Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 3, 2020

Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock (pictured) creates an inspirational piece, Kevin Hearn probes an art fraud, and Vegas loves Shania. Others in the headlines include Destroyer, Neil Young, Ben Caplan, Juno noms, a streaming revolt, the Grateful Dead, Boston Symphony, Huey Lewis, MIA, Finneas O'Connell, Andy Gill, and Elon Musk.

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 3, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Barenaked Ladies’ Kevin Hearn bought a ‘Norval Morrisseau’ painting and ended up in the middle of an art-world feud

A long legal battle over the authenticity of a painting purportedly by the renowned Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau will have “ripple effects” on how people buy and sell art in Canada, the man behind the case said as a documentary on the saga was set to make its television debut.—  Paola Loriggio, CP

Jocelyn Morlock says her Juno-winning piece My Name is Amanda Todd ‘stands up for itself’

Fans of the American violinist Joshua Bell will arrive this week to Ottawa’s Southam Hall and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Intertwined within the established pieces is  Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock’s My Name Is Amanda Todd, an inspirational piece on the life and death of a 15-year-old native of Port Coquitlam, B.C. — Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Classical music’s great evangelist coming to Toronto to make case for Mendelssohn and more

What makes it great? The question continues to fascinate and puzzle listeners, whether the music is by Beethoven, the Beatles or anyone in between. It has also given a focus to the career of Rob Kapilow, a remarkable American musician who has attempted for upwards of 30 years to provide us with some answers. — William Littler, The Toronto Star

Shania Twain loves Las Vegas, and vice versa

The Canadian star’s residency there has revived her career. — The Los Angeles Times

Review: Destroyer's Dan Bejar conjures Y2K anxiety on Have We Met

The stream-of-consciousness songwriter set out to make "computer music" on his 13th album, but it carries his familiar strange storytelling swagger. — Samantha Edwards, NOW

Neil Young calls the MacBook Pro a ‘piece of crap’ with ‘Fisher-Price’ audio quality

Neil Young has some harsh words to describe Apple’s MacBook Pro audio quality. The long-time proponent of hi-res audio assailed the laptop for having ‘Fisher-Price’ quality audio. — Ashley King, Digital Music News

Preview: Refugee musical show hatched over pickled herring and vodka

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story has been called everything from a rock concert-theatre mash-up to a theatre-music-hybrid and the fact it defies labelling delights Ben Caplan, a Maritime musician and songwriter who helped create it. — Louis B. Hobson,  Postmedia

Disregard for rock in Juno nominations should not be seen as a snub, but as accurate reflection of the times

In 1997, Bryan Adams was in the running for the Juno Album of the Year. His record was 18 Til I Die. This year, Adams is again up for Album of the Year, for Shine a Light, a record also contending in the “adult contemporary” category. From first-pumping, arrested-teenage wasteland defiance in 1997, to relaxed-fit, soup-sipping soft rock in 2020. — Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


For Kristen Martell, the wait is over 

After a decade away from music, the singer-songwriter celebrates a sunny new sound. — Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Former Universal Germany boss thinks modern labels keep unfair amount of streaming revenue

The so-called artist streaming ‘revolt’ in Germany continues to bubble away, along with the suggestion that leading artist managers in the market have “declared war” on the music industry “with drastic consequences”.  — MBW

We need to put the health and well-being of our musicians first’: Boston Symphony Orchestra cancels East Asia tour

The 2020 tour would have featured performances in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. —

Remembering the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound: an absurd feat of technological engineering

On a night in 1974, sound engineer Stan ‘Bear’ Owsley stood alone in an empty theatre – the former Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Owsley stood before a three-story behemoth. A solid wall of over 600 speakers. A feat of engineering only he could dream of, let alone accomplish. — Luka Osborne, HappylandTV

Three hometown Grammy winners do LA proud

Local stars’ trophy haul comforts a grieving city in the wake of Kobe’s death. — Randall Roberts, The Los Angeles Times

MIA launches crowdfunding drive to avoid platforms that 'sell data to Cambridge Analytica'

The musician has promised music and videos to her Patreon supporters, and the possibility of recipes and dating advice.  — The  ian


Elon Musk drops an EDM single that will make you wish Nikola Tesla hadn't invented electricity

Musk recently dropped an EDM track called "Don't Doubt Your Vibe" via SoundCloud. Supposedly released by Emo G Records, the song has been streamed more than 931,000 times as of this writing. Okay, so maybe it isn't a spectacular failure. It just isn't very good. — John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Radio 4's Brexit music: it feels like something for a secular funeral

The BBC hired Edward Gregson to hymn our exit. He has written the embarrassed refrain of a nation resigned to misery. — Stephen Moss, The Guardian

Meet Billie Eilish’s closest and most trusted collaborator: Her brother, Finneas

The December morning that Grammy nominations were announced, Finneas O'Connell woke up early. The 22-year-old had produced and co-written all the tracks on "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" the debut full-length by his sister, Billie Eilish. —  Allison Stewart, Washington Post


Andy Gill – the NME obituary, 1956-2020: The guitar hero who made radical politics danceable

The influence of the Gang Of Four legend is beyond measure. — Mark Beaumont, NME

Huey Lewis pushes past hearing pain to keep making music

There’s mixed news when it comes to Huey Lewis these days. The good part is that the ’80s hitmaker and his band have their first new album in 19 years and a jukebox stage musical. The bad news? He might not be able to hear all of it. — Mark Kennedy, AP

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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