Music Biz Headlines, March 2, 2020

Juno nominee Lauren Spencer-Smith (pictured) is featured on American Idol, Polaris Music Prize is critiqued, and a musical homage to Tina Turner. Others in the headlines include Doug and the Slugs, Loverboy, Tafelmusik, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, streaming revenues, Woody Guthrie, hip-hop producers, David Roback, Green Day, and Miranda Lambert.

Music Biz Headlines, March 2, 2020

By Kerry Doole

You’ve changed, Polaris Music Prize, and it’s time to be honest about it

 To start, can we do something about your lack of recognition when it comes to certain styles? – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mal

Slugs with legs: Simon Kendall on Doug and the Slugs’ Douglessness and not getting killed by Harold Snepsts

 A look back on the wld days of the wacky BC rockers. – Allan MacInnis, Georg Straght

BC teen gets her shot on American Idol

Lauren Spencer-Smith’s audition was featured on last night’s episode. – Victoria Ahearn, CP

Loverboy to headline 16th edition of Strangers in the Night gala

Canadian rock band Loverboy will headline the 16th edition of the Strangers in the Night gala set for June 20 in Pierrefonds. – John Meagher, Montreal Gazette


Audience cheers Tafelmusik’s blues even as it falls short of its promise

Tafelmusik is playing and singing the blues this week. The blues of the indigo plant, source of textile dye, that is. “The Indigo Project,” premiered at Jeanne Lamon Hall on Thursday evening, is the latest in a string of fascinating multimedia projects created by the period-performance orchestra. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

looking back at Godspeed You! Black Emperor F♯ A♯ ∞

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 Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s debut album, a despairing and sweeping document of post-rock.  – Mark Richardson, Pitchfork

Jazz event raising money for Alzheimer's and dementia research

Jazz musician Jim Thomas never knew how one night at the National Ballet School some seven years ago would have such a profound influence on him. – Ted Woloshyn, Toronto Sun


Streaming hits new milestone, accounts for nearly 80 percent of US music revenue in 2019

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released a report examining music sales trends for the full 2019 calendar year. The report shows that U.S. revenues of recorded music grew by 13% to $11.1 billion last year. The driver of that growth? Streaming music services. – Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

The Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive, every year since 1979

Behind every great hip-hop song is a great producer. Here are the best, from the birth of rap music to now. – Complex


'This Land is Your Land' lawsuit dismissed by U.S. judge

A federal judge in Manhattan on Friday dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Woody Guthrie's iconic 1940 folk song "This Land is Your Land" belongs to the public. – NASDAQ

Tina Turner shows how fabulous she is all over again

Few performers deserve a namesake Broadway musical. Tina Turner is one of them for a simple reason: she’s lived an extraordinary life. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is the latest public expression of adulation for a woman who has sold more than 200 million records worldwide. – Melissa Ruggieri, The New York Times

Mazzy Star’s David Roback remembered by bandmates and friends

Pat Thomas, a longtime fan and current manager of Roback’s former bandmate Kendra Smith, takes a look at his life and musical legacy. – Variety

Prince Harry and Jon Bon Jovi meet to work on charity single in London

Prince Harry joined Jon Bon Jovi at Abbey Road Studios on Friday as the singer recorded a charity single to support the foundation that oversees the Invictus Games.– AP

Miranda Lambert is in from the cold: ‘If I can’t be great, I would rather wait,’ says the country-music star

The 13-time Country Music Association Awards-winner and two-time Grammy-winner still welcomes risks. ‘I like to push myself,’ she says. – George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune

Green Day among musicians axing Asia tour dates due to coronavirus

Green Day on Friday called off all of the Asian shows in its upcoming world tour because of the coronavirus outbreak, the latest music act to pull back from performances in the region. The punk band’s Hella Mega tour was planned to have taken them to Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo in early March. – Reuters


Taylor Swift’s ‘The Man’ isn’t a takedown of toxic masculinity — it’s about settling scores

As a beta male with no privilege and power, I have to tell you, Taylor Swift’s new video is confusing. And revealing. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

Lady Gaga makes a glorious comeback

Her career has shown that the best pop can be the neediest kind, the most insistent, and the most superficial. The title of Lady Gaga’s fantastic new single, “Stupid Love,” riffs on a concept she’s sung about many times before. – Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic


‘I definitely rage against being classified as R&B’: the strange, beautiful music of Moses Sumney

His celestial falsetto and otherworldly sound have bewitched everyone from Stephen Colbert to Solange. Now, his second album is about to send him stratospheric. – Sheldon Pearce, The Guardian

Concert pianist James Rhodes is on a mission to rescue classical music – after it rescued him

James Rhodes is on a mission to champion its master composers. He challenges the genre’s ruling class and believes white powder should be saved for doughnuts, not wigs. The rock-star British concert pianist also thinks his latest book (Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound) should be required reading for grade-schoolers. –  Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mal

Garth Brooks trolled online for wearing 'Sanders' football jersey

Garth Brooks’ decision to wear a football jersey at his Detroit show last weekend sparked accidental trolling online from those who thought he was supporting Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. – WENN

Paul Williams to receive Johnny Mercer Award at Songwriters Hall of Fame

He’ll receive the prestigious award at the 51st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony on June 11 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The award is the SHOF's highest honor. – Paul Grein, Billboard

Norman Wong



Happy Anniversary, Archie: Alvvays' Debut Record Gets a 10th Birthday Re-Issue

The Canadian jangle pop group's first album will be available on a new cerulean blue vinyl with an unearthed bonus track, as well as the ten original songs — including breakout single 'Archie, Marry Me' — that launched their career in 2014.

A major Canadian indie rock album turns 10 today (July 22), and the band is celebrating with a special re-issue.

Alvvays' self-titled debut helped the group break through on an international scale, propelled by jangly guitars, aloof vocals and an expertly catchy single. "Archie, Marry Me," with its soaring chorus and pleading lyrics, became a wedding song for a generation of ambivalent millennials, earnest and sardonic at the same time.

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