Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 15, 2018

ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons faces flak Down Under, and Shane MacGowan's peers help celebrate his 60th. Also in the headlines are Swedish pop, Eric Clapton, The Launch, the Sam's sign, Nude Party, Marker Starling, and Cold Specks.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 15, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Billy Gibbons Australian tour was falsely promoted

The ZZ Top guitarist's Down Under trek was an unmitigated disaster, and he claims this was not his fault  – Paul Cashmere,

Bruised, bloody but unbowed: the songs of Shane MacGowan will outlast us all

As the leader of the Pogues turns 60, friends and fans gather to celebrate his musical legacy – as well as his miraculous power of survival – Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian

The other Stockholm syndrome

Sweden's capital has infiltrated global pop music for decades, and is now responsible for the shape of the genre. But what's behind the small Scandinavian country's dominance? – Josh O'Kane, The Globe and Mail

Toronto’s gloriously tacky Sam the Record Man sign shines on

Too much of this city's history involves forgetting — bulldozing the past without leaving so much as a marker to remind us –  Edward Keenan, Toronto Star


"I sabotaged everything": Eric Clapton

The guitar hero says he's disgusted by his 'fascist' and 'chauvinistic' past shown in a new no holds barred film about his life  –

Vanishing music venues: a progress report

From investing in music hubs to reviewing Toronto's music city partnership with Austin, these are the threads to follow across the venue crisis this year – Michael Rancic, NOW

********, ∆, †‡† ... the most unpronounceable band names ever

Whether it’s a marketing gimmick or a way to stop anyone ever talking about your band, musicians are rejecting random nouns in favour of punctuation and ancient languages – Ben Thomas, The Guardian

Spotify’s unusual IPO came at the perfect time

If Spotify’s non-IPO goes forward this spring, it will be unusual in that it will be a “direct listing,” wherein the current shareholders will sell their shares directly to the retail-investing public on the NYSE, vs. to institutional investors – Kyle Jensen,

Canadian Singing Competition ‘The Launch’ Sees Out-the-Gate Success on iTunes

Scott Borchetta is lead mentor on the CTV series which celebrated its first No. 1 just two days after the Jan. 10 premiere on CTV – M.A. Angermiller, Variety

How to make gadgets great again

A sad cycle has overtaken the gadget business. It starts this week at CES, tech’s biggest annual convention, where inventors compete to connect the most random things to the Internet. This year’s “smart” stuff includes pillows, air fresheners and even toilets –  Geoffrey Fowler, Washington Post


A sad South by Southwest showing leaves one wondering if Vancouver's pricing out its indie musicians

One of the current popular narratives in Vancouver is that the city is becoming increasingly inhospitable to those interested in making art for a living. Only three acts from the city are heading to SXSW – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Country's Gord Bamford, pleased to be a north star

His U.S. ambitions gone, the singer-songwriter is touring the nation that inspired his anthem-in-waiting on a new album – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Saskatoon Threshold Singers bring comfort to people nearing the end of their life

The group's  mission is to sing to those on the threshold between living and dying  – Darlene Polachic, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Trap producer Vanic kicks off a cross-Canada tour in Toronto

His breakout success over the past 12 months recently hit the pages of Forbes  – trc

The resonating wit of No, It’s Fine

Cailen Pygott’s honest and funny indie rock makes this Halifax band one to follow – Tara Thorne, The Coast

Freaky garage-rockers Nude Party laugh at convention

The American band is mostly clothed these days, but the retro-psychedelic sound lets it all hang out –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Marker Starling: your favourite musician's favourite musician

We talk to the Toronto songwriter about his following among other musicians, then we talk to some other musicians about him – Richard Trapunski, NOW


Cold Specks is just warming up

On the heels of a hectic year, the tough-to-pin-down Toronto artist comes home for a new creative – and astrological – era  – Carly Lewis, Globe and Mail

Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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