with Wesley Woodson

Silence is Not Golden in Music World

More than 700 members of the UK music industry, including artists, managers, record label execs, agents, songwriters and producers, have united and signed an open letter pledging to fight hate in the music industry.
The #NoSilenceInMusic campaign arrives fresh after British rapper Wiley’s anti-semitic Twitter rant that led to his permanent suspension from the social media platform and getting released from his management company. Lily Allen, The 1975, and Nile Rodgers are among the hundreds of signatories.
Earlier last week, hundreds of musicians added their signatures to an open letter addressed to U.S. politicians demanding politicians receive clearance of campaign songs, and in June artists joined forces in urging U.S. congress to help save independent music venues that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jane Said Something This Weekend

Jane’s Addiction hit the stage for their first live performance in three years Saturday night as part of Lollapalooza’s Lolla2020 livestream. Lead vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Chris Chaney, and drummer Stephen Perkins took over a remote sound stage for a tranquil rendition of “I Would For You” and electric “Stop.” Despite the band sharing a stage, the members made sure to social distance, with a clear partition dividing Perkins and the rest of the group. Aside from the reunion, Farrell also reunited his band Porno For Pyros for the first time in 24 years for a backyard performance of “Pets” and “Kimberly Austin” on Thursday and executed a David Bowie tribute with his latest project Kind Heaven Orchestra by covering “Ziggy Stardust” earlier Saturday. The Lollapalooza founder has also moderated a number of interviews during the livestream event. The weekend has gifted us some other memorable live performances, as well as unveiling archival footage from the Lolla vault. Chris Cornell’s daughter Toni covered Pearl Jam’s “Black,” and Josh Homme performed an acoustic interpretation of Them Crooked Vultures’ “Spinning in Daffodils.”

Lana Del Rey Bends Backward for Grass & Barker

Lana Del Rey released the digital audio version of her poetry collection, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, on July 28 and over the weekend posted a sincere video for one of its poems on her social media. In the intentionally grainy snippet, Rey recites an abbreviated version of “Salamander” while frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff’s sparse instrumentation sets the mood in the background. Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is the first of two poetry projects Del Rey has scheduled for release this year. Although the second, behind the iron gates – insights from an institution, hasn’t been given a release date, she did share an offering from it — “patent leather do-over” — in May. The poetry collection will be released physically as a hardcover and digitally via ebook on Sept. 29, with CD and LP formats available Oct. 2. Half of its proceeds will be donated to Native American organizations.

RTJ Work 'Forever' Together

Run the Jewels and Travis Barker joined forces on RTJ2 and it looks like they’re back at it again with their new song “Forever”. The track begins with Barker on the drums, and also features Killer Mike and El-P engaging in a lyrical battle with heavy hitting verses that effortlessly coast over the beat. In the song, Killer Mike refers to himself as “rap’s rasputin” and warns the affluent to atone for their past doings. El-P responds to Killer Mike with a fiery barrage of lyrics of his own. Barker teased the track earlier this week with footage of him behind the drum kit, but it wasn’t enough to prepare the listener for how intense the track would be. Run the Jewels and Barker have collaborated before on “All Due Respect,” off RTJ’s 2014 record, RTJ2. Barker also joined them on a number of live sets including Coachella in 2015.

Arcade Fire 'Sprawls' Out in 'The Suburbs'

Arcade Fire signified the 10th anniversary of The Suburbs by releasing a duo performance of the album’s next-to-last track, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” The clip, posted Monday on the group’s Instagram, first premiered as part of their three-song set during a Salesforce livestream. Régine Chassagne sings, dances, and waves pom-poms on a checkered courtyard; nearby, Win Butler operates a mixing board and films on his cell phone. The band combined the video with some more words of encouragement, which acknowledged the 10 year anniversary of “The Suburbs, and how they “can’t wait to all play music together again.” Win Butler recently revealed that Arcade Fire have started work on their first project since 2017’s Everything Now. (He also posted a new song snippet on Instagram.) However, the band’s Will Butler later noted that logistical challenges, partially arising from COVID-19, have put a dent in the album’s creative process.

Roger Waters Says Goodbye to Prine By Singing 'Hello'

When music icon John Prine passed from corona related complications earlier in the year, heart-touching tributes from his peers, friends and fans came pouring in. The latest comes in the form of a rendition of 1971’s “Hello in There” by Roger Waters and Lucius. This version sees the Pink Floyd co-founder shoulder the first half of the opening verse with the help of an acoustic guitar, as Lucius harmonizes their way through the rest. They unite in the chorus to finish the heartfelt rendition. Shortly after Prine’s passing in April, Waters shared an emotional version of Prine’s classic song “Paradise”. The cover is featured in Newport Festival’s 86-minute stream Newport, Our Voices Together. The fundraiser featured James Taylor, Tom Morello, Phoebe Bridgers, Courtney Barnett and others, raising money for the Newport Festivals Foundation.

Say Qello to A 'Summer Encore'

Qello Concerts will be streaming iconic performances from Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and more as part of their Summer Encore Festival virtual lineup. On Monday, Qello posted an exclusive clip of Joplin performing at the Woodstock Festival, featuring an attention-grabbing vocal belt from the iconic singer to the song “Ball and Chain.” The full set, lifted from 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival: The Woodstock Diaries, will be available digitally August 5th through 11th. Other streaming offerings up for viewing this week include the Rolling Stones’ 2013 concert at Hyde Park, Paul McCartney live at Knebworth in 1990, the Killers at V Festival 2014 and Sheryl Crow at the Pantages Theatre as part of Miles From Memphis. Ready-to-stream concert sets have popped up as a result of COVID-19’ stopping the live music industry in its tracks. Qello has previo featured sets from the likes of Ellie Goulding, Shakira, the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Queen, Amy Winehouse, the Cure, Damien Marley, Carlos Santana, Green Day and more. Brittany Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff and Cold War Kids will headline a two-day online concert titled “Crash the Couch” to help musicians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented by Jack Daniel’s, the digital music festival will stream on the whiskey brand’s YouTube channel on Friday, August 14th, and Saturday, the 15th. Rateliff and Cold War Kids will headline night one, along with four “opening acts:” Tank and the Bangas, Hiss Golden Messenger, the Suffers, and Goldlink. Howard will lead night two, with Black Pumas, Brandy Clark, Houndmouth, Durand Jones, and Yola also on the setlist. The performances will be filmed at the artists’ individual homes around the country. Crash the Couch seeks to raise money and awareness for the “Sweet Relief COVID-19 Musicians Fund”, an org that benefits those in the music industry whose livelihoods have been devastated by the ongoing pandemic. Crash the Couch begins at 8 p.m. ET on August 14th and 15th. In addition to the musical performances, the livestream will feature cocktail demonstrations.

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