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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 18, 2019

Star couple Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk (pictured) are profiled in a new documentary, concern over Canada's new Minister of Justice's view of copyright, and Spotify's Preferred Distributors list. Also in the headlines are Dear Evan Hansen, John Werner, PUP, Duke Robillard, Call Me Mildy, Carl Morey, Cory Weeds, Putin, Bitfury, Country Music Critics’ Poll, Chris Cornell, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Drake, Soulja Boy, and Jackie Shane.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 18, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk put their marriage under a microscope in a new documentary

With 20 years of marriage under their belts, Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk have faced plenty of moments of joy and pain. Now, the Canadian superstar couple is putting their marriage under the microscope in their new, deeply personal documentary “I’m Going To Break Your Heart."  – Rachel West, ET Canada


Dear Evan Hansen cast announced

A Stratford Festival favourite, a Torontonian who launched her career in the U.K., and an Ottawa-born country singer and actress are part of the cast of the first international production of Dear Evan Hansen, coming to Toronto in March.  – Carly Maga, Toronto Star

Appointment of Canada's new Minister of Justice raises concerns about copyright reform

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed David Lametti as Minister of Justice and Attorney General. The MP and former law professor once wrote in a paper that file sharing “is not necessarily theft, piracy or even wrong.”  – Karen Bliss, Billboard

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John Werner on the Furies, the Pack, Theatre of Hate, and the Vancouver–U.K. punk migration

John Werner seems a quiet, unassuming man. He arrives at Continental Coffee on Main Street nicely dressed, soft-spoken, and bearing a bag of items for show-and-tell, including seven inches by U.K. punk band the Pack and an LP by the Straps, all of which he appears on.  – Allan MacInnis, Georgia Straight

Duke Robillard to bring his lifelong lessons in the blues to Calgary

Duke Robillard’s appreciation for big-band music began when he was a toddler. This is not an apocryphal tale created to help mythologize a bluesman’s backstory. The 70-year-old musician has a clear recollection of it.  – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

PUP to bring Morbid Stuff "Tour-Pocalypse" to Danforth Music Hall

The band's hometown show leads this week's list of just-announced Toronto concerts. Also: Mac DeMarco, The Who, Bryan Ferry, Ex Hex, Priests and more.  –  Staff, NOW

Regina blues-rocker Call Me Mildy 'reaping the benefit' of the Internet to find fans

While some musicians lament the technological changes that have changed their industry, Greg Mildenberger is not one of them.   – Ashley Martin, Regina Leader-Post

10 things to do in Edmonton this week

Options from Jan. 17-23 include KaldrSaga, the Odds, and Miss Teen.  – Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal

Former professor Carl Morey taught students - and the public - the joys of music

Carl Morey loved the sound of the human voice and spent his career teaching the joys of music to students and the public at large. He was a professor in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto for three decades and held the prestigious Jean A. Chalmers Chair at the Institute for Canadian Music in the 1990s. He died on Dec. 3 at the age of 84.  – U of T News

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The Cory Weeds Quintet brings jazz of the past to life

It must be an odd feeling: just days before you’re about to launch your new record label, the Internet explodes with news that your business partner has been headhunted by a legend. That’s what’s happened to Cory Weeds this month, but it’s all good news.  – Alex Varty, Georgia Straight

International

Fortunes and Farewells: From Bezos to Disney, A guide to the biggest, nastiest and weirdest billionaire divorces

In the end, Mackenzie Bezos could walk away with tens of billions of dollars, which would represent the largest divorce settlement in history by far. But the Bezoses are hardly the first moneyed couple not to last until death did them part.  – Luisa Kroll, Forbes

Independent music publicists grapple with a shrinking media landscape

As publications fold and coverage narrows, once tried-and-true approaches to the job no longer yield the same results.  – Andy Hermann, Billboard

Putin to foot bill for touring artists?

The uncharacteristic move sees Russian president promise subsidised airfares for creative teams.  – Anna Grace, IQ

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Spotify narrows its ‘Preferred Distributors’ list to just 3 companies

Spotify is clearly defining two tiers: ‘Preferred’ and ‘Recommended,’ with ‘Preferred’ now occupied by just three companies: Distrokid, CD Baby, and The Orchard.  – Digital Music News

Global blockchain unicorn Bitfury launches music business

The Bitfury Group, valued recently at $1 billion, announced on Wednesday the launch of a music and entertainment division that will create an open-source music platform secured by the bitcoin blockchain.  – Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Reuters

‘Fyre’ and ‘Fyre Fraud’ reviews: Behind the scenes of a music festival fiasco

Does anybody need two movies at the same time about the same music-festival fiasco? I don’t. In keeping with the excess unspooled in both, here they are anyway: two documentaries about the Fyre Festival — Netflix’s “Fyre” and Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud.”  –  Chris Smith, Wesley Morris, NYT

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19th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll: The results

Ashley McBryde, Kacey Musgraves, John Prine, Willie Nelson and beyond — 98 critics vote for 2018’s best in country music.   – Nashville Scene

Is Spotify’s model wiping out music's middle class?

Fans may assume the $10 they pay for a monthly streaming subscription goes to the artists they listen to most. That’s not the case. Now, a growing number of musicians and industry players want change.   – Victor Luckerson, The Ringer

Spotify now has 200 million users, but only half pay for music

The Swedish music-streaming service announced the milestone in monthly active users at CES this week. – Amy Wang, Rolling Stone 

Miley Cyrus, Chris Stapleton and Miguel to play at Chris Cornell tribute

The celebration of life, dubbed I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell, already boasted performances from the late rocker’s bands Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave, alongside members of the Foo Fighters and Metallica, and Ryan Adams, and now a few more big names have been added to the bill.  – Noise11.com

Rihanna sues father over the use of Fenty brand name

Pop star accuses Ronald Fenty of damaging her beauty brand with his company Fenty Entertainment.  –  Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

Mariah Carey suing ex-assistant over an alleged $8M blackmail plot

The diva is suing her former assistant for allegedly filming her in secret and using the “embarrassing” videos to blackmail her after she was fired.  – WENN

Grammy-nominated album shines a light on transgender pioneer Jackie Shane

For decades, Jackie Shane was a musical mystery: a riveting black transgender soul singer who packed nightclubs in Toronto in the 1960s but then disappeared after 1971.  –  Kristin M. Hall, The Tribune

Soulja Boy says he taught Drake everything he knows 

“Stop playin’ like I didn’t teach Drake everything he knows [starts singing Drake’s ‘Miss Me’]. That’s Souja! That’s my bar! He copy my whole fuckin’ flow! Word-for-word."  –  Kyle Eustice, HipHopDMX

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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