Music Biz Headlines, May 13, 2019

Merck Mercuriadis (pictured) and comrades advocate for songwriters, Nils Lofgren remembers Lou Reed, and CMW highlights. Also in headlines: Toronto Bach Festival, shadow,  Art of Time Ensemble, Liz Cooper, rock sidemen, Ed Sheeran, Woodstock, PledgeMusic, Common, R. Kelly, Madonna, Idris Elba, Pras Michel, and Merle Haggard.

Music Biz Headlines, May 13, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Status upgrade: how music insiders are boosting the lot of songwriters

The music industry finally profits from streaming, but songwriters get a slim share of revenue, recognition. Industry leaders like Dave Stewart, Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers and Linda Perry want to change that. – Deana Sumanac-Johnson and Jessica Wong, CBC News 

With Blue with Lou, guitarist Nils Lofgren uncovers old gems

Toronto Bach Festival a labour of love for musician awestruck by composer’s powers 

May 24-26 marks the fourth time in as many years John Abberger has presided over the Toronto Bach Festival, an event he founded at St. Barnabas Church on the Danforth, bravely devoted to fathoming the unfathomable. – William Littler Toronto Star


Canadian Music Week 2019: the best and worst of the fest so far

Reviews from the first few nights of the club-hopping music festival, including Television, Azealia Banks, Rhye, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and more. – NOW staff

Between the light with shadow 

After a long but gentle gestation, shadow—a five-piece band led by Bethany Fulde—is ready to release the fruits of its two-year labour: A double EP, one titled the dark and the other, fittingly, the dawn. – Maggie Rahr, The Coast


Natural Sympathies' new single an anthem for parents and caregivers, just in time for Mother's Day

"Hello, is anybody out there?" Regina synth-pop artist Amber Goodwyn's new single is about grief and struggles in caregiving. – Ashley Martin, Regina Leader-Post 

Art of Time Ensemble celebrates 20 years of bridging cultural gaps with a best-of program at Harbourfront

Twenty years on, Andrew Burashko’s Art of Time Ensemble continues to have a unique place in Toronto’s cultural life. He has presented some best-of material this season, including this past weekend at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Rock My World Canada, chapter 65: Matthew Barber

Mike Carr has put together a massive volume on Canadian music history entitled Canadian Alternative & Indie Reference and Collector’s Guide. It’s an incredible discography of hundreds of bands. This latest excerpt from his book profiles noted roots songsmith Matthew Barber. – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things


Liz Cooper expands horizons beyond Nashville country with Window Flowers

Nashville-based Liz Cooper & the Stampede took over four years to follow up a debut EP, Monsters, with last summer’s impressively accomplished full-length Window Flowers—the musical differences on the two releases dramatic. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Great new doc on rock’n’roll sidemen

When someone like Madonna, Justin Bieber, or Britney Spears play live or go into the studio, they need a backing band. That’s when they dip into a pool of extraordinarily talented musicians, guns for hire who can handle any assignment, no matter how demanding. A new documentary seeks to give props to the sidemen (and women) of rock. – Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things


Ed Sheeran: I Don't Care (with Justin Bieber) review – the most surefire pop hit of the year

Two seismic stars, one super-producer and a chorus that only leaves your head after surgery … ubiquity is assured for this breezily infectious smash. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Is Woodstock 50 cancelled? Warring Festival partners go to court

Peace, love and litigation: The battle over Woodstock’s 50th anniversary festival has landed in court. The event’s chief investor declared it dead, but its promoter pledged to continue as planned. Fans, artists and the industry at large have been scratching their heads and awaiting a definitive answer. –  Ben Sisario, NY Times


Music industry calls for PledgeMusic inquiry after costly collapse

The British music industry is calling for a government inquiry into the collapse of PledgeMusic. As reported in TMN, the UK crowd-funding platform went belly-up after being unable to find a new owner. $1 million is estimated to be lost by musicians. – Byron Jones, The Music Network

Labor to invest millions into Australian music with new arts policy

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) will announce plans to invest millions of dollars into the Australian music industry if elected next weekend. The ALP's music and arts policy will not only invest in artists, venues and industry programmes, but it will also take on fake tickets which have continued to be problematic in Australia in recent times. – Neil Griffiths, The Music


‘I think I was abused’: Hip-hop star Common opens up about childhood molestation

Common’s story of abuse during his childhood is one of the central themes of the 47-year-old’s new book, which was released last Tuesday. The revelation has also dominated the conversation swirling around the book’s rollout — and this seems to be Common’s point. –  Kyle Swenson, Washington Post 

R. Kelly judgment withdrawn after lawyers say he can’t read

The embattled singer spent much of last Wednesday in court, with his lawyer explaining to one judge that the singer didn’t respond to a lawsuit brought by one of his sexual abuse accusers because he is illiterate. –  AP

Madonna says Michael Jackson 'innocent until proven guilty’ of child sex assaults

The Queen of Pop isn’t ready to dethrone the King of Pop just yet — despite a global backlash caused by a recent documentary that reopened allegations Michael Jackson sexually abused children. – Karu Daniels, NY Daily News

Idris Elba's music inspires new stage show

Director Kwame Kwei-Armah created the project, titled Tree, around the UK movie star and DJ's Mi Mandela album, with Idris on board as a producer. It will premiere at the Manchester International Festival in England this summer. – Music-News

North and South Korean musicians perform together in China

A South Korean violinist and a North Korean singer held a rare joint performance they hope helps bring the divided Koreas closer together via music. The performance at a Shanghai concert hall came at a time of emerging tensions amid deadlocked nuclear diplomacy. – Dake Kang and Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press

Fugees rapper Pras Michel and financier charged in scheme to raise money for Obama

Pras Michel, one of the founding members of the hip-hop group the Fugees, is charged with federal campaign finance violations, alongside a fugitive Malaysian financier. – Liam Stack,  NY Times

Boxcar Music Festival keeps music, spirit of Merle Haggard alive

Held at the Kern County Museum, the fest honors the country great's childhood home and his contributions to country music and the Bakersfield sound. – Joseph Luiz,


Drake leaves the court after the NBA In-Season Tournament game between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics at Scotiabank Arena on Nov. 17, 2023 in Toronto, Canada.
Cole Burston/Getty Images

Drake leaves the court after the NBA In-Season Tournament game between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics at Scotiabank Arena on Nov. 17, 2023 in Toronto, Canada.

Rb Hip Hop

Drake’s Toronto Mansion Appears to Be Flooded Amid Record Breaking Storm

Torrential rainfall has reportedly left over 100,000 Canadian citizens without power.

A violent storm has rumbled through the Toronto metro area and left over 100,000 citizens without power on Tuesday (July 16), per BBC.

Even Drake’s mansion was caught in the line of fire. The 6 God posted a video to his Instagram Story from his Toronto estate with at least one floor completely flooded.

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