Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 28, 2018

Geddy Lee (pictured) picks his fave Rush songs, the highs and lows of the COC, and more best of 2018 lists. Others in the headlines include Drake, Alberta Ballet, The Whiskey Jerks, Zayn, Neil Young, opera, Philip Glass, Leonard Cohen, The Band, Ariana Grande, Herbie Hancock, and Macy Gray.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 28, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Best Canadian Music Writing 2018

It’s rare to see articles about Canadian music collected together in one spot at a time when year-end lists are everywhere. Here is my list. –  Del F. Cowie, Invisible Publishing

Toronto’s classical-music scene saw Canadian Opera Company hit highest and lowest notes in 2018

Toronto saw a bumper crop of fine music and opera in 2018 — so much so that choosing the best and the worst of the year from hundreds of options is a daunting task. Out of the big-budget offerings, the basket of rotten eggs and tomatoes belongs to Rufus Wainwright’s new opera Hadrian. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Review: Metz and Teenanger played the final concert at Parts & Labour

It was a strange thing from the start: below the restaurant with the celebrity chef... a sweaty basement punk venue. No sightlines, barely a stage to speak of, precarious speakers often held up by the will of the moshing crowd. Two top Toronto rock bands played its swansong. – Richard Trapunski, NOW


The 6 best under-the-radar Canadian musicians of 2018

The albums that got us through 2018

Hip-hop’s women, local indie stars, and Polaris winners caught our critics’ ears this year. – John Lucas, Georgia Straight

The 101 best Toronto songs of 2018 (plus a few more)

All our favourite local tunes from the past year arranged into one sprawling Spotify playlist. Plus, some of our favourite music that's not on Spotify, too. – Staff, NOW

Alberta Ballet's artistic director Jean Grand-Maître talks about The Hip tour, Nutcracker and playing grandfather

Fresh off the launch of this year’s beloved Nutcracker and the announcement of a national tour of the edgy Tragically Hip-inspired, All of Us, Alberta Ballet’s artistic director Jean Grand-Maître sat down with for an interview about both shows. – Stephan Bonfield, Calgary Herald

Indescribable: The Whiskey Jerks defy genres with their six-person ensemble

Even members of the Saskatoon-based group aren't sure how to classify their band, whose repertoire spans from jazz to rock to klezmer and back again.  – Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix


Review: Zayn grapples with toxic masculinity on Icarus Falls

Zayn’s enigmatic charm – what keeps me coming back for more, even when he frustrates me with his seemingly stoner-gamer work ethic – is how he deconstructs artifices we still uphold in our male pop idols. –  Rea Mcnamara, NOW

2018 albums of the year: Toronto’s Meg Remy, alias U.S. Girls, leads the way

"I tend to clamp onto the records I love and obsess on them so much that I know them back-to-front right away. That didn’t happen so much this year." – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Neil Young & Crazy Horse to release expanded edition of Ragged Glory, the best rock album of 1990

Christmas came early for fans of Neil Young & Crazy Horse this year. Just prior to the holiday, the Neil Young Archives website announced that the band's wicked 1990 album Ragged Glory will be reissued with nearly 40 minutes of extra music. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Best of 2018: The 10 (or so) songs that demanded to be replayed, featuring Cardi B, Ariana Grande, John Mayer and Sophie

This year was full of artists happy to meet the implied challenge of the streaming era, which is to record a single track so irresistible that listeners will hit repeat even when a zillion others are available in an instant.  – Mikael Wood, LA Times

Opera has a problem: Fans aren’t subscribing

Lyric Opera, like other major American opera companies, as well as symphony orchestras, theater troupes, and many sports teams, is grappling with a long-term decline in season subscribers. Current audiences are seen as less likely to buy large packages of tickets or commit to attending events months in advance. – Michael Cooper, NY Times


Geddy Lee on Rush's greatest songs: 'Even I can barely make sense of our concept albums'

With widdly-woo guitars and albums about mythic priests, Rush became the biggest cult band in North America. Frontman Geddy Lee picks out his favourite songs from their back catalogue. – Michael Hann,The Guardian

Drake posts art by his son, playfully touts him as better than Picasso

Drake is just like most parents — they think their kid is the greatest at anything they do. Toronto’s own rap superstar has kept mostly quiet about his first child, Adonis, but on the day after Christmas, he proudly showed off his kid’s artwork to his fans. – Rasha Ali, USA Today


Rare 1975 Philip Glass concert in Paris gets first ever release

A 1975 Philip Glass Music In Twelve Parts performance in Paris is being released this January on double vinyl via Transversales Disques. – Gabriela Helfet, The Vinyl Factory

Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock Pen an Open Letter to the Next Generation of Artists

The jazz giants have been friends for over forty years. In the pursuit of their art, they’ve shattered boundaries previously believed unbreakable, they’ve revolutionized the concept of innovation, and have chosen to make the endeavor of living compassionately and courageously the center of their lives. – Nest HQ

Ariana Grande: a beacon of resilience in her worst and biggest year

The singer has shown courage in the face of trauma, tragedy and tabloid sniping to become the voice of a mass movement towards broad-mindedness and staunch optimism.  –  Elle Hunt, TheGuardian

Vivien Goldman explores the rise of She-Punks in new book

Veteran journalist and musician Vivien Goldman is telling the story of female punks in Revenge Of the She-Punks: A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot. – Gabriela Helfet, The Vinyl Factory

The Band’s essential albums

A guide to their best and most overlooked LPs — from roots-rock triumphs to star-studded live team-ups.  – Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone

Prince Charles: I find Leonard Cohen's music very moving

Prince of Wales reveals his private musical passions in Radio 3 special. – Mark Brown, The Guardian

Macy Gray on ‘Creep,’ collaborating and caring for mentally ill teens

Three things will always define Macy Gray — her 1999 breakthrough smash, “I Try,” her unique personality (a little kooky, a little chill) and a chameleonic look usually topped by a bundle of hair.  –  Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides at Radiodays North American/Canadian Music Week 2024
Grant W. Martin Photography

CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides at Radiodays North American/Canadian Music Week 2024


Radiodays North America 2024 Projected The Future of Canadian Radio During a Tense Time

This year's radio conference, part of Canadian Music Week, delved into the promise and challenges of A.I., consolidation and dwindling resources, and featured breaking news from CRTC Chairperson Vicky Eatrides on Canada's Online Streaming Act.

RADIO! The medium still has a magical aura to it, despite constant doomsday predictions of its imminent demise as well as some corporate owners cutting staffs and resources to the bone.

Radiodays North America 2024 was held at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle Hotel June 2 to 4 as part of Canadian Music Week (CMW). From podcasts to TikTok, the impact of cars to a real-time demonstration of A.I. on radio, the medium was discussed, debated and dissected.

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