Music News: It's 2020, and the Beatles and the Stones are still beefing

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The Current Music News for April 27, 2020 (MPR Video)

In a world where everything seems to be changing, there's a certain comfort in knowing that some things are still the same. Case in point: rock's biggest rivalry, between the Beatles and the Stones, is still flaring.

The latest round started with comments by Sir Paul McCartney, several days ago on The Howard Stern Show. The interview initially made headlines for the famously vegan McCartney's declaration that Chinese markets selling freshly slaughtered animals should be shut down, but he also weighed in on the Beatles vs. Stones debate. When Stern asked McCartney point-blank which band was better, McCartney praised the Rolling Stones lavishly, but ultimately said the Stones are basically a blues band, while the Beatles drew from more diverse influences...so he picked his own side.

Now, Mick Jagger has responded. When Zane Lowe asked Jagger about McCartney's comments, Jagger pointed out that the Beatles basically bailed on the touring game before it got good. They never played Madison Square Garden "with a decent sound system," Jagger said, whereas the Stones are "unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums." Well, theoretically. (Spin)

Detroit techno great Mike Huckaby dies of coronavirus at age 54

DJ, label head, and sound designer Mike Huckaby has died at age 54 due to complications of COVID-19, Pitchfork reports. Huckaby was an integral part of the house and techno scene in Detroit, where that music was born. He had a quarter-century-plus career as a recording and performing artist, and he was an essential connector and educator. Mike Himes, the founder of a record store that became a scene hub and where Huckaby worked in the '90s, said that Huckaby "was a truly humble ambassador for the music he loved."

Travis Scott performs for 12 million in Fortnite

In addition to livestreamed performances from their living rooms, some artists are getting virtual on a new level while the world is forced to social-distance. Last Thursday, hip-hop star Travis Scott performed a concert in the massively multiplayer video game Fortnite, and Rolling Stone sent a reviewer. The writer, Charles Holmes, had a really bad time.

Maybe the most frustrating thing, he says, is that he kept getting shot to death by other players. His avatar would be resurrected when that happened, but you can see where that would make it kind of hard to relax and enjoy a show. It was also a little hard to find a venue: Holmes had to somehow parachute out of a bus to get there, but hey: free Travis Scott show. It lasted about ten minutes and featured a lot of branded apparel, which was available for sale after the performance, along with a Fortnite Nerf gun.

Apparently streams of Travis Scott songs jumped by as much as 50% around the show, so it sure seems like it was a success for the artist and his fans. Expect a lot more shows in Fortnite, Minecraft, maybe even Animal Crossing...but maybe don't expect Rolling Stone to review them anymore.

U.K. gets oldest-ever chart-topper

The U.K. has a new record for oldest living artist ever to achieve a number one hit on the country's official singles chart, and the current chart-topper absolutely destroyed the previous record. Tom Jones was 68 when he went to number one with "Barry Islands in the Stream" in 2009, and Captain Tom Moore is 99 years young as his version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" takes the top spot, edging out The Weeknd, a mere kid at 30 years old.

"You'll Never Walk Alone" is a charity release, and The Weeknd actually tweeted his support for the song, hoping it would bump him out of number one. The song also features Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir supporting the World War II veteran. (NME)

Miley Cyrus covers Pink Floyd on SNL

It was yet another weekend of powerful performances shared online, but the one that most people are talking about is Miley Cyrus's powerful cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" on Saturday Night Live. The song has a powerful new resonance now; it was originally released in 1975, written by David Gilmour and Roger Waters in the wake of original bandmate Syd Barrett's departure from the group due to mental health and addiction struggles.


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