Music Features

Half Waif, Ben Gibbard, and 5 Other Live Streams to Tune Into Now

Get your best headphones, crack open a cold one, and enjoy these livestream shows, straight from one artist's living room to yours.

Now that we're all stuck at home, musicians are turning to livestreams in order to share their art with the world. Here are some incredible livestreams to check out this week and next:

Friday, 3/27: Half Waif, the dreamy electro-pop outlet of Pinegrove's Nandi Rose Plunkett, is performing her ethereal new album "The Caretaker" this Friday at 7:30 PM. Tune in here. Plunkett also recently wrote a column for NPR about how she's staying sane during quarantine—which involves spending a lot of time on her couch.

Half Waif: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert www.youtube.com


4PM Daily: Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie has been doing daily livestreams, and he just released a song called "Life in Quarantine."

Benjamin Gibbard - Life in Quarantine (Official Audio) www.youtube.com


Saturday, 3/28: Bands including indie outlet WD-HAN will be gathering for a festival called Doomed Fest on Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th, starting at noon EST daily. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go towards supporting performers.

Doomed Fest


Sunday 3/29: Elton John is bringing Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, and Alicia Keys (all in the safety of their own homes) together for the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, airing 9PM Sunday.

Billie Eilish - The End of the World - Radio 1 Piano Sessions www.youtube.com


Sunday 3/29: Jay-Z's streaming platform Tidal will be bringing a coterie of illustrious artists together this weekend for free livestreams, including Beyonce and Rihanna for their Sunday R&B sessions.

Rihanna - Diamonds (Acoustic Live) www.youtube.com


Wednesday 4/1 (and every Wednesday and Friday): Indie band San Fermin is doing IGTV livestreams every Wednesday and Friday at 3PM EST. They also just released the second installment of their dual album, The Cormorant, along with a new video for "Freedom (Yeah Yeah Yeah)." Tune in to the livestreams here.

San Fermin - Freedom (Yeah Yeah!) (Official Video) www.youtube.com


Thursday, 4/2: The musician Mike Broussard is doing livestreams every Thursday at 1PM EST. Experience his rollicking, expansive ballads by tuning in here.

Marc Broussard-Solo Acoustic (Round 2) www.youtube.com


April 4th: Actor and musician Michelle Creber will be performing a livestream concert on April 4th. She also just released a new music video for "Storm" and dropped a moving, cinematic new single called "False Empire."

STORM (music video) - Michelle Creber www.youtube.com


Have a livestream you want featured? Email eden@popdust.com.

Culture Feature

Drew Brees Exemplifies How NOT to Be a White Ally

The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.

Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."

This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.


Colin Kaepernick Kneeling Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality


Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.

But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?

Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?

When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.

After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.


Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.

Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.

Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.

For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.

New Releases

Ben Gibbard Shares New Quarantine-Themed Song from His Home

"Life in Quarantine" marks just one of the Death Cab For Cutie frontman's many home videos to come.

Ben Gibbard's hometown of Seattle has been hit especially hard during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Death Cab for Cutie frontman is just one of many well-known public figures who've been posting videos and livestreaming as the pandemic keeps us all indoors. There are a lot of bad celebrity responses out there, but Gibbard's is not one of them. He shared a message with his city today, performing a song he calls "Life in Quarantine." Recorded humbly in front of his multiple RIAA certification plaques, the tender acoustic song depicts days that look empty "like Christmas."

"The streets are empty, the bars and cafes too / The streetlights only changing 'cause they ain't got nothing better to do," Gibbard sings as he strums. "The airports and train stations are full of desperate people / Trying to convince the gate agents that not all emergencies are equal / But no one is going anywhere soon."

Furthermore, Gibbard signs off the video by encouraging his fellow Seattleites—if it's within their means—to donate sleeping bags and tents to the Aurora Commons, a community center for "unhoused neighbors." "Let's all get through this together," Gibbard adds.

This is just the first of many videos to come from Gibbard as he practices social distancing. He'll be streaming on YouTube and Facebook at 4 PM Pacific Time until further notice.

Listen to "Life in Quarantine" below.

A Message to the City from Ben Gibbard www.youtube.com