Music Biz Headlines, May 15, 2019

Rapper Haviah Mighty (pictured) delivers an inspiring new album, the fascinating life of maestro Andrew Balfour, and the Drake curse examined. Also in the headlines: Bhad Bhabie, Lennie Gallant, Vampire Weekend, Filthy Friends, Madonna, Ticketmaster, breakbeats Todd Rundgren, Imogen Heap, Ani DiFranco, and Evan Dando.

Music Biz Headlines, May 15, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Haviah Mighty tackles marginalization with inspiring new album, 13th Floor

It’s not all about the numbers, but they’re a quick indicator that Haviah’s fanbase is growing at a nice rate and with no signs of slowing down. Adding to the boost in her popularity is the esteemed work she’s put in as a member of the all-female rap collective The Sorority. – Dutch Unkle, Hip-Hop Canada

Choral maestro Andrew Balfour pursues his Indigenous identity through music

There are parts of Balfour’s life story that make eyes widen, as he talks, in even, measured tones, about being taken from his Cree mother when he was an infant in 1967, as part of the Sixties Scoop. Oh, and did he mention that he spent four months in prison? – Carol Toller, Globe and Mail


If Drake really cares about the Raptors, he needs to cheer on Milwaukee

You know who believes the Drake Curse is real? Drake.  He is a walking, talking, photo-sharing curse. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

Bhad Bhabie’s got something to say

No longer the car-stealing, knife-wielding, twerking 13-year-old daughter who tried to frame her mom for a crime, Bregoli has managed to parlay her way into a bona fide hip-hop career successfully. And she’s actually pretty good. – Kate Wilson, Georgia Straight

Lennie Gallant: A look at the beloved Maritime songwriter

A song taking on its own life is surely among the most gratifying of events in the life of a songwriter. As “Peter’s Dream” turns 25 years old and its author and singer prepares to commemorate the song at a ceremony in Toronto, the bitterness of the song must seem an ironic sentiment to celebrate. – Erik Twight SAC

Interview: Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig on optimism, centrism and the meaning of life

"As people have been saying for thousands of years – love is the only answer to the absurdity of the world," says the indie rock luminary in this deeply reflective Q&A. – Rob Duffy, NOW

Filthy Friends draws from Fastbacks, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, the Young Fresh Fellows, and the Minus 5

It’s all too easy to toss around the term supergroup, and in fact that’s the sixth word in Filthy Friends’ Wikipedia entry. Here, though, the label fits. The original incarnation of the Portland, Oregon, quintet included core members of five of the most influential bands of the late 20th century: Nirvana, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Ministry, and King Crimson. – Alexander Varty Georgia Straight


Why are concert tickets so expensive in Toronto?

While many Torontonians are happy to fork over for big acts, indie promoters are finding ways to make live music more accessible. –  Michelle Da Silva, NOW


Madonna, on Eurovision, says she won't bow 'to suit someone's political agenda'

The pop superstar Madonna explained her decision to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, saying that she will always speak up to defend human rights and hopes to see “a new path toward peace.” – Jill Serjeant, Reuter's

Supreme Court ruling may open Ticketmaster up to more lawsuits

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on a class-action lawsuit against Apple could mean trouble for Ticketmaster, according to analysis posted by several outlets. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the four liberal-leaning justices in a 5-4 decision that the lawsuit – which claims Apple violates antitrust rules with its iTunes App Store – should be allowed to move forward on Monday. – Sean Burns, Ticketnews

Concert Review: Todd Rundgren rediscovers a pop catalog’s glory

A 1970s singles repertoire ranking alongside Elton John's and Paul McCartney's gets its full due in this A-sides- and B-sides-filled tour. – Chris Willman, Variety 

'Part of the collective unconscious': the utopian return of breakbeats

A new generation of queer producers and DJs are using the beats that fired 90s rave culture to herald a ‘post-cynicism’ age. – Gabriel Szatan, The Guardian


Imogen Heap: 'I've never been burdened by fame'

In a sense, Imogen Heap is the Nikola Tesla of pop music. Like the 20th century inventor that gave us alternating current (AC) and countless other inventions overshadowed in the history books by Thomas Edison, Heap's influence in the field of pop has largely gone unappreciated in her own time. – Brooklyn White, Papermag

The Reading Room: Music, words, and scenes from a creative life fuel Ani DiFranco memoir

In this by-now tired genre, Ani DiFranco’s new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream (Viking) brings new energy, using its few wild-side stories only as part of a much larger narrative of a life in music. – Henry Carrigan No Depression


'Please EFCC pardon my brothers’ – Music producer begs for release of arrested musicians

Rexxie, in-house producer for the rapper, Zlatan Ibile, has taken to social media to plead for the release of fast-rising acts Zlatan and Naira Marley arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on internet fraud related crime. – Olayemi Oladotun, info Nigeria

Evan Dando knows he’s lucky

Evan Dando is dead. Those rumors were floating as far back as 1996 when heroin was chic, grunge was a thing, and Dando, the troubled 29-year-old lead singer of the punk-pop band the Lemonheads, seemed destined to follow Kurt Cobain to an early grave. He survived and now enjoys life on Martha's Vineyard. – Alex Williams, NY Times

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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