Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 9, 2019

BC punk legend Joe Keithley (pictured) does good on Council, drones create a buzz at concerts, and Drake shows off his new mansion. Others in the headlines include Justin Bieber, John Armstrong, the Elmo, SSO, Willie Nelson, U2, The Stones, David Byrne, Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X, The Pixies, and John Legend.

Music Biz Headlines, Dec. 9, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Drones on the rise to light big concerts like Celine Dion and Drake, but are they here to stay?

There’s a buzz around Celine Dion these days, and we’re not talking her new album, Courage. For her current tour, during the epic ballad My Heart Will Go On, more than 100 micro drones rise from the stage like so many fireflies as the singer raises her arms. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Where I record: Ashley Pringle’s Arrangements 

The EP influenced by Weezer’s debut should be on your shortlist of 2019’s top albums. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Burnaby punk legend, councillor collecting instruments for a rocking Christmas

Harmony for All, created by Burnaby Coun. and local punk legend Joe Keithley, aims to connect Burnaby youth who can't afford instruments or lessons with opportunities to play music. – Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun


Once accused of racism, Justin Bieber wants fans to fight hate

This holiday season, Justin Bieber is urging fans to fight the good fight. The “Baby” singer took to social media Wednesday to reflect on hurtful things he’s said in the past and encouraged his fans to follow suit. – Dorany Pineda, LA Times

Drake just showed off his new Toronto mansion

Drake's Bridle Path mansion took years to build, but construction has been completed, and the Toronto rapper has offered fans a sneak peek of his home on Instagram. – Norm Li, Blog TO

John Armstrong and the (New) Modernettes: Of sloth, tenacity, celebrity, and a special syringe

Ask Armstrong about the apparent teenaged status of some of his unreleased songs, and he has news for you. – Allan MacInnis, Georgia Straight

This is Christmas music that broadens horizons and melts hearts

Music inspired by the shepherds of Southern Italy and Sicily is the sweetly beating heart of one of the finest concerts to be offered so far this season in Toronto. – John Terauds, The Star 

Historic Toronto music venue El Mocambo will be reopening early next year

The fate of one of Toronto's most iconic music venues has been uncertain for many years, but it seems El Mocambo is finally set to reopen in the near future. – Boris T, Blog TO

SSO performance a Christmas miracle-level opportunity for Elly Thorn

It's been a year of serendipity for Thorn — and performing with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra provided the perfect ending. – Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix


Toronto subway busker stunned by sweet Christmas payday

Mo Guzman, 26, a full-time busker for five years, told he was 'shocked and surprised' when people started dropping $20, $50, and 100 dollar notes in his guitar case at King Station in Toronto. – Cillian O'Brien, CTVNews


U2 tops Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran as highest-grossing touring artist of the decade

 U2 topped the Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift as the top-grossing touring artist of the 2010s, according to data from Pollstar. The band grossed more than a billion dollars — US$1,038,104,132, to be exact — although that number is likely to grow, as the group is currently on its “Joshua Tree 2019” tour in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. – Variety

The myth of recorded music’s ‘Long Tail’

On paper, The Long Tail theory looked great and was quickly adopted by the music and tech industries as absolute truth. Unfortunately, economists have since determined that the theory really had no basis in reality. — Bobby Owsinski, CelebrityAccess Encore

‘Let It Bleed’: Why the Stones’ nastiest masterpiece feels right on time

Their 1969 classic remains the band’s darkest LP, and that’s why it sounds perfect right now. – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone 

The 2019 best original song contenders playlist

Without a big, live-action musical to drive the original-song conversation (see A Star Is Born, The Greatest Showman, La La Land, etc.), it looks as if a big, animated one has drawn the task. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s suite of character songs for Frozen 2 includes two strong contenders for nominations, with several others worthy of consideration. – Michael Ordoña, LA Times


Pop culture: restoring Namibia's forgotten resistance music

There is a rich history of 20th-century music in Namibia that was suppressed and all but erased by political forces. Now an archive project called Stolen Moments - Namibian Music History Untold is restoring it to the public domain. –The Africa News

'We can better ourselves': David Byrne reveals his definition of utopia

The legendary Talking Heads frontman takes a message of hope to Broadway. – CBC Radio · 

Sundance sets lineup with Taylor Swift, ‘Tesla,’ ‘Downhill’

A documentary on Taylor Swift will kick off the next Sundance Film Festival, set for Jan. 23-Feb. 2, in Utah. – Jake Coyle, AP


Lil Nas X on coming out: ‘I wanted to be someone people are proud of’

The biggest gay pop star in the world opens up. – Gerrick D. Kennedy, LA Times

Musical Arts Institute exposes South Side kids to all kinds of music

Right off the Dan Ryan Expressway, near 92nd Street, you’ll hear some sweet sounds: perhaps an aria or a violin concerto or a jazz riff. It all comes from talented students at a school that enriches its South Side community. – CBS Chicago

An intimate evening with Pixies

Indie legends Pixies weren’t the biggest-selling band of the alt-rock era, but they were among the most respected and influential. They are still a force to be reckoned with as they showed in spades on Monday night. – Matt Miner, LA Weekly

John Legend: A phenomenally successful singer-songwriter and social justice campaigner, or a preachy virtue-signaller?

Ryan Bradley meets John Legend to find out more about the man who passes Donald Trump off. – The Observer

Put down the Grim Reaper bong. Despite reports to the contrary, Willie Nelson is still getting blindingly ripped

Nelson is still getting ripped to the tits; he’s just not doing it while hitting blunts the size of a sperm whale. – Mike Usinger Georgia Straight 

My Chemical Romance: Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Each Sunday, we take an in-depth look at a significant album from the past. Today, we revisit the My Chemical Romance’s second album, an operatic pop-rock behemoth that became an icon for outcasts.  –  Arielle Gordon,Pitchfork

Algorithm to complete Beethoven's unfinished symphony

For the 250th birthday of the German composer, a complete performance will be given of what an algorithm predicts his final symphony would have sounded like.  It is to be performed in April by a full orchestra. – Deutsche Welle

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending June 13, 2024

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending June 13, 2024

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and year-to-date comparisons to last year.

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and YTD with comparisons to last year. This chart is published every Tuesday. The abbreviation "TEA" is a term used to describe the sale of music downloads or singles. A track equivalent album is equal to 10 tracks, or 10 songs.