Music Biz Headlines, May 13, 2020

Jenna Andrews (pictured) celebrates recent hits she has co-written, and the future of live concerts in Canada and beyond is discussed. Also in the headlines are Michael Rapino, Edmonton Arts Council grants, UMG, The Aristokrat Group, Jay-Z, Laurel Canyon, Jerry Stiller, Rush, Loretta Lynn, Robert Fripp, Axl Rose, 6ix9ine, Carly Rae Jepsen, and YouTubeMusic.

Music Biz Headlines, May 13, 2020

By Kerry Doole

What's the future of live concerts in Canada?

There seems to be a light at the end of the pandemic-stricken concert tunnel. Live Nation is gearing up for concert ticket sales “in the third and fourth quarters for 2021 at full scale," and here's the take of some Canadian observers. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Guiding light: Calgary's Jenna Andrews makes her mark developing young singers behind the scenes

In late April, Jenna Andrews participated in three celebratory Zoom meetings from her temporary home in rural New Jersey. The cause for celebration was songs she has written with and for the likes of Lennon Stella, BENEE, and Noah Cyrus. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

 New Edmonton Arts Council grant a $5,000 lifeline for artists

The Edmonton Arts Council's Creators' Reserve program is awarding $5,000 to successful applicants. The Edmonton Community Foundation has helped to the tune of $100,000. – Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal


How to properly file your vinyl collection — tips from Alan Cross

If you jumped into the vinyl resurrection over the past few years, I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance that you have a pile of records somewhere on the floor that isn’t organized in any coherent manner. “I’ll get to filing/ordering them when I have the time,” you say to yourself. With the pandemic lockdown, that time is now. – Global News

‘The years went by and the rock just died.’ Crocodile Rock closing amid covid pandemic

The downtown Toronto bar and music venue made the announcement on Facebook this week. –  The Toronto Star

Bring Halifax culture home with The Coast's arts streaming guide May 11-17

Your can't-miss streams to keep social despite the distance. The list includes Aquakulture. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast 


Michael Rapino talks cost-cutting, fan-less concerts, and pausing Live Nation’s big Mexico deal

The bigger question mark surrounded what Live Nation might reveal about its plans for the future – both in terms of weathering the damage being done to its business by the COVID-19 pandemic, and when/how it hopes to return to any sense of normalcy. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Live music circuit 'risks collapse within weeks'

Supporters of live music fear the UK's scene will collapse without government support. The lockdown has left 140,000 performers, agents, promoters and technicians without a steady income since the end of March. About 82% of the UK's live venues are now at risk of closing before the end of the month, according to an industry survey. –  Paul Lynch, BBC


Venues turn to crowdfunding to survive

Music venues have taken a page from the artists they normally host and turned to crowdfunding campaigns to keep their expenses paid and their staff supported during the lockdown. This week, I’m featuring four venues, spread across the nation, that are seeking support and offering merchandise and perks as incentives. – Chris Griffy, No Depression

Universal Music Group accelerates China strategy, with Joe Fang named first-ever MD of UMPG in region

Based in Beijing, Fang reports to Andrew Jenkins, President, Australia and Asia Pacific Region, UMPG. Fang is tasked with developing UMPG China at its new headquarters in Beijing, overseeing business strategy and the growth of the company’s Chinese language roster. He will additionally lead the development of UMPG Hong Kong. – MBW

Universal Music Group and The Aristokrat Group announce a strategic global partnership for recording and publishing

Universal Music France (UMF), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), announced a strategic partnership with The Aristokrat Group, a prominent African entertainment company which operates from Lagos, Nigeria and is best known for discovering and developing Burna Boy, one of the biggest acts in the African music industry today.  – Mathew Braide, Nigeria Online

Remember small and sweaty music venues?

For most bands, performing every six or eight weeks, on a bill with other local groups, in a club filled with friends and fellow-musicians, qualifies as success. The mere act of coming together to make a glorious noise is what really matters. – Jim DeRogatis, The New Yorker


The day the live music returns

"I don’t know when it will be safe to sing arm in arm at the top of our lungs. But we will do it again because we have to," says the Foo Fighters leader in this essay. – Dave Grohl, The Atlantic

What does Jay-Z’s fight over audio deepfakes affect the future of AI music?

Audio deepfakes— AI-generated imitations of human voices—are possible.. Two days after the JAY-Z YouTubes were posted, they were removed due to a copyright claim. The takedowns may have been a first attempt to challenge audio deepfake makers, but musicians and fans could potentially be grappling with the weird consequences of AI voice manipulations long into the future. – Marc Hogan, Pitchfork


What made 60s music giants so great? Jamming says Bob Dylan's son

Singer Jakob Dylan’s new documentary about the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene shows why there is no substitute for creative collaboration. – The Observer

The late comedian Jerry Stiller starred in Rush tour videos

Fans who caught Rush's R30 and Snakes & Arrows tours may remember that actor Jerry Stiller appeared in the videos that opened those shows. During his King of Queens run, Stiller found time to shoot a brief segment for Rush's R30 tour. The sequence used animation based on Rush album covers. – UCR

Loretta Lynn writes about her friendship with Patsy Cline

The country queen has written an entire book about their brief but intense friendship right up to Cline’s death in a 1963 plane crash, Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline, co-penned with Lynn’s daughter, also named Patsy. – Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

Robert Fripp releases free ambient music to get you through the lockdown

The King Crimson leader recently dropped the first in a 50-track series, Music for Quiet Moments. These ambient pieces will be drawn from all different years of the guitarist’s career, and will appear on most streaming platforms (including YouTube and Spotify), once a week, every Friday. – Open Culture

Axl Rose feuds on Twitter with 'a**hole' Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

Axl Rose became embroiled in an unlikely feud with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin after swearing about him on Twitter. The Guns N’ Roses frontman denounced the hedge fund multi-millionaire, who has worked in entertainment as a film producer, out of the blue on the social media site last week. – WENN

6ix9ine returns with a new song and a defiant livestream: 'I ratted' 

On Friday afternoon, recently jailed rapper and Instagram star 6ix9ine released a new song, “Gooba” Shortly after the song was released, 6ix9ine fired up his Instagram account for a live-streamed rant that lasted about 13 minutes and was seen by as many as two million people. – Ben Sisario, The New York Times


How to transfer your Google Play Music library to YouTube Music

Get your playlists, purchased songs, uploads, and more moved over. – Chris Welch, The Verge

The 100 greatest UK No 1s: No 20, Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

After Justin Bieber’s endorsement sent it viral, the irresistibly infectious hit was suddenly everywhere. And still we can’t get enough of it. – Elle Hunt, The Guardian

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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