Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 26, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Winterruption Festival brings musical reprieve in dark Prairies winter

Organizers in eight cities including Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg, have teamed up to give prairie-dwellers a reason to leave their homes in the dog days of winter. – Globe and Mail

I sang in David Bowie's band. I'm finally ready to say what he taught me

"The truth is I had been a kid from the middle of the Ontario countryside without a great voice and, somehow, I had landed in the lap of musical royalty." – Emm Gryner, Huffington Post

Vancouver folk festival cancels, Squamish’s future uncertain as music fests pressured

Two West Coast music festivals say their future is in doubt as soaring costs and uncertain ticket sales make it impossible to plan and stage their events. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival announced it’s decided cancelling its 2023 edition due to rising production costs that are “not realistic or sustainable” under the current model. It says the festival would need another $500K to cover higher expenses this year. – David Friend, CP


Drake teases new music, brings out Dipset, 21 Savage in debut at NYC's historic Apollo Theater

The Canadian rapper returned to the stage Saturday night for the first time in years, making his debut at the Apollo Theater — and thanking everyone who got him there. The concert was a victory lap for Drake, who looked entirely in his element as he banged out hits and teased the possibility of new music. – Anika Reed, USA Today

Singer Michelle Willis on the ‘joy of knowing’ late David Crosby, a mentor and friend

David Crosby was an acclaimed musician to many, but for Michelle Willis he was also a surprise mentor who became a friend in recent years. – David Friend, CP

Judicial pre-trial scheduled in Jacob Hoggard sexual assault case

The pre-trial, which allows Crown and defence attorneys to seek the judge’s input on issues related to the case, is set for Feb. 17 in Haileybury, Ont. – CP

Toronto band July Talk explodes with new pandemic-inspired album ‘Remember Never Before’

Singers Leah Fay Goldstein and Peter Dreimanis talk about their creative partnership and what inspires their art. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Vivek Shraya comedy series 'How to Fail as a Popstar' set at Canada's CBC Gem 

Production is underway on 'How to Fail as a Popstar,' a CBC Gem original series based on Vivek Shraya's debut theatrical work of the same name. – Variety


At the TSO, British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason proves he’s not a one-hit wonder

Plus, Canadian composer Gary Kulesha’s scintillating “Fourth Symphony” is a sensory feast for the ears. – Joshua Chong, Toronto Star

The ‘Unruly Sun’ also rises in Hamilton

In the roughly one-hour work consisting of 19 songs, the solo tenor does not play Derek Jarman, but rather discovers him as an artist living with AIDS. –  Leonard Turnevicius. The Spectator

What’s old is new: Why a Weeknd song from 2016 is now a chart smash

If the Weeknd’s fresh hit “Die For You” seems mighty familiar, it’s probably because it first soared up the radio charts five years ago. The Toronto pop superstar’s moody and melodic track is scaling the upper ranks of the Billboard Hot 100 — a chart where new singles reign supreme. This week, it rises to No. 6 from No. 8. – David Friend, CP

Neon Dreams’ new record is the sonic sunshine you need to hear

After going viral in South Africa, Halifax’s Juno-winning duo are back with positive power pop. –  Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Eyeing reinvention, live classical performances embrace the unexpected

For the culture industry, recovery from pandemic-era lockdowns has been a mixed bag. – Catherine Kustanczy, Globe and Mail

With a new sound and a new venture, an Airbnb network for concerts: Dan Mangan is keeping busy

Dan Mangan performed two shows in the GTA last week: a sold out solo affair at the Great Hall’s Longboat Hall on Jan. 19 and a free performance with his band in Stouffville at the Wintersong Music Festival on Jan. 20. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Tanya Tagaq gets a mesmerizing, playfully coy close-up in concert doc Ever Deadly

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq, featured in the documentary Ever Deadly, performs concerts that are all improvisational in nature, giving the audience a once in a lifetime experience that will never be replicated. – Radheyan Simonpillai, Globe and Mail


Amazon Music raises standard monthly subscription price from $9.99 to $10.99 

The widespread music subscription streaming price rise that labels and music publishers have long called for is finally, properly underway. – MBW

Everyone hates Ticketmaster. Is everyone wrong?

If you loathe Ticketmaster for its infamous service fees or the software overload that cost you Taylor Swift tickets this summer, just know that Fred Rosen is unmoved by your anger. “The public brought all this on itself,” said Rosen, the former chief executive of Ticketmaster, who grew it into an inescapable presence for concert and sports fans in the 1980s and ’90s. – August Brown, LA Times


Spotify to slash over 500 jobs worldwide as Dawn Ostroff exits 

Spotify announced January 23 that it is in the process of slashing over 500 jobs worldwide. The firm confirmed in an SEC filing that it is reducing its employee base by “about 6% across the company”. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Streaming fraud accounts for at least 1-3% of plays on services like Spotify and Deezer in France

The investigation came from France's Centre National de Musique (CNM), a public body in the country that operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication. – MBW

Zach Bryan announces spring/summer Tour, bypassing Ticketmaster, as vowed

Zach Bryan, 2022’s breakout country star, has made good on his strongly stated vow to avoid Ticketmaster for his next tour, as he announced a spring/summer 2023 tour that will use AXS for ticketing purposes, via a “Fair AXS” registration system. – Chris Willman, Variety

Warner acquires recorded music rights from Yes

Warner Music Group has struck what it calls a “milestone deal” with legendary British progressive rock band Yes. The deal sees Warner acquire the recorded music rights and income streams from Yes’ Atlantic Records era catalog. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Primary Wave buys music rights of Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of the Doors, in 'monumental' deal

The deal includes all aspects of both artists’ interest in The Doors, and brings into the Primary Wave Music family The Doors’  classic hits across six studio albums. – The Music Universe

Noel Gallagher stunned when asked what he does for a living

“Somebody asked me in the Firehouse the other night, ‘What do you do?’ And I was like… I didn’t know what to say.” Gallagher continued: “Well, I didn’t know what to say because I’d never been asked before. I was like, ‘Really?'” – NME

The Bee Gees’ 40 greatest songs – ranked!

As their worst album, Life in a Tin Can, turns 50, we celebrate the best of a catalogue that spans post-Beatles experimentalism, elegiac psychedelia – and, of course, disco. – The Guardian


After Ticketmaster’s terrible year, this is how the concert business can be redeemed

No question about it, 2022 was a curious year in live music. On the one hand, pop stars such as Elton John, Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran piled up outrageous statistics. But if 2022 was a feeding frenzy on the road, it was only the top of the food chain that ate well. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Is Shakira’s breakup the messiest celebrity split in recent memory?

Shakira excoriates Gerard Piqué in her new single “BZRP Music Sessions #53.” Here’s why it’s no ordinary diss track. – Sarah Laing, The Kit

‘Those stoner days were hugely liberating’: Kiwi musicians reflect on a unique counterculture

Cut off from the ‘swinging’ innovations of 60s London, a generation of New Zealand musicians forged an underground scene that propelled the nation’s modern identity. – Garth Cartwright, The Guardian

Hailey Bieber
David Sims for W Magazine

Hailey Bieber

Music News

Hailey Bieber Opens Up About ‘Emotional’ Moments During Pregnancy & Trying to ‘Soak In’ Alone Time With Justin Bieber

The couple announced they are expecting their first child together in the spring.

Hailey Bieber is gearing up for motherhood, and the model opened up about her pregnancy journey for a new W Magazine cover story.

“I probably could have hid it until the end, but I didn’t enjoy the stress of not being able to enjoy my pregnancy outwardly,” she explained of announcing her pregnancy at the six-month mark. “I felt like I was hiding this big secret, and it didn’t feel good. I wanted the freedom to go out and live my life.”

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