Music News: Keith Richards plays amp from Willie's on new Rolling Stones record


A '54 Tweed Fender Pro amp
The '54 Tweed Fender Pro amplifier purchased by Keith Richards from Willie's American Guitars (via Willie's American Guitars on Facebook)

The new Rolling Stones album, Blue and Lonesome, came out last week — and it features the extensive use of a vintage guitar amp shipped straight to Keith Richards from a St. Paul gear shop.

Willie's American Guitars, a store in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood, posted on Facebook that "the amp belonged to our own Paul Bergan (If you saw Molly Maher play last year in town you heard Paul playing the amp). It's a '54 Tweed Fender Pro Amp, recovered in brown in early 60's, painted black in late 60's (following fashion) then paint mostly removed. I bet 100 local guitarist played it while it was in the store...but too ugly. Keith Richards saw it and fell in love...the amp is all over the new record."

Deadly fire strikes Oakland warehouse party

On Friday night, a fire took the lives of at least 33 attendees at a DIY event in an Oakland, Calif. warehouse. The party and concert was to feature "a range of experimental and electronic music, performed by a synth musician drawing from the 'black, queer diaspora' and others, as well as a visual installation," reports the New York Times.

Investigators are still trying to determine the investigate the cause of the fire, but the venue was unsafe in a number of ways and was not licensed for public events. The blaze is one of the deadliest such fires in recent U.S. history. Aja Archuleta, a musician who was scheduled to perform at the show, said, "I have lost 20 friends in the past 24 hours."

Nile Rodgers and Recording Academy petition Trump to reform copyright law

Chic leader Nile Rodgers and Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow are among the signatories of an open letter to Donald Trump, asking the president-elect to use the authority of his office to push for the reform of U.S. copyright law.

"Today," reads the letter, "music lovers have more ways to listen to music than ever before. But the laws governing the sale and distribution of music have failed to keep pace with technology, keeping music creators from receiving fair market value for their work. These outdated laws, stemming from the turn of the last century, have weakened the value of American intellectual property in foreign markets to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid royalties."

Today's Chance the Rapper news

On Thursday, Chance the Rapper joined President Barack Obama for the lighting of the White House Christmas tree. Chance performed "Sunday Candy" and joined Obama for a "Jingle Bells" singalong. (Consequence of Sound)

Chance was also announced as the musical guest on the year's last episode of Saturday Night Live (Dec. 17), and he's asking fans to suggest songs for him to perform. "I've been trying to perform EVERY song from Coloring Book on television once," he wrote on Twitter. "I've done 5 so far."

Jack White supports Standing Rock school

Jack White’s Third Man Records and Books are supporting a school at Standing Rock. Proceeds from the sale of a specially-designed t-shirt will support the Defenders of the Water School, and students' work will be featured on the Third Man website. (Pitchfork)

Nickelback take umbrage at Canadian cops

Last week, the police department in Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Canada sought to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving with a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post threatening offenders with a ride to jail in a cruiser playing Nickelback. The rockers didn't appreciate the joke, it seems: according to Consequence of Sound, their representative contacted the cops and demanded that the post be taken down.

The police officer who created the Facebook post has now apologized to Nickelback in a long open letter. "I was sure a hugely successful band would be fine with a little good will shade thrown their way," he writes. "After all it's for a good cause. But the more successful the post became the less the Don't Drink and Drive message was mentioned and the fact we love or love to hate Nickelback took centre stage. And that prompted me to think less about Nickelback as the 'Entity' and more about the 4 guys, 4 human beings from Alberta who were dragged into this international story. And the more I thought about that, the less funny the humor seemed."

Coming to Texas: a Medieval-themed music festival

In May 2017, 60 acres in Texas will host a Medieval-themed electronic music festival called "Middlelands." Actor Kristian Nairn (a.k.a. Hodor) makes a cameo in a new video promo for the festival, which Billboard describes as a "time-traveling mix of Electric Forest, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Game of Thrones."

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