Music Biz Headlines, April 10, 2020

Bob Dylan (pictured) finally gets a Billboard No. 1 hit, Drake shows off his extravagant mansion, and David Clayton Thomas is outspoken on a new album. Others in the headlines include The Weeknd, John Prine, Hal Willner, TikTok, Julian Taylor, Bryan Adams, Hellfest, and Lady Gaga.

Music Biz Headlines, April 10, 2020

By FYI Staff

Inside Drake's oversized pile in hometown Toronto

The superstar goes home to build his eye-popping pleasure dome. Drake’s astonishing domicile certainly qualifies as extravagant. Dubbed The Embassy, the house takes its cues from traditional Beaux-Arts architecture, distilled and slightly abstracted to imbue the classic idiom with a more contemporary spirit. –  Mayer Rus, Architectural Digest 

Drake showcases 'overwhelmingly high luxury' T.O. mansion

While the rest of the city is self-quarantining under lockdown as a pandemic rages across the globe, Drake is giving fans a look inside his opulent Toronto mansion. Located on Park Lane Circle in the city’s ritzy Bridle Path area, the 50,000-square-foot home features a regulation-sized NBA court, indoor swimming pool, recording studio and more. – Mark Daniell, Canoe


The Weeknd opens up about After Hours, Daniel Craig, and more

On the afternoon of March 5, the artist known as The Weeknd is at a rehearsal for his appearance on what will be the last live episode of “Saturday Night Live” for the foreseeable future — although no one realizes it at the time. In this exclusive interview, he opens up about his new album and his ambitions in film. – Jem Aswad, Variety

David Clayton-Thomas’s outspoken new album formed by a busy lifetime of experiences

At 78, Blood, Sweat and Tears’ most recognizable voice — Toronto resident David Clayton-Thomas — is still fighting for justice on his acclaimed new solo album, ‘Say Somethin.’” – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

How Journey helped Bryan Adams score a big early hit 

In 1983, Bryan Adams toured in support of Journey in action. Inspired by their hit “Faithfully,” Adams started work on a song of his own that followed a similar creative direction, and it became a breakthrough hit, Heaven. – Ultimate Classic Rock 

PM suggests more support for entrepreneurs

To help cope with the precipitous job losses, the PM has announced the government is loosening eligibility criteria for the previously announced emergency wage subsidies as well as a retooled summer jobs program to help students find work (but specifics remain vague). – Global News

Hammer tunes: An impressive cast list of acts who have played there

I lived in Hamilton, ON,  for four years and loved it. Here, from setlist fm, is a snapshot of cool international artists who have played there. – Completely Ignored


Julian Taylor talks his upcoming album The Ridge, making music in pandemic times, and more 

Musically and lyrically, the Toronto songsmith’s new album brings to mind artists like Bruce Springsteen, Jason Isbell, and country-oriented troubadours like Joe Ely. The songs on The Ridge deal with themes that are especially poignant. – Glide 


TikTok commits $375M to pandemic relief efforts

Announcing the support via a blog post today (April 9), President Alex Zhu writes that the company is donating to support front line medical workers, educators, and local communities deeply affected by the global crisis. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Mark Mulligan: The boom in self-isolation entertainment

Music and entertainment consultancy MIDiA has published the latest in its COVID-19 report series: “The Self-Isolation Entertainment Boom. This post explores some of the key findings and data. – Celebrity Access

 Music biz is split on waiting out the pandemic for album releases

The Weeknd, Sam Hunt, Dua Lipa and Kenny Chesney are among the stars holding firm to album dates, but Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and others are choosing to move off the launch pad. – Chris Willman, Variety

Cancelled Hellfest tells insurer: "F*** You!"

In an angry broadside at Albingia, the promoter of the French metal festival says it paid €175,000 for an ultimately useless insurance policy. – IQ

Bob Dylan scores debut No. 1 Song on a Billboard Chart with 'Murder Most Foul'

For the first time in his storied career, Bob Dylan has a No. 1 song on a Billboard chart under his name. The 17-minute track about the assassination of JFK debuts atop Rock Digital Song Sales.  – Kevin Rutherford, Billboard


Remembering John Prine: The droll voice of the common man

John Prine, who died Tuesday of Covid-19, once claimed that his three main influences were Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and Roger Miller. Unlike Dylan, however, Prine didn’t write long, sprawling lines with the flamboyant metaphors employed by bohemians arguing philosophy late into the evening, Prine wrote compact, down-to-earth lines using the common-sense aphorisms traded by blue-collar workers on their lunch break. – Geoffrey Himes, Paste

John Prine: this extraordinarily gifted songwriter was the envy of all

Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen were in thrall to Prine’s imagination – his yarns between numbers could be as good as the songs themselves. – Alex Petridis, The Guardian


10 inspired, singularly eclectic productions by Hal Willner, music’s hippest curator

The famed record producer and events curator died of Covid-19 earlier this week. –The Los Angeles Times

Radiohead adding concert films to YouTube to ease self-isolation

“Now that you have no choice whether or not you fancy a quiet night in, may we draw your attention to these entertainments?” – Pitchfork

Pop music has always been queer

Sasha Geffen’s debut book reveals that the history of pop music is a history of gender rebellion. – Taliah Mancini, The Nation

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds reschedule tour for 2021

European dates by the Australian star postponed due to coronavirus are now set for next spring. – Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork

David Gilmour and family cover two Leonard Cohen classics

Renditions of "Bird on the Wire" and "So Long Marianne" came during a livestream promoting Gilmour's wife's new book. – Lake Schatz, Consequence of Sound 

Manu Dibango: Cameroon music star whose fusion of styles was vastly influential

His song ‘Soul Makossa’ won international audiences and he was key to introducing African music to UK listeners. – Garth Cartwright, The Independent

Lady Gaga apologises to Jimmy Fallon after awkward appearance on The Tonight Show

The singer had abruptly ended her interview last week, telling Fallon it’s a ‘really weird time.' – Ellie Harrison, The Independent

Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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