Music Biz Headlines, March 4, 2019

Toronto musician Richard Armin disputes Green Book's veracity, the extraordinary life of Jackie Shane (pictured), and Avril Lavigne’s faith Others making headlines include Queen, Music and Motion, Ryan Adams, Hollerado, C-pop, Mark Hollis, Teddy Pendergrass, Roxy Music, Liberty Media, Harry Nilsson, Lucian Grainge, Lee Scratch Perry, drill, Neverland Ranch, Austin Music Awards, Gene Simmons, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Frank Gehry.

Music Biz Headlines, March 4, 2019

By Kerry Doole

‘I feel betrayed’ by Green Book, says Toronto man who played in Don Shirley’s ensemble

Retired Toronto musician Richard Armin didn’t just dislike Green Book, the surprise Best Picture Oscar winner at the Academy Awards. He rejects it unreservedly, calling the film “a complete lie," based on his close relationship with Shirley. – Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Transgender soul singer Jackie Shane thrilled crowds

Jackie Shane broke all the rules. An American-born, black, transgender woman, Ms. Shane first came to Canada in the conservative early 1960s and won over audiences with her glamorous image and soulful singing. – Nicholas Jennings, Globe and Mail

Music and Motion join forces for one big party at Collective Arts in May

 Original Blues Brothers are performing at a Hamilton benefit concert for An Instrument for Every Child and Bike for Mike. – Hamilton Spectator


15 Toronto concerts we're looking forward to in March

A bucket list concert from Massive Attack, the return of Robyn, #JusticeForGlitter and more shows you can catch this month. – Kevin Ritchie, NOW

Under Pressure: Lessons for Justin Trudeau from Queen’s song catalogue

As the scandal rages on, I have created a Queen playlist for Justin Trudeau. I know. Leaders facing the music rarely feel like listening to music. But after former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould testified on Wednesday, I believe we need our Prime Minister to at least understand the consequences.  – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

Embattled Ryan Adams, who's set his Twitter account to "private", has tour of Ireland and the UK cancelled

There s karmic comeuppance in today's news that Adams's upcoming tour of the U.K. and Ireland has been torpedoed. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

The inside story of Hollerado as the Canadian pop-rockers prepare to call it quits

After a dozen years, hundreds of high jinks and a multitude of shows, the cheerful pop-rock enthusiasts are calling it a day. But don’t cry for them. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

For Avril Lavigne and others, religious music can bring earthly rewards

Via the single "Head Above Water," Lavigne’s faith could now be considered a matter of public business. Emphasis on the business. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star


Is C-pop the next K-pop? Chinese music could crack global charts

Some observers are asking: where are all the Chinese pop artists? The simple answer is that, at this stage, China doesn't have any financial need to take C-pop global. As the world's most populous country with the second-largest economy, China also has a self-sustaining entertainment industry. – Caitlin Kelley, South China Morning Post


Musicians on Mark Hollis: 'He found hooks in places I'm still trying to fathom'

Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Charlotte Church, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry and others on the songs, enigmatic spirit and musical vision of the Talk Talk leader. – Laura Snapes, The Guardian

Teddy Pendergrass’ career was cut short. Now it’s being reevaluated

A new documentary and remix EP examine the life and art of Pendergrass, the Philadelphia soul singer who suffered a debilitating accident in 1982. – Elias Leight, Rollng Stone

The swaggering love song that launched New Wave

Roxy Music’s ‘Love Is the Drug’ introduced a glossy, jagged sound that was years ahead of its time. – Marc Myers, WSJ

Liberty Media express an interest in buying a stake in Universal, but would prefer control

The Universal Music Group sale story continues. US-based Liberty is the majority owner of SiriusXM – which itself fully owns Pandora. – Tim Ingham, MBW

A Guide to Harry Nilsson, who you've loved forever without knowing it

The songwriting savant has brought us a lot more than “Gotta Get Up” from 'Russian Doll.' From 60s pop to 70s decadence, here’s a primer. – Noisey

Universal Music CEO to artists: Fine-tune your lyrics for smart speakers

Lucian Grainge talks smart speakers, streaming and social media on stage at MWC in Barcelona. – Katie Collins, Cnet

Lee 'Scratch' Perry reunites with Adrian Sherwood on Rainford

Dub pioneer Perry has reunited with producer Sherwood for a new solo album, Rainford. The project sees Sherwood on production duties, recording nine original tracks with Perry in Jamaica, Brazil and London. – Henry Bruce-Jones, Factmag


Stop criminalising drill rappers, say legal campaigners

Drill artists argue their lyrics reflect truth but courts accuse them of inciting violence. – Diane Taylor, The Guardian

Amid documentary controversy, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch returns to market at a $70M discount

The house with a storied past is ready for a new owner. Made famous by Jackson, Neverland Ranch is on the market again with a new price and marketing angle. After not finding success with an asking price of $100 million in 2015, it's back with a $31 million ask and the new moniker "Sycamore Valley Ranch.” – Amy Dobson, Forbes

37th annual Austin Music Awards kick open some back doors

Alejandro Escovedo’s reception of the Townes Van Zandt Songwriting honour was a core highlight. – Doug Freeman, Austin Chronicle


Gene Simmons on KISS and Capitalism

The band’s co-founder is open for business and spending his 70th year on the road. For the group's last tour, you can get through the door for $1,000 or less than $40. T-shirts go for $50, and as much as $7,500 you get to meet the band, grab a selfie and even stand on stage. – Chris Kornelis, WSJ

Jerry Lee Lewis has been hospitalised after suffering a minor stroke

The 83-year-old had a minor stroke in Memphis. He is expected to make a full recovery. – NME

Frank Gehry went to Berlin to celebrate his 90th birthday. The reason: Music, music, music

Thursday night Gehry reached a new milestone. Again, there was a bash, this time in Berlin, and once more a goodly number of people showed up. Only they weren’t art stars. Most were average Berlin concertgoers who filled a modest 680-seat chamber music venue, the Pierre Boulez Saal. – Mark Swed, LA Times

Russian cathedral choir's performance of a song about US nuclear annihilation shows that parody doesn't quite work in 2019

Many social media users have been baffled by the recent appearance of a video clip of a choir in St. Petersburg's landmark cathedral, Saint Isaac’s, performing a song about total nuclear annihilation of the United States. –  Global Voices

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

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