Music News: R. Kelly accused of leading abusive 'cult'


R. Kelly performs in Chicago in 2016
R. Kelly performs in Chicago in 2016 (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

The families of two aspiring singers tell BuzzFeed that R. Kelly has brainwashed the young women in a "cult" of several women who live on two of his properties. The report, which immediately became the talk of the music world, carries extra weight because it's authored by Jim DeRogatis, a respected music journalist who's credited with keeping sex-abuse allegations against the R&B star in the public consciousness. (DeRogatis is co-host of Sound Opinions, a syndicated music talk show that airs Sunday nights on The Current.)

As summarized by Rolling Stone:

The BuzzFeed report alleged that Kelly keeps at least six women, all of legal age, on a pair of his properties. There, he dictates what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep and how they engage in sexual encounters, which he reportedly records. The women must adhere to a certain set of "rules" or face punishment. Kelly allegedly issues the women new cell phones and any communication with their parents is considered a breach of the rules. In many cases, the women have cut off all communication with their families, the report says.

"Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him," says a representative for the singer. "Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name."

Radiohead Israel controversy continues

Roger Waters continues to lead calls for Radiohead to call off their upcoming Wednesday concert in Israel, due to Israel's continuing occupation of Palestine. Waters says that Thom Yorke has ignored e-mails from Waters and from Brian Eno; Thurston Moore and Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio) are among the other musicians calling for Radiohead to cancel the show. (Billboard)

On the other hand, Michael Stipe writes on Instagram that "I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform. Let's hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution." (Pitchfork)

The Queen is Dead super deluxe edition detailed

On Oct. 20, the Smiths will release a "super deluxe" two-disc edition of their 1986 classic The Queen is Dead. "The first CD is a full, remastered version of the album," reports Stereogum, "and the second disc includes demos and new masters of B-sides." Some versions will also have a DVD, the contents of which have not yet been revealed.

Here's the track list:

Disc 1
01 "The Queen Is Dead" (2017 Master)
02 "Frankly, Mr. Shankly" (2017 Master)
03 "I Know It's Over" (2017 Master)
04 "Never Had No One Ever" (2017 Master)
05 "Cemetery Gates" (2017 Master)
06 "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (2017 Master)
07 "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" (2017 Master)
08 "Vicar In a Tutu" (2017 Master)
09 "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" (2017 Master)
10 "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" (2017 Master)

Disc 2
01 "The Queen Is Dead" (Full Version)
02 "Frankly, Mr. Shankly" (Demo)
03 "I Know It's Over" (Demo)
04 "Never Had No One Ever" (Demo)
05 "Cemetery Gates" (Demo)
06 "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (Demo)
07 "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" (Demo)
08 "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side" (Demo Mix)
09 "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" (Take 1)
10 "Rubber Ring" (Single B-Side) [2017 Master]
11 "Asleep" (Single B-Side) [2017 Remaster]
12 "Money Changes Everything" (Single B-Side) [2017 Master]
13 "Unloveable" (Single B-Side) [2017 Master]

Mellencamp son arrested

John Mellencamp’s son Speck Mellencamp has been arrested on charges of charges of public intoxication and resisting law enforcement after a fight outside a Jimmy John's in Bloomington, Indiana. Hud Mellencamp, Speck's brother, was also involved in the altercation, and later shared his story with police, as reported by the Bloomington Herald-Times.

He, his brother and their friend had been sitting on a concrete flower planter, eating Jimmy John's sandwiches, when a group of people walked by and started "mouthing off," police say he told them. The younger Mellencamp fired back with his own insults, the altercation "escalated quickly" and the brothers began to "roll" with the group of men, he is reported as saying.

Speck is now out on $2,500 bail, and his dad is playing the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Aug. 29.

Britney releases 22nd perfume

Congratulations to Britney Spears, who's just released her 22nd fragrance. "VIP Private Show" is a sequel of sorts to a perfume released last year, that one simply called "Private Show."

"The original "Private Show" celebrates one of my biggest passions, dancing, and I'm so excited to be able to take the fragrance to a more personal place with VIP Private Show," says the pop star. "I love the idea helping people feel sexy, strong and confident, and I think my fragrances show that. Each of my fragrances represents a different side of my personality and my passions." (Billboard)

There are notes of blood orange, succulent red apple, mango nectar and raspberry wood in VIP Private Show. A delicious treat for any VIP!

A post shared by Britney Spears Fragrances (@britneyspearsfragrances) on

Musicians ride retro website wave

Arcade Fire and Solange are riding a popular wave in website design, reports the New York Times: "To navigate the website for Arcade Fire's coming album, Everything Now, users need to click through a cluttered cascade of Windows 98-style pop-ups. [...] And the D.I.Y.-looking home page for Solange resembles the desktop of a candy-colored iMac, complete with QuickTime windows and rows of blue folders."

The websites are among a variety of popular new sites that hark back, their creators say, to a time when the internet was seen as a platform for creativity, before it became a routine vehicle for everyday work.

Watch Dave Grohl listen to Foo Fighters outtakes

In a newly released outtake from the Foo Fighters series Sonic Highways, Dave Grohl revisits some demos from the sessions for the band's 1995 debut — making pained expressions while the album's co-producer Barrett Jones plays some awkward moments. (Rolling Stone)

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