Dixon, “are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

The following day, president-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to assail the cast for their statement. “The Theater must always be a safe and special place,” read one of three tweets about the matter. “The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” (New York Times)

Artists including QuestloveAxl Rose, Pink, GarbageJohn Legendk.d. langDeerhoof, and Tegan and Sara responded with messages of support for the cast. (BillboardE Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, on the other hand, agreed that Pence was owed an apology for being singled out — though Van Zandt also called the cast’s sentiment “beautiful.” (Rolling Stone)

Adam Yauch Park defaced, Beastie Boys lead rally against hate

A Brooklyn park named after Adam Yauch was defaced this weekend with graffiti including swastikas and the words “Go Trump.” In response, the surviving Beastie Boys called a rally for tolerance that brought hundreds to the park on Sunday. “We’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing,” said Ad-Rock at the rally. “Painting swastikas on a children’s playground is a messed-up thing to do. And for many of us, it has special meaning, because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years, but he was also someone who taught nonviolence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me.” (Rolling Stone)

Keeping up — and down — with Kanye

Kanye West has been stoking controversies with on-stage statements. “At a recent Saint Pablo show in San Jose,” reports Pitchfork, “Kanye West said that he did not vote in the presidential election, but had he voted, it would have been for Donald Trump. While he praised Trump’s campaign, West qualified that he still believes in Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, and gay marriage. Artists and activists have since criticized West for his comments.” Then, on Saturday night, Kanye “got angry at Beyoncé, demanded that Jay Z call him, took a swipe at Hillary Clinton, criticized President Barack Obama, and ended the show after about 30 minutes.” Sunday night’s show in L.A. was subsequently canceled.

Today’s Tribe news

A Tribe Called Quest have the number one album in the country: their comeback album We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service has topped the Billboard 200. The hip-hop legends’ previous chart-topper was Beats, Rhymes and Life — in 1996. (Pitchfork)

A Queens street corner has been named in honor of the late Phife Dawg. His bandmates Q-Tip and Jarobi White were among the attendees at a Saturday afternoon ceremony that co-named Linden Boulevard as “Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor Way at the intersection of 192nd Street,” reports Billboard.

Artist sued for “appropriating” Kim Gordon portrait

Controversial artist Richard Prince makes a practice of “appropriating” other people’s Instagram photos by posting them on his own account and making prints of the posts. Unsurprisingly, he’s been sued five times — and the fifth is by Eric McNatt, a photographer whose Kim Gordon portrait was nabbed by Prince. The twist is that Gordon herself seemed pleased with Prince’s work, posting a photo of herself with the Prince print — are you following this? — on her own Instagram. (Paper Magazine)

So thrilled thank you@richardprince4

A photo posted by Kim Gordon (@kimletgordon) on

Remembering Freddie Mercury’s mom

Freddie Mercury’s mother Jer Bulsara has died peacefully at the age of 94. Mercury’s Queen bandmate Brian May paid tribute to Bulsara, remembering her as “a warm and devoted Mum” who was “fiercely proud” of her son. (Billboard)