Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 21, 2021

There are big plans for the Commodore Ballroom (pictured), Ontario live-streams are put on hold, and a Joni Mitchell classic is revisited. Also in the headlines are Donald Trump, EU visas, sea shanties, Michael Buble, Veeps, Live Nation, New Radicals, Zev Feldman, Phil Spector, Brad Paisley, Dr. Dre, Ready Steady Go!, and Van Morrison.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 21, 2021

By FYI Staff

Shan't be forgotten: Latest TikTok trend is revitalizing traditional seafaring tunes

Sean McCann and Fergus O'Byrne are no strangers to the shanty. – Conor McCann, CBC News

Revisiting ‘Court and Spark’, Joni Mitchell’s alternative take on love and freedom

Completing 47 years this January, Joni Mitchell’s classic album Court and Spark is only three years away from celebrating a semicentennial or what is more fashionably called the Golden Jubilee. Since the songs of the album continue to testify for her creative genius, it’s worth to take a look back and understand the album’s value in her musical trajectory. – Pubali Dasgupta, Farout

Preserving Commodore's history and future in the 'living city'

Opinion: Granville proposal is local developer's latest — and biggest — project seeking to preserve a cultural heritage asset by building something big overhead. – Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun


Live-streams cancelled as Ontario music venues forced to close – even virtually

Live venues found new life with online concerts until Ontario imposed a stay-at-home order. So why can film shoots continue? – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Vancouver to provide over $8.4M in grants for arts and culture recovery from Covid-19 financial impact

The City of Vancouver announced today (January 19) that city council approved a total of $8,406,150 in grants for 144 cultural organizations to help ensure their programs and services remain accessible to artists, cultural communities, and citizens. – Craig Takeuchi Georgia Straight

Toronto's Harris Institute roaring into the Twenties

 In 2020 Harris Institute alumni won or were nominated for a record 146 awards, including Emmy, Golden Reel, Canadian Country Music, Juno, Canadian Screen and SOCAN Awards, among others. – EINPresswire

The state of live music in Newfoundland and Labrador

A recent report commissioned by the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) explores the impact of Covid-19 on the music industry. – The Telegram

Singer Michael Bublé sees return to normal for live music after Covid-19, 'whatever that normal is'

As the lights on Broadway remain dark and concert venues across most of the globe remain empty, Michael Bublé has no doubt the music and entertainment industry will return — when it’s safe. –Yahoo Finance

Surrey musician’s clay ‘Mini-Legends’ make the most of pandemic’s quiet days and nights

Acoustic-blues musician Brandon Isaak is busy sculpting a side career as a maker of “Mini-Legends.” ‘It’s actually turned out to be quite a booming little business,’ he says. – Tom Zillich, Surrey Now



EU blames UK after outcry over end to visa-free touring for musicians

Michel Barnier said the UK had turned down the EU's "fairly ambitious proposals" The EU has insisted it was the UK government's choice to end visa-free touring for musicians on the continent, following an outcry from performers. –  Paul Glynn, BBC

Live Nation acquires Veeps live-streaming platform

Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in Veeps, a ticketed livestream platform custom-built for artists that has hosted shows by artists including Brandi Carlile, Pete Yorn, Liam Payne, Rufus Wainwright and many others since fully rolling out in 2020.  Veeps was created by Joel and Benji Madden of the band Good Charlotte. – Ryan Borba, Pollstar

According to David Israelite how should the music streaming revenue pie be split?

The following MBW op/ed comes from David Israelite,President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA). The NMPA is the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners. "Beware of op-eds that seem encouraging but actually serve to misinform, blame and divide the music industry," he warns. –  MBW

Trump grants clemency to rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black in final flurry of presidential power

The rapper Lil Wayne received a pardon after pleading guilty to a gun possession charge in Miami. Another rapper, Kodak Black, received a commutation after he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge. – Betsy Klein, CNN

All three major music labels contributions to GOP members who voted against election certification

Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment are joining a chorus of companies that are pulling their financial contributions from certain GOP members of Congress. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which represents the major label conglomerates, confirmed the pullback in an official statement. – Ashley King, Digital Music News


New Radicals reunited after 22 Years for Biden Inauguration parade

Long-dormant band performed 1998 hit “You Get What You Give” – Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff’s walk-on music during presidential campaign – to close out “Parade Across America” event. – Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Dr. Fauci predicts concert venues, theaters could return in the fall

While getting your hopes up over an optimistic prediction that's reliant upon a quicker vaccine rollout than we got over the holiday period is up to you, Dr. Anthony Fauci has weighed in on when he thinks concert venues and theaters could open back up. At this moment—obviously subject to change—Fauci thinks they could reopen their doors by "some time in the fall of 2021." – Gavin Evans, Complex 


The pandemic forced live events to go virtual. It may change access to entertainment forever.

Everyone is counting the days until gatherings can safely resume. But despite the disappointing cancellation of countless cultural activities during the pandemic — film and arts festivals, concerts, book tours, speaking engagements, etc. — a small silver lining has emerged: Virtual entertainment events can actually be pretty great. – Emily Yahr, Washington Post

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc:  Zev Feldman,  Co-President, Resonance Records

 Zev Feldman reminds us of how critical it is to be engaged in an industry such as ours. Feldman, 47, is an internationally lauded, independent record producer, and the co-president of Resonance Records in Los Angeles. He is also a consulting producer of archival and historical recordings for Blue Note Records. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Concerts to kick-start Victoria music industry

Pop sensation Tones and I and legendary rocker Jimmy Barnes will headline a series of concerts across Victoria as the Australian state seeks to revitalise its Covid-hit music scene. The Victorian government is partnering with Michael Gudinski's Mushroom Group for this. – Perth Now

Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton hosting Grand Ole Opry 95th anniversary special

The two hour special showcases Nashville's most famous stage Grand Ole Opry members. Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton will serve as co-hosts for Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music, honoring the iconic Nashville show and the incredible country stars that call it home. The two-hour special is set to air Sunday, February 14. – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe

Phil Spector defined the toxic music svengali – a figure that persists today

Spector, who has died aged 81, created a culture of cruelty that was seen by the music industry as a symptom of genius. It’s a scenario that has played out again and again. – Laura Snapes, The Guardian

Was Phil Spector a murderer who produced records or record producer who murdered?

Phil Spector produced some of the greatest pop recordings of the 20th century. He was also an abusive husband, a gun-obsessed substance abuser and a convicted murderer. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Dr. Dre back home after reported brain aneurysm treatment

Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre was back at home Saturday after being treated at a Los Angeles hospital for a reported brain aneurysm. In a social media post early this month, Dre, 55, said he was “doing great and getting excellent care from my medical team.” TMZ had reported that he suffered a brain aneurysm the day before and was recovering at the medical centre. – AP

The best folk albums of 2020

Roots music keeps us grounded—connecting us to a storied musical lineage, while also sparking new memories and joy in our lives. It’s a feel-good genre that helps us unwind, and it also continues to bring raw, unique perspectives from both budding and seasoned musicians. In 2020, we were delighted by newcomers and familiar favorites. – Paste

The UK TV show that made the sixties swing

Ready Steady Go! was hardly one of the sixties survivors, with few traces left of the show that did so much to define the decade. But a new book manages to capture the spirit of a legendary programme and its moment in time. – Garth Cartwright, The New European

Emicida, a rapper on a mission to recover Brazil's black history

Musician and maker of ‘heroic’ Netflix documentary warns his country is on a dangerous path. – The Guardian


Why did Donald Trump order the construction of these statues of musical figures?

One of the last things Donald Trump did as president was issue an executive order for the construction of a “Garden of American Heroes.”  On Monday (January 18) with just hours to go in his presidency, Trump issued a list of 250 statues he wants commissioned. The list includes Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things 

If lyrics can be used as court evidence, what space is there for musical creativity?

In light of Maryland’s Court Ruling on the use of rap as evidence in a murder trial, Jenessa Williams questions the slippery societal slope of taking musicians at their lyrical word. – Jenessa Williams, The Forty-Five

DOJ ends consent decree review without action

The Dept. of Justice has ended its ASCAP/BMI consent decree review without taking action, meaning the agreements governing how ASCAP and BMI operate will continue to exist exactly as they are now. – Ed Christman, Billboard

Van Morrison to start legal action over Northern Ireland Covid ban on live music

Music legend stirs further pandemic controversy, challenging Northern Ireland government’s recent ‘blanket ban on live music’ in court. – The Guardian

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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