Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 9, 2021

Veteran troubadour Murray McLauchlan (pictured) reflects, The Weeknd delivers another winner, and the creative flexibility of Ralph. Also in the headlines are Michie Mee, dead celebs, Toronto venues, Dayna Manning, The Pumps, Regina Folk Festival, Dee Lippingwell, Martha Wainwright, Live Nation, HYBE, Rihanna, Blue Oyster Cult, and Lollapalooza.

Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 9, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Murray McLauchlan says after 50-plus years as one of Canada’s finest troubadours, he just wants to get better

There’s no musician whose name has been misspelled by the media more than Murray McLauchlan. Over the decades, the Scottish-born, Toronto singer/songwriter, who first came to national prominence with 1973’s “The Farmer’s Song,” has seen his name butchered in multiple ways. Does it get to him? “Well, I always spell it correctly,” he quips. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

The Weeknd: Take My Breath review – an instant disco-pop classic

5 of 5 stars. Abel Tesfaye settles into his imperial phase with a masterful Moroder-esque track that demonstrates how strong his vocal ability has become. – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian 

Dead celebrities are being digitally resurrected — and the ethics are murky

Hologram performances, artificial voices and posthumous albums pose tough ethical questions, critics say. – Jenna Benchetrit,  CBC News · 


Toronto singer Ralph proving herself to be the Swiss Army knife of Canadian pop music

Pop singer Ralph says keeping her hands in many “honey pots” of the entertainment world is one secret to surviving in Canada’s music industry. The Toronto-based indie performer has fostered a career without the backing of a major label by seeking out inventive ways to showcase her versatility.  – David Friend, CP

These Toronto patios will host live music this summer

The city's patio pilot has officially launched, bringing intimate performances to a handful of neighbourhoods this summer and fall. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Michie Mee, ‘godmother of Canadian rap,’ to release memoir in 2023

Michie Mee is set to release a memoir about her rise as the “godmother of Canadian rap.” Random House Canada has secured the rights to the artist’s story of breaking through in a male-dominated genre to bring global attention to Canada’s hip-hop scene. – CP

Struggling Toronto bar gets a lifeline from award-winning band

A popular band is drawing crowds to a Toronto bar that, like most, has been down on its luck. The Strumbellas approached the bar in early July as they were preparing to reopen, and the struggling bar owner jumped at the opportunity. – Blog TO

Sketches from Stratford: For musicians like Dayna Manning, pivoting is a longstanding art form

New outdoor stages have been popping up all over Stratford and the very newest sits right on the edge of town behind the Stratford Perth Museum. It’s called Player’s Backstage and its inaugural player was to be Dayna Manning, a Stratford-born, Stratford-based and Stratford-boosting folk artist who’s loved locally and has carved out a unique career for herself since the 1990s. – J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail


Get Pumped

Forty years after its release, debut album from '80s Winnipeg rock band available on CD. – Alan Small, Winnipeg Free Press

Regina Folk Festival making a Covid comeback

The Regina Folk Festival has returned in a new form after being cancelled for the second straight year due to the Covid pandemic. – Greg Harder, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 

Montreal composer on creating a ‘Hawaiian Hitchcock’ score for ‘The White Lotus’

Cristobal Tapia de Veer says he was thinking of a “Hawaiian Hitchcock” when he wrote the score for HBO’s “The White Lotus.” The Chilean-born musician, who’s forged a career scoring TV episodes, says drawing on the tone of the great Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock was a suggestion made by creator Mike White during their early conversations. – David Friend, CP

Memories from the Mountain brings B.C.'s celebrated country music festival to your coffee table

From 1993 to 2009, Dee Lippingwell was the staff photographer at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival and has captured the event in a new book. – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun 

Martha Wainwright: ‘Divorce has given me wisdom’

The Montreal musician, 45, talks about putting down roots, losing her mother, playing music and and how middle age has been a transformative time. – James McMahon, The Guardian


On Our Radar: Multitasking Mauvey gives us plenty to look forward to with the brilliantly busy video for "9"

While anything's possible, when it comes to Mauvey the odds are good that the carpet doesn't match the drapes. If there’s any truth to the saying “The best is yet to come”, then  we have something to look forward to in the coming months. At the end of Mauvey’s video for “9” one of the last things we see before things fade to a, um, purple-hued black is the words “to be continued”. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Ford's proposed plan for Ontario Place is a grotesquerie

Doug Ford’s darkly different vision of a new Ontario Place, unveiled last week, is to turn it into a $600-million megaproject that is no longer a people place but a business venture. – David Olive, Toronto Star


Local musicians rally in support of Indigenous services

A diverse group of London musical artists, troubled by the discovery of residential school graves and recent acts of racist violence, has banded together to raise money for Indigenous-led programs and services. –Joe Belanger, London Free Press

A Toronto bar felled by the pandemic is reborn in a new form

LGBTQ activist/entrepreneur Mandy Goodhandy will launch Mandy’s Bistro in Toronto this fall: a live music, comedy and dining destination at 123 Danforth Avenue, where another cultural casualty of the pandemic, The Old Nick, once stood. – BlogTO


Live Nation's Michael Rapino on a 'roaring era' for concerts and ticket prices.

Live music is coming back, and concert giant Live Nation has the balance sheet to prove it. Following five straight quarters of revenue decline the company has finally been able to break free of the pandemic’s grip on its core business of live, in-person events. CEO Michael Rapino reflects on the situation. – Murray Stassen,  MBW

HYBE, the home of K-Pop stars BTS, sees revenues soar in Q2

Korea’s HYBE, the company behind k-pop superstars BTS, has posted its financial results for Q2 2021 (the three months to the end of June). According to a filing published August 5, HYBE generated revenues of 278.6 billion South Korea Won (approximately $244m) in Q2, an increase of 79.2% or 123.2bn South Korea Won ($108m) compared to the same quarter in 2020. – MBW

UK musicians hit out at announcement about visa-free EU touring

Trade bodies and unions accuse government of merely confirming arrangements that already exist.  – The Guardian

Covid outbreaks tied to music festivals raise outdoor transmission concerns

Experts say closely packed crowds are likely responsible for cases tied to Oregon’s Pendleton Whisky Music Fest and Michigan’s Faster Horses Festival. –  Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

An example of Darwinism at its finest, Lollapalooza might have moved the markers for the Covid-19 finish line

Never has a supposed return to normalcy seemed so wildly and irresponsibly abnormal. To look at the photographs from last weekend’s multi-day Lollapalooza blowout in Chicago is to ask what the fuck is seriously wrong with people. And not just because attendees showed up for a lineup that included Journey and rape-rock fratboy favourites Limp Bizkit. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


The most upbeat death song ever: The oral history of “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

The 45-year old Blue Öyster Cult song turned undying Saturday Night Live meme took a strange, winding journey to rock-classic status. – Rob Tannenbaum, GQ

Singer Rihanna is officially a billionaire, Forbes says

Pop star Rihanna’s net worth is estimated at $1.7 billion, making her the richest woman musician in the world, but her music is not the primary source of her wealth, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Sam Lee review – a cry from nature itself

In advance of his autumn tour, the polymath folk singer and band weave their magic – and sound the alarm for a world in peril. – Kitty Empire, The Guardian

The singer/songwriter Bob Dylan praised in glowing terms

Confirming just how well-read he is, Dylan likened John Prine’s work to that of the influential French essayist Marcel Proust. In one interview, Dylan stated: “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism.” – FarOut

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending June 13, 2024

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending June 13, 2024

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and year-to-date comparisons to last year.

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and YTD with comparisons to last year. This chart is published every Tuesday. The abbreviation "TEA" is a term used to describe the sale of music downloads or singles. A track equivalent album is equal to 10 tracks, or 10 songs.