Photo: Jason Kempin/GETTY IMAGES
Patti Smith and Iggy Pop perform at the Tibet House US Benefit Concert in 2017
Tibet House US Benefit Concert 2020: Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Phoebe Bridgers & More Confirmed
Composer Philip Glass is confirmed as the artistic director for the one-night benefit show, taking place February 2020 in New York City
Tibet House US, the nonprofit educational institution and cultural embassy founded by the Dalai Lama, has announced the lineup for its annual, long-running benefit concert, which returns to Carnegie Hall in New York City Feb. 26, 2020, for its 33rd annual event. The lineup for next year's show includes punk pioneers and GRAMMY nominees Iggy Pop and Patti Smith, soul singer and five-time GRAMMY nominee Bettye LaVette, 2018 Best New Artist nominee Margo Price and many others. Legendary composer Philip Glass, a four-time GRAMMY nominee, curated the lineup and serves as the event's artistic director.
Excited to announce that @MissMargoPrice, @phoebe_bridgers, @IggyPop, Patti Smith, Matt Berninger of @TheNational, @OnlyAnExpert, @BettyeLaVette, @tenzinchoegyal and more will join @PhilipGlass for @tibethouseus #TibetBenefit2020 on 2/26. Get your tix now! https://t.co/myklOn3Kgk pic.twitter.com/CpjlDBMxOR— Tibet House US (@tibethouseus) December 4, 2019
Also joining the show are Matt Berninger, frontman for indie/alternative rock band The National, singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson, musician/activist Jesse Paris Smith and Tenzin Choegyal, a Tibetan artist and cultural ambassador. More artists will be announced soon.
One of the longest-running charity events of its kind, the Tibet House US Benefit Concert is widely known for its unique musical collaborations and solo performances. Past artists and performers include David Bowie, Carly Simon, Alabama Shakes, Paul Simon, Sharon Jones, FKA twigs and many others.
Proceeds from the concert benefit Tibet House US, which works to "ensure the survival of Tibetan civilization and culture," according to the organization's website.
Photo: Alysse Gafkjen
Margo Price Finds Freedom On New Album 'Strays' & Memoir: "I've Never Felt This Happy"
On her new album 'Strays' and memoir 'Maybe We Can Make It,' singer/songwriter Margo Price dug deep, but offered herself a bit of grace. The releases meditate on forgiveness, self-image and substance abuse —all with a heaping helping of rock and humor.
Margo Price is beaming with excitement. In the early weeks of 2023, the outspoken songwriter finally has the chance to tour the world again with her band, and is embracing the opportunity to continue to better herself.
"I have never felt this happy, this energetic, this full of life," Price tells GRAMMY.com about the joy she’s felt since she quit drinking two years ago. "It's almost just like waking up all over again and getting to try everything for the first time. I thought it was going to be really scary, but it's just been exciting."
The past few years have played a major role in Price's newfound understanding and growth. In her memoir Maybe We Can Make It, which was released last fall, Price chronicles the highs and lows of her musical journey, focusing on themes of loyalty, loss, grief, and forgiveness. "I really was peering inside," Price recalls. "I was able to give myself compassion, grace, and not be so full of shame really with a lot of the mistakes I've made."
A psychedelic, six-day writing session in the summer of 2020 provided Price with the opportunity for further reflection, and informed her decision to stop drinking. The result is Strays, a Jonathan Wilson-produced album out Jan. 13. The rock-leaning record features many of the same themes as her memoir, and explores topics such as substance abuse, self-image, abortion rights, and orgasms. In her examination of loss, lies and failure, Price learned how to let go of trauma — and Strays captures that newfound freedom.
She’s grown other projects, including the podcast "Runaway Horses," which features interviews with Price's music heroes such as Emmylou Harris and Bob Weir. "I truly enjoyed it just as a music fan myself, to be able to talk about some of the different choices that can be made in music and to be able to talk with people who think outside of the box," she says.
GRAMMY.com caught up with the singer/songwriter to discuss how her new album, memoir and other projects have allowed her to grow and deepen her understanding of self.
With each project, it seems like you've gotten much more confident in expressing yourself and talking about personal issues more openly. Why did you feel it was the time to write a memoir?
I have always dreamed of being an author. I'm an avid reader. I think that I owe a lot to literature and its influence on my music and my work in general, so it just felt like a really natural progression for me. I've always enjoyed writing autobiographical songs. As they say, "you write what you know."
When I found myself pregnant with my daughter Ramona and I had come off the road after everything kind of exploded after signing with Third Man and doing the late-night TV circuit and being nominated for a GRAMMY and all those things, I needed somewhere to put all that energy. It felt really natural, and I really got into the flow of writing. I would wake up and take my son to school, and then I would go to a coffee shop, and I would write for about five to six hours a day. After I had my daughter, I got back to touring and being on the road for a while, and so it kind of sat there. And then when the pandemic hit, well, that seemed like as good a time as any to finish the memoir.
It must have been interesting not having a limit of a song’s length.
Oh, for sure. I feel like it always takes me a lot of words to get around to the point. So yeah, it felt like just a big release. As cliche as it sounds, I have figured out so much about myself, about my personality through going back and reading the first draft of the book. Once I started the editing process, I was going pretty deep into my psyche and really evaluating my life choices, reframing a lot of things in my mind.
I keep joking that writing the book was kind of some sick form of therapy. We're all just humans, and we're all just trying to figure this experience out. I think that vulnerability is really a strength that not a lot of people know how to cultivate. For years, I was scared to go into a lot of those vulnerable places. I was afraid of being judged. It was really eye-opening.
How did the experience writing the memoir most impact the writing of the new album?
It brought up so many things from my past. I was definitely in a very reflective mind state. I think there was a lot of what I was writing in the memoir that did end up coming through in some of the songs. I think a lot of people will be connecting the dots between the two, because I was working on both of them [at the same time]. I was working on the book for about four and a half years, and I've been working on this album for about two and a half, three years. They definitely did influence each other.
Thematically, the album's songs are largely about fighting for something, whether that's survival, being heard, fighting your demons, or being loved. What about that truthful yet hopeful theme appealed to you?
This life is about survival and about trying to find your way. While writing the album, I had several psychedelic experiences that were really spiritual. I think that definitely also influenced my writing over this time period, and I wanted to just continue to unapologetically be myself. I think that we are in just such troubled times in the world.
Always with my art, but especially on this last album, it is about finding your peace and finding your place in the world. One of the ways that I've kind of moved through my trauma and through difficult times in my life is being able to reflect upon it in my art and hopefully also connect with people. That's one of the biggest things that keeps me doing it, is being able to connect with others and share the pain and misery and beauty of life.
You've said that you felt an urgency to be creative and that you had a moral obligation to pursue it, even if it wasn't the easy popular path. Why was that an important realization?
I think when you break through and you are in a genre and labeled as one thing, many times fans come to expect that from you. There's been people that I have greatly admired who have the ability to reinvent themselves and to evolve and to grow. I didn't want to fall into the trap of making the same albums and just staying in one small lane to be popular.
I wanted to be able to explore. Before I made Midwest Farmer's Daughter, I had tried on many different genres. I had been in many different bands and projects. I had studied folk music and even classical mezzo Italian soprano style singing. There were a lot of things that I've been influenced by, so I just wanted to be able to touch on any of those things and not feel like I had to get stuck.
On album opener "Been to the Mountain," you examine this idea of reaching a free and stray-like state. What about strays and that free state do you find appealing?
Many times, our lives feel like they're written out and we're just on autopilot. During the pandemic and just during the whole time of lockdown, I was just reevaluating a lot of the things that I had been doing day to day, and things that I thought were rebellion or things that I thought were making me happy. And I realized that a lot of them weren't.
A lot of it was due to my experiences that I've had with psychedelics and psilocybin mushrooms. I wanted the whole album to feel like a psychedelic trip, or it could just be an entire life that happens before your eyes. There's going to be happiness, and there's going to be joy, and there's going to be pain and difficult things.
You’ve mentioned wanting the album to feel more like an epic listening experience rather than a typical album listening experience.
Yeah. Jonathan Wilson, the producer, really helped steer the ship and guide us into this new sonic territory. My band and I have been together for a really, really long time. Some of us for over a decade. I think when people come to our live show, they're always really blown away by the experience. That's difficult to capture in the studio. I think in the past I've been rushed on projects either because I did not have the budget, or I didn't have the time. I just had a burning in me to get the next thing out. With this project, it seemed like I had nothing but time, and I just wanted to get it right.
We went out to South Carolina. We took a writing retreat, and then we did pre-production demos, just the band and I in the studio. I sent those along to a bunch of different producers, and then ended up talking to so many different producers, but I knew Jonathan was the one. So, we went out, and the band and I got an Airbnb together. We took a lot of psychedelics and hung out there and worked on the record for a long time. And then we did more sessions in Nashville at a place called Creative Workshop Studios and another place in Berry Hill. I just kept writing and writing and writing more songs.
Honestly, I had enough for a double album. I have about three unreleased albums that I'm working on right now. I have a psychedelic gospel record that I recorded right after All American Made. I have Strays Part Two, and then I have this other project that I was working on during the pandemic at the Cash Cabin with John Carter Cash. We have so much material right now, so many things that we've been working on.
The new songs tackle subjects that people often have a hard time talking about. For example, you reflect on giving up alcohol a couple years ago and how that's freed you to discover yourself, your self-worth, and better yourself.
There is such a misconception about drinking, at least this is how I used to feel. It was framed in my mind that drinking alcohol and living hard, that was rebellion. But honestly, once you strip all of that away, all of that numbing, I've been feeling my feelings. I know that sounds a little woo-woo. I have truly been able to look at my life, to look at my experiences, my flaws in a clearer light. When I was numbing all the time with booze, there's just a kind of facade that you're living in. I'm not saying that everybody is using alcohol that way, but I definitely was.
At times, my alcohol use was fine. It was healthy, and it was under control, and it was normal. But there is that gray area in drinking that I think so many people deal with. So many people don't want to talk about it because of the way that this country and this society has framed it where it's like, "Okay, there's people who are alcoholics and they are flawed, and then there's other people that are just normal drinkers." That is not true. If you actually go and do the studies and do the research, alcoholism, there's no genetic thing there that says that you have a gene that makes you an alcoholic.
There's just so much stigma around quitting. Truthfully, I had a psychedelic journey that led me to the decision that I could quit drinking, and it didn't have to be the way that it's been in our society. This January will be two years for me. I have never felt this happy, this energetic, this full of life. It's almost just like waking up all over again and getting to try everything for the first time. I thought it was going to be really scary, but it's just been exciting. I can't wait to see where the next few years take me.
The album features several collaborations, including "Light Me Up" with Mike Campbell. Why did you feel he would fit this song?
He’s one of the best guitar players that are out there and still playing today. We had an incredible time doing some writing sessions with Mike. I grew up on the Heartbreakers. I think it's some of the best American songwriting that there is with the writing that Tom Petty and Mike Campbell achieved.
He did pretty much one take on that solo for "Light Me Up," and it was exactly what it needed to be. Mike has just really taught us so much about writing and recording and performing and just what it means to be in a band and to play music for a living.
The song "Lydia" has powerful, stream of conscious lyrics. Why did that format seem important to capture the sentiment in the song?
That was one of those songs that really felt like it came to me from somewhere else. It was just one of those spiritual moments that keeps me coming back to songwriting.
The lyrics for "Lydia" came to me when I was in a little bit of a dark place that day. I was really kind of just feeling for people who live below the poverty line and who find themselves in bad situations. It was a reflection of a lot of places I'd seen touring, a lot of the faces that I'd seen outside of this Methadone Clinic in Vancouver.
I wrote that song, and I kind of sat on it for a really long time because I didn't feel that it was fitting to record for, say, Rumors. I just didn't feel like it fit on the album. I'm glad that I finally got it down. I just really loved the strings that Jonathan and Drew [Erickson] added. It just made the whole thing come together.
Last year you became the first female artist on the board of the Farm Aid organization. What does it mean to add your voice to that organization?
Becoming the first female musician to be on the board of Farm Aid is my most precious achievement so far. It means a lot to my family. It's really something to be named next to Willie Nelson and Neil Young. I've admired their songwriting my whole life, and it just gets me choked up just thinking about it. My entire life, I had this vendetta that I wanted to help make things right for not only my family and the farm that they lost, but just for farmers all over America.
I'm still trying to figure out how I can do more, because I think that the climate crisis and the climate change that we are facing, Farm Aid has been thinking about all of these things for a long time. They are really set up to help make food justice for everyone. It affects us all. If we can figure out how to create more farms and how to preserve the family farms that we have and all this regenerative farming, there's so many things out there. It’s definitely my crowning achievement.
Your husband Jeremy has been an important part of your recent songwriting, and your psychedelic trip to South Carolina really helped you. What did it mean to be able to share that experience with him?
Well, Jeremy, he's been in my life for 19 years. We truly have a way of writing together that is just on a deeper level than co-writes that I could have with other people, because he knows everything that I've been through. He's able to really write from my perspective. I also think that he's just one of the best writers of our time. He's going to be one of those people who is discovered later. He put out a great record [last] year, and it just really flew under the radar. I see him as an Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan-like writer. He's my secret weapon. I really am grateful that I get to work with him.
As I mentioned in my memoir, we've definitely had our share of troubles after losing a child and just being in the music business for a couple decades. I'm happy that we get to be together and raise kids and make music. It's a bit of a fairytale.
You capture that sentiment in "Anytime You Call" quite well.
We were having a really challenging time. We were in Santa Fe when he wrote that song. We were a hold up there writing some songs, and I was working on my memoir. When I came into the room, he played that song for me. I just started bawling.. I had to add it to the album, because it had such a Kinks’ "Strangers" kind of feel to it. I've always loved Lucius and their harmonies, and especially their rendition of that song. I asked them to put their magic touch on it, and it just made the whole thing come alive.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to so much this year. I’m going on my first headlining tour since 2018. I didn't know when I did my last headlining tour that I was going to get pregnant and then that the pandemic was going to hit, so I feel like I have been waiting for this for five years. The band and I are sounding better than ever and getting out and doing these headlining shows has just been such a release.
I've also been working on a film with a friend of mine. His name is Joshua Weinstein. I've got a lot of songs that I've been writing. I'm ready to get back into the studio again here and start recording the next album.
Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist
The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.
Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!
The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.
Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.
So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.
Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.
About GRAMMY U:
GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.
Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.
As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.
Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.
Photo: Ralph Bavaro/NBC via Getty Images
Listen: Get Jolly With New Holiday Music From Dolly Parton, Phoebe Bridgers, Pentatonix, Alicia Keys & More
This year saw several new holiday albums and singles from artists of all genres, from Backstreet Boys to Gloria Estefan. Get in the spirit with this festive 30-song playlist.
As we're all stringing up colorful lights and scrambling to buy last-minute gifts, music shines as the one constant in our lives amid the rush of the holiday season.
Some playlists have been bursting with holiday music since early autumn, with releases such as Dolly Parton's "A Smoky Mountain Christmas" dropping back in August and Joss Stone's Merry Christmas, Love releasing in September. Since then, several more holiday albums arrived, whether they were new projects from artists such as Alicia Keys and Thomas Rhett or polished deluxe editions from the likes of Reba McEntire and Norah Jones.
Beyond releasing albums, many artists have also found their holiday spirit by releasing festive singles. Remi Wolf brings her bubbly personality to warm covers of "Last Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland," Dan + Shay remind us to throw a "Holiday Party" with loved ones, and Phoebe Bridgers shares her annual holiday cover, this year a rendition of the Handsome Family's "So Much Wine." And even stars such as RuPaul, Jimmy Fallon and Ryan Reynolds surprised with holiday singles this season.
Groups such as Pentatonix and Backstreet Boys joined in on the fun with their own cheery holiday albums, and Gloria Estefan and her family capture the joys of love in a snowglobe on Estefan Family Christmas. Collaborations sparkle with holiday magic as well; Ingrid Michaelson and A Great Big World team up for "It's Almost Christmas," and Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande perform "Santa, Can't You Hear Me" in a thrilling live version.
Photo: Rachel Kupfer
A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.
It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.
Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.
Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.
In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.
Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.
There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
Say She She
Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.
While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."
Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.
Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.
Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.
Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.
L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.
During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.
Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.
Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.