Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 12, 2018

Cold Specks (pictured) gets confessional, Yannick Nézet-Séguin shines, and Toronto's best albums. Also in the headlines are Bison, Stompin' Tom, Childish Gambino, Indarra, YouTube, Spotify, Sony Music, #MeToo, Grammys, Fillmore West, Monterey Pop, Iggy Pop, female rap, Johnny Marr, The Pogues and Aretha Franklin.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 12, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Cold Specks details her battle with schizophrenia and hospitalization

“Schizophrenia, anorexia, crippling depression, suicide attempts. There’s a lot to write about.” She says it with a chuckle, but Ladan Hussein — the Toronto artist better known by her stage name— spent a good year in hell to earn that laugh. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Montreal-born Yannick Nézet-Séguin shines at the helm of The Metropolitan Opera

It is official: Last week's opening of La Traviata – a new production by Michael Mayer – marked the 43-year-old conductor’s first night on the podium as the new music director of The Metropolitan Opera. –  Jenna Simoeonov, The Globe and Mail

The 10 best Toronto albums of 2018

What does Toronto sound like? This year's best local albums, as voted by NOW critics, offered many different ways to hear it.  –  NOW


What's In Your Closet: James Farwell of Bison

"I do have a favourite T-shirt  I won’t get rid of. A newly acquired “Homicide Life on the Street” T-shirt bought from NBC studios gift shop in New York by my sister, Barbara, about 20 years ago. –  Allan MacInnis, Georgia Straight

Band on the run: A Syrian guitar quartet, silenced by war, plays again in Canada

Bombings and violence forced them to flee their homeland, then the Trump administration’s travel ban complicated their plans to find refuge. Now, a fellowship program has brought four musicians together again at the University of Victoria. –  Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

Stompin' Tom Connors a larger than life figure, says author

Duncan Fremlin of Whiskey Jack collected some colourful stories touring with the Canadian country legend. –  Calgary Herald

5 highlights of Childish Gambino concert at Rogers Arena

The rapper has one of the top-viewed videos for his track, This Is America, and has become a megastar with his latest EP, Summer Pack. –  Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

An Interview with Sue Hutton of Indarra

We caught up with the ex-Rhea’s Obsession songstress and Sue Hutton fresh from the release party for the album Walk On Fire by her new project Indarra. –  David Oberlin, soundscapes

Opinion: Arts is crucial to recovery and growth in Calgary

"I enjoy having access to a vibrant and diverse arts scene in our city. Not only do I enjoy experiencing Calgary’s arts scene with family and friends, but also as a businessman I see the value — the return on investment — the arts sector delivers to our city. –  Dean Prodan, Calgary Herald



YouTube's highest-earning star is seven years old

A seven-year-old boy, Ryan, of Ryan ToysReview, earned $22M (US) in the year to June 2018. His fortune was made from videos of himself reviewing toys. –  Chloe Taylor, CNBC

Sony Music takes on  Spotify, launches streaming service in Japan 'powered by Napster'

Sony Music will use Rhapsody's platform to launch the first high resolution streaming music service in Japan. The move by Sony Music Entertainment Japan makes Sony the first major label to directly challenge Spotify, Apple Music and others with their own music streaming service.  –  Hypebot

#MeToo one year later: Four women executives discuss how the workplace has changed

Female executives faced tough decisions this year as an array of powerful music figures were accused of sexual misconduct. Four such leaders share their stories. –   Edith Bo, Tristan Coopersmith, Cherie Hu, Billboard  

Female voices take centre stage at the 2019 Grammys

After being nearly muted at this year’s ceremony, the 2019 Grammys are shaping up to be the year of the woman, with powerful female voices representing the majority in two of the top categories. –  Mesfin Fekadu, AP

There's "nothing social anymore about Spotify," say users


Spotify is steadily becoming a less social service, even as most social platforms from Facebook to TikToc are putting music front and centre.  It's a contradiction that's not lost on some Spotify users. – Hypebot

Legendary Fillmore West concert venue could fall to wrecking ball

A former concert venue for some of the biggest rock stars of the 1960s could soon become condominiums in San Francisco. The notice out front of 10 South Van Ness Avenue says the project will include “demolition of an historical resource.” What it does not say is that the building’s second floor used to house the famed Fillmore West. –  Joe Vazquez, CBS SF


The Oral History of Monterey Pop, where Jimi torched his axe and Janis became a star

The first slick, professional rock festival -- the one that changed how concerts look and sound, and set the model for festivals as we know them today -- took place in June 1967: the Monterey International Pop Festival. –  Rob Tannenbaum, Billboard

Iggy Pop to executive produce all-star ‘Punk’ docuseries

Dave Grohl, John Lydon, Debbie Harry, Flea, Marky Ramone and more contribute exclusive interviews to EPIX’s “quintessential story of punk.” – Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Rappers like Cardi B are changing a genre that has rarely allowed for more than one female superstar at a time while pitting other women against one another or ignoring them entirely.  – Briana Younger, New Yorker

Student newspaper and Irish DJ among those calling for censorship of 'Fairytale Of  New York.'

The much-loved tune by The Pogues comes under fire for a word that's termed homophobic. –  The Independent

Johnny Marr gives London an ‘English indie panic attack’ by playing The Smiths’ ‘This Charming Man’ live

Marr ended his 2018 tour with an intimate show at EartH in London, performing The Smiths‘ classic live for the first time as a solo artist. –  NME

Neon has gained North American rights to the Aretha Franklin concert film that has taken 45 years to get to a big screen. The 1972 concert documentary, shot by Sydney Pollack, chronicles Franklin’s famed performance with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts when she was 29.–  Patrick Hipes, Deadline Hollywood
Here’s Steve Miller’s Reaction to Eminem Interpolating ‘Abracadabra’ in New Single ‘Houdini’
Music News

Here’s Steve Miller’s Reaction to Eminem Interpolating ‘Abracadabra’ in New Single ‘Houdini’

"You are one of those timeless originators building something new on a long musical legacy of original artists," Miller wrote.

Steve Miller is sharing his thoughts on Eminem‘s new song “Houdini.”

On Saturday (June 1), the Steve Miller Band frontman praised Em after his group’s chart-topping song “Abracadabra” was interpolated in the rap superstar’s latest single.

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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