Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 31, 2018

Spotify is helping Germans pair up with dogs sharing their musical tastes, and stars were given a pre-Grammy security briefing. Also in the headlines, ticket reselling, Barbara Hannigan, Fifty Shades, Toronto rap, Bruce Cockburn, Lights, First Aid Kit, Kathleen Battle, and Neil Portnow.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 31, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Music to shelter dogs' ears: Spotify is helping animals get adopted by showing off their musical tastes

The streaming service is working with a shelter in Germany to determine dogs' music preferences so that people can find their 'musical soulmate"  –This Dog's Life

Musicians add 'counterterrorism briefing' to pre-Grammy schedule

For the first time, US State Department and EU officials gave a pre-Grammy security briefing to high-profile artists such as Pink and Young Thug  – Molly McCluskey, Rolling Stone

How does the secondary market for concert tickets work?

Hoping to score tickets to Elton John's last tour? Here's what you need to know about concert tickets sold on the secondary market –  Alan Cross, Corus Radio

Live and kicking: Why nothing compares to the live music experience

We risk losing something fundamentally human and infinitely valuable if we allow the vital connection between musicians and audience to pass into history – Cormac Larkin, Irish Times


Soprano Barbara Hannigan on her Grammy-winning album and the issue of gender in the music industry

The classical music star from Nova Scotia is branching out into conducting  –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Why pop stars get in bed with the Fifty Shades franchise

From Ellie Goulding to Liam Payne, the soundtrack to the low-level bondage film provides a platform for vanilla artists to add a sense of risk to their brand   – Kathy Iandoli, The Guardian

Witch Prophet lists 30 women leading the Toronto rap game

"I wanted people to be excited about the homegrown talent and abundance of women in our scene"  – Mark Streeter, NOW

Cut from the same revolutionary cloth as N.W.A, Bruce Cockburn thrills the guitar nerds of Vancouver

I was left trying to figure out where the other guitar players were offstage, as he had the ability to sound like three people playing at once. What he was doing on the guitar just didn’t seem possible. He only got better  – Rob Bailey, Georgia Straight

Phil Minton and Audrey Chen plumb the pre- and post-language possibilities of the human voice

The pair makes nonpareil music by bypassing language altogether. Though their voices make all the sounds on the 2013 album By the Stream (Sub Rosa), there's rarely a word to be heard  – Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader

The sex lives of classical conductors

An examination of the sordid underbelly of conducting where sex is considered a perk of the job –   Norman Lebrecht, The Spectator

After losing steam, the Stereotypes almost hung it up — now they are up for producer of the year


The collective of four producers was up for three Grammys this year. They break down their creative process here  – Gerrick Kennedy, LA Times

How a 69-year-old diva dazzled the Kennedy Center

Kathleen Battle, once a fixture at the Metropolitan Opera and elsewhere with an astonishingly beautiful silvery voice, is 69 and has a reputation as a difficult diva  – Anne Midgette, Washington Post

Grammys ratings tanked on Sunday night

While the Grammys could make up some slack once the full ratings numbers come in, there’s a good chance this year’s awards were the least watched in history – Dave Brooks, ampthemag

Here’s who owns everything in Big Media today

It probably won’t look like this for long, pundits predict – Rani Molla and Peter Kafka, Recode

Sweden's First Aid Kit makes Vancouver happy with its sad songs

People are drawn to sad songs, which explains the appeal of First Aid Kit. Well, part of the appeal, at any rate –  John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Grammys president Neil Portnow defends lack of female winners: The onus is on them to “step up”

And the Grammy Award for Most Tone-Deaf Response goes to...  – Alex Young, Consequence of Sound

Lights on! Nerd's the word in concert, on paper with Skin & Earth

The Toronto popster's current album isa song cycle based on a six-part comic book series she created –  Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun 

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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