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Music is helping so many of us cope right now; we need to help the people who create it.
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Nowhere to go: An empty Abbey Road gets a new paint job. London, March 24, 2020.
(Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Thursday - March 26, 2020 Thu - 03/26/20
rantnrave:// It isn't quite the $54 billion the German government is giving in aid to its creative and cultural classes, but it's a huge sigh of relief for musicians in the US: The stimulus package passed by the US Senate Wednesday night makes musicians, songwriters, producers, crew and other independent contractors in the music business, who traditionally haven't had access to unemployment benefits, eligible for small-business loans and grants. Language in the $2 trillion bill that gives "sole proprietors" and "independent contractors"—the gig economy—the right to apply for relief was the result, in part, of a fierce lobbying effort by songwriter and publishing advocacy groups working with a bipartisan group of music-friendly legislators. "As urgent as the Music Modernization Act was, this is more urgent," NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL executive director BART HERBISON told ROLLING STONE. "This is going to save careers." The House is expected to vote on the stimulus package Friday... Good citizens: DISCMAKERS has pivoted from making CDs and DVDs to making face shields for healthcare professionals and others in need of protection... More than doubling what the U.S. government is offering to individual Americans in the midst of a medical and economic crisis, TAYLOR SWIFT surprised at least two fans, including a struggling New York music photographer, with $3,000 donations... SPOTIFY is pledging up to $10 million in matching donations to organizations helping out struggling artists... Spotify and several competitors made a joint donation to the MUSICARES Covid-19 Relief Fund, which has already raised $4 million (including an initial $2 million from MusiCares and its parent, the RECORDING ACADEMY)... While D-NICE hosted another of his "Homeschool at Club Quarantine" dance parties on INSTAGRAM LIVE Wednesday night, volunteers working with MICHELLE OBAMA's WHEN WE ALL VOTE initiative texted voting-registration messages to more than 400,000 eligible voters. The goal had been 50,000 texts... (Oh, and D-Nice played BOZ SCAGGS' "LOWDOWN" late in the evening, which reminds me that Scaggs' long-running San Francisco rock club SLIM's closed for good last week after 32 years. The Covid-19 pandemic dictated the timing, but the closure was long planned)... SOFAR SOUNDS says it will pay every artist whose gigs it had to cancel because of the coronavirus... SONGKICK has turned into a livestream concert calendar... ELTON JOHN will host a televised coronavirus fundraising concert for IHEART RADIO and FOX Sunday night, in the time slot originally slated for the iHeartRadio Music Awards. BILLIE EILISH, ALICIA KEYS, BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG and MARIAH CAREY are among the performers... I'm also absolutely considering it good citizenship/good news that KESHA has a song about NICOLAS CAGE.. RIP LA DELFI.
- Matty Karas (@troubledoll), curator
gimme shelter
Water & Music
The democratization of record-label advances
by Cherie Hu
A growing number of independent music distributors are opening up capital to tens of thousands of indie and unsigned artists, without taking away their rights.
The Undefeated
What happens to musicians when all the gigs stop?
by Jerry Bembry
Artists who once had stable careers in music are struggling to fill the void.
The Opera Queen
Watching, Listening, Writing -- Alone And Together
by Catherine Kustanczy
One writer's contemplation on the rapidly changing landscape for freelance artists amidst the corona virus pandemic and of finding community online.
Amazon’s Twitch Teams Up With Concert Service to Let Bands Make Money in Quarantine
by Lucas Shaw
Streaming site is working with Bandsintown to help artists cope with live-events blackout.
The Guardian
Adele, Keith Flint, Gil Scott-Heron and me: Richard Russell, the XL records Midas
by Alexis Petridis
He discovered the Prodigy, signed the White Stripes - and launched Tottenham’s mega-selling superstar. And it all started with a novelty rave tune about a bouncer.
Rolling Stone
How Kelsea Ballerini Made an Ideal Companion Album for Social Distancing
by Marissa R. Moss
Singer-songwriter looks inward, learns to be still on ‘Kelsea.’
Texas Monthly
With ‘Heaven or Hell,’ Don Toliver--Travis Scott’s Protégé--Has Arrived
by Kiana Fitzgerald
The 25-year-old singer hails from Houston, yet doesn’t borrow influences from a city that oozes a distinctive musical legacy.
Music Business Worldwide
Could the music industry do more to help artists and songwriters whose income has been hit by Coronavirus?
by Murray Stassen
Should 'black box' money and discretionary advances be paid over to music's creative community amid the pandemic?
How Music Companies Are Giving Back During the Coronavirus Pandemic
by Chris Eggertsen
With the coronavirus pandemic having forced a virtual shutdown of cities across the U.S., music companies are extending a helping hand to those affected.
Radio, Don’t Blow Your Chance to Matter Again
by Michelle Santosuosso
Radio, I've just about had enough of you and your abandonment of your defining purpose as broadcasters. With the coronavirus pandemic now ravaging everyday life and suspending every reliable comfort from work routines to sports and entertainment or actual human contact, we're looking for steadiness somewhere - an echo of the familiar, a kindred connection.
shelter from the storm
Rolling Stone
Recording Academy CEO Talks Industry Relief in Wake of Coronavirus
by Ethan Millman
“I’m concerned for fans of music, because there’s not the ability for our creators to be able to continue to put out the volume of music that they normally do,” Harvey Mason Jr. says.
Los Angeles Times
Did 'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic really sing those jaw-dropping country songs?
by August Brown
Much as he hired a hitman, the star of Netflix's true-crime sensation hired a songwriter, vocalist for unforgettable tracks like 'Here Kitty Kitty.'
Disgraceland: Jay-Z
by Jake Brennan
Street hustle, a nightclub stabbing, a near drug bust and the God MC.
Paradigm Layoffs Hit Senior Agents in Music, Movie and TV Literature
by Matt Donnelly
Layoffs at talent agency Paradigm have hit employees of every rank, multiple sources told Variety - including top agents in music and motion picture and TV literature - as fallout from coronavirus continues to mount. More than 100 agency staffers were pink-slipped last Friday, individuals familiar with the company said, among them music reps Dave Kaplan and Mike Mori.
Can the Vinyl & CD Business Survive Coronavirus?
by Ed Christman
Facing the coronavirus pandemic, music shops are shuttering -- and struggling to survive -- and Amazon is focusing on household goods. What's in store for physical retail?
The New Yorker
The Haunted Jazz of Hank Mobley
by Richard Brody
The tenor saxophonist and composer had grand musical designs and concepts in mind-and he even realized some of them, though many weren’t released at the time of their recording.
How The Weeknd Mastered his Brand
by Dan Runcie
The Toronto artist's strength is his ability to maintain his mystery while becoming a superstar.
The Creative Independent
Musician, festival organizer, and climate activist Holly Rankin on adapting to difficult times
by T. Cole Rachel and Holly Rankin
Musician and activist Holly Rankin on adapting to the chaotic state of the world, maintaining multiple interests, and never underestimating your power.
The Washington Post
The last great country hit about protecting the Earth came out 30 years ago. We’re still waiting on the next one
by Chris Richards
Alabama’s “Pass It On Down” remains the gold standard. And that’s a shame.
Wax Poetics
The Wild Life of Graham Dee
by Dan Dodds
 As a London-born pioneer of the ’60s British soul sound, Graham Dee has traveled the world in the name of music, living in both the U.S. and the Far East before laying his cap back home, in the country where he was once dubbed “Mr. Tin Pan Alley” by his peers.
The xx
“REDEF is dedicated to my mother, who nurtured and encouraged my interest in everything and slightly regrets the day she taught me to always ask ‘why?’”


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