Music Biz Headlines, July 28, 2022

Joni Mitchell makes a triumphant return to the Newport Folk Fest (pictured), Hammer rockers Monster Truck perform at a hometown fest, and an A-list of Canadian hip-hop and R&B stars play an OVO show tonight. Also in the headlines are Allison Russell, iskwē and Tom Wilson, RATM, Soundcloud, Bramwell Tovey, Vera, Erin Costelo, Lucy Dacus, Dan Mangan, Facebook, Kobalt, sync licensing, Bruce, Ticketmaster, Strange Fruit, Epidemic Sound, CMA, Lady Gaga, George Jones, and NYC punk.

Music Biz Headlines, July 28, 2022

By Kerry Doole


Joni Mitchell gives rare surprise performance at Newport Folk Festival: Watch

It was a full set where Mitchell performed multiple classics, and delivered a guitar solo, alongside Brandi Carlile. It was the icon’s first full show in over 20 years.  – Evan Minsker, Pitchfork

‘I’m still levitating’: Allison Russell on joining Joni Mitchell at Newport Folk Fest

Allison Russell is riding an emotional high after she joined several friends and music contemporaries on stage during Joni Mitchell’s surprise performance at the Newport Folk Festival. Sunday’s concert was the first time the legendary singer-songwriter played a full live set in more than two decades, while Montreal-raised Russell lent backup vocals and played clarinet.   –David Friend, CP

Allison Russell channelled ‘survivor’s joy’ in breakthrough album

Despite the success of 2021 album “Outside Child,” Allison Russell wants to “keep the movement rather than the moment going.”   – David McPherson, Toronto Star


The return of Monster Truck

Hamilton heavy rockers play Festival of Friends July 30, their first hometown concert in four years.  – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Drake’s OVO kickoff will bring together Canadian rap and R&B royalty. Get ready for Thursday’s historic show with this playlist 

The “All Canadian North Stars” lineup features Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Choclair, Shawn Desman and more to kickoff “October World Weekend.” –  Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

iskwē and Tom Wilson's 'Mother Love' is a stunning exercise in contrasts

iskwē and Tom Wilson's debut collaborative album, Mother Love, is a glorious wealth of contradictions. It begins with Wilson's voice counting down on "Blue Moon Drive" like the guttural purr of a lion, and, as the track goes on, Wilson's deep voice is joined by iskwē's inimitable one, changeable as a nightingale's song.  – Alisha Mughal, Exclaim

Rage Against the Machine uses Bluesfest to spotlight Canada's mistreatment of Indigenous communities

The last time we checked not a single member of Rage Against the Machines has Canadian citizenship, but that didn’t stop the American rage rockers from giving fans in our nation’s capital a quick history lesson this past weekend.  – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Drake's aerial joy rides draw flak

the rapper took repeated flights on a private jet from Hamilton to Toronto.    –Sebastian Bron, Hamilton Spectator

Conductor Bramwell Tovey had a record tenure at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Shortly before Bramwell Tovey began what would be a record tenure as artistic director of the VSO, the maestro set another record, a cacophonous one, of the Guinness variety. In May, 2000, he gathered the VSO’s 73 members and about 6,452 music students at BC Place to play a program that included O Canada and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.   –Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail


App uses music of the past to connect caregivers and dementia patients

Vera app uses vast Universal Music Group catalogue to find music that can bring patients into the present and relieve caregiver stress.  Nick Krewen Toronto Star 

Halifax musician-producer Erin Costelo chosen as part of nation-wide Women in the Studio program.

"My dream would be to balance my touring with my producing gigs," Halifax singer-songwriter and producer-powerhouse Costelo told The Coast back in 2018. This month, that dream became a stride closer, as Costelo was selected as one of six producers nation-wide for the prestigious Women in the Studio program.   –Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Toronto's MorMor's buoyant single, plus new music from Steve Lacy, Joey Bada$$, Muni Long and more

This week’s Star Tracks playlist also includes a classic R&B duet between Monica and Ty Dolla $ign and cathartic new single from Canadian metal group Spiritbox.   –TO Star

At last, Lucy Dacus tours in Canada and it’s well worth the wait

After a 14-month wait Lucy Dacus played Toronto one recent weekend – and it was awesome. She's at Osheaga, July 31.   – Karen Tran, NEXT

On Our Radar: Dan Mangan's ghostly "Fire Escape" is a powerful lifeline for anyone who's staring into the abyss

The beauty of Dan Mangan’s new video for “Fire Escape” is the way it’s entirely relatable, and not just when things suggest that, if you’re struggling, you’re not alone.  – Mike Usinger Georgia Straight



On Soundcloud's new deal with Warner Music

Or why the debate over fan-powered royalties is more complicated than 'fairness.'  – Tim Ingham, MBW 

Facebook will now directly share a proportion of ad revenue with music rightsholders for UGC videos

Meta has just announced that it is changing the way artists and music rightsholders are going to be paid from Facebook – and that it WILL now be moving to a 'revenue-share' model for user-generated video content. Whether the music industry is united in being happy with the size of that revenue share, of course, is yet to be seen.  – MBW

Kobalt is pulling its 700,000 songs off Facebook and Instagram

Is the music biz headed for a historic bust-up with Mark Zuckerberg's Meta?  – MBW


Sync licensing is evolving — Now there's a comprehensive analysis of the industry’s most exciting segment

Sync licensing is providing more paychecks and exposure to artists than ever. Now, Digital Music News has partnered with music licensing and distribution platform Songtradr to craft a whitepaper charting the space’s recent results and long-term potential.    –Dylan Smith, DMN

Springsteen’s silence on Ticketmaster controversy: Harvey Goldsmith weighs in

He can’t say ANYTHING! As pissed as the fans might be, Bruce himself is completely devastated. How did this HAPPEN??? Forget the money, the hit to Bruce’s image is priceless. Most acts would never completely recover, thank god he’s 72. Most acts would immediately fire the manager. Someone’s got to take the blame, someone’s got to walk the plank.  – The Lefsetz Letter

Strange Fruit has billions of streams, but is not without controversy

Some people say the modern music business lacks entrepreneurial new independent record companies. Those people haven’t met Stef van Vugt. The 25-year-old Dutchman founded Strange Fruits (now Fruits Music) in 2016 while studying music as an aspiring DJ. The label-cum-playlist company now has millions of followers on Spotify, where it’s racked up tens of billions of streams.  – MBW

Epidemic Sound takes Meta to court

Last week, Epidemic Sound – a 'unicorn' Swedish music company, valued at over $1 – filed a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg's tech giant Meta (p.k.a Facebook) in the US. This has the potential to quickly snowball into a major story for the global business. In that lawsuit, Epidemic Sound accuses both Facebook and Instagram of hosting content that has infringed the copyrights of thousands of Epidemic-owned tracks. Total damages sought by Epidemic are "no less" than USD $142M.   – MBW 

UK competition watchdog dismisses need for a music market investigation

There has been fear amongst major music companies that the UK’s competition watchdog – the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – was about to launch a full-scale investigation into alleged power imbalances in the music streaming business. On July 26, the CMA has confirmed that it has made a preliminary decision not to pursue a full-scale investigation into the music streaming industry in the UK.   – Tim Ingham, MBW


Tory leadership candidates dance to different beat as musical tastes revealed

The final two contenders vying to be the next prime minister have come to blows over their proposals – but that’s not the only place where they differ. Details of Liz Truss’s musical taste have emerged, and it seems she and rival Tory leadership candidate  – The Independent

Lady Gaga: The Chromatica Ball review – a spectacular show of high camp and insect cosplay

Gaga makes a strong claim for pop’s crown with a bombastically hit-stacked show that also creates an intimate human connection.  – Michael Cragg, The Guardian

Country Gold is a Lynch-ian love letter to George Jones

In the thoughtful, offbeat dark comedy Country Gold, a despondent, down-and-out twang-music legend laments the way pop artists are treated. The film is director Mickey Reece’s Lynchian love letter to the late George Jones, an iconic country and western crooner and self-destructive boozer known for such chart-toppers as 1980′s He Stopped Loving Her Today.   – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Nightclubbing: The Birth of Punk Rock in NYC' Review

Danny Garcia's latest music documentary captures how Max's Kansas City was just as seminal as CBGBs.   – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

10 Best Jazz Albums of the 1920s

In 2020, to celebrate JazzTimes’ 50th anniversary, we made a bold  call: the top 50 jazz albums of the past 50 years, according to our critics. It turns out that JazzTimes readers like such lists a whole lot, possiblyeven more than we do. To follow up, we’ve put together a prequel of sorts: the top 50 jazz albums from the 50 years before our magazine was published. Here are our picks from the '20s.   – JazzTimes


Drake applauds the play on the floor. Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers in 1st half action of NBA Playoffs, Round One series at ScotiaBank Arena.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Drake applauds the play on the floor. Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers in 1st half action of NBA Playoffs, Round One series at Scotiabank Arena.

Rb Hip Hop

Drake Has Been ‘Happy As S–t’ Amid Kendrick Lamar Feud, Says Producer Gordo

Drizzy's next verse comes on Gordo's upcoming Diamante album.

The fallout from Drake’s feud with Kendrick Lamar hasn’t put a damper on his summer. According to his Honestly, Nevermind collaborator Gordo, the producer hasn’t seen Drake happier.

Gordo, formerly known as Carnage, provided an update on the 6 God’s state of mind during a conversation with People in an interview published on Wednesday (July 24).

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