Music News: St. Vincent producing new Sleater-Kinney album

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St. Vincent with Sleater-Kinney.
St. Vincent with Sleater-Kinney. (via St. Vincent on Facebook)
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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. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail and join our Facebook group.


Raise your hand if you want some new music from Sleater-Kinney. Well, do I have some good news for those of you with your hands in the air. Carrie Brownstein from the band (and of Portlandia fame) said last year to expect new Sleater-Kinney, but basically left it at, "the band and I are talking about it." Earlier today St. Vincent was equally tight-lipped, but posted a picture of herself in the recording studio surrounded by the entire Sleater-Kinney crew. The picture came with one line: "2019. Sleater-Kinney produced by St. Vincent." Thank goodness. This will be the first new music from Sleater-Kinney since their 2015 album No Cities to Love.

Beyoncé is just like us (but rich and perfect)

In the Celebrities, They Are Just Like Us news for the day, Beyoncé was at Target yesterday. I have nothing to add. She was there, she wore a burnt sienna jumpsuit that was very cute, and had on some white sunglasses indoors to, obviously, maintain her anonymity é which didn't work. Good on you keeping it real and picking up those basics yourself. (Billboard)

Good news x2 for David Bowie fans

Happy 72nd anniversary of David Bowie's birth. In honor of the Thin White Duke, I've got a double dose of music news stories.

If you remember, there was a giant traveling exhibit called David Bowie Is... It was an all-encompassing look at the mad genius — his fashion, his song notes — which drew over two million visitors across 12 cities before it closed in 2018.

Now, according to the exhibit's website, you can take yourself through the tour via your smartphone: checking out "the full museum show in stunning detail, in the intimacy of your own environment, without glass barriers or crowds of visitors." See over 400 high-res captures of David Bowie's costumes, sketches, handwritten lyrics, notes, and more. Plus the whole thing is narrated by Gary Oldman. (NME)

Additional Bowie goodness? How about a vinyl box set of nine unreleased recordings? Later this year Parlophone will be releasing Spying Through a Keyhole: a box set of nine rare 7" singles that were recorded in the era during which "Space Oddity" was first conceived, including the earliest known versions of "Space Oddity." There's no specific date for the release, so while we wait how about we listen to a little of where "Space Oddity" ended up.

Coemeback for Elvis Comeback Special

NBC announced today that they will be airing a special "Elvis All-Star Tribute" in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Elvis's '68 Comeback Special. It will feature John Legend, Shawn Mendes, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, and Post Malone with host Blake Shelton. (Rolling Stone)

If you are unfamiliar with it, I highly recommend going back and checking out the original Elvis '68 Comeback Special. 1968 was not a great time to be Elvis. He had released back-to-back box office flops and was only getting movie offers that he didn't want to do. To add insult to injury, he was dropped from his studio contract.

To try and bring back some of that swaggering Elvis shine, his manager Col. Tom Parker pitched the idea of an Elvis Presley Christmas special to NBC, imagining Elvis surrounded by snow and Christmas trees and crooning classics like "Silent Night." Elvis wasn't really down with that and worked with NBC to come up with a template that still influences televised live music specials today. (Think MTV Unplugged: that's pretty much just running off the formula that Elvis and the NBC crew came up with.)

The show featured Elvis on a round stage surrounded by a live audience, performing in a black leather jumpsuit while sharing some stories in between. My favorite anecdote is that at the end of the first show, the jumpsuit was soaked through with sweat and was sticking to Elvis' skin. To get it ready for the next show they had to hand-wash it and a crew of people helped him back into it. They were rushing to dry him with a hairdryer right up until the next show started.

And you know what, the special worked. It was the top-rated show on NBC that season, and it proved to be a comeback for Elvis, whose show-closing song "If I Can Dream" charted on Billboard's Hot 100 for 13 weeks with more than one million in sales. The special reactivated his national tours and launched his long run of live shows in Las Vegas. (The Current)

We'll have to wait and see if the all-star tribute lives up to the original when it airs on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Bonnaroo lineup announced

Keeping up with all the festival lineups is an untenable task, but I'm always aiming to please, so here we go with today's announced lineup for Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Before we get into the lineup, here's my quick what's-Bonnaroo synopsis. The Tennessee fest is held on a (depending on the year) giant dusty or muddy field. You're likely to find topless men and women with fairy wings and body paint holding increasingly ridiculous rage sticks in the air. You'll be offered glitter at the nighttime super jam and the fest presses the idea of being true 'Roo: basically being friendly, helpful, and chill.

So, now that you got the vibe, who's playing? Phish, Childish Gambino, ODESZA, Post Malone, Cardi B, the Lumineers, Brandi Carlile, The National, Hozier, Kacey Musgraves, and Brockhampton are among the eclectic offerings.

The festival runs from Thursday, June 13 until Sunday, June 16. Since this is a glow-stick friendly fest I think we should go out with a dance track from Friday night's Girl Talk with, appropriately, "Friday Night." (NME)

Viral clip: All bow down to Kelly Clarkson

For today's viral clip we're checking out a new feature from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon called "Turn It Up," which features a bunch of people wearing headphones and trying to sing along to a song. This time it's Kelly Clarkson's best song "Since You've Been Gone," which I have horribly sung to myself on a multitude of car rides.

Taking on the song are Fallon; the Roots; John Oliver, who mostly just yells; Shaq, whose heart is in it, but basically sounds as tone-deaf as me; Rachel Brosnahan, of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fame, being adorable; and Mumford and Sons, who surprisingly are terrible. Anyways, enjoy and sing along like no one's listening. (Rolling Stone)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
David Bowie: "Space Oddity"
Elvis Presley: "If I Can Dream"
Girl Talk: "Friday Night"
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon: "Since U Been Gone"
Kelly Clarkson: "Since U Been Gone"


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