Music News: George Harrison and Michael Jackson were interviewed together in 1979, and audio is about to be released

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George Harrison in 1978; Michael Jackson in 1979.
George Harrison in 1978; Michael Jackson in 1979. (Evening Standard/Getty Images; Gary Merrin/Getty Images)
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George Harrison and Michael Jackson were interviewed together in 1979, and audio is about to be released
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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.


In 1979, Michael Jackson and George Harrison went into a studio together...no, not to collaborate on music, for a joint interview on the BBC. According to NME, the two artists went on Radio 1 "to review new releases from the likes of Foreigner, Nicolette Larson, and The Blues Brothers, and to share some of the stories behind their own songs." The audio was thought to be lost, but the BBC has discovered a usable recording, and it's the basis for an hourlong special called "When George Met Michael," airing this Saturday, Feb. 9 to mark the 40th anniversary of the original broadcast.

PledgeMusic puts donations on hold after complaints of delayed pay

PledgeMusic has temporarily put all crowdfunding donations on hold, after admitting to being late on getting those payments to artists. That means that active campaigns by artists like Ladytron, Sara Bareilles, and Insane Clown Posse are on ice until PledgeMusic sorts out its issues. In a statement last month after Billboard reported on artists' complaints, the platform said, "PledgeMusic is working tirelessly on this issue, and we are asking our community for their continued support and patience."

Izzy Young, key folk revival figure, dies at 90

Izzy Young has died at age 90. You might not recognize his name, or even the name of the Greenwich Village shop he ran in the early '60s — the Folklore Center — but you probably recognize the names of some of the artists he booked there. It's the venue where Joni Mitchell was discovered, it's where Peter met Mary before they found Paul, and it was the site of the first New York City concert by Bob Dylan after he moved from Minnesota.

Dylan wrote about Young in his memoir. "His voice was like a bulldozer and always seemed too loud for the little room. Izzy was always a little rattled over something or other. He was sloppily good-natured. In reality a romantic. To him, folk music glittered like a mound of gold. It did for me, too." (New York Times)

Here's Dylan playing at the Folklore Center in those early years.

This week's new releases

Ariana Grande: Thank U, Next

She's not playing at the Grammys — we won't even get into that beef — but Ariana Grande is still dominating music-world conversations this weekend as she prepares to drop her fifth studio album, Thank U, Next. The LP comes less than six months after her last full-length, Sweetener, which awkwardly celebrated her love for past fiancé Pete Davidson. Grande didn't take long to switch the script, and she's already had two chart-topping hits with tracks that are appearing on the new album, including the title track and "7 Rings," which is sitting atop the Hot 100 right now. Everyone has a thinkpiece about how Ariana's ever-rising star seems to define a generation, and on Friday we'll be able to hear how the whole album holds up.

LCD Soundsystem: Electric Lady Sessions

LCD Soundsystem have always been a band that happily acknowledge their influences, whether directly in the lyrics or by sonic allusion. For their third live album, the band went to Jimi Hendrix's iconic Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan and laid down 12 songs including some covers of their favorite bands: Heaven 17, Chic, and the Human League.

It's raw and riotous, just jangling enough for you to feel like you're sweating in the front row and screaming along. For the most part James Murphy's baritone takes the lead, but they switch it up for their cover of Chic's "I Want Your Love" as Nancy Whang takes lead. It's sharp and fun, but still keeps it funky.

Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock

The prolific Bob Mould is adding a 14th studio album to his discography, and that's in addition to his work with Hüsker Dü and Sugar. Sunshine Rock had Mould hitting the studio with his sturdy live band and sounding a lot of positive notes. In a positive review, Pitchfork writes, "Using the great ball of fire in the sky as his lyrical lodestar, Mould has written an album that pulsates with positivity, even during occasional moments of melancholy." Here's the title track.

Marvin Gaye: "My Last Chance"

April 2 will mark what would have been Marvin Gaye's 80th birthday, and his estate will be celebrating by releasing a collection called You're the Man. It features all of Gaye's solo non-soundtrack recording from 1972, including the recordings that would have constituted a follow-up to Gaye's classic album What's Going On. A new mix of "My Last Chance" is out now. (Pitchfork)


Audio sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Bob Dylan: "Fixin' To Die"
Ariana Grande: "7 Rings"
LCD Soundsystem: "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang"
Bob Mould: "Sunshine Rock"
Marvin Gaye: "My Last Chance"


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