Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 12, 2021

Gordon Lightfoot (pictured) discusses Dylan, Metis musician Craig Ginn gets political, and the fave music posters of some Canadian musicians. Also in the headlines are The Foreign Films, Shawn Mendes, Woodstock, Aretha Franklin, TikTok, Hipgnosis, Christine McVie, major labels, Live Nation, Def Jam, Simon LeBon, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Erroll Garner, Kanye West, Tony Bennett, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 12, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Lessons from a legend: Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot, on Dylan, mansion parties and a songwriter’s regret

“It’s a pecking order, and I’m further down the pecking order than Bob Dylan,” says legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, when asked about competition among the iconic songwriters of our time. “It’s not about egos. With Dylan, it was a learning experience. I’d watch him.”–  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Canadian musicians show off their favourite concert posters

Pretty much every teenager has music posters on their bedroom wall. But keeping band posters into adulthood? That's the sign of a true music lover. POSTDATA, Ellis, NADUH, Kirty and more reveal the music posters on their walls. – Alex Hudson, Exclaim!

Blueridge Chamber Music Festival features performances at the Polygon Gallery and Orpheum Annex 

Local chamber-music fans can check out some top-notch performers in the next few days. From August 7 to 15, the Blueridge Chamber Music Festival is presenting five concerts--three downtown at the Orpheum Annex and two over on the North Shore at Polygon Gallery. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


With inspiration from Louis Riel, U of C prof tackles colonialism, discrimination and genocide in new album

Metis musician Craig Ginn, an instructor in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary has completed an album entitled Songs of Justice. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

The Foreign Films' Starlight Serenade: A musical antidote to make you feel better

Bill Majoros is a lover of epic music. With extensive touring in numerous bands under his belt, Bill’s own band The Foreign Films reconnects him to the music he loved as a child, infuses it with modern sounds, and exudes positivity. – Randal Wark, Montreal Rocks

People keep spotting Shawn Mendes walking his dog in downtown Toronto

Stans of Shawn Mendes are on the prowl in downtown Toronto right now for a glimpse of the Pickering-born pop star, his girlfriend Camila Cabello, and / or their Golden Retriever puppy Tarzan. Mendes is surprisingly chill when it comes to doing normal human things (such as carrying poo bags) near his condo in the Fashion District. – Blog TO

By the time I got to Woodstock, it was 2013

The concert site was marked with a simple plaque. I was alive when the Woodstock Music and Art Fair happened on Aug. 15, 16 and 17 in 1969. I was six years old – hip to The Flintstones, not so much to Sly and the Family Stone. We all have our eras. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Want to teach the kids your favourite classic tunes? TikTok has already done that

Barbi Castelvi isn’t surprised when her 11-year-old son Xavier knows the words to a Dr. Dre or Bee Gees song. When the Toronto DJ  plays Xavier some old song only to discover he already knows the lyrics, she knows that it’s his TikTok account that’s responsible for the introduction. – Ethan Rotberg, Toronto Star

Aretha Franklin biopic pays Respect to the legendary singer but its formulaic approach lacks soul

 Actor-singer Jennifer Hudson nicely embodies the Queen of Soul, but the long-awaited film's formulaic approach lacks soul. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie sells 115-song catalog to Hipgnosis

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie has sold her 115-title song catalog to Hipgnosis, the fast-growing music company that has spent more than $2B in three years acquiring rights to a vast number of popular songs. McVie is the fourth of the band’s five members to make such a deal in the past nine months. Fellow Mac singer-songwriter Lindsey Buckingham completed the sale of 100% of his publishing rights to the company in January. – Jem Aswad, Variety

The major music companies will generate more than $20B between them this year

The record industry is headed for a gangbusters year – and we’ve got the receipts to prove it. MBW has crunched the reported calendar Q2 financials of each of the three major music companies for our analysis below. Want to know how good 2021 is looking for Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Warner Music Group? Read on. – Tim Ingham, MBW


Live Nation's Michael Rapino urges artists to require fan vaccinations at concerts

Although they will not mandate it themselves, Live Nation CEO  Rapino says the company will be giving artists the power to mandate fans must show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test result. The requirements were already put into effect at the recent Lollapalooza, though there are fears that event could turn out to be a super-spreader. – Roy Trakin, All Access


Tunji Balogun to become the new CEO of Def Jam

Balogun is also the founder of Keep Cool, an RCA imprint alongside Right Hand Music Group founder Courtney Stewart, A&R Jon Tanners and marketing executive Jared Sherman. The label is home to Normani, UMI, Lucky Daye, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. – Pulse Nigeria

Duran Duran's Simon LeBon says music streaming is killing a whole generation of artists.

In a new interview with NME, LeBon spoke frankly about how the streaming payment model will discourage musicians from pursuing their passion as a full-time profession. The UK Government conducted an inquiry of the streaming industry and found that a “total reset of the system is needed.” “Artists need to get paid properly for music that is streamed – that’s where the money should be coming from,” says LeBon.  – Digital Music News 

Covid forces New Orleans Jazz Festival to postpone the event planned for October

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival pulled the plug on its plans for a 2021 event, scheduled for October, due to rising Covid cases in the city. The festival posted on its social media accounts and website that "We now look forward to next spring, when we will present the Festival during its traditional timeframe.” – No Depression

Tony Bennett wows sold-out crowd at Radio City for 95th birthday with Lady Gaga as his opening act

To say the least, it was a night full of standing ovations. But all you need to know is that Tony Bennett’s legendary career culminated tonight in a blaze of glory. And Lady Gaga deserves our never ending thank you. – Roger Friedman, Showbiz411

JazzTimes 10: Essential Erroll Garner recordings

Celebrating the piano master's centennial in audio. – Michael J. West, JazzTimes

Donda watch: Kanye West's new album gets third release date, first single

The road to Kanye West’s 10th album Donda, named for his late mother, has been as idiosyncratic as the artist himself, sometimes vexing (hope none of you were counting on a July 23 or Aug. 6 release) and others stunning.  – Scott Russell, Paste

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Rickey Medlocke tests positive for Covid-19

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s U.S. tour has hit a roadblock after guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for Covid-19. The band revealed Medlocke’s diagnosis on social media Friday when it announced that the band would miss four upcoming shows. – Postmedia


DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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