Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 17, 2020

An in-depth look at the new album by The Dirty Nil (pictured), predictions about music in 2021, and the tireless work ethic of Terry David Mulligan. Also in the headlines are Dave Gunning, The Matador, Once A Tree, Bob Dylan, Harold Budd, Paul Robinson, copyright scandals, Chris Cornell, music docs, Leo Sayer, live-streaming, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and Joe Bonamassa.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 17, 2020

By FYI Staff

What will the music scene look like in 2021?

Earlier this month, Montreal’s Osheaga Music and Arts Festival announced three of its headliners for its 15th anniversary in 2021, but it’s hard to imagine that live music will be back in any major way by next summer. But here’s to hope. Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl once sang, “I’m a new day rising, I’m a brand-new sky,” and who isn’t onboard with that? – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

What will Canadian music sound like in 2021? Insiders predict what's next

As we enter 2021 amid a global pandemic, which artists, trends, and genres will pop off in the north? To find out, we asked a crack team of Canadians plugged into the music industry. – Complex


How The Dirty Nil pushed themselves to finish a new record before the world stopped

The Canadian three-piece on how the looming pandemic shutdown pushed them to their limit to get their new record, Fuck Art laid down, even if it left them as “shells of human beings." – Huw Baines, Guitar

Horseshoe owner sees streamed concert potential beyond new program

The owner of Toronto’s “legendary” Horseshoe Tavern welcomes an Ottawa company donating $250K to help Canada’s beleaguered live music venues during Covid-19. While the Horseshoe’s Jeff Cohen, who also operates Lee’s Palace, plans to apply to the new program for both of his venues, he said streaming live performances shouldn’t just be a pandemic placeholder. – Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

Behind the scenes with the hardest-working DJ in Canadian rock ’n’ roll

On a glorious sunny winter weekend afternoon, the hardest-working man in rock ’n’ roll is hunkered down in his home studio to edit a podcast. Terry David Mulligan is squeezing in an interview even as he plans the next episodes of Mulligan Stew, his popular radio show, and Tasting Room Radio, his wine-and-food podcast. At 78, he still spends much of his time before a microphone. – Tom Hawthorn, Montecristo

Toronto's famed after-hours venue The Matador to be torn down

It's official: The old building of famed Toronto music venue The Matador Ballroom will be torn down.  The City has approved the application that will replace the property at 466 Dovercourt Rd. — which housed The Matador during a 43-year run that included live acts from Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, and Stompin' Tom Connors — with a six-storey condo. – BlogTO


Dave Gunning's golden rage 

The Nova Scotian folk mainstay adds his voice to the chorus opposing the Cochrane Hill gold mine with a new single. – Andrew Bethune, The Coast 

Once A Tree reach for the sky

This fall, BC-founded, Toronto-based duo Once A Tree –  Jayli Wolf and Hayden Wolf – released their new EP Fool’s Paradise, the follow-up to their 2018 Indigenous Music Award-winning album, Phoenix. On the new release, they explore loss, trust, and love that heals, and frees. For the couple, and creative partners, these themes — once resigned to love songs on the radio — became reality when they met. – Chaka V. Grier, Words & Music

Ontario's country music pioneers: Hugh Scott

Hugh Scott is the epitome of the “hometown hero”… a singer, songwriter and performer who had the pure talent to become a huge star at the national level, but chose to stay close to home to pursue his music career. – Larry Delaney, CMAOntario newsletter


WMG's Paul Robinson: "We've always known music is essential to people's lives"

Does anyone working in a major music company know more of its secrets than its head corporate lawyer? Probably not. With that in mind, Paul Robinson, currently celebrating an unprecedented 25 years of unbroken service at Warner Music Group, has likely been privy to more confidential information than any other figure in the firm’s history. – MBW


Covid crisis cuts festive royalties windfall for stars like Shane MacGowan and Chris Rea

Musicians behind Ireland's favourite Christmas hits are facing a steep slide in earnings as shuttered businesses fall silent this Christmas. – Brian Hutton, The Irish Times

The great royalties hustle

In the following MBW blog, Nick Lawrence, founder of UK-based business management and accountancy firm BigStar, explains why he believes that modernization of the royalties system is long overdue. – Nick Lawrence, MBW


Taylor Swift and more artists with copyright scandals

They don’t crop up every day, but copyright scandals are more common than you might imagine. Some cases are more obvious infringements than others, making violations easier to prove in court. All cases don’t even make it to formal litigation, as some artists settle out of court or on their own. – Yahoo Finance

The Best Music Videos of 2020

Narrowing down any kind of list of music videos usually means separating the meaningful expressions of musical ideas from the flashy gimmicks. The best ones that you’ll see below manage to work in tandem with the songs, each elevating the other. – Indie Wire

Taylor Swift, Bee Gees, Billie Holiday: Some Of 2020's music documentaries to watch

When it comes to music documentaries, 2020 had a little something for everybody. This year's crop spotlighted innovative and pioneering jazz trailblazers Miles Davis and Billie Holiday; ‘'50s and '60s rock legends such as Chuck Berry and the Band; ‘70s disco kings the Bee Gees; and, of course, modern-day pop star Taylor Swift. – David Chiu, Forbes

Chris Cornell covers Lennon, ELO, Guns 'N Roses on new posthumous album 

The estate of Chris Cornell has released a posthumous covers album called No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol. 1 that includes a version of John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels". Cornell plays all the instruments on the 10-track album, which was recorded with producer Brendan O'Brien in 2016, the year before Cornell's suicide. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band reunite on SNL for first public performance in four years

The appearance came in support of their new album Letter to You. – Alex Young, CoS

An open letter to all those criticizing Bob Dylan for selling rights to his music 

Why would Bob Dylan sell his songwriting catalog? It's a smart financial move. And has nothing to do with 'luck' or 'hoarding wealth' or 'screwing millenials.' – Jeff Haden, Inc

Leo Sayer signs publishing partnership with Primary Wave

The British/Australian star Leo Sayer has signed a partnership agreement with Primary Wave Music Publishing for his songwriting catalogue. Sayer has written numerous Gold and Platinum hits including Thunder In My Heart, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Long Tall Glasses, and Moonlighting. He has had two US number ones and a Top 10 million-selling US album with ‘Endless Flight. – Paul Cashmere, Noise11


The two-decade-long cultural impact of O Brother Where Art Thou?

Arguably the most notable component of the movie is its ever-present musical tableau, a rich tapestry of early American roots music — bluegrass, gospel, blues, country, folk — masterfully curated and recreated by award-winning producer T Bone Burnett. – No Depression

Why the music industry must think big about live-streaming

The fact that virtual concerts aren’t limited by the confines of a physical space democratizes both the community and the music. These kinds of virtual concerts are incredibly promising, but there are technological and financial growing pains ahead. – Mike Schabel, MBW

Dear Amazon, before you bulldoze more than 80 years of Detroit music history, please read this

Today I drove past the old State Fairgrounds in Detroit. I realized that the old bandshell would likely not be spared from the wrecking ball following news that the city of Detroit sold the property to Amazon for a new distribution center, so I snapped a photo of it. I recall my mother in law saying she saw the Jackson 5 on that stage, as well as Stevie Wonder. – David Gifford, Metro-Times

How do composers score music during a pandemic? One instrument at a time

Inside the painstaking and “very convoluted” process of building film scores in Covid, which involves meshing together hundreds of individually recorded files from every member of an orchestra. – Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone


Harold Budd's music was heaven on earth

Over the course of his four-decade discography, Budd's music floated between ambient, minimalist composition, and dream-pop, but ultimately evaded those categories to gently assert itself as a wholly individual voice. – Simon Reynolds, NPR 

Blues great Joe Bonamassa talks about the making of Guitar Man

One of the greatest guitar players on the planet, Joe Bonamassa has been turning heads since age 12, when he opened for B.B. King. The new doc Guitar Man follows the rise of a musician whose hard work and determination have made him one of today's top-selling blues artists. – Original-Cin

Lady Gaga attends the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar on Feb. 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, California.
Emma McIntyre/GI for WarnerMedia

Lady Gaga attends the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar on Feb. 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, California.

Music News

Lady Gaga Will Be Performing at the 2024 Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony

The ceremony takes place on July 26.

Lady Gaga is taking over the Olympic stage.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the singer is set to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this Friday (July 26). Other rumored artists speculated to perform include Celine Dion, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and French singer Aya Nakamura, though none have been confirmed.

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