Music News: Nervous fans in 'no rush' to return to concert venues

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The Current Music News for April 30, 2020 (MPR Video)

A new survey of over a thousand American consumers finds that they love live music as much as ever — but that they're also, understandably, nervous about COVID-19. Most say they'll wait at least a month after social distancing regulations pass to return to crowded concert venues, especially large arenas, and about a quarter say they're really not sure when they'll ever feel safe going back.

In the meantime, they're tuning in to virtual gigs. 90% of regular concertgoers have tuned in to livestreamed or archived concerts, and over a quarter have paid for that experience. Among those who've watched livestreams, 70% say they'll continue looking for online performances even after live-in-person music returns. (Complete Music Update)

Get ready for a lot of happy songs, because that's what songwriters are being asked for

Professional songwriters tell Rolling Stone that the mandate from their customers is clear right now: write happy. Recording artists, record labels, and music supervisors in charge of TV shows and movies are all asking for upbeat, bright, positive songs. While some artists are releasing darker, more contemplative songs, the singles that are becoming hits right now tend to be hopeful — like Twenty One Pilots' "Level of Concern" or goofy like Tyga's "Bored in the House."

Tricky Stewart, whose past songs have been recorded by Beyoncé and Rihanna, says that requests for songs with bright, positive messages are "absolutely through the roof" right now. The president of Sony/ATV music publishing says the vintage songs being licensed for shows right now are soothing and uplifting, like Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends," and David Bowie's "Heroes."

Record Store Day splitting into three "RSD drops"

Record Store Day was previously postponed from April 18 to June 20, but with social-distancing guidelines now certain to continue through the summer, organizers are changing it up again. Three days designated "RSD drops" will happen on Aug. 29, Sept. 26, and Oct. 24. On each of those days, a different batch of exclusive releases will hit independent retailers. A release schedule will be published on June 1.

On Instagram, Record Store Day wrote, "No one knows what kind of party we'll all be in the mood for, or able to hold safely, at any time this year, in any part of the world. So we're focusing this year not on the party aspect of Record Store Day, but on getting the great releases on the RSD 2020 List into your local record store, and then into your collection." (Pitchfork)

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RECORD STORE DAY IS SOCIAL DISTANCING! 😀 2020 is different. So what we're doing this year is going to be different too. No one knows what kind of party we'll all be in the mood for, or able to hold safely, at any time this year, in any part of the world. So we're focusing this year not on the party aspect of Record Store Day, but on getting the great releases on the RSD 2020 List into your local record store, and then into your collection. RSD DROPS! Three street dates when titles from The List will be available only at participating indie record stores. We're working on getting the new version of The List -- with new RSD Drops dates -- all nice and pretty for you. Look for that on the Record Store Day site on June 1. #RSDDrops #RSD2020 #RSD20 #recordstoreday #ShopIndie ##socialdistancing #2020iswack #recordstores #recordstoresarecool #loverecordstores

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St. Vincent to host shower-stall podcast

St. Vincent has announced a new podcast, in which both she and her guests will be sitting in
a shower stall to record. The idea is that a shower can work as a sound booth, as anyone who's ever sung in the shower has discovered. In a trailer, St. Vincent describes hosting a podcast as the weirdest thing she's ever done in a shower and acknowledges that it can get a little awkward if someone has to go to the bathroom.

The concept seems custom-made for the social-distancing era, but the trailer has St. Vincent sitting in the same bathroom as artists including Kassi Ashton, Loote, and Amber Mark — so presumably the episodes were recorded before we all went into lockdown. It's a pretty nice shower...even if it does have some Shining vibes. (Rolling Stone)

Billie Joe Amstrong and his sons cover "I Think We're Alone Now"

Ritchie Cordell's song "I Think We're Alone Now" is about getting a little privacy for hanky-panky...but it's taken on a new meaning now, as Billie Joe Armstrong and his sons demonstrated in a quarantined Tuesday night performance on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Tommy James approves: the singer, whose hit version came out in 1967, tells Rolling Stone that he's always been a huge fan of Green Day. No hot take from Tiffany, whose 1987 version went to number one. She was busy this week...performing her own quarantined concert.


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