This week in RCS Music News Weekly: Royal G Symphony drops “Don’t Look Now,” SOCAN expands online concert royalties, TroyBoy’s Casting Stage hits Royal City Studios on April 2nd, and YouTube slips into Shorts and paints a bullseye on TikTok.
People Nervous About Ditching Masks Post-Pandemic
According to a March 2021 survey of 1,000 people by healthinsurance.com, 22% of people are looking forward to ditching masks post-pandemic. Yet 41% said they won’t feel comfortable indoors without wearing a mask—even if everyone is vaccinated.
What does this mean for concert promoters and bands planning to organize and market their own live shows post-pandemic?
It Will Undoubtedly Mean Addressing Comfort Levels
Hesitancy by some people to attend live shows in the immediate wake of COVID-19 certainly speaks to livestreamed shows as something that people may continue to look for (at least for a while). Yet beyond any practical health considerations, hesitancy points toward the need for audience comfort-level accommodation by promoters and bands based on the divided politics and attitudes about masks that characterized 2020.
ICYMI: It Was an Us-and-Them Spectacle
Many people felt stigmatized and afraid wearing a mask during 2020 for reasons that had nothing to do with medical precaution and everything to do with intolerance and blindness (to put it mildly). While attitudes shifted with time as more people chose masks (or were forced to wear them), the events of 2020 left a lasting mark on the social fabric. People who choose to continue wearing masks post-pandemic will undoubtedly feel awkward or fearful for while around people who can’t wait to ditch masks for good. So, comfort-level planning for audiences may need to be part of post-pandemic show-planning by bands and promoters, not just for ticket sales but to help repair the damage done by the us-and-them spectacle.
UMe Releases Chris Cornell’s Last Completed Studio Album
ICYMI: Last week, UMe released Chris Cornell’s album No One Sings Like You Anymore on vinyl. Released digitally in December 2020, the album (Cornell’s last fully completed studio album before his death) features his renditions of 10 songs by artists that inspired him, including “Watching the Wheels” (John Lennon), “Get It While You Can” (popularized by Janis Joplin), and “Patience” (Guns N’ Roses).
Bandcamp Again Waives Revenue Share
In its continuing efforts to put more money into the pockets of artists during the pandemic, Bandcamp is once again waiving revenue share on all music sales on April 2nd, 2021, from midnight to midnight, Pacific Time.
To assist artists whose musical careers were financially hammered by COVID-19, Bandcamp has waived revenue share on the first Friday of every month since March 2020. To date, over 800,000 fans have spent millions of dollars on Bandcamp downloads to help artists cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and more.
On non-Bandcamp Fridays, an average of 82% of revenue from Bandcamp sales reaches artists/labels. On Bandcamp Fridays, an average of 93% of revenue from Bandcamp sales reaches artists/labels. So, if you’re an artist with music on Bandcamp, tell your fans about Bandcamp Fridays by shooting them this link (https://isitbandcampfriday.com/) so they can get involved on April 2nd.
Elton Releases “Scarecrow” and Five Other Rarities on Digital
Yesterday, the Rocket Man (a.k.a. Elton John) announced that “Scarecrow” (the song that began his songwriting career with lyricist Bernie Taupin) was available for the first time on streaming platforms. Released in celebration of Elton’s 74th birthday, “Scarecrow” (from Elton: Jewel Box) was released digitally with five other rarities: “Holiday Inn,” “Keep It a Mystery,” “Smokestack Children,” “Two of a Kind,” and “Conquer the Sun.”
Orange Is the New Red!
ICYMI: Last Monday, Red (Control) lifted to Orange (Restrict) in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region. That means more people are allowed in our rehearsal studios.
TroyBoy’s Casting Stage Returns Friday, April 2nd
TroyBoy Entertainment returns to Royal City Studios on Friday, April 2nd, 2021, with TroyBoy’s Casting Stage. Hosted by the King of Queens himself, Mr. TroyBoy Parks, the show features five casting stars vying on stage for a chance to be casted with Ontario’s leading traveling entertainment company, plus a cash prize and invitation back to the next Casting Stage.
Guest Mentor: Canadian drag icon Farra N. Hyte
Casted Star: Ophelia Manson
- Dulce the Queen
- Davinah Black
- Alby Kween
- Baby Butcher
- Ultra Violet
Doors open at 6 p.m. Casting Stage starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets – $25. Click here to grab yours while they last.
TroyBoy’s Casting Stage is open to anyone age 19 or older who has a passion for the performing arts. Contact TroyBoy Entertainment to sign up.
TroyBoy Entertainment is Southwestern Ontario’s fastest-growing Nightlife Productions company, specializing in drag and burlesque since 2014.
Launch Auctions the First-Ever Concert as an NFT
On March 19th, 2021, the boutique production company and creative agency Launch announced the auction of the first-ever concert as an NFT (non-fungible token). Hosted on the crypto-goodies site OpenSea, the concert is the March 13th, 2021, livestreamed performance by blues singer/guitarist Ana Popovic and Grammy-winning blues/rock guitarist Paul Nelson at The Music Room in Cape Cod, MA.
According to Launch CEO Brian Stolley, “NFTS are putting the power back into the hands of creators,” but Stolley was kind of vague about the how.
Presumably, Stolley meant NFT sales stand as a potential new income source for artists. RCS Music News Weekly is certainly not going to say artists shouldn’t explore new sources of possible income. And with some people now paying millions for NFTs, the cash-for-pixels frontier certainly has a glittering Gold Rush appeal to which some journalists attach dollar signs like bedazzlers cranked on red Bull. Yet behind the hype, the NFT marketplace operates the same as any marketplace.
Demand dictates price and sales, meaning for every Beeple out there earning large crypto-dollars, countless other people are making pixel-pennies, even though their work is awesome.
So, if you’re going to dive into the non-fungible pool, you first may wish to spend time marketing your music in more traditional ways and building up your fan base before considering NFT sales. That way, if you do head into non-fungible territory, the trip may be worth your time and effort.
YouTube Paints a Bullseye on TikTok
Last week, YouTube began beta testing YouTube Shorts in a bid to compete with TikTok. According to YouTube, Shorts will allow users to spice up videos with special effects and soundtracks pulled from YouTube’s official library, and eventually allow users to use videos and audio from across the YouTube platform.
What This Means for Artists Uploading Music to YouTube
Given widespread misunderstanding, indifference, and/or complete unawareness of copyright, YouTube Shorts (like TikTok) represents one more platform for public misuse of copyrighted music. So, artists uploading music to YouTube should carefully consider how to manage music rights.
SOCAN Expands Online Concert Royalties
To help artists whose income from in-person concerts and touring was pandemically beheaded, SOCAN announced an expanded program to enable music creators and publishers to earn more from online performances. SOCAN members will now be able to receive royalties (performance and reproduction rights royalties) from both free and ticketed online concerts on more digital platforms.
This permanent change replaces SOCAN’s Encore initiative launched last May in which royalties were paid for live performances on Facebook and Instagram.
- For more info, visit SOCAN.
- If you’re a Canadian artist who’s not yet a member of SOCAN, click here. (Membership is free and takes minutes to complete.)
Royal G Symphony Drops “Don’t Look Now”
Last night, the five-piece Guelph band Royal G Symphony released their second single, “Don’t Look Now.” Recorded at Royal City Studios, the release follows the band’s inaugural single “Juno” (also recorded at Royal City Studios).
Both layered and straight-ahead, “Don’t Look Now” reflects the developing and unique musical alchemy of Royal G Symphony. Subtly echoing a compositional style found with bands like Porcupine Tree, Royal G Symphony strongly—and authentically—evoke the sound and essence of songs like “Last American Exit” and “Small Town Bringdown,” the lead tracks of the 1987 debut EP by an unknown Kingston, ON band called The Tragically Hip.
Loyal Sun Dogs Release Their Debut Album
Guelph band Loyal Sun Dogs recently released their self-titled debut album. Blending rock and psychedelic influences, the album is available on Spotify and iTunes. You can also listen to the album on the band’s home page and download tracks for free.
Randy Bachman Presents a Simple Anti-Gun Message in “Bullets”
Legendary Canadian artist Randy Bachman (BTO/The Guess Who) presents a simple, sensible message to the U.S. government and the NRA as co-lyricist and featured vocalist on DJ Shub’s March 19th release of the anti-gun song “Bullets.” In order to prevent the estimated 38,000 deaths each year in America from gun violence, the song urges, “You gotta stop making bullets” for the simple reason, “You can’t kill nobody with an empty gun.” To the number of gun-violence deaths, the song asks, “How many is too many?” (RCS Music News Weekly believes “one” is the correct answer.”)
Mobius Radio is set to release a new single in April. RCS Music News Weekly can’t say much more at this point, other than the release features a certain electric violin wizard and a hilarious video. Stay tuned!
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