Music Biz Headlines, April 29, 2019

Nav (pictured) keeps it real, Todd Rundgren reflects, and Pink opens up about mental health. Also in the headlines: Hot Docs, Dean Brody, Taylor Swift, Johnny Orlando, Drake, Charlotte Cornfield, Morrissey, Shelley Lazar, Bob Dylan, podcasts, Al Green, Willie Nelson, and Patti Smith.

Music Biz Headlines, April 29, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Nav’s No. 1 album is nice, but the Toronto rapper’s focused on getting things right

Nav is an open book, and endearingly so. The No. 1 Billboard debut of his new album Bad Habits doesn't appear to have gone to his head. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

 Interview: Todd Rundgren on his strange, unpredictable career

The musician, producer and author talks working with The Pursuit of Happiness, how music has taken a backseat to branding and why he's a "parable of self-reliance."– Jesse Locke, NOW

Hot Docs: What we've seen (and what you should see) at the big event in documentary films

There is no better place better than Toronto right now to see the best docs on the planet, at the city’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. – Original-Cin

Open Spaces: Dean Brody – A fresh dose of country

“I don’t try to stand out. I just do because I’m a little weird or unorthodox in the way I approach music," the hat star explains. – Roman Mitz, Music Express


Reputation and redemption: Taylor Swift returns to poppy form, but the bar is set high for her new music

Swift's last album, Reputation, did not sell as well as her previous records. – Deana Sumanac-Johnson, CBC News

For singers like Johnny Orlando, stardom comes one click at a time

Now 16, the Toronto teen has 20 million followers through all of his social channels combined. His two dance-pop collaborations with Dance Moms star Mackenzie Ziegler each have over 20 million views on YouTube, and he recently released a second EP, Teenage Fever.  – Ryan Porter, Toronto Star

Stringing together a new take on Don Thompson’s music

The acclaimed veteran's May 3 show at Kitchener’s Registry Theatre features guitar virtuoso and long-time collaborator Reg Schwager, and a unique pairing with the Penderecki String Quartet. – Steve Kannon, Observer

Charlotte Cornfield on the lessons she's learned from Toronto's music community

The singer/songwriter also premieres the Kevin Drew-directed video for June and announces a Venus Fest release show at the Baby G. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Is Drake Canada’s coolest car collector?

Drake's collection is impressive, and these 10 machines prove it. It’s probably only a matter of time before he opens up a supercar museum of his own in the heart of Toronto. – Lisa Felepchuk, Driving

Wormwitch sets its sights far beyond Vancouver with the hellishly heavy Heaven That Dwells Within

The sophomore album from Vancouver’s Wormwitch positions the hard-working band as one to watch on the international metal scene. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Morrissey still outspoken, but much more open as he ends his Canadian boycott

The British singer-songwriter, who stayed away from Canada for nearly a decade and a half in protest of the country’s seal hunt, seems more engaged with his fans than in his younger days. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

SSO principal flutist bids a fond farewell in recent concert

Sarah Yunji Moon's concerto Departures before the Beethoven symphony at the April 27 concert was her last as the SSO's principal flutist. –  Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix


Shelley Lazar in Memoriam

There may be no other person in the live music industry more universally beloved than Shelley Lazar who passed away at the age of 69 on March 31. The “Motherf###ing Ticket Queen” seemed to charm the entirety of the live business including some of its most successful execs with her unique combination of warmth, smarts, and bawdy humour. Here are some of their tributes and remembrances.– Pollstar

Prelude to the Thunder: An alumnus of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue looks back (guest column)

J. Steven Soles was part of Dylan's traveling circus of a tour in 1975. He recalls its origins, in advance of Martin Scorsese's Netflix documentary.– Variety

The Best New Podcasts of 2019 (so far)

With new podcasts coming out every week, there’s no way in hell you’ll ever listen to more than a drop in the endless ocean of content. That’s where we step in. – Lindsey Romain, Thrillist


Pink gets real about mental health, anxiety: ‘Talking about it is the most important thing’

The singer is opening up about her mental health journey. During a candid conversation with Carson Daly on Today, she said she’s struggled with anxiety and depression, and she advocated for therapy, sharing that she and husband Carey Hart have been in. – Cydney Henderson, USA Today

The fight for cool

Adidas, which now also counts Beyoncé as a "creative partner," has teamed up with Donald Glover to make a series of vignettes featuring him and the actress Mo'Nique trading comic tête-à-têtes.  – Wired

Legendary R&B singer Al Green gets surreal

The fluidity of Green’s singing voice runs counter to his conversational style, which is scattered and loose with time and place.  – Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle


Willie Nelson details his new album ‘Ride Me Back Home’

Days before his 86th birthday, the ever-prolific Nelson takes us inside ‘Ride Me Back Home,’ which mixes darkly funny originals with surprise covers. – Patrick Doyle, Rolling Stone

The former Detroit home of Fred and Patti Smith is for sale

The owners pluck the musicians' son, Jackson, to sell the St. Clair Shores house he grew up in. – Melody Baetens,The Detroit News

Winning ‘The Voice’ changed Cassadee Pope’s life. Six years later, her career is still evolving.

Pope’s loyal fanbase dates to a decade ago when she was the lead singer of pop-punk band Hey Monday, which toured the world. Then she got a life-changing boost in late 2012 when she went solo and won the third season of NBC’s “The Voice,”  performing every week in front of millions of viewers. – Emily Yahr, Washington Post

Heroes of Sound: All you need to know about the Aga Khan Music Awards and beyond

Part of the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI), the Awards were held last month in Lisbon, Portugal. In the performance category, the winner was composer, educator and oud player Mustafa Said. – Nile International

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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