Music Biz Headlines, July 9, 2020

William Prince (pictured) is getting noticed Stateside, Rufus Wainwright remains ambitious, and Shred Kelly launches a new album. Also in the headlines are Pacific Opera Victoria, UK music relief, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, David Mitchell, Pop Smoke, The Chicks, Ringo Starr, Talking Heads, the rave scene, David Johansen, The Clash, Taylor Swift, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Ennio Morricone

Music Biz Headlines, July 9, 2020

By FYI Staff

Quebec threatens to close bars, nightclubs that don't comply with covid-19 rules

Fines and police checks coming after a spike in infections detected in Montérégie. –– CBC News 

Rufus Wainwright wants another moment

Van Dyke Parks once referred to a neophyte Rufus Wainwright as “inevitable.” That was more than 20 years ago, and yet Wainwright, an elegant singer-songwriter with a Baroquian flair, retains unrealized promise. Oh, he’s successful – a Juno winner and all that. But he can also be seen as a failed Next Big Thing who never quite delivered on his predestined rock star status. –– Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

William Prince reflects on his early days and new album Reliever

If all you do today is listen to Canadian singer/songwriter William Prince, then today is a good day. For our Behind the Mic series, Prince played a soulful set and declared that he would play “until they shut the internet off.” This love for life and music radiates off of him. And it becomes obvious that he carefully embeds part of himself into each one of his songs. ––  American Songwriter 


B.C.'s Shred Kelly launches its fifth album, Like a Rising Sun, live on the Internet

Fernie-based alternative folkies Shred Kelly have performed their high-energy shows at countless venues over the years. But with the pandemic shutting down any gatherings of more than 50 people, it's crushed the live-music business and left bands scrambling to promote their latest tracks. On Monday, Shred Kelly launched its fifth album, Like a Rising Sun, through a live-stream on the Music B.C. website. –– Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight

With live performances out due to Covid-19, Pacific Opera Victoria gets creative to reach audiences

After three years of planning and fundraising, it was to be the most ambitious season in Pacific Opera Victoria’s 40-year history. Covid changed all that. –– Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail


UK music industry reacts to £1.5 billion government arts bailout: “Finally a light at the end of the tunnel”

"This fund provides the opportunity to stabilise and protect our vibrant and vital network of venues," writes the Music Venue Trust. –– Will Richards, NME

What kind of year will it be for the record business? 

The forecasts are getting worse. Despite rosy predictions at the start of the year, new analysis from industry number-crunchers suggest labels may now see their global revenues decline in 2020. –– Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame cancels live 2020 induction ceremony, Honorees will be saluted on HBO special

Rock and roll is fierce, but so, unfortunately, is covid-19. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced on July 8 that, due to the pandemic, it will cancel its live induction ceremony for this year and replace it with a TV special honoring this year’s inductees. The program will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max on Nov. 7—nearly 10 months after this year’s inductees were announced on Jan. 15.  ––  Paul Grein, Billboard

Government in the North must support music industry – Bronagh Gallagher

The singer is among 150 artists who wrote to the Executive calling for ‘urgent financial support.’ ––  Freya McClements, Irish Times

Author David Mitchell: Writing a music novel is 'impossible'

"How do you launch a book in an era where festivals aren't happening, when book tours can't happen? How do you do it?" he says via a Zoom chat. Utopia Avenue, which will now be published on 14 July, is Mitchell's eighth novel. It charts the rise of a British "psychedelic-folk-rock" band from Soho clubs to stardom in the US in the late 1960s.–– Rebecca Jones, BBC News

Eagles, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses among  the groups receiving PPP loans for postponed tours

Green Day, Tool, Nickelback, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Chainsmokers, and Chris Stapleton were also granted loans as part of the federal government’s relief plan for small businesses. –– Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone


Pop Smoke’s posthumous album: A chart-topping debut and a frustrating farewell

But the 20-year-old Pop Smoke, born Bashar Jackson, was shot and killed in February in a Hollywood Hills home invasion gone awry, possibly spurred by social media posts documenting his newfound success. The posthumous record arrives in a summer of seething protests over the murders of Black people by American police. –– August Brown, LA Times

White Riot: Documentary chronicles vintage, punk-fuelled (and oh so timely) anti-racism crusade

For punk nostalgists, White Riot provides an archive of high-energy performances from once-young English bands, as well as interviews with now grandparent-aged performers. These include Pauline Black from The Selecter, Topper Headon of The Clash, Tom Robinson, and Mykaell Riley of Steel Pulse. –– Liam Lacey, Original-Cin


The Chicks are done caring what people think

The trio formerly known as the Dixie Chicks is returning with its first album in 14 years, at peace with an industry that’s never made nice. –– The New York Times

Ringo Starr turns 80 with an All-Starr party

Ringo Starr is the first Beatle to turn 80 years old and he celebrated by streaming in his famous friends. Ringo Starr’s Big Birthday Show featured some collaborations, a few mass gatherings and a few vintage clips. On Give Me Love, Ringo and band were joined online by Rodney Crowell, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, Steve Earle, Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Keb’ Mo’, Jeff Bridges, T. Bone Burnett and Ray Wylie Hubbard. –– Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz on his new memoir and the last time he saw David Byrne

“It would be nice if a reunion could happen,” says Frantz as he reflects on his time in the legendary band, “because unlike many of our contemporaries, we’re all still alive.” –– Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

The Top 25 Albums of 2020 (so far)

These are the records we've leaned on during the last six tumultuous months. –– Staff, Consequence of Sound

Twisting my melon, man! The baggy, brilliant indie-rave summer of 1990

As the new decade dawned, indie and rave collided and a seismic party began. Bands from the Happy Mondays to Primal Scream relive that explosion of pills, thrills and endless possibilities. –– Joe Muggs, The Guardian

Taylor Swift for president in 2020? Her fans sure hope so.

Swifties around the nation took to social media on July 4 to call for the pop superstar to run for president following Kanye West's announcement that he'll be running for commander in chief in the 2020 election. –– Billboard

Martin Scorsese to direct documentary on New York Dolls’ David Johansen

The film produced with Showtime will also explore Johansen’s teenage years in the Village, his later work as Buster Poindexter and Harry Smith. –– Claire Shaffer, Rolling Stone 

'Living legend' Linton Kwesi Johnson wins PEN Pinter prize

The pioneer of dub poetry has been hailed for his ‘political ferocity’ and ‘tireless scrutiny of history.’ He states that ‘It was a myth that immigrants didn’t want to fit into British society. We weren’t allowed.’ –– Alison Flood, The Guardian


10 essential Ennio Morricone soundtracks

From ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ to ‘The Hateful Eight,’ these are the highlights of the late Italian film composer’s long, illustrious career. –– David Fear, Rolling Stone

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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