Music News: Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield dies of COVID-19


The Current Music News for May 5, 2020 (MPR Video)

Dave Greenfield, keyboardist in British rock band the Stranglers, has died at age 71 due to COVID-19. Stranglers drummer Jet Black said, "We have just lost a dear friend and music genius, and so has the whole world."

The Stranglers came up in the punk era, but their roots were in prog and experimental rock; Greenfield said his early influences included the Doors, Deep Purple, and Yes. Greenfield's keyboards were an important part of the band's edgy sound, and he co-wrote the band's best-known songs including "Golden Brown" and "Peaches."

The Stranglers were one of those bands known only by musicheads in the U.S., where they never found commercial success, but they had seven top ten hits in the U.K. (BBC)

Rumours has it: Renewed chart success

Fleetwood Mac's classic Rumours has never exactly been an obscure album, but it's 43 years old now. Why have streams from the album tripled in the past two weeks? It's now at number 59 on the Rolling Stone album chart, ahead of recent releases by Khalid and Camila Cabello. The album's rise seems to be part of a current trend toward older music, as listeners turn to comforting classics by bands like the Eagles and Queen.

Some specific older albums, though, are rising up the charts because their fans jump when albums by their favorite artists go on sale on iTunes. No fans are better at that than Mariah Carey's "Lambs," who organized to get her Glitter soundtrack to number one on the iTunes chart a couple of years ago and have now done the same for her 2008 album E=MC². (Billboard)

Congratulations to Grimes on the birth of X Æ A-12 Musk

Two years after they made their public debut as a couple by stepping out at the Met Gala, acclaimed singer-songwriter-producer Grimes and the tech titan Elon Musk have welcomed their first child. The baby boy, born on Star Wars Day — May the Fourth be with you — and according to a tweet from his father, is named X Æ A-12 Musk. That may be a joke, or that may be totally serious. Musk shared a photo of the baby with Post-Malone-style facial tats, but they were gone by the time the baby was photographed with his dad in an OCCUPY MARS t-shirt. (Pitchfork)

Prince guitar, McCartney lyrics going up for auction

One of Prince's iconic Cloud guitars is going up for auction. A blue model that Prince played in the mid-1980s is expected to sell for $100,000-$200,000 when the music memorabilia auction goes live online next month.

We know from the fact that Paul McCartney's handwritten "Hey Jude" lyrics just sold for almost a million dollars that there's a hot market for Beatles memorabilia, but the McCartney lyrics going under the hammer this time aren't quite as legendary: they're for the Abbey Road song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." Still the seller expects they'll go for more than the Prince guitar. (MPR News)

A couple of years ago, The Current's Andrea Swensson paid a visit to Dave Rusan, the builder of Prince's Cloud guitar, who showed her what went into those instruments.

Is this 20-second kid's ditty the song of the summer?

It's way too soon to call the song of the summer, but some fans are already betting on a 20-second ditty written and performed by a young girl whose parents are both members of the band Killola. On Twitter, Lisa Rieffel wrote, "My kid wrote a song called, 'I Wonder What's Inside your Butthole.' Quite honestly, it slaps." The video already has several million views and people are making remixes...expect lots of quarantined covers to follow. (Junkee)

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