Music Biz Headlines, March 14, 2022

Ukrainian-Canadian musicians like Balaklava Blues (pictured) fight grief and rage, Matt Andersen keeps it simple, and Bryan Adams will keep playing the hits. Also in the headlines are the Halifax scene, Holger Petersen, Ziggy Sigmund, boycotted Russian artists, Men Without Hats, Sony Music, Warner Music, Kobalt, Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Michael Huppe, Dream Syndicate, RHCP, King Crimson, and Traci Braxton.

Music Biz Headlines,  March 14, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Ukrainian-Canadian musicians are finding respite from grief and rage on stage

Ukrainian-Canadian musicians are among those struggling at this devastating time: watching the news from home, terrified for family and friends, and then going on stage to play nonetheless – an almost surreal respite from the grief and rage. For Balaklava Blues, it is particularly personal. – Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail

Mission Folk Music Festival presents Talking About the Blues with Holger Petersen and an allstar blues review

As part of its Folk & Words series, the Mission Folk Music Festival is presenting an evening of story and song at Mission's Clarke Theatre next Wednesday (March 16). Talking About the Blues will feature a conversation with Holger Petersen, owner of Edmonton's Stony Plain Records and host of the long-running CBC radio show Saturday Night Blues. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Halifax's arts and culture scene won't wait until March 21 to have fun

 Phase two of Covid reopening is already here and lots of must-see events are happening right now all over the city. – Morgan Mullin, the Coast

 On ‘House to House,’ Matt Andersen Keeps It Simple

Matt Andersen has drawn from the best roots music has to offer over his decades-long career: down and dirty blues, heart-wrenching soul, life-affirming gospel, and introspective singer-songwriter balladry. These sounds, textures, and influences are laid bare on House to House, which is Andersen’s ninth studio album but first solo acoustic. – Michael Elliott, No Depression

Summer music festival in Quebec facing backlash for not including female artists

A Quebec summer music festival with an all-male lineup is being criticized for that. The backlash started online and then popular singer-songwriter Émile Bilodeau announced he had dropped out of the 16th edition of Festi-Plage de Cap-d’Espoir, on Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula. Bilodeau said Wednesday that not only artists, but everyone in the music industry, including fest organizers, have a role to play to increase female representation and that he couldn’t take part in an event that didn’t share his values. – CP

Lessons from a legend: Bryan Adams will always play the hits

“I make records for my car,” says Bryan Adams, speaking from London. Indeed, the new album from Canadian rocker and power ballad enthusiast begins with the line “Driving down Trans-Canada One – top down, I got the radio on.” The song is So Happy It Hurts, the album’s exuberant title track that is accompanied by video with Adams driving a Corvair convertible with his nonagenarian mother beside him and a dog in the back seat. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Obituary: Ziggy Sigmund was a Vancouver punk rock icon

Guitarist played with a who's who of the Vancouver alternative music scene. – John Mackie, Province

Tyler, the Creator is set to headline one of Toronto’s first arena shows since the Omicron wave: Here’s how fans are feeling

The Star spoke to a handful of ticketholders ahead of Friday’s Tyler show, which included support from rapper Vince Staples, R&B singer Kali Uchis and new-comer Teezo Touchdown. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

Appearances by Russian pianists cancelled across Canada

Last week, Vancouver Recital Society artistic director Leila Getz postponed an upcoming summer appearance by the 20-year-old Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev, describing it as one of the hardest things she has had to do in a very long time. Since then, things have only gotten harder. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Are Russian cultural boycotts effective or just punitive?

The Globe and Mail’s theatre critic Kelly Nestruck and visual art critic Kate Taylor discuss the merits and perils of recent boycotts and sanctions of Russian artists. – Globe and Mail

From Glenn Gould to Oscar Peterson to Boris Zarankin, a piano is a very individual choice

Once a standard piece of living room furniture in middle class families, the piano no longer enjoys quite the popularity it once did. – William Littler, Toronto Star


Synth-pop legends Men Without Hats return with a new album

The group behind the hits Safety Dance and Pop Goes the World is back with new songs released on Friday. – Mike Devlin, Times-Colonist

London’s Grand Theatre is ready for Room - and to once again be the room where it happens

There’s a certain dramatic irony in the Grand Theatre opening its doors again this month with one of the world’s best-known stories about confinement. Room, an unorthodox musical based on local author Emma Donoghue’s acclaimed novel, will bring London’s liberated audiences back in earnest to the Ontario regional theatre that used the pandemic downtime to undergo a revivifying $9.5M renovation. JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail



Sony Music and Warner Music pull out of Russia over Ukraine invasion

Following Monday’s decision by Universal Music Group to pull out of Russia in response to its military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, its two biggest rivals have followed suit. – Marc Schneider, Billboard 

Why are hedge funds urging songwriters to sell their catalogs now?

Selling your songs has pretty much always been a mistake to do so – and it is no different now. Even writers who sold their songs only five or ten years ago are realizing that they could have done the same today and earned at least twice as much as they did then. The media is reporting that the multiples being offered for catalogs today are at historic highs. That is definitely true, but it doesn’t mean that these historic highs accurately reflect the true value of these song catalogs. – Randall Wixen, MBW

Amazon Music is about to become #2 in US streaming market

“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Spotify is the the top streamer in the United States, but for the longest time Pandora came in at #2. That ranking looks like it will change by the end of 2022 as Amazon Music is coming on strong and will overtake Pandora for #2 in the U.S. streaming market by the end of the year, according to a new study by Insider Intelligence.” – Hypebot

Kobalt and Downtown cut ties with Russia

Two of the industry’s largest non-major music companies – Kobalt Music Group and Downtown – have in the past 24 hours both confirmed that they are suspending business activity in/with Russia. In doing so, they join all three major music companies (Universal, Sony, and Warner) – each of whom have this week announced they are halting their own business activities in the market. Believe continues to operate in market but is ‘monitoring the situation very closely’ – MBW

Lower Broadway staple Ernest Tubb Record Shop to close

For three-quarters of a century, Ernest Tubb Record Shop has had a prominent place in the preservation of country music history for future generations. Per a statement issued today and posted to the shop’s Facebook page, that legacy will come to an end this spring. – Stephen Trageser, Nashville Scene


This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Michael Huppe, president/CEO, SoundExchange.

Michael Huppe functions as frontman, lobbyist, ambassador, arbiter, and policy campaigner for the American music industry. He is the president/CEO of SoundExchange, the nonprofit rights organization, headquartered just blocks from the U.S. Capitol, which collects and distributes digital performance royalties. Learn more about him here. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos on the trappings of success, their greatest hits compilation and Putin

The appropriately titled “Hits to the Head” features a collection of what Kapranos calls their “best bangers.” – Jonathan Dekel, Toronto Star

SXSW music spotlight: The Dream Syndicate

Longtime alternative rockers tie up the loose ends and are set to rock Austin. – Austin Chronicle

Watch Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea join Nick Cave & Warren Ellis on stage in LA

"So wonderful to have you on stage with me and Nick at The Shrine. Can feel the soul pour out of you on stage," said Ellis. Cave once dissed RHCP's music. – Ali Shutler, NME

SXSW doc recounts the 50 year reign of King Crimson

Heavy hangs the crown In the Court of the Crimson King. – Austin Chronicle

Traci Braxton, sister of Toni and Tamar Braxton, dead at 50: 'We are family forever'

"She was a bright light, a wonderful daughter, an amazing sister, a loving mother, wife, grandmother and a respected performer," Toni Braxton wrote in tribute to singer/actor Traci. – Nicholas Rice, People


The Black Keys
Jim Herrington

The Black Keys

Music News

The Black Keys Cancel North American Leg of International Players Tour

The rock duo's 31-date arena trek was scheduled to launch in September and included a date at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Oct. 11, 2024.

The Black Keys have abruptly canceled their upcoming North American tour.

The 31-date arena trek — which was scheduled to launch Sept. 17 in Tulsa, Okla., and wrap Nov. 12 in Detroit — quietly disappeared from Ticketmaster’s website without explanation on Friday (May 24).

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