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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 8, 2018

The love affair of Toronto and The National (pictured), two contrasting takes on Taylor Swift and the candid recollections of Kiesza. Others in the headlines include Seymour Stein, ticket scalping, Big Valley Jamboree, Zildjian, Twitch. Tv, Lady Gaga, Canadian record stores, Patti-Anne Tarlton, Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, Drake, Tommy Chong, James, The PepTides, and Cambridge Folk Festival.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 8, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Review: There’s something bogus about Taylor Swift’s act, starting with the cutesy-naughty persona on stage

There was something bogus about Swift, a megastar whose brand is diligently maintained and whose public image is highly crafted. –  Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Brooklyn’s The National finds a keen local audience in Toronto

That The National enjoys the broad popularity it does anywhere is something of a beautiful aberration, yet few towns have got behind the moody Brooklyn quintet with as much vigour as Toronto. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

‘I saw people I really trusted turn into monsters…’

Four years ago, Kiesza was on the verge of becoming one of the world’s biggest new pop artists. But then, the wind changed. –  Tim Ingham, MBW

I’m all for concert tickets being sold on the secondary market, but this…

Re the TOronto TOgether show: "There is something creepy, crass, and completely wrong about profiteering from a benefit show designed to help the families of people died, those who were horribly injured, and the many who’ve had their lives forever altered."  –  Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things

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Seymour Stein, the man who signed Madonna: 'My ears got me through'

His Sire label gave careers to Madonna, Talking Heads and the Ramones, while he was stuck in the closet and a tumultuous marriage. ‘Who’s to say what’s normal?’ he wonders.  –  Michael Hann, The Guardian

Big Valley Jamboree: How the country music festival operates as a city

When thousands of people descend on Camrose for BVJ, it more than doubles the city's population. As Quinn Ohler reports, the festival has built resources to help it be quite self-sustained. –  Global News

A family's 400-year-old musical secret still rings true

Zildjian was incorporated in the US in 1929. But the company’s relationship with drummers, and drumming itself, dates back 400 years, to 1618, when a secret casting process resulted in the creation of a new bronze alloy for the court of Sultan Osman II, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire.  –   Lara Pellegrinelli, New York Times

How Drake fuelled another viral dance sensation with his new single

Over the past several weeks the Toronto rapper’s track “In My Feelings” has exploded in popularity and inspired an unusual viral dance sensation that’s crossed generations and led to a number of serious injuries.  – David Friend, CP

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How Amazon's Twitch.tv cheats music creators

Music creators (songwriters and performing artists) and rights’ owners (music publishers and record labels) are not collecting a new and substantial source of income – and most of them are not aware they are not collecting it. Enter Twitch, the website exploiting creators and owners without paying for a single cent of music usage. –  Erin M. Jacobson, Forbes

How am I supposed to test a $2,890 speaker with this shitty playlist?

I recently wrote about the Devialet Gold Phantom, a $2,890 bluetooth speaker. When I was sent the device, I was also given a link to a playlist filled with songs to test it with. This, I’m sorry to report, was a terrible mistake. –  Callum Booth, Distract

Two elderly men escape nursing home to go to German metal festival 

They snuck out to attend Wacken Open Air and were found at the festival at 3 am in a state that a police spokesperson called “disoriented and dazed.” –  Rhian Daly, nme.com

Lady Gaga apologises after reporting Rick 'Zombie Boy' Genest's death as suicide

The tattooed Montreal model’s manager says he believes his death was an accident. –   Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

Step inside some noteworthy Canadian record stores

From Montreal's Cheap Thrills to Calgary's Recordland, we dig into the dust of the bins belonging to a handful of record shops in Canada. –  Red Bull Music

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Patti-Anne Tarlton, Chief Operating Officer Ticketmaster Canada

Canada’s Patti-Anne Tarlton may be the best utility player in live music today. Tarlton is somebody who can book and promote events, run a top-tiered sporting and entertainment facility, and even do tour accounting in a pinch. –  Celebrity Access

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Taylor Swift’s Toronto show more of a theatrical production than a concert — but a lot of fun

This was the first of two consecutive, sold-out Toronto touchdowns by her Reputation tour extravaganza — and, oh my, is this thing the very definition of an “extravaganza” — in the 50,000-plus-capacity baseball stadium. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star 

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is a joyous ode to sound and the life of a soundtrack guru

If you liked his soundtracks for Nagisa Ôshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (in which he also starred opposite David Bowie, or Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor and The Sheltering Sky, you’ll end up admiring this gentle, endlessly curious man even more after watching this documentary.   –   Liam Lacey, originalcin

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Tommy Chong unofficially auditions to be the voice of Edmonton's transit system

'Please be advised .... if you must smoke pot then don't ride the train,' says Cheech & Chong actor. –  CBC.ca

Rob Lowe, Justin Timberlake, Nick Cannon dive into TV game show scene

Stars take on hosting, producing roles in upcoming game shows.  –  AP

Review: David Byrne searches for utopia at joyous Sony Centre show

The art-rocker said his American Utopia tour would be his most ambitious since Stop Making Sense – and he delivered. –  Max Mertens, NOW

James continues to burn bright: An interview with Tim Booth

Everyone knows that in the music business it’s better to burn out than to fade away but no one ever mentions anything about being reignited. That’s exactly what Manchester’s James has done.  –  David Iakra, Collide

Cambridge folk festival review – verve and energy in a female-focused weekend

Rhiannon Giddens, Patti Smith and First Aid Kit kicked up a storm, but with mellower moments from the likes of Eric Bibb and Darlingside this was a wide-ranging and happy festival.  –  Colin Irwin, The Guardian

Get lifted with The PepTides 

The nine members arrived from Ottawa on a wave of love, affection and a sneak peek at new jams. – Brandon Young, The Coast

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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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