Music News: 'Almost Famous' to become musical, Zoe Kravitz to star in 'High Fidelity' TV series


Almost Famous
'Almost Famous' poster art (Universal Pictures)
"Almost Famous" to become musical, Zoe Kravitz to star in "High Fidelity" TV series
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts.

Almost Famous is headed to the stage. Screenwriter Cameron Crowe is working with composer Tom Kitt to create a musical adaptation of Crowe's autobiographical 2000 story of an adolescent boy who finds his way as a rock journalist in the '70s. It's unknown whether the songs written for the fictional band Stillwater by Crowe's then-wife Nancy Wilson (Heart), like their ostensible hit "Fever Dog," will make it into the musical. (Indiewire)

Meanwhile, Zoe Kravitz has been cast as the lead in a new TV series based on Nick Hornby's 1995 novel High Fidelity — which was developed into a 2000 movie starring John Cusack. The new series, which will have Kravitz playing a female version of record store owner Rob Gordon, will debut next year on Disney's new streaming service.

It's hard to imagine a stronger pedigree for the role than the 29-year-old Kravitz. Her dad is Lenny Kravitz, her mom is Lisa Bonet (who co-starred in the High Fidelity movie, singing "Baby, I Love Your Way"), and she's an experienced musician (Lolawolf). But in 2018, what will her store sell? (Consequence of Sound)

Composer Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) is reuniting with filmmaker Wes Anderson for the first time since 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Mothersbaugh is writing new songs for a musical to be directed by Anderson and set in France circa the 1950s. (Consequence of Sound)

Gary Numan tour bus accident kills pedestrian

Gary Numan says he is "utterly devastated" after a fatal accident involving his tour bus. On Monday afternoon, Numan's tour bus was driving through Cleveland for a scheduled show at the House of Blues when a 91-year-old pedestrian was reportedly struck by the bus and killed. It's unclear whether Numan himself was on board at the time of the accident, but he cancelled Monday night's show, saying in a statement that he and his band and crew were all filled with "a sadness that made it impossible" to perform. The company that rented the bus to Numan says the incident is under investigation. (Billboard)

Fireworks misfire at Las Vegas festival

Fortunately there were no serious injuries when a stage pyrotechnic misfired on Sunday during the EDM group Odesza's set at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas. Numerous videos show a firework sizzling straight into the crowd, followed by screams. Only two minor injuries have been reported. (Spin)

New technology makes concerts more accessible for deaf

A California company called Not Impossible Labs has developed a vest designed to make concerts more accessible for the deaf. The vest connects to wristbands and anklebands, and the whole setup vibrates in different ways that correspond to specific sounds from the artist onstage. A Billboard writer describes the experience:

Sure enough, a pulse timed to a kickdrum throbs into my ankles and up through my legs. Gradually, he brings in other elements: the tap of a woodblock in my wrists, a bass line massaging my lower back, a harp tickling a melody across my chest.

The team are already collaborating with Mandy Harvey, a deaf singer who appeared on America's Got Talent in 2017. As a performer, Harvey can use the vest as a monitor that allows her to sing along with instrumental backing. She wore the vest to a Greta Van Fleet concert and reported, "I finally felt like I was a part of the concert instead of just being on the outside looking in." The company is now working to bring the device to market. (Billboard)

Slash as a puppet?

For some reason, naughty puppets are all the rage right now. There's the new Melissa McCarthy movie The Happytime Murders, there are the randy rapper puppets in Nicki Minaj's "Barbie Dreams" video...and now there are beer-swilling, hard-rocking rag dolls in a new video for "Driving Rain" by Slash's band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. In the video, sweeping shots capture the puppet band rocking out on a ridge while a parallel story features a rag lady leaving her abusive boyfriend and hitting the open road in a Jeep. Why didn't Frankie Valli ever have this idea? (Rolling Stone)

Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Mandy Harvey: "Try"
Lisa Bonet: "Baby, I Love Your Way"
Mark Mothersbaugh: "Ping Island Lightning Strike Rescue"
Stillwater: "Fever Dog"
Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators: "Driving Rain"

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