As Lawsuits Mount, LiveXLive Says It Will Ask for $2M PPP Loan to Be Forgiven

LiveXLive is not returning the nearly $2 million it received from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program.

The company’s chief financial officer Mike Zemetra announced yesterday (June 18) that the concert streaming company planned to file for 100% forgiveness for the federal loan program meant for small businesses during the second quarter of 2021.

LiveXLive was one of 400 publicly traded companies that accepted federal funds from the program administered by the Small Business Administration. While the company was able to avoid a Treasury Department investigation because the amount it accepted ($1,993,500) fell under the $2 million safe harbor amount, they are not totally out of the woods. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating public companies that accepted funding from the program, according to The Washington Post, which reports that “investigators may be focusing on companies whose dire condition qualified them for PPP funding but whose financial disclosures prior to the outbreak didn’t reflect such vulnerability.”

The microcap concert streaming company that bills itself as the next ESPN of live music is facing a growing number of civil lawsuits from former employees, past investors and unpaid lawyers and legal vendors. LiveXlive was sued last month by XACT Data Discovery over $480,000 in unpaid bills. XACT had been hired by LiveXLive’s attorneys at Latham Watkins who in May 2019 took over defense of a lawsuit brought by an investor after LiveXLive’s previous attorney stopped defending the company because of non-payment. By October, Latham Watkins also asked the judge to be relieved from the case, claiming LiveXLive had “failed to pay a single invoice” and had racked up more than $650,000 in unpaid bills.

The unpaid legal bills are tied to a multi-year lawsuit with former investor and employee Joe Schnaier, who Ellin called “dumby,” “jerkoff” and “a f***ing clown” during the 2017 negotiations for Schnaier’s company Wantickets. After LiveXLive bought Wanticktets in an all stock deal, Ellin allegedly convinced Schnaier to invest an additional $1.25 million in LiveXLive. But weeks after the deal closed, Ellin began sending threatening text messages to Schnaier claiming he was owed hundreds of thousands of dollars and would terminate Schnaier’s employees if he wasn’t paid.

“(Y)ou better wired the 50k today or i start firing people no more games,” Ellin wrote on May 25, claiming that Schnaier owned him $650,000 for newly discovered “liabilities” at Wantickets. Ellin wanted “600k Tuesday or all hell break loose.” The next day, Ellin wrote “first guy fired today” followed by taunts like “next firing coming shortly,” “more people going by Friday clown” and then a gleeful text on June 16 when Ellin learned that CFO Richard Blakely’s two sons worked at Wantickets. After firing the siblings, Ellin wrote “dope wire the money.”

Blakely was fired next, and with no one left, Ellin let Schnaier know that the $10 million worth of shares Schnaier received in exchange for Wantickets, as well as the $1.25 million in preferred stock Schnaier had purchased were being restricted so that Schnaier couldn’t trade or sell his shares. “My shareholders always win but you will not get your shares ever,” Ellin wrote as a parting shot to Schnaier.

Schnaier is suing LiveXLive for fraudulent inducement, breach of his employer agreement and a number of other charges tied to his time at the company. The case is currently being heard in New York Supreme Court.

The Streets, Kaiser Chiefs & Dizzee Rascal Set for UK’s Drive-In Show Series

Kaiser Chiefs, The Streets and Dizzee Rascal are among a list of artists who are scheduled to perform at the UK’s first drive-in gigs throughout the summer.

The Utilita Live From The Drive-In series will feature artists across 12 venues in the UK, and concertgoers will have a private viewing zone next to their cars, according to NME.

Other acts set to take part are Ash, Beverley Knight, Bjorn Again, Brainiac Live, Brand New Heavies, Camp Bestival Live, Cream Classical Ibiza, Embrace, Gary Numan, Jack Savoretti, Lightning Seeds, Nathan Dawe, Reggae Roast Vs Gentleman’s Dub Club, Russell Watson, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sigala, Skindred, The Snuts, The Zutons and Tony Hadley.

See the teaser video below. Tickets go on sale here on June 22 at 10 a.m.

Leon Bridges Delivers Poignant Rendition of ‘Sweeter’ on ‘Corden’

In light of the ongoing protests demanding racial justice across the nation, Leon Bridges stopped by The Late Late Show With James Corden on Thursday night (June 18) to perform his timely track “Sweeter” with Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper.

“Hoping for a life more sweeter / Instead I’m just a story repeating / Why do I fear with skin dark as night? / Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes,” he sings in the emotional tune.

“I’m just heartbroken,” Bridges told Corden of this tumultuous time. “I’m tired of seeing unarmed Black men dying at the hands of police, but at the same time I’m still optimistic. It’s really refreshing to see people all over the world wake up to the racism and injustice that’s embedded in America.”

Of “Sweeter,” the singer noted that he and his collaborators made the song last year. “As you can see, it’s a perpetual narrative,” he continued. “I would say George Floyd was a tipping point for me. Everything in me wanted to be there in that moment with him. I feel like my role is to let my music reflect my heart, and it was important to release that song now.”

Watch the full performance below.

First Country: New Music From Rascal Flatts, Brett Young, Gabby Barrett & More

A Father’s Day edition of First Country includes a memorable video from Brett Young, who’s celebrating his first Father’s Day as a dad, as well as a welcome return from Rascal Flatts as they prepare to say goodbye.

Rascal Flatts, “How They Remember You”

The title track from the trio’s presumptive last effort, an EP out July 31, is a great send-off. The upbeat song, written by Marc Beeson, Josh Osborne and Allen Shamblin, features strong harmonies and a catchy melody, but is really about the message on how you choose to live your life. “Did you stand or did you fall/build a bridge or build a wall?,” Gary LeVox asks. The set also includes the band’s tribute to Kenny Rogers, “Through the Years.” Is it too soon to start missing them?

Brett Young, “Lady”

The video for Young’s current single is a sweet tribute to his new daughter, Presley, and his wife, Taylor, and will serve as a beautiful keepsake of Presley’s early days. Shot from a social distance by director Seth Kupersmith using one camera and a drone, the video features Young performing the song intercut with shots of him cuddling, playing and frolicking in the pool with his baby and wife.

Gabby Barrett, Goldmine

Following her No. 1 hit, “I Hope,” Barrett releases her full length debut. She co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs on the project that shows off the American Idol alum’s powerful voice and her voluminous range on such pop-tinged tracks as the title track, the second single, uplifting “The Good Ones, “ the gospel-tinged “ Got Me” with gospel group Shane + Shane and the inspirational “Footprints on the Moon.”

Breland, Rage & Sorrow

The “My Truck” singer shows a completely different side on this 3-track suite that opens with a spoken-word intro that details America’s dismal record on civil rights including slavery and the Jim Crow era, before segueing into “The Message,” another spoken- word track that talks more about his emotions before moving into the third part, “Real Men Don’t Cry,” a gorgeous ballad about having “pain for memories” that he smiles through. “Anything to keep it all inside because real mean don’t cry,” he sings. In just a few minutes, Breland displays a depth that his previous efforts hadn’t displayed.

“Many of us have been oscillating between inspiration and desperation over the past few weeks, and I haven’t always known what to do or say about it. Inside me at any given moment lie two distinct emotions: Rage & Sorrow,” Breland said in a statement. “We focus a lot on the rage because it makes us feel powerful, but without acknowledging the sorrow, sometimes we end up only hurting ourselves. It is okay to feel both of these emotions, and to feel them deeply. The two songs I’m dropping tonight speak to my journey toward this emotional balance, and I hope everyone who listens finds similar peace. Happy Juneteenth.”

Willie Nelson, “We Are The Cowboys”

Is there anything more comforting than a song from national treasure  Nelson? Nelson revisits “We Are the Cowboys,”  which he recorded on 1999’s Honky Tonk Heroes, with Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. This tune takes on added meaning in these divisive times with the line,  “Cowboys are average American people/Texicans, Mexicans, Black men and Jews/They love this old world and they don’t want to lose it/They’re counting on me and they’re counting on you.” The track is from Nelson’s forthcoming album, First Rose of Spring.

Tyler Rich, “Feels Like Home”

Rich returns with a track that will be familiar to fans of his live show. Recorded under quarantine with all the musicians recording separately, the mid-tempo song celebrates how anywhere can feel like home if you’re surrounded by good friends and good music. “Exploring new cities, meeting strangers, and finding pubs or dive bars that make you feel like home inspired this song,” he said in a statement. “It’s crazy how you can feel an innate sense of comfort in such unfamiliar places.” Feels like a song that will inspire sing-alongs for years to come.

Shy Carter, “Good Love”

He’s the co-writer of such hits as Kane Brown’s “Heaven,” Keith Urban’s “Never Coming Down” and Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away,” now pop/country Grammy-nominated songwriter Brown is stepping in front of the microphone with his debut single for Warner Music Nashville. The mid-tempo pop-flavored track is an upbeat affirmation in the power of good love and a strong introduction to Carter for those not already aware of his behind-the-scenes work.

Danielle Bradbery, “Never Have I Ever”

The video for the sultry tune about finally feeling the true flush of love for the first time features Bradbery pulling off a socially distant video with style as she walks through various scenes, on a ranch in Texas. She sells the song better than you’d expect given the limiting circumstances, which is a testament to the strength of the song and her voice.

Also noteworthy: Ahead of the release of her July 24 album, The Balladeer, Lori McKenna shows off another winner from the set. The video for “Good Fight” features two boxers training and sparring, an amusing juxtaposition to the lyrics, which are about a couple fighting and “too angry to go to bed” before declaring a truce… A scion of country’s first family John Carter Cash gathers an astonishing array of musicians—known as the Cash Collective for rock-inspired set, Hey Crow. The set owes as much to dad Johnny Cash as well as Black Sabbath… For Father’s Day, Toby Keith delivers a video for a stripped-down, stirring version of “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” originally written for Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film, The Mule…Singer/songwriter Erin Enderlin turns in a languid cover of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark”… In honor of Kris Kristofferson’s 84th birthday, Mandy Barnett delivers a passionate version of his classic, “Help Me Make It Through The Night.”

Bandcamp Pledges to Donate Its Share of Music Sales to NAACP

Online music service Bandcamp is celebrating Juneteenth and honoring the Black Lives Matter movement by donating 100 percent of its music sale profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

According to NPR, Bandcamp usually collects 15 percent of digital music sales and 10 percent of the sales from physical products. “We stand with those rightfully demanding justice, equality, and change, and people of color everywhere who live with racism every single day, including many of our fellow employees and artists and fans in the Bandcamp community,” the company wrote in a statement announcing the donation on its website.

Bandcamp also will be “allocating an additional $30,000 per year to partner with organizations that fight for racial justice and create opportunities for people of color.”

“We encourage everyone in the Bandcamp community to look for ways to support racial equality in your own local community, and as a company we’ll continue to look for more opportunities to support racial justice, equality and change,” the statement concludes.

Read here.

 

Eminem Teases ‘Recovery’ 10th Anniversary Surprise

It’s been 10 years since Eminem released his 2010 album, Recovery, and the rapper has something up his sleeves to celebrate the milestone.

Eminem, born Marshall Mathers, took to Twitter on Thursday (June 18) to share a 30-second clip highlighting some hits from Recovery, including “Not Afraid,” “No Love” and “Love the Way You Lie.”

“‘Music is my time machine,'” he captioned the post, referencing a lyric from his song “Cinderella Man,” before teasing that more information on “#RECOVERY10″ is “coming Monday!”

See below.

Japan’s Aimyon Shoots Emotional New Video in Shower: Watch

J-pop hitmaker Aimyon shared the new music video for her latest single, “Hadaka no kokoro” (“Naked Heart”).

The video for the ballad about unrequited love and loneliness consists of a single long take of the 25-year-old artist singing in a shower room.

Fully clothed, she starts off dry under a single ray of light — “How much longer do I intend to stay alone like this?” she sings. “Gradually hating myself and envying others” — but as the song progresses, she turns on the water and repeats the heartbreaking chorus: “Please let this love blossom/ Let me hope at least just a little/ I’m in love now/ Carrying a naked heart.” Watch below:

The “Marigold” singer-songwriter notes this was the first time since that long-running hit from two years ago that she faced the director, Tomokazu Yamada, in the shower for a music video.

“We ended up with these visuals after going round and round, but I think this was the best answer,” she says. “I wonder how my face has changed since that time in the shower room then and now? It’s hard to tell by myself so I should have asked the director.”

Yamada, who has helmed the videos for a number of Aimyon’s previous hits — including “Marigold,” “Konya konomama,” “Harunohi,” “Manatsu no yoru no nioi ga suru” and “Sayonara no kyou ni” — explains that after considering what he could do with “just a camera and Aimyon,” he “frantically chased (Aimyon’s) emotions” during the shoot to capture the artist’s moving performance.