Astro Mark Music News and Views

The Coming of Summer! 

2020 has already set a lot of records, and I don't mean vinyl. No, the crazy year is just that, abnormal! At this point, I would be happy to watch a baseball game on TV with empty stands. I'm sure the networks can make faux crowd noise but who cares, just something halfway normal would be just fine. I know so many musicians who have been hurt financially, as have bars, restaurants, waitstaff, and venues. Everyone's life was put on hold. It feels like it's lasted a long time and in many ways it has, but what comes next, as we hope to return to some level of normalcy? 

At this point, there are many companies working on a vaccine. It takes time to go through clinical trials. Many fail, others succeed only to fail in later trials. Until there is a vaccine, there can be no herd immunity, and we are not dealing with influenza here but a coronavirus. Currently, there are no vaccines for any coronavirus (common cold, HIV, Ebola.) That should give us all pause and consider that we may be impacted by this virus for the next year or two until it finally burns out.

Maybe all of this is a trial run to see how we can operate around a pandemic? Musicians are doing a good job of playing online and taking donations to keep paying the bills. As we head into Summer with normal in our rearview mirror, I hope that everyone can continue to work together and support each other the best we can. Nobody asked for this to happen but we can be supportive of our friends, families, neighbors, and local businesses. Together we are not alone, we are all in this together.

Be Well

The AstroMarkMusic Crew

AstroMarkMusic Playlists 

Hi Folks! 

AstroMarkMusic added some music for your enjoyment. Our playlists are our way of saying thanks and hope you enjoy listening to them. If there is something, in particular, you would enjoy listening to, let us know. We plan on updating our playlists often and would love to include your requests. 

In the meantime, let us know if there is anything you would like to see on the website. We are always happy to hear from you!

Be well,

All the gang at AstroMarkMusic

 

Big Addition To Collector's Corner 

After two months of COVID-19, unemployed musicians, and the world in suspended animation, we are excited to announce the arrival of some new vintage vinyl in Collector's Corner! We finally have an IMPACT album available! In addition, there are several other offerings in the classic Kasual lineup. In addition to the new collectibles, AstroMarkMusic is now shipping internationally. Our first shipment headed to France followed by Canada! While there are delays in shipping anything during the pandemic, we are happy to see buyers returning to the marketplace in spite of the delays. We do know that all of our t-shirt provides are experiencing major delays due to closings and supply chain disruptions but we are assured that the delays are no longer than 10 business days from the date of order. So please know we will continue to monitor shipping and product availability for these suppliers. 

UnCancelled Music Festival 

The UnCancelled Music Festival

The festival is bringing together musicians, fans, and venues from around the globe affected by the COVID-19 crisis for a virtual concert experience. 

Set to begin on April 2nd and continue every day until the crisis subsides, the virtual festival will be hosted on StageIt. 

The festival is being curated by venues and concert promoters, with the majority of the proceeds being split between MusiCares, artists, and venues. 

All booking for the festival is happening through music venues. Music venues can apply to create a festival stage for their local artists here.

 

Assistance for Musicians  

Here is a list of charitable organizations that are offering help to musicians during the COVID-19 crisis.

National 

Artist Relief Tree 

Any artist can apply for a grant of $250. The fund has been exhausted for the moment but artists can sign up for the waitlist here to be notified when funds become available again. 

The Blues Foundation 

The HART (Handy Artists Relief Trust) Fund provides assistance for medical and dental care. 

The Creator Fund 

Creators can apply for grants of up to $500. 

The Entertainment Assistance Program/The Actors Fund 

The Actors Fund serves professionals in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio, and dance through its Entertainment Assistance Program which provides emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses or medical expenses. 

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund 

Musicians who have had a performance/gig canceled due to coronavirus may apply for support. 

Gospel Music Trust 

This fund provides financial assistance in the event of an emergency or major catastrophe to individuals who have derived a substantial portion of their income from the field of Gospel Music. 

International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) 

Financial grants and loans are available to present and past professionals in bluegrass music in a time of emergency. Grants generally range from $500 to $5,000. 

Jazz Foundation of America 

This fund provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, disaster relief and direct financial support for musicians in crisis. 

MusiCares 
The Recording Academy and its charitable foundation MusiCares have committed $2 million in total to a COVID-19 Relief Fund, established to assist those in the music community who have been affected by the pandemic. Music industry professionals impacted by canceled work may apply for an initial grant of up to $1,000 for basic living assistance (i.e. rent or mortgage). 

People can donate and apply for assistance by navigating to the fund’s official web page. 

Musicians Foundation Covid 19 Emergency Aid Grant Program 

Individuals who have worked as professional musicians for the past five years or more may apply for emergency funding. A professional musician is defined as someone whose primary source of income was or is derived from work as a musician or music educator. 

NOTE: As of March 22, 2020, applications are temporarily suspended. The foundation hopes to reopen applications later in the week so check back for updates. 

Patreon Artist Grant 

Patreon is providing grants to artists impacted by coronavirus. Apply at the link above. 

SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund 

Members of SAG-AFTRA can apply for emergency funding to cover basic expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills, and other essential needs. In order to be eligible, you must be an active SAG-AFTRA member and current on your dues through October 2019. 

The Soze Agency Artist + Activist Relief Fund 

Artists who have been impacted by coronavirus can apply for grants of $250. 

Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund 

Musicians or music industry workers impacted by coronavirus may apply for funds to cover medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses. Applicants must demonstrate that at least 50% of their income comes from working within the music community. Other eligibility criteria can be found at the link above.

 

Regional 

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California 

Local 47 Chapter of the Musicians Union of Los Angeles Emergency Relief Fund 

Members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 chapter who work for employers covered by the Musicians Union of Los Angeles contract or collective bargaining agreement may submit an application for up to two service sets lost, in the amount of $75 per service set, for a maximum total of $150. 

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Music Fund of Los Angeles Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund 

Members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 chapter who work for employers covered by the Musicians Union of Los Angeles contract or collective bargaining agreement may submit an application for up to two service sets lost, in the amount of $75 per service set, for a maximum total of $150. 

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Massachusetts 

Boston Music Maker Relief Fund 

Musicians living in Boston who have experienced lost income from a performance canceled due or related to coronavirus may apply for a $200 grant. 

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New York 

Petrillo Fund Financial Assistance 

Members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 Chapter who are in good standing and have been diagnosed with coronavirus or who have tested positive for coronavirus and are under quarantine may submit an application for emergency financial assistance. The application is available here

Max's Kansas City Project 

Max’s Kansas City Project has emergency grants for New Yorkers in the creative arts. Individuals who have made their living through their art form either professionally or personally and demonstrate a financial need for medical aid, legal aid or housing. The application form is available here

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Tennessee 

Grand Ole Opry 

The Opry Trust Fund distributes funds toward medical bills, living expenses, rent or mortgage, and utilities to individuals who are or have been employed full time in a facet of the country music industry (i.e. performer, songwriter, publisher, radio, session musician, etc. Referrals accepted from individuals with the country music community and other charitable organizations. 

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Music Export Memphis COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund 

Music Export Memphis is raising funds to support artists who live in Memphis, Tennessee and have lost income due to coronavirus. Details on how to access funds will be forthcoming; continue to check the website for details. 

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 

The Chamber provides links for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, Metro Nashville Public Schools free student meals, and other resources. 

Nashville COVID-19 Response Fund 

The Response Fund assists individuals and families by connecting specific agencies to assist with rent/mortgage assistance, utility payments, food assistance, and direct financial assistance. 

Texas 

Banding Together Austin 

Members of Austin’s live music community who were impacted by the cancellation of South by Southwest festival can apply for funds here

OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES 

Unemployment Benefits 

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California 

Information on how to apply for unemployment benefits in California can be found here. Individuals who are self-employed (i.e. work as independent contractors) are generally not eligible to apply for unemployment benefits at this time. However, you may be able to apply for unemployment benefits as an independent contractor, if you meet one of the following criteria: 

If you chose to cover yourself and paid into an unemployment insurance plan 

If a previous employer contributed on your behalf over the last 12 to 18 months 

If you believe that you were misclassified as an independent contractor and should have been classified as an employee. 

New York 

Information on how to apply for unemployment benefits in New York State can be found here. Individuals who are self-employed (i.e. work as independent contractors) are not eligible to apply for unemployment benefits at this time. 

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Tennessee 

Information on how to apply for unemployment benefits in Tennessee can be found here. Currently, individuals who are self-employed, or a 1099 employee, are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits. If the President declares a disaster, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. 

Texas 

Information on how to apply for unemployment benefits in Texas can be found here. Self-employed individuals may be able to request a disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Payment, but availability depends on eligibility and FEMA and DUA regulations. 

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Family Need Resources 

COVID-19 Broadband Resources 

Information is provided regarding connectivity needs during the pandemic for Tennessee. 

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Legal Resources 

New York 

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts 

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides free or discounted legal services to low-income artists and nonprofit organizations. 

Health and Insurance Resources 

Backline 

Backline is an organization that provides mental health and wellness resources to the music community. They are hosting bi-weekly Zoom calls to provide support for individuals impacted by coronavirus. 

Music Health Alliance 

Music Health Alliance is offering support for both COVID-19 and Tornado financial assistance. They offer grants for direct cost assistance for up to 8 weeks. 

SIMS Foundation 

This Foundation offers links to mental health and substance use recovery programs nationally and regionally in Texas. 

Mortgage Relief 

National 

If you have a home mortgage guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you are eligible to have your mortgage payment reduced or suspended for up to 12 months. Exact details for Fannie Mae borrowers can be found here. Information for Freddie Mac borrowers is available here

Student Loan Relief 

National 

Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days beginning March 13, 2020. Borrowers may also suspend their payments for at least two months. Additional details and frequently asked questions resource can be found here.

A New Reality? 

The closure of restaurants, bars, and sporting events is having a profound negative impact on musicians. The money made by playing these gigs is what keeps many people afloat. To top off this awful event, there is no end in sight as to when people might return to normal lives. 

 

Be Well

Rosebud 

We have learned that "Rosebud," AKA John Doughty recently passed away. He was the drummer on the Garage Kings recordings. Rosebud played in the band in the late '70s. Our condolences to his family and friends. He was a talented drummer who also played in Hot Sauce and other Texas bands. RIP Rosebud...

An Interesting Garageband Photo from the '60s 

Members of the Jackals as well as members of the Chessmen,  Tommy Carter, top center / Doyle Bramhall, top left / John Talley, top right / Keith Wooldrige, lower right. 

How's this for photo obscura of Texas bands. Thanks Kelly O'Shea for providing this very cosmic photo from days gone by...........

Journey To Tyme 

"I absolutely love this one - it's a crazy mix of Texas frat rock, garage, and fuzz/psych. Only in this era could such a record exist. I also love that the band name sounds like they'd be playing at your Mom and Dad's country club this weekend."

The best description of Journey To Tyme - ever! 

For all fans, the re-issue and a new version is coming in 2020. It's going to be amazing!

Karry On

Kasualities 

 

 

 

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