Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to Headline Shaun White’s Air + Style: Los Angeles

Shaun White Launches Air + Style in the U.S.

By Billy Restivo

Not only does Air + Style showcase some of the best snowboarders and skiers in the world, but the two-day event February 21 and 22 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena will also feature performances by an impressive list of top musical acts including Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Portugal. The Man, The Flaming Lips, Sleigh Bells, Phantogram, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and more.

At the forefront of this year’s Air + Style is pro snowboarder, skateboarder, musician, and entrepreneur Shaun White. After winning both the 2003 and 2004 Big Air competitions and going on to host the event in Beijing from 2010 to 2012, he took an interest in bringing Air + Style to the U.S.

Sixteen snowboarders and 16 skiers will come together to compete in the Air + Style: Los Angeles Big Air competitions. Dropping in at 16 stories high, these athletes will be scored on amplitude, style, difficulty, landing, and overall execution as bands on three different stages offer up the weekend’s soundtrack. Some competing athletes include Sage Kotsenburg, 2014 Olympic gold medalist in snowboard slopestyle; Mark McMorris, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in snowboard slopestyle; Bobby Brown, four-time Winter X Games ski slopestyle gold medalist; and Joss Christensen, 2014 Olympic gold medalist in ski slopestyle.

In addition to the big air exhibitions and 18 live musical performances, the event will be home to an onsite local art gallery and mini ramp demos featuring 12 pro skaters such as Ishod Wair, Greyson Fletcher and Curren Caples. The interactive Kidz Camp will also give younger attendees a chance to learn to ride on their own, have a go at the zipline, or hang out in the snow play zone.

In celebration of the event’s 21st year (and the first under the direction of Shaun White Enterprises), local artists will be live painting and auctioning off pieces of White’s own mini ramp to LIFT, an organization helping provide jobs, homes, and education for poverty stricken families across the country. Last year alone, LIFT generated $13.7 million in wage increases, tax refunds, public benefits, and housing assistance.

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Tibet House Benefit Concert to Feature Flaming Lips, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and More

Flaming Lips

By Billy Restivo

Tibet House US, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture, is gearing up to celebrate the silver anniversary of its annual benefit concert with some of the most renowned names in music. And what better place to do so than New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall?

Coming together for this year’s concert on March 5 is composer Philip Glass, who will be serving as curator, alongside The Flaming Lips and Laurie Anderson. Other performers include the acclaimed Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal and double-platinum selling Canadian roots artist Ashley McIsaac, with more acts being announced in the coming weeks. In addition to the impressive roster of musicians, photographer Chuck Close, actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, and director Arden Wohl will also be in attendance as Honorary Chairpersons.

Unique collaborations are not uncommon at the Tibet House US Benefit Concert, which gives way to the possibility of exclusive on-stage supergroups. Last year’s show featured a rendition of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Iggy Pop, Philip Glass, and Bernard Sumner, while 2012 showcased the spousal duo of Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

While it may seem easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of it all, this event has a much deeper core, ultimately working to keep Tibetan spirit alive. Since its founding in 1987, Tibet House US has helped establish a worldwide network of institutions committed to spreading and protecting this Asian nation’s culture, and it’s comforting to see a cast of stars dedicated to such a good cause and a celebrated tradition.

Tickets for this year’s Tibet House US Benefit Concert can be found here.

 

Foo Fighters’ First Show of 2015 to Benefit Three Music Charities

Foo Fighters

By Laura Ferreiro

Foo Fighters have announced their first show of 2015 and it’s a doozy. In addition to the fact that it will be their final show in Southern California before they embark on their Sonic Highways world tour on January 15, the concert will also benefit three incredible charities.

The show will take place January 10 at the Los Angeles Forum, and a large percentage of ticket sales proceeds will go to support three music charities: Sweet Relief, Rock School Scholarship Fund and MusiCares.

Sweet Relief is a renowned non-profit that provides financial assistance to career musicians in need. The Rock School Scholarship Fund provides scholarship funds and instruments for children ages 7 to 17 who want to attend rock music schools throughout the United States. MusiCares, a charitable arm of the Recording Academy, provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies.

Dave Grohl and company are scheduled to return to the LA Forum for two shows in September.

Get tickets for the January 10 benefit show here.

Wake Up with Win Butler’s Signature Brew Supporting Haitian Farmers

By Billy Restivo

Arcade Fire frontman and activist Win Butler has just announced the presale of RaRa Coffee, a specialty brew grown in Haiti and roasted by Philadelphia’s La Colombe Coffee Roasters. And while the internet is bound to blow up at the fusion of indie-rock and a nice cup of joe, Butler’s mission is much more encompassing. Proceeds from RaRa will go towards Haiti Coffee Academy, an organization helping Haitian farmers increase coffee production, as well as Boston-based non-profit Partners in Health.

Butler and the rest of the band have been known to advocate for Haiti relief, putting on shows in the area, teaming up with Godin Guitars, and lecturing at the University of Texas to raise awareness. Singer Régine Chassagne has an especially personal connection as the daughter of two Haitian immigrants. In a 2010 editorial written for the Guardian, she explained, “We need to treat Haiti with compassion and respect and make sure that the country gets back on its feet once and for all.” Clearly, Chassagne meant every word, as Arcade Fire continue their efforts to help the Haitian people.

“Haiti is buzzing with potential and possibility, and coffee can be an important part of its rebirth,” said Butler in support of La Colombe’s mission to aid the nation’s coffee farmers. “Coffee is so important to Haiti, and Haiti is so important to me and everyone in the band.”

In addition to whipping up signature blends, the Canadian gazillion-piece has been busy supporting their fourth LP, Reflektor. Arcade Fire’s arena tour, dubbed the Reflektor Tour (or Reflektour if you’re mega-hip or British), spanned nearly a whole year, beginning and ending in their hometown of Montreal. The record not only debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 back in 2013, and was also recently nominated for a couple of Grammy Awards, including Best Alternative Music Album and Best Music Video for the controversial “We Exist,” which you can check out below.

If you want to get your hands on some of Butler’s RaRa Coffee and help support Partners in Health and the Haiti Coffee Academy, you’re only a click away.

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.