Music Biz Headlines, July 6, 2023

Music Biz Headlines, July 6, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Hamilton musician Tom Wilson to receive Order of Canada

Best known as a frontman for Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Lee Harvey Osmond, the 64-year-old is a three-time Juno winner. Wilson scored 11 top-10 hits with Junkhouse, has multiple gold records and has written with Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour and Colin James. Wilson has also gained notoriety for imagery through paintings on guitars and canvas, with works shown at galleries in NYC, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. – Don Mitchell, Global News

Female musicians no longer second-class passengers on the yacht rock revival

Female indie rockers like Meg Remy, who performs under the moniker U.S. Girls, is one of a pack of female musicians new to the yacht rock trend. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


I Bificus turns 25

Bif Naked reflects on the “special, crazy, magical” experience of recording her landmark album. – Yasmine Shemesh, Georgia Straight

Meet the Halifax rapper breaking barriers and spitting bars—all while wearing a hijab

If you've been sleeping on the old-school, conscious hip hop of General Khan, consider her new EP your wake-up alarm. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast 

A new Gordon Lightfoot documentary will leave you lightheaded, but in a good way

In Lightheaded: A Gordon Lightfoot State of Mind, a new documentary about the fanhood of Gordon Lightfoot, a question is posed as to what makes someone so intensely emotional over a musician that they follow that artist to 50 states and multiple continents over the course of decades. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

‘The Idol’ is hot garbage. Will its stench cling to the Weeknd?

Nine months ago, the Weeknd used a professional high point to herald what may end up the low-water mark of his career. “The Idol” at that time had all the makings of a cultural sensation, and its buzz grew only louder over the next few months, even as Rolling Stone reported on the series’ beleaguered production and its descent into “sexual torture porn.” – Mikael Wood, LA Times

Thank God that piece of shit The Idol has finished

WTFing Fuck was The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) thinking when he made that piece of shit ‘The Idol’. –  Noise11

Orchestra Toronto welcomes newcomers to Toronto through classical music

The Welcome Seats Program offers newcomers a chance to experience an orchestra performance for free as a gesture of peace and an overall welcome to Canada. – Janiece Campbell, Toronto Star


Why I believe in Canadian content

Canadian content rules produce the occasional puzzling anomaly – Why is Handmaid’s Tale, a TV series shot in Canada and based on a celebrated Canadian novel, not considered Canadian content? Despite this, Cancon is worth preserving. – Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail


Spotify had 44.4M US subscribers in Feb., Apple Music had 32.6M

We know that at the close of Q1 2023 (the three months to end of March), Spotify had a total global paying subs audience of 210 million. That number was revealed as part of the company’s Q1 earnings results, in which SPOT told investors that added 5m net Premium subscribers during the quarter. Now we’ve learned SPOT had  44.4m paying subscribers as of Feb. 2023 in the US. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Who’s most afected by Madonna’s tour postponement?

Lost deposits, travel expenses and other costs could add up to millions of dollars — but the tour should still earn big money when it eventually hits the road. – Dave Brooks, Billboard

Madonna is pausing her tour due to a ‘serious bacterial infection.’ Celebrities are showing their support

The tour was planned to begin in Vancouver in two weeks. – Toronto Star

Michael League explains how Snarky Puppy have found their groove

 Snarky Puppy's Michael League discusses the making of their latest album Empire Central and the band's enduring reputation for excellence. – Brad Barker, JazzFM


Taylor Swift’s fans are cyberbullying John Mayer again — and giving all Swifties a bad name

Swift called for “kindness” and asked her rabid stans to not “defend me against someone you think I wrote a song about 14 million years ago.” It didn’t work. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

God Save the Punks: London braces for Iggy Pop’s new festival Dog Day Afternoon

The new one-dayer at Crystal Palace Park pays homage to the spirit and legacy of punk. – Evening Standard

Review: Herbie Hancock in top form in jubilant Toronto Jazz Festival show

To be in the presence of one of music’s true innovators was a rare treat for the Meridian Hall audience. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Neil Young rises again at Los Angeles tour opener

Legendary rocker’s first tour since 2019 began with a setlist dominated by ultra-rarities. – Steve Appleford, Spin


Love the songwriting of Jason Isbell and Robert Earl Keen? Credit Cormac McCarthy

The No Country for Old Men author, who died last month at 89, lit a fire in the belly of some of the greatest American songwriters. – Caine O'Rear, Rolling Stone

Tracy Chapman will be the first Black woman to score a number one country song as sole writer

Luke Combs' version of Chapman's 1988 hit "Fast Car" is expected to top Billboard's Country Airplay chart. – J. Bernstein, Rolling Stone

Who will have the 2023 song of the summer?

The sun is shining, the beach calls, and school is out: It’s time to prepare the song of the summer. Often, there’s a clear champion: In 2017, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” was unavoidable. In 2019, Lil Nas X’s ubiquitous “Old Town Road” foretold future superstardom. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” did the same in 2021. But that’s not always the case. – Maria Sherman, AP

Boygenius host unofficial pride love fest at the Bud

They might sing “Sad-Girl Music” but concert a joyful experience. – Brighid Fry, NEXT

Bob Ludwig, legendary mastering engineer, retires

If the name Bob Ludwig doesn’t immediately resonate, take a look at the liner notes in your album collection: You likely own more records that he’s worked on than those of any artist or session musician. The prominent behind-the-scenes mastering engineer associated with a Who’s Who of classic rock artists has retired after a career spanning six decades and includes 13 Grammy Awards. – Best Classic Bands 

For Norah Jones, ‘Little Broken Hearts’ gives a lesson in making the most of a bad experience

A sign of how much “Little Broken Hearts” represented a departure for Norah Jones was that she filmed not one, but two music videos for the album depicting herself as a murderer. One victim was a lying, cheating boyfriend, the other his temptress. Both ended up at the bottom of a lake. – David Bauder, AP

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.
Nykieria Chaney/Getty Images for ABA

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.

Music News

Billie Eilish Dances and Sings Along to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Not Like Us’ Drake Diss

K. Dot's track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May.

Billie Eilish was spotted vibing to Kendrick Lamar‘s “Not Like Us.”

In a video that began circulating on social media Saturday (May 18), the 22-year-old pop star is seen dancing and singing along to K. Dot’s infectious Drake diss, which recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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