Music News: #LoveRecordStores campaign supports retailers during crisis

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The music industry is marshaling its resources to support retailers and artists during this unprecedented crisis. Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) and John Prine are both in serious condition fighting COVID-19. (MPR Video)

The music industry is marshaling its resources to support retailers and artists during this unprecedented crisis.

In the U.K., a campaign using the hashtag #LoveRecordStores is encouraging fans to talk about why their favorite music retailers are important to them, and to encourage followers to patronize shuttered stores via online orders. Stars including Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Brittany Howard, Kurt Vile, and even Rick Astley are lending their support to the campaign, as album sales mark their slowest week in 60 years. (Billboard, Consequence of Sound)

Meanwhile, labels and artists are grappling with the reality that not only are live shows off for weeks or months, recording sessions and album releases are being pushed back as well. Universal Music Group is offering its artists interest-free royalty advances and helping them to connect with fans online. The pandemic has reached all the way to the top at Universal, where CEO Lucian Grainge has been hospitalized with the coronavirus. (Rolling Stone)

Adam Schlesinger, John Prine hospitalized with COVID-19

Songwriter Adam Schlesinger is hospitalized as he fights the coronavirus. According to his attorney, "He's on a ventilator and has been sedated to facilitate his recovery. He is receiving excellent care, his condition is improving and we are cautiously optimistic." Schlesinger, now 52, is best known as a founding member of Fountains of Wayne; he also wrote the title track to the 1996 movie That Thing You Do. (Rolling Stone)

John Prine remains hospitalized with the virus as well. Fans took it as a hopeful sign when his condition was reported yesterday as stable, but his wife later clarified that "stable" is "not the same as improving. There is no cure for Covid-19. He needs our prayers and love — as do the thousands of others who are critically ill."

Fellow artists including Joan Baez and Big Thief have been sharing their love by sharing Prine covers online. Here are Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick doing Prine's song "In Spite of Ourselves."

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-VzgFNnrlQ/

Legacies celebrated on video: Bob Marley, First Avenue

Fans sheltering in place are using video to connect with music. A new 18-minute mini-doc is the latest in a series of official tributes during the year that would have marked Bob Marley's 75th birthday. The film spotlights the women who collaborated with the late reggae great, including his wife Rita Marley and his backup singers the I-Threes. (Billboard)

Also, Twin Cities PBS has released an hourlong celebration of the Minneapolis rock club First Avenue, which turns 50 this year under circumstances that would have been hard to imagine. The PBS special, part of the Minnesota Experience series, is narrated by P.O.S.

Jack Black joins TikTok

A lot of us are getting a little loopy while we shelter in place, and that seems to include Jack Black: the actor and half of Tenacious D. Black has now joined the social video network TikTok, and the result is everything you'd hope.


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