Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 21, 2018

Barenaked Ladies slam-dunk the national anthem, a new wave of African-Canadian pop music emerges, and Neil Young discusses Pono. Also in the headlines are Folk Alliance, women in country, Come From Away, Troker, Enter Sikari, Jon Erickson, Yoko Ono, Willie Nelson, John Lydon, and Sarah Harmer.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 21, 2018

By Kerry Doole

The Barenaked Ladies did their country proud, as they performed Canada’s national anthem ahead of the NBA All-Star Game

The four men, who will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, delivered a sweet a capella rendition of “O Canada"  –  Jason Brow, Hollywood Life

Introducing a new wave of African-Canadian pop music

Emerging artists seek to push past traditional genre boundaries, aiming for pop charts and dance clubs  –  Michael Barclay, Globe and Mail

Music industry struggles to shake ugly legacy of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll

Allegations of sexual misconduct swirling around Hedley have put the spotlight on an industry long defined by the mantra of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, but the likes of Melissa Auf der Maur and July Talk's Leah Fay believe a powerful sea change is already well underway – Canadian Press


Neil Young says the labels killed Pono

It took over a year for him to finally come out and say why his Pono player failed in the marketplace –, Chicago Tribune

Folk Alliance International Turns 30 With Pride, Protest and Diversity

2,700 artists and businesspersons gathered for the 2018 edition of FAI, the most diverse and untamed conference on the roots music calendar. Those impressing included Canadians The Small Glories and Jayme Stone – Craig Havighurst,

Women of Country are battling for a place at the table

The latest edition of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” tour comes as women in country music are battling on several fronts: They struggle to get signed to major labels and to get played on the radio. In country music, radio is still the key to everything... –  Allison Stewart, Chicago Tribune

Come From Away takes off in Toronto production

With sustained critical praise and box office draws and the official seal of approval from our U.S. neighbours, the opening matinee audience cheered with unabashed pride –  Carly Magda, Toronto Star

Troker left home to truly make it in Mexico

The instrumental outfit has gradually established itself as one of Mexico’s most lauded musical exports, winning raves around the world  –  Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Is Toronto a harsh city for opening bands?

We put that question to a handful of musicians, promoters and fans –  Suzanne Andrew, NOW

Enter Shikari wants The Spark to start fires

The band has released its seventh album, titled The Spark, and found itself once again in the U.K. charts and generating a buzz. Not only for its music, mind you –   Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun


Jon Erickson still gets excited working with Canadian music legends

He has mixed  the sound for the likes of The Tragically Hip and Bruce Cockburn –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

New Willie Nelson album arriving just in time for country icon's 85th birthday

 “Last Man Standing” is scheduled for release on April 27, two days before the revered country music singer and songwriter turns 85 – Randy Lewis, LA Times

Yoko Ono's view from The Riverbed

Conceptual-art giant underlines that her creation at the Gardiner Museum means ‘everyone has a voice in the work' –   Murray Whyte, Toronto Star

John Lydon: 'I didn’t want to be a comfortable, Mick Jagger-type naughty pop star'

From the Sex Pistols to the various iterations of PiL, via collaborations with Afrika Bambaataa and Leftfield, the legend, innovator and butter salesman picks the best of his output in the latest instalment of our songbook series –   Dave Simpson, The Guardian

Between the Acts: Sarah Harmer on recording a new album at a relaxed pace

"I've been making a record this past year, on and off. I could stand to have some rust knocked off me," the singer says –   Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

The Weeknd with Metro Boomin and Future
@metroboomin Instagram

The Weeknd with Metro Boomin and Future

Rb Hip Hop

The Weeknd Spotted at Kendrick Lamar's 'Pop Out' Concert in Los Angeles

Unlike former Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan, the Scarborough-born artist never got onstage, but he was in the audience of the show that featured Drake diss tracks 'Not Like Us' and 'Euphoria.'

Kendrick Lamar took over the internet last night (June. 19) with his "Pop Out" concert live-streamed on Prime Video from the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. If it wasn't clear Kendrick had won public opinion in his beef with Drake, it was when the stage united cultural figures from L.A. — from up-and-comers to legends like Dr. Dre, basketball stars like Russell Westbrook, even someone Drake name-dropped in one of his diss tracks, DJ Mustard — to dance along to the scathing "Not Like Us."

DeMar DeRozan, the beloved former Toronto Raptor who was once close enough to Drake that he spilled the beans on an upcoming mixtape joined fellow L.A.-born NBA player Westbrook onstage at the Forum during "Not Like Us."

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