Music Biz Headlines, April 24, 2019

By Kerry Doole

MorMor’s wistful indie-pop sound makes him Toronto’s latest rising star

The songs he created in his bedroom have already propelled him on his first world-spanning tour, and Seth Nyquist is looking forward to playing his first big Toronto show this week.  – Raju Mudhar,Toronto Star

Hot Docs 2019: Norval Morrisseau, the Barenaked Ladies, and the fine art of forgery

Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn has been kicking at one particular corner of Canadian darkness for almost a decade now, ever since he discovered that a prized painting he bought was probably a forgery.  – Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail

10 underrated stoner metal bands from Toronto

While you (legally) smoke weed in the park or spend the day in line at a cannabis shop, these local tunes will set the tone for your day. – Michael Rancic, NOW


2019 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards recipient Louise Bessette

Unlike many musicians who require nudging to perform modern material,  she embraced contemporary music when she was 17. – Jenna Simeonov, Globe and Mail

 La Bohème is safe but sung with spirit at Canadian Opera Company

The company hasn't messed with success in the revival of one of the most popular operas in the canon. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Calgary indie-pop band the Fragments team up with visual artists to release fifth record

When the group held its CD-release party on Friday at the Ironwood Stage and Grill last week they included some intriguing visual aids. All 14 songs on the Calgary indie-pop band’s fifth album, Winter Wasp, were represented by corresponding artwork by local artists. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

Something’s happening for Wallows

The three bandmates are in their early 20s now, and after some dark and directionless years, they’re watching their debut full-length, Nothing Happens, catch fire with fans who are convinced that guitar-based rock isn’t nearly as dead as it sometimes seems these days. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Ponteix's new album of 'expansive music' is inspired by Lepage's prairie home

An unincorporated hamlet does not usually evoke images of danceable, synthy, electropop music. For St. Denis resident Mario Lepage, it does. – Ashley Martin, Regina Leader-Post

How to grab an audience by the lapels

The Tarragon Theatre production of Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is a homecoming for Hannah Moscovitch. She developed the hit play with Christian Barry and folk songsmith Ben Caplan. –  Carly Maga, Toronto Star


Review: Metric, July Talk deliver high-energy entertainment on Easter Sunday

There was a lot of love to go around on Sunday night at the Edmonton Convention Centre. It was flowing between bands, between fans and bands, between fans and other fans.  – Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal

Teen Spirit: A Star is Bored

Could No Doubt’s Just a Girl become lazy empowering shorthand for filmmakers? The ‘90s song was last heard onscreen on the soundtrack Captain Marvel, supercharging its heroine to kick alien butt. And now, in the silly and surreal Teen Spirit, it’s a signifier of a British teen girl’s furious determination to become a star. – Jim Slotek, Original-Cin


Are podcasts killing music or just wasting our time?

With all of the world’s unheard songs beckoning us with their endless mystery, why would anyone choose to waste their precious listening hours on a podcast?  – Chris Richards,Washington Post

Grief behind bars: prisoners on Nipsey Hussle and the cycles of violence

Inmates and visitors who have lost loved ones to murder meet inside a Los Angeles prison to talk about healing and justice. – Sam Levin, The Guardian

Chicago media outlets ignored R. Kelly story for decades. We try to understand why.

“I’m just profoundly sad that Chicago failed in every aspect,” Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis said. “In journalism, in the music industry, in the courts, in the cops. It’s horrifying to me.”  Bob Chiarito, Gateway JR


Freestyling into the void with Model Home

There’s probably more music coming, at least according to Nappa and Cain, who keep getting together to let it rip, blindly and boldly leaping out of the present and into the future. –  Chris Richards, Washington Post

Soul'd Out Music Fest star Roy Ayers rushed to hospital

The renowned 78-year-old jazz, funk and soul composer cancels a show but pledges to return ASAP. – Pamplin Media

Dennis Coffey: 'Berry Gordy built Motown as a corporation – just like any other'

As the legendary label’s house band, the Funk Brothers played on hundreds of era-defining hits – then they were cut loose and left to find work on the assembly line. Their guitarist holds no grudges. – Emma John, The Guardian


Emily King floats to the top of music fans' playlists with Scenery

Emily King is a New Yorker, through and through, but she packed up and moved upstate, where she pieced together Scenery, arguably the best work of her career.  –Houston Press

Live Nation not responsible for drunk festivalgoers injuring themselves, rules Appeals Court

A Michigan appeals court has ruled that drunk festivalgoers have only themselves to blame for getting injured following a day of drinking at the 2016 Faster Horses Festival. – Harley Brown, Billboard

Coachella 2019: See inside the biggest parties and brand activations

Here are some clever, eye-catching ways brands—including Instagram, American Express, BMW, and Yves Saint-Laurent—got themselves noticed during two jam-packed Coachella weekends. – Claire Hoffman, BizBash

Gary Stewart, master of the reissue compilation, dies at 62

He was a scholarly music fan whose enthusiasm and attention to detail helped make Rhino Records the much-emulated gold standard for reissue compilations of the great, the faded and the forgotten alike. – Richard Sandomir, NY Times

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Music News

Allison Russell Named Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Nashville-based musician from Montreal has been having a huge year, including her first Grammy and her first Hot 100 appearance. Accepting the award on June 19 at the iHeartRadio Canada studio, she talked about her LGBTQ+ advocacy work and the importance of playing with underrepresented musicians.

It was a special Juneteenth for Allison Russell.

Not only did she serve as the special Toronto opener for Sarah McLachlan on the Canadian icon’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th anniversary tour, but she earned another big honour: Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

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