Music Biz Headlines, June 29, 2020

Allan Reid (pictured) discusses tonight’s virtual Juno Awards, the problems facing the return of live music, and Len hitmaker Marc Costanzo has a new venture. Others in the headlines include Gary Topp, Facebook,  Reeperbahn fest, Laurel Canyon, The Chicks, K-pop fans, Bob Dylan, Glastonbury,Haim, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, TSO, Rachel McAdams, Bandcamp, and Warren Haynes.

Music Biz Headlines, June 29, 2020

By FYI Staff

Juno Awards head Allan Reid on celebrating Canadian music in a pandemic

A stripped-back presentation of the 2020 Juno Awards on Monday will toast the Canadian music scene, and the show’s head organizer hopes it’ll mark a bright moment for an industry hit hard by covid-19. –– David Friend, CP

Reopening Canada: Live music could be 'one of the last to come back'

Don’t hold your breath for live music to come back in the way you remember it anytime soon. With major gatherings still a no-go in Ontario due to possible transmission of the covid virus, and the Canada-U.S. border closed, the immediate future is rather grim. –– Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

The Joel Plaskett Emergency to play a virtual Canada Day concert

The city's big July 1 party moves online, broadcasting live from inside the Halifax Citadel. –– Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Len hitmaker Marc Costanzo discusses his new venture

He hasn’t been “frying on the bench slide in the park across the street” since selling 2 million copies of Len’s You Can’t Stop The Bum Rush in 1999, thanks to the ubiquitous summer hit Steal My Sunshine. Costanzo’s interest and ownership of catalogue publishing rights totals more than 35 million albums sold, according to a press release about his new company, Inside Music Nashville. ––  Karen Bliss, Words & Music

Musical Moment: TSO trumpet player Steven Woomert and COC pianist Rachael Kerr perform together

What could be better than paying tribute with song? Married couple Steven Woomert, an associate principal trumpet player with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Rachael Kerr, a pianist for the Canadian Opera Company, recently took to their instruments in tribute to Woomert’s father Barton in honour of Father’s Day. –– Toronto Star

Rachel McAdams watched every Bjork interview preparing for her new comedy role 

Will Ferrell’s new comedy, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga has been 20 years in the making and is now streaming. The film stars Ferrell alongside Canada’s sweetheart Rachel McAdams as the Icelandic duo Sigrit Ericksdottir and Lars Erickssong, who go by the name Fire Saga when they compete in the European song contest, Eurovision. Here's a Q&A with McAdams.––  Bonnie Laufer, Original Cin


Famed concert promoter Gary Topp helped create a million memories for Toronto music fans

His life and fascinating career is now captured in a new graphic memoir written with illustrator David Collier. –– Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Good vibrations: how Bandcamp became the heroes of streaming

They waive their fees, raise cash for Juneteenth and champion everything from vaporwave to eco-grime. Founder Ethan Diamond explains how he did it. –– Chal Ravens, The Guardian

Should music's biggest companies boycott Facebook?

As major multinational corporations turn away from Facebook, it’s decision time over in the music industry. –– Tim Ingham, MBW

PM announces a $250 million plan for Australia's creative sector

 Prime Minister Scott Morrison has officially announced the $250 million JobMaker plan to "help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work" The JobMaker plan will offer "a range of new grant and loan programs will roll out over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the $112 billion creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs". –– Neil Griffiths, The Music

Germany's Reeperbahn Festival is still on:  Here are the changes being made

Face masks and fewer venues and events will greet Reeperbahn Festival-goers in Hamburg later this summer. Organizers of the annual event — being held Sept. 16-19 — announced significant changes as it attempts to adhere to government guidance while still pulling off a safe and secure in-person gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic. –– Wolfgang Spahr, Billboard


Why obsessive K-pop fans are turning toward political activism

In certain corners of the internet, the organizing prowess of K-pop fans — the typically young and diverse international enthusiasts of Korean pop music who congregate daily on social media — has long been the stuff of legend. Now they are venturing into politics in the US. –– Joe Coscarelli, The New York Times

17 women are among the Recording Academy's 40 trustees on newly constituted board

The number of women on the Recording Academy’s 40-member board of trustees jumped from 14 to 17 following the recent trustees' elections, which included, for the first time in academy history, four “at large” trustee seats. In three of those four two-person contests, two women faced off, ensuring that a female would fill that seat. –– Paul Grein, Billboard


A change is gonna come - Oh, yes it will.

The renowned Southern rocker Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule, Allman Brothers Band) sounds an optimistic tone in this opinion piece. –– Warren Haynes, Newsweek

The best albums from the Laurel Canyon era

Last year, our critic noticed a trend in Laurel Canyon sounds appearing throughout indie music. Artists like Jenny Lewis, Weyes Blood and Molly Tuttle have been channelling Mitchell, Carole King, Emmylou Harris and more artists who were posting up with the likes of Neil Young, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Gram Parsons in the late ’60s. –– Paste

New ‘Herd Immunity’ festival in Wisconsin drops its name after band pulls out

The event defies advice from leading medical experts.  –– Nick Reilly, NME

Bob Dylan's 39th album Rough And Rowdy Ways makes UK chart history

Dylan has become the oldest artist to reach number one in the UK charts with an album of new material. The singer-songwriter's 39th album made its debut at the top with 34,000 chart sales, including 29,000 purchased on CD. At the age of 79, Dylan surpasses Paul Simon, who was 74 when his album Stranger To Stranger went to number one in 2016. –– Mark Savage, BBC 

USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative & Universal Music expand their partnership to study racial inequality in music

"We must illuminate how the lack of people of color in key roles thwarts inclusion throughout the industry," says Annenberg's Dr. Carmen Lee, the project's lead researcher. –– Nate Hertweck,

Dixie Chicks change name to The Chicks

Dixie Chicks are changing their name. The trio will go forward as The Chicks. The band revealed the change with the branding for its new song March March. The Chicks have also amended the cover of their comeback album Gaslighter to reflect the new name. In addition, the band’s social media pages and website now refer to the trio as the Chicks. –– Noah Yoo, Pitchfork

The Green Mill reopened Friday with live jazz — but with no vocals or horns and half as many booths 

The legendary jazz club is one of the first live entertainment venues to reopen following the stay at home order. –– Joe Ward, Block Club Chicago


After 50 years, Glastonbury festival is a triumph of eccentric English culture

I call Glastonbury ‘the alternate Ascot’ – a cultural event that embodies the odd side of Englishness and has an exuberant crowd unlike any other. –– Mick Jagger, The Guardian

From Bowie to Beyoncé: Glastonbury's 50 greatest moments

Although Covid-19 scuppered Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary, organisers Michael and Emily Eavis discuss the moments that made it the world’s greatest festival – from the healing fields to Stormzy. –– Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

Haim: Women in Music Pt III review – their most direct album yet

Dark events of the sisters’ recent past inform their revelatory third album on which garage and louche funk combine with west-coast rock. –– Kitty Empire, The Guardian

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

keep readingShow less