Music News: Varsity Theater announces first comeback concerts under new ownership


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

The Varsity Theater has announced the first live music shows under its new ownership. In June, a capital partnership based in Hong Kong bought the venue for $2.51 million. Former owner Jason McLean has been hit with a judgment of almost exactly that amount in a sex abuse case; the allegations against McLean caused many fans and bands to boycott the theater as long as he owned it.

Danish band New Politics will play the Varsity on Feb. 22, the venue's first show in over a year. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness has also been booked, for April 13. (GoMN)

John Mayer hospitalized for appendectomy

What does John Mayer have in common with picture-book heroine Madeline? Appendix problems. The heartthrob singer-songwriter was hospitalized on Tuesday for an emergency appendectomy, while he was on tour with Dead & Company. The Grateful Dead offshoot rescheduled a Tuesday night show planned for New Orleans, and Bob Weir took to Twitter to wish his bandmate well. (Rolling Stone)

Elton John mourns mother

Sheila Farebrother, the mother of Elton John, has died at age 92. Mother and son reconciled last year after several years of estrangement. (Billboard)

Kendrick to reverse DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar said this summer that his new album DAMN. could be listened to either front-to-back or back-to-front. "You listen from the back end, and it's almost the duality and the contrast of the intricate Kendrick Lamar," he said. "Both of these pieces are who I am."

Lamar now seems to be releasing the Grammy-nominated LP in a collector's edition that will feature new cover art and a reversed tracklist. The special release was briefly available for sale in Microsoft's online music marketplace, but the listing has since been pulled, and Lamar's reps weren't responding to Pitchfork’s requests for comment.

In the meantime...

Katy Perry to share $10 million lawsuit judgment with the Catholic Church

Even Madonna couldn't have dreamed this one up: Katy Perry will share a $10 million judgment with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles after an L.A. real estate developer was found to have inappropriately interfered in Perry's attempt to buy an empty convent.

The aging nuns who lived there wanted to sell the convent to the developer, aptly named Hollister, at least in part because they disapproved of Perry's music and image. The archdiocese argued that the church, not the nuns, owned the building, and the church could decide who got to buy it. Perry's attorney says that "justice has been well-served" in the decision, which Hollister plans to appeal. (Billboard)

Parliament pays tribute to Lil Peep

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