Music Biz Headlines, July 18, 2018

Down Under Kate Bush fans celebrate, Radiohead in full flight on tour, and major labels are unhappy with Spotify. Also in the headlines are Zac Brown Band, cannabis sponsorship, Harry Styles, Elora festival, Nancy Sinatra, Jessie Reyez, Courtney Barnett, Iskwe, Childish Gambino, Lindsay Ell, retro rap, Hillside, and The Pretenders.

Music Biz Headlines, July 18, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Radiohead’s summer 2018 US tour is a career-capping triumph

Over four spectacular nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the band re-embraces anthemic uplift for a new age of emergency –  Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

Kate Bush fans mark 'Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever' – in pictures

Hundreds of crimson-clad Kate Bush fans in Sydney take advantage of the city’s glorious winter weather to celebrate the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever, an event in which people around the world recreate the British singer’s 1978 Wuthering Heights music video, inspired by Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel  –  The Guardian

Major labels are upset that they aren't getting more songs on Spotify playlists, Deutsche Bank says

The Bank’s analysts recently reported that the top three record labels are not happy that Spotify doesn’t include enough of their songs in its curated playlists –  Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News


Health Canada 'concerned' by cannabis companies sponsoring music events

Health Canada says it’s prepared to crack down on licensed medical marijuana producers who are sponsoring music festivals and other events  –  CP

Review: Zac Brown Band lacked intimacy at the Rogers Centre

The Georgia country band delivered a fun enough party, but they didn't connect on an emotional level at their Toronto arena show –  Rachna Kaur, NOW

Ending a year-long classic arena tour, Harry Styles proves he is the future of rock 'n' roll

A cover of the hit country song "Girl Crush"  — already a tangle of same-sex female attraction and jealousy — was one of the unexpected centerpieces of Styles’ tour-closing set at the Forum recently  –  August Brown,  LA Times

The opening night opera at Elora Festival was bold and beautiful

On Friday night, this picturesque southwestern Ontario town was filled with the sounds of opera, quickly followed by the roar of the adoring audience’s prolonged ovation  –  John Terauds, Toronto Star

Retro rappers draw biggest crowd in history of Bluesfest Windsor

Fest organizers say more changes to the festival are coming after last weekend's 1990s rap lineup drew 8,000 people — the biggest one-night crowd in the event's history – Dalson Chen, Windsor Star

Nancy Barbato Sinatra, an idol’s first wife, and lasting confidante dies at 101

For a dozen tumultuous years Frank and Nancy Sinatra were husband and wife — a swath of time that included hearth, home and children for her and, for him, unparalleled fame and fortune and a string of extramarital romances that were grist for the gossip columns  –  Margalit Fox, New York Times


Courtney Barnett brings her humble superstar vibe to Interstellar Rodeo

To say Courtney Barnett is an exceptional songwriter is an understatement — her unpretentious, gum-chewing lyrical swagger is familiar to anyone who’s ever told it like it is, or even wanted to –  Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal

'You can hear heartbreak': Jessie Reyez on feminism, the music industry

The Juno winner's feminist take on society and the music industry has garnered attention. Her song and short film Gatekeeper tells the true story of a would-be musical mentor trying to assault her in Florida –

Being authentic is the key to success for Lindsay Ell

Lindsay Ell, who returned to the main stage at Country Thunder Saskatchewan on Saturday, got into the music business as a teenager. She first worked with Randy Bachman and began a career as a rock and blues artist before going country –  Jeff Dedekker, Leader-Post

For Iskwé, anger energizes the fight for social justice

After performing songs about heavy topics including racism, Cree-Dene-Irish EDM producer and singer Iskwé seeks ways to rejuvenate her spirit  –  Alex Varty, Georgia Straight

Five standout performances from Hillside 2018

U.S. Girls jammed with Partner, Jeremy Dutcher was invited into the Halluci Nation, and more from the community-minded Guelph music festival  –  Sarah Greene, NOW

Lovebox fest review – Childish Gambino leads diverse corrective to Trump visit

While SZA was delayed by the Trump protests, other artists were energised – including Childish Gambino, who scaled up his music to unprecedented size  –  Natty Kasambala, The Guardian


Subway trio pushes the limits to create punchy 'brasshouse' sound

"People tend to make a band their own little pet and not want them to change, but the last thing I want is to stop growing." - Too Many Zooz trumpeter Matt Doe  –  Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

No pretense: The Pretenders’ 2018 Tour

During their recent concert at the Filmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, founding members Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers and the rest of the group were everything you want a rock band to be –  Don Klees,


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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