Music Biz Headlines, June 22, 2020

Aquakultre (pictured) spreads compassion, Neil Young releases a legendary long-lost album, and drive-in concerts take hold. Also in the headlines are throat singers, Oscar Peterson, Powfu, Jordan Wiberg, Ivan Sorensen, Jah'Mila, live-streaming, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Billie Eilish, A Tribe Called Quest, Funkadelic, Keedron Bryant, Quincy Jones, and Kurt Cobain.

Music Biz Headlines, June 22, 2020

By FYI Staff

“Mass gatherings is what we’re built on.” Festivals and fairs face a shaky post-pandemic future

“We had to undo everything,” said CMW president Neill Dixon, adding the production is now $1.5 million in debt as a result of the cancellation. "This is probably the biggest crisis in 38 years of running this event.” Canadian Music Week, which includes a new music festival and offers networking opportunities for professionals, is not alone. –– Francine Kopun, Toronto Star

Aquakultre’s Legacy spreads a message of compassion, heritage

Love. Compassion. Truth. These were the watchwords for Halifax songwriter Lance Sampson as he and his Aquakultre bandmates as they crafted the songs for the album Legacy.  The soul/jazz potpourri of heartfelt grooves and true-to-life storytelling has been recognized nationwide with its inclusion on the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Long List. –– Stephen Cooke, Chronicle-Herald


Neil Young: Homegrown review – his great 'lost' album, finally unearthed

Recorded after a relationship breakdown then never released, this mid-70s set has a pleasurable lightness of touch rather than big statement songs. ––  Michael Hann, The Guardian

Live music? All these guys need is a little plexiglass...

Honkin’ Tonk music, anyone? 10 days ago, at an Edmonton casino parking lot, Canadian country star Brett Kissel was greeted with the blaring of car horns instead of the usual applause as he hosted two days of outdoor concerts, the first sanctioned live music events in Canada since the pandemic broke. –– Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

‘New wave’ of Inuit throat singers reach the Canadian mainstream music scene

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, this first Safe&Sound music column is dedicated to a very special vocal tradition from Canada’s Inuit people: throat singing. –– Julie Rémy

A petition is circulating to rename Lionel-Groulx metro station after Oscar Peterson

The “Change Lionel Groulx Metro Station and rename it Oscar Peterson Metro Station” petition is well beyond the 2,500 signatures it had hoped to garner online, as advocates push to swap names of the metro station in Little Burgundy on the corner of Atwater Ave. and St. Jacques St. –– Daniel J. Rowe, CTV News Montreal

Live music venues still need life support

After five years of building the Rhapsody Barrel Bar into a popular live music venue, owner Tammy Lawrence is more worried than ever about the future. live-music venues will be among the last to return to pre-pandemic operations. The venues will need months of government support, such as the 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy, or they simply won’t make it. –– Terry Pender, Waterloo Record


Vancouver concert venues worry about their ability to survive the pandemic

There is growing concern about the survival of Vancouver's independent music venues as their doors remain closed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The last show at Vancouver's Rickshaw Theatre’s owner and operator Mo Tarmohamed says about 70 shows have already been cancelled at the venue, and he's deeply concerned about the future of his business. –– Carly Yoshida-Butryn, CTVNewsVancouver

TikTok hotshot Powfu muses about success and Gen Z

The 21-year-old Canadian rapper’s breakout hit “Death Bed” has been streamed over half a billion times worldwide since being released on SoundCloud and YouTube in February 2019. –– Inquirer

Musicians trade life on the road for family time during covid-19 — and they’re loving it

Despite the doom and gloom associated with the pandemic when it concerns the live music scene, there is one thing that self-isolation has allowed musicians to do. Breathe. –– Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

iN VIDEO: Okanagan musician takes viral country music video character to new heights

When Jordan Wiberg's mother shared his self-deprecating "Up Here, in Canada" Youtube video, the song soon went viral. ––  iNFOnews


Hamilton photographer Ivan Sorensen passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Hamilton photographer Ivan Sorensen. He was a mainstay of the Hammer's vibrant music scene, and local artists have been quick to pay tribute. –– Blues Hamilton

Playlist: Eight new Canadian tracks for summer streaming

K-os’s On My Kanye leads off this month’s edition of Wheeler’s Eight Tracks. Backxwash and Crystal Shawanda also make the list. –– Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Jah'Mila releases a reggae rallying call to end police brutality 

"Reggae has been the voice of the oppressed since its genesis," the Halifax singer says. –– Alec Martin, The Coast


Boom in live-streams brings questions about proper licensing and payment of songwriters

As Americans adjust to the new normal and live entertainment options decrease, one platform is booming: the live stream. However, while this boom has helped buoy spirits and online engagement, it is critical that platforms are properly licensed in this burgeoning space. –– David Israelite Billboard


Plans for UK-wide drive-in gigs announced

A series of drive-in concerts are to take place across the UK this summer, promoters Live Nation have announced. The likes of Ash, Dizzee Rascal, The Lightning Seeds and Gary Numan, have all signed up to play at the "Live From The Drive-In" events. Outdoor spaces in Birmingham, Liverpool, London will play host, as well as Edinburgh, Bristol and beyond. –– BBC

Tom Petty estate issues cease and desist over Trump's use of his song I Won't Back Down

The family of Tom Petty has issued a formal cease and desist letter to the Donald Trump campaign, saying the late singer stood against ‘racism and discrimination of any kind." –– The Guardian

Bruce Springsteen prays for a grief-stricken America, blasts Donald Trump

“Show some consideration and care for your countrymen and your country,” Springsteen says to Trump. “Put on a fucking mask.” –– Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

A session musician's survival guide to the coronavirus pandemic 

Currently, a lot of countries are on lockdown, meaning a lot of people can’t leave their houses. If you’re self-isolating at home, with all your shows cancelled and you’re figuring out ways to make ends meet - here are some solutions/ideas for you. They aren’t quick and easy solutions but they could potentially open up new avenues and income streams for you in the future, ultimately making you and your family more financially secure.  –– Eddie Vessey, Music Think Tank

Music from the death camps: Alive and being readied for a new home

For months, Francesco Lotoro was forced to stay in his home, quarantined by a virus that ravaged his country, Italy, and slowed a project he has been working on since 2014. His dream is to build a study center to house an archive of music from concentration camps. ––  The New York Times

Dancing in the streets: The heyday of Black DJs and the music that moved Black America

I can remember saving up my skimpy allowance to scrape together enough money to head to the record store to buy my favourite 45 RPMs, which I ‘d heard on the radio, spun by a Black DJ like Doug “Jocko” Henderson, or Georgie Woods—“the man with the goods.” –– Denise Velez, Daily Kos


The 17 best lyrics from Bob Dylan’s new album, ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’

When the singer and songwriter Bob Dylan issues his 39th studio album “Rough and Rowdy Ways” tonight, he’ll build on a career dense with memorable verbiage. Long regarded as a master of both free and rhymed verse, his life’s work is so impressive that most Americans have been told this at least once a month since birth. –– Randall Roberts, LA Times

Billie Eilish is granted a 3-year restraining order against an obsessed fan

Billie Eilish has been granted a long term restraining order against a man who repeatedly showed up at her family’s Los Angeles home last month. Prenell Rousseau, 24, is prohibited from trying to contact the singer and from coming within 91 metres of Eilish or her parents. –– iHeartRadio

Asphalt Music Group launches

Producer and songwriter Aaron Chesling has launched the new label, Asphalt Music Group. It has signed its first artist to a worldwide recording contract, Boston native Tim Buono. Chesling has written songs for Buono and Canadian country star Gord Bamford and did A&R work for the late Joe Diffie. –– Music Row


Hanif Abdurraqib on loving A Tribe Called Quest

“I wasn’t interested in writing the definitive book on A Tribe Called Quest. I was trying to write the definitive book on a single arc of fandom.”–– Longreads

Public Enemy return with an explosive new anti-Trump song, ‘State of the Union (STFU)’

"'State of the Union (STFU)' speaks truth to power while urging people to fight against racism, injustice and oppression with their vote". –– Elizabeth Aubrey, NME

The teen singer of a black anthem song signs a record deal

Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old who turned heads on social media with his passionate performance about being a young black man in today’s world, has signed a deal with Warner Records and his poignant song was released Friday. Bryant’s powerful video, posted on May 26, features the lyrics “I’m a young black man doing all that I can” from the song “I Just Wanna Live,” written by his mother. –– Mesfin Fekadu, AP

Funkadelic- Maggot Brain: A look back

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit a monument of psychedelic funk, a defining document of Black rock music in the early ’70s. –– Dave Segal, Pitchfork

Quincy Jones launches an initiative to bring Jazz, Blues and Gospel awareness into schools

The music legend marks this year’s Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, with an initiative that will give schools around the U.S., from kindergarten to college, free access to Qwest TV’s educational platforms. –– Jeremy Helligar, Variety

Kurt Cobain’s guitar from ‘MTV Unplugged’ sold for a record $6 million at an auction

The guitar the grunge star played during Nirvana’s legendary 1993 “MTV Unplugged” session sold for a pretty penny on Saturday at an LA auction. Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E, which was originally purchased by the Nirvana singer at L.A.’s Voltage Guitars, went for a total of $6.01 million (C$8.18 million), breaking the record for the most expensive guitar ever sold. ––

Courtesy OVO/Republic Records

Drake Celebrates at the Announcement of Toronto's New WNBA Team

The hip hop superstar was on site at today's announcement of the Toronto expansion, joined by former Raptors star Kyle Lowry, and the new franchise owner Larry Tanenbaum, causing some to speculate whether Drake might have a stake in the venture.

It's a big day for basketball fans in Canada, and one superstar super-fan is definitely celebrating.

Drake, global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, was on site at today (May 23)'s announcement of Toronto's WNBA franchise. Alongside former Raptors star Kyle Lowry and Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, Drake came out to show some love for an exciting new era in Canadian sports.

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