with Wesley Woodson
Senators Stage Bill To Save Stages
A new bill designed to help independent music and entertainment venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been introduced by U.S. Senators Amy Kloe-buhchar and Republican John Cor-nyn.
The bill, currently known as the “Save Our Stages Act,” was unveiled Wednesday, and offers six months of financial support to help “keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America,” according to a press release.
The coronavirus has sidelined the live music business, with most indie venues temporarily closed given the higher chance of transmission in crowded indoor areas.
As stated in the bill, 90% of owners, promoters and bookers are at risk of permanently closing within a few months without financial assistance.
Recipients of the “Save our Stages Act” would be able to use grants for fees incurred during the pandemic, along with rent, utilities, mortgages, and expenses related to meeting local, state or federal social distancing guidelines. They would be required to “return remaining funding after one year from the date of disbursement.”
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) recently created a proposal urging Congress to adjust the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), launching the #SaveOurStages campaign.
San. Fran. Band Return Is Fuzzy
The San Francisco hard-rock trio, FUZZ, released their comeback track, the aptly titled “Returning,” on Wednesday.
They also announced that their upcoming third studio album, III, has been scheduled for October 23rd release date via In the Red Recordings.
The eight-track project, which is a follow up to 2015’s II, features Segall on drums, Chad Ubovich on bass, Charles Moothart on guitar, and all three splitting vocals throughout.
The album was recorded and mixed at United Recording with engineer Steve Albini, who has previously worked with bands like Nirvana, the Breeders, and Pixies.
If the group’s latest single is any indication of the album’s sonic textures, it’ll be full of some heavy, distorted jams.
FUZZ also shared plans to hit the road later in the year.
The trek currently kicks off December 3 at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom and wraps up in March 31 at London’s Electric Ballroom.
Today's Soup of The Day; Goat's Head
The Rolling Stones are preparing to release the Goat’s Head Soup re-release in a couple of months. And to keep fans enticed, they just released “Scarlet.”
Originally recorded in October 1974, this track has emerged as one of the more highly anticipated songs from the box set, mainly because it displays the talent of Jimmy Page. Guitarist Keith Richards also contributed to the song.
Richards shared how the band walked in at the end of a Led Zeppelin studio session and how Jimmy Page decided to stay and ended up giving a guitar demonstration.
While The Stones had no intention of cutting a track, they decided the demonstration had the potential to be utilized for a song.
The Rolling Stones previously released Criss Cross and also dropped a newer track called “Living in a Ghost Town,” which is their first original song in eight years.
Goats Head Soup will release on Sept. 4 via Polydor/Interscope/UME.
This Burger Is Burnt
Orange County-based label Burger Records has discontinued operations following numerous accusations of sexual misconduct by both bands and the label’s management.
Sean Bohrman, Burger’s co-founder, told Pitchfork that the label decided to shut down the label on Tuesday night. Bohrman also said that the label would remove all of its releases from streaming platforms and give the artists their music so they can distribute it themselves. Burger’s social media pages have all been taken down as well.
Over the weekend, an Instagram account, Lured_By_Burger_Records, outlined dozens of accusations aimed at the Fullerton-based label.
Following the accusations, on Monday, the label announced the dismissal of company president Lee Rickard and his ownership stake in the company. As for Bohrman, it was announced that he would be leaving his role as well and moving into “a transitional role.”
Veteran music exec Jessa Zapor-Gray was announced as the interim president. The victims’ account posted a statement disapproving of Zapor-Gray’s role. Late on Tuesday night, Zapor-Gray announced she wouldn’t be taking the position. Additionally, the promotion company responsible for the Burger Boogaloo, Total Trash Productions, dissolved all connections with the label. “We are disturbed and disgusted by the allegations that have come out, and we stand with the survivors,” the promoter said. The label was going to rebrand as BRGR RCRDS, but that is not going to happen now.
Hayley Williams Flips Over Burger Records
In the midst of recent sexual misconduct accusations against Burger Records and musicians opening up about their experiences with abuse, Hayley Williams decided she could no longer remain silent.
On July 20, Williams posted a long note about her feelings toward sexism and misogyny in the industry, emphasizing the “collective cause” of protecting “women and young folks in the music scene.”
Williams also pointed out how males are also subject to the same types of abuse. “They are most definitely vulnerable too and unfortunately — whether consciously or not — wrapped up in the toxicity of a culture that has existed long before most of us became a factor in it,” she said.
Continuing, Williams came back to the main focus of her post: calling on the entire music industry to prioritize accountability in order to maximize everyone’s safety.
“Search your heart that you are doing all you can to recognize sexism and misogyny — even in its most diluted forms — in our music scenes,” she wrote. “We must continue to call out improper behavior and hold each other to a higher standard of respect and empathy!” she wrote, pointing out that it should apply to everyone in front of and behind the stage.
She ended by shouting out Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr, The Regrettes’ Lydia Night and others who’ve come forward.
“You are brave and worthy,” she wrote.
Franco Is On Ice Ice, Baby
Dave Franco is set to play Vanilla Ice in a biopic about the “Ice Ice Baby” rapper.
During an interview with Insider, Franco expounded on the news of his casting and how he sees the film playing out.
“We have been in development for a while but we are inching closer and closer to pre production,” Franco said of the film, the news of which was quietly revealed last year.
He compared the project favorably to The Disaster Artist, the 2017 movie about filmmaker Tommy Wiseau that starred Franco and his brother James.
“With that movie, people expected us to make a broad comedy where we make fun of Tommy Wiseau, but the more real we played it, the funnier and heartfelt it was — that’s the tone we want for this one as well,” Franco said.
The synopsis of the film, which was unveiled in Production Weekly is as follows: “From a high school dropout selling cars in Dallas to having the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts with ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ a young Vanilla Ice struggles with stardom, extortion attempts, and selling out as he makes music history.”
Currently, filming is in limbo due to the pandemic, but Franco says that he has been in contact with Vanilla Ice about the role.
Vanilla Ice was recently scheduled to perform a gig in Austin, but it ultimately got postponed due to external pressure and the virus’ hasty spread in Texas.
Taylor Swiftly Goes Indie
On Thursday, Taylor Swift announced her eighth album, folklore, and released it at midnight on Friday.
The album title may also indicate a departure from her bombastic pop soundscape of recent years in favor of a more acoustic, laid back vibe.
The 16-track album includes contributions from the National’s Aaron Dessner (who was involved in 11 tracks, Swift said), Bon Iver, William Bowery and trusted collaborator Jack Antonoff.
“Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into,” Swift wrote on social media Thursday morning, alongside a series of grayscale photos of her strolling through the forest. “I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine.”
A music video for a presumed lead single, “Cardigan,” also premiered at midnight. Swift typically has elaborate album roll-outs, with months of anticipation and singles to promote the project.
On instagram, Swift wrote, “My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much.”
There will be eight deluxe CD editions and eight deluxe vinyl editions — to commemorate LP8 — that will be available “for one week,” she wrote.
Each deluxe edition has unique covers, photos, and artwork. She did not specify if all eight will drop at once or one will be released each week.
A Campy Way To Support Bands
Bandcamp announced that it will continue its unique “Bandcamp Friday” series for the rest of the year, waiving its revenue share on all sales on the first Friday of every month to give musicians more money from each purchase.
The series started as a one-time deal at the end of March to help allocate extra money to artists after the COVID-19 pandemic forced touring to end and forced independent record stores to shut their doors.
After seeing fans spend $4.3 million on music and merch, the platform decided to forgo its revenue share on the first Friday of the next three months.
In a statement on its website, Bandcamp said, “Because the pandemic is far from over, we’ll continue to hold Bandcamp Fridays on the first Friday of every month until the end of the year.”
The next five will take place August 7th, September 4th, October 2nd, November 6th and December 4th.
So far, sales during the previous four Bandcamp Fridays have amassed over $20 million. In total, fans have spent over $75 million on music and merch on the platform since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Pearl Jam Puts A Gigaton On The Road Into 2021
Like many other hopeful acts, Pearl Jam’s plans to tour in support of their new album, Gigaton, had to be postponed due to the global pandemic.
But now there’s some good news. The band has released the new dates for the 2021 European leg of their tour.
Currently slated for a start date of June 16, 2021, in Amsterdam, Pearl Jam are going to the same locations they had originally planned to go to and also added two new concert dates, including the Pinkpop Festival.
Supporting acts will be announced in the near future.
In a message posted on their website, the band said, “We look forward to returning to Europe, pending these events can safely take place in Summer 2021. The safety and well-being of the band’s fans, crew and event staff continue to be priority.”
Tickets sold from the postponed tour will be valid for the rescheduled shows. If you can no longer attend the new dates, you’ll need to contact your point of purchase to inquire about refunds.
Ten Club ticket holders can request refunds through their membership accounts by going to the My Tickets page.
General public tickets are already on sale, while tickets for Pinkpop Festival go on sale on Sept. 18 at 10 am GMT.
Tickets for the festival dates must be purchased through the festival sites directly.
Take Me Out To the Ball Game...and Stroke It
Friday marked Opening Day for the New York Mets’ interrupted 2020 baseball season, and to celebrate the Strokes have released the music video for their New Abnormal album closer “Ode to the Mets.”
According to the band, the video was inspired by the opening credits of the sitcom Cheers, with director and long-time collaborator Warren Fu providing a journey through New York City visualized by eight different animators.
“Ode to the Mets” is not actually about the Mets, and the video also briefly alludes to the baseball team: The allusions appear during an underwater sequence in which a weathered poster reading “Ya Gotta Believe” — the team’s long-time slogan — appears, while another banner reads “Class of ’69,” a wink to the Mets’ 1969 World Series championships.
Another little gem contained within the video is a photo — from guitarist Nick Valensi’s private collection — of the band during their early days.
The Strokes’ The New Abnormal, the band’s first album since 2013’s Comedown Machine, arrived in April.