Businesses and Musicians Including Metallica and Dave Matthews Come Together to Support Bay Area Fire Victims


By James Pleasant

In response to the firestorms that recently devastated the North Bay area in California, several businesses and musicians have banded together to form Band Together Bay Area – a coalition including Kaiser Permanente, Google, the San Francisco Giants, Levi Strauss Foundation, and Live Nation – to support those affected by the deadliest and most destructive firestorm in California history.

In addition to raising more than $6.5 million from corporate sponsors and donors, Band Together Bay area will host a benefit concert on Thursday, November 9 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, with headliners including Metallica, Dave Matthews, G-Eazy, and more. One hundred percent of the proceeds for this concert will go the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund in order to provide housing, food, education, healthcare, and other services to low-income communities devastated by the firestorm.

“Our neighbors in the North Bay have shown incredible strength as a community, and Google is proud to support Band Together Bay Area to help bring critical resources, funding, and support for those affected by the devastating wildfires in Northern California,” said Google VP Jacqueline Fuller.

“The recent tragic events up in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties have left us all saddened,” said Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich in a video promoting the concert.

“We’re here to help as much as we can, and this concert on November 9 is one small way we can do that.”

The firestorm has burned almost 200,000 acres and 6,000 homes in the Bay Area, leaving thousands of residents without homes or shelter. The damage costs have already reached billions of dollars.

Tickets for the concert are available at and at Ticketmaster. First responders, volunteers, and families that have been affected the fires will be able to attend the concert free of charge.

To learn more about Band Together Bay Area, click here. For more information about Tipping Point Community and their fantastic work, click here.

Linkin Park to Play One-Night-Only Live-Stream Tribute Concert for Chester Bennington

Linkin Park

By Rachel Komich

Linkin Park is hosting a night of music in honor of their late bandmate Chester Bennington on October 27 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. For one night only, Linkin Park will be joined by artists including Blink-182, Machine Gun Kelly, Jonathan Davis from Korn, Kiiara, Zedd, members of No Doubt, System of A Down, Yellowcard, Avenged Sevenfold and many others.

The concert, Linkin Park & Friends Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington, sold out immediately but the entire show will be live streaming for free on Linkin Park’s Youtube channel beginning at 7:45pm PST on October 27.

The night will be the first time that Linkin Park will be performing on stage together since Bennington passed away on July 20, so it is bound to be a moving and emotional evening.

Linkin Park established the One More Light Fund in honor of their friend and bandmate’s enthusiasm to give back to others. The fund is part of the non-profit Music for Relief, which was co-founded by Bennington and his bandmates to provide aid to natural disaster survivors and to protect the environment. Follow the link to support The One More Light Fund here.

Joan Baez, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews and More Play Lampedusa Concerts for Refugees

Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Buddy Miller play Lampedusa Concerts for Refugees 2017

By Rachel Komich

A slew of notable artists have come together for a series of benefit concerts to help refugees rebuild their lives and to support educational opportunities for displaced people. Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees features a formidable lineup including Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Dave Matthews, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, The Mastersons, Lucinda Williams, Lila Downs and more.

The concert series, sponsored by the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will hit several cities throughout October including Los Angeles, Tucson, Albuquerque and Dallas. All proceeds will go toward aiding refugees.

“Education is a life-saving intervention for refugees,” said David Robinson, Executive Director of JRS/USA. “With Lampedusa, we hope people are inspired by the music and are compelled to get involved.” The Jesuit Refugee Service is an international organization that goes wherever it is needed in order to meet refugees, regardless of race and religion, to provide access and support for educational opportunities.

“I believe that education is the key to everything,” Emmylou Harris said after her trip to Ethiopia last year to visit one of the many JRS programs in 42 countries around the world. This is Harris’ second year working with Lampedusa.

Matthew Reynolds, UNHCR regional representative for the United States and the Caribbean, explained the importance of education for refugee children. “For children forced to flee their homes, school provides security, stability and opportunity when everything else in their lives is uncertain and unrecognizable,” he said.

UNHCR was established in 1950 by the UN General Assembly to protect the rights and welfare of refugees. Over the past 60 years, UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people get back on their feet.

Check out the remaining tour dates and line up here:

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Guitar Instruction Pack Designed by Ex-Megadeth Member Marty Friedman Benefits Guitarist Jason Becker

Guitarist Jason Becker

By James Pleasant

Renowned heavy metal guitarist Marty Friedman is teaming up with Riff Axelerator to help fund the living and medical expenses of Jason Becker—a legendary guitarist whose career was tragically cut short after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 1990.

Riff Axelerator, a program designed to help guitarists of all levels learn how to play various rock and heavy metal licks, recently unveiled its Marty Friedman lick lesson pack which features 10 different guitar licks spanning Friedman’s expansive career. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Jason Becker Special Needs Fund.

Friedman, who’s best known for his work as lead guitarist for Megadeth in the 1990s, worked with Becker on music projects in the late 1980s. The two guitarists played together in the band Cacophony, and on two of Friedman’s solo albums.

Marty Friedman and Jason Becker, before Becker was diagnosed with ALS.

Shortly after receiving the New Guitarist of the Year award from Guitar Magazine in 1990, Becker began to feel a lazy limp in his left leg before officially receiving a diagnosis of ALS later that year, and was given three to five years to live. Despite beating those initial odds, the disease eventually left Becker unable to speak, walk, and play guitar. He remains mentally sharp as ever, and is able to effectively communicate and play music with eye pattern technology invented by his father. Becker’s journey is chronicled in the 2012 documentary, “Not Dead Yet.” 

ALS is a crippling neural disease that robs victims of the ability to use basic motor skills and deteriorates their muscles, eventually causing death. More than 6,000 people in the United States alone are diagnosed with ALS each year, according to the ALS Association.

To purchase the Marty Friedman lick pack and learn more about the fundraiser, click here. To donate directly to the Jason Becker Special Needs Fund, click here.

Music Tastes Good Festival Brings Together Top Bands & Good Food While Giving Back

Sleater-Kinney headlines Music Tastes Good

By Laura Ferreiro

The second annual Music Tastes Good festival is not only poised to sound good and taste good, but it is also doing good.

The festival, which takes place at the scenic Marina Green Park in Long Beach, Calif. September 30 to October 1, features an eclectic musical lineup including Sleater-Kinney, Ween, Ride, Charles Bradley, Los Lobos, Alvvays, Of Montreal, Dengue Fever, Heaven 17 and many more, and a tent filled with gourmet food created by top chefs from around the country. What’s more, it has teamed up with Oxfam, the international relief organization that works to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice.

Music Tastes Good is donating a percentage of ticket sales proceeds to Oxfam, and for just one day — August 31 — 100% of all ticket sales will go to the non-profit.

“We jumped at the opportunity to work with an organization like Oxfam,” said Christopher Watson, Music Tastes Good’s Creative & Marketing Director. “There are four famines in the world today and there’s not nearly enough attention on what’s happening. If we can help create even a small ripple in the big picture, whatever we could do to bring attention to this to help Oxfam we wanted to do.”

Watson explained that giving back is a huge part of why the festival was created in the first place. “There are three cornerstones of our brand — music, food, and doing good things and creating good,” he explained. “Oxfam gives us the opportunity to impress upon others and give back and do good, and honor (festival founder) Josh’s legacy.”

Josh Fischel, a long-time touring musician and documentary filmmaker, teamed up with SoCal talent buyer Jon Halperin to create the Music Tastes Good Festival in 2016. The idea was to showcase top talent and many of their favorite bands to attract showgoers to their hometown of Long Beach, which often plays second fiddle to Los Angeles in terms of attracting major musical acts. Tragically, just as last year’s festival was winding down, Fischel became gravely ill after a long battle with liver disease and passed away.

Alvvays will perform at Music Tastes Good

This year Watson, Halperin and Fischel’s wife Abbie Fischel are working hard to keep Fischel’s dream alive, booking several of his favorite bands, such as Ween, emphasizing good food and giving back. “Josh always wanted to do things as big and as crazy as possible,” Watson recalled. “We tried to stick to that. We booked some of his favorite bands. And Josh loved food, so we worked hard to make sure we elevated the food component and we’re bringing in chefs from New Orleans and Long Beach for a cultural exchange of flavors and ideas. We’re calling it ‘port to port.’ Both cities are so rich in cultural diversity, and we tried to play on this. Essentially we’re honoring Josh by building an incredible party.”

Oxfam Music Outreach Manager Bob Ferguson explained that there’s a lot of synergy between his organization and the festival, which is why it made sense for them to be a part of it. “Oxfam is thrilled to partner with Music Tastes Good this year,” he said. “There are so many interesting parallels between the festival and our work. I love that thousands of people will come together around common interests of great music and delicious food. We work with some of the greatest artists and chefs in the world to amplify our hunger, poverty, and justice campaigns, and we know that Southern Californians are always helpful to us. It’s a perfect place for us to be.”

Grab your festival tickets here. Check out the Music Tastes Good lineup announcement video here:

Dispatch, Bob Moses and More Headline Creating Equilibrium Festival Tackling Environmental Issues


By James Pleasant

With the effects of global warming becoming increasingly evident around the world and a U.S. administration that is rolling back pollution standards, pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and is defunding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more and more musicians and music festivals are becoming eco-conscious and working toward real-world solutions to address these issues.

One such festival is the brand-new Creating Equilibrium festival, which takes place August 25-27 in the Squaw Valley of Lake Tahoe, Calif. The festival and accompanying conference aim to tackle environmental issues head-on and provide attendees with a star-studded concert featuring performances by Dispatch, Allen Stone, Bob Moses and supergroup Secret Stash comprised of Nate Ruess (Fun.), Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), and Sully Erna (Godsmack), and more.

Creating Equilibrium will also host a “Visons” conference, which brings together technologists, environmentalists, scientists, and business leaders to brainstorm and develop real-world solutions to environmental crises that are doing damage to the Earth and its inhabitants. Speakers including conservation biologist Patricia Wright, Nature of Things host David Suzuki, M.D., YouTube star Prince EA and many more will provide insights and solutions on how to combat modern environmental challenges.

The festival also gives environmental entrepreneurs the opportunity to receive funding for their eco-friendly ventures through the EQ Ventures program. Venture capital firm EQ Ventures will pick three to five startups with the best, most-practical initiatives for solving environmental issues. Winners will receive $25,000-$100,000 as an initial investment, an official EQ Ventures membership that includes mentoring and training, and the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of additional high-profile investors.

Creating Equilibrium was by founded by journalist and science writer Steven Kotler, technology entrepreneur Gabrielle Hull, and others as a response to the recent lack of government support for environmental issues in combination with their love of music.

For tickets, click here. To apply to attend the “Visions” conference, click here.
To apply to the EQ Ventures contest, click here and sign up by August 6.

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips on Partnering with Sierra Club for Clean Energy Campaign and Summer Tour

Toad the Wet Sprocket. Photo: Rob Shanahan

By Laura Ferreiro

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s upbeat pop melodies garnered them a string of hits in the ’90s including “Walk on the Ocean” and “All I Want.” But dig a little deeper and you’ll find poignant, introspective lyrics and weighty themes that tackle some of life’s most enduring issues and questions. So it’s no surprise that such a thoughtful band supports many important social causes, ranging from protecting the environment to supporting research for rare diseases.

Now, as the chart-topping band hits the road to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1997 album Coil, Toad has teamed up with the Sierra Club, one of the most influential environmental non-profits in the U.S. Together they’re promoting the Ready for 100 campaign, which is a movement of people working to inspire leaders to embrace a world powered by 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2050.

“We’re all big supporters of the Sierra Club,” lead singer Glen Phillips tells Music for Good. “It was an easy thing for us to all agree on as far as an initiative to support. It seemed like a no-brainer. We know that the old ways of doing business aren’t particularly good for the planet. The current administration is turning the clock back in terms of stewardship of the planet. We wanted to do our part keep the conversation rolling on how people can get involved locally to [affect positive change].”

Glen Philips. Photo: Ashtin Paige

The Ready for 100 campaign encourages people to act locally to lend their voices to pursuade mayors, CEOs, pastors, principals, civic and community leaders, parents and students to find renewable energy solutions. Renewable energy sources including solar and wind power have no carbon or greenhouse emissions, use resources that will never be depleted, and are not toxic to humans and the planet, unlike energy powered by fossil fuels including oil and coal that can be harmful to people and the Earth’s environment.

The partnership between Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Sierra Club will benefit the non-profit through fundraising, awareness raising and reaching fans directly at their concerts throughout North America. Phillips said that getting involved in this campaign is one way the band can help offset some of the negative impact that touring and personal buying habits can have on the environment.

“We use factory-made goods and go out [on tour] in a diesel-fueled bus,” he said. “To make up for some of the impact we’re having and help net good with what we’re doing, we wanted to get involved in the movement toward clean energy.”

Phillips, who comes from a socially engaged family – his mother and father were both scientists and his mother was a member of the League of Women Voters – said that they also want to do what they can to help foster a new generation of activists. “How do we encourage the younger generations to find their activism, from Gen X to the Millennials?” he asked. “Millennials are getting really involved on the local level. The more tools that are available to remind them of local action, the better. There’s a ripple effect.”

Meanwhile, Phillips was excited about the upcoming tour dates with his long-time bandmates, minus one member of their quartet. “Our drummer Randy [Guss] broke a couple of ribs, so we’ll have another drummer coming out,” Phillips said. “It’s the first time we’ll have someone else in the drum seat. It’s always been the four of us with the exception of maybe five shows ever.”

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s tour will hit cities across the U.S. this summer, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Tucson, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Austin, and Dallas. For a complete list of tour dates, click here.

In addition to attending a Toad the Wet Sprocket concert in a city near you, you can take action and join the global movement for 100 percent clean and renewable energy here.

Hot Chip, Jessie Ware, The National and More to Play Massive Global Concert Series Aiding Refugees

The National

By Kennedi Johnson

On September 20, in more than 200 cities across the globe, hundreds of artists will come together to put on more than 300 concerts. Music fans will open their homes for the concerts, hosting the likes of Hot Chip, Billy Bragg, Jessie Ware, The National, Kate Tempest, and Grouplove in their very own living rooms.

This “Give a Home” concert series is not only pioneering, but it also supports an important humanitarian cause. The series is collaboration between Sofar Sounds, a London-based company specializing in holding concerts in the comfort of peoples’ homes, and Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organization. The two organizations are coming together to bring awareness to the growing, and extremely urgent refugee crisis.

The current number of refugees across the globe is estimated to be above 21 million. That’s right—over 21 million men, women, and children have been uprooted from their homes to flee the ruins of war, persecution, or natural disasters. And only 10 of the world’s 193 countries host more than half of the refugees, meaning that those in need have limited access to vital resources and shelter.

The concert series will give people the chance to show solidarity and love towards those without a place to call home. “With more than 22 million people forced to flee their home country, the world refugee crisis is one of the defining issues of our era,” says Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. “How we respond to it now will shape who we are for generations to come. This is our moment to defend the things that unite us and refuse to let fear and prejudice win.”

In addition to the musical performances, each concert will also include talks from activists working with refugees who will offer concertgoers a better understanding of the refugee crisis and share ideas of what can be done to help.

“Music and art have always been powerful partners to the cause of justice because they share an ability to stir something deep within us,” Shetty adds. “They help us to look beyond borders and see what unites us.”

Fans can apply for tickets here and select their city and the event of their choice, earning the chance to win two tickets. They will have the option of making a donation to Amnesty International when applying. The concerts will also be livestreamed via VICE and Facebook Live.

To learn more about Amnesty International and its campaign to aid refugees, click here. To learn more about Sofar Sounds, click here.

Bleachers and The Ally Coalition Promote LGBTQ Equality on Summer Tour

By Alexandra Gulesserian

Forty percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Yes, you read that number correctly. It’s a staggering figure, and Jack Antonoff of the bands Bleachers and Fun. believes it’s #Time2StepUp for LGBTQ equality. This is why Antonoff and his Bleachers bandmates have teamed up with The Ally Coalition, a national non-profit that works with entertainers and their fans to raise awareness, action and funds in support of LGBTQ equality, for the #Time2StepUp campaign.

Bleachers and The Ally Coalition are touring North America together this summer, raising awareness and funds for organizations that support the LGBTQ community nationwide.

We’ve made great strides in the last few years. The Supreme Court ruled the constitution guarantees marriage for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, there is still a long way to go. There are currently more than 30 states that have introduced anti-LGBTQ legislation. What’s more, discrimination, hate crimes, and homelessness are affecting the community in big ways.

There are many incredible ways to get involved and support this great cause. You can rock out across the country during the Bleachers Tour this summer. You can also volunteer with The Ally Coalition at one (or more) of their tour dates and earn free tickets to the show. Or visit The Ally Coalition website to find out how you can win a chance to meet Jack Antonoff, and get Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Pandora free for a year by donating or participating in online activities!

Check out tour dates here. For more information on how to win prizes and get involved, click here.

Moby, Neon Indian, Mayor Garcetti and More to Take the Stage at Second Annual Climate Day LA


By James Pleasant

Moby, Neon Indian, Weyes Blood, comedian Eric Warheim and many others will hit the stage at the second annual Climate Day LA—a day-long event presented by Southern California public radio station KCRW, IHEARTCOMIX and more to celebrate the importance of finding solutions to climate change.

Climate Day LA, taking place June 27 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, will support the Path to Positive LA initiative, which aims to reduce emissions and climate threats in Los Angeles—a city that boasts some of the worst air pollution in the US, according to a report by the American Lung Association.

Climate Day LA will begin with a daytime conference featuring lectures from climate experts, local leaders, and advocates discussing and strategizing methods to combat climate change. Speakers will include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Climate Resolve founder Jonathan Parfrey.

The daytime conference starting at noon is free with RSVP, but general admission to the evening concert costs $35 and will feature performances by international artists and DJs including Neon Indian, Weyes Blood, Eric Warheim and more. Single admission tickets to the Benefit Gala, featuring an exclusive DJ set by iconic electronic artist Moby cost $150, and a bundle for both the concert and gala costs $185.

Climate Day LA takes place just a few weeks after President Donald Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement—an international agreement aiming to reduce and decelerate the harmful effects of climate change.

To buy tickets to Climate Day LA, click here. For a full schedule and further details about the event, click here.