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Outdoor Music Festival

Why Younger Musicians Are Getting Their Estates In Order Early

Artists like Anderson .Paak and Taylor Swift are already planning out their legacies as a means of keeping control of their music catalogues as their careers continue to develop.

Music Teacher Creates Map Of Female Composers Lost In History 

We all know who Wolfgang Amadeaus Mozart was; one of the most famous composer prodigies of the 18th century and all time. However, most of us don’t know he also had a sister, Maria Anna, who was just as much of a prodigy as her brother, but wasn’t given the same opportunities due to the fact that she was a woman. 

Sakira Ventura is a music teacher from Valencia who wanted to shine a bright spotlight on Maria and any other woman in music who has been lost and forgotten due to sexist societal values. To do so, Ventura created an interactive map that features more than 500 female composers from across the globe. 

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“We’ve never given women the place they deserve in history. They don’t appear in musical history books, their works aren’t played at concerts and their music isn’t recorded.”

“I came up with the idea after realizing I had rarely heard of women who had composed classical music during my academic studies of music. I had always talked about putting these composers on the map – so it occurred to me to do it literally,” she explained. 

To create the map, Ventura did extensive research into encyclopedias, libraries, and social media archives. 

“When I started I thought I wouldn’t know more than five female composers, but after more than a year and hundreds of hours of work, the site documents 530 composers – including a short description of each one and a link to listen to their work.”

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Ventura is currently working on cycling through another 500 names to add onto the map as well. The catalogue currently includes artists who were born all the way back in 810, who wrote hymns that are still sung in the Orthodox Church to this day. 

Ventura explained that women are often erased from music history, especially classical music, due to the fact that at the time music was only seen as a hobby for women, and could never be taken up professionally. 

“It was taken for granted that a work composed by a woman wouldn’t be of the same quality as that composed by a man. The barriers forced female composers to get creative; some enrolled in convents in order to study music while others published works under male pseudonyms.”

Ventura has even collaborated with other teachers on the map who are using it as a part of their lessons now. “I’m 28 years old and nobody ever spoke to me about female composers,” she said. “So I want to do what hasn’t [been] done for me, I want my students to know that [Wolfgang Amadeus] Mozart and Beethoven existed but also that there were also all these female composers.”

Aaliyah Estate Releases Statement After Former Label Teases Music Release 

The late Aaliyah was truly an icon in the 90’s. Her untimely death left a true void in the pop/R&B sphere but her talent has continued to live on for decades. However, a majority of the singer’s music is unavailable to stream on most platforms. Her albums One In A Million (1996) and Aaliyah (2001) have remained off all platforms since the dawn of their existence. 

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Aaliyah’s earlier singles and debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number (1994) are available. This week, fans on social media began to speculate that the remainder of her discography would finally be uploaded to streaming services after the account Blackground Records 2.0 shared a new website and hashtag: #AaliyahIsComing. 

The original Blackground Records was owned by the late singer’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson, who released the majority of Aaliyah’s music. Hankerson owns the majority of Aaliyah’s master recordings aside from her debut album, and he confirmed that he’s behind the label’s “2.0” revival which suggests he’s also behind the new hashtag. 

The Estate of Aaliya Haughton shared a statement this week, detailing the battles behind the scenes they’ve faced when it comes to releasing the icon’s music, including this recent attempt: “We’ve battled a lot behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish the work.” 

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“Although we will continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly, we want to preempt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.” 

“Ultimately, we desire closure and a modicum of peace so we can facilitate the growth of the Aaliyah Memorial Fund and other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence, which is to inspire strength and positivity for people of all creeds, races and cultures around the world,” the statement continued. 

The estate also released its own hashtag, #IStandWithAaliyah, which superstar Missy Elliott, who was also close with Aaliyah, retweeted. 

“While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time.”

Movie Clapper

Lucy Liu Recalls ‘Inexcusable And Unacceptable’ Behavior From Bill Murray During ‘Charlie’s Angels’

Lucy Liu recently appeared on the “Asian Enough” podcast where she opened up about her career, specifically working with Bill Murray in the 2000s smash hit “Charlie’s Angels.”

Liu explained how she had a not so pleasant interaction with Murray when he came to set after attending a family party and began hurling insults at everyone on set, especially Liu. 

Liu claimed that after Murray was not present at a rehearsal due to a family gathering, he showed up and began to “hurl insults that kept going on and on.” 

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“I was, like, ‘Wow, he seems like he’s looking straight at me.’ I couldn’t believe that it could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time? I asked whether Murray was speaking directly to her as the conversation started to become a one-on-one communication.”

“It was unjust and it was uncalled for. Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it. So, yes, I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it.”

“Because no matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there’s no need to condescend or to put other people down. And I would not stand down, and nor should I have and nor did I,” Liu explained. 

Liu also claimed that in the years following the confrontation, numerous crew members came up to her and told her they were “grateful” that she spoke up. 

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Today, Liu claims to have nothing against Murray, and has even interacted with him pleasantly in recent years. “At the SNL Reunion he came up to me and was perfectly nice, but I’m not going to sit there and be attacked.” 

“I don’t want to be that person that is not going to speak up for myself and stand by the only thing that I have, which is my dignity and self-respect at the end of the day.”

“Because in the end, we all end up in the same place as time goes on. Nobody is immortal. But in that time, no matter what happens between now and whatever career choices I make or whatever life decisions I make, I will walk away with my dignity.”

“I didn’t understand how it got flipped when I had nothing to do with instigating it or creating that platform of confrontation or anxiety. So even though it’s been decades, it’s something that obviously I remember very intimately,” she explained.

British Museum To Display More Than 100 Unseen Works By Katsushika Hokusai 

More than 100 postcard-sized drawings by Katsushika Hokusai will be on display to the public for the first time in two centuries after being acquired by the British Museum. The museum’s director, Hartwig Fischer, claims the drawings were “remarkable and unique, the discovery alone is incredible.” 

Hokusai is most famously known for The Great Wave, one of the most recognizable and reproduced artworks of all time. He’s known for having extreme influence on 19th-century European impressionist art; Van Gough was deeply inspired by Hokusai. 

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According to the museum, at some point in the 1840s, when Hokusai would’ve been in his 80s, he began working on a new project called The Great Picture Book of Everything, in which he let his imagination run completely wild with fantastical and intricate drawings of beautiful fantasy scenes. 

The project was never published, so the drawings were simply put in a box, and have been stored away ever since. The history of these prints is rather unknown. They were once owned by Henry Vever, a Japanese art collector who died in 1942; a century after they were originally made. 

In 1948 the prints appeared at an auction in Paris, and were purchased to become a part of a private French collection, where they were eventually forgotten about. In 2019, they reappeared at a Paris auction, where the British Museum purchased them for around $270,000. 

“They were created at a time modern audiences could relate to. These drawings were created in a period of lockdown, if you will, when Japan had closed its borders for almost 200 years.”

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Fischer explained that at the time, “contact with the outside world was limited and strictly regulated and even journeys within the country required an official permit. It is a situation many of us can sympathize with.”

The drawings mainly depict  religious and mythological figures as well as animals, birds, and flowers. Alfred Haft, a project curator at the museum, said “all 103 drawings were gems, each rewarding close study, each showing us Hokusai’s lively mind and hand at work together.”

Fischer said Hokusai’s art combined “boundless invention, subtle humour and deep humanity. The museum already has one of the most comprehensive collections of Hokusai’s work outside Japan, so this is the appropriate home for the drawings in my opinion.”

Currently anyone can view the drawings on the British Museum’s website, and the actual drawings will be on display in the museum for the first time in history starting September 30th until January 2022. 

Britney Spears Now Able To Hire Her Own Lawyer In Case To End Conservatorship

Britney Spears received an amazing victory in her battle to end the conservatorship that she’s been in for 13 years now. The pop star is now able to hire her own lawyer to help end the conservatorship which Spears herself has called “abusive.” 

The conservatorship currently gives Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, full control of her business, estate, finances, social outings, and personal affairs. He is currently the sole individual in charge of her $60 million estate. 

“You’re allowing my dad to ruin my life. I have to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse.” 

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Spears spoke in front of the court via phone call in an emotional testimony filled with understandable rage and sadness. She claimed to have always been “extremely scared of [her] dad.” 

“I’m fed up with the multiple psychological evaluations and want the conservatorship brought to an end without another one. I’m not a perfect person, but my team’s goal is to make me feel like I’m crazy.” 

This marks the second time Spears has been able to address the courts herself since the conservatorship began. Last month she made headlines after calling the legal arrangement abusive and stupid in a passionate 20-minute testimonial. 

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved of former federal Mathew Rosengart to be Spears’s lawyer. Rosengart spoke to the media after this major announcement, claiming that he would be filing a petition to end the conservatorship and remove Jamie Spears as the conservator “as soon as possible.” 

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“We will be filing a petition as soon as possible to move Mr Spears, subject to our formal retention. As I said in open court, a very fair question is: Why is Mr Spears not voluntarily stepping down? He does not belong in this conservatorship any more. And we believe he should voluntarily step down immediately,” Rosengart claimed. 

This has been a major win for Spear’s fans all around the world who have been advocating for her freedom from the conservatorship for years now. 

“This is not just about Britney alone. This is about every other person who is trapped in one of these, what I would call a prison,” said 34-year-old Patrick Thomas, head of the recently formed Free Britney America group, whose group is pushing for a congressional hearing and federal oversight of conservatorships.

As Thomas mentioned, Britney’s current situation has opened up a much larger conversation about abusive conservatorships in general, and the unfair control they give certain individuals.

Hungary Fines Bookshop Chain Over Picture Books Depicting LGBT+ Families 

The bookshop chain known as Líra Könyv in Hungary has been fined by the government for selling a children’s book that depicts the day in the life of a child with same-sex parents. Government officials are condemning the bookstore for featuring the families so prominently in their store. 

The picture book is called “Micsoda család!”, and is a Hungarian translation that combines two titles by US author Lawrence Schimel and illustrator Elīna Brasliņa. One of the original books was called “Early One Morning,” and depicted a young boy’s daily routine with his two mothers, and the other was called “Bedtime, Not Playtime!” and showed a young girl with two fathers who’s reluctant to go to bed; so basically depicting normal family life with a young child. 

The chain was fined 250,000 forints, which is equivalent to around $600, by Pest County, which is the local authority for all businesses located in the areas surrounding Budapest. Pest County commissioner Richard Tarnai told a local television station that the book chain violated rules on unfair commercial practices by failing to clearly indicate that the book “contained content which deviates from the norm.” 

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“The book was there among other fairytale books and thus committed a violation. There is no way of knowing that this book is about a family that is different from a normal family.”

Schimel immediately took to Twitter to speak out against the Hungarian government and Tarnai in general. 

“The Hungarian government is trying to normalize hate and prejudice with these concerted attacks against books like mine, which represent for kids the plural and diverse world they live in,” he exclaimed.

“The idea for the books was to celebrate queer families, to put more queer joy into the world, so that the only books available to children weren’t about conflicts”.

“In these stories, the fact that the parents are two moms or two dads is incidental to the story, as it is to the daily lives of children in rainbow families. These families don’t only experience homophobia, they also have fun,” he said.

Líra Könyv said that it would “now put up a sign warning customers that we sell books with different content than traditional ones,” as per request of the government and to avoid further fining in the middle of a global pandemic that’s impacting businesses everywhere.  The book’s Hungarian distributor, Foundation for Rainbow Families, released a statement in response to this fining as well:

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“Rainbow families are completely normal, ordinary families. These families haven’t had their own story book so far. That’s why we thought it was important to publish a fairytale book about them – and first of all for them.”

Schimel claimed that he “was more determined to keep trying to create books like these, that respect the intelligence of children and offer the vast, complex world to them in fun and accessible ways.” 

The fine was imposed under a Hungarian law that bans all unfair trading practice, which has been known to specifically target LGBT+ rights in Hungary. In fact, this Thursday the Hungarian government will be implementing a new law which bans LGBT+ people from being featured in educational materials, or TV shows for children under 18.

It’s expected that the European Parliment will be condemning this law and calling upon the European commission to fast-track a legal case against Hungary over human rights violations and discrimination against LGBT+ people. 

The Hungarian Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Association has already condemned the law itself, labelling it as “unacceptable.” 

“The law creates conditions for restricting freedom of the arts and speech. Several masterpieces of world and Hungarian literature that are currently used in the secondary school curriculum, including Sappho, Ovid, Thomas Mann, Marcel Proust, Mihály Babits and Sándor Weöres could come under the ban.”

Britney Spears Star

Britney Spears Speaks Out After Request To End Conservatorship 

Britney Spears spoke for the first time in front of a judge to request an end to her conservatorship. After the pop star made headlines with the shocking revelations of what her team and family have put her through, she took to social media to speak to her fans directly who have been so supportive and outspoken about the abuse Spears has faced over the past two decades. 

“I just want to tell you guys a little secret, I believe as people we all want the fairy tale life and by the way I’ve posted … my life seems to look and be pretty amazing … I think that’s what we all strive for !!!!” Spears posted on her Instagram.

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“I’m bringing this to people’s attention because I don’t want people to think my life is perfect because IT’S DEFINITELY NOT AT ALL … and if you have read anything about me in the news this week … you obviously really know now it’s not !!!!”

“I apologize for pretending like I’ve been ok the past two years … I did it because of my pride and I was embarrassed to share what happened to me … but honestly who doesn’t want to capture their Instagram in a fun light !!!!” 

“Believe it or not, pretending that I’m ok has actually helped … so I decided to post this quote today because by golly if you’re going through hell … I feel like Instagram has helped me have a cool outlet to share my presence … existence … and to simply feel like I matter despite what I was going through and hey it worked … so I’ve decided to start reading more fairy tales,” Spears concluded her post.

While the Instagram caption seemed to make sense in terms of the week Spears’ has had, many of her fans who have led the #FREEBRITNEY movement have exposed multiple times that the singer is not in control of her own social media as a part of her conservatorship. 

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This became especially apparent with the release of the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary and numerous press conferences her father and his attorney have held in which they claimed Britney was fine and liked the conservatorship. Many fans said if she really felt like that why has she never said anything herself? Why is it always through other people or a screen and never from her voice directly? 

Well, during the virtual hearing in a Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Spears finally was able to speak for herself, and she didn’t hold back with how much she despised her conservatorship.

“I want changes and I want changes going forward. I don’t want to be evaluated to determine if I’ve regained my mental capacity. I just want my life back. All I want is to own my money and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car. I want to sue my family.”

Spears must now file a formal petition to end the conservatorship, something she always had the ability to do, but was never told she could. After the petition is filed an investigator will be appointed by the court to the case, and they will speak to everyone involved in the current arrangement. 

Future court proceedings may be sealed moving forward until an actual solution is met, however, one thing is now for sure, the world truly knows what Britney Spears has been enduring throughout her whole career, and a change will be made.

New York Times

New York Times Outs Tucker Carlson As Top Anonymous Source 

The New York Times has outed Fox News host Tucker Carlson as a frequently used anonymous source for information. Carlson is known for regularly attacking and insulting the media on his show for the spreading of misinformation and “fake news.” 

Carlson often names journalists and major media outlets by name in his nightly call outs in which he claims most of the media is made up of liberal individuals who want to discredit former president Donald Trump and his supporters. Carlson and other major figureheads in the media have created a major wave of threats and harassment aimed at journalists simply reporting on the facts; facts that our former president and his supporters were known for ignoring. 

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“Journalists are cringing animals who are not worthy of respect,” Carlson claimed recently. 

Ben Smith is the Times media columnist who wrote that it was an “open secret” in Washington that Carlson frequently shared gossip and information to multiple news outlets that he would go on to insult on his show. 

Several journalist sources and non-Times organizations told Smith about all the information Carlson has revealed to them in the past, including multiple stories about Trump that painted him in an unflattering light. He also would share information about the internal politics of Fox News. 

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“In Trump’s Washington, Tucker Carlson is a primary supersecret source. I know this because I know what he has told me, and I can track his exquisite, too-good-not-to-be-true gossip through unsourced reports and as it often emerges into accepted wisdom.”

Carlson has worked tirelessly to paint himself as a Fox News host with little respect for journalists and opposing opinions. He’s spoken out frequently about his distaste for liberals and their “agenda.” 

Carlson is also one of the biggest media voices to lend his support to Trump throughout the past year. He often supported Trump’s baseless claims of a fraudulent election, as well as crucial information regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He recently went on about how the January 6th Capitol riot was a part of an FBI plot to overthrow Trump. He has also continuously spewed harmful misinformation regarding the Covid-19 vaccines which has definitely led to an increase in the anti-vaccination movement.

Disneyland Sign

Disney’s US Parks To Remove Mask Mandates For Vaccinated Individuals 

Starting this Tuesday, June 15th, both Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, are lifting their mask mandates for fully individuals who decide to visit their parks from this point forward. Disney also revealed that they won’t even be asking for proof of vaccination. 

Disneyland’s site posted this week that “while guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination, vaccinated guests with self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.”

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“In addition, all guests will need to attest that they are aware of the state of California’s strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative covid-19 test prior to entering the theme parks.” 

The Disneyland page also reads: “Guests (ages 2 and up) who are not fully vaccinated must continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining.” 

Disney World, on the other hand, told their guests this week: “While we will not require proof of vaccination, we expect guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation. Guests must observe current policies on face coverings until June 15.”

Both parks add that Disney “encourages[s] people to get vaccinated. Physical distancing will also be relaxed or self-determined at both parks, and temperature checks will no longer take place at Disneyland where out-of-state guests will officially be allowed back as well. One thing that’s not changing is the reservations—guests still can’t just show up to the parks unannounced, they must have previous reservations to get in,” according to reports from Gizmodo Magazine. 

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June 15th is the official date that the state of California decided on for removing all restrictions put in place over the past year in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Disney parks themselves have been reopened within the past few months as vaccination efforts have increased in the US as well. 

Germain Lussier is an entertainment writer who recently visited Disneyland this weekend to get one last look at the park before the mask mandates are fully lifted. 

“Having personally been to Disneyland this past weekend, while masks seemed to be monitored well, distancing was only partially enforced, simply because there aren’t enough Disney employees to check every place in the park. Also, no one checked to make sure I was a California resident. So half of this was already self-determined by the guests anyway which is probably not the safest way to operate.”

It’s important to remember that even if you’re vaccinated, you can still carry and spread Covid-19, you’re just much less likely to get sick yourself. So continue to take all the precautions you find necessary in the coming months as the world begins to reopen and we all navigate the rest of this year.