Music Biz Headlines, June 17, 2021

TikTok pays dividends for Canadian artists, Gordon Lightfoot will reopen Massey Hall, and the TSO announces a new season. Also in the headlines are the Junos, Broadway, Justin Bieber, Michael Laderoute, Sony Music, Celogen, music discovery, video games, Rick James, Kim Salmon, The Go-Go’s, a-ha, and Sinead O’Connor.

Music Biz Headlines, June 17, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Canadian musicians are getting noticed on TikTok and music labels are scrambling to keep up

“Holy cow patties and a side of pickles!” That was the reaction of Robyn Ottolini to the fan frenzy that ensued following her first use of TikTok, the Beijing-based mobile app that allows users to create short videos lasting anywhere from 15 seconds to three minutes. – Nick Krewen, The Toronto Star

Gordon Lightfoot to play three shows as renovated Massey Hall gets set to reopen this November

Massey Hall, closed since 2018 for extensive renovations of the 127-year-old venue, has now officially announced the Lightfoot concerts and much more. The Carefree Highway troubadour, the last artist to perform at the concert hall, on July 1, 2018, will open the revitalized space with three shows on Nov. 25-27. Lightfoot celebrates his 83rd birthday on Nov. 17. He has performed on what is now known as the Allan Slaight Stage on more than 160 occasions. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Junos: Writing songs in a year of isolation and upheaval

From the “backstage” virtual media rooms at the 50th annual Juno Awards in 2021, SOCAN brings you comments from winners, performers, and presenters, about how the past 15 months of physical isolation, and social and political upheaval, may have influenced their songwriting process and subject matter. – Howard Druckman, Words & Music

The road to Ode (to Joy): Maestro Gustavo Gimeno’s plan to gradually ramp up the TSO postpandemic

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2021-2022 season – a live, in-person one that will also be Gustavo Gimeno’s first complete season as music director. The Globe and Mail spoke with Maestro Gimeno, who is also music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, over Zoom while he was in his home town of Valencia, Spain,  visiting his mother. – J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail

Quebec's festival season scales back, revs up as musicians head to the regions

It's another Montreal summer without the jazz fest, Les Francos and Osheaga, but smaller events in the city and around the province are inching us back together. – Montreal Gazette

Broadway speeds up while the West End slows down – and Canada’s theatre scenes bud

It’s still unclear in Canada whether any performing arts producers will ask for proof of vaccination in a similar fashion – or, for that matter, be legally allowed to ask for it. - J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail


Former Montrealer's song Justin Bieber a tongue-in-cheek tribute gone viral

"I just wanted to create a really fun music video. I don't want to come off creepy." – T'cha Dunleavy, Montreal Gazette

Fond memories of Toronto’s Michael Laderoute (1947-2021)

Michael will be remembered fondly for his kindness, humour, generosity and honest friendship. He was a poet, songwriter, fisherman, and all-around good guy to hang out with. – Paul Corby, Roots Music Canada

Calgary artist Celogen releases haunting and haunted art pop on sixth release

Dominic Demierre is convinced a ghost haunts his house in northeast Calgary. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


Music discovery is entering new age, with streaming at the helm

MusicWatch’s latest project on music discovery surveyed 1000 music listeners in the US, covering their music listening habits and topics around the discovery experience.” – Russ Crupnick, Billboard

Why is federal Covid relief for indie cinemas and music venues taking so long? Blame past fraudsters

Entertainment lobbyists say extra measures to ensure relief funds go only to those in need have left thousands of venue owners waiting for weeks for aid. More than a month after the Small Business Administration opened applications for a $15B grant program to provide relief for movie theaters and other entertainment venues crippled by Covid, barely any applicants have received money. – Jeremy Fuster, The Wrap

These are the E3 trailers you need for a glimpse at the future of video games

E3 2021, the Electronic Entertainment Experience, may not have carried the audience energy of a frenzied crowd gathered to see which of its favorite video game characters, titles and companies showed the most promising developments, but the trailers, visuals and gameplay are still generating excitement from giddy gamers.– Jevon Phillips  Los Angeles Times


What cam music learn from the rise and rise of the video games business?

The following MBW op/ed comes from Kim Bayley, CEO of the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association, whose members include the likes of Amazon, Deezer, HMV, SoundCloud, Spotify, and YouTube. ERA recently released its 2021 Yearbook, packed with data about the UK entertainment market.” – MBW

Sony Music Australia under investigation by US HQ following harassment accusations

Sony Music's US headquarters is investigating claims of bullying and harassment within the firm's Australian company. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Sony Music’s global head of HR has contacted former and current employees of Sony Music Australia after a staff member at the firm's Sydney office made a complaint. The news follows the dismissal of Sony Music Australia's Tony Glover earlier this year following separate allegations of bullying and harassment. – Sydney Morning Herald


Rick James outfunks his rivals in first clip from new doc ‘Bitchin”

The documentary, which premiered at Tribeca Film Fest, will air on Showtime and aims to balance funk artist’s dreams and demons. – Kory Grow, Rolling Stone

Interview: The Scientists Kim Salmon on their new album and the secret to their longevity

Legendary Aussie punk band The Scientists have just released their first new album in 35 years. Titled Negativity, its genesis came from necessity. – New Noise

The Go-Go’s’ Charlotte Caffey recalls highlights of band’s recently reissued ‘God Bless The Go-Go’s’ album

Go-Go’s lead guitarist/keyboardist Charlotte Caffey tells ABC Audio that she’s glad the album has been reissued because she feels it didn’t get the attention it deserved when it first was released. – ABC News

"We never wanted to be teen heartthrobs": A-ha lead singer on the band's longevity and "Take On Me"

Frontman Morten Harket spoke to Salon about the band's new documentary, dealing with fame and the trio's chemistry. – Gary Kramer, Salon

Sinead O’Connor reclaims her voice in the memoir ‘Rememberings’

After finding stardom, the Irish singer also became a high priestess, had a family, dealt with mental health issues — often very publicly. She writes about all of this in her voice — as well as about her childhood, the music scene, her struggles in the industry. Sinead O’Connor’s reclaimed her story and her voice. – Deborah Dundas, Toronto Star

CP24 Car at 299 Yonge
Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash

CP24 Car at 299 Yonge


Music Biz Headlines: The Fate of CP24's Famous Spinning Car at 299 Queen Toronto Headquarters

Also this week: Queen's catalogue sells, The Weeknd makes history, Celine Dion's moving documentary and more.

CP24 is moving. Here’s what that means for the iconic car on the side of the Queen Street building

The CP24 truck bursting out of the side of 299 Queen Street West has been a staple of Toronto for decades. – Andy Tagaki, Toronto Star

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