Music Biz Headlines, April 24, 2020

Scott Nolan (pictured) is amongst those offering musical condolences to Nova Scotia, The Hideout is remembered, and Glenn Gould still resonates. Others in the headlines include Jason McCoy, Philip Rambow, UMG, Taylor Swift, Steve Stoute. Mark Ronson, Hipgnosis, X, Fiona Apple, online DJ sets, New Jersey benefit, Richard Branson, Marianne Faithfull, Tones & I, and Talking Heads.

Music Biz Headlines, April 24, 2020

By FYI Staff

'Tonight I'll sing for Nova Scotia': Winnipeg musician channels grief into song

Folk artist Scott Nolan says music is a powerful way to process difficult emotions after Nova Scotia's mass shootings. – Emily Brass, CBC News 

Musical condolences pour in to Nova Scotia kitchen party Facebook group after mass shooting

The grief being felt across the region right now is hard to put into words. Perhaps that’s why so many people are turning to song, Shelley Steeves reports. –  Global News  

The Hideout live music venue is one of a growing number of Toronto bars, restaurants and shops that are gone for good

"We are so thankful for the many amazing nights,” says the owners of the shuttered club. – Josh Rubin, Toronto Star

Dear celebrities: Here's how to behave during a global pandemic

Famous people and their Instagram accounts are entertaining us during lockdown, but there's an art to doing that without being offensive. – Glenn Sumi, NOW


A Glenn Gould radio documentary still resonates

The work of the Canadian virtuoso stands the test of time. Podcasters take note. – LA Times

Calgarians help put together star-studded song from artists around the globe

Jason McCoy reckons the pieces all came together on Friday, April 17 at about 8:50 a.m. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

First Thoughts Reviews: Canadiana by Philip Rambow

On this album, Rambow aimed to put his own Canadian spin on a set of original songs that sit neatly in the catch-all ballpark of Americana, as seen through the eyes and written with the pen of a Montreal native, albeit one who's been holed up in the UK for years. – Forever British Country 


Successful Universal Music Group albums power Vivendi profits amidst industry crisis

Universal Music Group’s leading artists are the driving force behind Paris-based Vivendi SA’s latest growth. Successful new releases by artists including Justin Bieber, Eminem and The Weekend supported growth in streaming and recorded music, which helped the company remain largely unaffected by entertainment industry declines caused by the covid-19 pandemic. – Andrea ZarczynskiForbes

Taylor Swift to Scooter Braun: “Paying $330M for Big Machine wasn’t exactly a wise choice”

The feud has been renewed, with Swift castigating Ariana Grande manager Braun (and the financial backers who helped him buy Big Machine, her former label) for allegedly scheduling the release of live Swift recordings dating back to 2008. – Tim Ingham, MBW

'If you're an independent artist, the world is yours. You have no boundaries.'

Steve Stoute, CEO, UnitedMasters: “When a new artist is getting $8 million, or $11 million for one fucking song, that’s not the record business, man – that’s the lottery business! They call it wildcatters in oil …” – MBW


The Rolling Stones: Living in a Ghost Town review – their best new song in years

The music, meanwhile, feels appealingly sleazy, as befits a song in which Mick Jagger complains, very Jaggerishly, that social distancing is preventing him having as much sex as he’d like. It’s also burnished by an intriguing sense of vaguely dub-influenced space. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Hipgnosis acquires majority stake in Mark Ronson catalogue, including Uptown Funk and Shallow

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired 70% of Mark Ronson’s publishing and writer’s share interest in his catalogue which comprises 315 songs. Ronson is a seven-time Grammy Award winner, as well as an Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning songwriter, artist and producer.– MBW

The extraordinary success of Pure Pop Music publisher Patrick Conseil

Most writing sessions happen in LA though I also arrange writing trips for our writers. This past year alone some have worked in Nashville, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sydney and Toronto. – Voyage LA

The fragile festival economy

They draw crowds, generate income and play a unique role in spurring creativity. Now the coronavirus threatens the future of this tenuous ecosystem. – Aisha Harris, New York Times  

Working musicians are hopeful, if uneasy, in the wake of covid-19

Talking with musicians Ryon Westover and Larissa Maestro about their industry during the pandemic. – Stephen Trageser, Nashville Scene


Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters is the unofficial album of the pandemic

An album recorded at home, about feeling trapped, has found an unexpected resonance. – Sam Adams, Slate

Lo-fi beats to quarantine to are booming on YouTube

While lo-fi live stream channels are seeing a major bump in viewership right now, so is YouTube as a whole. Daily views of videos with “#withme” in the title have increased by 600 percent since March 15th. Similarly, YouTube has seen a 590 percent increase in uploads of videos with the term “at home” in the title. “Cook with me,” “work out at home,” and “home office” have seen average daily views also grow — by 100, 200, and 130 percent, respectively. – Julia Alexander, The Verge


DJ sets are going online–but is anyone getting paid?

New platforms and an increased focus on accurate reporting are steps in the right direction, but the immediate economic outlook for live streaming DJs and the artists whose music they play isn’t promising. People are tuning in—and donating money—but that hasn’t yet translated into anything resembling a reliable source of income for artists. – Shawn Reynaldo, Pitchfork

The eight most Jersey moments of the ‘Jersey 4 Jersey’ Covid-19 relief benefit

From Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi to SZA and Halsey, we review the excellent ‘Jersey 4 Jersey’ benefit. –  Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

Ticketmaster and Live Nation hit with class-action lawsuit over Covid-19 refund policy change

Following a supposed change to refund policies due to Covid-19, Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation are facing a class-action lawsuit launched by a seriously outraged Rage Against the Machine fan. – Brock Thiessen, Exclaim!

Virgin founder Richard Branson's bailout plea proves there's no one more shameless

Eyeing up the public purse from distant shores, Britain’s "Best-Loved Businessman™ is truly one of the global super-elite. – Marina Hyde, The Guardian

Marianne Faithfull released from hospital after testing positive for coronavirus  

Faithfull’s friend Penny Arcade said that the 73-year-old singer had been sheltering in place in London when she developed a cold. Out of caution, Faithfull checked herself into a hospital on April 4, where she tested positive for COVID-19 and then developed pneumonia. – Jem Aswad, Variety

 'Dance Monkey' now the highest-streamed song by a female artist on Spotify

After what was a simply phenomenal 2019 for Tones & I, the Aussie songwriter has kicked yet another massive goal this year with her global hit song, Dance Monkey. The songwriter's 2019-released song, which hit #1 in over 30 countries, is now the most-streamed song ever by a female artist on Spotify. – Neil Griffiths, The Music

The world’s a mess, and X is back

The surprise new album Alphabetland comes on the 40th anniversary of the group's signature album Los Angeles.– LA Times

Talking Heads 77: A look back

Today, we are taking a critical look at Talking Heads with new reviews of five albums that chart their journey from New York art-punks to a voracious and spectacular pop group. – Andy Cush, Pitchfork


Amoeba Music puts out a desperate call for help amid coronavirus crisis 

The founders of Amoeba Music, the beloved California record store with three locations, have launched a GoFundMe campaign to stay afloat amid the coronavirus crisis. Within two days, the donation site had amassed $160K to support the business, which was forced to shutter its locations in Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco due to the pandemic. – Christi Carras, LA Times

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024


The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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