Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 25, 2021

Joshua Hopkins (pictured) pays tribute to a slain sister, a profile of new Hall of Famer Paul Shaffer, and more on Merck Mercuriadis. Others in the headlines include Dan Hill, Autogramm, Bruce Springsteen, Spotify, CDs, Buddy Holly Hall, Ultra Music Festival, star makeovers, The Band, Brian Cadd, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 25, 2021

By FYI Staff

Opera singer Joshua Hopkins pays moving tribute to his slain sibling in Songs for Murdered Sisters

Nathalie Warmerdam was the older sister of Joshua Hopkins, the Canadian baritone who put his own grief into his craft. Hopkins conceived of a song cycle about the loss of his sister and the larger tragedy of domestic violence against women; the moving end result is Songs for Murdered Sisters, with music by American composer Jake Heggie and poetry by Canada’s authority on feminist storytelling, Margaret Atwood.– Jenna Simeonov, The Globe and Mail

Hamilton City will guarantee fair wage for musicians, says community events should follow its lead

Councillors worry that rules would extend and hurt budgets of smaller events. –Christine Rankin, CBC News

Paul Shaffer: From Thunder Bay to Letterman

The longtime sidekick to David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, talks to Ian Hanomansing about the gigs that came before Letterman, including Godspell and Saturday Night Live, and the induction of his song, It's Raining Men, into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. – CBC The National


Hill’s Songwriter’s award a reflection of lifelong achievements

When you think of Dan Hill, you inevitably think of his global hit record, “Sometimes When We Touch. But when Hill was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame this month,  he could also cite credits that also include being an accomplished author, journalist and social activist spokesperson (Artists Against Racism) to complement his recording and songwriting talents.–  Keith Sharp, Music Express

Autogramm gets a little bit dirty while paying detailed tribute to the past in video for "No Rules"

The first single and title track off the band’s upcoming sophomore album, “No Rules” finds Autogramm sounding more dirtied up, claustrophobic, and distorted than 2018’s What R U Waiting 4? And who can blame the trio of Jiffy Marx, C.C. Voltage, and the Silo, given the past year has at times seemed like an endlessly looped nightmare on almost every front?–  Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Musicians forced off the stage by Covid make music in their own way

When Covid hit Ontario and the first provincial state of emergency shuttered venues for the arts, one might say it was the day live music died. It’s a grim landscape but, as one musician says, when you have a musical talent you will find a way to use it. The bills have to be paid too. Three Toronto musicians told the Star how they’ve been making music. – Bruce Bradley, Toronto Star



What the major record companies really think about music streaming

Senior executives from Spotify, Apple and Amazon were grilled live on camera by British politicians this week in the final session of a UK Parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming. In recent weeks, the UK arms of the major record companies – Universal Music UK, Sony Music UK, and Warner Music UK – have filed written submissions with this Parliamentary Committee, setting out their views on a number of streaming’s most fiercely-debated talking points. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Meet music’s most hated man -And its top deal maker

Songwriters from Dylan to Shakira are cashing in on the buying frenzy started by Merck Mercuriadis at Hipgnosis. His investors should only be so lucky.– Maddie Berg, Forbes 

Investment funds forcing artists to name their price is...not a great idea

To publicly slap something as gauche and grasping as a price-tag on a collection of music cooked up with pain and love and magic over the course of a career? Such things leave an acrid taste in the mouths of most musical creators – not to mention leaving them red-faced – and Merck Mercuriadis knows it. – Tim Ingham, MBW 


Nearly one track per second is uploaded to Spotify

The mind-boggling amount of music being uploaded to Spotify continues to get even more mind-boggling. As part of Spotify’s ‘Stream On’ event on Monday (February 22), the company confirmed that more than 60,000 new tracks are now being ingested by its platform every single day. The figure means Spotify is seeing a new track uploaded to its platform every 1.4 seconds. – MBW

Three trends that will shape the rest of 2021, and beyond

These are our three identified disruptive themes that will flow from the Immersive Web: “The immersive web is characterised by environments in which we do not simply conduct extensions of in-real-life activity (e-commerce, video calls) but ones that create behaviours and relationships that only, and can only, exist within these environments. Apps and platforms like Roblox, TikTok and Discord are early iterations of the immersive web, but merely hint at what will come.”  – Mark Mulligan, MIDIA

5 reasons why CDs need to return 

An indie artist who sells their CD’s online or at their shows can make almost all profit from a CD they sell minus the cost of manufacturing. There are other reasons to be pro-CD.  Mike Perez, Audio Arkitekts


The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences prepares for its official debut

The City of Lubbock is home to a brand new, state-of-the-art performance venue, The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences. The new 218K sq ft venue, which is slated to officially open in the summer of 2021, was designed by the Toronto firm of Diamond Schmitt. – Ian Courtney, Celebrity Access

The soundtrack of history: How Black music has shaped American culture through time

Music and the performing arts have not only entertained the masses; they have also served to document history ― from early American music like ragtime and jazz to R&B and hip-hop and several genres in between. – MSNBC

Why pop stars are having prosthetic makeovers

From Taylor Swift to The Weeknd, more and more musicians are changing their appearance in radical ways. It's all part of a new age of human transformation, writes Emma Madden.– BBC

Man sentenced for concert investment scheme

A Florida man, Edison Denizard, was sentenced Monday to four years and nine months in federal prison for his part in a multimillion-dollar concert investment scheme. According to court documents, Denizard and co-conspirator Andres Fernandez raised millions of dollars from dozens of victims. they believed that they were investing in events by top artists, including Drake, Garth Brooks, Pitbull, and The Weeknd, but Denizard was not actually involved in most of the events, officials said. – AP

Miami’s Ultra Music Festival rescheduled for 2022

Sorry, electronic music fans, no Ultra Music Festival this year in Miami. Organizers posted on Twitter that given the current status of the pandemic, in relation to mass gatherings and public health considerations, they have to cancel this year's edition. –CBS Miami

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet who nurtured the Beats, dies at 101

An unapologetic proponent of “poetry as insurgent art,” he was also a publisher and the owner of the celebrated San Francisco bookstore City Lights. – New York Times

German band turn van into club so fans can rock out one at a time

German two-piece rock band Milliarden have turned a van into a club where they stage gigs for one fan at a time as a way of reaching music-lovers during the pandemic. Separated by a plastic sheet, Milliarden treat fans to acoustic versions of their songs, recreating a club atmosphere with lighting effects, posters and plastic roses. Large cultural events, including concerts, have become virtually impossible in Germany due to the pandemic. – Reuters


How The Band’s Music From Big Pink opened the mind of Brian Cadd

The Band’s 1968 ‘Music From Big Pink’ was a life-changing recording for Australian singer-songwriter Brian Cadd. After hearing an early preview of the album in London in early 1968 Brian’s songwriting changed forever. – Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Black, female, and carving out their own path in country music

Five singer-songwriters discuss the challenges of becoming the change they want to see in a famously homogeneous segment of the music industry. – Sarah Rodman, The New York Times

DWI charges dropped against Bruce Springsteen, who pleads guilty to just drinking in the park

Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he imbibed alcohol at New Jersey's Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, despite knowing it was prohibited. The plea came after federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges that Springsteen was operating a vehicle under the influence and driving recklessly, charges Assistant US Attorney Adam Baker said the government would not be able to prove. – Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN


Canadian Artists Were Discovered More Than 3 Billion Times on Spotify Last Year

Following the release of its Loud & Clear streaming data report last month, the major streaming service has shared new findings about how Canadians are faring on its platform. The data comes as Spotify faces criticism of its new royalty model.

Canadian artists are getting discovered on Spotify.

The streaming service has shared new data about how Canadians are faring on the platform, highlighting that Canadian artists were discovered 3.8 billion times last year. 4,500 Canadian artists were added to Spotify's editorial playlists.

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