Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 14, 2018

Two takes on a new memoir on The Jeff Healey Band (pictured), rising hip-hop star Lil Berete has a big hometown gig, and remembering Pete Shelley's queer legacy. Also in the headlines are Johannes Debus, Ghost, Rory Gallagher, TSO, Ken Burns, Brexit, tribute bands, AWAL, Marcie Allen, Fleetwood Mac, Meat Puppets, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Keith Richards.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 14, 2018

By Kerry Doole

The 10 best albums of 2018

It was an anxious year, and that was reflected in NOW's critics' favourite albums, which alternated between amplifying our insecurities and soothing them. – Staff, NOW

Review: Best Seat in the House throws beloved Canadian musical son Jeff Healey under the bus

It is clear that former Jeff Healey Band drummer/manager Tom Stephen is still attempting to deal with the hurt of his split with Healey – and, as in the past, not in the most constructive way in this rock ’n’ roll tell-all. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Guitar legend Jeff Healey's life revealed in new book by former drummer

To many, there were few guitarists who could shred like Jeff Healey, and his former bandmate is making sure everyone knows that. The Jeff Healey Band dabbled in blues, rock and jazz and, through it all, drummer Tom Stephen was there keeping the beat and also acting as the manager. – Todd Battis, CTV News


Johannes Debus rekindles boyhood love of Handel’s Messiah

After a 10-year old Johannes Debus had sung Handel’s Messiah for the first time, he begged his mom to buy him an album. “I think this was the only recording running on the home stereo for the next few weeks,” he laughs. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Lil Berete is breaking out internationally, but his heart is still in Regent Park

The 17-year-old Toronto rapper is finally making his hometown headlining debut tonight, and it's on his home turf.  – Sumiko Wilson, NOW

Comic concert review: Ghost's bloated, bewitching black mass

The Swedish metal band descended on the Sony Centre, and we turned it into a comic. – Eric Williams, NOW

Rory Gallagher freaks will get their blues-rock jollies in Vancouver this Friday

The closest anyone will get to hearing a Rory Gallagher gig is by going to see Band of Friends, a trio composed of his old rhythm section (bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna) and fierce guitar slinger Davy Knowles. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Remembering Pete Shelley's queer legacy

The Buzzcocks leader was vague about his sexuality, but he expertly articulated queer desire and complex human connection, all in perfectly crafted pop songs.  – Kevin Hegge, NOW

New works by five emerging Canadian composers brought to life by The TSO

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) introduces Explore the Score. This program is presented in collaboration with the Canadian Music Centre (CMC). – Broadway World



First look: Ken Burns' 'Country Music' documentary

Through his lens, he's made epic explorations into "Baseball," "Prohibition, "jazz,  and several 20th-century wars. Next year, documentary giant Ken Burns will take audiences on a 16-hour journey through "Country Music." The eight-part film is set to premiere on PBS in the fall of 2019 and has been in the works for six years. – The Tennessean 

Anti-Brexit letter signed by Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Bragg and music execs

Several artists, music businesses, executives and UK music industry bodies have signed a letter calling on the UK Government for an alternative to Brexit. – MBW

10 Best Documentaries of 2018

From stunning portraits of small-town America to a trip back to ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ — these were the nonfiction highlights of a very good year. –  David Fear, Rolling Stone

 The biggest box office Hits and Flops of 2018

It was the revival nobody saw coming. After a dismal 2017, in which the North American box office tumbled to a three-year low, moviegoing rebounded in a big way. And it wasn’t just superhero tentpoles and animated adventures raking in the green. – Rebecca Rubin, Variety

Tribute bands - Are they legal?

Technically, a band that is still trading as a live act could have a case for legal action against a tribute act if it could be shown that they were losing audiences and revenue to the tribute act.  –Gideon Waxman, Musicthinktank


Latest version of Article 13 will fail to fix YouTube 'Value Gap,' warns Vivendi and the record industry

The global music industry could be set for a crushing blow. Universal Music Group owner Vivendi has joined leading record business organizations to warn that recent alterations to the draft version of the new European Copyright Directive are set to severely disappoint music rights-holders across the world. – MBW

AWAL expands into Canada with a new Toronto office

Kobalt’s recording company AWAL is opening a new office in Toronto in early 2019, with additional new location announcements ‘planned in the coming months’. – Murray Stassen, MBW


Marcie Allen says tour sponsorships are dead at XLIVE

MAC Presents’ founder Marcie Allen broke down the strengths and weaknesses of branding at the XLIVE annual conference in Las Vegas this week. – Amplify

Touring and talent

Lindsey Buckingham calls current Fleetwood Mac ‘a cover band kind of deal'

In discussing songs from his new Solo Anthology Buckingham addressed the question as to whether or not he would ever play with his old group again. – Dave Lifton, Ultimate Classic Rock

Meat Puppets’ original lineup announce first album since 1995, share song

Curt Kirkwood and Cris Kirkwood have been keeping Meat Puppets active for a while, and this year they reunited with original drummer Derrick Bostrom, which means the full original lineup is back for the first time since 1996. – Andrew Sacher Brooklyn Vegan

Queen’s anthem Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most streamed song released in the 20th century.

Bosses at Universal Music Group announced on Monday that the operatic rock masterpiece, which was released in 1975, has been played by fans more than 1.6 billion times on streaming services around the world. – WENN

The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards says he’s quit drinking: “I pulled the plug on it”

Guitarist Ron Wood insists Richards is now "much more mellow" and "open to ideas." – Michael Roffman, CoS

Hailey Bieber
David Sims for W Magazine

Hailey Bieber

Music News

Hailey Bieber Opens Up About ‘Emotional’ Moments During Pregnancy & Trying to ‘Soak In’ Alone Time With Justin Bieber

The couple announced they are expecting their first child together in the spring.

Hailey Bieber is gearing up for motherhood, and the model opened up about her pregnancy journey for a new W Magazine cover story.

“I probably could have hid it until the end, but I didn’t enjoy the stress of not being able to enjoy my pregnancy outwardly,” she explained of announcing her pregnancy at the six-month mark. “I felt like I was hiding this big secret, and it didn’t feel good. I wanted the freedom to go out and live my life.”

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