Music News: Bob Dylan sued over whiskey logo

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Bob Dylan, in a promotional photo for Heaven's Door whiskey.
Bob Dylan, in a promotional photo for Heaven's Door whiskey. (Heaven's Door)
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VMAs recap; Nicki Minaj vs. Spotify; Bob Dylan sued over whiskey logo
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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.


Bob Dylan's whiskey brand is being sued by a competing company that says the Heaven's Door Spirits logo is too similar to its own. Heaven Hill Distillery says the "stacked" logo of Heaven's Door Spirits is unacceptably similar to the one it's used for decades. Dylan announced this spring, amid much fanfare, that he was debuting a line of high-end whiskeys that are now available for sale in stores and online. (Billboard)

Remembering Eddie Willis

Guitarist Eddie "Chank" Willis has died, after years of declining health, at age 82. Willis was one of the Funk Brothers, the Motown house band that propelled immortal hits like the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On," the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman," and Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made to Love Her."

"If Eddie wasn't one of the guys on the the guys on the session," said Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier, "I didn't want to do it. If he was out of town or couldn't be there, I'd wait 'til he got back. he was just that good." (Billboard)

New trailer for Chance movie

There's a new trailer for Slice, the horror movie featuring Chance the Rapper as a pizza delivery guy who's also, apparently, a werewolf. Chance appears clearly only at the very end of the gruesome trailer; the film is expected to hit theaters sometime this year, but no release date has yet been announced. (Pitchfork)

VMAs round-up

Camila Cabelo won Video of the Year for "Havana" on Monday night at MTV's Video Music Awards. As always with awards shows — and particularly this one — the next-day buzz was less about the winners than about the memorable moments (like Cabelo and her mom dancing to Maluma's "Felices Los 4"). Among this year's:

- Jennifer Lopez performed a career-spanning medley as she accepted the Video Vanguard Award. Ja Rule, Fyre Festival be darned, even showed up to perform his part on "I'm Real." (Billboard)

- Madonna sparked criticism for a rambling speech paying tribute to Aretha Franklin that, listeners thought, ended up being more about Madonna than about Aretha. (Billboard) Later, Madonna wrote on Instagram that she "did not intend to do a tribute" to Franklin with such a limited time.

Im with the Winner!! The beautiful @camila_cabello ! So proud of her! ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŽ‰. And just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin! I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment. Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ. I Love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!! โ™ฅ๏ธ and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that. #vmas #postivevibes

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- Ariana Grande re-enacted the Last Supper as she performed "God is a Woman." At the end of her performance, "she linked hands with her mother Joan, grandmother Marjorie and cousin Lani in a nod to the strong females in her family," notes Billboard.

- New mom Cardi B faked everyone out by taking the stage with a blanketed "baby" that turned out to be a Moon Man trophy. Kulture, Cardi's daughter with Offset of Migos, was born last month. (Rolling Stone)

- Aerosmith closed out the show with "Toys in the Attic" and "Dream On," rising out of the stage to join Post Malone and 21 Savage. (Rolling Stone)

Nicki Minaj vs. Spotify

Both Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott performed at the VMAs, and they were vying for the top spot on Billboard's album chart this week with their new releases. Scott landed at number one, and Minaj blamed Spotify. Her theory is that Spotify didn't promote her album as retaliation for her decision to premiere music on Apple's Beats 1 radio stream. She also accused Scott of gaming the system by bundling his album with concert tickets, although in Scott's case the tour hasn't even been announced yet — he's just promising album-buyers that they'll have privileged access to tickets when they become available. (New York Times)

Spotify wasn't having it. "Spotify supported Nicki Minaj with a Times Square billboard, a host of the largest playlists, New Music Friday and the new music release shelf," the company said in a statement. "The company continues to be big fans of Nicki." (Uproxx)

Pete Doherty eats a big breakfast

Pete Doherty (the Libertines, Babyshambles) has become only one of a handful of people to win the "breakfast challenge" at a cafe in Kent, England. Anyone who can eat "four rashers of bacon, four eggs, four sausages, hash browns, onion rings, bubble and squeak, two slices of thick bread, and a quarter-pounder burger and chips" in 20 minutes, reports NME, gets that giant breakfast for free. On Tuesday morning Doherty managed it, putting him in an exclusive club of only "five or six" people since the challenge started in 2004, says the cafe owner.

The Libertines are about to take a break from live performance to focus on making a new album in their newly-established hotel and recording studio.


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY SA 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
The Marvelettes: "Please Mr. Postman"
Bob Dylan: "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
Slice trailer
Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: "Sunday Candy"
Maluma: "Felices Los 4"
Jesse Spillane: "Ruffling Feathers" (CC BY SA 4.0)


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