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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 31, 2018

Arkells (pictured) progress relentlessly, fans continue to mourn Aretha, and New Order reflects on Toronto shows. Also in the headlines are Michael Jackson, Neil Young, Dumb, Marcia Ball, International Pop Overthrow, Sub Pop, Christina Aguilera, Alice Cooper, classic rock, Diemonds, The Killers, Cliff Richard, and David Sinclair.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 31, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Fans mourn Aretha Franklin at gospel-infused public viewing at museum

The regal presence Aretha Franklin exuded in life was captured at her viewing on Tuesday, with the late Queen of Soul in a gold-plated casket dressed completely in red, including high-heeled pumps, proving, as one person put it, that she was a “diva to the end.”  –  Jeff Karoub, AP


New Order reflect on their long relationship with Toronto

The influential Manchester post-punk band have only played here a handful of times in their near-40-year career, but their history with the city runs deep. –  Cam Lindsay, NOW

Michael Jackson's label and estate cleared over 'fake' songs lawsuit

Sony is cleared, but the class-action suit continues against two parties accused of using an impersonator to fake material for posthumous 2010 album Michael.  –  Laura Snapes, The Guardian

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Arkells, ascending: Rallying for Canadian rock’s crown, Hamilton band thinks bigger

Arkells have had a whirlwind year since Knocking at the Door blew up in 2017. Now they’re trying to sustain its momentum. As the band releases their newest single, Relentless, here's an inside look at their latest pair of power plays: the biggest show they’ve ever headlined and an album to match its ambition.  –  Josh O'Kane, Globe and Mail

Did Neil Young and Daryl Hannah get married? Their friends say yes

We still don’t know if longtime lovers Young, 72 (stalwart of such immortal bands as Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), and Hannah, 57 (star of 1984 mermaid rom-com Splash), really are married now, but some friends and fans are nevertheless offering effusive congratulations on social media. So let’s just go with it. –  Maria Puente, USA Today

Dumb's postpunk is as intelligent as it gets

With all the examples of poor musicianship on offer in the iTunes store, it’s easy to write off semi-experimental, abrasive postpunk as brainless. Despite its tongue-in-cheek band name, though, local group Dumb proves the genre is anything but. –  Kate Wilson, Georgia Straight

Veteran Marcia Ball sees the sunny and political side of the blues

"I know we're entertainers, here for escapism but we also have a job to do to carry a message to our audience. I'm not a mindless idiot and this is the most important thing. I put out a message of hopefulness, but also that we need to be thinking about what's going on around us in the world.” — Marcia Ball. –  Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

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Five reasons to catch International Pop Overthrow Vancouver

Vancouver is the only Canadian spot for this year's International Pop Overthrow, a fest built around power-pop.  –  Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun

Sub Pop at 30: Charting the legacy of the Seattle Sound

How Sub Pop, a scrappy independent record label with the slogan ‘Going Out of Business Since 1988’ established the ‘Seattle sound,’ weathered the volatile music business and continues to make its mark on the city--30 years and counting. – Gwendolyn Elliott, Seattle Magazine

Christina Aguilera says she was hurt by 'Stripped' album's criticism

The Dirrty hitmaker’s good-girl reputation took a hit when she released her fourth studio album and she explains the fall-out from the cover shot, in which she posed topless with her hair covering her breasts, was difficult to deal with. –  WENN

'We just don't do bad shows': Over-the-top theatrics, classic hits a staple for any Alice Cooper show

Showing no signs of slowing down, the seemingly permanently touring Alice Cooper show keeps on rolling. –  Erin Petrow, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Bland on Blonde: why the old rock music canon is finished

The 1970s brought about the idea that rock was important – and needed a canon of greatest albums to match. But in a digital age, is definitive musical excellence a ridiculous notion?  – Michael Hann, The Guardian

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Diemonds' third album reveres rock 'n' roll... maybe a bit too much

The eponymous album from the Toronto hard rockers acts as a defining statement for the band. –  Michael Rancic, NOW

SKOOKUM headliners the Killers soldier on to get hyper-personal and deep on Wonderful Wonderful

Mainman Brandon Flowers a sort of clean-cut nice-guy image seemingly at odds with his status as the frontman of one of this millennium’s biggest rock bands. Heck, in 2011 the guy made a video at the behest of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with the title “I’m Brandon Flowers and I’m a Mormon”. –  John Lucas, Georgia Straight

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Sir Cliff Richard says he hopes new album Rise Up can revive his career

Singer won landmark case against BBC in July – yet title track will still debut on Radio 2. –   Mark Brown, The Guardian

Burnaby guitarist gets his star on Granville StarWalk

David Sinclair was also recently named to the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame in recognition of a 50-year career that has included playing with many of the country's biggest names. – Julie MacLellan, Burnaby Now

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New and Upcoming Canadian Albums: Mother Mother, Corb Lund, Allie X & More

Artists with new releases out this week include Philip Sayce, Shaina Hayes, Royal Tusk and Church of Trees.

It's a busy week for new Canadian releases. Funky Montreal duo Chromeo are back with their new album Adult Contemporary, while catalogue classics from Stan Rogers and Fucked Up are also upcoming. Rising singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell, Wolf Parade member Dan Boeckner and the soulful Loony have also announced upcoming release dates.

Album of the Week: Mother Mother, Grief Chapter

Mother Mother are veterans in the Canadian rock scene, but they've had one of the more interesting renaissance arcs of the last few years. The Vancouver band found an unlikely new audience on TikTok in 2020 when their song "Hayloft" went viral. They made a sequel, "Hayloft II," and that went gold in the U.S. They've now had 7+ billion global streams. That background informs their new ninth album Grief Chapter, but it doesn't feel like a retread. It's informed by heavy themes like death and mourning, which is something you might expect from a project in its third decade, but it's not a dour drag. Instead, Ryan Guldemond and the band lean even harder into their nervy energy, threading a needle between shiny radio rock and playfully off-kilter 2000s indie. - Richard Trapunski

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