Music News: Nye's lives again - in Legos

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Jeff Esler's Lego model of Nye's Polonaise Room
Jeff Esler's Lego model of Nye's Polonaise Room (Teresa Esler via Facebook)

Nye's Polonaise Room, a beloved restaurant and music venue in Northeast Minneapolis, closed last year and has since been partially demolished — but it still lives on, in all its kitschy glory, in the form of a 1,000-piece Lego model created by Minneapolis resident Jeff Esler.

Esler's model is astoundingly accurate both outside and in, complete with replicas of Nye's vintage bar, the karaoke piano, and even the late Ruth Adams and her World's Most Dangerous Polka Band. (All it needs, really, are Lego versions of Jill Riley and Jim James.)

The model remains in Esler's home, though people have started making offers to buy it, he told the Star Tribune. He's considering modeling other local landmarks, such as the Grain Belt sign — but "it takes too damn long."

Barry Manilow talks about personal life

For the first time ever, Barry Manilow has spoken at length about his sexuality. Manilow has been in a relationship with Garry Kief, who is also his manager, for four decades; the two wed in 2014. When news of the wedding leaked, the 73-year-old pop icon publicly acknowledged, for the first time, that he is gay.

"I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay," Manilow now tells People magazine about his many female fans. "So I never did anything. When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, 'Great for you!' I'm just so grateful for it." (Rolling Stone

David Letterman to induct Pearl Jam at Rock Hall

Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday, and their longtime friend and collaborator Neil Young was originally slated to do the honors. Young, however, has now been forced to back out of the gig due to illness. Instead, David Letterman will take the podium to induct Pearl Jam, who first appeared on his show in 1996. (Rolling Stone)

Sgt. Pepper's reissue slated

The BeatlesSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often called the most influential album of all time, will be reissued in an expanded edition for its 50th anniversary this year. The reissue will come in four different sizes, depending on just how much expansion you want.

"The super-deluxe version," reports the New York Times, "is a six-disc box set including the new album mix; 33 additional recordings from the Sgt. Pepper's sessions; and a 144-page hardcover book about the album with an introduction from Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, among other additions." (Giles Martin is the son of Sgt. Pepper's producer George Martin, is helping to remix the album.) The whole shebang comes out on May 26.

Rivers Cuomo to release second Japan-only album

Weezer are dropping a new album later this year — but first, frontman Rivers Cuomo will release his second Japan-only album with Scott Murphy. The duo, who record together as Rivers & Scott, released their first Japanese language album in 2013; its follow-up comes out on April 12. The album's first single, "Fun in the Sun (RIP SLYME)," switches to English for the chorus. (Rolling Stone)

Chemical Brothers predicted Kyliegate

Pepsi has withdrawn a widely condemned TV ad starring Kylie Jenner as a model who resolves the tension at a protest march by offering a refreshing soda to a police officer. Music fans noticed that the controversy was anticipated, with almost eerie prescience, by a 1999 Chemical Brothers video. In the official video for "Out of Control," a confrontation with riot police turns out to be a cola ad — which in turn sparks protests against the soda company. (Pitchfork)


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