Music Biz Headlines, March 16, 2018

Justin Timberlake dazzles in Toronto, and HBO installs a Westworld attraction at SXSW. Also in the headlines are The Junos, Neil Young, Cody Critcheloe, Joni Mitchell, Samantha Martin, Rich Aucoin, Carlos del Junco, and Jann Arden.

Music Biz Headlines, March 16, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Justin Timberlake’s stellar tour kickoff delivers the hits and the spectacle

The launch of the superstar’s Man of the Woods tour delivers extravagance and flawless performance — and Toronto’s own Francesco Yates fared well as the opener –  Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

There's no better metaphor for SXSW than HBO's Westworld attraction

An uneasy relationship between a town’s residents and wealthy visitors who are convinced they can do whatever they like? Sounds familiar –   Charlie Locke, Wired

2018 Juno Awards: Five events to check out around town

Here are a few to add to your Juno Awards week calendar, March 19-25  – Stephanie Ip, Vancouver Sun

Neil Young on tech giants ('jerks'), audio quality ('bad') and his new movie with Daryl Hannah

Neil Young plays the Man in the Black Hat in the upcoming film "Paradox," directed by Daryl Hannah, which also features the members of his band the Promise of the Real. It debuts on Netflix soon –  Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune


How SSION's Cody Critcheloe got his pop muse back

"The idea of rock ’n’ roll is so dead and exhausted. I even feel bad for people who want to play typical rock music because they end up drowning in a garbage bag of clichés"  –  Kevin Ritchie, NOW

A veritable hot list of 2018 Juno nominees share their best restaurants, bars, and top attractions in Vancouver

The fave haunts of Luke Doucet, Terra Lightfoot, and more –  Georgia Straight

Joni Mitchell: the sophistication of her music sets her apart from her peers – even Dylan

In this feature from the archives, a critic argues that her run of five classic albums, from Blue in 1971 to Hejira in 1976, surpass the work of her more celebrated male contemporaries –  Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian

Homegrown soul-blues singer is ready to take things to a higher level

“I could be having the worst day in the world, and the moment I step up on stage I just forget everything else and focus. It's a healing process and fun experience," says Samantha Martin. She plays Edmonton on March 16 –  Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

Toronto's house ballroom sound gets a new dancefloor

DJ Blackcat and Mark-Ché Devonish want to give the city’s queer ball culture – and its music – a regular home in the clubs  –  NOW

Rich Aucoin celebrates life 

The free-spirited artist offers his hometown a taste of new music this week before spending the spring touring by bicycle –  Matt Williams, The Coast


Carlos del Junco has great taste in collaborators

The Toronto-based harmonica player and singer Carlos del Junco called on Kevin Breit to write songs for his latest album Hang On  –  Alex Varty, Georgia Straight

The lovingly insensitive Jann Arden

Hell hath no fury like that of Jann Arden after you’ve defied her command to steal a croissant from someone else’s catering table –  Carly Lewis, Globe and Mail

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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