Music Biz Headlines, June 4, 2020

Musician and writer Dave Bidini (pictured) reflects upon the pandemic, The Weekend settles a copyright battle, and WMG’s IPO is a hit. Also in the headlines are David Hayman, Alex Lifeson, live streams, Owen Pallett, Steve’s Music, Midnight Shine, Jon Platt, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Hipgnosis, AFM, Facebook, CeeLo Green, NWA, CDs, and Monte Warden.

Music Biz Headlines, June 4, 2020

By FYI Staff

Dave Bidini on why artists are well equipped to cope with the covid-19 pandemic

Musician and writer Dave Bidini believes artists may be at a bit of an advantage in confronting the challenges of the pandemic. While many have suffered financial losses since the outbreak, Bidini says Canadian artists have long been forced to find creative ways to make ends meet. – Adina Bresge, CP

The Weeknd’s Black Panther copyright infringement battle is officially over

– Dylan Smith, Digital Music News


Critic’s notebook: For fans of live music, home is not where the heart is

For fans missing proper concerts, a vaccine can’t come soon enough. This weekend I heard from a prominent Canadian singer-songwriter. The flood of streamed online music events and concerts leave him, he said, “depressed.” And while his malaise isn’t universal, it’s not hard to believe that the novelty of glitchy social-media audio and unflattering laptop-shot close-ups is wearing off. – Brad Wheeler, the Globe and Mail

Online cabaret series celebrates music scenes in Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph

Inspired by Dan Mangan’s Side Door model of online concert-hosting, Toronto-based psychotherapist Vicki Fraser has organised a three-show series, each one featuring five artists chosen to reflect Fraser’s roots and celebrate the music scenes in three Ontario cities: Ottawa, Toronto and Guelph. – Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen

Mourning the loss of music supervisor David Hayman

Industry peers and notable Canadian musicians pay tribute. – Howard Druckman, Words & Music/SOCAN

Alex Lifeson said he lost the motivation to play guitar following  Neil Peart’s death in January

The Rush guitarist said he knew his desire to pick up the instrument would return, but doubted that his future would include a reunion with fellow survivor Geddy Lee, even though he had suggested it on a number of past occasions. – Martin Kielty, Ultimate Classic Rock

These are the interprovincial travel restrictions in Canada this summer.

If you're thinking of taking an out-of-province trip, there are some things you need to know about interprovincial travel restrictions around Canada. The rules vary from province-to-province, but almost all are discouraging travelling in-between them right now. – Fresh Daily


Owen Pallett: Island

With assistance from the London Contemporary Orchestra, the prolific Canadian composer’s arrangements propel dense, elliptical mythologies that unravel like fantasy novels. – Eric Torres, Pitchfork

Steve's Music in Montreal looted

Earlier this week some looters in Montreal took advantage of the protests for racial justice to smash windows and steal instruments from Steve’s Music’s flagship location on St. Catherine Street.  – Michael Raine, CMT

Verse in Cree makes Midnight Shine's cover of Neil Young classic unique

Midnight Shine's frontman says his language gives him an understanding of who he is and where he comes from.– CBC News


Jon Platt: "A change must come"

Jon Platt, Chairman & CEO of the world's biggest music publisher, Sony/ATV, has spoken out on the topic of racial injustice, amid a wave of civil unrest taking place across the United States.
You can read Platt's full open letter, entitled 'A Change Must Come', here. –  MBW

WMG started today with a $12.8B valuation. It’s now worth $2.6B more

Warner Music Group’s first day on the Nasdaq couldn’t have gone much better for the company and its new shareholders. At the closing bell on the Nasdaq today,Warner’s share price had risen dramatically, up by 20.5% to $30.12, which would have granted Warner a market cap value of $15.390bn.That’s a market cap value gain of $2.616bn during a single debut trading day as a public company. – Tim Ingham, MBW


Industry expert: Live events present challenges but will return 

Walter Kinzie, founder and CEO of Encore Live, says that the pandemic presents “unique opportunities” to stage events but still requires the full attention of organizers to keep those involved safe. – Kelly Byrnes,Ticketnews

Warner Music Group and Len Blavatnik pledge $100m fund for anti-racist and music industry causes

According to WMG, an advisory panel made up of appointees from Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will establish procedures to “identify and support those in the music community, and organizations strengthening education, and promoting equality, opportunity, diversity and inclusion.” – MBW


Lady Gaga calls Donald Trump ‘a fool and a racist,’ urges support for black community

Lady Gaga took to her social media platforms to express her anger over the senseless killing of George Floyd while calling Donald Trump “a fool, and a racist.” Gaga joins Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Billie Ellish who have also called on fans to make a change. In her statement, posted late Saturday night, the singer called the president out for inciting racism. – Jazz Tangcay, Variety

The ad appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Enquirer, and was signed by JAY-Z, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Women’s Global Initiative, among others, including the parents of Botham Jean, DJ Henry and Antwon Rose II, unarmed black civilians killed by police officers. – Music News

With a catalogue worth nearly $1 BN, Hipgnosis is becoming less reliant on songs from the past decade

The aggressively acquisitive firm has become one of the global music business’s most talked-about companies. Yet it’s also faced the same skeptical question from financial circles: is it too dependent on songs released over the past decade? MBW

Amid Coronavirus restrictions, would you pay to see a gig on your phone?  Artists hope so

In the music business, which is full of precarious, short-term contract and casual work, the financial effects of covid have been immense. For artists, some of whom will be ineligible for JobKeeper payments, this has meant scrambling to find ways to perform online and asking their fans to donate. So far, the most obvious method has been to use the platforms that first come to mind: Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Paul Donoughue and Tim Swanston, ABC News – Australia

AFM & SAG-AFTRA owes session musicians and background vocalists $46 Million

As part of a proposed settlement with the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) & SAG-AFTRA, certain session musicians and background vocalists will receive a total of nearly $46 million in owed, previously unpaid royalties. Here’s how those eligible can get paid. – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Facebook launches platform to keep fans social during live events

Facebook has launched a new program that will allow fans to interact with one another in a more meaningful way via social media during live events. The live event tool, dubbed “Venue,” was released by Facebook’s R&D group NPE Team. – Olivia Perreault, TicketNews

CeeLo Green embraces time with family, reflects on Little Richard

When talking to CeeLo Green, it’s usually best to just stay out of the way and let the entertaining, loquacious fellow share his thoughts uninterrupted. Green is readying the June 26 release of a soulful new album that honours his roots — “CeeLo Green Is Thomas Callaway,” which he worked on with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. –  Melissa Ruggieri, The New York Times


Anonymous hack Chicago police radios to play NWA’s ‘Fuck Tha Police’

The hacktivist group announced its return in provocative fashion over the weekend. – Will Richards, NME

Feminist rap group in Iceland looks abroad after making a stir at home

While scripted organized chaos, which mirrors the choreography of the group’s live shows, has won over audiences around Europe, the group has been divisive at home. – Kate Hutchinson, NYT

Coronavirus protest concert blocked by Utah judge

A Utah judge blocked a concert protesting coronavirus restrictions last Friday, siding with county health officials who said the event expected to attract thousands of people could worsen the pandemic. – Lindsay Whitehurst, AP

Why it’s still worth buying CDs

CD sales have dropped by 95 percent since 2000 (the peak days of CDs), according to a new report, and are currently at their lowest level since 1986. To say CDs have lost their cool factor is a little bit of understatement. Yet, there’s still good reason to buy them. – Tucker Bowe, Gear Patrol

Texas roots singer embodies how musicians survive our new era

The Austin musician Monte Warden goes pop with a new, socially-distanced and digitally available live show for his new project, The Dangerous Few. – Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle


Wynton Marsalis on 12 Essential Jazz Recordings

From Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman, the trumpeter breaks down tracks and albums that exemplify different aspects of a great American art form. – Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone

Dua Lipa at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Gilbert Flores

Dua Lipa at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

Music News

Dua Lipa Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza: ‘Burning Children Alive Can Never Be Justified’

"Please show your solidarity with Gaza," the pop star wrote.

Amid Israel’s intensifying military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah — where dozens of Palestinian civilians have reportedly been killed in the past few days — Dua Lipa is once again calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

On Tuesday (May 28), the pop star shared an Artists for Ceasefire graphic with the hashtag “#AllEyesOnRafah” on her Instagram Story and wrote, “Burning children alive can never be justified.”

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