Category Archives: Music news

Dream Wife, Girli, The Tuts and Dream Nails team up for a Solidarity Not Silence fundraiser

45301294_563853120717003_6812626216667840512_nHere’s a beautiful example of badass musical sisterhood in action.

London’s Oslo will host a benefit show on 5 December, featuring live performances from super-sheroes of the DIY punk scene The Tuts and Dream Nails, plus DJ sets from Girli, and Alice Go of Dream Wife.

Proceeds for this not-to-be-missed event will go to the Solidarity Not Silence Campaign, which seeks to help a group of women defend themselves against defamation claim made by a man in music industry for statements that they made concerning his treatment of women.

In the wake of #metoo, with women coming together online to share their experiences of abuse, the campaign has received strong support – with over £20,000 raised so far.

What better way to fight back against the silencing of women than a night of badass women with guitars and turntables.

Tickets on sale here from 11am on Monday 5 November.

Here’s the statement from the Solidarity Not Silence campaign site:

WOMEN FACING DEFAMATION CASE

We are a group of women who are fighting a claim of defamation made against us by a well-known musician (hereon referred to as A). We refuse to be silenced and we need your solidarity to fight this case. Read on to find out more.

Who are we?

Our group includes one of A’s ex-girlfriends, one of several of his former partners who are facing a libel claim, and feminist musicians who spoke out in support of these women. Legal papers have been served against all of us. By coming together as a group, we have managed to personally fund our legal defence through the various stages up until the claim was finally served against us in court on 2 August 2017. Not only has this lengthy process been very expensive, there has also been tremendous emotional and psychological impact. Most of us have suffered severely with our mental health as a result, but we refuse to give up.

This is why we are reaching out to you for support. We risk losing everything and potentially bankrupting ourselves in the process. If you help us, we can continue with proper legal representation which will give us a strong chance of winning this case.

What happened?

In 2016 we each independently made a number of public statements about A’s behaviour towards women. This was in protest against unacceptable behaviour in the music community, a cause we all speak about regularly, and to promote safety. Soon afterwards, we received letters from A’s solicitor and came together as a group in order to support each other.

The nature of this legal battle means that we are already limited in what we can share with you, and we would encourage our supporters not to publish anything more than is in this statement for the time being.

What is defamation and why are we being accused of it?

A defamation claim is a claim brought in a civil court for compensation for publications which are said to cause serious harm to someone’s reputation.  We will be defending our statements as we believe they were in the public interest. We are represented by Bindmans LLP – a well established legal firm with expertise in defamation claims.

What are A’s demands? 

A week before Christmas we received the first correspondence from his solicitor where we were advised to find legal representation and ordered to comply with a series of demands by 4 January 2017 (over the holiday period), including demands for compensation, legal costs, removal of our statements, apologies, and agreement not to repeat these allegations, or similar ones, even when they concerned our own experiences.

Why can’t we get legal aid?

Sadly there is no legal aid for defamation cases.

Why do we need so much money?

Our initial target of £9,000 will contribute towards the cost of drafting our defences: the stretch target would cover our legal costs for the next stages of our defence.

Why don’t we just give up?

We cannot agree to these terms and do not want our case to set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music industry and beyond. We need to keep fighting even though we do not have the same power, fame or financial backing as A, as we do not believe that money should be a barrier to accessing justice. We refuse to be silenced and we believe we must pursue justice.

Please help us and support if you are able.

Contact solidaritynotsilence@gmail.com if you would like to set up a benefit for us or have any questions.  

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Why joining a choir might be your ultimate act of sisterly solidarity

Lips 2016 (95 of 361)by Sarah Lillywhite

I had my first baby last December and by April, after three months of subjugating even my most basic human needs to those of another person, was desperate for just a couple of hours to feel myself. I found that time in the company of my beloved choir, Lips. When I arrived back at my first rehearsal post-partum, to hugs, congratulations and the familiarity of warm-up games and three-part harmony, I almost cried with relief. For two whole hours, all I had to do was concentrate on my own breathing, the lyrics we were learning and synching my voice with those around me. I wasn’t beholden to anyone else but I was in-tune with 60-odd other women. It was meditative in its power.

I think everyone should join a choir. Singing is well-known as a natural stress reliever and can help reduce blood pressure. It can even out your breathing, giving you tools to fight anxiety and asthma attacks. It boots your concentration and memory. When you sing with others, your heartbeats even synchronise* – it’s the ultimate community. But to me Lips is more than just a nice place to go and have a warble. It’s a group of women the likes of which I’ve never been part of before – free of the competition and resentment that can happen in the workplace, and lacking the nerve-wracking intensity of a close group of friends. It’s a large group of women ranging from their 20s to their 60s, from all walks of life (we’re non-auditioning, trans- and nb-inclusive and our members include surgeons, artists, students, teachers…) with one simple goal – to sing together.

Lips 2016 (334 of 361)It’s been a hugely life-enriching experience for me. It’s made me think about and question my feminism, my decisions and my place as a woman in society, and how I use that. It’s so much more than ‘just a choir’. We call the connections and community we’ve built the ‘Lipsweb’. This give and take includes anything from legal advice and solidarity following sexual attack to cake making and mum-to-mum advice. Our alumni still post on our private Facebook group from places as disparate as Beirut and Paris – there’s even a Lips New Zealand, set up by a former Lipster. We go on holiday together, we live together, some of us have married each other, some of us are genetic sisters – all of us are metaphorical ones.

This experience isn’t just unique to my choir. Loud Women’s very own founder, Cassie Fox says, “After the birth of my second child, I suffered acute post-natal depression. Finding myself at home with no close friends, no support from family, and no one I could talk to, I was really struggling with a colicky baby and an autistic toddler. I felt like I’d fallen into a well and didn’t have the strength to pull myself out. Joining a choir (South London Choir) gave me a few hours a week ‘release’ and really helped me feel connected to a community. My spirits were instantly lifted – my husband said the change in me was visible when I got home from choir, I had things to talk about, my eyes were brighter and I had a spring in my step he’d not seen for a while. From that choir, the off-shoot was the Liberty Choir project, which goes into prisons and hospitals, to form choirs with vulnerable people. I started going to Wandsworth Prison with Liberty choir, and now I go to Down View women’s prison each week. The choir has a big impact on the prisoners, who are otherwise often locked up for hours/days on end. In the choir setting they get to spend time not being judged by their past, and not worrying about watching their back – they are just humans singing with other humans. It’s a really levelling experience, and I and the other volunteers going into the prison get as much out of it as the prison residents do, I’m sure. As women, especially, literally making your voice louder is so empowering. My confidence has grown immeasurably since I’ve been singing – I’ve since formed bands, and started the music collective Loud Women. I couldn’t imagine doing any of that before I joined the choir – it’s no exaggeration to say that it completely changed my life, very much for the better.”

It doesn’t have to be an all-female choir, though. Singing itself is a bonding activity but if your choir centres on a shared experience, that can be instantly binding too. Alice Kershaw is a registered dietitian who sings with Trust Harmonix, the recently formed Guys & St Thomas’ hospital community choir led by vocal coach Mike King. She says: “After a busy and emotionally draining day at the hospital, I find it boosts my mood and relieves stress. It’s so nice coming together and singing with other hospital staff from every area – you meet people you might not otherwise. We have consultants and we have administrators – it democratizes the hospital hierarchy. We’ve done two official performances in the hospital but we practice on Monday evenings and sometimes the patients come and watch us, too.”

So you should find a choir, any choir, that suits you, whether you think you have a good voice or a crappy one. You almost certainly don’t, but anyway, who cares? When you’re singing with a group of people your voices will blend and sound amazing anyway. And as for my specifically female, politically active choir, there’s an inherent sisterhood to be found within its safe space. We fundraise for WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together), a grassroots group which supports women seeking asylum in the UK with advice and English lessons. We’ve joined them on protest marches at Yarl’s Wood detention centre, singing so loud together that the women incarcerated in the centre could hear us even beyond the fences. We’ve sung at the women’s march and the anti-Trump demo. The solidarity found among Lips’ members makes us stronger, and that means we feel more able to spread messages of support to other women outside of our rehearsals and performances. Singing as a choir means you’re literally raising up your voice with those around you. It can be a form of protest as much as a balm for the soul. It’s so much more than just a two-hour warble on a Thursday.

Lips are performing a show themed around dance music and the diverse voices that brought it to the mainstream. Club Classics: The Lips Remix is on 14 & 15 November at Clapham Grand – tickets are £15 (£8 for concessions), available at buytickets.at/lipschoir. Lips will also be raising money and awareness for WAST at these gigs.

 

*Source: The BBC

 

Amy Rigby: ‘Tom Petty Karaoke’ – new music

vhqq_mascissquare--1A gorgeous treat just dropped in our inbox, in the form of Amy Rigby’s ‘Tom Petty Karaoke’, a single the New Yorker is launching ahead of a very welcome UK tour. Here’s the track:

‘Tom Petty Karaoke’ is inspired by J Mascis singing “Don’t Do Me Like That” at karaoke. New York songwriter Amy Rigby is one of those who notes that October is unofficial Tom Petty Month (between the anniversary of his death, and his birthday being 20 October).

Amy explains more about the track:

“Tom Petty is a guardian angel for me, like he was and is for many musicians. I’ve written about him on my blog a lot because anytime I’m on the road it’s like Tom is there on my shoulder, saying “that’s cool” or “you can do better”. This was true when he was alive and even more now that he’s gone. After another week of discord and divisiveness in the news, I saw a video of J Mascis singing Don’t Do Me Like That in a nearly-empty karaoke bar. I’d sung American Girl with Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express the night before and felt the power of that song reach out and lift people up. Mascis’ karaoke performance was the opposite, it was internal, like prayer. He wasn’t doing it for an audience, he was doing it for himself. I imagined I was J, strummed some American Girl chords and wrote this song.”

UK Tour Dates:
Sat Nov 10 – Cromer, Hall
Wed Nov 14 – Manchester, Gulliver’s
Thu Nov 15 – Glasgow, Hug & Pint
Fri Nov 16 – Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms Speakeasy
Sat Nov 17 – Durham, Olde Cinema Launderette
Sun Nov 18 – Hull, St. John’s
Thu Nov 22 – Worcester, Marrs Bar
Fri Nov 23 – London, Betsey Trotwood
Sat Nov 24 – Portsmouth, Elmsworth Sports Club
Sun Nov 25 – Folkestone, Lime Bar Café

Accü: ‘Crash To Kill’ – new music

Accu Crash To Kill Libertino picDutch Born Welsh-based artist Accü will be releasing a brand new single entitled ‘Crash To Kill’ on the 19th Of October on Libertino Records. ‘Crash to Kill’ is the third single to be taken from the eagerly anticipated debut album ‘Echo The Red’ out at the end of October.

Accü explains:

“‘Crash To Kill’ was the first piece I wrote when I decided to make music on my own again. It was a natural yet big decision for me at the time. I suppose my mind saw it fitting to reflect on difficult facts; that destruction is sometimes needed. It’s the being eaten and the desperate wish to be spat back out and that sometimes one must consume the belly that once ate you.”

Accü Links:
Twitter
Facebook

Daniella Mason: ‘Emotional’ EP – new music

BillboardEmotionalStateCover

Nashville pop singer Daniella Mason launches her Emotional State EP this week, and it’s just as heavy-hitting as the title suggests.

Gut-punching content warnings needed for the topics Mason covers here, including the loss of her mother (“Morning Mourning“) and the catharsis of crying in public (“Public Places“). Inevitable tears withstanding, the music is pop perfection, with proper tunes and everything

The new record stands as one of four EPs that she’ll be releasing over the course of the next year as part of her State of Mine sound series. Each album— Emotional StatePhysical StateMental State, and Spiritual State— will explore the different parts of our humanity that we tend to suppress and have difficulty embracing.

“All of the days spent peeling away layers, breaking down walls, and coming to terms with life and loss kind of spun together into these songs, I hope I can meet many others in their sorrow, in their mourning, and also in their healing,”

Emotional State is now available via SoundCloudSpotifyApple MusicAmazonTidalDeezer, and Google Play.

 

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Sarah Nixey: ‘Coming Up For Air’

Ahead of the release of her forthcoming solo album Night WalksBlack Box Recorder’s Sarah Nixey has release a video for her single ‘Coming Up For Air’. It’s a lush, daydreamy pop song with a heartfelt message. Sarah explains:
‘”Coming Up For Air’ is about teenage mental health and parental love. I wanted the video to reflect the message of the song: ‘Life is magical, grab it with both hands'”