Music Biz Headlines, March 28, 2022

Cadence Weapon (pictured) turns author, the TSO makes an historic return to Massey Hall, and Cowboy Junkies turn to covers. Also in the headlines are the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Myst Milano, Bravo Niagara, Spotify, Patrick Moxey, SXSW, Don McLean, Freakons, Kanye West, Ultra, and Bob Weir.

Music Biz Headlines, March 28, 2022

By Kerry Doole

For its 100th season, Toronto Symphony Orchestra returns to ancestral home Massey Hall

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the schedule represents the TSO’s first complete season of concerts in more than two years. – Brad Wheeler, Globe & Mail

Polaris winner Cadence Weapon on his personal rules for being ‘fearless’

Last year, Cadence Weapon’s socially conscious album “Parallel World” was selected as winner of the Polaris Music Prize by a jury of music critics and industry professionals. Pemberton releases his first book “Bedroom Rapper,” part memoir, part chronicle of Canadian hip hop history, on May 31. – David Friend, CP

Rolling Stones to release tracks from second night of 1977 incognito show at Toronto’s El Mocambo

Were you there when the Cockroaches (aka the Stones) invaded the El Mocambo for the club’s two most notorious shows in March 1977? If you were, here’s some good news — even better news if you weren’t: the band’s entire second show is being released by Universal Music on CD and vinyl May 13. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Album Review: Cowboy Junkies weave signature sound into covers on ‘Songs of the Recollection’

Like many bands, Canada’s Cowboy Junkies started out relying heavily on other people’s songs. Guitarist Michael Timmins long ago established himself as a gifted tunesmith with country and folk roots, but non-originals have remained an essential part of the Junkies’ repertoire over the years. – Jon Young, No Depression

DJ and performer Myst Milano brings ‘Shapeshyfter’ debut album to life at Lavender Creek cabaret

Part of Luminato’s year-round Creative Current series, Lavender Creek will feature an intriguing setup: four artists who will perform 30-minute sets, followed by in-depth interviews accompanied by visuals and an ASL interpreter. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

The musician Neil Young called "the master"

He’s been an immovable force and an inspiration to millions, but even Young admits that he’s not “the master” of his artform. Instead, he credits that accolade to the man he was formerly likened to when trying to establish himself, Bob Dylan. – Joe Taysom, FarOut

Bravo Niagara! season begins with two April concerts 

The spring 2022 Bravo Niagara! Festival season gets underway April 2 with a virtual concert by Cheng2. 6 days later, Quebec-born pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin kicks off a series of live performances with an intimate concert of music by composers Franck, Ravel, and Chopin at FPAC in St. Catharines. The Maestro Series also features Jan Lisiecki (April 28) and Jon Kimura Parker (May 29). – Mike Balsom, NOTL Local



Spotify says it will suspend service in Russia

Spotify Technology said Friday it will suspend its streaming service in Russia in response to the country’s new media law. The audio streaming platform closed its office in Russia indefinitely earlier this month in response to what it described as Moscow’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine.” – Dawn Chmielewski, Reuters

Patrick Moxey launches label group, inks global strategic alliance with Warner for Helix and Payday Records

Patrick Moxey has launched a new label group and has signed a "global strategic alliance" with Warner Recorded Music for two key record labels. The agreement, which encompasses Payday Records and the newly created Helix Records, will see Warner Recorded Music handling global digital distribution via its independent services arm ADA Worldwide, and includes the option for the parties to co-sign new repertoire. – MBW

Rock legend Rick Wakeman on being ‘grumpy,’ his on-and-off membership in Yes, and his animal activism

Wakeman says he wouldn’t change anything about his eventful life, which includes helping Yes sell millions of albums, 120 solo albums and counting, and session playing for Elton John and others. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

SXSW 2022: How brands drew attention at the Festival's big return IRL

The 10-day festival and conference returned to Austin this year, drawing creative brand activations and events from the likes of Slack, Peacock, Cheetos, Samsung and more. Here’s a look at some highlights. – BizBash


Singer-songwriter Don McLean talks about navigating the music biz for 50 years, and his surprising biggest song ever

Don McLean is booked for the 1,200-seat John W.H. Bassett Theatre in Toronto for a May 7 performance. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star 

Freakwater and The Mekons unite as The Freakons for rich vein of songwriting about coal

Freakons is a supergroup of sorts, a pairing of Jon Langford and Sally Timms from long-running UK punk rockers The Mekons and pioneering Kentucky-based alt-country outfit Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean. After first connecting nearly a decade ago, Freakons has released its eponymous debut studio album on Fluff and Gravy Records. – Jim Shahen, No Depression


Music lovers rejoice: Ultra Music Festival returns to Miami

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the speakers started thumping at Bayfront Park starting Friday with the return of the annual Ultra Music Festival. The outdoor electronic music festival featured headliners including Canadians Zeds Dead. – NBC 6 

Music for the Dark at an experimental festival

Early on Saturday evening, the final strains of Gavin Bryars’s looping “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet” faded into silence at a fascinating event. – The New York Times

For the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, ‘retirement is not an option’

At 74, the guitar legend has a new band, with a stage musical and an orchestral concert in the works. – Alan Paul, WSJ

Petition to remove Kanye West from Coachella line-up reaches 30K signatures

It was started just days after the rapper was pulled from this year’s Grammy Awards performances. – Gemma Ross, MixMag

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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