Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 3, 2021

Famed film composer Mychael Danna (pictured) is honoured, a profile of the Prism Prize, and Jerry Granelli is remembered. Others in the headlines include The Weeknd, Halluci Nation, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Trevor Guy, Edmonton Jazz Fest, Reservoir,, Los Lobos, Woodstock 99, Charlotte Day Wilson, Laura Nyro, the Beatles, Shakira, Willie Nelson, and Ritchie Yorke.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 3, 2021

By Kerry Doole

The Prism Prize began just as TV music videos were waning, but TikTok has given it new prominence

Lately, thanks to YouTube and the growing hipness of TikTok, there’s been a resurgence of interest in the medium. Louis Calabro says part of his intention in founding the Prism Prize was to serve as a bridge for a creative community that wasn’t receiving proper acknowledgment. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

The Weeknd vs. Abel Tesfaye

With an instantly recognizable voice and songs that have been streamed several billion times, he’s one of the most ubiquitous pop stars in the world. But where does Abel Tesfaye end and his dark, grimy public persona begin? Mark Anthony Green finally gets the artist to explain. – GQ


Vancouver approves major new venue for outdoor concerts and festivals

A request to build a brand new world-class venue to hold concerts and festivals was recently officially approved by the Vancouver City Council on June 24. The beloved PNE Amphitheatre will soon be replaced with a new structure. Built in 1966, it hosted many outdoor concerts in Vancouver, however, over the years it has become worn and torn. The new theatre should be ready in 2026. – 604Now

Zurich Film Festival Lifetime honour for ‘Life of Pi’ composer Mychael Danna

The Canadian composer also wrote the scores for 'The Ice Storm,' 'Monsoon Wedding' and 'Little Miss Sunshine.' – Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter

Drummer Jerry Granelli’s music and teaching transcended A Charlie Brown Christmas

One Xmastime in the early 1990s, jazz drummer Jerry Granelli took a whirlwind trip to LA from Berlin, where he lived part-time as a music teacher. From there, he flew to his hometown of San Francisco and then onto his adopted home city of Halifax. In every airport along the way, he heard the bouncy instrumental seasonal staple Linus and Lucy, a classic tune he played on. –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Lost live recording of Joni Mitchell by Jimi Hendrix resurfaces after 53 years

A lost concert recording of a young Joni Mitchell taped by Jimi Hendrix at an Ottawa coffee house more than a half-century ago has finally turned up. The Dawntreader, a song from the live recording, was released by the Rhino label on Thursday. More of the tracks are set to be part of the box set, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971), which comes out Oct. 29. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Halluci Nation (formerly A Tribe Called Red) releases new album, ‘One More Saturday Night’

“Our music comes out when it needs to.” On Zoom from his Ottawa home in early July, Bear Witness was reflecting on the unpredictable 14-year journey of his dance music group, the Halluci Nation, formerly known as A Tribe Called Red. – Mike Doherty, Toronto Star

Summer soundtrack: immerse yourself in new music and concerts

One thing that has kept to its schedule is the summer music boom, with new albums, hot singles and even live performances. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Charlotte Day Wilson took a winding path to her first full-length album, ‘Alpha’

There’s a reason Apple may be the apple of Charlotte Day Wilson’s eye, at least professionally. The singer/songwriter, who released her first full-length album “Alpha” earlier last month, recently divulged during a phone interview that it was placement on an Apple commercial of her 2016 song “Work” that finally cemented music as her profession. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star 

Stanley Park's Malkin Bowl will be buzzing with live music this September

Four all-ages concerts were recently announced. First to play the outdoor (rain or shine) venue are the Sheepdogs, who appear on September 3. Dear Rouge, the Halluci Nation (formerly A Tribe Called Red), and Marianas Trench will also perform. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Creative director of the Prince Estate, Toronto’s Trevor Guy, on new release ‘Welcome 2 America’ and mining the vault

Torontonian Trevor Guy may just have the coolest music executive gig on the planet. As the creative director of the Prince estate, Guy is in charge of overseeing the posthumous projects intended to keep the legacy of the late Minneapolis musical wunderkind alive. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Like the genre, Edmonton Jazz Fest thrives with flexibility

It’s kind of like playing jazz. The past couple years have packed a series of unexpected challenges and reflections for Kent Sangster, educator, musician and director of the TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival. – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal


How Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars finished writing ‘Uptown Funk’ at Toronto’s Cherry Beach studios

In July of 2014, Ronson, the DJ, songwriter and producer behind hits for Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Adele, boarded a last-minute flight from NYC to Toronto. At the time, Ronson had been working on and off for nearly nine months with the pop star Bruno Mars on a song he believed could be a smash. But despite his best efforts something was continually missing. – Toronto Star


Reservoir goes public, successfully floating on the Nasdaq via SPAC deal

Reservoir Media has today (July 29) become a public company, listing on the Nasdaq in the US under the ticker RSVR. (July 28) the acquisitive music rights company confirmed the closing of its previously announced business combination with Roth CH Acquisition II Co. (ROCC), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Roth Capital Partners and Craig-Hallum Capital Group. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Music licensing startup raises $3.25m

The startup has raised $3.25m in an initial funding round. The round was led by Third Prime with participation from LightShed Ventures, Operator Partners, and Dash Fund.” – Murray Stassen, MBW

Forty years ago, MTV changed music forever. Rock icons including Huey Lewis and Billy Idol remember all too well

When it debuted on Aug. 1, 1981, MTV was a business and technology experiment without much downside and without much chance of succeeding. – Craig Marks, LA Times

New Los Lobos covers album celebrates the diversity of Los Angeles

Considering the covers album “Native Sons” pays tribute to the music of a single city — Los Lobos’ native Los Angeles — the set’s breadth is breathtaking. Familiar songs by Jackson Browne, Buffalo Springfield and the Beach Boys are interspersed with R&B and garage rock obscurities, along with nods to Los Lobos’ many Latin influences. It’s melting-pot pop and true Americana. – CP

The true story of Summer of Soul's 'lost' footage

Actually, the Revolution WAS Televised. Dramatic declarations certainly help to push the film’s racially-charged narrative—except that the footage was not sitting in a basement for 50 years. Joe Lauro of Historic Films became aware of the footage in 2003, went on a mission to find it, and by early 2004, got it out of said basement, belonging to Hal Tulchin, who filmed the Harlem Cultural Festival. – Book and Film Globe


Ariana Grande partners with ‘Fortnite’ for ‘Rift Tour’ concert series

Ariana Grande is taking her talents to “Fortnite.” On Sunday, the online video game announced that they have partnered with Grande for a concert series called “Rift Tour,” scheduled for Aug. 6-8. Spanning five showtimes over three days, the in-game event promises to be a “musical experience” with a special playlist and playable character inspired by Grande. – Ellise Shafer,  Variety

HBO’s Woodstock ’99 documentary is a dark warning

Just as concerts return, a new film reveals the cynicism and cultural rot that led to one of the most notorious shows ever. – Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic

Giles Martin reveals why the Beatles' Revolver and Rubber Soul albums haven't been remixed yet

"The software is getting a lot better," says the son of the legendary Beatles producer. – Rob Laing, Music Radar

Laura Nyro: the phenomenal singers’ singer the 60s overlooked

Elton John idolised her and she wrote hits for the likes of Barbra Streisand, but her musical ambitions were out of sync with the times. Now a new collection reveals her intense originality in full. – Richard Williams, The Guardian

Spanish judge recommends Shakira face tax fraud trial

A Spanish judge investigating alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations to the state. – AP


Welcome 2 Prince’s America

 An album filled with songs of spiritual and political awakening — never released until now. – Craig Jenkins, Vulture

Music author Ritchie Yorke's career unpacked by National Film and Sound Archive in Australia

The late Ritchie Yorke was instrumental in John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 Bed-Ins and wrote the book on Led Zeppelin — literally.  Now, the NFSA will dive into the life of the Brisbane music journalist, author and broadcaster to celebrate his contribution to the local and international music industry. Yorke lived in Canada for a long period. – Edwina Seselja and Loretta Ryan, ABC Radio

Willie Nelson performs at Texas voters rights rally

Nelson helped close out the rally with a short set, which included the 88-year-old's 2018 song, "Vote 'Em Out." – CBS News 

Kerrang founder Alan Lewis dead at 75

 Alan Lewis, a British music journalist who founded the weekly rock and metal magazine Kerrang, and who served as a longtime editor at publications such as New Musical Express has died. He was 75. – Celebrity Access

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

keep readingShow less