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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 7, 2018

Jessie Reyez (pictured) triumphs in hometown shows, a list of Canadian albums of the year, and the '90s Canrock revival. Also in the headlines are Doug Paisley, the Lunenburg Academy, ESO, MacMaster-Leahy, streaming DJs, Brexit, Andrew Gertler, Hugh Jackman, Vegas acts, Prince, Johnny Thunders, and Metallica whiskey.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 7, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Review: Jessie Reyez celebrated her homecoming like a true champion

In the first of two sold-out nights at Danforth Music Hall, the Toronto singer/songwriter showed off intense stage presence and serious gratitude.  – Chaka V. Grier, NOW


Jessie Reyez ends tour with pride and panties aplenty in Toronto

The fast-rising star left this week's double-shot of hometown shows with some nice parting gifts.  – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

With a flurry of Christmas albums, Canadian artists find unique ways to mark the season

Folk-rockers Whitehorse spent years fending off pressure to write a Christmas song. And yet every holiday season, the husband-and-wife duo would be circled by the head of their record label who wanted to rope them into making a holiday ditty. Radio would love it, they were told. –  David Friend, CP

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CD reviews: Out of the past

A look at strong new offerings from Canadian artists Foxwarren, Andrea Ramolo, and Art d'Ecco. – Michael Barclay, K-W Record

Review: Doug Paisley's Starter Home is a gem of an album

The Toronto singer/songwriter's new album is nine simple-but-deep tales about life and love. – Rachna Kaur, NOW

Our favourite Canadian albums of 2018

From Drake's mega album Scorpion to debut albums from R&B artist Odie and feminist hip-hop group the Sorority, we had a lot to choose from, whether we needed strength in the form of an uprising or salve for a broken heart. – CBC Music.ca

How a music academy in Nova Scotia is bringing huge artists to its little town

The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance is something of an east-coast version of the Banff Centre, plus high-sea views.  – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Dream of the ’90s is alive in Toronto

Reliving the golden age of indie rock with The Watchmen, The Lowest of the Low and more. –  Ron Johnson, Post City Toronto

What were the biggest rock songs on the radio in 2018?

After monitoring the action throughout 2018, BDS Radio has issued its lists of the most-played songs or “spins” in Canada by format.  – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things

Review: ESO brings colourful sounds to Alexander Prior’s reimagined Bach suite

The Winspear's Christmas season opened with a concert by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra featuring selections from Bach's Christmas Oratorio and a new suite of arrangements of Bach and other composers by the orchestra's chief conductor, Alexander Prior. –  Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal

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Family business: Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy and their seven children take A Celtic Family Christmas on the road

For the past six years, the MacMaster-Leahy clan has been taking to the stage to spread yuletide cheer with A Celtic Family Christmas. Increasingly, most of the couple’s children — which includes Mary Frances, Michael, Claire, Julia, Alex, Sadie, and six-month-old Maria — have been participating to various degrees. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

Roxanne Nesbitt crafts ceramics into symbiotic instruments

Her ceramic creations hold both biomorphic and sculptural interest, as if they can’t quite decide whether they belong in a natural history museum or an art gallery. But there’s more to them than just their rough-hewn aesthetic appeal; they’re also a new phylum of musical instrument. – Alex Varty, Georgia Straight

International 

DJs Get Into Streaming Revenue Mix

DJs are about to get a cut of streaming revenue, a new source of funds for artists who typically make a living performing in front of live audiences. Audio streaming service Mixcloud is rolling out subscriptions to individual creators’ channels in a bet that superfans will pony up for unlimited access to their favourite DJs’ sets. –  Anne Steele, WSJ

Why Amazon is a ‘bully’ and Facebook and Google are ‘the enemies of independent thought’

When a generation of young tech entrepreneurs leading disruptive businesses burst onto the scene, journalist/author Franklin Foer rooted for them — at first. “What they did seemed exciting and novel. It takes a while for us to realize exactly what they’ve done that’s so terrible, or what the threats are that are posed by them.”  – Eric Johnson, Recode

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'The people have been fooled': Music industry leaders deliver a scathing verdict on Brexit

Despite the minister's best assurances, music industry leaders have been vocal about the risks for their sector from Brexit. Superstars like Rod Stewart have also been vocal in their support of a second referendum on Brexit. – Oisin Lunny, Forbes

"The best artist managers are constantly learning, and constantly growing"

We speak to Andrew Gertler, a New York-based talent manager who looks after the likes of global superstar Shawn Mendes. – Dave Roberts, MBW

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Touring and talent

Hugh Jackman, sudden pop star, readies his world tour

The Australian actor/singer is set to launch a pop star-like tour next year, but he’s done his research: He’s been to a Beyoncé concert. A Justin Timberlake concert. And a Michael Jackson concert. – Mesfin Fekadu, AP

Vegas grabs Gaga, Aerosmith, Lady Antebellum in 2019

Céline Dion and Mariah Carey are getting some high-profile company in Las Vegas Strip in 2019. Lady Gaga, Aerosmith and country trio Lady Antebellum are among the new entertainers taking up residency in the vacation and convention Mecca. –  Dawn Gilbertson, USA Today

So Alone at 40

An interview with Steve Lillywhite, producer of Johnny Thunders’ solo debut, released 40 years ago and termed a punk classic. – Tim Sommer, Rockandrollglobe.com

Esa-Pekka Salonen, future music director of the San Francisco Symphony, lays out plans to disrupt the classical world

In another unexpected turn of fate for Salonen, the former visionary music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will become the next music director of the San Francisco Symphony in 2020, recruiting a “brain trust” of young talent and pushing the boundaries of music with technology like VR. – Mark Swed, LA Times

‘It’s like my legacy: Prince’s estate threatens designer of iconic 'cloud guitar'

Dave Russian, of Rusan Guitarworks, the local creator of one of Prince’s most iconic guitars, is fighting to keep his design.   –  Kate Raddatz, CBS Minneapolis

In a crowded celebrity booze market, Metallica made one worth drinking

Strap subwoofers to barrels of whiskey and you get Blackened, a liquor like none other. –  Sarah Rense, Esquire

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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