Music Biz Headlines, March 3, 2022

Andrea Ramolo (pictured) discusses her new album and tour, Avril Lavigne returns to form, and the music community turns against Russia. Also in the headlines are TikTok, Tate McRae, Emma Rush, NOBRO, Stereolab, Bauhaus, Neil Diamond, Bandcamp, Jay-Z, Spotify, spouge, Mitski, Robert Glasper, Nick Cave, and Mark Lanegan.

Music Biz Headlines, March 3, 2022

By Kerry Doole

The quarantine dreams of Andrea Ramolo

Singer-songwriter documents pandemic life in new album and tour that kicked off at Hamilton’s Bridgeworks Feb. 25. – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

The Eurovision Song Contest just banned Russia. It’s a tune all of pop culture in the West should be singing

Economic sanctions are a good start. But global sports and entertainment should not underestimate the power of cultural sanctions.  –Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

Avril Lavigne actually made a pop-punk album this time 

Her debut album made the then-teenage singer a bona fide pop superstar, but one with a little more punk-rock bite compared to her TRL peers. She returns to form now.. – Stereogum

Tate McRae, Brett Kissel among locals nominated for Juno Awards

Calgary teen sensation Tate McRae has two more Juno nods to add to her impressive resume. Other locals up for awards include Alberta’s Brett Kissel, whose What Is Life? is up for Country Album of the Year while Make a Life, Not a Living is up for Single of the Year. Calgary pianist Jan Lisiecki received a nod for Chopin: Complete Nocturnes, his sixth Juno nomination.  –Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


Emma Rush bringing Hamilton painter’s work to musical life

The Classical guitarist will perform pieces based on the works of Hamilton painter William Blair Bruce in November. Currently,, surrounded by the scenic Selkirk Mountains, she’s preparing for her next recording, a project supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Hamilton’s City Enrichment Fund. – Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

Full capacity live events are back in Ontario. Here’s a show for every day in March

Start the month with Ewan Farncombe at the Rex and end it with Men I Trust at the Danforth Music Hall, with plenty of music, comedy and dance in between. – Garnet Fraser, Toronto Star

NOBRO: As if the world no longer existed

On Live Your Truth Shred Some Gnar, their second EP, NOBRO is getting dangerously close to its goal: to be the most kick-ass all-female band of all time. The EP’s title is symbolic of the Montréal-based punk-rock quartet: the NOBRO girls live their truth in a raw, authentic way, through their music as much as in their daily lives.  –Olivier Boisvert-Magnen, SOCAN Words & Music



Neil Diamond sells complete song catalog and all master recordings to UMG 

Universal Music Group has acquired the entirety of iconic artist and songwriter Neil Diamond’s song catalog (via Universal Music Publishing Group), as well as the rights to all recordings from his career. The agreement encompasses his hits plus  110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archival long form videos. UMG hasn’t disclosed the price of the deal.  Murray Stassen, MBW –

Live Nation: We will not do business with Russia following Ukraine invasion

One giant of the music business has now taken decisive action against Russia : Live Nation. In a statement issued to media today (March 2), the live music company said: "Live Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia. We're in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers." – MBW

Bandcamp acquired by Fortnite maker Epic Games 

Epic Games, maker of hit video game Fortnite and Unreal Engine has acquired online music store and direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp. In a statement published by Epic, the company says that Bandcamp will play an “important role” in its “vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more”. – MBW

‘If we don’t get paid, songs don’t get made’:

Songwriters take to the streets against Spotify. – LA Times


TikTok ups max video length to 10 minutes. Should YouTube be worried?

Watch out, YouTube: TikTok is expanding the maximum length of its videos to 10 minutes. The news follows the ByteDance-owned app’s announcement last summer that it was rolling out the option for its users to create videos of up to three minutes in length – an increase from the previous per-video maximum of 60 seconds. – MBW

Jay-Z, Ye, Diddy: The 10 highest-paid rappers of 2021

Jay-Z once again sits atop of the rap pack as his shrewd business moves made him the most profitable hip-hop heavyweight of 2021. According to the annual Forbes list of the top rap earners of the past fiscal year, Ye West posted up right underneath Hov, while Sean “Diddy” Combs rounded out the top three. – Terry Shropshire, Rolling Out


From Cardi B to Cher to Yungblud, musicians make right choice by weighing in on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

it should surprise no one that musicians around the world are expressing their outrage today at Russia invading Ukraine. Annie Lennox used Instagram to let her feelings be known, and others quickly followed suit. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Spotify to change its playlist rules following The Pocket Gods’ protest album

“Spotify said we’re ahead of the curve as shorter songs are the future," – Sam Moore, NME

Let’s spouge! Discover the funky joy of the greatest forgotten music genre

In the 1960s, Jackie Opel created a syncopated, cowbell-heavy sound that defined Barbados and created a sensation from St Lucia to New York. A few years later it virtually disappeared – but the time is finally here for a revival. – The Guardian

Rock’n’role: a dizzying number of actors want to be pop stars, but which ones are worth listening to?

Downton Abbey co-stars Michelle Dockery and Michael Fox have announced their debut EP. With so many film and TV stars trying their hands at pop, our music critic rates actors’ past efforts. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Mitski questions cell phone usage at shows

Popular songwriter and performer Mitski says she doesn’t mind the presence of cell phones, just the uber reliance on them. "Sometimes when I see people filming entire songs or whole sets, it makes me feel as though we are not here together. This goes for both when I’m on stage, and when I’m an audience member at shows. – Jacob Uitti, American Songwriter

Robert Glasper corrals A-list musicians in sublime, genre-blending ways in his Black Radio series

With his acclaimed, continuing Black Radio series of albums, the American jazz pianist Robert Glasper corrals A-list musicians in sublime, genre-blending ways. One might think the maestro would have a master plan for the collaborations and choices of original and borrowed material, but sometimes pure chance carries the day. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Factory Records founder Alan Erasmus travelling to Ukraine on humanitarian mission

"This is a very, very, very important moment in history." – Tom Skinner, NME

Nick Cave cancels Russia and Ukraine Dates

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have scrapped dates in Russia and Ukraine following the action of war crimes by Russian terrorist Putin. – Noise11


Born to brood: Mark Lanegan’s dark art

Looking back on the broken beauty of a Screaming Tree. – Jim Allen, RocknRoll Globe

Stereolab announce North American tour

Beloved experimental pop group Stereolab have announced a North American tour. The tour will kick off on September 6th in Nashville and wrap up on October 15 in Asheville. The run will include only two Canadian stops - Vancouver on September 24 and Montreal on October 2. – Rolling Stone

Bauhaus announce first US tour in 16 years

The goth rock purveyors will play shows in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, New York City, and more. –  CoS

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024


The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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