Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 10, 2020

Kathleen Edwards (pictured)  returns to the fray, Merck Mercuriadis assesses the value of songs, and four recommended music docs. Others in the headlines include Nap Eyes, Fast Romantics, Paul Reddick, Global Toronto, Tegan and Sara, TikTok, Live Nation, Simon Fuller, Roc Nation, the Go-Go’s, Midnight Oil, Prince, Perry Farrell, Garth Brooks, protest songs, and Beyoncé.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 10, 2020

By FYI Staff

Noted songstress Kathleen Edwards returns to making music

After a six year break, the seven-time Juno nominee is making a comeback. Her new album is Total Freedom, which, ironically is something she’s giving up as she jumps back into the music game.  –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Donald Trump's use of Rockin’ in the Free World angers Neil Young

Cease and desist, dude. One can only visualize Neil Young, gobsmacked and gagging to hear President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign launched, continuing to barrelhouse along musically, to the tune of the singer’s iconic “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Seriously, is there any politician harder to imagine rockin’ to anything, His Orangeness bustin’ a move?  – Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star


'Music is as good as gold or oil': Meet the man spending billions on old hits

Livin’ on a Prayer, Heart of Glass, Copacabana, Single Ladies. They’re all huge pop songs and dancefloor favourites of the past 50 years. And according to one industry veteran, they are more valuable than gold. Canadian Merck Mercuriadis is the founder of Hipgnosis, a London-listed company offering investors the chance to make money from the royalties generated from these and thousands of other songs by famous artists.  – Mark Sweney, The Guardian

Nap Eyes knows what's new is old again

How the band's latest album—Snapshot Of A Beginner—acts as both a mirror and update to its 2014 debut. If time is a flat circle, there’s one band that has worn down its circumference, a sonic traversing turning into a deep groove filled with shimmery, dirt-speckled indie rock.  – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Covid-19 in B.C.: Problems with private parties, choir and band guidelines, and more flights with cases

Of particular concern are choirs, as several incidents have resulted not only in large numbers of infections but also deaths, despite participants practising usual health measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.  – Craig Takeuchi,Georgia Straight

Four music documentaries to stream now

Our list includes a lively oral history of long-gone Creem magazine, plus looks at Laurel Canyon and The Go-Go's.  – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

3 Toronto DJs open up about racist encounters at venues

We aren’t quite at the point where we can be back at clubs and restaurants in a way that isn’t weird. But until we are, we have a lot of work to do. As we see more call-outs and calls for accountability every day, almost every industry is experiencing a reckoning. For DJs in Toronto, this movement was sparked one year ago when DJ Big Jacks spoke out about his experience working at Cactus Club Café.  – Sumiko Wilson, Complex


Canadian blues master Paul Reddick releases a love letter to Italy

Alive in Italia serves as a reflective retrospective of Reddick’s long-storied, boundary-breaking songwriting across 10 previous albums, and features songs from his last five — including the Juno Award-winning Ride The One. The live band on the record includes musicians Steve Marriner and Tony D of MonkeyJunk — who Reddick has collaborated with as a writer on both of their Juno-winning albums.  – Cashbox Canada

Calgary expats Fast Romantics power through pandemic by making a new album

For Fast Romantics, it was supposed to be a rejuvenating respite in beautiful California, a time for the six-piece act to get serious about plans for a new album. For Calgary expat Matthew Angus, it was also meant to bring an end to what had been a bit of a creatively fallow period for the band’s principal songwriter, something he now attributes to depression. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


A new Drive-in venue for sports and concerts to open on Toronto waterfront

Raptors and Leafs owner MLSE is teaming with Live Nation to open a drive-in venue in a parking lot near Ontario Place. – NOW

Music industry delegates met online at a new global conference in Toronto

During the last week of July, hundreds of music professionals around the world connected to their computers to take part in a music conference out of Toronto, with online activities and discussions about current challenges and coming perspectives in a post-Covid music industry.Global Toronto 2020 (dubbed “GT20”) grew to become something much bigger than first expected. – Julie Remy, Rcinet

Toronto is getting a new skyscraper that could have a music venue inside

The bustling intersection of Yonge and Gerrard is getting yet another massive new condo.  A 74-storey tower is being proposed for 372 Yonge Street. Amidst other massive buildings in the works nearby, what sets this new condo apart is its promise of a new venue: Club Bluenote, named after the rhythm and blues club that once existed on the property in the 1960s — an incubator for what was known as the Toronto Sound. – BlogTO


VIFF AMP Talent Accelerator seeks BIPOC and under-represented music creatives

Attention emerging musicians, composers, managers, and music supervisors: the diversity-minded Vancouver International Film Festival AMP Talent Accelerator is offering up its second annual free professional development program. The project is seeking music-and-film creatives from BIPOC and other underrepresented communities for the 2020 fest. The application deadline is Aug. 14. –  Georgia Straight

Tegan And Sara release new EP ‘Hey, We’re Just Like You (The Remixes)’, plus new music videos

The sibling pop duo has just released a new EP Hey, We’re Just Like You (The Remixes), featuring five reworked tracks from their 2019 studio album Hey, I’m Just Like You.  The artists and remixers include Matthew Dear, Shura, Tracy Young, Tim Mislock and Mija, with each putting their production signature on a completely reimagined version of the original track. – Brent Furdyk,



The Trump ban on TikTok and WeChat appears to let UMG and WMG off the hook

Donald Trump’s gone and done it. The US President on Aug. 6 issued two executive orders banning the country’s citizens and businesses from undertaking any “transaction” with a duo of Chinese-owned platforms: Bytedance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat. There is a crucial difference between the two executive orders, however – one that appears to get the likes of Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group off the hook from serious commercial repercussions for their respective ownership structures.  – MBW

Stat Of The Week: Live Nation spent more on ticketing in Q2 than its fans did

If you want to know how painful calendar Q2 quarter was for Live Nation Entertainment, know this: the company's revenues from ticketing, mainly via Ticketmaster, were negative (-$87m) in the quarter. We're not talking about a loss, there. We're talking about minus revenue. LNE refunded customers for previously bought tickets, while obviously very few newly-announced shows were put on sale during the pandemic.  – MBW


Simon Fuller & TikTok team up to assemble the world's next music supergroup

Simon Fuller, renowned hit-maker and founder of XIX Entertainment, and TikTok, the short-form video app with a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy, has announced a ground-breaking partnership to put together a new global hit group. –  Music Row

Bill could give live music venues a  'lifeline' amid pandemic, lawmakers say

It would provide grants from the Small Business Administration to independent music venues impacted by Covid-19.  – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Jay-Z's Roc Nation launches tertiary institute - here are the degrees on offer

Students will be able to obtain undergraduate degrees in music, music technology, entrepreneurship and production, and sports management. – News24

Live Nation announces ‘Return to Live’ in Germany 

Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey, The BossHoss, Michael Mittermeier and Joris are first major stars to perform live since Covid-19 Live Nation Entertainment has announced the long-awaited restart of large-scale live music events in Germany. This outdoor stadium concert in Düsseldorf on Sept. 4 signals the end of a five month lockdown for major music events.  – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe 

There’s more to The Go-Go’s than peppy hits

What you might not have gleaned from retrospectives on the band, who formed in the thriving, increasingly fractured punk scene of late ’70s LA, is the legitimacy of their musicianship, songcraft, and early bonafides. Finally, in a new documentary, director and documentarian Allison Ellwood steps in to correct the record.  – Tracy Moore, Vanity Fair


Midnight Oil returns with Gadigal Land — its first new song in 17 years

Midnight Oil is back with its first new music in 17 years, a song called Gadigal Land that’s the first single off the group’s forthcoming mini-album The Makarrata Project that was recorded in collaboration with “our First Nations friends.”   – Slicing Up Eyeballs

Previously unreleased Prince track Cosmic Day comes out

The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Records, has released “Cosmic Day,” a previously unheard recording from Prince’s legendary vault that will be featured on the expanded reissue of Prince’s Sign O’ The Times out Sept. 25.  – Rolling Stone

#ThrowbackThursday: 8 loud Lollapalooza moments we're still listening to 

While Chicago's Grant Park may not be filled with festivalgoers this year, we're weathering the storm like the music festival has done so many times before. Here's a look back at eight rocking moments from Lollapalooza in years past.  – Isabel Lane, BizBash 

No stagediving, no moshing, no crowdsurfing: What the live music landscape will look like moving forward

The last seven months, and the Covid-related nightmare, have changed everything. Of course, while people are dying, live music and its survival is not a priority. That said, at some point in the future people are going to attempt to host some sort of live entertainment, and it’s worth having a close look at what that might look like.  – Brett Calwood, LA Weekly

Garth Brooks joins the 36|86 Festival

The virtual festival takes place over ten days, Aug. 17-28. Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership guided by a vision of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the US, has announced that country superstar Garth Brooks will speak at the fest, an event that connects innovators.   – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe

Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction: 'I consider myself a late bloomer'

He invented Lollapalooza, fronted one of America’s most influential bands – and, at 61, the flamboyant alt-rock guru is still thinking big – The Guardian

Beyoncé is brave, says Black Is King director

Blitz Bazawule brings his bold aesthetic from The Burial Of Kojo to the pop artist's Disney+ visual album based on The Lion King.  – Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW

Protest songs capture the times, from Black Lives Matter to civil rights and anti-war movements

A great protest song may not help change the world in the same way the civil rights and anti-war movements did a half century ago, or the way the Black Lives Matters movement has this year. But a great protest song can unify and provide inspiration for people seeking a better world by serving as a vital soundtrack for actions — large and small, personal and universal. –  George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Fed-up widow sells off husband's hoard of 50,000 records for £1 each

Daughter Julie has organised the records in alphabetical order, from Abba to ZZ Top, and has a separate shelf for films, including box office hits ET and Grease. – Nicole Conner, Daily Mail

AR Paisley
Kishan Mistry

AR Paisley headlines the 2024 Indies award show at Canadian Music Week


The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: CMW and CIMA Celebrate the Independent Music Industry

Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Larry LeBlanc is back in the saddle, celebrating outlaw country singer Dick Damron and a "revolutionary pop anthem."

– Canadian-born rapper AR Paisley headlines this year’s Jim Beam Indies shindig at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on June 6. It’s part of the multi-day Canadian Music Week conference and allied music festival. Paisley is currently on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 as part of a collaboration with late Punjabi-Canadian artist Sidhu Moose Wala.

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