Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 28, 2020

The Hip’s Gord Sinclair (pictured) goes solo, rave reviews for the new Caribou album, and a look at star composer Mychael Danna. Others in the headlines include Compact Music, Stars, Clinton's, Enter the Haggis, Séance Centre, streaming revenues, Blood Blast Distribution, Nashvlle, Kelly Clarkson, Public Enemy, Peter Green, Best Coast, and Jay-Z.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 28, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Tragically Hip bassist Gord Sinclair releases debut solo album, Taxi Dancers

Calling himself a “reluctant solo artist,” bassist Gord Sinclair is nevertheless the first member of the Tragically Hip to release new music since the death in 2017 of the band’s iconic frontman Gord Downie. The album is Taxi Dancers. Some musicians are born to solo, some achieve solo and some have solo thrust upon them. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Downtown music store to close, making way for a pot shop

Compact Music is the city’s longest-running independent music retailer, with a primary location in the Glebe that’s been a fixture since the mid-1990s. Owner Ian Boyd jokes that it’s now going to pot. – Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen


Indie music darling Caribou’s Dan Snaith is more himself than ever

The new Caribou record is called Suddenly, but there’s nothing sudden about the career of its sole member, Dan Snaith, who started out making ambient electronic music in his bedroom in Dundas, Ont., in the late nineties. – Michael Barclay, The Globe and Mail

Caribou: Suddenly review – perfectly imperfect pop

Dan Snaith’s project returns after five years away to confront grief and family, beautifully warping songs that are drenched in melody. 5 out of 5 stars. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Mychael Danna is the man behind the music and a billion-dollar composer

Canadian Mychael Danna may be the leading proponent of musical multiculturalism in film music. An Oscar winner for “Life of Pi,” an Emmy winner for “World Without End,” composer of scores as diverse as “Moneyball” and “Girl Interrupted,” he often blends ethnic sounds with a traditional orchestra in ways that few would dare attempt. – Jazz Tangcay, Variety

Clinton's staff still hopeful for the bar's return

At Choir! Choir! Choir!'s benefit for the long-running tavern/music venue at Lee's Palace, the staff gave thanks for the support of their community while holding out hope for its future. – NOW

Canadian indie rock band Stars goes after Spotify for unfair artist royalty rate

"Hey @spotify could you take down the new album by some other band called Stars that is presently on our page and that you are promoting as our new album?," they wrote on the platformrecently. "Hundreds of cents are at stake." –


18 Vancouver concerts this weekend, February 28 to March 1

From Thundercat to The Paperboys, a varied slate on offer. – Steve Newton Georgia Straight

Enter the Haggis brings their Celtic-infused music to Aeolian Hall

Just the name evokes the drone and wail of bagpipes that will be welcomed at London’s Aeolian Hall Wednesday, March 4 when Toronto’s Enter the Haggis makes their annual stop. – Joe Belanger, London Free Press

Toronto label Séance Centre opens retail and event space on Geary

The reissue-focused record label is also launching Mixed Signals, an imprint dedicated to unearthing “eccentric dance music." – Jesse Locke, NOW


Streaming revenues topped $1BN in Germany last year

After a period of decline, recorded music revenues in Germany bounced back last year, growing by 8.2% in 2019 to hit €1.623 billion ($1.82bn) on a retail basis. Contributing to that 2019 growth, according to figures published by the German Music Industry Association BVMI, was a 27% increase in audio streaming. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Streaming is getting bigger in Japan

Japan cemented its status as the world’s second-biggest recorded music market last year, generating $2.75bn for the industry across physical, digital, audio and video music products.The big story in the country in 2019, aside from a slight dip in these overall revenues (to 299.76bn Yen) was the rise of streaming services. – Tim Ingham, MBW

As Paul Rosenberg departs, Def Jam has a dilemma


A presumptive narrative behind his exit centred around the straightforward idea that he simply could not continue running the label while his biggest non-Def Jam client was in the midst of a tremendous commercial comeback. – Forbes

Believe and Nuclear Blast team up to launch Blood Blast Distribution 'dedicated to extreme music'

Blood Blast Distribution is described as “the first worldwide digital distribution offer[ing] dedicated to extreme music”. Blood Blast provides distribution to over 200 digital streaming and download platforms, while bands and artists will benefit from expert support from the Nuclear Blast team. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Soundtrack City: How Nashville is awash in film, game scores

Nashville is already known as Music City, but a new wave of music being recorded there for video games, TV shows and movies could earn it a new title as Soundtrack City. – Kristin M. Hall, AP


Kelly Clarkson to host 2020 Billboard Music Awards

Kelly Clarkson is returning as the host of the Billboard Music Awards for the third year in a row. The pop star and daytime talk show host will keep the trains running on time at the 2020 BBMA, slated to air live from Las Vegas on April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. – Gil Kaufman, Billboard

Jay-Z files second lawsuit against 'barbaric' Mississippi prison

Acting on behalf of 152 inmates, the rapper and mogul argues prisoners’ constitutional rights are being violated. – The Guardian

Here's the epic setlist from the Peter Green tribute show

David Gilmour, Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons,  guitarist Kirk Hammett, Pete Townshend and Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher joined forces for an all-star tribute to legendary Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green on February 25). The show, at the London Palladium, was organised by Mick Fleetwood.  – Dave Everley loudersound

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino on living, and touring, sober: ‘I feel very powerful’

It’s been a hectic week for Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. She’s had little time to savour the reception to her first album in five years, “Always Tomorrow,” as she’s geared up for the international tour that begins a few days. – Andrea Domanick, LA Times

Public Enemy to perform at Bernie Sanders' Los Angeles rally

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will be hosting a rally in Los Angeles on Sunday (Mar. 1), and Public Enemy is set to perform. Comedian Sarah Silverman and beloved actor Dick Van Dyke will also take part in the event. – Rania Aniftos, Billboard

Iron Butterfly's Doug Ingle performs at the Fillmore East on February 1, 1969 in New York City.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Iron Butterfly's Doug Ingle performs at the Fillmore East on February 1, 1969 in New York City.


Obituaries: Iron Butterfly's Doug Ingle, Disney Film Songwriter Richard M. Sherman

This week we also acknowledge the passing of Train bassist Charlie Colin and Jon Wysocki, founding member and drummer of Staind.

Doug Ingle, singer/keyboardist who co-founded the heavy rock band Iron Butterfly, died on May 24, at age 78. A cause has not been reported.

"Ingle, writer of Iron Butterfly’s signature song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, was the last surviving member of the group’s classic lineup, which was formed in San Diego in 1966. Drummer Ron Bushy died in 2021 at age 79, bassist Lee Dornan passed in 2012 at age 70, and guitarist Erik Brann died in 2003 at age 52," Billboard's obituary notes.

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