Music News: Varsity Theater sold, concerts to return


Varsity Theater marquee in 2015
Varsity Theater marquee in 2015 (Steven Cohen for MPR)

Concerts will return to the Varsity Theater, which has been sold by its legally embattled owner Jason McLean to a Los Angeles company called Downtown Properties.

The new owners intend to start booking shows at the Dinkytown landmark again; the venue's concert calendar has been blank in recent months as artists and fans have steered clear of McLean, who faces multiple accusations of sexual abuse. Downtown Properties will make some upgrades before reopening the venue for concerts, reports City Pages, citing the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

"We're excited to bring the venue back to life," says Downtown Properties' Dan Lee. "The plan is to continue to operate it as one of the premier venues in the country."

Mdou Moctar coming to Minneapolis

On Sept. 23, the Cedar Cultural Center will host a performance by Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar, while the Walker Art Center screens his film Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It. Inspired by Prince, the 2015 film has been called "the African Purple Rain." Tuareg does not have a word for purple, hence the title. (Star Tribune)

Who will play the Minneapolis Super Bowl?

Is it too soon to start speculating about the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show? Nope, especially because it's in Minneapolis. Billboard has opened a poll, with potential halftime artists including Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber. Of course, you can always write in Har Mar Superstar.

Van Morrison announces new album

Van Morrison has announced his 37th studio album. Roll with the Punches comes out Sept. 22. According to Rolling Stone, the album "contains covers of old blues and soul classics along with five new compositions." A first track, a cover of Sam Cooke’s "Bring It On Home to Me," is out now.

Axe-wielding Juggalo arrested

Insane Clown Posse are campaigning to have Juggalos taken off the FBI's list of organized gangs, but one of the group's Massachusetts fans isn't helping their case that Juggalos are peaceful folks.

A 38-year-old man whose name has not been disclosed was arrested on Monday after he showed up at Boston-area Top 40 station Kiss 108, wielding an axe and demanding that the station play the ICP song "My Axe." It took authorities three hours to get the fan out of his car as he sat in the parking lot and threw sharp-edged weapons at police.

Among the song's lyrics: "I love my Faygo, my Nyquil pills, shaggy, I love my buddies, my hatchetman, but I love my axe." (Billboard)

Psy dethroned

It's finally happened: South Korean pop star Psy no longer has the all-time most-viewed video on YouTube. His 2012 single "Gangnam Style" has almost three billion views...but not as close to three billion as the music video for "See You Again," the Furious 7 soundtrack song featuring Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. (Billboard)

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