Music Biz Headlines, May 11, 2023

Music Biz Headlines, May 11, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Whitehorse takes a deep dive into classic country

The eclectic husband-and-wife duo performs Saturday, May 27, at Bridgeworks in Hamilton. – Graham Rockingham, The Spectator

‘He was a great man’: Bob Rock on Gord Downie and ‘Lustre Parfait,’ their ‘happy accident’ album

Love of family and hockey bonded the late Tragically Hip frontman and the Payola$ co-founder and producer. – Nick Krewen, The Star

‘We had to be here’: Fans gather at hometown concert celebrating Gordon Lightfoot

A generation of old friends, longtime couples and families raised on Gordon Lightfoot gathered Saturday night in the singer-songwriter’s Orillia  hometown to mark the passing of the Canadian musician. By sheer coincidence — or as some suggested, a case of mournful serendipity — a concert planned months ago as a tribute to Lightfoot wound up being a celebration of a life well-lived. – David Friend, The Canadian Press


Fans pay respects at Gordon Lightfoot public visitation in musician’s hometown

More than 1,000 fans poured through a public visitation Sunday in Gordon Lightfoot’s hometown in central Ontario to say goodbye to the folk singer-songwriter. In the rain, a line grew on the street outside St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia, Ont., where Lightfoot once sang as a choirboy. – David Friend, CP

Folk haven Yorkville changed Gordon Lightfoot before its own ritzy transformation

Yorkville transformed musicians, from Lightfoot to Neil Young to Joni Mitchell, almost as thoroughly as it was transformed in the second half of the 20th century. The Toronto neighbourhood now known for its multimillion-dollar condos, high-end restaurants and luxury boutiques was just 60 years ago a haven for hippies and a “hothouse” for future folk legends. – Nicole Thompson, CP 

Burton Cummings, Tom Cochrane among musicians who say they’ll play Gordon Lightfoot tribute

Plans for a star-studded night of music celebrating the legacy of Gordon Lightfoot are already taking shape, according to his longtime friend and concert promoter. – CP

Who wants to buy the Ottawa Senators? Here’s a list of potential owners

The bid to buy the NHL team has garnered the attention of a few A-list celebrities, including The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg and Ryan Reynolds. – The Globe and Mail

Downchild brings more than 50 years of blues history to Massey Hall

Whether it was jamming with harmonica legend James Cotton or guitarist Buddy Guy, or recording with Spencer Davis, Downchild rubbed shoulders with blues greats.  – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Singer Drake reveals Nigerian roots of his father

Drake has been known to pay homage to his modest beginnings and diverse background in several of his songs, and this was no different when the rapper revealed that his father has Nigerian roots. – NNN

Vocalist Rebecca Campbell, a former Ottawa It Girl, reflects on her life in the arts

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, she was an It Girl of Ottawa's creative music scene, when bands such as Fat Man Waving and The Black Donnellys ruled local stages and airwaves. – Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

Tory Lanez denied new trial in Megan Thee Stallion shooting

A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday denied a motion for a new trial from lawyers for rapper Tory Lanez, who was convicted of three felonies in December for shooting hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in the feet and wounding her. – Andrew Dalton, AP

Revisiting the Halifax sound: Who made it big and who didn't in the mid-90s music scene

A new Atlantic Voice documentary charts a unique chapter in the city's cultural history. – Josefa Cameron, CBC News

Andy Shauf planned to make a ‘normal’ record. That’s not what happened

On “Norm” — his’70s-tinged soft pop album — Shauf delves into the mind of a perpetually stoned stalker with brilliant results. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Animated adventures with Daniel Ingram

The in-demand Canadian composer crafts compelling, catchy music for kids and adults alike. BMI

Everything you need to know about the 2023 Scotia Festival of Music

The world-leading chamber music fest returns May 29-June 11. No matter if you're an expert on the genre or more of a newbie, you'll find lots to satiate your hungry ears here. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast


New song by Walk off the Earth again puts Burlington in centre of pop universe

Burlington’s Walk off the Earth have returned to capture your listening attention with a brand new song. Released last Friday, whatever again finds the band displaying the ability to craft catchy pop tunes, this time with an uptempo number that encourages the listener to live every moment. – InHalton

Amanda Sum celebrates the beauty of gentle awkwardness

Amanda Sum had been contemplating the ways in which she exists in the world. What does it mean to be a woman? To be young? To be a person of colour? And how do all those things feed into her day-to-day life? Her thoughts materialized onto “New Age Attitudes,” the title track of her 2022 debut album. – Yasmine Shemesh, Georgia Straight


Review: Bekka Ma’iingan by Zoon

With an unpredictable, amorphous shoegaze sound, the Indigenous Canadian musician crafts their most opaque and open-hearted work. Toronto-based composer Daniel Monkman has reoriented shoegaze away from an insular, obfuscating aesthetic into a modern form of folk music. –  Stuart Berman, Pitchfork


Soundcloud, Merlin strike global deal to bring FPR to indie labels

SoundCloud has teamed up with Merlin, the digital music licensing agency for independent labels, on a global licensing deal, allowing Merlin members and their artists to participate in SoundCloud’s Fan-Powered Royalties (FPR) model. – Mandy Dalugdug, MBW

Warner Music posts $1.4B revenue as publishing lifts a flat quarter for recorded music

Slow quarter for new releases puts a drag on streaming revenue, but recent Ed Sheeran and Jack Harlow albums could boost WMG's second half. – Elizabeth Marshall, Billboard

HMV to return to flagship Oxford Street store after four-year absence

First HMV shop was opened in 1921 by British composer Sir Edward Elgar and closed in 2019. the chain is now run by a Canadian. – Sarah Butler, The Guardian

Robert Kyncl says streaming payout and pricing models must, and will, change

Warner Music Group CEO, Robert Kyncl, says ‘an Ed Sheeran stream is not worth the same as a stream of rain falling on a roof."  – Tim Ingham, MBW

Record Store Day 2023 gives indie stores biggest boost in 15 years

RSD helped drive a modern-era record of 1.426 million vinyl albums sold in the U.S. at independent shops during the week ending April 27.  – Keith Caulfield, Billboard

U.S. jury sides with Ed Sheeran in Let’s Get It On copyright trial

Ed Sheeran's 2014 hit "Thinking Out Loud" did not unlawfully copy from Marvin Gaye's classic 1973 song "Let's Get It On," a jury decided in a closely watched copyright lawsuit. The British pop star said the verdict would help protect the creative process for song writers in the U.S. and globally.  – Reuters

Impact of writers’ strike on L.A. economy could surpass 2007 stoppage, experts say

The cascading impact of the Hollywood writers’ strike could touch almost every facet of the economy in Southern California, including the housing market, and lead to economic fallout that eclipses the estimated $2.1 billion in losses during the last work stoppage, experts say.– LA Times


The most anticipated music festivals of 2023

A guide to some of the best music festivals this year has to offer.  –Pitchfork

Here’s The Beatles covering The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’, as created by AI

The track was previously hailed by Paul McCartney as being his favourite song of all time. – Liberty Dunworth, NME

Bruce Springsteen surprises Shane MacGowan with home visit ahead of his Dublin concerts

The Boss popped in to see The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan shortly after landing in Dublin as he prepares for three concerts at the RDS Arena over the weekend.  –The Mirror

There's a 'volume war' happening in music

Lead vocalists have gotten quieter over the decades, compared with the rest of the band, according to a new study. A leading industry figure says it's part of the "volume wars." Beck says track and the rhythm, not vocals, need to be at the forefront if you want to move people. – Manuela López Restrepo, NPR

Lucinda Williams reflects on her ‘guardian angels’

Since healing from her 2020 stroke, the indomitable country-rock singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams, who turned 70 in January, has been back at it in a major way. She has a packed touring schedule, with a stop in Vancouver slated for August, and she just released her clear-eyed new memoir, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You. – Matthew Horseman, Globe and Mail


Ukrainian rock star Slava Vakarchuk says his hate for Russians is toxic but necessary

“I’ve met people in trenches trying to enjoy their lives,” says Slava Vakarchuk, the lead singer and founder of Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy. “You commit heroic deeds, but you are a normal person. The war does not take away your humanity.” – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

King Charles' coronation music: From Handel to Andrew Lloyd Webber

King Charles III became the 40th monarch to be crowned at Westminster Abbey during his coronation ceremony on May 6, in a showing of Great British pomp and pageantry which pays tribute to the thousand-year history of the monarchy. – Newsweek

Patti LuPone is the mother of all Broadway legends

Patti LuPone is not someone to be trifled with. The Broadway legend has tussled with Andrew Lloyd Webber, gone toe-to-toe with John Houseman, and even confronted theatre patrons (sorry to that one woman whose eventual obituary will lead with the fact that she had her phone confiscated by LuPone for the sin of texting during a performance). – Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail

Courtesy Photo



New & Upcoming  Canadian Album Releases: Islands, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne and More

Find a full list of new and just-announced albums, including Belfountain, The Tragically Hip, Orville Peck and more.

Celine Dion is reentering the public sphere with her new Prime Video documentary I Am: Celine Dion, and with it comes a full soundtrack of her greatest hits and original score tracks from the movie. She's part of a rush of new Canadian album announcements, also including a new instalment of Orville Peck's duets project, an archival Tragically Hip release and more.

Also this week, there's a new greatest hits collection from Avril Lavigne, a new album from Indigenous soul/blues singer Celeigh Cardinal, a new one from Grammy-nominated reggae singer Jah'Mila and much more.

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