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Backxwash Wins 2020 Polaris Music Prize - Pitchfork
The Montreal-via-Zambia artist won for her 2020 LP God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
Backxwash has been awarded the 2020 Polaris Music Prize for her latest LP God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It. Watch the video for her song Amen below. This is the Montreal-based, Zambia-born artists first Polaris Music Prize nomination and win. The award is presented annually to the best Canadian album as decided by a jury of Canadian journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and programmers. She beat out records from U.S. Girls (Heavy Light) and Jessie Reyez (Before Love Came to Kill Us), as well as previous winners Caribou (Suddenly), Kaytranada (Bubba), Lido Pimienta (Miss Colombia), and more. The long list of nominees was shared in June, and narrowed down to the short list in July. Prize winners receive $50,000 CAD, with those on the short list receiving $3,000 CAD. Read Why You Need to Know Lido Pimienta, Who Just Won Canadas Most Important Music Prize on the Pitch.
BTS Are the First K-Pop Group to Hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 - Pitchfork
“Dynamite” debuted atop the charts with the biggest digital sales week since September 2017
BTS are officially the first allSouth Korean group ever to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, as Billboard reports. The K-pop bands Dynamite debuted atop the chart with 33.9 million U.S. streams and 300,000 sold in its first week, according to Billboard via Nielsen Music/MRC Data. In addition, Billboard reports that its the biggest digital sales week since September 2017 when Taylor Swift sold 353,000 units for Look What You Made Me Do. BTS released Dynamite on August 21, along with a colorful music video. The visual broke YouTubes 24-hour streaming record with 101.1 million views in the first day. BTS performed Dynamite for the first time during the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards broadcast on Sunday, August 30. Their most recent studio album MAP OF THE SOUL : 7 came out earlier this year. Read BTS: How the Biggest Boy Band in the World Stays Radically Korean over on the Pitch.
Drake and Lil Durk Share Video for New Song “Laugh Now Cry Later” - Pitchfork
The video was shot in Nike World Headquarters in Oregon
Following the release of Dark Lane Demo Tapes, Drake has shared a new collaboration with Lil Durk that he says will appear on his next album. That album is apparently called Certified Lover Boy, and the new song is called Laugh Now Cry Later. The songs new Dave Meyers-directed video was filmed at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon and features Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Marshawn Lynch. Check it out below. Just before releasing Dark Lane Demo Tapes, Drake announced that his next studio album is slated to arrive this summer, though he hasnt offered any further updates. It will mark the proper follow-up to his 2018 LP Scorpion. Recently, hes made guest appearances on a handful of other tracks by DJ Khaled (GREECE and POPSTAR), Popcaan (ALL I NEED and TWIST & TURN), and Headie One (Only You Freestyle). Dark Lane Demo Tapesa 14-track mixtape featuring guest appearances by Future, Playboi Carti, Young Thug, and moreincludes Toosie Slide, DesiresWhen to Say When, Chicago Freestyle, and War, and features production by Southside, Pierre Bourne, Noah 40 Shebib, and Plain Pat, among others. Read 5 Takeaways From Drakes New Mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes over on the Pitch. This article was originally published on August 14 at 12:02 a.m. Eastern. It was last updated on August 14 at 12:29 a.m. Eastern.
Listen to the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page’s Previously Unreleased Song “Scarlet” - Pitchfork
Their 1974 collaboration with the Led Zeppelin guitarist appears on the upcoming reissue of Goats Head Soup
The Rolling Stones have shared Scarlet, a previously unreleased song recorded in October 1974 featuring Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Hear it below. Scarlet will appear on the upcoming reissue of the Stones 1973 album Goats Head Soup. Reflecting on the unearthed track, Mick Jagger wrote, I remember first jamming this with Jimmy and Keith in Ronnies basement studio. It was a great session. Keith Richards commented, My recollection is we walked in at the end of a Zeppelin session. They were just leaving, and we were booked in next and I believe that Jimmy decided to stay. We werent actually cutting it as a track, it was basically for a demo, a demonstration, you know, just to get the feel of it, but it came out well, with a line up like that, you know, we better use it. The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup reissue is out September 4 (via Polydor/Interscope/UMe). Read Pitchforks Sunday Review of Tattoo You.
BET Awards 2020: Watch Megan Thee Stallion Perform “Girls in the Hood” and “Savage” - Pitchfork
Meg’s Mad Max-esque segment was shot in an apocalyptic desert landscape
Megan Thee Stallion appeared on the virtual edition of the BET Awards broadcast tonight (June 28). She performed her recent single Girls in the Hood as well Savage (featuring Beyoncés vocals from the remix edition). The post-apocalyptic segment featured futuristic cars, motorbikes, and a desert landscape à la Road Warrior. Check it out below. Earlier tonight, Megan Thee Stallion took home the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. Meg shared Girls in the Hood earlier this week. Her latest studio album Suga came out in March, and has since received a chopped and screwed remix. In April, Beyoncé hopped on the remix of Savage. Read The Thrill of Megan Thee Stallions Real-Time Rise over on the Pitch. Find the full list of this years BET Awards winners here.
Grammys to Rename “Urban Contemporary” Category “Progressive R&B” - Pitchfork
“Latin Pop,” conversely, has been renamed “Latin Pop and Urban”
The Grammys has announced sweeping changes to its rules and guidelines, including the renaming of several categories. Most conspicuously, Best Urban Contemporary Album has been renamed Best Progressive R&B Album, a move intended to describe the merit or characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves, according to a press release. The category formerly known as Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album has had its urban designation removed, though Latin Pop has been renamed Latin Pop and Urban. When reached by Pitchfork, a Recording Academy representative said that the Latin Pop and Urban designation could still be amended going forward. The definition for Best Progressive R&B Album describes records with the more progressive elements of R&B, which may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music as well as production elements found in pop, euro-pop, country, rock, folk, and alternative. The announcement makes no explicit reference to criticisms of urban as a musical descriptor. Last month, Republic Records dropped the term in reference to Black music, citing its generalization of Black people in many sectors of the music industry, including employees and music by Black artists. In a statement to Variety, the Grammys interim president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the change was decided last month. The time frame of our process is that proposals are turned in by March, theyre discussed [internally at annual board meetings] in May, and now were talking about them publicly, so these are things that have been in the works for six months, Mason said. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for the Recording Academy for further comment. Elsewhere, Best Rap/Sung Performance has been renamed Best Melodic Rap Performance, referring to solo and collaborative performances containing... a strong and clear presence of melody combined with rap cadence. The Best New Artist category has lifted its limit on number of prior releases, leaving eligibility to be determined by screening committees. And the Nominations Review Committee is now required to fill out conflict of interest forms, according to the press release. The Recording Academy has been in turmoil since the firing of former president and CEO Deborah Dugan, who filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in January alleging discrimination by the academy and its members. She claimed, among other things, that longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich tried to use his position to influence nomination votes in the Record, Album, and Song of the Year categories.
Beyoncé Addresses Protesters, Music Industry Sexism in 2020 Graduation Speech: Watch - Pitchfork
“Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that black lives matter.”
Beyoncé was among the speakers for Barack and Michelle Obamas YouTube Dear Class of 2020 virtual graduation ceremony today. During her commencement address, she discussed the protests surrounding the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Watch her entire speech below. Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that black lives matter, she said. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others have left us all broken. It has left the entire country searching for answers. Weve seen that our collective hearts, when put to positive action, could start the wheels of change. Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today. She also discussed sexism in the music industry. The entertainment business is still very sexist, she said. Its still very male-dominated and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to what I knew I had to do. To run my label and management company, to direct my films and produce my tours, that meant ownershipowning my masters, owning my art, owning my future and writing my own story. Not enough black women had a seat at the table. So I had to go and chop down that wood and build my own table. Then I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlook and waiting to be seen. The event also featured Barack and Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, BTS, Lady Gaga, Chloe x Halle, Lizzo, and Katy Perry. Find resources in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism, including a list of organizations to donate to if youre able, here.
Is There a Safe Way to Throw Socially Distanced Shows? - Pitchfork
As one Arkansas theater and small clubs in Seoul move forward with concerts, we talked to doctors, venue owners, and booking agents about the safety of such events.
Last weekend, in a corner of Brooklyns Prospect Park called the Drummers Grove, a group of about nine djembe players, dancers, and flautists dug into a syncopated rhythm while an audience of revelers and police looked on. A Respect Social Distance sign fashioned out of a plastic lid hung lopsidedly nearby. Adherence to New York Citys pandemic guidelines was mixed: While the crowd observed in relative safety, only half the drummers wore masks, and none were six feet apart. Even outdoors with plenty of space to spread out, a casual jam session was rife with risk. So how are we to imagine formalized indoor shows with hundreds of people anytime soon? One venue in Fort Smith, Arkansas is venturing a guess. On May 15, Travis McCready, singer of the recently disbanded Southern rock group Bishop Gunn, is scheduled to play an intimate show at TempleLive, a former Masonic Temple in the small citys downtown. The venue will operate at a 20 percent capacity, selling only 229 tickets out of a possible 1,100 and staggering groups of pod seating six feet apart. A security guard who is also an EMT will check temperatures at the door, a third party will disinfect the space with foggers before and after the performance, and masks will be required for all adults. There are a slew of other precautions, from touchless bathroom dispensers to prepackaged beverages. Arkansas was one of the few states not to mandate a stay-at-home order during the nationwide coronavirus outbreak. The governor has already offered a directive regarding the opening of large indoor venuesbut that does not go into effect until May 18, three days after the McCready concert, and it caps the crowd at 50 people. On Tuesday evening, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health issued a cease and desist order to TempleLive indicating that the McCready show was not compliant with Health Directives, and failure to obey the order could result in the loss of food and liquor licenses, and additional fines or jail time. Update: After insisting that the show will go on, TempleLive personnel announced Thursday afternoon that they are planning to move the performance to May 18, pending state approval. Asked last week about the audience risks associated with the concert, Mike Brown, a TempleLive representative, told me, Im more concerned about people dying in their car on the way to the show. Your likelihood of getting into a crash is way higher than contracting and dying from COVID-19 at this show. Dr. Michael Saccente, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, called the show a bad idea. Think about the challenges of enforcing social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand hygiene in the setting of a concert, he added. When we spoke last week, Travis McCready defended his position to play: I wouldnt be a part of something thats not taking everyones health seriously. There are a lot less precautions being taken at your local Walmart. Reached again on Wednesday at a hotel in Fort Smith, McCready was uncertain if he will defy the cease and desist order: If [Mike Brown and TempleLive] are going to fight the law, whats it gonna look like for me? I dont want to get into serious trouble about this thing, but I want to play some music for some people. The TempleLive show is the first U.S. attempt at establishing what a post-coronavirus concert might look like. Venues across the country remain closed, and many states stay-at-home orders are still in place. In New York, the hardest-hit state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has placed arts and entertainment spaces in the fourth phase of reopenings, which could be months down the line. At the moment, large swaths of the live music industry are waiting on local and state guidelines for safe reopening. Major concert presenters are eyeing 2021 for a proper return to touring. The complex reality of a musician traveling through multiple regions of the country is near-impossible to imagine without a more coordinated government response to the pandemic. Without a vaccine, the big problem leads back to the lack of comprehensive COVID-19 testing. With the current state of our testing and ongoing community transmission in many parts of the U.S., we are not in a place to safely hold large group events, Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer, an infectious disease treatment specialist, tells me. There are too many infection control concerns with a small, crowded venue, let alone a larger stadium show. Seattle-based virologist Dr. Joshua Schiffer thinks that while it may be feasible for a venue to test staff daily, I dont think that there are existing methods to completely protect members of the audience from each other. In contrast, until this past weekend, live music in Seoul, South Korea was happening every night. Held as a shining example of disease management, South Koreas response to COVID-19 included widespread testing, aggressive and high-tech contact tracing of positive carriers, and government-sponsored quarantine care packages for those who tested positive. But even in a country with a state-of-the-art virus response, a recent outbreak centered around nightclubs in the Itaewon area of Seoul has raised questions about the viability of public, indoor gatherings. A single positive carrier exposed 1,500 people in one night. Throughout the pandemic, Seoul has never mandated a complete shutdown. Restaurants remain open with reduced capacities; many small café venues are technically classified as restaurants, which gives them the option to continue live events. Only larger, music-exclusive venues, like Club FF, have been required to close. Despite the Itaewon outbreak, venues in other parts of Seoullike pop and rock clubs Jebidebang and Hippytokki and jazz-focused cafe Positive Zero Loungeare still hosting intimate concerts. J. Lee, the owner of Hippytokki, says that while 75 percent of their shows over the next two weeks have been cancelled or postponed in light of the latest COVID-19 flare-up, Hippytokki will still operate at a capacity of 20 to 25 people if a scheduled band still wants to perform. We do temperature checks at the door, we provide alcohol-based sanitizer and hand wipes, and the audience has to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking, says Lee. We also take their info and hold onto it for a few weeks [for contact tracing] in case the person tests positive later. I dont think I need to do all these things, but its part of the governments recommendation. Music festivals offer a whole other, seemingly insurmountable challenge, but in the South Korean province of Gangwon, the DMZ Peace Train Music Festival is still gearing up for a 2020 incarnation. The festival will operate at around 60 to 70 percent capacity, with an expectation of 3,000 to 4,000 attendees. We will check for fevers and symptoms, and well have a test booth during the festival, says DMZs Head of Content and Operations Cecilia Soojeong Yi. We will be obsessive about disinfection. It will be strange but we have to find a way. The festivals dates were recently bumped from mid-June to mid-July, and all international acts were cancelled. Still, says Yi, DMZ is the only South Korean festival thats still on track for this season; she claims others are watching how theyre proceeding. In the meantime, the patchwork nature of Americas coronavirus response means that tours here are looking grim. If you wanted me to book a new tour starting now, I would suggest April 2021, says Chicago-based booking agent Mahmood Shaikh of Concerted Efforts, who represents Ted Leo, Jawbox, Boris, and more. The cities that we need financially to make a full U.S. tour work are in New York, California, and Illinois. Maybe we can get some local, regional routes in place, but probably nothing beyond that. The opening up will not be dictated by the music industry. What about earlier in 2021? Thats flu season.