Music News: Target pays homage to CBGB for East Village store opening


The exterior of CBGB as it appeared in 2003.
The exterior of CBGB as it appeared in 2003, three years before it closed. (Teresa Lee/Getty Images)

Target opened a new store in New York's East Village on Saturday, and for the occasion the retailer created a pop-up facade that imitated the iconic look of the legendary club CBGB.

The letters TRGT adorned an awning that hung over "display windows sporting TRGT t-shirts, 'rock on' foam hands, and poster that said 'The Resistance,'" reports Brooklyn Vegan. "You couldn't actually buy that stuff from the stand but, wink wink, they did have 'bands' in the form of free boxes [of] Band-Aids and exercise bands with the Target logo on them. Right next to the TRGT was a little stage with a 'Battle of the Bands' banner and an oversized novelty Target bass guitar for selfie-ing."

CBGB, which became famous as the nexus of a 1970s punk scene that included artists like the Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, and Patti Smith, closed in 2006.

Top-earning musicians: U2, Metallica, and not very many women

As Spin points out, only seven of 2017's top-earning musicians, as tallied by Billboard, are women. Only Lady Gaga, at number six with $29.7 million, lands in the top ten.

Topping the list overall are U2, Garth Brooks, and Metallica, all of whom cashed in on big tours. U2's Joshua Tree Tour drove their $54.4 million tally; Metallica would top the list if only record royalties were counted.

As Billboard notes, the list is also notably bare of any Latin acts, despite the massive popularity of hits like the Luis Fonsi/Daddy Yankee collaboration "Despacito." When it comes to actually making big bucks, streaming royalties just don't compare to selling high-priced concert tickets.

Chance the Rapper buys Chicagoist

Chance the Rapper’s latest investment in his Chicago community is the purchase of Chicagoist, a local news site most recently owned by a consortium of public radio stations, which bought the Gothamist family of websites (including Chicagoist) after former owner Joe Ricketts shut the sites down in a reaction to employee unionizing.

Chance announced the purchase both in a song ("I Might Need Security") and in a press release calling the site "an integral local platform for Chicago news, events and entertainment." Chance hasn't yet detailed plans for a site re-launch. (New York Times)

Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson to star in Cats movie

Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Ian McKellen will star in a new movie based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 musical Cats. Tom Hooper, who helmed the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables, will direct.

As the New York Times writes, "At first glance, this collection of stars might seem like something out of a meme generator. Yet the casting just might be perfect: Ms. Swift, while not exactly the most graceful dancer, is famously attached to her own cats. Ms. Hudson, who won an Oscar for her showstopping performance in the 2006 movie adaptation of Dreamgirls, has reportedly been cast as Grizabella; one can imagine her bringing new life to the show's signature song, 'Memory.'"

Filming is expected to begin later this year.

Today's robo-beef: Styx vs. Dennis DeYoung

Styx have recently started playing the song "Mr. Roboto" live in concert again, after years of refusing to play the 1983 single despite it being one of their biggest hits. Former frontman Dennis DeYoung, who wrote and sang the song, split from the band in 1999 and is no longer on good terms with his former bandmates; he now says the band's decision to start playing "Mr. Roboto" again was forced on them by tour promoters, relaying "a yearning request from a lot of people."

The band, though, say that's not true. "Promoters had nothing to do with the band adding the song to the set," said Styx's management in a statement. "The band did know that some fans did want to hear 'Roboto' and over the years they have added many songs to the Styx set that had not been being played."

DeYoung now tours as a solo artist, playing the songs from his years with Styx. He plays "Mr. Roboto" at every show, he says proudly, and "people go mental." Minnesota fans who want to go mental can catch DeYoung on Aug. 18 at the Corcoran County Daze, where he's playing a free show on a shared bill with Night Ranger. (Billboard)

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