Chris Cornell, the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave as well as one of the most important figures in the Seattle grunge scene, was found dead yesterday morning. By the afternoon, his death was reported as asuicide by hanging. Though it seems like an endless stream of musicians have passed since David Bowie’s death in early 2016, Cornell’s was particularly unexpected and left many reeling, as he had performed a concert in Detroit the night before and was active on social media throughout the night as well. He was 52.
PWR BTTM Respond To Allegations, But Is It Enough?
In the week since the allegations of sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior against Ben Hopkins of PWR BTTM, there has been a ton of fallout – the duo was dropped by their label and management, their touring members and opening bands left the tour before it was cancelled for good, Father Daughter Records has stated they will remove their old releases from streaming services, and Polyvinyl is even issuing refunds if former fans send back their brand new record, Pageant. But other than a statement that asked potential victims to email an account that would at some point be monitored by a mediator, a move that was deemed inappropriate for a variety of reasons, the band was silent until yesterday. They’ve released a new statement, but it seems to raise the same questions and criticisms: about consent, about accountability, and the language used to discuss it. Namely, that their statement contains a whole lot of words, but dances around the issue in an unsettling way. You can read both the statement and a thoughtful response here.
Chelsea Manning Is Free & Has Her Own Compilation
Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who came out as transgender after being convicted of espionage for leaking classified information, has finally been released – Thanks, Obama! Now, rockstars are voicing their support for in the form of a benefit compilation.Michael Stipe, Thurston Moore, Against Me!, Tom Morello, Ted Leo, Downtown Boys, Priests, Screaming Females, Talib Kweli, Amanda Palmer, and Kevin Devine have all contributed to Hugs For Chelsea, the proceeds of which go toward her cost of living as she reenters society. Check it out on Bandcamp.
PWR BTTM Cancel Release Show Following Allegations
Over the past few days, allegations of predatory behavior and sexual abuse were made against Ben Hopkins of PWR BTTM, and an anti-semitic photo of Hopkins from 2011 has again resurfaced. While the former was previously addressed by the band, many fans were taken by complete surprise regarding the allegations of violated consent, despite the fact that some of their peers state they were warned about this behavior months ago. The Brooklyn band T-Rextasy is one of them, and has cancelled their July tour with PWR BTTM. Tonight’s Rough Trade release show for Pageant has also been cancelled.
While the band has not outright confirmed or denied these allegations, they’ve released a statement that includes the offer for victims to send an email to an account that will allegedly only be accessible by an as-yet unidentified mediator. This has sparked further criticism as well as a discussion about accountability; Jes Skolnik does an amazing job of breaking it down via Medium.
Meet The ACLU Employee Who Is Also A Rockstar
Pinky Weitzman is the deputy director of the ACLU, in charge of helping the organization adapt to the modern age. She’s been described as one of its “greatest digital minds.” She’s also a touring member of the Magnetic Fields, and performs with other big-name musicians and in musicals. Instead of taking a break from the ACLU to go on a Magnetic Fields tour, after the election, she decided to take on both roles simultaneously. Read the NBC feature on Weitzman here.
Pink Floyd’s Animals Inspires Protest Art
A Chicago architect wants to relieve the city- at least for a day- of seeing the Trump Tower logo. Jeffrey Roberts is still seeking the city’s approval for his “Flying Pigs on Parade,” which entails tethering several huge, gold, inflatable pigs to a barge to block the letters of Trump’s name. The project was inspired by Pink Floyd’s use of a pig balloon for their 1997 album Animals, and Roger Waters has given Roberts his approval and permission.
This Fyre Festival Situation Keeps Getting Weirder
First came the memes, then the first-hand accounts from attendees and former staff. Then came the offer to give guests VIP tickets for next year in lieu of a refund – an offer that people are actually taking them up on, even though the organizers have been banned from doing business in the Bahamas – plus the expected lawsuits against the festival. But there’s even more; an article for Vanity Fair reveals that Fyre is also a company that provides “talent” to businesses trying to advertise through the more-subtle product placement of products in a pretty person’s Instagram. They call these people Fyre Starters, and some are also being sued for promoting a model-filled Bahamas getaway of a festival that turned out to be a few tents and an inadequate water supply. These influencers allegedly failed to mark their posts as sponsored content, and were obviously a misrepresentation.
How Taking Away The ACA Affects Musicians
The Chicago Reader reports that before the ACA, musicians were more than twice as likely to be uninsured, and a study conducted before the act passed “concluded that uninsured working-age adults have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured peers.” While a famous rockstar might not have it so bad, the article also stresses that the average musician is definitely not wealthy, getting their income from multiple, sometimes unreliable sources and may not be able to have a full-time job that provides insurance because they have to, you know, tour a lot. Read more about how the ACA can be crucial to keep your favorite struggling artists insured, including the stories of real Chicago musicians, here.
RIP Col. Bruce Hampton & Kevin Garcia
Bruce Hampton was considered the “grandaddy of the jam band scene,” regarded for his surrealist music and for mentoring many musicians. He collapsed onstage during a concert celebrating his own 70th birthday, on April 30th. Read his full obituary here.
Kevin Garcia was a founding member of the band Grandaddy, who died on Tuesday after suffering a stroke. The band has cancelled their upcoming tour for March’s Last Place, and wrote a heartfelt message about the bassist you can read here.
“Wicked or weakness, you gotta see this.” Last night, the rapper released “Humble,” a visually stunning video that features Lamar dressed as a pope and recreating the last supper, among other things. The songs itself is full of low-key bravado, instructing other unnamed artists to “be humble.” Watch below:
How Will Brexit Affect The UK Music Scene?
The answer is, badly. If Britain leaves the EU, it could be harder for musicians to tour across Europe due to visa issues and stricter border control, and it could lead to “currency fluctuation and/or devaluation alongside other commercial restrictions [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][that] will impact first and foremost on new bands taking trying to break into Europe.” The situation slightly mirrors the recent struggles of international artists who were turned back as they tried to attend SXSW. Read more about the Brexit situation here.
Union Hall Cancels Shows Due To Fire
The cause has yet to be disclosed, but a fire that broke out last Friday has forced the Park Slope venue to cancel all April shows. Luckily, there were no injuries. A statement by the venue says they hope to reopen as quickly as possible, but they’re still assessing the damage.
Bob Dylan’s Triplicate Comes Out Today
Yes, it’s another album of covers: 30 of them, to be exact. Dylan did an interview with Bill Flanagan last week, and revealed some details and intent behind it, such as that the album was recorded live, with no overdubs, and “these songs are meant for the man on the street, the common man, the everyday person.” Dylan adds, “Maybe that is a Bob Dylan fan, maybe not, I don’t know.” Listen to Triplicate’s “My One And Only Love” below.
It’s that time of year again- Northside Festival is back in Brooklyn, and while you’ve probably heard about high profile artists like Conor Oberst and Brian Wilson playing in McCarren park, or Deradoorian covering Black Sabbath at Rough Trade, here’s ten other shows you shouldn’t miss.
Cloud Becomes Your Hand makes slightly weird, unapologetically different music that sounds like it came from a different world. Or, if you go by the band’s own description, “a renaissance faire acid trip underwater in grandma’s winnebago.” Stream their latest release, Rest In Fleas, here.
This amazing guitarist brings the energy of punk rock to improvisational music, creating a seamless blend of genres and moods that vary from jazzy to psychedelic within seconds. Check out Director here.
PWR BTTM @ The Lyft Stage (Williamsburg Walks, 4pm)
This free event takes place on Bedford Avenue and N. 5th Street and on Saturday will feature acts Petal, Benny Sings, Pity Sex- and of course PWR BTTM, who needs no introduction; their glittery reputation precedes them wherever they go.
Katie Lau records each part of Painted Zeros’ music before bringing it to a live band to learn and perform.Her latest release, Floriography, is a beautifully earnest album. Lau also recently participated in a performance piece orchestrated by Naama Tsabar on the 14th Street High Line; musicians would stand on their amps throughout the area and all play the same composition at once.
Turbo Goth is a duo originally from the Philippines that specialize in dark electronic music- and as we learned from our interview with them, frontwoman Sarah Gaugler is also an awesome tattoo artist as well.
Sometimes the only way to talk about a band is to quote directly from their bio: “Haybaby is a band of total babes that play honey-ass heartbreak crooning sometimes screamy sludgy pop & slop rock that will make you have some feelings.” If that’s not enough, check out “Joke/Rope.”