NEWS ROUNDUP: Venues, Videos, New Releases & More

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.

Joe Jackson

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.

NEWS ROUNDUP: Prince, The Grammys & More

  • Prince’s Music Is Now Streaming

    It’s something that was impossible just a week ago: As I write this, I’m listening to Around The World In A Day on Spotify. Prince’s music was formerly streaming only on Tidal, but his estate sued to release it on other streaming services starting last Sunday. On one hand, it’s nice to have easy access to such an iconic artist. But on the other, Prince was notorious for maintaining complete control over how his music was released and distributed as well as made, so it’s hard not to wonder what he’d think of all this.

NEWS ROUNDUP: Award Shows, Tiny Desk Concert, & Eartheater


  • Vote For The Best ‘Tiny Desk Contest’ One-Person Band

    Around this time last year, every social media feed you had was suddenly flooded with home-made videos featuring small desks, coffee tables, or some sort of writing surface. Every friend you had in a band made one, along with everyone who had a thirst for fame and knew a few chords (Obviously, most entries were seriously amazing, even if you found out the hard way your cousin wrote love songs on an out-of-tune ukulele). Well, the whole process was repeated this year, and while you wait for the final winner to be announced, NPR will be letting the public vote on their favorite performers in certain categories. This week, the focus is on one-person bands. You can check them all out here, but here’s one of our favorites:


  • Noisey Breaks Down (More Of) The Music Industry’s Diversity Problem

    In this article, writer Emma Garland discusses the Billboard Power 100 list. Released last week, it doesn’t feature musicians or performers, but “your chairmen, your CEOs, your executives; the people we don’t tend to think about but who spend most of their time influencing everything we hear.” The list is pretty much a bunch of white dudes; the 10 people at the top are white males, 96% of the top 50 are white and just 9% of the people on it are women. Statistics like these shed light on the fact that even in creative industries, there’s some sort of glass ceiling that cannot always be broken. You can check the actual list out here.

  • Courtney Barnett Performs On Stephen Colbert

    The Australian singer/songwriter/bad-ass guitarist didn’t seem at all upset that her nomination for this year’s Best New Artist Grammy award didn’t pan out; on Wednesday, she gave a spirited performance of “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party,” from last year’s Somethings I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.

  • That Little Thing Called The Grammys

    Red Carpet! Crop tops! Swift/Kanye drama! Mic malfunctions, tributes, medleys, and Dave Grohl with…. a Solo cup? A lot of stuff happened that you probably already know about, but make sure you watch Kendrick Lamar’s goosebumps-inducing performance:

  • That Other Thing Called The NME Awards

    NME readers voted 5 Seconds of Summer 2015’s worst band, and Bring Me The Horizon destroyed Coldplay’s table. You can read the full list of winners here. There are some interesting categories like “Best Fan Community,” “Villian of the Year” and the “Godlike Genius” award, which went to Coldplay.

  • Eartheater Releases “Homonyms” Video

    The NYC based artist, whose name is actually Alexandra Drewchin, creates electronic music that is also folky and organic. The video for “Homonyms” features dancers in a beautiful, lush wilderness that seems more like a dream than reality. Her vocals oscillate between hushed whispers and angelic cries, which contribute to the effect. Check it out below: