Canadian venues and performance spaces lit up red Tuesday evening (Sept 22) in a show of support for the live event industry "that is still dark", Indie 88 reports. The #LightUpLive campaign says "the effect of shutting down a $100 billion industry in Canada will have unimaginable impacts on both companies and individuals".

Soldier of fortune
September 24, 2020

BTS play Tiny Desk concert - fans donate to NPR

American National Public Radio had Korean boy-band BTS for their Tiny Desk concert on Monday, which set a record for online viewership. Later that day, Gabe Rosenberg, the digital news editor for Columbus, Ohio, NPR affiliate WOSU, encouraged the K-pop band’s fans to donate to public radio stations to say thanks. And, so they did, Washingtonian reports. Earlier this year, Korean band’s fans, who are known as ARMY, raised more than $1 million for Black Lives Matter.

“We sell an extraordinary amount of records on Bandcamp Friday. It’s enough for me to pay for a month’s worth of groceries. It keeps lights on in my house” - Nashville singer-songwriter Emma Swift told the LA Times about how much Bandcamp means to her. In August she earned $1,400 through the platform, and another $1,500 on the first Friday of September. On each first Friday Bandcamps forgoes its regular 15% cut on digital sales to artists. Since then, fans have paid artists nearly $100 million. The platform has generated $584 million for artists since 2008.

Juliette Greco, a French singer, actress, cultural icon and muse to existentialist philosophers of the country’s post-War period, has died aged 93, Billboard reports. Greco immortalized some of France’s most recognizable songs in an enduring seven-decade career, including the classics 'Soul le ciel de Paris' ('Under the Parisian sky') and 'Je hais les dimanches' ('I hate Sundays').

No burning please
September 23, 2020

Joan of Arc breaking up after one last album

Experimental rockers Joan of Arc will end their 25-year career with one final album, 'Tim Melina Theo Bobby', due December 4, Pitchfork reports. As the title implies, the album was made by the band's current lineup of Melina Ausikaitis, Bobby Burg, Theo Katsaounis, and Tim Kinsella. The video for the first single 'Destiny Revision' was made up of photos taken on various Joan of Arc tours.

Evoke Candle has announced an officially licensed Motörhead candle, which smells like smoked whiskey and oak, Loudwire reports. It has a burn time of 70 to 80 hours. The store sells candles inspired by popular rock and metal songs, including the 'London Calling', 'Paint It Black', 'White Wedding', 'Heavy Metal' etc. The standard price for any candle is 36$.

A slave master, not a stage master
September 23, 2020

Slave trader association dropped - Bristol's Colston Hall renamed

Bristol venue Colston Hall is dropping its name following decades of protests and boycotts over its association with the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston. A statue of Colston was toppled by Black Lives Matter protesters and thrown into the harbour in June. The process of renaming the hall began in 2017, following protests by civil rights campaigners, music lovers and artists, including the Bristol band Massive Attack, who refused to perform in the venue. From now on it will be known as Bristol Beacon.

"It's becoming a sort of respect thing" - singer-songwriter Gordi, now a practising doctor in hospitals in Australia, told BBC about face-masks. "As someone that is going to work in these places everyday, where health workers are putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk - to wear a mask is not asking you to do a great deal," the 27-year-old says. This spring, after putting her doctor's career on hold, she moved to London and was supposed to start a tour with Bon Iver. When corona started she turned back home and to her patients...

Hey, Mr. Father, what s mistake!
September 23, 2020

'Please Mr. Postman' co-author dies

Georgia Dobbins Davis, the founding member of the Marvelettes - one of the pioneering female vocal groups, and co-author of 'Please Mr. Postman', has died, Soul Track reports. 'Please Mr. Postman' was not only a 1961 hit, it was Motown’s first #1, and help set the label up for a decade of radio dominance in the 60s. Dobbins’ father forced her to leave the group because he was worried about the teens playing in nightclubs...

Rolling Stone has revised their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the first time since 2012. The electorate this time includes Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish. There are also rising artists like H.E.R., Tierra Whack, and Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail. Veteran musicians are represented by Adam Clayton and the Edge of U2, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Gene Simmons, Stevie Nicks, and others. Check out all the albums from Arcade Fire's Funeral' to Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' here.

A third (34%) of professional British musicians are considering abandoning the industry completely, because of the financial difficulties they face during the pandemic, a survey of 2,000 members of the Musicians’ Union has found. Almost half (47%) have already found work outside their industry, Dazed reports.

"We in Northern Ireland are very proud of the fact that one of the greatest music legends of the past 50 years comes from our part of the world... So there's a real feeling of disappointment - we expected better from him" - Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann has written in Rolling Stone about Sir Van Morrison's songs that protest against the coronavirus lockdown. In the lyrics, Van Morrison claims scientists are "making up crooked facts" to justify measures that "enslave" the population. "It's all bizarre and irresponsible. I only hope no one takes him seriously. He's no guru, no teacher" - Swann wrote.

A downward spiral, really
September 22, 2020

Nine Inch Nails release pandemic merch

Nine Inch Nails have announced a line of limited edition "Pandemic" shirts, and a hat - "this collection of re-takes re-flects our anxiety and anger during this unprecedented time", NIN said. Included in the collection are the "Mutation" tee ("Time to mutate. Feels good man"), the "Every Day Is Exactly the Goddamn Same" tee ("Getting tired of predicting the future accurately"), the "USAshamed" tee ("American pride, R.I.P.")...

he European Court of Justice has ruled that record labels will be forced to pay performers an increased share of revenue collected from the broadcast and public performance of sound recordings, Hot Press reported. The ruling makes it clear that each time a musical work generates a payment to the record label for broadcasting or public performance, the performers on that recording are entitled to receive an equal share of earnings, by now it was approximately 20%. Phonographic Performance Ireland has argued that the rule of equal share could not happen where Irish performers did not receive similar payments from non-EEA countries. The EU court ruled, however, that EU law precludes a member state from excluding performers who are nationals of non-EEA states from the right to a single equitable remuneration for the playing of recorded music, Law Society reports.

The kettle-man
September 22, 2020

Jarvis Cocker releases - a tea

Surely something we could have expected from a poetry-loving bearded guy, Jarvis Cocker releases a brand of tea - Peppermint Jungle. It goes with hit new musical identity, so it's named Jarv Is, just like his latest album 'Beyond the Pale'. NME took a sip, says it "is undoubtedly the most soothing release of 2020". So, Jarv Is, planning on live-streaming your tea at 5?

In a series of tweets, Kanye West outlined some “new recording and publishing deal guidelines”, demanding for artists to own the copyright for their recordings and songs, and lease them to the label and publisher “for a limited term. 1 year deals”, with those “service provider” partners taking a 20% cut of the income. Also, “every audio file, every asset, every deal stored WITH the money. Money and Music must stay together. When your term ends, download it all. Leave”.

Fiddle in the middle
September 21, 2020

Country artist Tyler Childers rises against racism

Tyler Childers has dropped a powerful statement with his new album 'Long Violent History' where he stands against racism and violence, and calls for universal values. He introduced the album with a video explaining his concept, best summarized with these words: "What if we were to constantly open up our daily paper and see a headline like ‘East Kentucky Man Shot Seven Times on Fishing Trip?' and read on to find the man was shot while fishing with his son by a game warden who saw him rummaging through his tackle box for his license and thought he was reaching for a knife?... If we wouldn't stand for it. why would we expect another group of Americans to stand for it? Why would we stand silent, or worse, get in the way of it being rectified?". The album consists of 8 songs played on a violin, 7 of which are instrumental covers, and the last one 'Long Violent History' the only with lyrics, and the only one written by Childers. American Songwriter explains the concept; NPR loves the album.

All the good toys go too well
September 21, 2020

Billie Eilish launches a toy collection

Billie Eilish has launched a collection of toy figurines inspired by the videos for her hit singles ‘Bad Guy’ and ‘All The Good Girls Go To Hell’, Rolling Stone reports. The ‘Bad Guy’ doll stands 10.5 inches tall and features a life-like sculpture of the singer in her yellow sweatsuit. The ‘All The Good Girls Go To Hell’ collectible figure measures six inches in height and features fully removable wings. The line launches on October 15.

Motörhead was the first band to "really unite fans" from multiple different genres - Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told Classic Rock magazine in an issue celebrating 40 years the release of Motörhead's hit album 'Ace of Spades'. Ulrich explained - "back in 1980, the music world was way more segregated than it is now. So if you were a heavy metal guy there was a particular look, a uniform. If you were a punk kid it was the same, or an alternative kid if you liked Joy Division or whatever. Everything was very segregated, especially in England. The one thing that was different about Motörhead was that they united people from all these different genres... So all these punks, skinheads, alternative kids and metal kids... everybody loved Motörhead".

Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny performed outside on a moving, lit-up bus, which took him through the streets of New York on Sunday, Sept 20. At one point, he literally stopped traffic as fans chased after him, Hollywood Life reports. He streamed this event to his YouTube channel.

Big Boy certainly never broke again
September 21, 2020

NBA YoungBoy scores third No. 1 Billboard 200 album in a year

YoungBoy Never Broke Again landed on top of Billboard 200 with his new album 'Top', which garnered a total of 126,000 equivalent album units, Billboard reports. It's his third album in 11 months to reach the top of Billboard - '38 Baby 2' was the most selling album in the US in May 2020 and 'AI YoungBoy 2' in October 2019. Another new release in the Top 10 this week - Marilyn Manson scores its 10th top 10 album as 'We Are Chaos' bows at No. 8 with 31,000 equivalent album units earned.

Photos showing singer Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd back in AC/DC were briefly posted on the AC/DC website last week before quickly being removed, accidentally confirming their comeback, Louder reports. They appear to have been taken during a video shoot and show drummer Phil Rudd playing with guitarist Stevie Young for the first time. Vocalist Brian Johnson is also shown - after he departed the group in 2016 following extensive hearing loss. The good news comes it was claimed that AC/DC have already recorded their next album.

Deftones are back in shape with their atmospheric and heavy newest single 'Genesis'; Aimee Mann covered Leonard Cohen’s ‘Avalanche’ for HBO’s true-crime docu-series 'I’ll Be Gone In The Dark', it's a changed song, richer, sang differently; Jamila Woods' 'Sula' is accompanied by an erotic video with the singer as the star of it; another "different" cover - Lykke Li plays Gloria Gaynor's disco anthem 'I Will Survive' as a haunting piano ballad.

Lockdown - a touchdown
September 20, 2020

Daniel Romano releases - ninth album this year

Canadian rock musician Daniel Romano has released nine different albums this year. His latest, 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' is a baroque-pop/indie-rock album, and the first one released in a physical format since the live album 'OKAY WOW' from March (listen to 'How...' on Bandcamp; which PopMatters thinks highly of). Most of his releases this year have wrestled with specific genres, like punk, power-pop, or prog - for that one, a 22-minute song 'Forever Love's Fool', he got a hand from Danny Carey of Tool.

A new model for large scale festivals - Good Day Sunshine in Western Australia will feature a rotating stage and four distinct, individually ticketed areas for patrons divided by a fence, the Fader reports. The 5000-capacity fest is set to take place on October 31st. Performers will play in the single, rotating stage, while each separate area will be treated as its own 1250-capacity sealed-off event space, with no overlap of staff or patrons.

Transgender metalhead satanist Aria DiMezzo has won the Republican nomination for Cheshire County Sheriff in Keene, New Hampshire, in an attempt to prove the political paradox at hand, Loudwire reports. “I went into it expecting that I would lose the primary, because I didn’t think that so many voters were just… completely and totally oblivious about who they are voting for” she wrote in a blog post, but they did. She decided to run "because I oppose that very system, and the sheriff has the most hands-on ability in Cheshire County to oppose that system". Her official slogan is “F*** the Police". DiMezzo is the High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church, an anarchist, a metalhead who plays in the band FUD, and she’s using Trivium’s 'The Heart from Your Hate' is her official campaign song.

The Poland government is arguably one of the most conservative in Europe, recorded acts of homophobia happening on a weekly basis in the country, and there were also recorded incidents of police brutality. How systemic homophobia is can be read from the fact that a third of Polish towns have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”. Guardian brings a story about Polish DJs and musicians fighting for the rights of the minority.

The seven siblings of the Kanneh-Mason family - Konya, Jeneba, Sheku, Braimah, Aminata, Mariatu, Isata - play classical music together, and now they've recorded their first album as a family, 'Carnival', which will be released by their record label Decca on 6 November. Written by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, the musical suite of movements is dedicated to animals including lions, elephants and fish, because "we feel there should be more classical music aimed at children", as Isata says to the BBC.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won an Emmy for their score for HBO’s 'Watchmen', and now only lack a Tonny for EGOT status - they won an Academy Award for 'The Social Network' and a Grammy for their score for 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo', Deadline reports. British singer-songwriter Labrinth was honored for his song 'All for Us' from the finale of HBO’s 'Euphoria', Billboard reports. Composer Laura Karpman won her first prime-time Emmy in the documentary score category for 'Why We Hate', a six-part Discovery Channel series about hatred around the globe, Variety reports. All the nominees and winners - here.

“What you’re about to embark on will be the greatest adventure of your young life” - Bruce Springsteen told the Boston College Class of 2024 via a Zoom call from his New Jersey home studio as the featured speaker of the school’s annual 'First Year Academic Convocation'. Springsteen continued - “You can waste it, you can half-ass your way through it, or you can absorb every minute of what you’re experiencing, and come out on the other end an individual of expanded vision, of intellectual vigor, of spiritual character and grace, fully prepared to meet the world again on its own terms”. Students also had some questions for Springsteen...

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