Overcoming Lockdown: Instagram’s Head of Music Partnerships on Artist Adaptation


Perry Bashkoff, the Head of Music Partnerships at Instagram, talked with Cat Woods over at Blunt Magazine:

“Direct monetisation is something we’re exploring at the moment,” Bashkoff says. “From our product teams to marketing, we’re looking at tools that might provide a solution for artists. For now, we’re encouraging artists to use IGTV, stories and news. Miley and Demi Lovato are just talking to their fans, sometimes for an hour. A lot of our community is asking for donations to charities and organisations doing good, so we’re trying to figure out how to make it easier for people to donate in a simple way.”

What Are the Rules of Social Distancing?


Leslie Goldman, writing at Vox:

The closures are a way to enforce social distancing, a crucially important public health intervention that can help stop coronavirus transmission by avoiding crowds and large gatherings such as weddings, concerts, conferences, sporting events, and mass transit. Best practice requires maintaining at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others.

You may have already come into contact with an infected person — the woman who rode the bike before you at SoulCycle, the kindly fellow who coughed while standing next to you in line at Costco, or someone who touched your mail as it made its way to your mailbox. (At least one study estimates that about 25 percent of transmissions of coronavirus may have occurred in pre-symptomatic stages — meaning it may be spread by people who don’t yet know they have the virus.)

Things are really weird right now. Waking up to the various news headlines on my phone feels impossibly surreal. We’re still trying to figure out everything and what our lives are going to look like going forward. Hannah’s currently in our kitchen doing violin lessons over Skype and I’ve got beach sounds going through my headphones to block out the world and get some work done. I thought this article did a good job walking through how and what our responsibilities and lives should look like going forward in the short to medium term.

Stay safe out there, and wash your damn hands.

Live Nation Planning to Pause All Tours Due to Coronavirus



Recognizing national concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, Live Nation is instructing its touring shows to prepare to return home, Billboard has learned. The announcement affects all Live Nation tours, domestically and internationally.

Earlier Thursday (March 12) the company told employees it is hitting the pause button on current touring arena shows through the end of the month. A few shows will play out Thursday and Friday, but the remainder of the shows starting this weekend will be postponed.

Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Postpone Seasons Due to Coronavirus


The NBA season has been suspended:

The NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of [Wednesday’s] schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement issued shortly after 9:30 p.m. ET. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The baseball season is expected to be suspended:

Major League Baseball is expected to suspend the remainder of spring training Thursday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, sources tell ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Sources tell Passan that they expect the league will likely delay the beginning of the regular season as well.

The MLS is postponed for 30 days:

MLS has suspended its season for 30 days while the U.S. Soccer Federation has canceled scheduled friendlies due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organizations have announced.

The NHL has been suspended:

The NHL has suspended its season because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus but hopes to resume in the future.

There are 189 games and three and a half weeks remaining in the NHL’s regular season. There were 10 games on the NHL slate Thursday.

“The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures,” the league said in a statement. “However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus — and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point — it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.

The college basketball tournaments are being canceled:

The Power 5 leagues — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12 — canceled their men’s basketball conference tournaments on Thursday while a pair of historic schools announced an indefinite shutdown of athletic travel.

This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

Ultra Music Festival Suspended Due to Virus Concerns

Ultra Music Festival is being postponed due to coronavirus:

The 2020 Ultra Music Festival will be postponed — possibly for a full year, which would effectively cancel this year’s edition of Miami’s marquee electronic dance music event, the Miami Herald has learned.

The decision to postpone, which sent shock waves through the electronic dance music community on social media, was made in a meeting Wednesday morning between Miami’s elected leaders and Ultra representatives, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

If this keeps spreading I feel like it will have a huge impact on the music industry. Touring is how many artists make their living. The ramifications could be enormous.

Dashboard Confessional Reflects On “Screaming Infidelities”

Dashboard Confessional

Chris Carrabba talked with Stereogum about the 20-year anniversary of “Screaming Infidelities.”

But 20 years ago, when he was in the thick of it, Carrabba fretted over losing the songs on Swiss Army, two in particular: the addictively self-conscious “Again I Go Unnoticed” and album opener “Screaming Infidelities.” It felt like if those songs disappeared, “the identity of the band would be gone,” he explained. And so he cut two tracks from his already-written second album and went about re-recording those Swiss Army highlights with help from Florida friends Mike Marsh and Dan Bonebrake. “I didn’t overthink it,” Carrabba said. “The lesson that taught me was that there can always be more than one version — and maybe there should be.” (There are two iterations of love-struck fan favorite “Hands Down” too.)

Looking Back at Sum 41’s Congo Documentary

Sum 41

Mike Hohnen, writing for Blunt, looks back at Sum 41’s Congo documentary:

The end result was Rocked: Sum 41 In The Congo, a documentary made in collaboration with NGO War Child Canada. It’s a story that culminates with the band under siege in a hotel room, taking shelter in bath tubs, as warring militias bombarded their surroundings.

“They almost paid with their lives to tell that particular story”, Executive Producer of War Child Canada, Dr. Samantha Nutt recalls of Rocked: Sum 41 In The Congo to Blunt Magazine.

“My job was really to brief them and to provide them with information and to answer their questions, and also to make sure to steward some of the interviews; to make sure that everything was being handled in a sensitive and appropriate way.”

Brian Fallon Talks With Guitar.com

Brian Fallon

Brian Fallon talked with Guitar.com:

Fallon points at the floor of the café, a collage of album sleeves. “That’s what I feel like I am,” he says. “But also books and TV shows, people, and places I’ve been. I feel like that’s what makes me up. It just comes out. Everybody has influences, even if a lot of people pretend they don’t. I’m not about trying to be original with every new thing. I’m not like: ‘I was born fully formed with all my ideas and I didn’t get this from anybody.’”

In 2018, just as Fallon was beginning to conceptualise his next solo move, The Gaslight Anthem regrouped to tour The ’59 Sound in its entirety to celebrate the LP’s 10th birthday. The experience was enormously validating at times but it also steeled his resolve to carry on under his own steam. The run, which featured dates on the east coast of the US, as well as in the UK and Europe, stirred complicated emotions. “It was not fun,” he says, with emphasis.

The 100 Greatest Emo Songs of All Time


Vulture put together a list of the “100 greatest emo songs” of all time. By and large, pretty damn good list. It’s full of great songs and there’s some massive nostalgia factor in there. Obviously, I have a pretty strong attachment to this genre of music. And, I thought the authors handled the issue of Brand New about the best you can:

Initially, they were considered a viable candidate because telling the story of emo without Brand New would be like making a 1980s list without Thriller. “More broadly speaking, there’s a difference between not supporting a band going forward and writing them out of history,” Garland noted. But on further reflection, this isn’t simply a historical account of emo, but rather a series of subjective opinions organized to quantify greatness. Especially after witnessing Leaving Neverland and Surviving R. Kelly in the time since the initial voting, it became impossible to include Brand New on this list and not replicate the same mistake that’s plagued popular music throughout history — condoning an artist’s actions and minimizing the victims if the music’s good enough.

This is a topic I think about a lot and I still have no good answers. I keep thinking one will come, but maybe I’m just lying to myself that I’ll be able to think my way to some kind of clarity. I’ve started and stopped various essays on this topic multiple times because I still feel too close to it and it always ends up with me in a weird headspace. But, how the authors handled this feels right to me.

Federico Viticci’s Must-Have Apps of 2019


One of my favorite features every year is Federico Viticci’s “Must-Have Apps” over at MacStories. I always end up finding something I didn’t know about and put into my workflow. This year I’ll be looking into moving my bookmarks over into Raindrop.io because the current state of native apps for Pinboard is awful.

This entire story features a collection of the 50 apps I consider my must-haves on the iPhone and iPad, organized in seven categories; whenever possible, I included links to original reviews and past coverage on MacStories.

If you’re looking for great new apps, this is a must read.

Anti-Flag Talk New Album


Anti-Flag sat down with Alt Press to talk about their new album:

Our previous record had come out not that long ago, and it really wasn’t on any of our minds to sit down and write another record so quickly. I just think seeing the xenophobia with the way that Trump was talking about asylum seekers in Central America and Mexico, obviously with the separation of the children from their parents [and] keeping children in prisons and cages and the religious discrimination with the Muslim ban caused it all to snowball to the point where the songs were starting to be written. We just felt like when we look back on history, we wanted people to know during this time where we stood and that we didn’t just stay silent. And we also wanted an opportunity to write our own future, you know? Our record is not just a criticism of Donald Trump, although it’s definitely that, but we also try to offer a lot of optimism with the record. When we organize against these things that are obviously crimes against humanity and crimes against our planet, we can write to share them, and we can point things in a positive direction. So when you look at our songs like “Unbreakable” or “20/20 Vision,” you know that “20/20 Vision” is a song about where we could go. And it’s a very different direction than the current administration.

U.S. Music Streams Topped a Trillion in 2019

Anne Steele, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. music streams on services like Spotify Technology AB, Apple Music and YouTube rose 30% last year to top one trillion for the first time, according to Nielsen Music’s annual report, fueled by big releases from artists like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Post Malone.

Streaming services have upended how people listen to and pay for music, and now account for 82% of music consumption in the U.S., according to Nielsen. Sales of physical albums, meanwhile, dropped off 19% in 2019 and now make up just 9% of overall music consumption.