Music News: 'MTV Unplugged' series to return


Kurt Cobain performs with Nirvana on 'MTV Unplugged' in 1993.
Kurt Cobain performs with Nirvana on 'MTV Unplugged' in 1993. (MTV)

One of the most iconic TV concert series of all time is coming back: after an eight-year hiatus, MTV is rebooting MTV Unplugged with a Sept. 8 episode featuring swoon-worthy pop star Shawn Mendes, who says he was particularly inspired by Pearl Jam’s 1992 session. No further performers in this run have yet been announced. (Billboard)

If you're looking to get back into that acoustic spirit, consider spinning what's perhaps the quintessential old-school Unplugged release: Eric Clapton’s album, which marks its 25th anniversary next week.

Aretha Franklin announces "retirement plan"

Aretha Franklin, 75, has been dropping hints that her touring days are nearing their end. What will the Queen of Soul do with that charisma and work ethic when she retires? Open a nightclub, she says.

"I'm interested in doing a small nightclub downtown, and ... have been talking about this for a couple of years now," Franklin tells the Detroit Free Press. "In my retirement plan, I'd like to have a small club here in Detroit." The club, to be called Aretha's, would host performances by "special artists" — including, from time to time, the owner.

It's not just idle speculation: she's reaching out to a local developer to discuss her options. Bedrock Real Estate would "love to work" with Franklin, said the company president in a statement. (Rolling Stone)

Cash family condemns white supremacy

Johnny Cash’s children, including his daughter Rosanne Cash, have issued a statement saying their father "would be horrified" at the fact that one of the neo-Nazis who recently marched in Charlottesville was wearing a shirt bearing Johnny Cash's name.

"To any who claim supremacy over other human beings," reads the statement, "to any who believe in racial or religious hierarchy: we are not you. Our father, as a person, icon, or symbol, is not you. We ask that the Cash name be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology." (Pitchfork)

Shania's coming to St. Paul

Does this impress you much? Pop country hitmaker Shania Twain has announced a wide-ranging North American tour in support of her forthcoming LP Now, her fifth studio album and her first in 15 years. The Now Tour will stop at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on May 15, 2018. (Rolling Stone)

Your sommelier, the Beastie Boy

A new Los Angeles restaurant will have a special draw for hip-hop fans: the wine list will be curated by sommeliers Taylor Parsons and Michael Diamond. You might know the latter gentleman by his stage name: Mike D of the Beastie Boys.

"It's going to be a fun list," says the rapper, who's an avid wine collector. "We are putting together a wine program that will get customers tasting things they might not taste. If you like California Syrah, I might point you towards a wine from another part of the world that's better value. We're going to pour half-bottles, so you can try different things."

The restaurant, called Hearth & Hound, is slated to open on Sept. 22. Its space used to house a British-style bar called Cat & Fiddle that was a popular hangout for musicians ranging from Metallica to the Smiths, who used to go there to get "a proper pint," says Hearth & Hound owner Ken Friedman. (Rolling Stone)

Prince hits the runways

This week Prince fans have been buzzing about a newly-certified official shade of Prince purple: Pantone's "Love Symbol #2." As British Vogue notes, though, it's already a hot hue on runways, where fashion designers have been using similar colors on many of this season's latest looks.

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