Music Biz Headlines, July 30, 2020

A posthumous album from Nick Cordero (pictured) is coming, the perilous state of Toronto venues, and Sebastian Bach makes a splash. Also in the headlines are Gordon Lightfoot, Alanis Morissette, Peter Green, Amy Klobuchar, TikTok, Spotify, eOne, CAA, Taylor Swift, Alan Menken, Lollapalooza, BeatStars, Jon Hassell, The Chainsmokers, Miss Mercy, Mike Scott, Malik B., and Kevin Costner.

Music Biz Headlines, July 30, 2020

By FYI Staff

'The situation is grim': Toronto concert venues look to government funding for survival

Heritage Canada updates eligibility criteria for fund after criticism from industry players. – CBC News

Toronto live music venues struggle to survive amid COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic has ended the sweet sounds of a live show inside a room packed with fans and replaced it with a precarious situation for dozens of music venues in the Greater Toronto Area. With live music off the table during COVID-19, concert venues in Toronto say they are struggling to make ends meet. –  Beth Macdonell, CTV News

Sebastian Bach's Trump tweet hit the centre of America. Now he's going to drink more red wine

The 52-year-old Canadian rock star talked to us about Skid Row, wine rage, the death of rock 'n' roll, and more, so much more. – Justin Kirkland, Esquire


'Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind': Film review

Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni's documentary delivers an intimate portrait of the legendary Canadian singer/songwriter. The paeans come fast and furious in the film: "If there was a Mount Rushmore in Canada, Gordon would be on it," exclaims Tom Cochrane. – Hollywood Reporter

SARSstock: The day the Rolling Stones came to Toronto’s rescue

Just after 10 pm on July 30, 2003, the Rolling Stones began their headlining set at a park on a former military airbase in Toronto’s outskirts. The all-day festival, called Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto and attended by nearly half a million hot, happy people, had been rush-organized to raise public spirits and stimulate a sagging economy after an outbreak of SARS. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

The late Nick Cordero to have an album released in his honour

Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor from Canada who spent more than 90 days in a hospital fighting for his life after contracting coronavirus, will have an album released posthumously. Broadway Records will release “Nick Cordero: Live Your Life” on Sept. 17 — what would have been his 42nd birthday.– AP

Virtual festivals give Home County and Sunfest access to new audiences

They watched and listened from Australia, Central America, South America, Africa, South Korea and Europe. TD Sunfest has never enjoyed such reach, but thousands of world music fans enjoyed a taste of the festival online July 10 and 11. – Joe Belanger, London Free Press


Alanis Morissette wants to change your mind. She’ll do it too. Spend an hour talking to her and you’ll realize that you like yourself more than you did before your interaction. She makes gifts of her observations. She never lets you over-share alone. She listens; maybe that’s the rare thing. – Liz Phair, LA Times

Guitarist Peter Green, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, was a sensitive soul with melancholy in his fingers

By the time Green briefly married a Canadian fiddler in the late 1970s, Fleetwood Mac had went on to fame and fortune without him. Green was just one more entry in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Eats Its Own file. He will be remembered for the sweet tone of his Les Paul model guitar. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Real live jazz concerts coming back to the Italian Cultural Centre

Cory Weeds dishes on his upcoming shows and his new album. – Sean Conner, Vancouver Sun


Amy Klobuchar on bill to save indie music venues: ‘I don't want to lose music in America’

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the Minnesota Senator explains why she co-introduced the Save Our Stages bill to help independent venues across the country. – Rolling Stone

UK government to investigate streaming music royalties

The British government has recommended that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport “investigate how the market for recorded music is operating in the era of streaming to ensure that music creators are receiving a fair reward.” – Digital Music News 


Watch out TikTok: US-based rival Triller is raising between $200m and $300m

If you weren't paying attention to the rise of TikTok rival Triller before, now's the time. The company is raising between $200m and $300m to fuel its expansion, just as it starts locking in deals to transfer over major TikTok influencers to its platform. According to a Fox Business report – seemingly confirmed by Triller CEO Mike Lu – Triller has secured commitments to raise the nine-figure sum to fuel its expansion. – MBW

Spotify took a hit in Q2

Spotify Technology SA (SPOT) on Wednesday reported a loss of $391.9M in its Q2. The Luxembourg-based company said it had a loss of $2.10 per share. The music-streamer posted revenue of $2.08B in the period. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.17 billion. - Billboard


Hasbro posts quarterly loss as pandemic hits eOne

THR reports: “Toy giant Hasbro on Monday posted second-quarter financial results that missed Wall Street forecasts for earnings and revenue as the novel coronavirus pandemic caused production delays, hitting its Entertainment One film and TV division, and delays in its movie releases amid cinema closures.” – Digital Media Wire

Socially distanced trial gig ‘not a success’

A gig used to trial safety measures for the return of live music "did not succeed" in providing a blueprint for the industry, according to the manager of the venue that hosted the event. Folk rocker Frank Turner played to a socially-distanced audience at London's Clapham Grand on Tuesday. Only 200 people attended, compared to the venue's normal capacity of 1,250. –  BBC News

SoundExchange and neighboring rights explained

In this continuation of Disc Makers’ series on music copyright and royalties, CEO Tony van Veen dives into the concept of neighboring rights and how the organization SoundExchange tackles tracking and paying royalties earned from said neighboring rights to the relevant party. – Hypebot

CAA announces pandemic-driven cutbacks

"...Effective this week, approximately 90 agents and executives from departments across the agency will be leaving.  In addition, we are furloughing approximately 275 assistants and other staff.  The company will continue to fully pay the health plan premiums for those being furloughed...." – Hits Daily Double

WIPO, CISAC announce new repertoire data accord to support rights holders

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) today announced an important advancement in their cooperation, with a particular benefit for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) representing creators in developing countries – WIPO Media release

The music industry has an advertising problem

Numbers suggest that alarm bells are starting to ring for Universal, Sony and Warner over ad revenue — especially in “mature” streaming markets. Will they take action? – Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone

Those and dozens of other artists have put their signatures to an open letter from the Artist Rights Alliance, addressed to to the Democratic and Republican national, congressional and senatorial committees, asking all parties to put an end to appropriating popular songs for political purposes without authorization. –  Chris Willman, Variety

We're starting to see a generation of artists born and raised on TikTok

Last week TikTok renewed its existing licensing agreement with Believe, one of the world’s biggest independent music companies that claims – largely via its ownership of TuneCore – to distribute over a third of all music releases, by volume, across the world. – MBW


Taylor Swift's Folklore songs ranked

Like any great LP, “Folklore” — which Swift made remotely with a crew of fresh collaborators including Aaron Dessner of the National and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon — has its high points and low points, its peaks and valleys, its “Come Togethers” and its “Octopus’s Gardens.” Here, then, is a critical rundown of every song on “Folklore,” ranked from worst to best. – LA Times

Composer Alan Menken achieves EGOT status after Daytime Emmy win

Composer Alan Menken achieved the coveted feat with his Daytime Emmy win for "Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure." His win makes him the 16th person to achieve EGOT status — winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. – Variety

Lollapalooza heads to YouTube

Instead of the usual weekend in Chicago’s Grant Park, where Lollapalooza has been taking place since 2005, Lolla2020 will be a four-night free broadcast exclusive to YouTube with 150 performances, some brand-new and some from older sets performed at previous festivals. – James Hale, Tubefilter

How a quirky Indiana studio was the first to record many of America's famous musicians

The records from those early sessions have continued to reverberate for almost a century, influencing Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Pete Seeger and countless others. But those who study Gennett have found that many still don't know how important the Richmond studio is to the history of jazz, blues, gospel and popular music. The more people who learn the stories behind the artists' famous recording sessions, the more jaws drop. – Indianapolis Star


BeatStars, with over $85m in royalties paid out to producers, launches new distribution service

The company received a lot of media attention last year for being the source of the track used for Lil Nas X’s global hit Old Town Road -  Founded by Abe Batshon in 2008, BeatStars currently has offices in Austin, Texas, Funchal (Portugal) and Porto Alegre, Brazil. BeatStars has now launched BeatStars Distribution. – MBW

The 83-year-old is heralded by everyone from Bono to Basquiat for his ‘fourth world’ vision for music – and pop has caught up with him.  Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Over 1M fans paid to view Belgium EDM festival

Global viewers of the pay-per-view virtual festival saw over 60 acts, including Katy Perry, Amelie Lens, David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, perform across eight custom-designed stages on the island of Pāpiliōnem. –  IQ

The Chainsmokers are under fire for performing at a packed concert in the Hamptons

EDM-lite act the Chainsmokers continue to simultaneously thrive and make everyone mad. The duo is now being scolded for hosting a socially undistanced show in the Hamptons. – Exclaim!

Miss Mercy, Frank Zappa muse and GTO co-founder, dead at 71

The GTOs were only an active band from 1968 to 1970, releasing their sole album, the Frank Zappa-produced Permanent Damage, in 1969. The band was also famously featured in Rolling Stone‘s “Special Super-Duper Neat Issue” in 1969 — in a photo spread of “The Groupies and Other Girls. – Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone

Mike Scott of the Waterboys: how we made The Whole of the Moon

‘My girlfriend asked “Is it easy to write songs?” There was a moon, so I pulled out a pen and wrote “I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon.”’ – The Guardian

L.A. Opera calls off fall shows and projects losses up to $31 million

Los Angeles Opera is postponing for an entire year all four productions that had been scheduled for this fall, the company said Tuesday as it outlined the depths of the financial fallout from Covid-19. Postponed is the  Off Grand series performance of Get Out in Concert, music performed live to a screening of the Jordan Peele film. –LA Times

Women in lutherie: How female builders are pioneering new guitar design 

Renowned Canadian guitar maker Linda Manzer is one of the women rewriting the rule book.  – Guitar World

Kevin Costner on screenwriting and songwriting the music of ‘Yellowstone’

Ever since his directorial debut, 30 years ago, Kevin Costner has used music as vocabulary to help articulate his life onscreen — for himself, as an actor, but also for the audience and for those involved in making the film, as a director. He has turned his hand to songwriting for a new project, Tales from Yellowstone. – Nadia Neophytou, American Songwriter

The Roots rapper Malik B. dead at 47

Malik B, the rapper who was a co-founding member of the Roots and appeared on band's first four LPs, has died at the age of 47.  “May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam, His loving brotherhood and His innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time,” Questlove and Black Thought say. – Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Matt Barnes



New & Upcoming Canadian Album Releases: deadmau5 Returns with New EP, Hollerado's Menno Versteeg Goes Solo

Boy Golden and Begonia also have new releases this week, while Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are reissuing their solo albums.

A mid-summer release week brings some notable new releases from Canadian artists, including Oleyada andRuss Brannon. Hot off the exclusive cover story in the new Rolling Stone Quebec, deadmau5 is also back with a new release, some ep, that combines his first solo music in two years with his alter-ego Testpilot.

For Eden, meanwhile, is the second full-length from indie folk/roots songsmith Boy Golden (Liam Duncan). His debut LP, Church of Better Days, hit #1 at Canadian Alternative radio, and he has quickly become a favourite on the touring circuit. Already a Juno winner, Winnipegger Begonia turns heads with her force of nature voice, and new album Open Swim will spread the word.

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