Music Biz Headlines, July 23, 2020

A fond farewell to This Ain’t Hollywood (pictured), a new voice for Black members of the music community, and the Calgary Folk Fest goes virtual. Others in the headlines include Gordon Lightfoot, Chi Pig, Peter Hook, Kanye West, Michael Bublé, Ashley MacIsaac, Spotify, DOJ, UMG, TikTok, Shamrock, live-streams, Burger Records, Q, Dolly Parton, and Burt Bacharach.

Music Biz Headlines, July 23, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Saying goodbye to This Ain’t Hollywood: ‘The Saint’ was much more than a live music venue on James North

 During its 11-year history that's now ending, the Hamilton bar called This Ain’t Hollywood established a well-deserved reputation as one of the area’s top live music venues. The list of acts that played there is impressive - Johnny Winter, Jim Cuddy, Maria Muldaur, Rheostatics, Monster Truck, Arkells, Robert Gordon, Teenage Head, Forgotten Rebels, The Trews, to name a few. But, TAH was much more than a live music venue. It was a community hub, a place for weddings, wakes, birthday parties, movie nights and charity fundraisers. –– Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

“A dystopian experience”: Toronto music venue owners blast Ontario’s stage 3 concert rules

Ontario's stage 3 reopening regulations will allow concerts to return in indoor spaces. But will they? Shaun Bowring, owner of music venues The Garrison and The Baby G, has concerns–– Richard Trapunski, NOW


The collective fighting to advance Black voices in Canada's music industry

Co-founders Vivian Barclay, general manager of Warner Chappell Music Canada, and Craig Mannix, an A&R manager A&R for Sony Music Entertainment Canada, are among the people who officially came together to register the non-profit organization. - Holly Gordon, CBC Music

Fifty years ago, Canada’s answer to Woodstock was my coming of age

Fifty years ago, this August, up to 80,000 young people crowded together near Bowmanville for Canada’s answer to the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The Strawberry Fields Festival was advertised as “An International Carnival of Sound and Freedom” and I was fortunate to have been there. –– Sean Gadon, Toronto Star

Ferocious SNFU singer Chi Pig led the hardcore punk scene

With advice from American punk singer Jello Biafra – SNFU had opened for his band the Dead Kennedys on a short prairie tour – Mr. Chinn began developing both the persona and voice that would profoundly impact a generation of fans and fellow musicians. –– Janna Pruden, Globe and Mail 

Michael Bublé serenades baby bumps

The Canadian star doesn't just give good lockdown advice, he sings to babies too! –– The Graham Norton Show

Calgary Folk Fest to take you around the world in four days with CFMF At Home

Exploring multiple cultures and genres has always been a hallmark of the fest. While the famous workshops, which brought together musicians from around the world, will not be a part of this year’s activities, the pay-what-you-can online version, July 23-26,  will take viewers on a virtual trip to some far-flung places and cultures. –– Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


Bad Buddy bursts out of the gate on debut full-length album

Highly anticipated by their live-show followers from the Old Tymes, before this stupid plague we’re all endlessly blah-blah-blahing about, Edmonton’s Bad Buddy released their debut full-length this week for you to layer onto whatever semblance of a normal summer you can muster while avoiding mutually assumed destruction. –– Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal

Remembering Ashley MacIsaac's landmark album 

Hi, How Are You Today? is a significant Celtic music crossover album that made Canadian fiddler and singer-songwriter Ashley MacIsaac famous in Canada and abroad as well. Likewise, the album brought international attention to the rich Celtic music tradition in Cape Breton. –– World Music Central

Broadway musical tour delayed until 2021

As with all theatre events, Broadway Across Canada has postponed its upcoming fall season. The popular touring theatre company anticipates starting in January 2021 with the Russian-inspired tale of Anastasia at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. That will be followed by award-winning musical Come From Away. The season will wrap with Jesus Christ Superstar, which has been rescheduled to November 2021. –– Calgary Herald


Missing the TD Toronto Jazz Festival? Enjoy an almost live performance by The Shuffle Demons

This year’s Toronto Jazz Festival was postponed due to Covid-19. For a new video, each member of fest faves Shuffle Demons shot a video and passed it on to the next musician, who recorded his own track to accompany the previous video.  ––Toronto Star

The David Foster documentary

Foster wants to be a legend. He can’t avoid the spotlight. He admits that his reality show appearances were bad decisions, jokes, but when you work behind the board all those years, you hunger for the spotlight, you’ve got the money and the credits, but not the fame, the acts have all the fame, even if they are now broke. –– Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


Gordon Lightfoot on crafting his greatest hits

The Canadian music legend talks to Ian Hanomansing about his music, his legacy and some of the darker parts of his personal life during his five decades in the music business. –– CBC


Spotify and Universal Music Group ink a new global licensing deal 

MBW understands that Spotify and UMG's last multi-year licensing deal came to an end in the first quarter of 2019, meaning the two parties have technically been out of contract (or, more accurately, on a rolling contract) for over a year. That all changes July 22 as the two companies announce a new, multi-year global licensing agreement which they say “further aligns [our] efforts to foster groundbreaking new features providing value for artists and great experiences for music fans”. –– Tim Ingham, MBW

The increased stake was opposed by at least six public advocacy groups who argued that the deal would be “likely catastrophic” on radio markets due to the enormous concentration of media in the hands of one company.  –– Dave Clark, Ticket News

TikTok inks a new global deal with Believe

 Scarcely a day goes by right now where TikTok doesn’t find itself mentioned in national (and international) headlines regarding wider geopolitical machinations. Backin the music industry, the short-form video platform’s busy doing important business, as we reveal it has signed a multi-year distribution and marketing agreement with Believe – the Paris-headquartered company that works with some of the most successful independent artists and labels across the world. –– Tim Ingham, MBW

Another financial giant is hungry for music copyrights as Shamrock raises $400M

Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with a $1.9bn portfolio under management, is about to spend big in music. This fund, the Shamrock Capital Content Fund, now holds an interest in more than 800 films, 1,000 television episodes, and 5,000 music compositions. July 21, Shamrock has announced that it has raised a further $400M in committed capital for a fresh fund which it will use to “continue investing in entertainment intellectual property rights”. –– Tim Ingham, MBW

German coronavirus experiment enlists help of concertgoers

4,000 music fans to attend gig as part of a study into how the virus spreads in large gatherings. ––Philip Oltermann, The Guardian


Concert venues are reopening across America. Could lawsuits follow?

As states lessen restrictions and move towards the phased reopening of businesses, venues and concert promoters have been seeking advice on what protection they would be afforded should a Covid-19 outbreak occur on their premises. –– Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard

Concerts aren't back. Live-streams are ubiquitous. Can they do the job?

With no return date for shows in sight, fans and artists are adapting to a new way of experiencing music together. Whether it’ll keep everyone satisfied — and paid — is still unclear. –– David Peisner, New York Times

It seems UK music lovers are currently revelling in rectangular nostalgia — there's already been a 103% increase in cassette sales in 2020. –– Sam Moore, NME

Burger Records issues apology after multiple artists and label employees accused of widespread sexual misconduct

Members of SWMRS, Black Lips, the Growlers, the Buttertones, Love Cop, Part-Time, Gap Dream, Audacity, Tomorrows Tulips and Cosmonauts all face allegations of sexual misconduct. –– Josiah Hughes, Exclaim!

Burger Records shuts down completely

Following misconduct allegations, the tape label’s plan to rebrand and establish new leadership has reportedly fallen apart. –– Evan Minsker, Pitchfork

Q magazine's demise signals the end of the old music press

Q went where other titles were too cool to tread, championing old icons of pop and rock. But it was a victim of its own success – and a changing world. –– Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Floating boat cinema coming to Pittsburgh soon, Canadian cities later

Amid the pandemic, drive-in movies have been making a comeback -- now a company says a floating cinema allowing people to watch from mini-boats will be making appearances in a number of places around the U-S -- including Pennsylvania and Ohio.–– AP


Black artists on how to change classical music

Classical music and opera have been even slower than American society at large to confront racial inequity. Black players make up less than two percent of the nation’s orchestras; the Metropolitan Opera still has yet to put on a work by a Black composer. Nine Black performers spoke with The New York Times about steps that could be taken to begin transforming a white-dominated field. –– Zachary WoolfeThe New York Times

Linkin Park issues cease-and-desist after President Trump’s reelection video uses band’s music

the rock band is the latest music act to join the list of artists banning their music from President Trump‘s reelection campaign. The band issued a cease and desist after their hit song “In the End” was featured in a video shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino and retweeted by Trump. –– Fox News

Meet the crusading lawyer hated by the biggest companies in music

Richard Busch has sued Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, and Travis Scott, and incited controversy by winning the infamous “Blurred Lines” case — but the attorney insists he’s the one in the right. –– Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone

Dance music star the Black Madonna changes name due to racial insensitivity

Marea Stamper, now the Blessed Madonna, said her original name reflected her devotion to dark-hued Catholic icons, but acknowledged the ‘pain and frustration’ it had caused.  ––The Guardian

See the over-the-top photos from Nashville's new Dolly Parton-inspired hotel rooftop bar

A new Nashville hotel's rooftop restaurant and bar, White Limozeen, opened to the public Friday with over-the-top, Dolly Parton-inspired flair. Named after Parton's 1989 song and album, the indoor-outdoor space located on the rooftop of the Graduate Nashville hotel is awash in shades of pink, another nod to the Tennessee music icon.  –– Cassandra Stephenson, Nashville Tennessean

Mixing Britten’s folksongs with poetry and soundscapes, soprano Marci Meth took inspiration from the composer himself to create an album inspired by and embedded in the countryside that he loved.–– The Guardian

Peter Hook: “Prince Andrew’s Secret Service men shot out New Order’s amplifier”

In Does Rock 'N' Roll Kill Braincells?!, we quiz a grizzled artist on their own career to see how much they can remember. This week: former Joy Division and New Order bass legend Peter Hook. ––  Gary Ryan, NME

Burt Bacharach, 92, is releasing his first new song in 15 years

The songwriter has reemerged with Blue Umbrella, a five-song collaboration recorded last June in Nashville with Grammy-winning writer/producer Daniel Tashian.––  LA Times 

How to be a musician with a day job

Being a musician with a day job is tough. I get it. I am one.  –– Caleb J. Murphy, Music Think Tank

Kanye West’s personal turmoil isn’t your entertainment

When Kanye West announced an upcoming album at the top of July, many fans suspected that a spectacle was soon to follow, and that’s exactly what’s been happening. His alarming tweets followed a pair of TMZ reports that his family and friends believe “he’s in desperate need of professional help and is in the middle of a serious bipolar episode, but he won’t listen to them. –– Andre Gee, Complex

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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