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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, July 19, 2019

Hillside fest (pictured) is still going strong, Heart rocks out, and Sony Music Group reconfigures. Also in the headlines are Nick Broomfield, Joseph Rouleau, Travis Scott, house music, R. Kelly, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Ed Sheeran, AC/DC, The Kinks, and Pete the Monkey.

Music Biz Headlines, July 19, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Humbler, cheaper music fests like Guelph’s Hillside survive shakeout

Hillside, which ran last weekend for the 36th year, shows things aren’t quite as dire as the general wreckage of the festival landscape in southern Ontario this summer, as shown by the spectacular collapse of both the upstart Roxodus fest.  – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star


Review: Heart brought raunchy and raw rock to Budweiser Stage

Ann and Nancy Wilson's Love Alive tour hit Toronto with Sheryl Crow in the opening slot. – CV Grier NOW

How documentarian Nick Broomfield found his way around the many sides of Leonard Cohen

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is the wistful telling of the love affair and on-and-off co-habitation of the Montreal poet/novelist-turned-troubadour Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, the Norwegian-blonde inspiration behind the 1967 breakup song So Long, Marianne. – Brad Wheeler, Globe

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Joseph Rouleau remembered (1929-2019)

The Canadian musical community has been hit hard by the passing of Canadian bass Joseph Rouleau on July 12. Here is a collection of tributes to the man. – Wah Keung Chan, La Scena

Classical music fest in the west carves out a home just a bit beyond Vancouver

What I discovered the other day is that it Bellingham, WA, is the site of a festival worthy of any Vancouver music lover’s drive. The three-week Bellingham Festival of Music has a seasonal orchestra of its own, recruited from the ranks of major orchestras across the continent. – William LittlerToronto Star

Here are the 10 albums on the 2019 Polaris Prize short list

Quebec artists dominate while Toronto is represented by Jessie Reyez, Haviah Mighty, PUP and Shad. – Michelle DaSilva, NOW

Vancouver Folk Music Fest 2019: Larkin Poe reflects on southern roots

The band is named for the sisters’ great-great-great-great-grandfather, a relative of the Baltimore author. The Lovells readily confess to a fascination with the southern-gothic genre, as expressed in Edgar Allan Poe’s eerie poems and short stories. – Alexander Varty, Georgia Straight

International

Rob Stringer to run new Sony Music Group, housing publishing and records, from Aug. 1

That’s according to a memo sent out by Sony Corporation President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida to staff on July 17 and obtained by MBW. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Travis Scott review – psychedelic rap star delivers a delirious body high

With his punk-rock energy, the Houston-born rapper makes special guests Ed Sheeran and Sheck Wes look leaden at O2 Arena, London. – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Guardian

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Residente, Bad Bunny And iLe share Puerto Rico protest song 'Afilando Los Cuchillos'

Amid the most crucial political crisis to hit Puerto Rico in its modern history, three Puerto Rican musicians have released a protest song that is spreading across the island as fast as news of the next demonstration against the local government. – Felix Contreras, NPR

How Chicago built house music from the ashes of disco

A young group of DJs and amateur music producers in Chicago had plans. Over a few years, these DJs reinvented disco by playing those records over hard-hitting electronic drum machines. They called it house music, and within a decade this new genre had traveled the globe. – Estelle Caswell and Tyrice Hester, vox

Key witness is cooperating with prosecutors in case against R&B star R. Kelly, now facing federal charges

Angel Krull, a federal prosecutor, said Tuesday that, if convicted, Kelly would face a maximum of 195 years in prison and that investigators had “identified many more girls” beyond the 12 he may have abused. – Robert Charito and Elizabeth Harris, NY Times News Service

Music genre classification with Python

A Guide to analysing audio/music signals in Python. It has some great libraries for audio processing like Librosa and PyAudio. There are also built-in modules for some basic audio functionalities. – Parul Pandey, Towards Data Science

Sir Paul McCartney to write It's A Wonderful Life musical

Over the course of his career, Sir Paul McCartney has written films, oratorios, poetry collections, children's books and more than 100 hit singles. Now, at the age of 77, he has a new challenge: His first stage musical. The star is working on an adaptation of Frank Capra's classic It's A Wonderful Life, the story of a suicidal man saved by his guardian angel. – Mark Savage, BBC

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Las Vegas singer reflects on tuneless ‘O Canada’ 25 years later

it's 25 years since Las Vegas entertainer Dennis Casey Park, with whom I was speaking, butchered the Canadian national anthem before the Las Vegas Posse’s Canadian Football League home debut. His rendition caused an international incident and made Canadian Neil Young sound like Luciano Pavarotti. – Ron Kantowski, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Near Truths: Evolution of the barristers, Part 2

Walter Yetnikoff was involved with all the top players in the ’80s, but Allen Grubman and John Branca got the lion’s share of the work; in return, the CBS Records ruler introduced them to the company’s top artists. – Hits Daily Double

Joni Mitchell's 'Mingus' at 40: A look back at a seminal jazz collab

After four decades, the deeply personal and experimental 'Mingus' has grown into one of the most important titles in the Mitchell catalog. – Ron Hart, Grammy.com

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah continues pushing jazz in new directions

The reevaluation took the form of a stunning, truly unique conception from the New Orleanian trumpeter and his sextet — with one traditional bebop interpolation. – Michael J. West, Washington Post

Pete The Monkey: A revolutionary eco music fest in France

Over the course of the weekend, Pete the Monkey took us on a liberating journey into an eclectic mix of music that was simply unforgettable. – Lucy Wagstaffe,  EuroNews

Close to a third of Spotify users are playing Ed Sheeran

Spotify has today (July 18) confirmed that the British singer/songwriter has set a new record for the most number of global monthly listeners on its platform.  – Tim Ingham, MBW

AC/DC didn’t announce tour but they are celebrating 40 years of Highway to Hell

AC/DC’s rumoured world tour announcement did not happen this week but they have taken the day to honour the 40th anniversary of their 1979 classic Highway To Hell via a rare FB post.  –Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Ray and Dave Davies recording new Kinks songs for possible album

“This has really been going on for a couple of years,” Dave Davies says. “Some of [the old recordings are] very good, and some of it needs a bit of work.” – Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

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Maestro Fresh Wes
Courtesy Photo

Maestro Fresh Wes

Awards

Maestro Fresh Wes Named First Hip-Hop Recipient Of Governor General’s Performing Arts Award

Meanwhile, Measha Brueggergosman-Lee is the first Black artist recognized in the classical music field.

For the first time in its history, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement is honouring a Canadian hip-hop artist. The worthy recipient is Toronto rapper and actor Maestro Fresh Wes (Wes Williams), who has just been named as one of the five 2024 laureates for the award, which recognizes Canadians who have made a lasting contribution to cultural life in Canada and internationally.

In a short acceptance speech, Williams said, "I'm excited and thrilled to be getting this award. I must have done something right! I just want to say I appreciate being appreciated!"

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