Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 12, 2019

Included today: Inuktitut electropop of Riit (pictured), the classic Sugar Sugar turns 50, and the evolution of Canadian metal. Also in the headlines are Shambhala fest, Maestro Fresh Wes, JindaLee, Abbey Road, Woodstock, pot fests, Josh Ritter, cassettes, Garth Brooks, Barry Manilow, Taylor Swift, Ko Jamal, and Iron Maiden.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 12, 2019

By Kerry Doole

‘My songs are a way of preserving the language’: Riit is a pioneer of Inuktitut electropop


The Archies’ ‘Sugar, Sugar’ is still sweet after 50 years

Written by Andy Kim, the ageless Archies jam is like a master class in precision popcraft jammed into just two minutes and 47 seconds: exuberantly joyful, simple but not too simple and almost debilitating in its catchiness. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Shambhala Music Festival makes harm reduction a priority

The popular BC summer fest has been drug-testing for 17 of its 22 years, but that's only part of its mandate. – Joshua Azizi, Georgia Straight


'We have assumed control': the evolution of Canadian metal

From Rush to Ken Mode, we explore our country's great history of metal music. – CBC Music 

Maestro Fresh Wes visits city hall, signs Montreal's Golden Book

"He's the godfather of Canadian hip-hop," said deputy mayor Sterling Downey, co-founder of Under Pressure graffiti festival. The Toronto rapper celebrates the 30th anniversary of his groundbreaking 1989 album Symphony In Effect with a performance of the full album as part of the 24th edition of Montreal’s Under Pressure graffiti festival. – T'Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

New Hermitage’s soundtrack of the climate crisis will end your apathy 

Composer/improviser Andrew MacKelvie and pals track the amount of CO2 in the air with a pair of synthesizers. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Hundreds line up around the block for Folk Fest opening night

After over 25 years lining up for the Folk Fest “tarp run,” Cathy Bernier is finally at the front of the queue. The 40th festival, featuring a packed line-up including Hozier, Brandi Carlile and the War and Treaty, kicked off Thursday night and coveted spots on the Gallagher Park hill for main stage performances drew hundreds of attendees to line-up early outside the park on Thursday. – Moira Wyton, Edmonton Journal

Review: Toronto's JindaLee undergoes a dramatic electronic makeover on Vela

After three albums that wavered between indie pop and folk, the singer/songwriter delivers a sparkling set of shimmering slow-burners and hypnotic ambient tracks. – Samantha Edwards, NOW


On Our Radar: TrailerHawk makes the idea of leaving seem endlessly idiotic in "Cold Day"

After a crappy July, it finally looks like summer has arrived. This video will have you passing the Red Truck brewery Baja Bound Mexican Lager. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Beatles art director on the secrets of the ‘Abbey Road’ cover

Apple Records art director John Kosh worked on creating one of rock’s most recognizable covers. – David Browne, Rolling Stone

Woodstock’s contradictions, 50 years later

As a music critic, I have been to dozens of festivals since then, and none have been so makeshift, so precarious or so revelatory. Woodstock was an experiment that could go wrong at any moment and, by sheer luck, didn’t. Four months later, things went very wrong at its West Coast successor: Altamont. – Jon Pareles, NY Times

California OKs cannabis sales, use at San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival

Pushing California’s legal cannabis market into a bold new frontier, the state on Wednesday approved a permit for the sale and on-site consumption of pot at this weekend’s San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival, an annual event that last year drew some 200,000 people over three days. – Patrick McGreevy. LA Times

Santa Cruz music festival hopes to combine music and marijuana (legally)

Fifty-years after one of the most iconic rock festivals - Woodstock - a new type of music festival is hoping to have the same type of impact in Santa Cruz. It's called "Power of Flower Festival of Music and Cannabis" and it's the first of its kind to be held.  – Phil Gomez, KSBW


Singer-songwriter's surprise hospital visit, private concert brightens dark time for couple

Daryl Hiebert and Corrie Van Aertselaer met for the first time at a Josh Ritter concert at the West End Cultural Centre more than a decade ago. The story came full-circle this week when the acclaimed US singer-songwriter made an in-person visit to the (now married) couple during his recent stop in Winnipeg. – Eva Wasney,  Winnipeg Free Press

Cassettes are back, and it’s not about the music

The technology may be obsolete, but it’s associated with attractive stories that the streaming generation wants to try on. – Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg


Barry Manilow just wanted to write the songs. He’s still singing them

Manilow is one of the last holdovers from the pre-rock era, a time when “Make us look at you” was the prime directive. He is the Prince of Pizzazz, a man who works, unabashedly, in the spirit of a showbiz trouper, from his self-deprecating quips to his committed delivery of songs about adult romance. – Rob Tannenbaum, The New York Times

Fans at Mosaic Stadium explain why Garth Brooks's music resonates

“Every family road trip, every time we were at dad’s house it was blasting through his speakers. So I was literally born on Garth Brooks.” – Ashley Martin, Regina Leader-Post

Taylor Swift finally explains why she didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton

The decision was strategic, Swift said. She felt that adding her name to the list of high-profile Clinton-backing pop stars like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga could backfire given that Trump was positioning himself as a candidate who spoke for regular people, not celebrity elites. – Antonia Noori Farzan,  Washington Post

Jeremy Deller on raving: 'Stormzy and Dave give me hope'

In less than a week since it was broadcast on the BBC, Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 has enveloped viewers in a loved-up embrace. Across social media, even hard-bitten, seen-it-all old ravers have been celebrating the film and Deller says feedback he has had on Twitter has been almost universally good. – Joe Muggs, The Guardian

I will take Nigerian music to the globe – Ko Jamal

Singer and songwriter, Osarieme John Ezomo, also known as KO JAMAL, has revealed his plan to take the Nigerian music to rest of the world. Jamal, who recently showed his singing skills by jumping on Adele’s “Hello cover”, said his aim is to take Nigeria to the next level with his unique style of music. – Adeniyi Adewoyin, The Nation

Review: Iron Maiden in fighting form at Montreal's Bell Centre

The Legacy of the Beast tour is a deep dive into macabre iconography, but all the swordplay and hellbeasts wouldn't have amounted to much without the enduring power of Maiden’s leather-and-denim dramas. – Jordan Livitz, Montreal Gazette


The Who’s Roger Daltrey is not nostalgic for Woodstock

The singer remembers the endless waiting and how “the worst sides of our nature had come out.” (But also how great Creedence Clearwater Revival was). –  Rob Tannenbaum, NY Times

Jade Eagleson
Ryan Nolan

Jade Eagleson


Canadian Country Music Association Awards 2024 Nominations: Jade Eagleson, Mackenzie Porter Lead The Pack

The two platinum-selling singer/songwriters have scored six nominations each for the CCMA Awards, with The Reklaws and Josh Ross hot on their heels. The biggest night in Canadian country takes place on Sept. 14 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Today (July 18), the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced the official nominees for the 2024 CCMA Awards. Topping the list of contenders with six nods apiece are Jade Eagleson and MacKenzie Porter, the latter of whom will co-host the awards show alongside American country star Thomas Rhett.

Hot on their heels with five nominations apiece are The Reklaws and Josh Ross, while High Valley, Owen Riegling and Dallas Smith are each cited in four categories. Other notable Canadian artists making the list include Dean Brody, Steven Lee Olsen, James Barker Band, Brett Kissel, Tenille Townes and Lindsay Ell.

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