On Wednesday, rock band Weezer unveiled the song Hero, which is dedicated to Frontline workers. The band will also have a guest appearance on this Sunday’s episode of the Simpsons. The episode, titled “The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds,” will depict the band as a cover band who perform more recent Weezer songs on a cruise taken by Homer and Marge. The episode will also see Weezer debuting a new song titled “Blue Dream”, which will appear on their upcoming album, Van Weezer. The album’s release date has been pushed back and will be announced soon. This will be the band’s 14th studio album.
Earlier this year, Soccer Mommy released her sophomore record, color theory. She was excited to perform the new songs live, that was, until the Coronavirus Pandemic Hit. In order to support the record without touring, Soccer Mommy created a digital 8-bit music video tour. The tour was inspired by her concert on club penguin rewritten, held a few weeks ago. With the help of video director Bella Clark, she was able to create an 8-bit music video tour that will provide fans the opportunity to see her perform songs from her latest record.
Soundgarden’s surviving members have filed a countersuit against Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky and his estate. The suit accuses them of misusing funds from a January 2019 Los Angeles benefit concert for personal reasons. The suit details how the Soundgarden band members claim that funds from the I Am the Highway show, which took place at the Forum and featured an all-star line-up including Metallica, Foo Fighters, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Melvins, and the surviving members of Audioslave and Soundgarden raised “many millions of dollars.” The suit does not identify who received the money. Six months before the countersuit, Vicky Cornwell sued the band, accusing them of withholding royalties with the intention of strong-arming Chris’ estate into handing over seven songs Cornell recorded before his passing.
Florian Scneider, one member of Germany’s pioneering electronic music group, Kraftwerk, has died, Spin has confirmed. The band had plans for a North American tour to commemorate their 50th anniversary before the spread of COVID-19. Kraftwerk were recipients of a 2014 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a 2018 Grammy for Best Dance/ Electronic Album. They have also been nominated 6 times for the rock and roll hall of fame.
Of Montreal, Frankie Cosmos, Speedy Ortiz, Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, Geoff Rickly of Thursday, and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo are among the musicians who have signed a new letter calling Congress to provide more aid to musicians financially impacted by the global pandemic. Assembled by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, the letter calls for an extension on the Cares Act unemployment benefits regardless of immigration status, a nationwide rent and mortgage cancellation, emergency supplemental funding, expanded Medicare, and increased USPS funding. You can read and sign the letter on our music news page, over at alt360.live.
In other indie band news, one school district in Alaska has introduced a book ban on a number of classic literary works. Last week, the Mat -an-uska-Sus-i tna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board debated the curriculum for the district’s high school English department and decided to remove five supposedly controversial books from the reading list: Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. The decision came after a document from the district’s Office of Instruction listed concerns over the books’ content, including “language and sexual references” in Gatsby and “‘anti-white’ messaging” in Caged Bird. The move inspired community members to take action, including the region’s most famous native sons, the alt-pop group Portugal, The Man. The now-Portland, Oregon-based band got its start in Wasilla, Alaska, and, according to guitarist Eric Howk, its members regularly keep tabs on their former hometown. The band decided to counteract this ban by offering to purchase copies of one or all of the banned books for any student in the school district that wishes to read them. All they need to is email email@example.com with their request.
Ani Difranco and Zoe Boekbinder have collaborated on an album that will tell inmate’s stories through music. Boekbinder first met the inmates at New Folsom Prison in California in 2010. 4 years of volunteering at the prison helped inspire the album, titled Long Time Gone. The album serves as a collaboration between Boekbinder, incarcerated men, and Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babes Records and the Prison Music Project. The album is scheduled to be released on June 5th.
The 2020 Pitchfork Music Festival has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival was set to celebrate its 15th anniversary July 17th through the 19th at Chicago’s Union Park with headlining sets from the National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Run the Jewels. Additional performers included Angel Olsen,, Sharon Van Etten, Tierra Whack, Thundercat, Phoebe Bridgers, Big Thief and Caroline Polacheck. Pitchfork Fest is the latest festival to be canceled because of the coronavirus, following the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals, Firefly and Glastonbury in the U.K. Other major festivals, such as Bonnaroo and Coachella, have been postponed until the fall. The decision to cancel Pitchfork might mean the cancellation of Chicago’s other major music event, Lollapalooza, which, as of now, is still scheduled to take place July 30th through August 2nd.