Music Biz Headlines, July 5, 2021

Tim Thorney (pictured) and Ellen McIlwaine are remembered, Toronto music venues are struggling, and Fefe Dobson readies a comeback. Also in the headlines are The Damn Truth, Steven Page, Mendelson Joe, Oscar Peterson, Angela Hewitt, Daniel Lanois, HYBE, Snap, UMG, Spotify, the Grammys, Elvis Costello, Sun Ra, James Harman, INXS, Tyler, the Creator, and Earl Slick.

Music Biz Headlines, July 5, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Live music venues struggle to stay afloat amid skyrocketing insurance rates as pandemic recedes

Legendary Horseshoe Tavern could leave province if it can't find liability insurance, owner warns. – Michael Smee, CBC News

To Alanis Morissette, late songwriter and producer Tim Thorney was ‘a deeply, deeply good man’

Morissette’s account of Thorney’s unconditional loyalty is not isolated: Facebook has been alight with testimonials to the Winnipeg native’s generosity since his June 15 death at the age of 66 from kidney failure, all of them deeply mourning the loss of the Gemini Award-winning singer, songwriter, composer, producer, record label founder, studio owner and jingle writer. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Musical mastermind Tim Thorney was a sensitive and generous collaborator

A guitarist, producer, songwriter, studio owner and jingle maker, Tim Thorney had a song covered by Burton Cummings, worked on the hit French-Canadian animated children’s television series Rolie Polie Olie, contributed in the making of memorable music on major advertising campaigns for 7Up, FedEx and Sympatico, and gave space and safe haven to Alanis Morissette at the height of her most frenzied international fame. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Ellen McIlwaine took her musical gifts in surprising directions, defying expectations at every turn

Ellen McIlwaine was the epitome of an adventurous spirit: fierce and independent, the flame-haired artist took her musical gifts in surprising directions, defying expectations at every turn. As a virtuoso slide guitarist with a seismic voice, she excelled in a male-dominated field, leading her bands with a bold musical style that transcended genre and culture. – Nicholas Jennings, The Globe and Mail

Fefe Dobson is ready to let it all out again

The Canadian singer-songwriter’s ascent was riddled with racist attempts to brand her as someone she wasn’t. Almost 20 years later, she’s still doing it her way. – Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Refinery 29

Steven Page with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra brings goosebumps, tears and hope

On Saturday morning, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed with Steven Page for a physically distanced audience of 50 at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre. They had been scheduled to perform together in the spring of 2020. Like everything else, the show was cancelled. For more than 15 months, this had been impossible: We were about to hear live music in person, in a concert hall. – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail


On this Canada Day, I feel a strong urge to thank Tom Cochrane — and all the other Canadian musicians who make me proud

My enduring love of Canadian music had passed to my children. We take our audio blessings for granted in this great land. Unlike in film or television, which unfairly don’t have the resources to compete against American imports, our musicians have been warbling above their weight class for decades. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

Daniel Lanois says posthumous Leonard Cohen collaboration could be one of several

Lanois hopes "Torn Again," his new song with Leonard Cohen, marks the first of several posthumous collaborations that see the light of day. Cohen's son Adam has given his blessing. – CP

The Damn Truth: naked beginnings and arena-sized ambition

With the help of producer Bob Rock, Zep-loving Canadians The Damn Truth have stadiums in their sights. – Will Simpson, Loudersound

Weekend playlist: Vince Staples, Yves Tumor and more new music you need to hear

Your Weekend Playlist offers a brief introduction to a broad range of the most interesting new tracks and emerging artists. This edition also features new music from Low, Tirzah and Helado Negro, plus a Blood Orange remix of a classic Sugababes track. – Richie Assaly,Toronto Star

Life lessons from a living legend: Mendelson Joe on art, music and the indispensability of a ‘good pimp’

Mendelson Joe is sick enough that he can no longer play the guitar. “I have two diseases that I don’t want to talk about,” he says. Asked if the illnesses were serious, he answers matter-of-factly. “Everything is serious when you’re going to die.” A lifelong iconoclast now 76 years old, the artist-musician is being failed by everything except his wit and candidness. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


The best of Oscar Peterson: Five essential albums by the master pianist

Over the course of Peterson’s acclaimed career, he won seven Grammy Awards, was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. With more than 200 published recordings to his name, it’s hard to know where to start exploring this body of work. But to help you on your journey, here are five standout recordings from this Canadian legend. – Raina Hersh, JazzFM


Classical home listening: Angela Hewitt and a recital rarity

The Canadian pianist explores declarations of love from Schubert to Gershwin. And Toby Hughes shows just what the double bass can do. – Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

Bedouin Soundclash to join Dan Mangan, Joel Plaskett, and others at YMCA Virtual Campfire Benefit Concert on July 8

The Zoom event--which will raise funds to support YMCA Camp Elphinstone--will also feature performances by  Partner, and Hunnuh, with Downie Live as emcee. "Getting out of the city and into nature is so crucial for young people," says Mangan in a press release. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Bang Si-hyuk steps down as CEO of HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment

He is leaving his role as CEO of HYBE (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) as a part of a major leadership shakeup at the company behind K-pop megastars BTS. Also known as the “Hitman”, Bang Si-hyuk will remain on the Board of Directors as Chairman, and will also now focus on music production “which is his area of expertise”, according to HYBE. – MBW

Can Snap's Universal Music deal help it counter TikTok?

Snap recently signed a new licensing deal with Universal Music Group (OTC:VIVHY), the world's largest record label, to add its songs to Snapchat's library of Sounds and AR Lenses. – Foolcom

Spotify executive calls artist ‘entitled’ for requesting payment of one penny per stream

Why isn’t Spotify paying more? Ashley Jana presented that question to Jim Anderson, who is credited with architecting the Spotify platform, at a music industry conference in New York. Anderson was lauded there as “the man who built out the system architecture of Spotify.” But that build-out didn’t seem to include much consideration for artist payments — which Anderson made exceedingly clear. – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Recording Academy invites 2,710 new members, with more than half from under-represented groups

About half of new voting members to Grammys also identify as women. – Brian Welk, The Wrap

Elvis Costello defends Olivia Rodrigo against plagiarism claim

In response to a Twitter user claiming Rodrigo’s song ‘Brutal’ is “pretty much a direct lift from Elvis Costello”, the artist said “this is fine by me”. The user is presumably referring to the similarity between the guitar riff on ‘Brutal’ and that of Costello’s ‘Pump It Up’. “It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did.” – Caleb Triscari NME


How Sun Ra taught us to believe in the impossible

The visionary jazz artist sketched an “Astro-Black mythology” that aligned ancient Egyptian history with a future human exodus “beyond the stars.” – Hua Hsu, New Yorker

James Harman obituary

US blues singer, songwriter and harmonica playerwas  renowned for his demanding approach as a bandleader. – Tony Russell, The Guardian

Summer Of Soul should not be dismissed as 'the black Woodstock'

Compelling new documentary looks back at a seminal festival. – Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

Review: Tyler, the role model?

On sincere and ambitious new album, Tyler, the Creator comes into his own. – Mikael Wood, LA Times

INXS ‘Original Sin – The 7 Sins’ film to premiere July 16

‘Original Sin – The 7 Sins’, a new movie by Amy Tinkham and featuring the music of INXS, will premiere on July 16 on the Veeps streaming platform. – Noise11

Rock sideman Earl Slick: ‘Bowie had gone levels into insanity’

He played through extreme drug-taking on Bowie’s Station to Station, and with Yoko Ono weeks after Lennon’s death. The guitarist explains why he’s great at backing legends – and terrible at selling timeshares. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

The Weeknd with Metro Boomin and Future
@metroboomin Instagram

The Weeknd with Metro Boomin and Future

Rb Hip Hop

The Weeknd Spotted at Kendrick Lamar's 'Pop Out' Concert in Los Angeles

Unlike former Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan, the Scarborough-born artist never got onstage, but he was in the audience of the show that featured Drake diss tracks 'Not Like Us' and 'Euphoria.'

Kendrick Lamar took over the internet last night (June. 19) with his "Pop Out" concert live-streamed on Prime Video from the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. If it wasn't clear Kendrick had won public opinion in his beef with Drake, it was when the stage united cultural figures from L.A. — from up-and-comers to legends like Dr. Dre, basketball stars like Russell Westbrook, even someone Drake name-dropped in one of his diss tracks, DJ Mustard — to dance along to the scathing "Not Like Us."

DeMar DeRozan, the beloved former Toronto Raptor who was once close enough to Drake that he spilled the beans on an upcoming mixtape joined fellow L.A.-born NBA player Westbrook onstage at the Forum during "Not Like Us."

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