Music News: Phish cancel festival due to dirty water

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Trey Anastasio of Phish performs in 2010.
Trey Anastasio of Phish performs in 2010. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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Above, hear today's episode of The Current's Music News podcast. Subscribe wherever you get podcasts!


Jam band Phish are "in shock" after being forced to cancel their three-day music festival in upstate New York. The reason: heavy rains led to flooding and a polluted water supply, and local officials said they could not guarantee safe drinking water for the event. The news about the Curveball festival broke on Thursday, just as the band were about to begin their sound check. Many fans already had their campsites set up, and were understandably "really upset," in the words of one fan who traveled from Toronto. (Billboard)

Social Distortion scuffle

A man named Tim Hildebrand says that Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness punched him at a concert last month. The Sacramento police are looking into Hildebrand's allegations, which was partially documented in various videos from the July 19 show in California's capital. According to Hildebrand, the altercation was sparked when he flipped Ness the bird after onstage comments critical of President Donald Trump. (New York Times)

Young Thug arrested at his own birthday party

Popular rapper Young Thug has a new compilation called Slime Language out today, and last night's listening party in Hollywood, which was also Young Thug's birthday party, did not go well: Young Thug was arrested for felony gun possession shortly after the party ended. The cops reportedly searched cars belonging to Young Thug's posse after one of them accidentally bumped a police car. Oops. Young Thug was later released from custody. (Pitchfork)

Faster then the officers got off... #SlimeLanguage lil bitch

A post shared by SEX!! (@thuggerthugger1) on

This week's new releases

Ariana Grande: Sweetener

Given Ariana Grande's rising status as a cultural icon in addition to a pop star with powerful pipes, Sweetener is one of the biggest commercial releases of the year. Singles including "No Tears Left to Cry" and "God is a Woman" are already hits, and the album includes collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj, and Missy Elliott. It does not include a collaboration with a reunited R.E.M. — just a track by that name — which has confused some R.E.M. fans. It also has a tender track dedicated to Grande's new fiancé, "Pete Davidson."

Mitski: Be the Cowboy

Mitski, an introspective but guitar-crunching young singer-songwriter already acclaimed as one of the leading musical voices of her generation, could have a breakthrough with her wildly-anticipated and newly accessible fifth album. "These 14 complex compositions warp the pop textbook into something more knotty and internal, creating a unique zone where the 27-year-old thrives," writes Pitchfork, giving Be the Cowboy a Best New Music appellation.

Death Cab for Cutie: Thank You for Today

The indie-rock vets are back with their ninth studio album, arriving 20 years after their debut LP. Thank You for Today is also the first Death Cab album since that debut not to feature longtime member Chris Walla. Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES adds vocals to "Northern Lights."

Janet and more

Also out today: Animal Collective's aquatic, psychedelic Tangerine Reef; Toronto indie-folk favorites Great Lake Swimmers stay on-brand with The Waves, The Wake; and John Dwyer's Oh Sees keep the prog flame burning with Smote Reverser.

There's no new music from Prince — but for a lot of fans, the 23 albums that just dropped on streaming services might as well be. Released between 1995 and 2010, some of the albums were originally released only through Prince's NPG Music Club and were very hard to find.

Speaking of the Minneapolis Sound, Miss Jackson If You're Nasty is back with a new banger: the buoyant "Made For Now" is a Daddy Yankee collaboration that marks her first new track since 2015.


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
Aretha Franklin: "Respect"
Boxcat Games: "Against The Wall" (CC BY 4.0)
Ariana Grande: "Pete Davidson"
Mitski: "Nobody"
Death Cab for Cutie: "Gold Rush"
Janet Jackson feat. Daddy Yankee: "Made For Now"


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