Music Biz Headlines, March 30, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Superstar Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has tongues wagging and heads bobbing

A  bobblehead doll is a promotional item put out by the Philadelphia Orchestra, which recently signed the superstar Montrealer to a contract extension that will keep him in the land of cheesesteaks until 2030 as the renowned symphony’s music director and artistic director. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

True love for True North Gallery

The True North Gallery in Waterdown is a hidden gem that boasts works of art from some of music’s most iconic names. For owners Geoff and Mabruka Kulawick, it’s a truly one-of-a-kind-labour of love that celebrates the common intersection of musical genius with visual expression. – Kerry Doole, Hamilton City Magazine


Neil Young declares “touring is broken” due to Ticketmaster controversy

“I get letters blaming me for $3,000.00 tickets for a benefit I am doing. That money does not go to me or the benefit. Artists have to worry about ripped off fans blaming them for Ticketmaster add-ons and scalpers.” – Madison Bloom, Pitchfork

Toronto DJ Debby Friday taps experience navigating Europe’s club scene for debut album Good Luck

Debby Friday was DJing through Europe a few years ago, navigating its club scenes, when she was in the midst, she says, of “a whole breakdown of my life.” The musician often refers to this as a transitional period, navigating mental-health and relationship issues. But as she traversed the continent in 2017, she also had revelations: about music, and the value of musical communities, “and just, essentially, the idea of hybridity.”  –Josh O'Kane, Globe and Mail

Joni Mitchell teams up with Cameron Crowe to script her biopic

Legendary folk star is reportedly offering input into screenplay for drama film about her life. – The Guardian

The AGO is celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary by showcasing Indigenous women rappers

Indigenous hip-hop artists Eekwol, DJ Kookum, T-Rhyme, and JB The First Lady performed at the Art Gallery of Ontario. – Veracia Ankrah, NOW

Drake concert tickets at the centre of new Canadian class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster

The suit alleges the ticketing giant knowingly misled fans looking to see Drake perform in Montreal, upcharging them for “Official Platinum” tickets. – Manuela Vega, Alessia Passafiume, Toronto Star 

Acadian music superstar P'tit Belliveau announces Halifax concert for May 18

P'tit Belliveau, one of the most exciting and eccentric voices in Canadian indie today, will be performing in Halifax May 18 at The Marquee. A Polaris Prize long-listed artist, Belliveau strikes a similar fancy as early kd lang.   –Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Women are woefully underrepresented in the DJ world: Here’s how Femme House helps fill the gap

“You can’t be what you can’t see,” Calgary-based artist Joanna Magik, who is co-hosting a DJ workshop for women in Toronto on Sunday– Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

Hyperspace Metal Fest is coming back to Vancouver in April

Three straight nights of epic power metal? Don’t mind if we do.  Hyperspace Metal Fest is coming back to Vancouver again following its post-Covid return in 2022, and it’s bringing with it some of the heavy hitters of the metal scene throughout Canada and the USA. Headliners include California melodic death metal warriors Exmortus, Edmonton’s Striker, and Lords of the Trident. – Georgia Straight

An elegy for Sisters Euclid, the best Canadian band you never heard

After 27 years together, Toronto quartet Sisters Euclid played its last ever shows earlier this month. I would say that we are going to miss the band now that it’s gone, but most of you missed it altogether. It is a crying shame that the inquisitive quartet without a best-before date is saying goodbye. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Warner Music to lay off 270 staffers, making ‘hard choices in order to evolve’

 Warner Music Group will eliminate 270 positions as part of a wider evolution of the company, new CEO Robert Kyncl announced to the company’s staff in an email obtained by Variety. The memo says that in order “to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we need to make some hard choices in order to evolve.” – Jem Aswad, Variety


Sly Stone announces memoir, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

“I had to be in a new frame of mind to become Sylvester Stewart again to tell the true story of Sly Stone. It’s been a wild ride and hopefully my fans enjoy it too.” – Evan Minsker, Pitchfork

Thin Lizzy voted Ireland's greatest band ahead of U2

They triumph in a 16-strong shortlist. – Planet Radio

Q&A: Chuck D talks rap’s rise through ‘Fight the Power’ doc

His reflections are explored in the four-part docuseries “Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World,” that aired on PBS. The series delves into the history of hip-hop including the genre’s radical rise from the New York City streets, creating a platform for political expression and being a leading voice for social justice. –  Jonathan Landrum Jr. AP


Taylor Swift vs. Ronald Reagan: the Ticketmaster story

This special episode of Decoder dives deep into Taylor Swift, Ticketmaster, and how a handful of policy changes in the 1980s led to one firm so thoroughly dominating the live events business in the United States that Congress held a hearing in 2023 because Taylor Swift fans were upset about antitrust law. –The Verge

Depeche Mode’s death-tinged ‘Memento Mori’ isn’t about the passing of Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore says

The Depeche Mode songwriter talks to Nick Krewen about the loss of Fletcher, hit song “Ghosts Again” and how it felt to turn 60. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Steven Van Zandt on fixed setlists for the Springsteen tour and 21 years of The Underground Garage

Little Steven talks about mortality, The British Invasion, and muting MAGA assholes. – Consequence

Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth describes David Byrne as “insecure”

"We did our best to overlook these disastrous character flaws, but it seemed obvious that Talking Heads wasn’t going to last." – Stereogum

‘There were fist-fights down at CD:UK’ – 90s pop remembered by those who lived through it

Conflict between bands, conflict within bands, booze, breakdowns and awards-show agony: in these extracts from oral history Reach for the Stars, Five, Steps, Pete Waterman and more spill about the dark side of the decade. – The Guardian

‘What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?’ Review

In 1970, Blood, Sweat & Tears were blackmailed by the State Department into touring the Eastern Bloc. But was the resulting tour a sellout or an ironic counterculture triumph? A new film doc explores the topic. – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: John McEuen, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and author

One of the most prodigally talented musicians in American history, John McEuen was a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for a half-century before departing at the end of its 50th-anniversary tour in 2017, the same year he was inducted into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame.. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access


Lana Del Rey finds solace in family on her deeply personal ninth album

“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” is a remarkable — if slightly overstuffed — collection of dramatic, downtempo songs that drift between unfiltered streams of consciousness and considered ruminations on familial love. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

Andrea Bocelli serenades fans in Times Square

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli serenaded fans in New York City's Times Square on March 23 to promote his new film. – Reuters

Adele extends Las Vegas residency with 34 more concerts

The new performances will take place at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace between June 16 and Nov. 4, organizers announced Sunday. – Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News

Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus’ ‘Rainbowland’ was banned from a first-grade spring concert

"Rainbowland" is a duet by Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton off of Cyrus' 2017 album "Younger Now." It is now the subject of controversy in Wisconsin. – USA Today

Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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