Music News: Stevie Wonder visits ailing Aretha Franklin

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Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder (Courtesy of the artist)
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Steve Perry re-emerges; Aretha Franklin update; Pearl Jam raise millions for homeless
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Above, hear today's episode of The Current's new Music News podcast, which is now available wherever you get your podcasts.


Aretha Franklin remains seriously ill, and the New York Times reports that she's receiving hospice care at her Detroit home. While her nephew sounded an optimistic note in recent comments, the world is taking the opportunity to send their love to Franklin, who is receiving visits from colleagues and close friends.

Among her visitors: Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, and Franklin's ex-husband, actor Glynn Turman. Social media tributes have been coming in from everyone from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Bill Clinton, one of two presidents (the other was Barack Obama) to have Franklin perform at his inauguration.

Meanwhile, longtime Franklin stalwart Clive Davis is reportedly helming a planned tribute concert, to take place on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden. At that tribute, maybe Wonder could play his song "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)," which Franklin turned into a top ten hit in 1973.

Pearl Jam raise millions for homeless

Pearl Jam's two homecoming shows and related activities last week raised $11 million to help the city's homeless population. 40 different organizations are receiving support from the band's "Home Away" campaign, which included contributions from 80 local restaurants.

Meanwhile, the band have sparked controversy with a poster for their recent show in Missoula, Montana. Co-designed by bassist Jeff Ament, the poster depicts a bald eagle picking at Donald Trump's corpse on the White House lawn. The show was a benefit for Democratic Senator Jon Tester, and Republicans are now calling on Tester to condemn the poster.

"The role of artists is to make people think and feel, and the current administration has us thinking and feeling," said Ament in a statement to Rolling Stone. "I was the sole conceptualist of this poster, and I welcome all interpretations and discourse. Love, from the First Amendment, Jeff Ament."

Spotify adds songwriter credits

Spotify is now allowing users to see songwriting and production credits for each song — as long as that information has been provided by labels, which in the case of many older releases it hasn't been. A representative of the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance says that songwriters' organizations are working with Spotify to provide more complete and accurate information. To see a song's credits, click on the three-dot symbol to the right of the song's title, and scroll to the bottom of the menu that pops up. (Music Business Worldwide)

Aerosmith book Vegas residency

Aerosmith have booked their first Las Vegas residency. Deuces Are Wild will run for 18 dates in spring through summer 2019, promising "a whole other element" beyond a typical Aerosmith show, in the words of the ever-articulate Joe Perry, as well as "never-seen-before visuals and audio from Aerosmith recording sessions." Drummer Joey Kramer says the band are going to turn the Park Theater into "Aerosmith World." (Rolling Stone)

Steve Perry announces new music

Steve Perry, the vocalist behind Journey's iconic hits, has released his first new music in almost a quarter-century. "No Erasin'" comes from Traces, due out Oct. 5 as Perry's third solo studio album and his first since 1994. "Putting 30 years into 10 songs has certainly been an emotional experience for me," Perry said in a statement. (Rolling Stone)

He talked with The Current's Jill Riley, and shared a great Prince story.

Here's why everyone's suddenly a cow

If you've been seeing people on the internet saying, "I'm a cow!", here's why. Los Angeles rapper Doja Cat has gone viral with a song called "Mooo!" In the song and accompanying video — which she made herself — Doja Cat goes Kelis one better and sings very literally about being a cow. She says the song was inspired by the spotted outfit she wears in the NSFW video. "My milkshake brings all the boys to the farm," she sings. (Paper)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY SA 4.0)
Aretha Franklin: "Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)"
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Aerosmith: "Deuces Are Wild"
Steve Perry: "No Erasin'"
Journey: "Faithfully"
Prince: "Purple Rain"
Doja Cat: "Mooo!"


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