Yeah Yeah Yeahs share ‘Blacktop’ video and announce US and European shows

She continued: “It wasn’t intended to end up as a video and as a return to the earliest visuals from the record it completes a circle, we’re so happy we have it, a simple layered performance for a deceptively simple song. We hope you enjoy.”

Check out the video for ‘Blacktop’ below:

In addition, the band will be embarking on a US tour in May, followed by a Japanese festival date and a handful of other European shows. This includes their already announced appearance at All Points East in London’s Victoria Park, which they will be playing on August 25.

You can see the full list of dates below and buy your tickets here.

MAY
3  – Washington, DC – The Anthem
5 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Music Festival
7 – Houston, TX  – 713 Music Hall 
9 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory 
12 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Block Party
13 – Pasadena, CA – Just Like Heaven
26 – Allston, MA – Boston Calling Music Festival

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JUNE
1 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
3 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory 
5 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre 
7 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Live 
8 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield 
10 – Berkeley, CA – The Greek Theatre 

JULY
28-30 – Yuzawa, JP – Fuji Rock Festival

AUGUST
25 – London, England – All Points East
26 – Paris, France – Rock en Seine
28 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
29 – Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle

 

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Worst Party Ever cancel shows due to frontman’s “toxic” behaviour

“I created a very toxic environment and caused a lot of pain and trauma to both of their lives by love bombing and trying to get them to continue seeing me.”

All future tours will be cancelled and will be refunded at the point of purchase. it’s important to put mental health before everything and have accountability when you fuck up. pic.twitter.com/550S4jsyWv

— worst party ever (@wrstprtyevr) February 2, 2023

He continued: “within my long term relationship with my partner of two years, l’ve consistently invalidated their emotions and avoided conflict by shutting down and creating a toxic environment for her. my [behaviour] was inexcusable and it’s wrong to be such a selfish individual. it’s important for me to take accountability and seek professional help to not allow this to happen again. I’ve constantly talked about therapy and [counselling] but have never followed through. it’s important to know the damage that i’ve caused people, and the consequences of my actions. I’m incredibly sorry to my long term partner and the people involved in the situation.

“I am now going to focus on therapy and bettering myself as a human being, as I’ve done irreparable damage to people that cared about me.”

Worst Party Ever were a DIY, indie-emo project from consisted of Schueneman, Michael Galvano, Benjamin Durshimer, and Kyle Meggison. While members and lineups have changed over the years, Schueneman has remained the band’s frontman and rhythm guitarist since their debut release in 2014.

Their last album, Dartland, was released in 2022.

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For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

For help and advice on mental health:

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Call for more US venues to stop taking cut of artist merch sales

In the UK, a campaign was launched by the Featured Artists Coalition last year to encourage venues to let artists take home 100 per cent of profits from merch sales, which The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess has been a particularly notable supporter of. The FAC runs a directory of venues that don’t take a cut of artists’ merch profits, which venues can sign up to by filling out a form.

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans performs supporting Liam Gallagher at Etihad Stadium on June 01, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

The campaign then extended to North America via an alliance with the Union Of Musicians And Allied Workers in the US and rapper Cadence Weapon in Canada. Artists involved with the campaign are hopeful that the decision by Ineffable Live can encourage other venues in America to make the same move.

Speaking to Complete Music Update, Cadence Weapon said: “I have personally felt the pain of hitting the road with countless expenses, only to show up to a venue and be told that they’ll be taking 20% of my merch sales. With the help of UMAW in the US and FAC in the UK, we have built a database of venues and festivals who say no to taking a merch cut from bands.

“I hope that the wonderful decision by Ineffable Music Group to end the practice will encourage other similar companies to do the same,” he continued. “A healthier music ecosystem is possible, one where the wellbeing of bands is more important than the bottom line”.

FAC’s CEO David Martin also responded to the news in an interview with the publication. “Having partnered with UMAW in the US and Cadence Weapon in Canada to launch a North American leg of the campaign, we are only seeing the support for our calls grow”, he said. “It is now time to end these outdated practices and work towards a healthier and more equitable live touring ecosystem”.

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At the same hearing, senators quoted Taylor Swift lyrics in reference to the issues with Ticketmaster during the ‘Eras’ tour sale that led to the hearing taking place. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was one of the two senators that called for the hearing, quoted Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ in her opening statement, while another referenced her song ‘Anti-Hero’. Richard Blumenthal said: “Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror, and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me.”

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New Order announce SXSW appearance and US shows for March 2023

You can also find further information on tickets for SXSW here.

We are delighted to announce four shows in North America this March throughout Texas and in New Orleans.

Tickets are available via pre-sale from 01/28 at 10am local using the code; TRUEFAITH. General sale begins 02/03 at 10am Local.

Find out more at https://t.co/FkDO3PZQ8M pic.twitter.com/2Mhb6JkCXZ

— New Order (@neworder) January 25, 2023

New Order will play:

MARCH
9 – The Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas
11 – AT&T Center, San Antonio
13-18 – South By Southwest Music Festival
16 – 713 Music Hall, Houston
18 – Orpheum Theater, New Orleans

Meanwhile, New Order recently released a ‘Blue Monday’-themed t-shirt in support of mental health charity CALM.

The new piece of merchandise is the work of Factory Records graphic designer Peter Saville and based upon the design for the band’s legendary 1983 track.

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100 per cent of proceeds from the t-shirt will go to CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), and it’s available to pre-order here until February 17.

New Order said of the shirt: “We are proud to be ambassadors for CALM and honoured to be using ‘Blue Monday’ to help raise awareness for the brilliant work they do to support millions of people struggling with their mental health.”

Last year, New Order’s Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris appeared in Parliament to discuss mental health and suicide prevention on the 42nd anniversary of the death of their Joy Division bandmate Ian Curtis.

Meanwhile, an expanded edition of their 1985 album ‘Low-Life’ is due to be released this Friday (January 27).

The band’s third album will be repackaged and reissued with the collection including LP, 2CD and 2DVD versions, along with a special book.

Also being released are a number of 12 inch singles, including ‘Shellshock’, ‘Sub-Culture’ and ‘The Perfect Kiss’. Those limited edition records are available to order now here.

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Puscifer announce UK, Europe and US tour

Puscifer have also announced a release date for their new remix album, ‘Existential Reckoning: Re-Wired’. It’ll be available on March 31 via Puscifer Entertainment / Alchemy Recordings / BMG.

The album, which is a re-imagining of 2020’s ‘Existential Reckoning’, is set to include collaborators like Trent Reznor, Bring Me The Horizon‘s Jordan Fish and Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Troy Van Leeuwen.

European & U.S. tour dates coming this Spring, tickets on-sale Jan. 20 at 10 am local time. See the dates here: https://t.co/OqJq9qlNaq pic.twitter.com/GzqZ674iox

— PUSCIFER (@puscifer) January 11, 2023

In other news, Puscifer shared the music video for Carina Round’s version of ‘A Singularity’, which was shot and compiled by Maynard James Keenan in tribute to his dog.

He said of the video: “On Oct 7, 2021, I lost my muse. Deadly Little MiHo lost her two-year battle with pancreatitis and kidney disease. We thought we lost her in late 2019, so I panicked and wrote her this song. We were certain she was done for. But we were blessed with a second chance and a bit more time.

“I rarely share things like this. Too painful. But this one can’t be kept bottled up. As I have mentioned before, she has been hiding in most of my vocal tracks since 2005. She was either in or near the vocal booth every time I tracked. Her sigh, her bark, sniffle, sneeze. Her jingling collar. Her squeaky toys. Usually poorly timed.”

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Puscifer’s 2023 tour dates are:

MAY
Thursday 18 – Daytona Beach, Welcome to Rockville
Tuesday 23 – Asheville, Harrah’s Cherokee Center
Saturday 27 – Columbus, Sonic Temple Festival
Sunday 28 – Northfield, MGM Northfield Park
Tuesday 30 – Rochester, Kodak Center Main Theater

JUNE
Thursday 1 – Baltimore, The Lyric Baltimore
Friday 2 – Atlantic City, Hard Rock Casino
Saturday 3 – Bethlehem, Wind Creek Event Center
Saturday 10 – Dublin, 3Olympia Theatre
Monday 12 – Glasgow, O2 Academy Glasgow
Tuesday 13 – Manchester, Manchester Academy
Thursday 15 – London, TBA
Saturday 17 – Clisson, Hellfest
Tuesday 20 – Copenhagen, Vega
Wednesday 21 – Stockholm, Fryshuset
Monday 26 – Hamburg, Docks
Tuesday 27 – Berlin, Huxleys
Wednesday 28 – Berlin, Huxleys
Friday 30 – Belfort, Eurockeennes Festival

JULY
Saturday 1 – Tilburg, 013 Poppodium Tilburg
Sunday 2 – Werchter, Rock Werchter
Tuesday 4 – Barcelona, Club Razzmatazz
Thursday 6 – Lisbon, Nos Alive Festival
Friday 7 – Madrid, Mad Cool Festival

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Chris Brown’s monkey dealer has his licence revoked following PETA letter

Shortly afterwards, PETA sent a letter to the US Department of Agriculture, urging them to revoke Hammonds’ license to sell exotic animals.

Today (January 6) it’s been confirmed that “the US government has terminated the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licence of Florida-based exotic-animal dealer Jimmy Wayne Hammonds.” This blocks him from legally selling primates for the pet trade for at least the next year.

According to reports, “the decision stems from Hammonds’ guilty pleas to federal charges related to the illegal sale and transport of primates – including his notorious sale of a capuchin monkey to singer Chris Brown.”

“Exotic animals are not pets, playthings, or props for celebrities, and they’re not business transactions either,” said PETA foundation director of captive animal law enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA is celebrating the USDA’s decision to strip this felon of a licence before he could exploit additional vulnerable animals.”

The notorious @chrisbrown was charged with two misdemeanor counts for illegal possession of a monkey.

Exotic 👏 animals 👏 are 👏 NOT 👏 pets 👏 https://t.co/M9VsrVnlTc

— PETA (@peta) January 8, 2019

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Last year, PETA criticised Kanye West and The Game for using an image of a skinned monkey to promote their collaborative new track ‘Eazy’.

The same month, the organisation called for a criminal investigation into the welfare of animals used in Jackass Forever stunts.

Meanwhile, Chris Brown was booed after winning an award at last year’s American Music Awards, with presenter Kelly Rowland defending the controversial singer.

Chris Brown and Kelly Rowland. CREDIT: Getty

It comes as Brown has been accused of assault multiple times, most recently in 2021. A sexual lawsuit was brought against Brown in 2018 when a woman identified only as Jane Doe alleged she was raped by another guest at a party hosted by Brown in 2017. She filed a lawsuit the following year, with a dismissal occurring in 2020 after Brown settled out of court.

Also in 2017, Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran was awarded a restraining order against Brown after he allegedly “told a few people that he was going to kill me” and said that he was going to “take me out” and “shoot me”, according to Tran.

Brown was notably convicted in 2009 for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna. The singer was sentenced to five years’ probation and 180 days of community labour and was required to attend a domestic violence counselling programme for one year.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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Simon Cowell reportedly in talks to relaunch ‘The X Factor’ in the US

The report states that talks are underway to revive the series on NBC, with Cowell recently telling The Sun that the network had “offered us to make the show”.

No further details are yet available.

Simon Cowell CREDIT: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Earlier this year, it was announced that a documentary is in the works which will investigate claims of bullying and harassment behind-the-scenes on the ITV show.

Two production companies are believed to be working on the TV special, which will include interviews with former contestants who claim “bullying, exploitation and harassment” took place off-camera on the singing competition.

According to The Mail On Sunday, a number of X Factor stars have agreed to take part, including “at least one” of judge Cowell‘s former aides.

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A source told the publication: “There are currently some former contestants telling their stories for the programme. There are some out there who believe they were mistreated by the X Factor machine. They are now going to get their chance to have a say.”

A number of former contestants have been critical of the show in recent years. After the show was axed by ITV last year, Jedward posted on Twitter: “X Factor has been axed. Mission Complete.”

Speaking to ITV News, John Grimes from the duo said: “I feel a lot of people have been exploited on the show, people behind the scenes, different contestants have come forward and shared their stories.”

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Pixies announce US headline tour in support of ‘Doggerel’

Tickets are available here and the band have promised “more North American tour dates will be announced in the near future”.

Check out the full list of dates below:

MAY 2023
04 – Fox Theater, Oakland, CA
06 – Golden State Theatre Monterey, CA
08 – The Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ
09 – Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe, NM
10 – The Mission Ballroom, Denver, CO
12 – Encore Theatre at Wynn, Las Vegas, NV
13 – Encore Theatre at Wynn, Las Vegas, NV
14 – Kilby Block Party, Salt Lake City, UT

According to reports, Pixies rehearse at least 90 different songs before every tour and make the setlist up as they go.

This string of shows will be in support of eight studio album ‘Doggerel’, which was released earlier this year.

In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Menace, too, matures like fine wine. Pixies’ seminal early albums – the very bedrock of modern alternative rock – were sharp and biting vintages: young and stinging, unrefined, spiced with Latino lust and melodic fury and prone to induce intoxicating visions both sci-fi and Biblical.

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“But ‘Doggerel’, in its hospitably decanted way, is every bit as transportive and absorbing as the early records, and further proof that Pixies’ music remains the alt-rock gold standard. Swill it around and savour.”

Speaking about the record, Pixies frontman Black Francis told NME: “We’re getting better at what we do. Gradually over the years we’ve been building up different kinds of muscles and we have a cosmopolitan sophistication that we’re able to tap into on this record more than we’ve been able to before. We’re able to get a little more cinematic.”

Pixies are also set to tour the UK and Europe in February and March 2023. Check out the full list of dates and grab tickets here.

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Backstreet Boys’ Christmas TV special axed following Nick Carter rape allegations

Along with Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough were set to perform music from the album during the special. Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches and more entertainment figures were also scheduled to appear.

A comedy special will run in place of A Very Backstreet Holiday.

Nick Carter performs live. CREDIT: Getty

Shannon “Shay” Ruth, who is now 39, filed a civil lawsuit against the singer, 42, in Nevada court yesterday (Thursday, December 8), according to Billboard.

The woman said she waited more than 20 years to come forward with the accusation because she was afraid of retaliation.

In the suit, she said that Carter selected her from a group of female fans seeking autographs following a Backstreet Boys show in Tacoma, Washington. The alleged victim claimed he then brought her onto the bus, gave her an alcoholic drink, which he is said to have called “VIP juice”, and repeatedly assaulted her.

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The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of three other unidentified accusers who allegedly experienced similar attacks by Carter between 2003 to 2006. It is claimed that all three of those women were provided with alcohol before being forced to have sex with the singer.

One of those three accusers was allegedly similarly underage to Ruth at the time.

Carter’s lawyer Michael Holtz denied the allegations in a statement provided to Billboard.

“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” he said.

“Unfortunately, for several years now, Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations about Nick – and those allegations have changed repeatedly and materially over time.”

Holtz added: “No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer – there is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realise.”

Meanwhile, Backstreet Boys are on their ‘DNA World Tour‘, which began in 2019 and is scheduled to currently extend through to 2023.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe add new US dates to 2023 world tour

Tickets for all of the new shows go on sale at 10am local time next Friday (December 16), following pre-sales for Rock Brigade, Citi and Live Nation members. See here for more information on those pre-sales, and here for the tickets themselves.

In a joint press statement, Mötley Crüe said of the upcoming gigs: “We had an incredible time playing The Stadium Tour in North America this summer and we truly can’t wait to take the show around the globe with The WORLD Tour in 2023. Crüeheads, get ready because we have a few amazing US dates set for you!”

The excitement was shared by Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, who said: “After finally getting back on the road this past summer, we’re beyond thrilled to bring this massive tour to a global audience including some special dates in America!”

Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe’s 2023 tour dates are:

FEBRUARY
Friday 10 Atlantic City, Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
Saturday 11 Atlantic City, Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
Saturday 18 Mexico City, Foro Sol
Tuesday 21 Monterrey, Estadio Banorte
Friday 25 Bogotá, Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park
Tuesday 28 Lima, Estadio Nacional

MARCH
Friday 3 Santiago, Estadio Bicentenario de La Florida
Tuesday 7 São Paulo, Allianz Parque

MAY
Monday 22 Sheffield, Bramall Lane
Thursday 25 Mönchengladbach, SparkassenPark
Saturday 27 Munich, Koenigsplatz
Monday 29 Budapest, MVM Dome
Wednesday 31 Krakow, Tauron Arena Kraków

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JUNE
Friday 2 Prague, Prague Rocks*
Saturday 3 Hannover, Expo Plaza
Wednesday 7 Solvesborg, Sweden Rock Festival*
Friday 9 Hyvinkää, RockFest*
Sunday 11 Trondheim, Trondheim Rocks*
Wednesday 14 Copenhagen, Copenhell*
Sunday 18 Dessel, Graspop Metal Meeting*
Tuesday 20 Milan, Ippodromo SNAI San Siro
Friday 23 Lisbon, Passeio Maritimo de Alges
Saturday 24 Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Auditorio Miguel Ríos
Tuesday 27 Thun, Stockhorn Arena

JULY
Saturday 1 London, Wembley Stadium
Sunday 2 Lytham, Lytham Festival*
Tuesday 4 Dublin, Marlay Park
Thursday 6 Glasgow, Hampden Park

AUGUST
Saturday 5 – Syracuse, JMA Wireless Dome
Tuesday 8 – Columbus, Ohio Stadium
Friday 11 – Fargo, Fargodome
Sunday 13 – Omaha, Charles Schwab Field Omaha
Wednesday 16 – Tulsa, H.A. Chapman Stadium
Friday 18 – El Paso, Sun Bowl Stadium

* Alice Cooper not appearing

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Elton John plays final US concert of ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour

It marked his last remaining North American date on his tour which the pop legend has vowed is the last time that he’ll hit the road to play live dates.

The three hour concert saw John team up with Lipa for their Number One collaboration ‘Cold Heart’, while Dee joined him for ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ and Carlile on ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me’. You can view footage of all three tracks below

The show, which saw the likes of Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Taron Egerton and Jude Law in the audience, also featured some of John’s greatest hits including ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’, ‘Tiny Dancer’, ‘Candle In The Wind’, ‘Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)’ and ‘I’m Still Standing’.

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He wrapped up the performance with ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, both of which you can view below.

The show, which went out live on Disney+, is also available to stream on the platform.

Meanwhile, last month John added two more dates to the final leg of his global ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour.

The musician will now play new dates at the The O2 Arena in London on May 30, 2023 and the Utilita Arena Birmingham on June 8, 2023.

John’s tour restarts in Europe at the 3Arena in Dublin on March 28, 2023. Earlier this year he kicked off some UK dates in Norwich.

Any remaining tickets for the new shows are available here.

Elton John played:

‘Bennie And The Jets’
‘Philadelphia Freedom’
‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues’
‘Border Song’
‘Tiny Dancer’
‘Have Mercy On The Criminal’
‘Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)’
‘Take Me To The Pilot’
‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’
‘Levon’
‘Candle In The Wind’
‘Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding’
‘Burn Down The Mission’
‘Sad Songs (Say So Much)’
‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’
‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ (with Brandi Carlile)
‘The Bitch Is Back’
‘I’m Still Standing’
‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ (with Kiki Dee)
‘Crocodile Rock’
‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’
‘Cold Heart’ (with Dua Lipa)
‘Your Song’
‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’

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Maya Hawke announces US tour dates, shares video for single ‘Luna Moth’

In addition to the news of the tour, Hawke has released a new performance film of her single ‘Luna Moth’, which has been directed by Lance Bangs.

The video was filmed during her performances at Largo at the Coronet & Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles. It features Hawke in an intimate performance, accompanied by bandmates Benjamin Lazar Davis, Christian Lee Hutson, and Will Graefe.

Last month, the singer announced details of her 2023 UK and European ‘Tactless Tour’. 

Hawke is due to perform six dates across February and March, starting in Milan, Italy on February 25 and finishing up at London’s Lafayette on March 6. All shows are currently sold out.

The 2023 tour is in support of her second studio album ‘Moss’, which she released last month. Reviewing Hawke’s new album, NME wrote: “This time around, she’s taken a more expansive approach, adding in subtle but important touches of synths, electric guitars and strings that signal moments of tension in the songs, or simply flesh them out to lusher, more beautiful versions.

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“Maya Hawke might not be preparing to go back to school, as the character at the heart of this record would be but, if she were, ‘Moss’ would guarantee her top grades.”

Maya Hawke’s 2023 US tour is as follows:

MARCH
12 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn
15 – 9:30 Club, Washington
18 – Metro, Chicago
19 – Fine Line, Minneapolis

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New non-profit aims to reduce fentanyl-related overdoses at US music festivals

This Must Be The Place decided to distribute Narcan (a brand of Naloxone) kits at music festivals because they wanted to get them into the hands of people who may not even realize they needed them. So, this year, they started setting up booths at events where attendees could pick up kits and receive free training on how to use the product. For the non-profit founders, their desire to help festival attendees comes from their personal experience.

Travers-Hayward got to know music festival culture as a journalist for MTV News Canada. Perry, however, had a more “nefarious” experience with music festivals, recalling how he and his friends would sneak into events and see where the day and drugs would take them from there. “We would party really hard going to this festival, that festival, that was our lifestyle,” Perry told NME. “Doing that led me into a whole lot of substance use problems.”

As a denizen of the Midwestern US, known for its carceral, punitive policies towards drug use, Perry’s substance use also led to a decade in prison. While there, he would hear stories about friends he used to go to festivals with dying of fentanyl overdoses. Now, as a sober recovery counsellor, he wanted to do what the government at large wasn’t: provide education, resources, and in some cases treatment for those affected by drug abuse.

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That desire to provide education and resources increased over the pandemic lockdown. As Perry and Travers-Hayward were holed up in their house in Columbus, Ohio, they noticed a distressing pattern in many of the news stories they read. “There were a lot of news stories about how people were doing cocaine and dying, and doing molly and dying,” Travers-Hayward told us. Then as lockdown ended and concerts and festivals became the norm again, they worried this trend would continue at an even quicker pace.

“When people came out of their houses this year, we knew they were going to party and make up for lost time and go to music events they couldn’t go to during lockdown,” Perry said. “Those are just the spaces we know how to exist in. So we were like, ‘Let’s try to get ahead of it. Instead of there being this really bad event that happens, let’s be on site and provide people with Narcan.’”

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Travers-Hayward and Perry applied for 501(c)(3) status, and, after a few logistical headaches, This Must Be the Place became an official non-profit organization. Next, they started pitching festivals across the US, asking if they could distribute free Narcan and set up their own booth. They were told “no” far more than “yes,” but, once they got their first greenlight from a major festival, everything fell into place.

The first festival the organization worked at was Maple House Fest in Pittsburgh in May. Although it was a one-day festival, it still demanded plenty of energy, gas, and time. “I distinctly remember the next morning, we woke up, and thought, ‘Oh my god, I am more exhausted than ever. How in the hell are we going to pull off Bonnaroo,” Travers-Hayward said.

After distributing Narcan at Maple House Fest, they did it again at the two-day festival, WonderRoad in Indianapolis in June. It ended on a Sunday, and Perry and Travers-Hayward had to execute a quick turnaround to get to their next festival on Thursday. They departed Indianapolis for Columbus by car, loaded up their vehicle with as many Naloxone kits as possible, and drove straight to Manchester, Tennessee, for the four-day-long Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival.

Although the experience was physically draining, the duo was pleased to see that despite providing thousands of Narcan kits at Bonnaroo (even handing one to Machine Gun Kelly), they didn’t see a single one of those kits littered on the festival grounds.

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“People were taking it seriously, not just because it was something that was being handed out, but because they were taking it with meaning,” Perry said. “If we had seen it on the ground, it would be heartbreaking, but everyone was taking this stuff or putting it somewhere safe and taking it home with them.”

Still, This Must Be the Place is fighting the stigma surrounding drug treatment. Travers-Hayward said that they had many “difficult conversations” with event promoters. Perry said that for every “yes,” they received at festivals like Burning Man, they got “20 nos” in turn.

“There are still very archaic views about this stuff out there,” Travers-Hayward said. “But the reality is that Naloxone is not going to hurt you. I could shove one up my nose right now, and it’s not going to make a difference, except I’m going to have the shitty feeling of water up my nose.”

They also had to convince promoters and industry staff that their organization was not “opening a safe injection site.” Rather, “you’re protecting your fans [and] for once getting out in front of something before something bad happens,” Perry said.

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Throughout the nine festivals that This Must Be the Place worked over the summer, they’ve handed out a total of 10,887 free Naloxone kits. Although they have provided kits for thousands of people, they still remember individual stories that resonated with them. One of those stories came from a young woman who took a Narcan kit at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party festival in August.

“She texted us that she took Narcan from us, even though she rarely uses drugs, and ended up using it on a stranger within 24 hours of us giving it to her,” Travers-Hayward said. “Both of her parents messaged us and said, ‘You allowed us to have a dialogue with our kid about this stuff.’ They had this really meaningful conversation about what it means to help a stranger.”

Asked about their future hopes, This Must Be The Place told NME they want to “go out of business.” Although neither of them makes a single cent doing this work, they hope one day, there won’t be a need for them to distribute Naloxone at festivals in the first place.

“Anyone who has power to do something should be doing something,” Perry said. “This summer was incredibly successful. Because of that, our goal is to be in 25 cities next year and to hand out 20,000 kits and make sure people are kept safe. We want to do what music has always done, which is be on the cutting edge, be part of social change, and fight for a cause.”

Meanwhile in the UK, Reading & Leeds Festival issued a warning earlier this year about the use of drugs at their 2022 festivals, noting that “ecstasy deaths appear to be rising year on year”. The warning followed organisers of Boardmasters warning attendees of dangerously high-strength MDMA that was found on-site at the festival.

Another recent warning was sounded after pills that were tested at Secret Garden Party 2022 were found to contain more than 2.5 times the typical amount of ecstasy.

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Watch Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett perform two songs together live in the US

NOVEMBER 2022
14 – Leadmill, Sheffield
15 – 02 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
18 – The Nick Rayns LCR, UEA, Norwich
19 – 02 Institute 1, Birmingham
20 – Uni Great Hall, Exeter
22 – Marble Factory, Bristol
23 – Albert Hall, Manchester
24 – Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool
26 – SWG3 Galvanisers, Glasgow
28 – Olympia, Dublin

The singer previously performed the single ‘Grace’, taken from his new album, on The Late Late Show With James Corden earlier this month (October 1).

In an interview about the album with NME, Mumford spoke of how ‘Grace’ was written about the moment he told his mother of the sexual abuse he experienced as a child, which is explored on debut single and album opener ‘Cannibal’.

Reviewing ‘(self-titled)’ upon its release in September, NME wrote: “While it is undoubtedly an emotional and often heart-breaking listen, it’s also a record full of defiance, hope and faith. It shows that even after the deepest, most cutting trauma, it’s somehow possible to find peace and begin again.

“Mumford recently told NME that writing this album “saved” him; it’s likely to help save many others too.”

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Ed Sheeran says his ‘Mathematics’ tour will land in the US eventually

“I think we’re gonna announce by the end of the year,” Sheeran said about a potential North American tour. “We’re basically finalising a route now.”

“I’m super excited to bring this tour, it’s an insane-looking tour,” Sheeran continued. “We basically planned it from the end of the ‘÷’ tour, because it was sort of well-publicised that it was the most people had gone to this tour, so I was like if we come back, we have to do all bells and whistles. The stage is nuts… there are fireworks and flames, there’s a band, it’s a whole thing.”

The singer-songwriter also gave a hint at what US audiences can expect from the upcoming shows. “You go on tour, for my first album, I basically just played my first album live. And my second album was like little bits of both, and my third album was little bits of both, whereas this one the setlist is pretty much just songs people know,” Sheeran said.

Host James Corden then asked Sheeran – who was sat next to fellow guest, actor Vin Diesel – what three tracks will likely remain staples in his setlist for the rest of his career: ‘Perfect’, ‘Bad Habits’, and ‘Shape Of You’, he answered.

Meanwhile, Sheeran and two of his songwriting partners, Steven McCutcheon and Snow Patrol’s John McDaid, have been awarded £900,000 in legal costs following a High Court copyright win.

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The three artists – who worked together on Sheeran’s 2017 single ‘Shape Of You’had been accused of lifting from a song, ‘Oh Why’, by musicians Sami Chokri (aka Sami Switch) and Ross O’Donoghue. The pair claimed Sheeran’s song featured “particular lines and phrases” similar to their own song, calling him “a magpie”.

Sheeran, McCutcheon and McDaid denied accusations of plagiarism, with the former saying in his testimony on March 7: “I have always tried to be completely fair in crediting anyone who makes any contribution to any song I write.” McDaid, in his testimony, called the idea of plagiarism “abhorrent”.

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How Bon Iver’s live sound design prioritises fan experience and “what goes into their ears”

“It’s the 10 year anniversary of our album release, ‘Bon Iver, Bon Iver’, but it’s also a return after quarantine and COVID lockdown,” Vernon said of focusing on sound on their current tour. “We’ve gotten to be on the ground floor of something new,” he added, noting that “it’s not just two stacks of speakers in a room anymore.”

The first time the Wisconsin indie band played their nuanced tracks via the L-ISA high-resolution speaker software, their engineer came up to Vernon after the performance and told him, “That’s the best show you’ve ever played, and it has a lot to do with that sound system.”

“Overall, if we were to prioritise what we’re bringing to people out there [it’s] what goes in their ears,” the Bon Iver bandleader said of the importance of their sound quality. “What we’re trying to do is make it an experience.”

Scott Sugden, the head of product and technology at L-Acoustics who worked directly with the band on their audio design, told NME: “Bon Iver have a really high priority on sound, more than anything else. If you’ve ever been to one of their shows, they don’t even have a front light on the band. They’re forcing you to listen, not to see.”

For Sugden, one of the most important experiences their system provides is giving everyone in attendance, no matter where they’re sitting at a show, the same quality of sound.

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“Live shows are great, they’re exciting, they’re fun…when you’re sitting in the sweet spot for sound,” he told us. “But when you buy a ticket for [Brooklyn’s] Terminal 5, and you’re sitting in the balcony on the right, it might be a beautiful sound system, but it’s not a beautiful sound experience.”

As of today, L-Acoustics’ immersive sound systems can also be heard at Coachella, Lollapalooza, the Hollywood Bowl, and on tours for Radiohead, Adele, Lorde, Foo Fighters, and Depeche Mode. Following two years of tour cancellations and low-quality concert livestreams due to the ongoing pandemic, the company believes sound prioritisation will become the norm for artists.

“There are early adopters like Bon Iver, but we’ll continue to see more touring artists pushing the envelope and the experience for their audience,” Sugden said. “Eventually, if your ticket doesn’t include immersive sound, you may choose to spend your hard-earned money somewhere else. Having been to many immersive shows, it’s hard to go back.”

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. CREDIT: Gus Stewart/Redferns

Laurent Vaissié, CEO of L-Acoustics, agreed that the future of sound and live performance will require immersive technology. “Artists hear music in a three-dimensional way,” he told NME. “Giving them this canvas to create with resonates with them, which is why we are seeing more interest from artists. This is the way they want their music to be heard.”

The sound company is not only concerned with giving artists the tools to create a sound experience that reflects how they imagine their music being heard but also giving fans a higher quality live music experience.

“For the audience, once you get past the immediate experience of being enveloped by the sound, it’s just a side effect,” said Vaissié. “It’s not the most important aspect. If it were only the surround sound, it would get boring really fast. The most important aspect is the ability to specialise a sound that gives fans a better connection to the artists.”

Vaissié told us that concert attendees, who’ve heard their systems at shows for bands like Alt-J, told them that with L-ISA they feel closer to the band and like they’re at an intimate show, even when they’re in a large arena.

“Coming out of the pandemic, there’s an interest, from promoters to artists, to make the experience as incredible as possible,” he added. “The reality is that our competition is Netflix, it’s staying at home and bingeing a show or watching a concert on TV.

“So, to convince people to come to a show at this point, they have to feel like it’s worth it. That’s why we’re seeing production being elevated because artists want to make the commitment worth it for the fans.”

Bon Iver opened their sold-out Forrest Hills stadium show with their piano ballad ‘U (Man Like)’ and closed with their layered track ‘Rabi’. From start to finish, the immersive sound quality was clear, for not only those sitting in close proximity to the centre of the stage, but also for fans sitting in seats at the very top of the bleachers.

For L-Acoustics, working with artists is not so much about the technology but about making sure the technology “doesn’t impede the art”. Their goal is not just to make the music louder, but to make the sound “dynamic” and “more interesting” for listeners, giving them a chance to be “part of the live experience, not just a witness to it.”

“If you’re just going to witness it, you might as well stay home and just watch it on YouTube,” Sugden said. “That’s the reason you go to a live show. You want to be part of the experience. I’ve heard them play 50 times, but going to a Bon Iver concert in L-ISA? That’s a life-changing experience.”

Bon Iver is currently on a world tour with upcoming stops in the US and UK. View the full itinerary here and purchase tickets here.

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Courteeners announce first US gigs in 13 years

Courteeners’ latest studio album, ‘More. Again. Forever.’, came out in January 2020. In a four-star review, NME hailed it as the group’s “most focussed and adventurous work to date”.

“[Their sixth album] strikes a mature balance,” the review reads. “It’s escapist in its sound but humane in its approach to the world. It’s experimental but familiar, and tests what the band are capable of.”

Courteeners US tour dates

Last year, Courteeners shared their huge Heaton Park homecoming gig in its entirety online. The band premiered the concert in full on their official YouTube channel on November 25, which saw them playing in front of 50,000 fans at the outdoor Manchester show on June 15, 2019.

Last month, the band announced a one-off show in Middlesbrough, which took place at Middlesbrough Empire on May 27. As the band’s first gig of 2022, it was billed as a warm-up gig ahead of their headline set at Neighbourhood Weekender 2022 the following day (May 28).

Courteeners are due to headline Y Not Festival on July 30 in Pikehall, Derbyshire, joining acts like Stereophonics and Blossoms.

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In other news, frontman Liam Fray announced last year that he would be opening a new restaurant in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

The Smithfield Social, which pays homage to the historic Smithfield Market, is located on Thomas St and serves brunch, small plates, cocktails and more.

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Måneskin on having breakfast with Chris Martin and Dakota Johnson – and fame in the US

Måneskin on the cover of NME

Explaining their high profile in America, frontman Damiano David said: “We’re not new in that thousands of bands have played as good as us or even better, but nowadays it’s unexpected to see a band break globally. People are fascinated by that, and Americans are obsessed with Italians. That adds some spice.”

Guitarist Thomas Raggi agreed: “It’s hard for Americans to find an Italian band that makes it over there and plays a real instrument. It’s something weird.”

Asked about the most surreal moment of life among the rich and famous in America, De Angelis replied: “I would say breakfast at Chris Martin and Dakota Jones’ house. That was pretty, ‘What the fuck!?’”

David continued: “Yeah, Dakota Jones cooked eggs for us, Sean Penn was there. It was wild.”

The band were also asked for a selfie with movie star and Thirty Seconds To Mars‘ frontman Jared Leto while at Coachella. “He was there in the crowd!” said drummer Ethan Torchio. “He’s a really cool guy.”

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The band’s cover of The Four Seasons’ ‘Beggin’ recently achieved one billion streams on Spotify, with their other albums and singles also clocking up millions of listeners.

Check out the full Big Read cover interview with Måneskin here, where they also talk the aftermath of the Eurovision cocaine speculation, work on their new album, working with Baz Luhrman on a song for the upcoming biopic ELVIS, their stance on playing covers, and the pleasure they take in “pissing off” naysayers.

Måneskin recently shared their new single ‘Supermodel’, before performing it on The Tonight Show in the US with host Jimmy Fallon joining the band on bass. A video for ‘Supermodel’ is set to drop tomorrow (Tuesday May 31).

The band play Reading & Leeds Festival 2022 in August before headlining The O2 Arena in London on May 8. Visit here for tickets and more information.

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Harry Styles pledges over $1million to gun safety support fund in US

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Watch Metallica perform the US national anthem at San Francisco Giants game

“This year marks the eighth time we’ll take the field for the National Anthem, first pitch, and a few other pre-game shenanigans.”

.@Metallica played tonight’s national anthem with City Connect guitars and equipment pic.twitter.com/a6lAkV0Db2

— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 25, 2022

It comes a month after Jack White also took to the field at Comerica Park in Detroit to perform the US national anthem before the Detroit Tigers’ baseball game against the Chicago White Sox.

The performance coincided with the release of his fourth solo album, ‘Fear Of The Dawn’.

Last week, Metallica frontman Hetfield praised his bandmates during an on-stage speech in Brazil last, saying that their support “means the world to me”.

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“I’ve gotta tell you, I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here,” the frontman said. “[I was] feeling a little bit insecure, like ‘I’m an old guy, can’t play anymore’. All this bullshit that I tell myself in my head.”

He then pointed to his bandmates: “So, I talked to these guys, and they helped me: as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, ‘Hey, if you’re struggling on stage, we’ve got your back’. And I tell you, it means the world to me.”

Last month, Metallica announced Rye The Lightning, a whisky that was crafted with the help of low hertz frequencies generated by the band’s music to vibrate the barrels.

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Pearl Jam cancel US tour after Jeff Ament tests positive for COVID-19

Then founding drummer Dave Krusen performed with the band for the first time in 31 years, earlier this week.

In a statement on Twitter the band said: “Dear PJ fans and ticket holders, while the band battled through Oakland after drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for Covid, and Fresno where Ed and the band got through it with the help of Dave Krusen as special guest drummer, they now have to present the heartbreaking news that this morning bassist Jeff Ament has tested positive for COVID.

(1/4)Dear PJ fans and ticket holders,

While the band battled through Oakland after drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for Covid, and Fresno where Ed and the band got through it with the help of Dave Krusen as special guest drummer, pic.twitter.com/pmonPs99wq

— Pearl Jam 🇺🇦 (@PearlJam) May 18, 2022

“This is horrible for everybody involved and we are especially sorry to those out there who have made plans to attend these shows. Our attention to staying inside the bubble has been constant. We have truly done all that we could have to remain clear of infection.

“Regretfully, the Sacramento and Las Vegas shows are canceled. Ticket refunds will be automatically processed to ticket holders’ method of purchase. We are so very sorry. Be safe out there.”

The band are due to hit the road for a European tour next month kicking off in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome on June 13.

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Those dates will also include two shows at London’s Hyde Park on July 8-9 as part of the BST series. You can purchase tickets here.

Stereophonics and Cat Power are among the support acts that have been announced alongside Pixies at the Hyde Park shows this summer.

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Bring Me The Horizon announce US headline tour

SEPTEMBER
22 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival
24 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center 
25 – West Springfield, MA – The Big E Arena
27 – Atlanta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre 
28 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium 
30 – Orlando, FL – Addition Financial Arena 

OCTOBER
1 – New Orleans, LA – Emo Nite New Orleans Vacation 
3 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall  
6 – Los Angeles, CA – The Kia Forum  
7 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre  
9 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival
12 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory
14 – Chicago, IL – Wintrust Arena
15 – Detroit, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre 
16 – Pittsburgh, PA – UPMC Events Center 
18 – Dallas, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory 
20 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium 
22 – Las Vegas, NV – When We Were Young Festival
23 – Las Vegas, NV – When We Were Young Festival
29 – Las Vegas, NV – When We Were Young Festival

Earlier this month, the band revealed that they’d recorded “about 45 songs” for their next release.

The band’s last project was their ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ EP, released back in October 2020. The first of several releases, frontman Oli Sykes told NME last year they were “working on parts two, three and four simultaneously” and that they were hoping to “get songs out as soon as we can”.

The Sheffield rock giants then gave fans a taste of what they can expect from ‘Post Human 2’, sharing new single ‘DiE4u’ in September 2021.

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Speaking in a new interview, Sykes then shared an update on the record as well as their forthcoming schedule. “We’re doing lots of gigs hopefully, if the world goes alright,” he told BANG Showbiz (via Contact Music). “Lots of European festivals and we’re going to the States in September. And hopefully a new record.”

He continued: “We’ve been working on it for about a year now, we’ve got lots of music we’re just being quite picky about what we want to release. We must have about 45 songs.”

Last month, Bring Me The Horizon teamed up with Sigrid for a brand new track, ‘Bad Life’.

The song marks the latest in a strong run of collaborations released by BMTH. Prior to ‘Bad Life’, earlier in the month, the band featured on the Masked Wolf single ‘Fallout’, while March marked another team up with Machine Gun Kelly with the release of ‘maybe’.

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Nine Inch Nails reveal 100 Gecs, Yves Tumor and more as US support acts

See the full list of dates below and view ticket details here.

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APRIL
28 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
30 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival

MAY
1 – Franklin, TN – First Bank Amphitheater
22 – Daytona Beach, FL – Welcome to Rockville
24 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia
25 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia
27 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling

SEPTEMBER
2 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
3 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
7 – Troutdale, OR – Edgefield
9 – Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater
11 – Berkeley, CA – The Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley
15 – Las Vegas, NV – Zappos Theater
17 – Los Angeles, CA – Primavera Sound
22 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life
24 – Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center

This year’s tour follows the band cancelling their 2021 outings, due to uncertainties around the COVID pandemic remained.

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The industrial band also recently announced the details of three summer UK headline shows, in Glasgow, London and Manchester. They’re also set to play a pair of gigs at the Eden Project in Cornwall this June.

Nine Inch Nails have released both ‘Ghosts V: Together’ and ‘Ghosts VI: Locusts‘ since their last live shows.

Reviewing the records, NME wrote: “Much like Reznor said last time Ghosts swung round, ‘Ghosts: V-VI’ is music for daydreams. But it’s only fair and decent for us to let you know that it’s also music for nightmares too.”

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US live music scene: “Without government support, you won’t have independent venues in America”

“I didn’t postpone the shows because of local guidance or venue guidance,” she told NME. “I just decided to myself.”

Credit: Squirrel Flower/Press

Williams has had to conduct her own research on COVID rates and venue safety while out on tour, telling us that’s it’s been hard to make moral decisions for “me, my band, my fans, and for the venue workers because there is no government guidance.”

For her, the lack of guidance for artists is a symptom of the government’s lack of respect and support for the livelihood of Americans in general.

“I don’t think the government gives a shit about any workers in the US right now,” Williams told us. “When you look at [president] Joe Biden he’s not giving [money] to anyone except for already wealthy people and bailing out banks and large businesses.”

In 2020, the government started multiple Federal Unemployment Programs to support those who could no longer work because of COVID. Those benefits expired in September of 2021.

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“At the beginning of the pandemic when the government was offering support, a lot of musician friends of mine were in a comfortable financial position for the first time in their lives,” the singer explained. “We’re now seeing so much amazing music that came from people being able to focus on their craft and not have to worry about being in debt or being behind on rent.”

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When asked how she handles COVID safety concerns without the support of a large team, Squirrel Flower told us: “I am effectively my own tour manager.”

“When you go to a venue, you’re essentially having to advocate for your needs and COVID adds another element to that,” she said. “You’re having to ask people working to wear masks or ask the venue to check proof of vaccination, even if the state doesn’t require it.”

For Williams, touring during COVID also means covering the added cost of masks, COVID tests, and even hotel rooms since crashing with friends could lead to accidentally contracting the virus.

“For anyone going to shows right now: if they have the means to, they should buy merch and support artists in any way they can outside of just buying a ticket,” she told us. “There are a lot more expenses behind the scenes now.”

Despite her frustration over the lack of government guidance across all venues, when asked about recent tour stops at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right and Manhattan’s Mercury Lounge, she said “at the root of it, everybody at these venues is doing the best they can.”

Credit: Getty / David A. Smith

Dayna Frank, CEO of First Avenue Productions and president of NIVA, has witnessed the struggle Williams told us about first-hand. “Working class and emerging artists have had the toughest time over the last couple of years without touring revenue,” she told NME.

Formed in March 2020, shortly after the pandemic shuttered the doors of almost every independent venue in the US, NIVA successfully lobbied to obtain $16billion in federal relief funding via the Save Our Stages Act, which passed as part of the COVID-19 relief bill in December of 2020.

“The grants were a god-send,” Frank told us. “I don’t want to swear, but it feels like a fucking miracle. I can’t overstate what the impact has been and will be for decades to come from this grant program. Without it, you wouldn’t have independent venues in America.”

She added: “That’s why you saw everyone fighting so hard in 2020, because we all see our books, we all know what the realities are of keeping our businesses open when there was no business, no resources, and no hope.”

Credit: Caitlin Abrams

Now, the coalition is lobbying for additional funds to deal with “inflation and worker shortages compounded by the fact that COVID is still ongoing.”

“There’s about $2billion left [in funding] and NIVA is advocating for more time [to use those funds],” Frank said. “Because of the shutdowns, there were fewer concerts and fewer events to utilize the money. At the same time, venues in urban areas that were shut down completely, have use for more funds.”

NIVA is also working on a proposal to open its relief program to businesses that were deemed ineligible for the first round of funding. Last month, the organisation spoke before the US House Small Business Committee. At the time, no-show rates for ticket-holders had hit a high of 50 per cent.

“That no-show rate, we call it the drop count, is one of the key metrics we watch for,” Frank said, noting that when rates reach 50 per cent “you can’t operate profitably for artists or venues.” As COVID rates have dropped, however, so has the rate of no-shows.

NIVA shared that currently “on average, across new venues, we’re seeing a 15 per cent [drop count] which is a massive improvement from 50 per cent. Industry standard in the before times was about three to five per cent, so we still have a little bit to go, but it’s certainly trending in the right direction.”

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Independent venue owners are hoping that the rate will continue to drop because, as Frank told us, when attendees don’t show up it’s “impossible to plan, you’re overstaffed, you have too much inventory and the entire economics are askew.”

“Artists and venues rely on customers entering the venue, buying drinks, buying merch, coming with friends, to make all of the finances of a concert work,” she said.

On how fans can assist in lowering no-show rates, Frank said: “If you have a ticket for a show that’s been rescheduled, and you can’t go to the new date or you’re exposed [to COVID] give your ticket to somebody who will go. Let them experience the band, let them experience live music.”

According to NIVA, independent venues have been hard at work ensuring the safety of fans who attend shows during the pandemic. The organisation recently distributed 200,000 KN95 masks to venues across the country, and has also worked with venues, promoters, and bands to push for vaccination checks and cleaning procedures so fans feel safe at shows again.

“The safety of concert-goers and fans are as important to us as it is to them because without them we don’t have a business and we don’t have this magical experience that we’ve worked so hard for,” Frank said. “Every independent venue owner I know is doing every single thing they can to keep everyone safe.”

Squid plays at Empty Bottle Credit: Ricardo E. Adame

Looking back on how his venue endured the past two years, Bruce Finkelman, owner of Chicago’s The Empty Bottle told NME: “I think our perseverance as a people and as a music scene has been amazing.”

Like many venue owners in the US, Finkelman has had to make his own decisions on which COVID protocols to follow for his venue because “a state could go ahead and mandate something and have a certain restriction and then the city could do something completely different.”

The team at The Empty Bottle decided to follow Center for Disease Control guidelines, noting that although they have to adhere to city and state mandates to keep the venue open, their main concern has been to “ensure that our families, our staff, our performers, and our guests are as safe as possible.”

He added: “The only thing that made sense was to take whatever advice we could from medical professionals and actually use that as our guidelines above and beyond the politicians.”

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Now that Omicron is subsiding and “there appears to be a little bit more comfortability with the idea of going back into a venue and seeing performances,” Finkelman is excited to welcome fans back, adding that, “as a venue owner, there’s nothing better than being able to see our spaces utilized as they were intended.”

“The most important thing for all of the independent venues is that we want to be around,” he told us. “I speak from Chicago having one of the best music scenes in the world and groups like CIVL (Chicago Independent Venue League). We’re concerned with making sure our music scene gets preserved for years and years to come.”

Though there’s still uncertainty surrounding how long certain protocols will be in place and if new variants of COVID will arise, the Chicago venue owner said that The Empty Bottle is starting to feel the way it did before the pandemic.

Dry Cleaning perform at The Empty Bottle Credit: Ricardo E. Adame

“There is a spot at the end of the bar where you can see the bartenders working and you can see the band and you can see the people,” he said. “That’s my favourite place on earth.

“One of the things I looked forward to throughout the pandemic was being able to sit on that stool again and see that happen again. It’s been pretty amazing to slowly get more and more glimpses of that as we move towards whatever this post-pandemic normal is.”

Last week, Dr Ross McKinney Jr., an infectious disease specialist, and chief scientific officer of The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), told NME that although “we may be in a quiet period in terms of COVID” during this upcoming music festival season “there’s still no way to tell” if that will last.

Though Dr Mckinney Jr. said he understands why events would “just throw their hands up and say ‘It’s not worth the effort’,” he still thinks that “it’s the right thing to do to require vaccination.”

“When people are vaccinated, they are less likely to get sick themselves and less likely to make others ill,” he told NME. “It’s not perfect, but right after your booster [you can have] as high as 90 per cent protection against getting infected at all and later on you’re still less likely to get seriously ill. Even if you do get infected, your period of being infectious will likely be shorter.”

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Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi’s battery case dropped

Now, the charge, which was filed in Miami-Dade County, has been dropped (via Pitchfork).

According to TMZ, prosecutors were unable to proceed with the case after Jxmmi’s girlfriend recanted her testimony. The case was closed yesterday (February 22), online court records show.

Brown’s partner took to social media to deny that she was assaulted at the time.

“Dade County y’all are wrong for this. I told you guys he did not hit me,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

“Every officer you guys had in my face are wrong for this. No hands were put on anybody, I stated it more than once. It was a loud argument and the police were called. You guys turn nothing into something. It’s our sons first birthday tomorrow, what’s wrong with y’all?”

An attorney for Slim Jxmmi told Pitchfork that his client should not have been arrested.

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NME has contacted a representative for Rae Sremmurd for comment.

Under the name Slim Jxmmi, Brown has performed as one half of hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd since 2008, alongside his brother, Swae Lee.

Known for hits like ‘Black Beatles’ and ‘No Type’, the duo’s last project was 2018’s ‘SR3MM’.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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Sum 41 and Simple Plan announce ‘Blame Canada’ 2022 US tour

“It’s happening! We’re stoked to announce we will be heading out on ‘The Blame Canada Tour’ across the US with our friends @Sum41 and special guests @SetItOff & @Magnoliaparkfl 🤘⚡️🤘,” Simple Plan added. “We can’t wait to kick this one off and play for you all summer!”

The first leg of the tour will see support from Set It Off, while Magnolia Park will back the Canadian bands on the second leg.

We've known the guys in @simpleplan for a very long time, but we've never toured together…. until now! Introducing The Blame Canada Tour! Come celebrate 21 years of 'All Killer No Filler' all across the US! pic.twitter.com/M2AsGrYn1B

— Sum 41 (@Sum41) February 22, 2022

Tickets for the shows are on pre-sale now; general tickets will be available from 10am on Friday (February 25). You can get tickets here and see the full list of tour dates below.

APRIL 2022
29 – Raleigh, NC, Ritz
30 – Myrtle Beach, SC, House of Blues

MAY 2022
2 – Philadelphia, PA, The Fillmore
3 – Pittsburgh, PA, Stage AE
4 – Silver Springs, MD, The Fillmore
6 – Worcester, MA, The Palladium
7 – Asbury Park, NJ, Stone Pony
8 – New York, NY, Pier 17 – The Rooftop
10 – Detroit, MI, The Fillmore
11 – Cleveland, OH, House of Blues
13 – Cincinnati, OH, Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center
14 – Milwaukee, WI, Eagles
15 – Chicago, IL, Radius
17 – Minneapolis, MN, Myth
18 – Kansas City, MO, Uptown
20 – Council Bluffs, IA, Harrah’s Stir Cove
21 – St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
22 – Nashville, TN, Marathon
24 – Atlanta, GA, Tabernacle
25 – Tampa, FL, Seminole Hard Rock
27 – New Orleans, LA, Orpheum Theater
28 – Dallas, TX, So What?! Music Festival

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JULY 2022
29 – Tulsa, OK, Cains Ballroom
30 – Austin, TX, Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
31 – Houston, TX, House of Blues

AUGUST 2022
3 – Phoenix, AZ, The Van Buren
5 – San Diego, CA, SOMA
6 – Anaheim, CA, House of Blues
9 – San Francisco, CA, The Masonic
10 – Sacramento, CA, Ace of Spades
12 – Portland, OR, Roseland Theatre
13 – Seattle, WA, Showbox SoDo
14 – Spokane, WA, The Knitting Factory
16 – Garden City, ID, Revolution
17 – Salt Lake City, UT, The Complex
18 – Denver, CO, The Fillmore

Last week, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley joined forces with Simple Plan on their new song, ‘Ruin My Life’.

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Smashing Pumpkins announce ‘Rock Invasion 2’ US tour

Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday (February 25) at 10am local time, with pre-sale launched today (February 23). Get tickets here, and see the full tour schedule below.

Invading select U.S. cities this May, The Smashing Pumpkins Rock Invasion 2 Tour!
Tickets on sale Friday Feb 25 10am local time pic.twitter.com/5gOyzPyw5y

— The Smashing Pumpkins (@SmashingPumpkin) February 22, 2022

APRIL 2022
29-01 Beale Street Music Festival, Memphis, TN

MAY 2022
2 – Tech Port Arena, San Antonio, TX
5 – Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City, MX
6 – Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City, MX
7 – Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City, MX
13 – Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA*
14 – BeachLife Festival, Redondo Beach, CA
15 – TBA , Tucson, AZ*
17 – TBA, Oklahoma City, OK*
18 – Ozarks Amphitheater, Camdenton, MO*
19 – 22 – Welcome to Rockville, Daytona Beach, FL
20 – Champions Square, New Orleans, LA*
21 – Avondale Brewing Co., Birmingham, AL*
24 – Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA*
25 – White Oak Amphitheatre, Greensboro, NC*
27 – PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION, Newport, KY*
28 – KEMBA Live!, Columbus, OH*
29 – Summer Camp Music Festival, Chillicothe, IL

Smashing Pumpkins last album was 2020’s ‘CYR’, which in a three-star review NME said: “Corgan has undoubtedly created the ‘contemporary record’ he so craved; it’s far better than anything Corgan produced when he was running with the Pumpkins name on his own.

“It’s also amazing that after all the bad blood and messy break ups, he’s more adept at penning an accessible tune than he’s ever been.”

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Last July, Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder said the band were “halfway through working on another big album”.

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Clairo debuts new song ‘Nomad’ on first night of US tour

Back in December, Clairo rescheduled her upcoming UK and European tour due to COVID-related concerns.

The singer was set to tour her recently released second album ‘Sling’ across January and February, but worries around the rise of the Omicron variant means the shows will now take place in September and October.

“I reeeeally hate to do this- but we have decided to reschedule the upcoming January Europe/UK tour,” Clairo told fans on Instagram while sharing new dates.

She added: “as much as we want to get back on the road, everybody’s safety is far more important & i hope you understand.”

See the new list of rescheduled dates below and purchase tickets here.

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SEPTEMBER 2022
19 – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
20 – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
22 – Paris, Le Bataclan
23 – Brussels, La Madeleine
27 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
28 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
29 – Birmingham, O2 Academy
30 – Bristol, O2 Academy

OCTOBER 2022
2 – Glasgow, O2 Academy
3 – Manchester, O2 Academy
4 – London, Brixton Academy

Clairo recently told NME that she wouldn’t tour unless protocols were in place to protect her fans. “If I can’t provide this [security] on tour, then I won’t tour – that’s my mentality at the moment,” she said.

“I really do feel in my heart of hearts that there’s going to be a wave of tours that are really stamped as the ‘safe tour’ and provide all this. Touring is one of the only things that hasn’t changed much. Granted, a lot of things need to change in the industry, but this is definitely one of them.”

Claire explained that there would “most definitely” be someone who isn’t affiliated with any of the venues she plays on future tours to serve as a “point of contact for any misconduct that goes on within the crowd”.

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US cult funk icon Betty Davis has died aged 77

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Kim Gordon announces US, UK and European headline tour

Following those dates, she will then travel over to the UK for four shows – including London’s Koko – and on to Europe for eight more stops. Tickets go on sale at 10am local time on January 28 and can be purchased here. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kim Gordon (@kimletgordon)

“I can’t believe the tour is finally happening!” Gordon said in a press release. “Looking forward to playing with my band who are amazing and bringing the music to you. You are the ones gonna make it sizzle.”

Kim Gordon will play:

March 2022 

13 – Boston, MA, Paradise Rock Club
15 – Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
16 – Philadelphia, PA, Theatre Of The Living Arts
18 – New York, NY, Webster Hall
19 – Jersey City, NJ, White Eagle Hall
22 – Asheville, NC, Orange Peel
24 – Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse
25 – Knoxville, TN, Big Ears Festival
27 – Boise, ID, Treefort Festival

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May 2022

23 – London, UK, Koko
24 – Manchester, UK, Gorilla
25 – Glasgow, UK, Queen Margaret Union
26 – Bristol, UK, Trinity
28 – Amsterdam, NL, Het Sieraad
29 – Brussels, BE, AB Ballroom
30 – Paris, FR, La Gaite Lyrique
31 – Zurich, CH, Rote Fabrik

June 2022

2 – Barcelona, ES, Primavera Festival
6 – Koln, DE, Gloria Theater
7 – Berlin, DE, Astra Kulturhaus
9 – Porto, PT, Primavera Sound Festival

In a three-star review, NME said of ‘No Home Record: “A tense, abrasive work, [it] injects a hint poppier thrust into Gordon’s no-wave experimentations with her other project, Body/Head (a point of difference most obvious on the juddering ‘Sketch Artist’. Remarkably her first solo album, this is a record that surprises, despite its author’s truly enormous legacy.”

Meanwhile, Gordon teamed up with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis last month to release two collaborative tracks as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club. ‘Slow Boy’ was originally released in 2015 by the pair on an EP curated by shoe brand Converse, called ‘CONS EP Vol. 3’. They also originally wrote and performed ‘Abstract Blues’ last year for SMooCH, a benefit for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

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