Music News: Beat the final boss for an encore? Get ready for more concerts in video games


The Current Music News for May 6, 2020 (MPR Video)

As Pitchfork points out, after a couple months in lockdown, fans are ready to move beyond livestreams from artists' kitchens. That's why more musicians are likely to follow the example of Travis Scott, who just had a huge success with an epic concert inside the video game Fortnite.

What's next? Well, expect more interactivity. Pitchfork talks to the developers who helped dubstep artist Kill the Noise put on a virtual show last year — and that show was very deliberately interrupted by a giant demon behind the stage, a final boss the fans had to defeat in battle before they could enjoy the rest of the show.

If that's not your bag, you might instead consider the next iteration of hologram concerts. What if you could use a VR headset to see the Beatles at the Cavern Club, or go to a Bob Marley concert in Jamaica? Living artists can perform in essentially a bluescreen dome that can be made to look like any venue in the world, with fans moving around and interacting in real time.

Arkansas planning a first social-distanced live show

Country rock band Bishop Gunn are selling tickets for a May 15 show in Fort Smith, Arkansas. That's just over a week from now — so early that technically it violates an order closing venues until May 18. The band are hoping Gov. Asa Hutchinson will revise the order in time for their show to proceed.

Here's how they're accommodating public safety: only 229 tickets will be sold for a 1,100-capacity theater. You buy tickets for what Ticketmaster calls a "fan pod" of two to 12 people who have been social-distancing together and will be seated several feet away from other pods. Everyone has to wear a mask, and you get your temperature taken when you walk in the door. Hand sanitizer will be ubiquitous.

Will this surreal show even happen? Will it truly be safe? Promoter Mike Brown tells Billboard, "I am the eternal optimist. I think we will be alright."

Wilco doc to stream for free, supporting Chicago nonprofit

Through Tuesday, May 12, you can stream the Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart for free. The band are asking fans, if they can, to "leave a tip" in support of an organization helping Chicagoans during the COVID-19 crisis.

It's a riveting 2002 documentary about the making of the album many consider Wilco's masterpiece, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It's especially notable for capturing the productive but tense dynamic between leader Jeff Tweedy and then band member Jay Bennett, who died in 2009. Tweedy has taken exception to the way the edit portrayed certain episodes, but the film is what it is, and Rolling Stone has called it one of the greatest music documentaries of all time.

Beastie Boys talk about "bittersweet" documentary release

In other music documentary news, Beastie Boys Story is now streaming on Apple TV+. Mike D and Ad-Rock tell Billboard it's bittersweet to see the film released now: there are huge billboards in L.A. promoting the documentary, and there were supposed to be fans swarming out of NBA playoff games and seeing the billboards promoting the release outside Staples Center. Mike D says now, it's more like someone might drive by and see the billboards "once in a while."

Mike D also told Billboard that he thinks the perfect self-grooming tool for social distancing has already been invented: the Flowbee, a vacuum haircutter widely promoted on TV in the late '80s. He wasn't wrong, apparently: the Flowbee is still in production, and currently sold out.

Mick Jagger shares his quarantine recreation routine

In a clip shot to raise funds for Save the Children, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has shared a newsreel-style montage of how he's staying productive and keeping fit while social distancing. Even the cat's impressed!

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