• Can no one tell us what is going on with Joni Mitchell? As Dave Segal reported yesterday, TMZ published the news that the beloved singer/songwriter, who was hospitalized last month, had slipped into a coma. The allegation was swiftly refuted by her authorized fan site, but speculation about Mitchell's condition has been rampant. My God, the woman is an icon and media outlets can't even get the facts straight. Stop the madness. It's obviously very important we know Joni is OK, so get a reporter over to the hospital. Why is this so difficult, LA ("city of the faaaaaaallen a-a-a-angels")? In the meantime, well wishes are welcome at WeLoveYouJoni.com.
• We might have believed it over the years, but it turns out that Refused is not "fucking dead." In fact, they released their first single in 17 years. That's not all. "Elektra" turns out to be the first track on upcoming album Freedom. Those who have poked fun at their collaboration with Karl Johan Schuster – hitmaker for the likes of Taylor Swift – seem to have forgotten how to do their research. The Swedish producer, better known as Shellback, knows a thing or two about what he's doing. Freedom will be released June 30 via Epitaph.
• And now it's time for the latest TIDAL update! (We will continue to closely monitor this engaging story.) One musician who's attempting to rally TIDAL's cause is the artist Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes. Boucher is signed to 4AD, but managed by Roc Nation – the entertainment company founded by Jay Z. In a caption on Instagram, since deleted, Boucher stated:
Mad respect for tidal!! I literally know musicians who live in cars and storage spaces etc. And I know some pretty popular musicians who still struggle to make ends meet. Unless artists have a popular live show there aren’t a lot of income streams available. People have characterized tidal negatively but I promise it’s 100% artist friendly, and fan friendly since yall have the option to pay the same rate as other streaming respect to everyone involved for doing the right thing for struggling artists – this kind of thing is so important, especially for indie music!
She went on to say that she has yet to be included in the service, so basically she's the only person that Jay Z has not called.
As Stereogum also mentioned, TNA recently lost two big name wrestlers and its spot on Spike TV. The wrestling company has found a new home on Destination America, and hiring Billy Corgan to come in and save the show is probably a good indicator that their track record is about to improve. (Ahem.)
• Remember last year's critically-acclaimed Benji? Then remember how Sun Kil Moon went on tour and started fighting with the War on Drugs? Except Mark Kozelek wouldn't drop it and then he made a terrible song about it? And then he still couldn't let it go so he made yet another horrible recording? Memories, you guys.
Suffice it to say the release of another Sun Kil Moon record in 2015 is probably not necessary, but Kozelek is determined to persist with his incendiary tactics. Therefore in June, we're getting Universal Themes – a title meant to draw eye rolls so strong, our pupils will glance off the back of our brains, rendering us useless, and paving the way for a Kozelek takeover.
But, hey! Don't worry! If that wasn't enough for you, Jesu announced they'll be releasing a collaborative album with Sun Kil Moon. Also this year! We can't wait for the tour!
• What's better than a surprise Nicki Minaj performance? A surprise Nicki Minaj performance that takes place at an utterly appropriate venue—for instance, say, a bar mitzvah. The young wee gentleman—thus far only identified as Matt—apparently has parents who could cough up whatever outrageous fee the rapper demanded. So, Minaj swooped into the party to perform "Super Bass" (and six other songs) for a roomful of teenagers and Matt's older relatives.
Not to be outdone by any rabbi, Minaj also bestowed some advice upon the crowd. "Stay in school," she told them, "and don't be a slouch or a bum. And ladies never let a man have to take care of you, do you understand me? Be your own woman, be your own person." (Preach.) Too bad the boys were most likely distracted by the cleavage on full display. (And don't think Nicki wasn't fully aware of what she was doing either.)
• Nile Rodgers plans to release a new Chic album this summer and it looks like he has been quite busy recruiting the likes of Janelle Monáe and Elton John to assist on the tracks. Rodgers also mentioned that he has been courting "one other pop diva," but he wouldn't reveal the goods. (Dear sweet Lord, let it be Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter!) In his downtime, Rodgers has been watching all the cute videos Daft Punk's been making for him.
• Let's also take a moment to note the death of the Kingsmen's singer Jack Ely, who passed away in Redmond, Oregon this week. Ely's lead vocal on the definitive version of "Louie Louie" – was so badass that it prompted the FBI to investigate him on grounds of obscenity. Condolences to his family and friends.
And on that note, I take my leave. Who's going to hear Kathleen Hanna speak tonight? Cool, I'll see you there.
Lindsay Hood is the former news editor of the late, great Wondering Sound and a recent Seattle transplant. She'll be doing music news roundups several times a week on Slog. Lindsay's pledge: "I'll try and pay attention to the important stuff—you know, like Rihanna's Instagram—then round it all up for you to devour in the morning. I look forward to learning more about the local scene as the column develops. Feel free to drop off helpful tidbits in the comments." Lindsay's Twitter is right here.