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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 10, 2022

Adele (pictured) triumphs at the BRITS, Neil Young renews his attack on Spotify, and Bill King’s book gets a rave review in LA. Also in the headlines are Hugh’s Room, Tanya Tagaq, the CD revival, Will Butler, Chalcedony, Royal City Studios, Warner Chappell, Travis Scott, Linda Lindas, Led Zeppelin, Caetano Veloso, Glastonbury, and Bob Dylan.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 10, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Long road to recovery for Quebec’s cultural sector after Covid-19 shutdowns

Quebec’s theatres and concert halls are able to reopen to the public this week, but leaders in the industry say it will be a long road back to normalcy for a sector that is grappling with successive Covid-19 closures and rising mental health concerns. – Morgan Lowrie,  CP


Tanya Tagaq says her patience has run out for ‘complacent’ Canadians

Tanya Tagaq says her new album “Tongues” is a reminder to Canadians they can no longer “turn their head” to the atrocities inflicted on Indigenous Peoples. – David Friend, CP

Hugh’s Room gets a $2.2-million lifeline from the city

Toronto City Council approved a loan guarantee of up to $2.2 million on Thursday, paving the way for the non-profit arts organization to buy a new venue. – Joshua Chong, Toronto Star

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Review: Talk! Volume 3: American Music By Bill King

Talk! Volume 3: American Music is the type of book where one can consume a chapter or two at a time, it is also difficult to put down once one starts. Even those who are jazz experts will find much to learn from these interviews, each of which gives one a colorful glimpse of the humanity of these brilliant musicians. – Scott Yanow,  LA Jazz Scene

Arcade Fire’s Will Butler on Spotify: “I feel confident holding Joe Rogan’s dumb-assery against him”

"New ways of doing business are destroying the possibility of a creative middle class" - Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Will Butler has penned an op-ed piece in which he discusses the issues surrounding Spotify and its current situation with Joe Rogan. – Will Richards, NME

Neil Young takes aim at Spotify CEO, big banks

Young has asked employees of Spotify Technology SA to quit their jobs while urging people to withdraw their money from big American banks, in protests over coronavirus misinformation and climate change. Young, in a statement on his website, criticized the music streaming platform’s chief executive officer, Daniel Ek, saying he was the main problem. – Reuters

Digital culture fails to pay artists, says new UNESCO report

The creative industries around the world lost 10 million jobs in 2020, a UNESCO report estimates, with artists’ incomes collapsing even as digital consumption of culture rises. The report, issued Tuesday in Paris but initiated before the pandemic, covers the impact of Covid-19 closings on the arts but is more broadly concerned with artists’ incomes. – Kate Taylor, Globe & Mail

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On Our Radar: Time becomes something to think about in Chalcedony's winningly vulnerable "Permanent Marker"

Chalcedony's debut EP— Do You Really Wanna Know What the Fuck Goes On Inside My Head—arrives this spring. Chances are you know singer-guitarist Chalcedony and bassist Gillian Callander from their previous tours of duty in the Vancouver indie underground, including stints with Junior Major and Joyce Collingwood. –  Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight 

Guelph studio offers free rehearsal space to local musicians to prep for live gigs again

Royal City Studios in Guelph is helping local musicians prepare for live gigs again by offering free studio space until Feb. 14. Owner Jim Duffield explains why. – Craig Norris, CBC

International

The 3 major music companies jointly generated over $20BN last year 

MBW crunches the 2021 numbers, and discovers a banner year for music's biggest players. – MBW

Warner Chappell: Spotify, Google and Amazon are paying songwriters an "appallingly low" rate in the US 

The US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is currently conducting proceedings to determine the mechanical royalty rate that music streaming services will pay songwriters for the five years between 2023 and 2027. On Feb. 7,  in a letter sent to Warner Chappell Music songwriters, and obtained by MBW, WCM Co-Chair and CEO Guy Moot, and COO Carianne Marshall call the proceedings a “critical moment” for songwriters, and urge them to “raise awareness around this important issue” over the coming months. – Murray Stassen, MBW

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Reasons to abandon Spotify that have nothing to do with Joe Rogan

Spotify has come to feel odiously indispensable, but you can still do the old-fashioned thing and buy an album. It is good to see Spotify suffer, at least in the short term. The Swedish streaming service has fostered a music-distribution model that is singularly hostile to the interests of working musicians. – Alex Ross, New Yorker

Rock band to release 1,000-track album of 30-second songs to protest Spotify royalty rate

The Pocket Gods' '1000×30 – Nobody Makes Money Anymore' riffs on the fact that a Spotify stream is registered after 30 seconds of a song. – Will Richards, NME

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Snoop Dogg acquires Death Row Records

The hit rapper has acquired the brand of Death Row Records, his former label, and is expected to acquire music rights soon. – Jem Aswad, Variety

‘Working class people are getting priced out’: cost-of-living crisis spreads to live music

Prices for big gigs such as Billie Eilish and Harry Styles are sky high – and a combination of Brexit, Covid and ticket touts means they aren’t likely to fall. –The Guardian

‘Queen of the BRITs’ Adele wins big at British music awards

Chart-topping superstar Adele won the top three prizes at the BRIT Awards on Tuesday, in the first genderless edition of Britain’s annual pop music honours. – Reuters

Kylie Jenner announces birth of second child with Travis Scott

Kylie Jenner revealed news of the birth of her second child with rapper Travis Scott in a post Sunday on social media – with a blue heart indicating it’s a boy. – AP

After dealing with racist, sexist boys, the Linda Lindas fire off a first salvo from upcoming full-length Growing Up

When the Los Angeles-based Linda Lindas went from area obscurity to instant YouTube sensation last year, it was hard not to feel like the quartet would be a one and done. Don’t feel bad if you were one of the doubters despite cranking up “Racist, Sexist Boy” every time it came up on a post-riot-girrrl Apple Music playlist. – Georgia Straight

A Critic at Large: Led Zeppelin gets into our soul

The musicians were diabolically bad as people, and satanically good as performers. – James Wood, New Yorker

Michael Eavis on Glastonbury 2022: “It’s going to be the best show ever”

He also revealed that the headliners for next year's Glastonbury are already in place. – Elizabeth Aubrey, NME

Girl from the North Country review – Bob Dylan jukebox musical sings with stellar cast

Girl from the North Country is set at the lakeside port of Duluth, Minnesota. But the sign may as well read: “Welcome to McPherson Country”. The show has found its groove in Sydney. – Jason Blake, The Guardian

I’m onboard with the CD revival – it might become punkest music format out there

Are the allegedly indestructible discs really due a comeback back to rival that of vinyl? Our columnist hopes so – for his own sake. – Mark Beaumont, NME

How Caetano Veloso revolutionized Brazil’s sound and spirit

The musician’s political persecution pushed him into a career he was never sure he wanted. – the New Yorker

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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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