Monday, March 30, 2020

John Prine Has COVID-19

John Prine is a national treasure.
Country legend John Prine is in critical condition after “a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms.”
Prine’s family revealed the news with a statement on Twitter. “John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26),” reads the note. “He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical.”
I went back and read about his struggles with cancer, and the devastating surgery that he had. It's a wonder Prine has been able to perform at a high level, given his underlying conditions over the years. This is tragic and sad.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


I don't have any insight into the, but an Oasis reunion concert won't happen until COVID-19 is under some sort of control. I don't think any gigs are happening until we get to that point.

Having said that, I very much doubt that this argument is going to move Noel Gallagher into reunion mode. He seems to be releasing the last of his experimental EPs and is ready to go into semi-retirement until something compels him to play live in front of people and record new music. It will all be done on his timetable and that's that.

Using shame or the promise of giving the proceeds to charity is a bit underhanded. Both of the Gallagher brothers could join in with other artists and play sets with their respective bands. An Oasis show would accomplish what, exactly? The larger the venue, the larger the overhead, so while it is true that they could raise significant amounts of money, it would create a logistical problem. How do you accommodate everyone who wants to see it and how do you raise charity funds from such a thing when you're going to need to do multiple shows at a massive venue?

Really, there are better ways to support the NHS and the people who need help. Planning for a theoretical show when we don't know when it will be safe for people to congregate once again is a pipe dream right now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Michael Stipe With Four Important Points

Listen to Michael:

To sum it all up:

1. Stay at home.

2. Wash your hands for 20 seconds every time you come into or out of your house.

3. Act like you’re already sick. Stay 6 feet away from everyone at all times. 

4. Be careful where you get your information from.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Go Out and Pay For Some Music if You Can

This is important to remember. Everyone around you, all of the things you depend on and enjoy, are under massive stress right now. If you can, please go out and buy some music to help your favorite musicians navigate the closures that are cutting off their income at this critical time:
Amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19 – and an increasing number of restrictions around large gatherings around the world – the music industry is suffering. Last week saw the cancellation of SXSW, in Austin, Texas – a devastating blow for new artists trying to make their mark in the US. Soon after came the postponement of Coachella – and today Record Store Day has also been postponed. Meanwhile, a huge number of artists are pulling imminent tour dates due to public health.
BTS, Madonna, Bombay Bicycle Club, Billie Eilish, and Tool are among the many acts who have been forced to cancel or postpone tour dates. Here’s a definitive list of the affected shows so far. Indie musicians and DIY acts are being particularly hit hard by the pandemic: many rely on touring – and merch stand takings along the way – as a major source of income. During a difficult time for music, we asked some artists how fans can help them out.
If fans want to help out artists affected by cancelled tour dates “they should buy merch and records directly, from artists’ websites, or sites like Bandcamp” says Brooke Bentham. The London-based musician has been forced to cancel a handful of European live dates in support of debut album ‘Everyday Nothing’. “Often, that money goes directly into the pockets of musicians.”
Now, I want to caution some people that there are scams out there. Music services have imploded in the last few years. The best thing to do is go to a musician's personal website and see if they are selling merchandise under their own control. Or if they are linked to a reputable service that handles their sales.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Glastonbury 2020

What would do if they cancelled Glastonbury this year? It certainly looks like that might happen, given the acceleration of the spread of coronavirus.

This will be an historic festival, given the presence of Diana Ross and Paul McCartney along with Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar as headliners.

Here's to the idea of postponing Glastonbury instead of cancelling it altogether. Still ten times better than anything Coachella can offer.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Put and End to This Madness

If Led Zeppelin had been more of a progressive rock band, playing their folk-injected blues for small crowds in Southern England before breaking up after a handful of low-selling albums, you would never have heard of this nonsense:
A US appeals court has reinstated a ruling that British rockers Led Zeppelin did not steal part of their song Stairway to Heaven from another band.
The San Francisco 11-judge panel affirmed a 2016 judgment that found no proof the classic 1971 Zeppelin song breached the copyright of Taurus, written by Randy Wolfe from a Los Angeles band called Spirit.
In 2018 that ruling was overturned by a three-judge panel in San Francisco, which said certain instructions to the district court jury had been “erroneous and prejudicial”, and failed to clarify that the arrangement of elements in the public domain could be considered original.

Led Zeppelin took the case to a larger panel whose decision on Monday, based on the 1909 Copyright Act, put the original ruling back in place.
Stairway to Heaven is estimated to have grossed $3.4m during the five-year period that was at issue in the earlier civil trial.
The Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page – who was sued along with the group’s singer Robert Plant and another surviving bandmate, John Paul Jones – testified in 2016 that the chord sequence in question had “been around forever”.
But Wolfe’s trustee, Michael Skidmore, said the songs had similar chord progressions and Page may have written Stairway to Heaven after hearing Taurus while Led Zeppelin and Spirit toured together.
“Obviously the court got it wrong,” said the trustee’s lawyer, Francis Malofiy. “This is a big loss for creators, those who copyright laws are meant to protect.” Malofiy said he may appeal to the US supreme court.
I have no doubt that Skidmore will continue this fight with all of the tenacity of a copyright troll, and for good reason. There are tens of millions of dollars at stake, perhaps more than a hundred million. The problem is, the audience for Led Zeppelin is fading away and the value of Stairway to Heaven is disappearing. I have no doubt that there are twenty-somethings who love the song, but it's not a generational thing like it was forty to fifty years ago.

The window is closing, and Skidmore is going to milk this for all it's worth. This is actually destructive for artists, in my opinion, because there really are ripoffs out there and if this case establishes too many negative precedents, then other artists could suffer.