Music Biz Headlines, May 15, 2020

A plea for streaming services to aid musicians, Young Canadians’ Hawaii (pictured) gets a reissue, and Bernie Sanders is a Prince fan. Also in the headlines are Corey Hart, Matt Masters, 120 Diner, Dana Beeler, Downtown, Diane Warren, Jason Isbell, the Hollywood Bowl, Perfume Genius, and the Knitting Factory.

Music Biz Headlines, May 15, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Musicians are more desperate than ever. Streaming services ought to rescue them

Spotify, YouTube and streaming services in general: It’s time to step up. For way, way too long — Spotify, it’s been 14 years for you and 15 for YouTube — you have ridden on the backs of recording artists, musicians and songwriters that have provided you with content and, in turn, billions of dollars in profits, without offering them much in return. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Loving reissue of the Young Canadians' Hawaii EP raises the question of who was Vancouver's greatest punk band

What’s more important from a legacy standpoint: being the greatest band, or being the band that writes the greatest songs? The question is an important one when you’re reflecting on the Art Bergmann-led Young Canadians’ place in Vancouver’s fabled first-wave punk gold rush. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Corey Hart revisits Never Surrender with a remake and upcoming video

One of Corey Hart’s most resilient hit singles, Never Surrender, is getting a makeover by the singer, who’s been inspired by people’s unwavering strength during the covid pandemic. – David Friend, CP

Drake's private info might get leaked in a reported cyberattack 

The Weeknd and Jessie Reyez may also be victims of the cyberattack upon New York-based media and entertainment law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks. As part of the attack, they're threatening to leak the private information of many high profile companies and celebs, including Drake. – Karen Doradea, Narcity

Are online shows live music's new lifeline?

Halifax's Side Door Access is "hoping to be a life raft for artists" during the pandemic. – Sam Gillett, the Coast

Neighbourhood watch: Matt Masters' community concerts about to go national

Standing on a custom-made stage atop his 2012 silver Dodge Caravan, the Calgary-based singer-songwriter has been serenading paying customers in various neighbourhoods for the past month. Yes, the concerts may have a bit of a free-wheeling feel to them. But we are still in the middle of a pandemic here, folks, so there are rules to follow. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

'Devastating’ loss for Toronto’s LGBTQ community as Church St.’s Club 120 closes for good

It was a sanctuary for “extreme diversity,” a place to call home and a space where people of Toronto’s multi-faceted LGBTQ communities could let loose. Now, because of covid, Club 120 and its sister live music and comedy venue, 120 Diner, have closed doors. – Josh Rubin, Toronto Star


Hello Delaware's Dana Beeler knows how you feel

The Halifax rocker started a podcast to help us all feel a little less alone. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast


Music royalties reach a record high - but a storm is coming

Musicians and songwriters in the UK received a record amount of money last year, but the loss of live music poses a major threat to income in 2020. The warning was issued by PRS for Music, the body that makes sure 145,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in the UK are paid when their music is played or performed around the world. It said covid-19 would result in an "inevitable decline" in 2020 and 2021. – Mark Savage, BBC

Downtown buys UK-based independent music publisher Good Soldier Songs

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, includes more than 350 works, including the publishing catalogue of The 1975. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Our industry isn’t coming back like yours is

Live events aren’t getting the acknowledgement that others are. – Nicholas Rivero, Medium

Songwriter Diane Warren signs with BMG ahead of 'historic' new album

BMG will represent Warren for publishing and recording and will release a collection of the legendary songwriter's new works, performed and recorded by a starry lineup of guests. – Billboard 

There's a Prince drumhead hanging inside Bernie Sanders's office

Specifically, there's a drumhead from Prince's longtime band, New Power Generation, hanging inside what appears to be the home office of Bernie Sanders. We learned this funky truth this week. – Jay Boller, City Pages


Prince estate announces ‘Prince and the Revolution: Live’ streaming event

It takes place on YouTube, May 14-16.  – Rolling Stone

The 20 best Jason Isbell songs

In honor of Jason Isbell's latest record Reunions, a look back at some of his most moving songs. – Ellen Johnson, Paste

Hollywood Bowl season canceled for the first time in 98 years. So long, L.A. summer

For the first time in its nearly 100-year history, the Hollywood Bowl is canceling its entire season — a loss that amounts to far more than opening night with Brandi Carlile, the film screenings and sing-alongs, the concerts starring Diana Ross, Yuja Wang and Janelle Monae that were to have followed. – Jessica Gelt, LA Times 


Remembering the original Knitting Factory

Owners and musicians tell the story of the New York jazz club that defined "downtown." –  Shaun Brady, JazzTimes

Perfume Genius: Set My Heart on Fire Immediately review – pop poet discovers new powers

Backed by starry session musicians, Mike Hadreas makes wild but confident leaps between styles on this rich, fascinating LP. – Alexis Petridis, 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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