Music Biz Headlines, June 16, 2022

The late country star Shane Yellowbird is remembered, The Onyx Experience salutes black Canadian rock artists, and Jonathan Kawchuk draws inspiration from the Rockies. Also in the headlines are Jacob Hoggard, Buddy Guy, Fatuma Adar, Nickelback, Phoebe Bridgers, Ethan Surman, Charlie Montoyo, Harrison Kennedy, Sidhu Moose Wala, Goldman Sachs, Spotify, the Grammys, the NFT swindle, Tommy Mottola, Kate Bush, Anitta, voguing, Toby Keith, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Music Biz Headlines, June 16, 2022

By Kerry Doole

‘Onyx Experience’ filmmakers on how loving Black rock music made them outsiders

Director Andrew Hamilton says his new concert film “The Onyx Experience” is not only a powerful celebration of Canada’s often underappreciated Black rock music scene, but a reclamation of a genre he was told couldn’t be his. The filmmaker recalls being a passionate fan of rock and metal bands while growing up in Markham, but found people around him frequently shot down his tastes. – David Friend, CP

Rock music was pioneered by Black artists. Here are 5 Canadian acts shaping the genre now

On the heels of a new film that examines rock’s roots in the Black community, we look to the genre's future. – CBC

What the trial of Hedley’s Jacob Hoggard says about his ‘rock star lifestyle’

Hoggard’s trial details a pattern of “rock star” behaviour that’s difficult to challenge in the world of touring music — behaviour that isn’t “pretty,” even when it may not necessarily be illegal. – Olivia Bowden & Alyshah Hasham, Toronto Star


For this Canadian’s latest album, the Rocky Mountains became his recording studio – and key collaborator

The concept behind Jonathan Kawchuk's new album was recording music in the Rocky Mountains, with the atmosphere of the venue incorporated into the final product. – Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail

Buddy Guy cancels his Jazz Fest show on medical grounds

The Coastal Jazz & Blues Society has just announced that Buddy Guy will not appear at this year's TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, for medical reasons. The 85-year-old blues legend was scheduled to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 24 as part of the festival's Marquee Series. –Georgia Straight

SZA shares an unreleased gem, plus new music from Dom Vallie, Angel Olsen, Milk & Bone and more

This week’s playlist also includes a punishing new song from Hamilton metalcore veterans Counterparts. – Staff, Toronto Star

Somalian-Canadian Fatuma Adar opens new Toronto-set musical about her family’s immigration experience

Somali Canadian playwright Adar is bringing her fresh brand of Black joy and celebration to Canadian Stage’s Dream in High Park theatre event this summer. A rising talent in both theatre and on screen, Adar’s Dixon Road, on at the High Park Amphitheatre in Toronto from June 3-19, is a musical journey of family, diaspora and searching for a new sense of home. – Rukhsar Ali, Globe and Mail


Queer reflections on dancehall, Spice and coming of age in Jamaica

A look at a Decolonial Performance Autoethnography in written and audio form by dub poet, theatre interventionist and scholar d’bi.young anitafrika. – NOW 

A country star from the First Nations is remembered

The late Canadian country star Shane Yellowbird had a silky, supple voice and a love of music—in particular, up-tempo pop-country ballads, in the spirit of Garth Brooks and George Strait. His musical talent did have precedent. – Susan Orlean, New Yorker

Depending on one's perspective, LA Angels either treated to, or punished by, a long night of Nickelback

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been on a protracted skid of late. Yesterday, the Angels decided it was time to take a bold step to mix things up. Every Angels batter who walked to the plate did so to Nickelback. Interim manager Phil Nevin denied he was responsible, even though he's a self-proclaimed fan of Nickelback. Georgia Straight

Meet Toronto’s Ethan Surman, the artist behind the summer-single-to-be ‘C’est La Vie’

The artist behind the whimsical tune is an amiable 20-year-old singer, multi-instrumentalist and bedroom producer from the High Park/Roncesvalles neighbourhood. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star  

HRM announces its official Canada Day/Kana'ta programming in Halifax

July 1 will see concerts at Grand Parade and Ferry Terminal Park, with Neon Dreams co-headlining.  – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo moonlights at salsa clubs

His passion is playing percussion at salsa clubs, but Charlie Montoyo also thrives at his day job: managing the Toronto Blue Jays. – NY Times

Fans report being ‘trampled’ at Phoebe Bridgers’ Toronto concert

Several attendees to the show at RBC Echo Beach said that Bridgers was forced to pause the show multiple times to deal with medical emergencies in the crowd. A spokesperson for Live Nation Canada told the Star that “there was no trampling at the venue.”  – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star


Review: Harrison Kennedy - Thanks For Tomorrow 

Recently turned 80, Harrison Kennedy is rightfully viewed as a valued elder statesman of the Canadian blues community, but he’s not resting on any laurels. Proud Hamiltonian Kennedy continues to record and perform at a very high level, so his new offering, Thanks For Tomorrow, has been keenly anticipated. – Kerry Doole, Maple Blues


Sidhu Moose Wala made me — and so many like me — proud to be Punjabi

Beyond his music, fans gravitated to his inspiring “underdog” story. It reminded me a lot of my own parents, writes Simmer Anand. – Toronto Star

Live Nation announces six Vancouver concerts, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Jake Bugg, and Dead Can Dance

The publicity team at Live Nation Canada was busy last week, announcing half a dozen Vancouver concerts on one morning alone. This included news that Carly Rae Jepsen would be appearing at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre on October 29. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Goldman Sachs: The global music industry is going to be worth even MORE than we previously thought

How much is the global music industry going to be worth in 2030? It's a question that Goldman Sachs attempts to answer each year via an update to its highly-influential Music In The Air report. This year's 62-page update has now arrived – with interesting predictions. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Spotify expects to reach $100-billion in revenue in 10 years

On June 8, Spotify said it expects to reach $100-billion revenue annually in the next 10 years and promised high-margin returns from its costly expansion into podcasts and audiobooks. The audio streaming company hosted its first investor day since going public in 2018, hoping to stoke Wall Street’s enthusiasm despite the slowing global economy. – Reuters

Grammys add new categories, including songwriter of the year

The Grammys are adding a special song for social change award and five new categories including songwriter of the year, giving the Recording Academy an avenue to honour music’s best composer. – Jonathan Landrum, AP

The Great Rock (NFT) Roll Swindle

Rewatching the Sex Pistols film, The Great Rock 'N Roll Swindle,  over four decades on, one is put in mind of many things currently gripping the modern music industry, but none more so than NFTs and how they have shifted, in the space of a year, from being a hugely exciting creative and commercial force into being hijacked by a new generation of crypto grifters. – Eamonn Forde, MBW

Legendary music executive Tommy Mottola is getting back into business with Sony Music

Sony Music Publishing Latin has entered into a global partnership with Tommy Mottola and entertainment and media company NEON16 to launch a new publishing company, called 22 Publishing. SMP says it will work alongside NEON16 to create key opportunities for the company’s roster across music, film, and TV. – MBW


Kate Bush solely wrote, produced and performs ‘Running Up That Hill’: Is that rare for a Hot 100 Top 10?

The classic, originally from 1985, surges back on the Hot 100 at No. 8, sparked by its 'Stranger Things' sync. –  Gary Trust, Billboard

Brazil’s Anitta, global phenom and LGBTQ icon, is set to conquer America

On Saturday, Anitta joined Christina Aguilera as one of the headliners of L.A.'s annual Pride in the Park, an outdoor concert and celebration of the city’s LGBTQ community. The show follows the 29-year-old’s monumental debut at Coachella, where she became the first Brazilian solo artist to take the main stage. – LA Times

The art of voguing is more than dance. It’s a movement 

The influential dance style, which Madonna popularized with her 1990 hit Vogue, has its roots in a much older phenomenon also called “ballroom” that grew out of drag balls in mid-20th-century Harlem. What was once clandestine has now hit the mainstream, big-time. HBO Max’s Legendary  is now aiming to do for ballroom what Rupaul has done for drag. – Elio Iannaci, Globe and Mail

Andrew Lloyd Webber booed after calling his ‘Cinderella’ musical a ‘costly mistake’ 

The West End’s production of “Cinderella” took its final bow in London Sunday evening, although a key member of the production’s creative team was not in attendance at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Its composer, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, penned a letter that was read aloud by the production’s director, Laurence Connor, thanking the members of the production before calling the endeavor a “costly mistake” — a comment that was met by resounding boos. – J. Kim Murphy, Variety


Country star Toby Keith discloses stomach cancer diagnosis

Country music star Toby Keith announced Sunday that he has been undergoing treatment for stomach cancer since last fall. The multi-platinum-selling singer said on Twitter that he underwent surgery and received chemotherapy and radiation in the past six months. “So far, so good,” said Keith, an Oklahoma native who turns 61 on July 8. – AP

How a saxophonist tricked the KGB by encrypting secrets in music

Using a custom encryption scheme based on musical notation, US musicians smuggled information into and out of the USSR. – Lily Newman, Wired

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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