Music Biz Headlines, April 17, 2020

Michael Wekerle (pictured) has to postpone the Elmo’s reopening, High Priestess joins the music publishing game, and virtual clubbing via Zoom takes off.  Also in the headlines are The Strokes, Vivek Shraya, Bob Dylan, Paradigm, Ed O’Brien, Glastonbury, quarantine pop, Ed Sheeran, Pitbull, and DroppTV.

Music Biz Headlines, April 17, 2020

By FYI Staff

All fixed up with no place to go: Toronto venues like the El Mocambo and Wheat Sheaf postpone grand reopenings

April Fools Day may have played its cruellest trick on the Elmo’s Michael Wekerle. The renovated venue’s plans for a grand reopening were scuttled by Covid-19. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Publishing: A profile of High Priestess

A brand new player in Canadian music publishing, it’s a partnership of Toronto-based music company Six Shooter Records and Kim Temple, a 20-year veteran of different facets of the publishing business. – Kerry Doole, Words & Music

Vivek Shraya joins Vancouver Writers Fest for local stop on her virtual book tour

The author, artist, and activist is also an experienced musician, and performed “music from the book’s soundtrack” as well as reading from The Subtweet.  – Brian Lynch, Georgia Straight


The new record from The Strokes is a normal album out in abnormal times

On April 10, The Strokes issued The New Abnormal, its sixth studio album and first in seven years. On the tautly jangling opening track The Adults Are Talking, Julian Casablancas sings, “We are trying hard to get your attention.” But releasing an album in the middle of a quarantining pandemic and economic downturn is not the way to do it. –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

With too many Covid-19 variables in play, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival announces 2020 cancellation

One of the city's biggest and most significant cultural events, the festival had been scheduled to run from June 19 to 28. It's one of many major events cancelled this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic and requests from all levels of government that people stay home to stop the spread of the virus.   Mike Usinger Georgia Straight


Drake, Metallica, Andrea Bocelli climb charts as YouTube reflects lockdown

Drake’s home video for Toosie Slide is riding the charts and Bocelli set a record for a classical live stream with his Easter Sunday performance at the empty Duomo in Milan. – Forbes

Why Bob Dylan is getting another 17 minutes of fame

Last week, Murder Most Foul became Dylan’s first song to top the Billboard chart under his name (Peter, Paul and Mary and The Byrds previously reached the number one spot with covers of his songs). Many have taken the occasion of his first track in nearly a decade to really unpack the poet’s words, as writer PJ Grisar explains. – Forward


Why the lack of festival fun is a serious business

The creative industries across the UK employ over two million people and generate £111.7B to the UK economy. – Pauline McLean, BBC Scotland

People are paying to get into virtual Zoom nightclubs

It’s only 5 pm on a Saturday in Los Angeles, but the Zone—a 16-room virtual club on the videoconferencing app Zoom—is already in full swing… with different “dance floor” chat rooms, where revelers in colourful costumes shimmy to a live-streamed DJ set while two fluffy puppets maneuvered by an invisible hand waltz in each other’s arms. – Michael Lhoog, Bloomberg

New York and LA Mayors say live events 'difficult to imagine' until 2021

Live events may not be resuming in either Los Angeles or New York City until 2021, according to the mayors of both cities. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti gave the news to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer this week. – Chris Eggertsen, Billboard

Paradigm's CEO backs down over pay cuts

As the threat of the coronavirus rose in late March, Paradigm Talent Agency CEO Sam Gores cut the salaries of agents in the coveted music department by 50% — but reinstated them in full after several top agents protested and the agency raised emergency funds, multiple individuals told us.  –The Wrap

The rise of quarantine pop: How intentional (and unintentional) coronavirus anthems are being produced

Streaming charts are full right now of songs directly inspired by the international health crisis that’s changing the world in unprecedented ways. NZ pop singer Benee’s Supalonely is one example. – Mikael Wood, LA Times 


Glastonbury shares stage by stage playlists of the acts booked for 2020

The famed English fest recently announced that pandemic fears has forced its cancellation this year. – Tom Skinner, NME

Ed Sheeran donates to his local charities

Ed Sheeran lives in Suffolk – where he was also raised – and is believed to have donated a whopping sum to a variety of local charities within the past week. According to a source, the money has been divided between a string of good causes, including hospital wards in Ipswich, which are currently dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. – Noise11


'I'm sharing a bed with the bass player': bands trapped in lockdown together

From a six-strong indie household in Glasgow to a trans DJ thruple in a remote log cabin, we meet the bands weathering the pandemic with each other. – The Guardian

L.A. boasts one of world’s most vibrant salsa scenes. The coronavirus may wipe it out

Now, everyone from musicians and DJs to dance instructors and club owners is attempting to process the shock — alternating between feelings of acceptance, hope and the inevitable predictions of doom. – Ernesto Lechner, LA Times

Pitbull drops new ‘anthem’ to raise coronavirus relief funds, with a message of ‘winning'

Pitbull is renowned for getting the party started, and now he’s doing it with a purpose.– New York Daily News

Meet the startup that wants to turn music videos into shopping malls

“If I can get the latest Yeezys at box price in that kid’s music video, I’m going to watch that video,” says DroppTV CEO Gurps Rai. – Ethan Millman,  Rolling Stone

Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien on going solo: “If I don’t do this, a part of me will die”

EOB opens up about life, death, Glastonbury, Johnny Marr and the future of Radiohead. – Andrew Trendell, NME

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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