Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 23, 2021

Tate McRae (pictured) breaks globally, Dallas Green eyes a return to the stage, and the NAC’s new season includes Feist. Also in the headlines are Matt Mays, Boris Brott, Harmonia Orchestra, Spotify, VMAs, The Monkees, Deafheaven, guitar heroes, the Stones, Chick Corea, Village Vanguard, Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, and Aaliyah.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 23, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Pandemic boredom gave Tate McRae the gift of focusing on her music

When the pandemic shut down the world, it didn’t stop one Canadian artist from becoming a pop sensation. If anything, it just cleared the way for it to happen. Now at 18, McRae has become a household name for the relatable teen anthems she writes and for the powerful vocals she brings to their delivery. Her single “you broke me first” has already surpassed one billion streams worldwide and was on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 33 weeks. – Murtz Jaffer, Toronto Star

The National Arts Centre’s 2021-22 Season: Feist’s Multitudes, Tchaikovsky in F minor and a hip-hop musical

Emerging from the live-performance lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Arts Centre will reopen its doors with a concert by its orchestra that will begin solemnly but conclude with the festive, triumphant finale of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Matt Mays announces surprise string of summer Shore Club shows

The seasonal tradition is basically proof nature is healing. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Dallas Green talks about performing live as he prepares to play Massey Hall in his first post-pandemic shows

The legend of Dallas Green, known acoustically as City and Colour, is about as recognized as any in contemporary Canadian music. Initially seen as a side project to his main gig as the rhythm guitarist and singer of the wickedly popular post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, Green’s brand of vulnerable, ornate folk has taken on a life of its own. – Hayden Godfrey, Toronto Star

Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver returns this August with 11 performances from talented Canadian artists

From August 23 to 29, francophones and francophiles in Vancouver will be able to participate in the weeklong festival, either in-person or from the comfort of their home. For those still unwilling to trade their pyjamas for vêtements plus attrayants, all concerts can be easily livestreamed. – Georgia Straight

Boris Brott has been making music for Hamiltonians for 52 years

In 1969, Boris Brott came to town to become artistic director and conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and classical music in the city hasn’t been the same since. He put together unorthodox programs and conducted ensembles in unlikely places across the city, bringing unprecedented attention to the orchestra. He made headlines far and wide when he conducted a concert in the middle of a steel factory blast furnace at Dofasco Inc. – Hamilton Spectator


Harmonia Orchestra's Nicholas Urquhart finds the sweet spot between teaching, conducting, and Taiwanese music

He's looking forward to the orchestra's upcoming live performance at TAIWANfest, which will be its first concert since the start of the pandemic. – Georgia Straight

The first review for my children’s book, The Science of Song, is in

Come September 7, the children’s book on music and technology I co-authored will be in stores. The first review is in, too. Kirkus–a very important review site–can be very snarky with their opinions. – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things

Weekend Playlist: Toronto psych collective Badge Epoch get weird, plus music from Boldy James, Sufjan Stevens and more

Your Weekend Playlist offers a brief introduction to a broad range of the most interesting new tracks and emerging artists. Also featured are Tierra Whack, DijahSB, and hardcore punk band Turnstile.  – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star


Spotify is ready to buy back $1B in stock from shareholders

Spotify announced Aug. 20 that it is commencing a stock repurchase program beginning in the third quarter of 2021 (i.e. the three months to end of September). Spotify’s board has approved repurchases up to the amount of $1B, while a repurchase of up to 10M of the firm’s ordinary shares have been approved at a general meeting of shareholders. – MBW

The 2021 VMAs announce lineup of performers

The 2021 Video Music Awards are set to see some exciting performances, with Lil Nas X hitting the stage for the first time since his ground-breaking "Panini" performance in 2019. Other stars slated to perform include Camila Cabello, Lorde, Machine Gun Kelly, and Olivia Rodrigo. – Athena Serrano,


The most influential pop-rock band ever? The Monkees!

As Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz embark on a farewell Monkees tour, one could argue that the group was seminal, peerless—and a Rosetta Stone for every pop band ever after. – Mark Rozzo, Vanity Fair

Rolling Stones honor album ‘Tattoo You’ with 9 new tunes

The Rolling Stones are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their album Tattoo You with a remastered collection that includes nine previously unreleased tracks. The newly-remastered 11-track album is out on Oct. 22, including songs “Hang Fire,” “Waiting on a Friend” and the opening track, “Start Me Up.” – Mark Kennedy, AP


The sunbathers turn to the light: Deafheaven is back, and clearer than ever

The most popular new metal band of the past decade is set to release Infinite Granite, an album that finds them with a new sound and new state of mind. Are fans ready to embrace the changes? – Ian Cohen, The Ringer

Five legendary guitarists and their iconic instruments

JJ Cale, Les Paul, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Peter Green and the unique instruments that moulded their sound. – Gear News

Live album by Chick Corea Akoustic Band to be posthumously released

The first Chick Corea album that will be released following the iconic keyboardist’s death earlier this year is a 2018 live recording of the Chick Corea Akoustic Band. LIVE is a two-CD, triple-LP set that was recorded Jan. 13, 2018, at in St. Petersburg, Fla. Corea had been working to release the concert recording before he died of a rare form of cancer in February. – Adam Feibel, JazzFM

Village Vanguard to reopen September 14

The venerable Village Vanguard, which has been presenting world-class jazz from its Seventh Avenue South basement location in New York’s West Village since 1935—and which closed its doors to the public on March 16, 2020 in the wake of the Covid pandemic—will reopen to vaccinated patrons 18 years of age or older on September 14.  – JazzTimes

On the scene at Bon Iver’s oil pipeline protest show

The band headlined the recent Water Is Life festival, which was held in opposition to Minnesota’s controversial Enbridge Line 3 project. – Andrea Swensson, Pitchfork

Ed Sheeran debuts song for Michael Gudinski ‘Visiting Hours’

Visiting Hours was written about Sheeran's friend and mentor, Australian music executive Michael Gudinski. Ed wrote the song after hearing of Michael’s sudden passing in March. Sheeran flew to Australia in the middle of the Pandemic to perform the song at Michael’s memorial at Rod Laver Arena Melbourne on 24 March. – Paul Cashnere, Noise11


Q&A: Jennifer Hudson on starring in iconic role as Aretha Franklin

Jennifer Hudson  has made a career of scene-stealing. She is now starring as Aretha Franklin in 2021′s docudrama Respect, playing at select theatres. We spoke with Hudson about what it was like to take on such an iconic role. – Sarah Hagi, The Globe and Mail

Review: ‘Baby Girl’ about Aaliyah is a singer’s tragic tale

R&B singer Aaliyah is best known for two events that bookended her career: becoming involved with infamous singer R. Kelly as a teen, and the tragic plane crash that ended her life at age 22, just days before 9/11. – Mae Anderson, CP

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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