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Quarantine Diaries: Liza Anne Is Spending Time At The Beach & Hanging With Her Cat, Ralphie

Liza Anne

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Quarantine Diaries: Liza Anne Is Spending Time At The Beach & Hanging With Her Cat, Ralphie

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors

GRAMMYs/Jul 29, 2020 - 12:10 am

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, indie-pop singer/songwriter Liza Anne shares her Quarantine Diary. Liza's new album Bad Vacation is out now via Arts & Crafts.

From March until July, I was quarantined in my home in Nashville. As the situation continued with no end in sight, I figured I could spend time in my hometown—I have not been there for longer than a few days over Christmas since I moved in the beginning of 2012. As much as hometowns hold a lot of strangeness, it’s always been a healing mechanism for me to be by water where I cannot see the other side. It’s the only other place I’ve lived besides Nashville and as I enter into my late 20s, I start to find a sense of gratitude for all the things that were apart of my growing—here is a very usual, for the year, Thursday—safely distanced in Saint Simons Island, GA.

[6:15 a.m.] I love how long the day feels when I’m up before everything. In some ways, quarantine feels like being stuck in a loop of being "up before everything" while also being a moosh of chaos and unknown. I think there is a meditative space held in the first peak of sun—it’s easiest for me to meet the morning when I am in my hometown (where I am currently quarantined) or when I am in Paris. Both places have held so much for me—I often think of Paris as my second childhood. I think about Paris most every day—in my dreams, that is where I frequent most. I dreamt the other night that my favourite restaurant in Paris—this small family-owned place called Les Fabricants—closed and in its place was this white-walled coffee shop that looked like every other white-walled coffee shop that you might see on any millennial's Instagram. I am so anxious of what will disappear after all this unknown.

[8 a.m.] I relate most feeling of lightness to my antidepressants and Ralphie. Both came within the same three-week timeframe, both necessary with the psychological symptoms of this "unprecedented time." As I’ve rounded almost nine weeks on antidepressants, I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t do this earlier on. I have come to feel at home in my brain: 26 years of flail, all to arrive at some sense of calm. And, right in time to sit still, I wonder what it will feel like to tour with this new care I’m showing for my brain. I also wonder what it will feel like to tour without Ralphie. I'm becoming used to being home. You spend so much time in one state and without realizing, you have roots. I hope the habits I'm forming, the health I’m feeling and this strange new sense of calm (thank you Zoloft) sticks past the pandemic. I feel strange that any good has been held in such a time of communal pain. Our grief will knit empathy into this moment in human history. At least, I hope so.

[8:30 a.m.] Around 8:30, I step outside again and sit by my parents' pool. My mom made her famous gluten-free blueberry pancakes—she does this once a week. I ate them and enjoyed coffee in a borrowed mug, also my mother's. I've been painting a lot. I think that the more this year continues, I'm aware of where it is growing things in me. Softness, mostly. But, lots of tiny griefs to feel through—communal pain... individual pain. Pain has always been the precipice to deep growth.

I am in my hometown. I thought I was going to be on tour, clothed in an orange suit, sharing air with strangers and not anxious about it (well, just not covid-anxious about it; I am actually always anxious about social situations). Just last year, I wouldn’t have spent more than a few days over the Christmas holiday here and I've carved a full three-month span to just be here ... taking a breath ... a warmth of gratitude amidst the colossal anxiety this year holds.

[12 p.m.] Around noon, I talked with the band: Lou and Cody and Josh. Minus Robbie: He must have been doing something else. In January of this year, we made our new record [Bad Vacation] and had pretty exciting plans for touring it all year. Obviously, everything changed. There was grief in the immediate change in plans, but I have had this sense recently: getting to watch each of them carve out a space for themselves, that this time had some necessity. Lou, writing music and spending time in her home of France… Cody, having time at home with his beautiful wife Amy, starting to fish, biking, building his home studio… Josh, giving room to his own creative space like he so generously gives to others, having time to be in love without so much interrupting… Robbie, having space and time to make his own music and have real time with his girlfriend, Abby. I have started to believe we all needed the pause—each for reasons separate, but all echoing the same feeling. Who are we when we are not doing all the things we filled our days with before this? I think for me, I’m learning how to like myself without my value being some scale of "how accomplished I am." I have learned to let myself rest.

[3 p.m.] I relate my naps with Ralphie to a second dose of antidepressants. I am learning to incorporate rest into my life without shaming myself. I am the first to tell others "give you what you need" and yet too often I am starving myself those things. This year, and especially being home in this beach town, I’m finding this reuniting with the afternoon nap.

[5:45 p.m.] So much of quarantine freedom has been felt in the drives I was taking at the beginning of everything shutting down. Those somehow were untouched by the chaos of 2020. When I was in high school, the first real feelings of catharsis were felt when I could drive from school to the beach, especially on days where there were spring storms rolling in. I would drive my car to this little point called Gould’s Inlet, park and watch the puffed chests of angry clouds have heated discussions with the lighting and long rolls of thunder. Most days, I would play whatever mix CD I had made for a friend to make sure the sequence was right before passing it off. There’s a part of me stuck in that emotional catharsis when I come back here; when I’m taking the causeway from the mainland over to the island, I feel this flood of old feelings. Not for people or anything, but for this version of me that grew here.

[6 p.m.] Around 6, which is about 2 hours before the sun starts to set, I like to take a masked walk around the little downtown area called The Village. There are small steps that spit you right out into the Saint Simons Sound if the tide is high. When it's low, there’s this gooey dark sanded walk that takes you right under the pier. I love everything about the face of earthy things right where one extreme meets another: barnacle-stricken rocks and sand clashing with an abyss of ocean. I used to sit on the beach and squint my eyes and trick my kid brain into thinking I could see Europe. I love the shit we did when we were small and everything was possible.

[7 p.m.] I’m cooling my limbs for one more dip before the day is done. I spent a little time writing, strumming Josh’s guitar we brought down here—it’s an old Gibson. Anything Josh has written on has secret mojo to it. He’s my favorite songwriter and I just happen to be sharing a bed with him. I think I’ll look back on this year—or this window of however long it is—and be thankful. It is the window where I remembered how to be with myself off stage, the window where I learned how to give love and how to let someone love me not for the things I "do" but for the person that I am, the window where I learned to paint, the window where I got to spend time with my parents that felt causal—not all dressed up into some event, I felt I got to meet them as friends—the window where I felt a softness for my hometown that needed to return.

[11 p.m.] I have been dreaming so vividly the entire time quarantine has been happening. Because I miss travel so much, I’ve started—just as I’m falling asleep—to recount to myself in my head all the steps between getting off the plane in Charles de Gaulle and the walk through customs, out the glass doors and towards the train. The train into Paris. The Metro to the stop where I usually stay. The quick unload and freshen up and then the early morning walk that usually has me as the first customer at Le Chambelland. The taste of the sugar bread. The espresso. The cigarettes. The early mornings, where everything is held. I guess if anything, this year has given me early mornings. Okay, it’s late now and I don’t want to miss it tomorrow.

Goodnight, sweet dreams. :)

If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.

Jay-Z And Meek Mill's REFORM Donates Surgical Masks To Vulnerable Prison Population

Meek Mill

Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images

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Jay-Z And Meek Mill's REFORM Donates Surgical Masks To Vulnerable Prison Population

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable places for COVID-19 to spread

GRAMMYs/Apr 7, 2020 - 05:01 am

Jay-Z and Meek Mill's criminal justice reform organization REFORM has donated roughly 100,000 surgical masks to correctional facilities including in the states of New York, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The organization said it donated 50,000 masks to New York City's Rikers Island Correctional Facility, 40,000 masks to the Tennessee Department of Correction and 5,000 to Mississippi State Penitentiary. Spin reports that an additional 2,500 masks were sent to a Rikers medical facility. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable places for COVID-19 to spread.  

"Incarcerated/detained persons live, work, eat, study, and recreate within congregate environments, heightening the potential for COVID-19 to spread once introduced," according to the CDC. Other vulnerabilities include the fact that incarcerated people, for the most part, can't leave and, depending on the size of the facility, space for someone to medically isolate could be limited.

"We need to protect vulnerable people behind bars & GET THEM OUT!" REFORM said in a tweet. The organization sees this as a threat to public health and said on its website that it is working with experts and advocates "to develop a set of common-sense recommendations that would make us all SAFER."

They also announced on Twitter that they helped the South Carolina Department of Corrections locate 36,000 masks for their population. 

Across the nation, COVID-19 cases have been popping up in correctional facilities, including North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee

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Quarantine Diaries: ARI Is Cuddling With Her Cat, Making Her Own Tea & Preparing For Her Debut 'IDIOT GRL' EP Release

ARI

Photo: Nicole Davis

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Quarantine Diaries: ARI Is Cuddling With Her Cat, Making Her Own Tea & Preparing For Her Debut 'IDIOT GRL' EP Release

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors

GRAMMYs/Aug 12, 2020 - 02:59 am

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, rising singer/songwriter ARI shares her quarantine diary. ARI's debut IDIOT GRL EP is out Aug. 14.

[9:40 a.m.] A late start to the day. I just woke up to my cat Malakai licking my face and snuggling under my chin, desperate for cuddles. I reluctantly gave in before diving into my morning routine, which starts by going through all of the daily news on my Snapchat feed to see what’s going on in the world.

[11 a.m.] Just out of the shower and into the kitchen for the usual: tea and avocado toast. I don’t typically like tea or coffee, but I had this amazing tea from Starbucks once and fell in love with it. I ended up finding the recipe and making it myself, and to be honest, I like my version better. Once I boil the kettle, I start part two of my morning “meditation”: watching one of my favourite shows while I respond to emails. With the IDIOT GRL EP coming out next week, I can tell you there are a TON of emails. I turned on "Gilmore Girls" (my guilty pleasure) and opened up my laptop to go through my calendar.

[1:45 p.m.] Recording session time. Zoom calls have become my everyday life. It’s crazy to think that this time last year, you could actually be in a room with people. Now the most social interaction I get is virtually. On the positive side, I get to set up my little home studio from the comfort of my own bed and I find the sessions to be really productive with no outside distractions.

[3:30 p.m.] Malakai is meowing at my door. As I try to sing over him, eventually I can’t ignore his cute little voice. We take a quick break and I have a little playtime with him. I can hear my song playing in the living room—it still weirds me out hearing myself. My guess is my roommate aka my manager is sending off final approval for the “IDIOT GRL” music video, which comes out the same day as the EP. Super excited for everyone to finally see it!

[6:00 p.m.] Time for dinner. It may just be my favourite part of the day. During my session, my roommate cooked us some delicious pasta. We eat dinner together every night, which is really nice. Usually, after dinner, we wind down and watch TV, but we decided to try doing an arts and crafts project tonight. I watched this TikTok video of a DIY way to make music plaques. You take a screenshot of a song on Spotify and use a marker to trace out the name of the song, artist, play button, etc. Once that’s done, you simply add the album artwork of your choice, frame it, and voila! I thought it would be a cool idea to make a wall of each of the songs off of my EP.

[9:00 p.m.] After an eventful day, I decided to go watch a drive-in Maple Leafs game (wearing a mask, of course). My sister works for the TSN network and started hosting drive-in game nights to promote the network and social distancing events. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest hockey fan, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to spend time with my family.

[11:30 p.m.] I finally get home and hop straight into bed. I feel like I haven’t spent much time on Instagram today, so figured I’d open it up before getting some shuteye. I launched the pre-save link for the EP today and told my followers that I would DM anyone who pre-saved it and sent me a screenshot. I always love getting to interact with my fans and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to see how excited people are for my debut EP. It’s a great feeling to end the day with.

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Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More

Katy Perry

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

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Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More

The three-day livestream event taking place this weekend (May 15-17) will allow users to view performances and segments while chatting with friends in realtime

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2020 - 12:46 am

Houseparty, the face-to-face social video app, is bringing a star-studded lineup of performances, workouts and cooking lessons to its users, including appearances by Katy Perry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and more than 40 other celebrities. The event, "In The House," will take place over the course of three days, beginning this weekend on Friday, May 15 and running through Sunday, May 17.

Per Rolling Stone, the event’s programming will see a live performance of Perry’s unreleased track “Daisies,” slated to be released on Friday, May 15, in addition to sets by Legend, Chvrches and others. The program will also feature special cooking lessons on unique recipes provided by Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz and Zooey Deschanel. Alicia Keys will also host a karaoke session and lead a 30 minute at-home workout. The full lineup and event schedule are available here.

Read More: How To Use Music Techniques To Prepare Healthy Food

The three-day event will allow those who tune in to enjoy free performances from the comfort of their homes, and they’ll be able to chat and interact with friends via the app all in real time. In a statement to Variety discussing the program, Houseparty CEO and co-founder Sima Sistani said “We are bringing back appointment viewing… to capture that feeling of sitting on the couch for that special show with your family or friends on a Friday night.”

Houseparty is available to download for free on iOS and Android devices, as well as online where users can tune in to stream the live event. Each segment will air again 12 hours following its original stream for those who may have missed the original broadcasts.

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Musicians Earn $4.3 Million From Bandcamp With Nearly 800,000 Items Sold On Friday

Bandcamp

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Musicians Earn $4.3 Million From Bandcamp With Nearly 800,000 Items Sold On Friday

"On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch"

GRAMMYs/Mar 23, 2020 - 11:34 pm

Last Friday, March 20, in an effort to help artists impacted by coronavirus-related concert cancelations, music discovery and streaming platform Bandcamp waived its revenue shares for 24 hours, with a number of independent record labels following suit. 

Now, according to a statement from Bandcamp co-founder Ethan Diamond, the streaming platform has reportedly had its biggest sales day ever, with nearly 800,000 items sold. 

"The numbers tell a remarkable story," Diamond wrote today (Monday, March 23). "On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch. That’s more than 15 times our normal Friday, and at the peak, fans were buying 11 items per second.

"We don’t yet know the long-term impact of Covid-19, but we know that we all need music—to uplift and inspire us, to heal us, and to give us hope,” the message continues. “We’ll continue working to make Bandcamp the best place for fans and artists to come together and sustain each other in the challenging times ahead. Thank you again, and we wish you all good health!”

In support of keeping the music community alive and thriving, you can also donate to the MusiCares COVID-19 relief fund here.

MORE RESOURCES FOR MUSIC CREATORS & PROFESSIONALS:

Resources For Music Creators & Professionals Affected By COVID-19: West Region
Resources For Music Creators & Professionals Affected By COVID-19: East Region
Resources For Music Creators & Professionals Affected By COVID-19: South Region