Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 14, 2019

Roots-rock ensemble Cuff the Duke (pictured) returns to the fray, vinyl supplier RPM closes down, a Beatles collection is stolen, and the Who announces another farewell tour. Also in the headlines are John Lennon, Lana Del Rey, Dierks Bentley, Spotify, R. Kelly, Total Gadjos, TSO, CES, Asian underground, music videos, The Masked Singer, the 1975, United Sound Systems, and Lou Reed.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 14, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Cuff the Duke reunites, cranks it up at the Rivoli

As quietly as it temporarily suspended operations a few years ago, Cuff the Duke has returned to active status in recent months without making a big fuss about it.  – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Closure of Canadian vinyl supplier RPM could raise prices, affect titles: retailers

One of Canada’s largest distributors of vinyl records has shut down with little notice – leaving some retailers scrambling to find alternate suppliers and raising questions about higher prices.  –David Friend, CP

Preview: The death of a Beatle takes centre stage in new show

John Lennon's death in 1980 rocked the world — and it's a moment that Todd Devonshire wants to do justice to in his play Monday Night.  – Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix

High priestess of sad-pop Lana Del Rey teases a new song from her upcoming Norman Fucking Rockwell

Luckily, there is something to live for today, namely a new offering from the high priestess of sad pop, Lana Del Rey. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Plane flies over label trailing banner: “RCA/Sony: Drop sexual predator R. Kelly."

National women's' group UltraViolet took to the skies to urge Sony Music and CBS Records to drop R&B music artist R. Kelly from their talent rosters amid renewed accusations of sexual predation of black girls and women. – Etan Vlessing, Samaritan

Bassist Sean Croal performs jazz as an international language

“It was great to learn about how jazz works outside of my regular circle.” - Sean Croal on studying in Finland. – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

Intersessions launch DJ residency at lululemon

Toronto DJ Chippy Nonstop is transforming the back of Lululemon's Queen West store into a mini club with CDJs for people to practice on. – Michelle Da Silva, NOW

Country music star Dierks Bentley kicks off his new tour in Hamilton

Dierks Bentley will kick off his three-month North American “Burning Man” tour on Jan. 17 at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre.  – Graham Rockingham, Spectator

$45Gs in Beatles records stolen from Ontario home

Provincial police say a collection of vintage Beatles records valued at roughly $45,000 has been stolen from a home in a community near Goderich, Ont. The collection of 26 Beatles records included a Spanish album pressed in 1964 and titled “Lost Beatles,” which police say is valued around $7,000.  – CP

Calgary's Total Gadjos punk up Eastern European folk music

There are two descriptions of the seven-piece Calgary band Total Gadjos on its FB page. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


Violinist Leila Josefowicz burns while Toronto Symphony Orchestra fiddles

The TSO presented a strong program spanning the first three decades of European music on Thursday night. It was good for feeding and feeling the tug of war between tradition and experimentation. But it fell short of that potential in its execution. – John Terauds, Toronto Star


CES is now one of the world’s biggest auto shows as Ford to Uber debut new technology

Many unusual displays at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show focused on the world of transportation rather than the TVs, smartphones and digital appliances traditionally found at CES. – Paul A. Eisenstein, CNBC

The birth of Asian underground: ‘This music was for us and by us, and that was very powerful’

Twenty years ago a new movement blending eastern sounds with electro and drum’n’bass arrived to give a generation of young British Asians a vibrant new voice. Why did it fade away so quickly? – Ammar Kalia, The Guardian

Three ways Spotify is supporting females in the music industry

The Swedish-based company has introduced some great initiatives for supporting women in the music industry, including The Equalizer Project.  – Emma Crameri, Women Love Tech

Four ways the business of music videos will transform in 2019

Artists are increasingly incorporating video and other visuals not just into their creative processes, but also into their business models from the very beginning of a project, turning to captive audiences on the likes of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and even Netflix for support. – Cherie Hu, Forbes


High Court refers music royalties dispute to Europe

The central issue for ECJ to decide is whether US performers should get royalties for Irish gigs. – Irish Times

Who are the thirsty celebs on The Masked Singer? An investigation

If you’ve turned on your TV this winter, there’s a high probability that you’ve heard of The Masked Singer. A Fox remake of the popular South Korean show, King of Mask Singer, it’s like if The Voice went on a dystopian party cruise with Yo Gabba Gabba and an episode of E! True Hollywood Story. – Lindsey Weber, Vulture

They are hoping to force internet service providers in the country to block their customers from accessing sites where people can convert the audio of a YouTube stream into an MP3 file that they can then download. – Chris Cooke, Complete Music Update


The Who plot symphonic U.S. arena tour, new studio album for 2019

Hall of Famers will team up with local symphonies for a new tour kicking off in Michigan in May. – Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

The 1975 review – pop glitz and tech trickery in a millennial arena

Blurred genres, digital anxieties and giant iPhones… the 1975 strives for the zeitgeist as they open their new UK tour.  – Kitty Empire, The Guardian

MDOT to transplant legendary Detroit recording studio for I-94 rebuild

The State transportation department bought United Sound Systems Recording Studios and its parking lot for $1.7 million. The decision was years in the making, as MDOT sought a way to avoid harming the historic property while getting I-94 rebuilt. Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis were among those to record hits there. – Annalise Frank, Crain's Detroit

Lou Reed's 'New York' at 30: Moe Tucker, Dion & bassist Fernando Saunders & more reflect

Released in the dead of winter in January '89, New York was a jagged snowball of street corner slush thrown in the face of expectations of what a Lou Reed album should sound like. – Ron Hart, Billboard

Rising artists to watch in 2019

Rwanda’s music industry has a plethora of names to keep an eye on, and their path from anonymity to stardom has never been shorter.   – Sharon Kantengwa, New Times

Lady Gaga's 'Do What U Want' sales surge after her statement against R. Kelly

Sales of Lady Gaga’s "Do What U Want," featuring R. Kelly, surged 13,720 percent in the U.S. in the wake of her breaking her silence about working with the controversial singer on the track in 2013. On Jan. 10, the song sold 2,000 downloads, according to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music. That’s up from a negligible figure the previous day. – Keith Caulfield, Billboard

Matt Barnes



New & Upcoming Canadian Album Releases: deadmau5 Returns with New EP, Hollerado's Menno Versteeg Goes Solo

Boy Golden and Begonia also have new releases this week, while Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are reissuing their solo albums.

A mid-summer release week brings some notable new releases from Canadian artists, including Oleyada andRuss Brannon. Hot off the exclusive cover story in the new Rolling Stone Quebec, deadmau5 is also back with a new release, some ep, that combines his first solo music in two years with his alter-ego Testpilot.

For Eden, meanwhile, is the second full-length from indie folk/roots songsmith Boy Golden (Liam Duncan). His debut LP, Church of Better Days, hit #1 at Canadian Alternative radio, and he has quickly become a favourite on the touring circuit. Already a Juno winner, Winnipegger Begonia turns heads with her force of nature voice, and new album Open Swim will spread the word.

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