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Billboard: Inside Mac Miller’s Circles Pop-Up Listening Event in Los Angeles

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On Thursday (Jan. 16) the Mac Miller Estate opened its arms for a preview of the Circles: Til’ Infinity listening event for Mac Miller’s first posthumous album, Circles.

Held at the revamped D.O.M. Gallery at the busy intersection of West Hollywood’s Melrose and Fairfax Avenue, the brightly lit, two-room Mac Miller museum pop-up glowed from blocks away on an otherwise quiet, rainy evening in Los Angeles. Organized by Warner Brothers Records, Mirrored Media, and Mac Miller’s family and former management, the minimalistic event was first advertised on social media five days ago as “Circles: Til Infinity. Intimate front-to-back listenings of Circles by Mac Miller. Art by fans and friends. Exclusive merch at all locations, with all net proceeds going to The Mac Miller Fund.” 

Upon entering the venue, attendees are met with a space resembling an art gallery, with a square, barbed-wire-enclosed merchandise station in the center of the room under a strikingly tall ceiling. Fans are given the opportunity to purchase over a dozen styles of shirts and hoodies, all of varying colors, with a Mac Miller logo and various phrases decorating the clothes. As mentioned on the “92tilinfinity” Instagram page, all sales’ proceeds are funneled to The Mac Miller Fund.

This first room tells a condensed tale of Miller’s life via visual mediums: Floor-to-ceiling windows take up one of the walls, while the other three are adorned with photos, paintings, posters, and personal polaroids (from Miller’s own cameras) of the late artist. A common theme among the photos is a smiling Miller, either at the studio, with friends, or in the midst of a carefree activity such as bike riding, portraying the Swimming MC as most fans and loved ones remember him.

While a majority of the photos depict the rapper as an adult, several childhood photos are also included, showing Miller with his mother and other family members. On the largest wall in the back of the room hangs a collage measuring over 40 square feet, boasting dozens, if not hundreds, of fan-art pieces — the fans’ devotion and love palpable. To the left of the collage is a placard listing the social media handles of the collage contributors. Glass cases with cartoonized Mac Miller POP! figurines by Bram Valure & Thomas Wadtke stand at one side of the room, emblematizing Mac as a pop culture fixture for this generation. 

The room had a pacified atmosphere as attendees moseyed around the crowded gallery, reading placards and examining photos. Most notably, Karen Myers and Mark Mccormick, Mac’s mother and father, and Miller Mccormick, Mac’s brother, were present. The late rapper’s immediate family remarkably did not formally address the guests, but rather nonchalantly socialized amongst the crowd, as strangers and friends alike approached the relatives to exchange greetings and pay their respects. The room buzzed with somber conversation and friendly chatter as a quiet playlist featuring the likes of The Eagles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, and Mazzy Star filled the background, with the tracks said to be selected by the estate as some of Malcolm’s personal favorites.

Through an entrance to the gallery’s side is a black-and-red decorated, dimly lit, sitting area intended to be the listening room. This second room is smaller in area than the gallery, with a bar on one side of the space. Couches, chairs, and other lounge furniture fill the room, inviting attendees to sit and take heed to the Circles album, which is played consecutively from the speakers at the top of every hour for the duration of the event. Unlike traditional listening events, there is no DJ working the crowd nor is there rambunctiously loud, upbeat music. Rather guests are implicitly encouraged to relax and become immersed in a sonic adventure, provided by Mac Miller and his producers.

The two-day listening experience is free of charge and will be open to any and all fans on a first-come, first-serve basis on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miller’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While the album is already officially released, phones are reportedly not permitted in the venue.

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Billboard – “Andy Grammer, Daya & More Perform at The Grove’s Christmas Tree Lighting”

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Billboard – “Andy Grammer, Daya & More Perform at The Grove’s Christmas Tree Lighting”

Christmas is still more than a month away, but the famous outdoor shopping center The Grove in Los Angeles kicked off the holiday season with their annual “Christmas at The Grove” spectacular on Sunday (Nov. 18). The bash featured musical performances, a California-style snowfall, Santa Claus, the lighting of the 100-foot tall Christmas tree and fireworks.   

Now in its 17th year, the annual tree lighting ceremony has come to be a landmark holiday celebration in the City of Angels. The evening’s ceremony was hosted by model and actress Molly Sims with performances from Andy Grammer, Daya, Lindsey Stirling, Rozzi, Parson James, Pia Toscano with David Foster and JD McCrary.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off the show with opening remarks. Speaking exclusively with Billboard, Garcetti shared, “We usually come together in moments of celebration and triumph but this year, we also remember times of hardship and tragedy. I love coming here because it’s an amazing celebration with people from all over the city but to see our firefighters and police officers here and the sacrifices they’ve made. There’s thousands of people who are not home and have been displaced by fires and tragedy. It’s a good feeling to know that this is a generous and giving city.”

Following Mayor Garcetti’s remarks, child actor JD McCrary, who’s about to star as young Simba in the upcoming Disney live-action remake The Lion King in July 2019, performed “Winter Wonderland.” Renditions of heartwarming holiday classics were a constant throughout the evening from Rozzi Crane & Parson James’ “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to the crowd pleasing “O Holy Night,” performed by former American Idol finalist Pia Toscano accompanied by record producer David Foster on piano.

Violinist Lindsey Stirling performed a remixed and modern version of “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” followed by Daya’s chart-topping hit “Don’t Let Me Down.” 

“I would say rebirth is the general theme of the new album,” Daya said to Billboardof her record, set to debut in 2019. “My reintroduction into the music world and it just feels fresh and new and the most authentic I’ve ever been. I found myself in a new relationship this year and discovered more parts of myself that I didn’t know before. I’ve had time to really sit back and let everything settle in since ‘Hide Away’ took off which was three years ago. I didn’t allow that time before and now that I’ve had that time, I am rebirth-ing myself into the world.”

Rounding out the evening was multi-platinum artist Andy Grammer, who performed an electrifying set of originals including “Keep Your Head Up” and “Honey, I’m Good.”

Special guests in attendance included Katharine McPhee, Sara Foster, Jennifer Meyer and Caruso Founder & CEO Rick J. Caruso. Caruso shared with Billboard how the annual holiday musical celebration developed over the years: “It just continued to grow to be a part of the community and I’m a big believer of the holidays and celebrating whatever you can celebrate and we always want to be part of a community. And Christmas time and the holiday time is the perfect time to come together. We’re in the business of enriching lives and making people happy. Especially in this season where in southern California, the communities that we’re a part of really got hurt and a lot of tragedies. I think its a message of hope, that all of us stay together and create a great amount of hope, that we all have healthy, happy lives and we support each other.”

Highlights from this year’s tree-lighting ceremony will be featured in “A Home For The Holidays – The 20th Anniversary,” a holiday special featuring stories of adoption from foster care enhanced by major recording artists. The special will air Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Read the full article HERE

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Max Geschwind

Billboard Announces The CraveOnline Comic-Con Party

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Billboard via Andrew Hampp writes:

“MGMT and Grimes are heading to San Diego’s 2014 Comic-Con International, where MGMT will play a live set and Grimes will DJ at a party for CraveOnline on July 25. The event will take place aboard the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier docked adjacent to the Convention Center, and appropriately enough TNT’s “The Last Ship” will sponsor.
 
Though Comic-Con has primarily been a destination for movie studios and TV networks to hype their latest franchises in recent years, it’s become a rising priority for the music industry to capitalize on all the fan activity. Metallica played a surprise show last year in support of their pseudo-documentary “Metallica Through The Never,” while VH1 Classic recruited Rob Zombie to play the first-ever Opening Party in 2012. Also on tap for Comic-Con 2014 are G-Eazy and Linkin Park, who will perform at MTV’s Fan Fest on Thursday, July 24.
 
The CraveOnline event is produced and booked by Mirrored Media, an L.A.-based music marketing company that has previously paired Metric with Acura for a fall 2012 tour and mobile-charging brand Mophie with key festivals like Life Is Beautiful, Coachella and Lollapalooza.”

Read the full story here!