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Updated: Music festivals, benefits fill the online landscape this weekend

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Minecraft is turning to music this weekend as the virtual gaming world hosts a couple of events on Saturday, April 25.

Block By Blockwest: A Minecraft Music Festival starts at 3 p.m. as acts such as Courier Club (which organized the show) Oliver Francis, Fever 333, the Wrecks and more gather to play music and games on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and a dedicated Discord channel. Proceeds from the event, including donations and merchandise sales, will benefit the CDC Foundation and its Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund.

Square Garden festival, meanwhile, will feature performances by Charlie XCX, Benny Blanco, Dorian Electra, Cashmere Cat and more starting at 6 p.m. via 100gecs.com, with Feeding America as its beneficiary.

Other Events:

• Warner Music Group is hosting one of the biggest online events yet with the PlayOn Fest, starting at noon each day Friday through Sunday, April 24-26 via YouTube.com/Songkick to benefit the World Health Organization's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. A wealth of major artists will be featured, including Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Brandi Carlile, Green Day, Twenty One Pilots, Wiz Khalifa, Weezer, Coldplay, Panic! at the Disco, Paramore, Portugal. The Man and more. PlayOnFest.com.

• The postponed Stagecoach Festival will live noon-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, April 24-26, with performances and other content on SiriusXM's The Highway (channel 56) and on the event's Instagram, @Stagecoach.

• Pink Floyd livestreams its 1972 film "Live at Pompei" starting at noon Friday, April 24, on its YouTube channel.

• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unearths three Prince clips — including his incendiary performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 induction ceremony — along with entries from Queen, Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz and more this week on its YouTube channel.

• Pearl Jam's "Gigaton Visual Experience," pairing songs from the Seattle group's new album with immsersive new visuals, is available now on Apple TV 4k and the Apple TV app. It was to be a theatrical event but was canceled due to pandemic shutdowns.

• "Slipknot Unmasked: All-Out Life," a comprehensive one-hour documentary about the masked heavy rock band, is streaming on YouTube, including a six-song performance.

• Detroit Symphony Orchestra music directors past and present will be features in this week's Facebook Live watch parties. Incoming Music Director Jader Bignamini conducts Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26, while MD Emeritus Leonard Slatkin helms pieces by Sibelius and Elgar at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23 — the latter featuring DSO principal cellist Wei You. This week's educational series concert, at 2 p.m. Friday, April 24, is conducted by Enrico Lipez-Yanez at dso.org.

• The Grateful Dead presents a rare 1993 concert from Columbus, Ohio, as part of its "Shakedown Stream" series at 8 p.m. Friday, April 24, on its YouTube channel. Dead archivist David Lemiux and band historian Gary Lambert will be joined by journalist Jesse Jarnow for a pre-show chat.

• Radiohead's weekly concert comes from March 2009 at Club Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the British group's YouTube channel.

• The Jonas Brothers' new concert film, "Happiness Continues," is running on Amazon Prime.

• The Pickathon #AConcertADay series wraps up its third week with performances by Andrew Bird on Friday, April 24, Willie Watson on Saturday, April 25, and the Lone Bellow on Sunday, April 26, all at 4 p.m. on Facebook, Twitch and YouTube, with donations going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

• Awolnation celebrates the release of its new album, "Angel Miners & the Lightning Riders," with a livestream Q&A and acoustic performance via @awolnation on Instagram.

• Detroit's Gasoline Gypsies, a recent Detroit Music Awards winner, will host a "special edition" of its "Live From the Library" series at 8 p.m. Friday, April 24, via Facebook Live, during which the group will reveal "a secret project" it's been working on.

• Rapper Post Malone will perform a set of "Nirvana hits and fan favorites" at 6 p.m. Friday, April 24, on his YouTube channel to raise money for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

• Hit songwriter Dan Wilson, from the band Semisonic, launches a "Words and Music in 6 Seconds" series at 6 p.m. Friday, April 24, via @danwilsonmusic on Instagram Live.

• Oasis fans will get nothing but the band's music for 90 minutes on Friday, April 24, starting at 2:55 p.m. via backtobackclub.com.

• Lullabies From Detroit's weekend lineup on Facebook includes Emma Guzman on Friday, April 24, and Sean Blackman on Saturday, April 25, both at 10 p.m.

• Ben Platt will be featured on the Grammy Museum's digital public program on Friday, April 24, available via grammymuseum.org/museum-at-home.

• The Room Service festival runs Friday through Sunday, April 24-26, featuring performances by Southfield native GRiZ, Yungblud, Channel Tres, Zeds Ded, a Boogie wit da Hoodie, Mt. Joy and more. The show takes place live on YouTube and will raise money for Sweet Relief, Feeding America and other charities at roomservicefest.com.

• A potent lineup of North Carolina Artists — including Ben Folds, Jim Lauderdale, Tift Merritt, Steep Canyon Ranchers, Anthony Hamilton and more — band together for Under One Roof, a livestream that runs for an hour at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, April 24-26, on Facebook. Proceeds go to the North Carolina Arts Foundation to help artists impacted by the pandemic shutdown.

• Singer-songwriter Michael McDermott will preview songs from his upcoming album during a virtual concert at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25, via stageit.com/MichaelMcDermott.

• Australia celebrates Anzac Day, its version of Veterans Day, with a covid-19 relief concert featuring Tame Impala, Vance Joy, Missy Higgins, Courtney Barnett and more at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25. musicfromthehomefront.com.

• Genesis continues its weekly Lockdown Film Festival with a concert from its 1984 Mama Tour at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25, on its YouTube channel.

• Longtime Yes album cover artist Roger Dean continues to create his piece for the band's next release, "The Royal Affair: Live" on his Facebook page at 2 p.m. Friday, April 24. Dean started the livestreamed project earlier this week.

• Members of the hard rock troupe Five Finger Death Punch, whose Little Caesars Arena show in May has been postponed, talk about their past music videos in the new "Quarantine Theater 2020," inspired by "Mystery Science Theater 3000," on Friday, April 24, via the band's social media.

• The Beatles will host a screening of its 1968 animated film "Yellow Submarine" at noon on Saturday, April 25 on the group's YouTube channel. Song lyrics will appear on screen "so the whole world can sing together as one during the coronavirus lockdown."

• The Alarm's MIke Peters and his wife, Jules, deliver another episode of The Big Night In at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25, on the band's official Facebook stage. This week's show will feature a "virtual theater" performance of Peters' stage musical "Oxy & the Morons" along with live commentary and interviews with cast members, writersa nd production staff.

• Ivan Neville, Tank and the Bangs, John Cleary, PJ Morton and other Crescent City notables join forces for the Band Together Benefit for the Greater New Orleans Foundation at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25, via bandtogetherbenefit.com.

• Motown luminaries Smokey Robinson and the Supremes' Mary Wilson will join others -- including Carole King, Rick Springfield and members of the Beach Boys and Monkees -- at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25 for "All Together Now! -- An Online Concert Event Helping the City of Los Angeles." Streaming at alltogethernowia.org, the show will also feature appearances by Melissa Manchester, Paul Rodgers, Jeff Bridges, Steve Lukather of Toto and Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, Wings alumni Denny Laine and Laurence Juber, Joe Bonamassa, Lisa Loeb and others.

• Jack Johnson moves his Kokua Festival 2020 to a "Live From Home" edition at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 25, on Facebook Live and Twitch. Ben Harper, Zibby Marley, G. Love, Lukas Nelson and others will perform benefiting the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Hawaiian food charities.

• The iconic "Club MTV," off the air since 1992, returns for one night only at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 25 on MTV, MTV2 and VH1, with DJ Derrick "D-Nice Jones hosting and helping to raise money for the Save the Music Foundation.

• Styx bassist Ricky Phillips hosts "Styx Fix Live," featuring a concert from a 2008 show in Alpharetta, Ga., at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 25, on the group's YouTube channel.

• After the One World: Together at Home U.S. broadcast event this weekend, Canadian artists such as Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, Geddy Lee of Rush, the Guess Who's Burton Cummings and Alessia Cara will team up Sunday, April 26 for their own star-studded broadcast event, "Stronger Together," to support local food banks and hospital workers battling the novel coronavirus. It airs at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 26, on several Canadian television networks, including CBC, CTV and Global Television, and web sites. Howie Mandel, Will Arnett, Jason Priestly and others will also appear, with proceeds benefitting Food Banks Canada.

• Detroit's Movement festival and Beatport have teamed up for a Live From Detroit day of programming, starting at noon Sunday, April 26 and featuring sets by Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, Kevin Saunderson, Women On Wax, Lady Monix and DJ Holographic. On Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. movement.us.

• Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland will perform a solo quarantine concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 26, from the band's official Facebook page.

• Birds of Chicago perform as part of The Ark's Family Room Series at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at theark.org and on the venue's Facebook page.

• Adam Lambert, Melissa Etheridge, Kesha, Bebe Rexha and others will appear as part of "Together in Pride: You Are Not Alone," a GLAAD-hosted event at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 26, on Facebook Live and the organization's YouTube channel.

• Meryl Streep, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald,, Kristen Chenoweth and many more will perform as part of "Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration" streaming free at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 26, on Broadway.com as well as its YouTube channel.

• Twitch is hosting a free virtual festival with performances by Hanson, NETTA, Flora Cash and more to benefit MusiCares on Saturday, April 25, via Loop.tv.

• Canadian country artist Lindsay Ell plays a Facebook Live concert at 9 p.m. Sunday, April 25, benefiting the Tennyson Center for Children in Colorado.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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