War Child and Warner Music Want You to Put Your Holiday Tune Expertise to Good Use for a Great Cause

Lady Gaga

By Billy Restivo

It’s time brush up on your holiday classics. War Child, an organization providing support for war-afflicted youth, has recently teamed up with Warner Music Group to present a charity-driven festive music quiz, “Christmas Feed… BACK.”

The quiz lets you take a look at five popular music videos, ranging from oldies like Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” to newer hits, such as Lady Gaga’s rendition of “White Christmas” and a random assortment of holiday favs from the likes of Destiny’s Child, Tori Amos and Boyzone. You then get a chance to guess the year in which each video was released. Every time you answer correctly, Warner Music donates $1.50 to War Child.

WMG has agreed to donate up to $15,000 in light of the giving season, which means the more you play, the more you raise. And let’s be honest; you’re going to end up listening to Michael Bublé sing about how cold it is outside at some point this winter. You might as well do it while contributing to a great cause.

If you want to aid War Child in its efforts to better the lives of innocent victims of war by simply playing the game, make sure to head over here. Don’t sleep on it, as the fun comes to an end January 12.

tUnE-yArDs Quench Thirst by Launching Water Charity Fund

tUnE-yArDs

By Laura Ferreiro

In the raucous, percussion-driven romp, “Water Fountain,” tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus sings, “No water in the water fountain,” but this is a situation she’s actively working to prevent. The indie rock band has announced The Water Fountain Fund, which they established to support non-profit organizations that work on water-related issues including water protection and conservation, climate change and women’s and health issues.

tUnE-yArDs have generously kicked off the fund with proceeds from sales of their latest album, Nikki Nack, as well as a portion of ticket sales and music licensing fees from their songs appearing in ads, television shows and movies. The band is also encouraging their fans to contribute to the fund in order to support organizations that work on water issues around the world.

In a statement on the fund’s homepage, tUnE-yArDs said, “Water is, and will continue to be, a critical resource in our changing world. Over 11% of the global population lacks access to clean drinking water — from Africa to right here in our backyard. In California, we’re feeling the effects of a long-term drought. Pollution and other human impact threatens major water sources, waterways, and shorelines and leaves our most vulnerable communities and environments carrying the majority of the burden.

Thankfully, there are many incredible organizations dedicated to water issues around the world and, in support of their work, we’re excited to announce The Water Fountain.”

Here’s hoping the Water Fountain Fund supports some of our favorite charities that work to provide clean, safe drinking water and hygiene education to communities across the globe: WaterAidDrop in the Bucket and Oxfam America.

Watch tUnE-yArDs perform “Water Fountain” on Conan:

Chromeo and Passion Pit Get Freaky in Bed for MyMusicRx’s Bedstock 2014

Chromeo perform in bed for Bedstock Festival

By Jack Riewe

For kids with cancer and other serious illnesses, being stuck in a hospital is about to become a little more bearable.

MyMusicRx, an online extension of a two-decade-old program started by the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA), will present “Bedstock,” the first-ever music festival where the artists perform from their beds.

On December 2, artists including Passion Pit, B.o.B, Chromeo, and Shakey Graves will give intimate performances that will be filmed and streamed from their social media pages as well as Bedstock’s website throughout the day.

The purpose of the festival is to raise awareness and funds for MyMusicRx and show respect for kids suffering from serious illnesses who are forced to stay in bed over the holidays. The performances will be intimate, and bring to mind John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 famed Bed In for Peace.

MyMusicRx provides unlimited online music access to kids living with disease and prescribes them with “music medicine.” CCA believes music is a powerful weapon in facing serious diseases, and aims to get kids involved with music to bring them joy and distract them from their illnesses. Regina Ellis, founder and CEO of CCA, took the premise of sitting around a campfire playing music and brought it to hospital rooms using carts equipped with musical instruments and iPads.

Footwear brand Converse has partnered with MyMusicRx and will match the first $10,000 raised by Bedstock. In addition, SOL REPUBLIC will donate a dollar for every headphone and accessory bought on their website between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Other partners include Atlantic Records, Nike, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, The Fader and Ace Hotels.

Bedstock will coincide with “Giving Tuesday,” which is a day dedicated to giving back and uniting charities across the world.

“We’re doing this for all the kids that can’t get out of bed,” said David Macklovitch, one half of electronic funk duo Chromeo. “We were supposed to have a concert but we just stayed in bed instead.”

Check out Chromeo’s Bedstock teaser trailer:

The Ally Coalition Assembles Top Talent to Support Equality

Fun.'s Jack Antonoff co-founded the Ally Coalition to support LGBTQ equality

By Travis Clark

For one night only, some of the top talent in the entertainment industry will assemble for The Ally Coalition’s Talent Show on December 2 at New World Stages in New York City. The Ally Coalition was co-founded by the Grammy-winning band Fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff, and works with members of the music, fashion and entertainment worlds to raise awareness and funds in support of LGBTQ equality.

Entertainers already announced for the show include Bleachers, “Girls” creator Lena Dunham, comedian Janeane Garofalo, singer Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate, and singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. More special guests will be announced soon.

The proceeds from the show will be donated to The Ally Coalition’s local partner organizations across the country. One of these organizations is New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth in New York City, which aims to increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth to enable them to go beyond the shelter system and transition into stable adult lives. It provides many valuable services, ranging from education to community building activities to build self-esteem and form a friendly community environment.

“We’re excited to bring together the talents of so many people we respect for an amazing night,” says Jack Antonoff, one of the founders of TAC and a founding member of the bands Bleachers and Fun. “There are so many local organizations across the country helping LGBTQ youth in their community and we are grateful to bring attention to their important work.”

The Ally Coalition is currently working on several different projects like collecting winter hats, providing hot meals and raising funds for Detroit’s Ruth Ellis Center to build a community health center that to provide medical and mental health services for runaway, homeless and at-risk gay, lesbian and transgender youth.

To learn more about The Ally Coalition and to find tickets for the Talent Show, check out its Facebook page.

Rock Lottery Brings Together Members of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Au Revoir Simone, Parquet Courts and Crocodiles to Benefit the Harmony Program

Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone

By Jack Riewe

Brooklyn’s Rock Lottery, a unique event that brings 25 musicians together to create music outside their comfort zone and donate the proceeds to the local non-profit Harmony Program, will mark its fifth anniversary on December 6.

Stripped from their bands, the musicians will be divided up into five groups and given 12 hours to create their own songs and band names. Each musician will have to collaborate (and possibly clash) with others to prepare songs to perform for an audience at 9pm that night.

The experimental event was started in 1997 by Good/Bad Art Collective in Denton, Texas, and has become famous there, as well as in Brooklyn and Seattle.

Judging from the list of the selected musicians, each one is different than the one before and brings a unique sound and artistry to the proceedings. Every musician will act as a unique piece of a brand new ensemble, making this event all the more interesting and building suspense to hear the final product.

This year’s lineup includes members of Au Revoir Simone, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Antony & the Johnsons, Parquet Courts and more. The list of brave souls includes:

Annie Hart (Au Revoir Simone)
Bob D’Amico (Sebadoh / Fiery Furnaces)
Brandon Welchez (Crocodiles)
Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Drums & Drones / NYC Improv)
Carter Yatsutake (Midnight Magic / Bad Credit No Credit / Played with Macklemore & St. Vincent)
Drew Citron (Beverly)
Jesse Kristin (Jukebox the Ghost)
Julia Kent (Antony & the Johnsons)
Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck)
Mauro Refosco (Forro In the Dark / David Byrne’s Band)
Olly Peacock (Gomez)
Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu / Hot Snakes / Obits)
Sean Yeaton (Parquet Courts)
Teeny Lieberson (TEEN)
Travis Morrison (Dismemberment Plan)

Here are some of the exciting possibilities:

Imagine Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles in a group with Beverly vocalist and guitarist Drew Criton. It would be an ’80s-style songwriting powerhouse if fused together.

Annie Hart, the haunting singer of Brooklyn’s own Au Revoir Simone, will offer a folksy Neko Case-like dynamic if fused with someone such as Olly Peacock of Gomez, who is probably the most invincible drummer of the group.

Heads will roll if Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ drummer, Brian Chase, partners with Matt Shulz of Holy Fuck, who’s known for raucously improvising on stage.

The list is loaded with talented frontmen and women, as well as drummers, but seems to lack bassists, so look for improvement there.

The Brooklyn Rock Lottery’s earnings, which include tickets and raffles, will be donated to the Harmony Program, which provides after-school music education programs in underserved communities across New York City.

HeadCount Teams Up with Jack Johnson, Weird Al, Jason Mraz and More to Encourage Young People to ‘Go Vote’

Jack Johnson encourages fans to vote

By Travis Clark

This Election Day, HeadCount.org and more than 300 entertainers will work together in a massive campaign to get fans to vote. Using the hashtag #GoVote, the campaign aims to get more people out for the midterm elections on November 4.

The non-partisan voting organization  recognizes the likelihood of “drop-off” voting, where people ignore the midterm elections in favor of only voting in presidential ones. But with this new campaign, the hopes of getting more voters out this year are high.

Renowned musicians including Jack Johnson, “Weird Al” Yankovich, Jason Mraz, Neko Case, The Head and the Heart, Rise Against, Primus’ Les Claypool, Michael Franti, Andrew Bird, The Antlers, Drive-By-Truckers, Local Natives, Dr. Dog, and Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes are taking part in the motivating campaign, along with other entertainers including Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Sarah Silverman and more.

This illustrious group is tweeting and Instagraming photos of themselves holding artwork that says “#GoVote.” The average number of Twitter followers for each artist is one million, meaning the campaign will reach millions of fans and potential voters.
HeadCount curated art from many of the best rock poster artists for the entertainers to pose with. Much of this artwork can be found here.

HeadCount is a non-partisan organization that works with musicians to promote democracy. They come out to concerts to rally young voters with voter registration drives, and hold special events to promote voting and getting your voice heard. Their goal: to make voting fun through the power of music.

“The incumbent Congress is the least popular in history, so we can’t leave it to the candidates alone to inspire people,” says Marc Brownstein, HeadCount’s co-founder and bass player in The Disco Biscuits. “We’re trying to get the message across that being dissatisfied is a bad reason not to vote – it’s the exact reason why participation is so important.”

To find more information on the campaign and the election, click here.

My Morning Jacket Teams Up with The North Face on Ambitious Campaign to Benefit Public Lands

My Morning Jacket recording cover of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land:

By Laura Ferreiro

My Morning Jacket has recorded a gorgeous and wistful cover of Woody Guthrie’s famous anthem, “This Land Is Your Land,” and the band wants people to take that message quite literally. The Kentucky indie rockers have teamed up with outdoor brand The North Face and the Department of the Interior on a campaign to encourage people to spend more time enjoying the outdoors and supporting the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC).

Its name might be a mouthful, but 21CSC’s mission is simple. It employs young people and veterans to protect, restore and enhance public lands across the United States.

Through the campaign, people can download a copy of My Morning Jacket’s version of “This Land Is Your Land” via iTunes, and the band is donating all of their proceeds to support the cause. What’s more, The North Face is donating $250,000 to 21CSC, and running an advertising spot featuring the tune and encouraging people to support the cause and get out into the great outdoors.

The spot shows world-class athletes including ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes, skier Hilaree O’Neill and climber Alex Honnold excelling at their sports at breathtaking locations across the country.

“If you can inspire people to love the outdoors, they will grow to care about their natural world, protecting and conserving the places that many of us know as our playgrounds,” says The North Face president Todd Spaletto. “We are extremely proud to raise awareness, support the 21CSC and motivate people to reimagine exploration in their own lives.”

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James said it was an honor to cover Guthrie’s moving tune. “I was moved to tears last summer as I stood at the Guthrie Archives in Tulsa listening to him sing this song and singing along, while looking at his original hand-written copy of the lyrics, words that ring with such vital truth and speak so deeply to the soul of everyone who hears them,” he says. “We are so thrilled to sing these lyrics once again, and have it benefit an initiative we care so deeply about – protecting and preserving our country’s vital resources.”

The North Face’s “Your Land” campaign is the brand’s largest to date, and will encourage people to reimagine what it means to explore. One way it will do this is by whisking away random people in the country’s largest concrete jungle – New York City – and taking them on an outdoor adventure in secret locations where they’ll kayak, bike and do other outdoor activities. They’ll be documenting the adventures on social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter with a #seeforyourself tag, and encourage others to take photos of themselves at gorgeous outdoor destinations and share them with the same hashtag.

Take Action to Win Tickets to the Under 30 Music Festival

Wiz Khalifa

By Laura Ferreiro

Okay everyone, put away your wallets and take out your pens and cell phones! Instead of purchasing tickets to see Wiz Khalifa, DJ Afrojack, and LP perform at the Forbes Under 30 Music Festival on October 19 in Philadelphia, you can win tickets here by taking one of the following actions:

-Sign the petition to support the Water for the World Act — legislation that refines and improves the current Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act that makes safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene a U.S. foreign policy priority. The Water for the World Act would better utilize the existing funds and strengthen accountability for existing programs.

-Tweet at Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Lindsey Graham, Congresswoman Kay Granger and Congresswoman Nita Lowey and thank them for working to ensure every child across the world has access to protection from diseases.

-Sign the petition encouraging world leaders to help end the Ebola epidemic.

-Tweet a selfie with the hashtag #showyourself, joining the petition that shows world leaders that the rights and needs of the 1.8 billion young people across the globe must be a priority.

The concert is being presented by Global Citizen Nights, the folks behind the annual Global Citizen Festival and the Global Poverty Project, an education and advocacy organization working to build a movement to end extreme poverty within a generation. It will kick off Forbes’ Under 30 Summit, which will bring together members of Forbes’ Under 30 List with business leaders, mentors, musicians including Questlove, Afrojack and more.

Even if you can’t make it to Philly for the concert or the deadline has passed, you can still consider improving your karma by taking action to support these important endeavors.

 

Not Your Average Pickin’ and Grinnin’ — The Bluegrass Situation Festival to Benefit Children’s Cancer Association

Lord Huron

By Travis Clark

There’s a situation brewing – a Bluegrass Situation to be precise. The bluegrass, folk and Americana festival will take place October 10 and 11at the Ace Hotel Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The festival is being hosted by the Bluegrass Situation, an online hub for news related to bluegrass, folk and Americana music. The Situation aims to create unique and quality content covering everything from folk rock to roots in a variety of locations across the country. At its heart is the music festival, a hub of exciting and passionate talent.

The Children’s Cancer Association will set up a booth on site at this year’s festival and receive a portion of ticket sales proceeds. One dollar from each ticket sold will go towards the Association, along with proceeds from a silent auction that will take place.

The festival boasts an impressive line-up of young artists over its two days. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Josh Ritter and Willie Watson are slated to perform Friday, while Lord Huron, Blind Pilot, Shakey Graves and Langhorne Slim will round out the bill on Saturday.

Actor Ed Helms of “The Office” and “The Hangover” trilogy is the pioneer of the Bluegrass Situation. He’s also an accomplished bluegrass musician whose passion for the genre runs deep.

“The roots music scene in Los Angeles has been exploding for some time, so in 2010, Largo founder Mark Flanagan and I decided it was time for a serious Bluegrass Situation,” says Helms. “At this rate, I predict bluegrass music will eclipse the movie industry in Los Angeles in about six months, give or take.”

Click here for tickets and more information.

San Diego Music Thing Connects Public with Industry Professionals

Deap Vally will headline San Diego Music Thing

By Travis Clark

Some “thing” is coming to San Diego, and it’s taking the music industry by storm.

The San Diego Music Thing rolls into town September 11-13. What’s this “thing” all about? It’s a two-day music conference and festival that gives attendees the chance to meet industry professionals and improve their knowledge of the music business through interactive round-table sessions.

At night, more than 150 bands will perform at venues across the Southern California beach city. The eclectic lineup includes L.A-based indie rockers Liars, powerful female blues-rock duo Deap Vally, indie-pop duo Cults, Grammy-winning Latin rock band La Santa Cecilia, lo-fi dream pop outfirt Cherry Glazerr, surf-punk band the Frights,  Torches — a duo that has made their mark on the LA music scene with dark, indie rock — and many, many more. For a full list of bands, click here.

Moby will speak about electronic music at the conference

Several musicians will also speak at the conference, including renowned electronic artist Moby, T.S.O.L frontman Jack Grisham, and R&B cult hero Swamp Dogg.

The Music Thing is produced by the San Diego Music Foundation, which educates youth about music in 75 schools across San Diego County. Created in 1991, the Foundation aims to make music performances available to children in need. It also offers professional development to current and emerging musicians, and offers free live performances for the general public.

For more information about the San Diego Music Foundation or to volunteer at one of their events, click here. To pick up two-day badges or one-day wristbands for the festival, click here.