Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 6, 2019

Music Biz Headlines, Feb. 6, 2019

By Kerry Doole

In Toronto’s booming vinyl scene, record shops are finding a groove

An endangered species just a decade ago, the record shop has clawed its way off the critical list on the back of the vinyl LP’s commercial resurgence in recent years and was in thoroughly stable condition in Toronto as 2018 drew to a close. An informed bet would be that there will be more record shops on our streets, not less, at the end of 2019. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

So far, we’re kind of lost without him.’ For Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois, life goes on, but not easily

Will Ry Cooder sing Gord Downie’s eulogy? Will anyone? More than 15 months after the revered Tragically Hip frontman died of brain cancer, a significant celebration in his honour has yet to happen, or even reach the planning stages. Not that there is a rush. –Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Could this be why the Federal Competition Bureau dismissed the Ticketmaster TradeDesk case?

John sent an email with this possible explanation. “I think the reason this didn’t go anywhere is that no fixed competition has occurred. No group of companies selling the same product or service all agreed to sell at a price or margin of profit. The most recent would be Loblaw’s." – Alan Cross,

Review: Clairmont The Second stays true to his roots on Do You Drive?

The 20-year-old Toronto rapper stays on his own Weston-repping neo-soul path, regardless of current trends, and it's totally transporting. – Claudia McNeilly. NOW

Nice for what? Drake’s snubbing of the Junos says volumes about an awards body that never gets Canadian hip hop right

Drake, one of the biggest recording artists in the world, received exactly zero nominations for the 2019 Juno Awards. Juno and CARAS clearly are not on good terms with Drake. –  Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Willie Nelson offers a soothing and mellow slow-drip alternative to getting blindingly baked at 7 a.m.

Nelson is wise enough at age 86 to realize that sometimes lightweights want the benefits of cannabis without the incapacitating high. To that end, the country-music legend has just rolled out a brand of hemp-infused coffee as part of his Willie's Remedy line of wellness products.  – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Big names, bold acts fill out Edmonton's 2019 concert schedule

Cher, Snoop Dogg, Iron Maiden, Justin Timberlake, and Elton John are among the many concert highlights taking place in Edmonton in 2019. – Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal


A rush of childhood memories came back from Paul Brandt concert

Brandt visited Red Deer with Hunter Brothers, Jess Moskaluke and High Valley. – Carlie Connolly, Red Deer Express

COC’s production of Cosi fan tutte takes a very liberated, very feminist approach

It’s no wonder they’re grinning: Quickly rising Canadian opera stars Emily D’Angelo and Kirsten MacKinnon are making their high-profile returns to the Canadian Opera Company, in Atom Egoyan’s production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, onstage Feb. 5 through 23 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre. – Jenna Simeonov, Globe and Mail

Igloofest makes the most of Montreal's winter

Holding an outdoor dance music festival in the middle of winter might seem strange, but Igloofest gets it right –Michelle Da Silva,  NOW


HMV sold to Canadian mogul Doug Putman, saving 1,500 jobs

Sunrise Records owner to keep 100 of chain’s 127 stores, including four Fopp outlets. – Angela Monaghan, The Guardian

'This is a very long road ahead': Doug Putman acquires HMV, set to keep 100 stores

Doug Putman, owner of Sunrise Records and a self-confessed vinyl lover, has acquired HMV. The boss of the Canadian music chain has revealed he will keep 100 of the 127 stores open and maintain the HMV brand. Putman beat off rival bids from Mike Ashley and an HMV management team to secure control of the chain from KPMG. –  Andre Paine Music Week

Max Lousada leads Warner's recorded music business to $1BN quarter

The last quarter of 2018 was one to remember for Warner Music Group and its global head of recorded music, Max Lousada– not to mention the major’s CEO, Steve Cooper. –  Tim Ingham, MBW


Lost in the woods with James Brown's ghost

She says James Brown raped her. She also says someone murdered him. And others share Jacque Hollander’s suspicions. Twelve years after Brown’s death, nearly a dozen people who knew him are calling for an autopsy or a criminal investigation. –  Thomas Lake, CNN

Review: Elton John's fond farewell on final L.A.-area night of Yellow Brick Road retirement tour

Unless Elton John drops in any more dates to his already exhaustive three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road retirement tour, Saturday’s stop at the Forum in Inglewood will go down in the books as the finale of his nearly 49-year touring love affair with Los Angeles. – Randy Lewis, LA Times


The power of Gospel gets explored in a new documentary series

Without gospel music there never would have been an Aretha Franklin, an Elvis Presley, a Ray Charles, a James Brown, or an Al Green. The influence of African-American gospel music on early rock and soul music is the subject of The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul, a four-part documentary about gospel's influence on contemporary music. – Bruce Warren, NPR

Rolling Stones piano man talks Trump, trade and touring

As musical director for the Rolling Stones, Chuck Leavell knows a thing or two about tickling the ivories. But the legendary piano man, who’s also played with the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour, spends as much time these days trimming trees, managing a sustainable timber operation encompassing almost 4,000 acres of lob lolly, slash and long-leaf pines. – Peter Newcomb, Bloomberg

How to prevent another Fyre Festival

Sure, Billy McFarland defrauded thousands of people. But he had dozens of accomplices, witting and unwitting. Fortunately the law is catching up.  – Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou Bloomberg

Israeli government launches a new Hebrew music streaming app

'Shiri' is available free worldwide and includes more than 40,000 Hebrew songs. – Amy Spiro, Jerusalem Post

CSS Music says: "No jive, you get five" royalty-free tunes vs one from competitors

CSS Music has expanded its “You Pick ‘em Plan” by adding an additional pricing tier that allows music licensees to select and download 5 tunes from anywhere on the firm’s website. –

How a nearly 50-year-old pop tune became the perfect song for Netflix’s Russian Doll

That song is “Gotta Get Up,” the opening track from late singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson’s 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson, and its bright, infectious instrumentation belies melancholy, wistful lyrics about growing older. – Aisha Harris, New York Times

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine admits gang membership, pleads guilty

The plea was entered last week by the 22-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez. Information about it was unsealed Friday in Manhattan federal court.  – AP

Why did the State Department just spend $84,375 on a sculpture by Bob Dylan?

The purchase represents the cultural aspects of U.S. diplomacy for some and lavish and wasteful spending for others. – Robbie Grammer, Foreign Policy


The Specials: ‘Respect people. Be kind to people. What else have we got?’

On the eve of their first album in decades, 2 Tone’s finest talk to Miranda Sawyer and answer questions from readers. – The Guardian

On Alice Merton’s debut ‘Mint,’ hooks conquer fears

Her debut album “Mint” takes everything extremely seriously, from its lyrics to the placement of its hooks. – Jon Pareles, New York Times

Peter Jackson's Beatle dreams come true

From collecting low-grade bootlegs of Let It Be out-takes to directing a brand new Beatles film, Kiwi Peter Jackson's obsession with the Fab Four is genuine and deep-seated. –  Nick Bollinger, Radio NZ

Gordon Lightfoot
Country Music Association of Ontario

Gordon Lightfoot

Latest News

Music Biz Headlines: Gordon Lightfoot Honoured, Celine Dion Won't Stop

This week's compendium of stories from across Canada and beyond also includes summer concerts across Canada, the potential U.S. TikTok ban, AI and more.

Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Reunite to Pay Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall: Watch

The singer and guitarist of the immensely popular Canadian trio joined house band Blue Rodeo for a performance of "The Way I Feel," honouring the iconic singer-songwriter Lightfoot, who died last year at 84. – Rosie Long Decter, Billboard Canada

keep readingShow less