Music Biz Headlines, May 13, 2021

Fiver’s Simone Schmidt (pictured) discusses her social activism, Canadian female rock bands remembered, and indie artists on the pros and cons of NFTs. Others in the headlines include Chippy Nonstop, CARAS, Scott Smith, Believe, Bob Marley, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Jimmy Iovine, Joe Jonas, Van Morrison, TikTok, Godspell, and Shaun Ryder.

Music Biz Headlines, May 13, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Toronto musician, Simone Schmidt, put advocating for homeless in encampments ahead of album launch

Simone Schmidt does her best to keep her activism separate from her music, but it’s clear from the long delay in getting her third album as Fiver out into the world where her priorities lie. – Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

After years in Toronto’s club scene, Chippy Nonstop returns to her own music

Tired of waiting, the local DJ/producer has put out a new album with dj genderfluid – her first new music in nearly a decade. – Kelsey Adams, NOW

Hall in one: The rise of CARAS and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame

The early days of the Junos and the birth of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame were by no means seamless undertakings. – Nick Krewen, National Post

Scott Smith's Adventures in Pedal Steel stream live from Vancouver's Blue Light Studio on May 28

Local pedal-steel guitar fans who've been missing the Adventures in Pedal Steel nights Scott Smith used to put on down at the Heatley on Hastings have something to look forward to. On May 28 the primo picker will present a live stream of a gig filmed at Blue Light Studio, where he'll show how the pedal-steel can be used in country, soul, indie-folk, and the Sacred Steel brand of gospel. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


It’s time we came clean about the Dishrags and other long-lost Canadian all-female rock bands

Toronto post-punk outfit Fifth Column, for example, was groundbreakingly feminist and queer in the 1980s and nineties.  Still, Fifth Column, subject of Kevin Hegge’s 2012 documentary She Said Boom, had its day. Others, such as Vancouver’s Dee Dee and the Dishrags weren’t as fortunate. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Why's Believe going public? And what's it going to spend $600 million on?

On May 10, Believe – the France-born indie artist/label services powerhouse – fired the starter pistol on a big-money Paris IPO. By floating a chunk of its company on the Euronext, Believe revealed, it hopes to raise just over $600 million.Here, Believe founder and CEO, Denis Ladegaillerie, tells MBW all about the IPO. – Tim Ingham, MBW

11 indie musicians on how they're navigating the NFT wave

Skeptics like ANOHNI and Zola Jesus as well as believers like Mick Jenkins and Pussy Riot sound off on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the digital collectible game. – Marc Hogan, Pitchfork


Stream and starve – Lousy streaming rates and ripoffs galore for musicians

The music industry has been famous for generations for ripping off musicians wholesale. Doesn’t matter how good you are or how popular you are. Doesn’t matter if you’ve written ditties or anthems. You’ll get the wrong end of contracts and royalties deals. Now, you’ll be on the wrong end of streaming rates, too. – Paul Wallis, Digital Journal

'This is about the artist. It's about the music. It's not about you.'

Early on in The Defiant Ones (the brilliant Netflix documentary about his and Dr Dre’s separate and then intwined lives), Jimmy Iovine says: “I don’t see producing as a big thing. I consider it a job, not any great achievement.” Speaking to him now, though, specifically about his life and achievements in the studio, it’s clear that this brash and seemingly downbeat statement is only partly accurate.–  Dave Roberts, MBW

Why was Dolly Parton dressed as a banana?

Nope, it’s not a riddle. For its latest campaign, sunscreen brand Sun Bum outfitted statues around the U.S. in the fruity costumes to raise awareness for skin cancer protection. – Michelle Laufik,  BizBash

Bob Marley: 40th anniversary of the music pioneer's death

It is 40 years since legendary reggae singer Bob Marley died of cancer in Miami, aged 36, on 11 May 1981. Here he is captured on film. – BBC News


Iron Maiden teams with BrewDog for Hellcat beer

BrewDog, a leading global craft brewer and the world’s only carbon negative beer brand, is teaming up with Iron Maiden, one of the world’s most successful and revered rock bands, to launch Hellcat, an India Pale Lager, in fall 2021. – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe 

Expedia gives travellers a hand from Joe Jonas

Literally. The travel company has made 150 replicas of the singer's hand as it looks to eliminate more travel stress. – Washington Post

How to keep your band from breaking up

Keeping the peace between a group of passionate performers over a long period of time can, unsurprisingly, be quite a challenge. Here, we look at some essential tactics for how to not break up your band. – Patrick McGuire, Reverb Nation


How TikTok chooses which songs go viral 

The app’s hits seem to emerge organically, but the success of artists like Megan Thee Stallion reveals a highly managed curation process. – Shelly Banjo, Bloomberg

Shaun Ryder: ‘I was a heroin addict for 20-odd years, but there’s been no damage off that’

From ADHD to alopecia and learning the alphabet at 28, the Happy Mondays singer has had a wild, eventful life. He discusses hedonism, parenting – and why he has to spend so much time correcting Bez. – Tim Jonze, The Guardian

The month's best albums: May

Discover all our four- and five-star album reviews from the last month, from pop to folk, classical and more. Marianne Faithfull makes the cut. – The Guardian

Musical 'Godspell' celebrates 50th anniversary

It will come as little surprise to its legion of fans that the first professional musical to be mounted in the U.S. during the pandemic was “Godspell.”The Berkshire Theater Group in western Massachusetts put on a production in August. – Seattle Times Post-Intelligencer 

Melbourne’s Katie Weston to perform the music of Alanis Morissette across Australia

Alanis Morissette won’t be jumping on a plane to Australia anytime soon which is a great opportunity for Melbourne singer Katie Weston to tour Australia performing the songs. Katie’s ‘Uninvited’ is not a Covid lockdown show. She originally performed the show in Melbourne in 2019. – Paul Cashmere,  Noise11

Demi Lovato to host unscripted UFO investigation series at Peacock

Demi Lovato will find out if the truth is out there in a new limited unscripted series about UFOs that has been ordered at Peacock. – Variety

Van Morrison: Latest Record Project Volume 1 review – depressing rants by tinfoil milliner

The veteran bluesman loudly wakes up the sheeple with this boring and paranoid double album, reminiscent of a dinner party with a bitter divorcee. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Elton John and Years & Years cover Pet Shop Boys It's A Sin for Brit Awards

Elton John and Years & Years came together for a truly spectacular performance of the Pet Shop Boys classic “It’s a sin” at the BRIT Awards. – Noise11

Honey Jam founder Ebonnie Rowe (far left) with artists from the 2024 cohort.
Frame Five Media (@framefivemedia)

Honey Jam founder Ebonnie Rowe (far left) with artists from the 2024 cohort.


Honey Jam's 2024 Showcase Will Honour Beyoncé And Sarah McLachlan

The artist development program — whose impressive alumni include Nelly Furtado, Haviah Mighty and LU KALA — is back with a new cohort of rising stars, who will take the stage on August 29 in a celebration.

Honey Jam, a major Canadian talent showcase for emerging female talent, has announced a sweet new cohort for 2024.

The program has been highlighting women musicians since 1995, providing a platform for future stars like Nelly Furtado, Haviah Mighty, Jully Black and LU KALA.

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