It feels a little flippant to be sending out emails about shows given everything that’s happened in the past few days. There are obviously much bigger things to be worrying about, but at the very least in the coming weeks, I hope to document something of the bigger changes to the live music industry. Please do what’s right for your health, mental and physical. If you can’t read something else about the coronavirus, or all this news about venues shuttering or shows canceling bums you out, feel free to delete or archive this newsletter for the foreseeable future.
Alright, back to our regularly scheduled programming. I sent the last email after a fit of inspiration when SXSW got canceled, so this one is a bit more tempered. I’m still talking about SXSW though, so check out some cool community initiatives in the discourse™️.
Quick disclaimer: shows listed here and in other newsletters might get canceled due to coronavirus related reasons. I’ll do my best to update you when that happens (probably in the Sunday newsletter) but make sure you stay up to date. Please also be aware that with the travel ban on Europe, artists currently touring there that have dates here in the US may have trouble entering the country. Here’s an update on gatherings in NYC:
Really interested in what this means for small venues who have sold-out shows, but I guess we have to see how they respond in the coming days. I have more personal news coming soon (follow me on insta @shortattheshow to hear first!) but for now, here’s a list of shows:
upcoming shows 🎟️
You can find out what shows are happening this week in here!
3/13 | The Murder Capital @ Rough Trade ~ free show and then signing after
3/13 | Stuyedeyed w/ Whiner, LB and a DJ set from GIFT @ Saint Vitus
Pigs x7 headline has been canceled because of the SXSW cancellation.
3/13 | Bipolar & Cheap Sneakers w/ DJs Drew Redmond, Elevator Operator and Dracula II @ TV Eye ~ free, dance party after
3/28 | Grace Ludmila, Hello Mary, and Ritual Boys Club @ East Williamsburg Econolodge ~ DM for addy
4/4 | SPICY Zine 2 Year Anniversary and 2nd Zine Release @ The Meat Market
Not explicitly a show, but there will be DJs and performances announced
4/18 | Mutual Benefit, Winnebago Vacation, Boosegumps, Clara Joy @ Kirby’s Castle ~ DM for addy
4/26 | Bernie Benefit w/ Guerilla Toss, Bodega, Future Punx & A. Savage @ Market Hotel ~ all ages
4/29 | Kal Marks & more TBD @ Saint Vitus ~ 21+
7/1 | TV Girl @ Music Hall of Williamsburg ~ 16+
in my queue 🎶
Sometime after the new year, UK music journalist Ethan Herlock created a list for his newsletter Brum Tears of all the “uk shit” he listened to during the year. That email had been sitting in my inbox for months before I finally got around the listening to the whole list, so here’s one of the songs I really liked from that list.
Listened to the full album and this is for sure one of my top picks — it indulges in a harder sound that is the right amount of snarl and spit for me. Chunky beats and woozy guitars imitate a clouded mind, before breaking into short spurts of aggression. A good ‘me against the world’ song, sounds like having to take the long way home after an incredibly unsatisfying night. Also, sax!
what i’ve read 📖
How booking agents use (and don't use) data ~ by Cherie Hu
Really interested in all the different factors that bookers consider when booking a show. In my experience, an artist’s following on social media (which tech companies would like to argue is indicative of the audience they reach) rarely is a direct reflection of how many people will actually show up live to see them. I also think this depends on which genre the audience is in—but I don’t have any data on that so I won’t make assumptions. Go ahead and read the whole piece for an interesting look at a side of the industry I feel a lot of people don’t know a lot about (me included!). Omg wait, prime example: Justin Bieber, who has 129m followers on Instagram, had to downsize venues on his tour after slow tickets sales.
“By far the most crucial kind of data that agents reference in their day-to-day decision-making is an artist’s touring history — i.e. how many tickets an artist has sold over time, broken down by show, market, time of year, venue, headline vs. opener and other variables. Unlike with, say, how artists can easily inflate their listener counts on streaming services, “the language around booking is usually very straightforward, because it’s off a hard ticket value,” says Berkin. “The typical question is, ‘How many tickets is so-and-so band worth?’”
keywords: booking, touring, data
Do You Even DIY, Bro? ~ by Darcie Wilder
What does it mean to be a DIY musician? Does Musk qualify? What does DIY even mean nowadays? These are all questions that get brought up in the piece, and a lot more. It also hints at a broader question that I’ve been thinking about: What does authenticity look like, and does it really matter for music? Give it a gander:
“Musk’s song is further proof that our conception of what it means to adhere to a DIY ethos, in which we value creation and experimentation over results, is severely lacking in the internet age.”
keywords: DIY, archive, authenticity
If you’re able to work from home, take a moment to read about the hundreds of people who literally can’t afford to do so. I have seen calls for guaranteed paid sick leave, a rent freeze, and a hold on all evictions — all actions that could help mitigate the personal financial cost of this pandemic. Also seeing some horrible reports that people aren’t tipping service workers, who continue to put themselves at risk of contracting this virus so that white-collar workers can order food without leaving their homes. Don’t do that, have some empathy. Vulnerable communities also includes undocumented immigrants and incarcerated peoples, who lack the necessary protections to keep them safe and healthy.
“Retail workers, hospitality workers, transit workers, fast food workers, delivery workers, home health-care workers, and drivers are only some of the public-facing professionals who are at risk during an epidemic, yet they also have the hardest time taking time off work thanks to the precarity of their hourly wage and lack of benefits, such as paid sick leave.”
keywords: labor, unions, coronavirus
what i’ve written📝
This relates to the discourse™️ below, so I’ll keep this brief. I wrote about the SXSW cancellation and one community response to it for AdHoc. You can give it a read here.
BIG NEWS: I’m in print! AdHoc released Issue 30 of its zine and it’s been so hard to keep quiet about this! I got to contribute a few articles that will eventually make their way online, but for now make sure you grab a copy! Hit me up if you want me to sort one out for you :)
AdHoc @adhocfmAdHoc 30 is here! Get life advice from @thegardentwins, make @HalfWaif's favorite solo dinner, and get the latest from @raveena_aurora, @pussyrrriot, Dan Deacon (@ebaynetflix), & more 🥰 cover by @nicole_rifkin, design by @careoh__ 🌸 Learn more here ~ https://t.co/DoJpNqkOE7 https://t.co/Ta3IkIeGyA
Okay so earlier I sent out a newsletter to bring people up to date on SXSW’s cancellation, and it’s broader impact. Since the cancellation announcement, there have been a number of different efforts across the music community to mitigate the financial hit that many are sure to experience.
For those wondering, SXSW will not be issuing refunds for your tickets but you have the option to defer for any of the festivals in the next three years. Also in terms of a quantifiable impact of the cancellation, I’d recommend reading about how bands have organized entire album campaigns and tours around the festival, and how SXSW had to fire at least 50 of its employees following the cancellation. Rolling Stone has a continuously updating list of all the different entertainment events that have been postponed due to coronavirus concerns, and an article that discusses how this will impact all facets of the music industry.
Here are some (not all) community responses since SXSW got canceled:
Anna Brozek, the CEO of Big Cartel, has offered to give artists affected by the SXSW cancellation a few free months on Big Cartel. If you are interested you can contact her on Twitter for more info.
I got tipped off by Women in Sound to this incredible spreadsheet of resources for freelance artists that was compiled by Nicole Brewer, Anne Marie Lonsdale, Quanice Floyd, Tiffany Wilhelm, Brian Herrera, Hannah Fenlon, and Clementine Bordeaux. It's crowdsourced, so add anything that could give freelancers you know a boost.
Arlene's Grocery is offering to offer free entry to any event there between 3/13-3/20 to anyone who can provide proof of a canceled flight or proof of event tickets to any official SXSW events. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The good people at Independent Venue Week are offering to help artists impacted by the cancellation find new bills to play on. You can contact them email@example.com.
Hotel Lux are looking to organize an event in the UK for any other acts that were heading to SXSW. A quick note: in the Instagram post announcing this, they mention that their visas are explicitly to play SXSW so they can't play any other shows.
NME and The 100 Club have put together a showcase to support artists impacted by SXSW. It’ll take place on March 22nd, and while the line-up hasn’t been announced yet you can read more about the event here.
For UK bands who received PRS Foundation funding to travel to SXSW, the organization has written a handy FAQ for any SXSW cancellation related questions. I would recommend giving it a read even if you aren’t in a band, to understand how international bands will maneuver in the coming weeks. It’s especially helpful for understanding the distinction between a B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa and a P or O visa.
Space Bomb Records is offering free studio time to bands impacted by the SXSW cancellation. Studios are in Richmond, VA and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I’d like to reiterate that this will probably impact smaller artists the most—if you’ve been eyeing a vinyl or some merch for a while, now is the perfect time to buy it. If you can go to shows, continue showing out unless the government deems it unsafe. Please do what you feel is best for you and your loved ones.
Dan Ozzi has done the Lord’s work and created a Twitter thread of every time Bernie Sanders thanks a band for their music. Read the entire thread here, and see one below:
Anna Burch @annaisaburchI've never been so happy hearing my name mispronounced lol what a damn dream ✨ https://t.co/sovDgHqnln
The question this week is:
What’s your dream line-up?
Comment on the thread here. I’ll start, so find my answer there :)
I’m stuck at home most of the week now that my university has suspended in-person courses, so hopefully, I will have more time to work on this. I’m also interested (like Cherie Hu is) about how concerts may potentially go digital as the government’s best response to this pandemic is social isolation.
Worried about how that will impact venues, and also worried about how many bands are hurting financially as festival season gets slashed. If you’re committed to going to concerts during this time, I’d like to hear from you. I’m going to be going (until people tell me not to) because I’m mostly convinced the soap at Market Hotel completely strips your hands completely clean of anything living.
Also, a number of venues have been releasing statements on enhanced cleaning procedures so they can continue operating during this pandemic—if you are worried, I would recommend asking what the venue is doing to prioritize public health before attending a show. Anyways, reply to this email and let me know how you’re feeling.