Music Biz Headlines, March 21, 2022

Geoff Kulawick turns True North/Linus group into a roots music juggernaut, Ishkodé Records is promoting Indigenous artists, and Bryan Adams (pictured) gets reflective. Also in the headlines are the Ukrainian anthem and benefits, Valerie Tryon, Jerry Leger, Canada’s Got Talent, The Kids In the Hall, Amazon, Kanye West, Geddy Lee, Tempo Music, Daniel Ek, TikTok, Mushroom, Ghost, and Russian rappers.

Music Biz Headlines, March 21, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Waterdown-based record label earns seven Juno nominations

Geoff Kulawick has built the True North/Linus group into a roots music juggernaut, Graham Rockingham writes. – Hamilton Spectator

Indigenous artists who formed record label perform live at Massey Hall, after collaborating virtually 

Ishkodé Records, created by ShoShona Kish and Amanda Rheaume, has a primary focus on Indigenous artists pulled from across Canada. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Ukraine’s defiant national anthem is sweeping the orchestral world

The Ukrainian-Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska began a concert by the NAC Orchestra in Ottawa last week with a full-hearted speech condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calling on Western leaders to do more to help the embattled country. “Ukrainians are fighting for the whole world,” she said. Then, quoting the adage that “music begins where words end,” the guest maestro introduced a rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem.–  Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Bryan Adams on family-bonding, writing a musical and releasing upbeat tunes in troubled times

Adams said new album, “So Happy It Hurts,” came from cocktail napkins and hastily scribbled ideas. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Governments micromanaged in-person arts events for two years. Now, masks are off, and institutions are on their own

Canada’s provincial governments have been using all the power of the state to tell citizens that the in-person arts are just too dangerous to attend for the past two years. But now, suddenly, provincial powers-that-be are lifting mask mandates and proof-of-vax requirements – and have abandoned theatres, concert venues, cinemas and galleries to set their own health and safety policies. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail

Home Is Where The Art Is proves the arts help the economy

A push to include the culture sector in the next provincial budget heats up. The arts employ people, create economic spinoff in communities and draw people to our city. –  Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Cultural Diversions: 10 things to watch, read and listen to this week

In the face of heavy headlines, it’s important to take a break. To that end, here are some light diversions, from easy reads to listens to must-see TV, recommended by The Globe and Mail’s Arts staff. The list includes Toronto troubadour Jerry Leger. – Staff, Globe and Mail

Valerie Tryon and her ‘magic music’

Pianist got back together with her Yamaha C5 for a recital at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, after a pandemic pause.  – Leonard Turnevicius, Spectator


‘Canada’s Got Talent’ is back and this time the judges pledge to have an edge

Country singer Lindsay Ell is the new host. And the judges? Well let’s just say they are very different. Stephan Moccio, Measha Brueggergosman and Martin Short are out. Instead, the 2022 version of the show that premieres Tuesday night on Citytv features rapper and record executive Kardinall Offishall, former pro wrestler Trish Stratus, YouTube sensation and  talk show host Lilly Singh, and comedian Howie Mandel. – Murtz Jaffer, Toronto Star

SXSW Review: ‘The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks’

Whether you were a teenager in the early 1990s or just someone who happened to catch Comedy Central's marathons of their cult classic television show, chances are you know The Kids in the Hall. A five-man comedy troupe from Toronto, their nationally broadcast sketch comedy show lasted five seasons and continues to have lasting appeal. But even if you know their name, do you know their whole story? – The Reel Roundup

Rush’s Geddy Lee set to guest star on ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ episode

The former Rush frontman will make another case for his occasional acting career with a bit part on an episode of the detective series, airing Monday on CBC and streaming on CBC Gem. The storyline follows the mystery of a murdered blues saxophonist whose death was seemingly foretold in vivid detail through the lyrics of a song.– CP



Tempo's music catalog is up for sale - for an expected $500M plus

Tempo Music, the music rights-acquiring fund launched by private equity giant Providence, is selling its music catalog. Since it launched in 2019, Tempo Music has acquired a catalog of rights / income streams from stars including Wiz Khalifa, Twenty One Pilots (via Tyler Joseph), Korn, Florida Georgia Line, and hit songwriter/producer Philip Lawrence. – Tim Ingham, MBW

The ineffable tone-deafness of Spotify’s Daniel Ek

One might think that, just weeks after his company scraped through the biggest crisis of its existence, Spotify’s Daniel Ek might exercise a little caution and humility. One might think that he wouldn’t spend a reported $310 million on something as flashy and business-uncritical as sponsorship of a soccer team. But one would be wrong. – Jem Aswad, Variety


Amazon closes $8.45B deal for movie studio MGM

Amazon on Thursday said it had closed its $8.45B acquisition of MGM. The deal, which was first announced in May, could give Prime Video a boost and amp up Amazon’s original production arm, Amazon Studios. – CNet

Spotify is paying $310M to Barcelona for a sponsorship. That’s more than ever paid to an artist in royalties

As expected, the deal will see Spotify’s logo splashed across the Spanish football/soccer giant’s shirts from July 1, and even result in the world-famous stadium, the Camp Nou, being rebranded with Spotify’s name. In making the announcement, Spotify seemed particularly keen to assure music artists that they stand to get some nice benefits from the agreement.” – MBW

TikTok is on the road to becoming a next generation music company

In recent years, TikTok has made it exponentially easier for everyday musicians to become the next big thing. Soon TikTok may not be just taking over the world of social media, but the music industry as well. – Hypebot

Kyiv calling: famous Clash anthem reborn as call to arms

Ukrainian punk band Beton win blessing of the Clash to record new version of song to raise funds for support network. – Vanessa Thorpe, The Guardian

WorldUnited.Live plans world's biggest mass protest and concert event to support Ukraine 

Twisted Sister's 1984 hard-rock anthem, "We're Not Gonna Take It", has become a rallying cry for the Ukraine fighters defending their homeland against the unprovoked military attack by Russia launched on Feb. 24. Dee Snider, who wrote and sang the song, is part of World United.Live, a campaign set up to help stop the conflict before it spirals out of control. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Making music 'in the face of violence': Ukrainian music festival fundraiser

Ukrainians are a musical people. They love their folk music as well as their serious, contemporary classical music. A crowd of Ukrainian New Yorkers and those worried about Ukraine attended the Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival and fundraiser on Friday. – WPIX


Universal's Virgin Music strikes global partnership with Australia's Mushroom Group

Universal Music Group's Virgin Music Label & Artist Services (VLMAS) division has entered into a global partnership with Australia’s largest independent label group, Mushroom, to support and distribute Mushroom artists’ releases worldwide, outside of Australia and New Zealand. The Mushroom label division remains 100% independently owned and its established ANZ operations will remain unchanged as a result of the partnership. – Murray Stassen, MBW

How Ghost — ‘an occult, pop, satanic sort of rock ’n’ roll band’ — conquered metal and the charts.

 Onstage at Anaheim’s Honda Center arena, Tobias Forge is not himself — he is Papa Emeritus IV, leader of the theatrical Swedish metal band that just released their fifth album. Offstage, he’s a thoughtful interview and quick with a joke, a family man with a wife and kids at home. – LA Times

Russia’s biggest rappers are going hard against Putin’s war

Ordinarily apolitical hip-hop stars are defying the Kremlin’s crackdown to speak out against the invasion of Ukraine. – John Arterbury, Rolling Stone

Kanye West barred from performing at Grammys due to ‘concerning online behavior,’ rep confirms

Kanye West has been barred from performing at the Grammy Awards due to his “concerning online behavior,” a rep for the artist confirms to Variety. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Why we listen to music with lyrics we don't understand

A musicologist and music therapist-in-training explain why the language of song lyrics doesn’t always matter. – Romano Santos, Vice

They were planning Ukraine’s biggest music festival. Now they're trying to save lives

“Anything you can imagine, we donated,” says Atlas Weekend booking manager Vlad Yaremchuk. “There was no use for it right now, and if there’s no Ukraine tomorrow, there’s no use for it then either.” –  Ethan Millman,  Rolling Stone


Amazon announces documentary on Black country music artists, ‘For Love & Country’

Amazon has announced the production of a new country music documentary that features some of the biggest names in the genre. For Love & Country is set to feature names like Mickey Guyton, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Valerie June, and more in the film that will be centered on Blackness in the musical genre. The doc is set to be released via Prime Video on April 7, Amazon announced. –Jacob Iutti, American Songwriter

Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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