Music Biz Headlines, April 17, 2019

Tokyo Police Club (pictured) returns reinvigorated, Bobby Gale remembered, and AC/DC is active in Vancouver. Also in the headlines: Bedtracks, Donald Glover, Robert Fripp, Ariana Grande, Gary Stewart, Chris Cornell, Summerfest, Bob Dylan, Little Feat, Lucinda Williams, and Nipsey Hussle.

Music Biz Headlines, April 17, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Tokyo Police Club, reinvigorated 

The Toronto indie-rock quartet nearly threw in the towel, then made its loosest, hookiest album yet. – Brennan McCracken, The Coast

Canadian radio veteran Bobby Gale dies in a road accident

The radio host, promoter and devoted Roxy Music fan died in the wee hours Saturday (April 13) after attending a concert in Montreal by New Zealand's Aldous Harding. He was 62. Gale, whose snazzy attire and dyed-black hair recalled the look of his idol Bryan Ferry, had an unmistakable speaking/radio voice.  – Karen Bliss, Billboard

AC/DC recorder Mike Fraser admits he's been in the studio with the band recently, "thinks" Brian Johnson was singing

The interview is almost an hour long, but for all those hardcore AC/DC freaks who got all riled up by the rumours about the band recording in Vancouver last August, a recent YouTube video of his chat last month with an Australian podcaster adds a bit more fuel to the fire. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Bedtracks launches Indigenous music catalogue for media licensing

The Storytellers library aims to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous creators in music placements for movies and television – and it's seeking submissions. – Marianna Lozowska, NOW 

Where American pop culture sinks: Donald Glover’s Guava Island

Donald Glover's stature is huge, in terms of both fame and substantial artistic achievement. But, looking at his latest endeavour, one sees the severe limitations of a built-in American perspective on the world and what matters.  –John Doyle, Globe and Mail

The eclecticism of Savannah’s music fest took in Bach, bluegrass and beyond

For the past two and a half weeks a veritable United Nations of performing artists has assembled on the banks of the Savannah River to produce one of the continent’s most comprehensive celebrations of the art of music. – William Littler, Toronto Star

New York and local virtuosos share Ritornello Music Festival stage

The Ritornello Music Festival is the only one of its kind in Saskatoon, a three-day event all about chamber music. – Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix


The Crimson King seeks a new court

Fifty years into his relentlessly innovative career, King Crimson leader Robert Fripp is a godhead in a genre he can’t stand. In a rare interview, he opens up about his global quest to break out of the “male prog ghetto.” – Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone


Four ways to murder your song

You’re probably a murderer. I know I am. A murderer of songs that is. We’ve all done it, even the great songwriters. So, if you want to write a bad song that doesn’t engage the listener or evoke a strong emotion, do these four things. – Caleb J. Murphy, Sonicbids

While you were asleep, Ariana Grande casually reunited (most of) ‘N Sync at Coachella

TMZ spoiled the surprise a few days ago, but the rumour proved true: Pop superstar Ariana Grande and ‘90s boy band sensation ‘N Sync collaborated to close down the first weekend of Coachella on Sunday night (minus Justin Timberlake, of course). – Emily Yahr, Washington Post

Remembering Gary Stewart, Rhino Records’ rock archaeologist

The late A&R head’s reissues of everyone from the Ramones to the Monkees combined a scholar’s authority with a fan’s zeal. – David Fricke, Rolling Stone

ShowClix identified as 'mystery' ticketing firm in Burning Man main sale meltdown

Festival organizers apologize after the first year with the Pittsburgh ticketing company leaves fans feeling burned. – Dave Brooks, Billboard

Fan launches petition to name black hole after Chris Cornell

Earlier this week astronomers released an image they took of a black hole. One fan wants it named after the late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman to honour his legacy and pay homage to the Soundgarden song, ‘Black Hole Sun’. – Elizabeth Aubrey, NME


Summerfest announces massive multi-genre lineup for 2019

Since debuting in 1968, Summerfest in Milwaukee now claims to be “The World’s Largest Music Festival.” During the festival, which takes place from June 26th–30th and from July 2nd–30th this year, over 800 acts will deliver more than 1,000 performances across 12 stages. – Live For Live Music

Bob Dylan surprises staff at Dublin record shop

The album arrived on Friday, April 12, just ahead of Record Store Day,  and was signed, “To Tower Records Dublin, thanks for still selling records! – Bob Dylan.” – Michael Bonner, Uncut

Little Feat: Feats don’t fail me now

Against all the odds, the members of Little Feat are still together and celebrating their 50th anniversary. Now, the question is: Where do they go from here? – Jeff Tamarkin, Relix


Lucinda Williams kept making music until the world listened 

It’s been 20 years since Lucinda Williams released her critically acclaimed album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Her second career took off when she and outlaw country musician Steve Earle worked together to create Car Wheels in 1998. – David Fletcher, Dallas Observer

Pulitzer for music goes to Ellen Reid for her opera ‘prism’

Ellen Reid, the Los Angeles composer whose debut opera centered on a young woman’s agonizing struggle with the psychological effects of sexual assault, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music. – LA Times

Nipsey Hussle: A rapper who came back for his L.A. neighborhood

Nipsey Hussle’s raps boasted of his exploits as a young man in South Central Los Angeles and the perils of becoming a gang member. But his music was also a path to a more legitimate life for him and an inspiration and exhortation to others in his situation. –  Daniel Slotnik, NY Times


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Change is coming quickly to the news industry, and innovation has to come just as quickly.

This is the second part of a series of guest columnsseeking answers to the financial issues that have plagued Canadian news organizations.

My prescription for change is very clear. Stop trying to solve today's problems through yesterday's lens.

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