Venues, Videos, New Releases & More
By Jasmine Williams
RIP Webster Hall, hello Arc!
New York City – well, to be specific, Long Island City – is getting a new venue next year. The Arc will have a capacity of about 2,000 and is set to open early next year. Former Webster Hall COO, Rich Pawelczyk, has just joined the venture.
Childish Gambino Teams Up with Rashida Jones
Maybe Childish Gambino will help the #MeToo movement cross over from Hollywood to music? His real-life actor persona, Donald Glover, just lent his voice to an “anti-harassment” video directed by Rashida Jones. The short animated film covers the topic of appropriate behavior in the workplace.
A Grammy Update
In an effort to address the lack of diversity and female nominees at last year’s Grammys, The Recording Academy has announced that they will expand some of the major categories. There will now be eight instead of five nominees for record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, and best new artist.
Protection for Songwriters
The Senate Judiciary Committee just voted in favor of The Music Modernization act, a bill that aims to establish a licensing system that would be controlled by songwriters and publishers and paid for by digital services like Spotify.
Michael Jackson’s father and longtime manager, Joe Jackson, died yesterday at the age of 89.
The New New
Three heavy hitters from very different genres dropped new releases today. Only a year after the last Gorillaz album, Damon Albarn is back with a new one. The Now Now follows last spring’s release of Humanz. Some of the beauty of Gorillaz has always been held in the band’s animated appearance – cartoon facades allow for new collaborators to become characters on each album. In contrast, The Now Now allows Albarn to play the many parts himself. His sixth Gorillaz album features fewer collaborations than his usual offerings – some might even consider it to be more of a solo session. Longtime fans will hear lyrics that reference melancholy days on tour and draw comparisons to 2010’s The Fall, which was also released in a short span after a collab-heavy star-studded drop Plastic Beach.
In contrast to Albarn’s lightening up of collaborators, Florence Welch grabbed a couple of A-list partners for the brand new Florence + The Machine album, High As Hope. As executive producer for the album (her first time in the position), Welch tapped Kamasi Washington, Sampha, and Jamie XX for contributions. For Hope, Welch dials down her bombastic vocals for tracks that delve into the personal, including her battles with alcohol addiction. Of the album she reportedly told an LA crowd, “It’s just I’m less drunk, and there is less glitter.”
Drake’s new 25-track double album, Scorpion, is out today. It features collaborations with big names, including Jay-Z and Michael Jackson.
The album touches on his very publicized feud with Pusha-T; in a bit of self deprecation, it even goes so far as to reference Pusha’s insults in the editor notes for Apple Music. Some of Drake’s new tracks have the internet ablaze with lyrics that seem to confirm the existence of the Canadian rapper’s son with Sophie Brussaux.