Music Biz Headlines, May 22, 2020

The Wu-Tang Clan (pictured) boosts Ottawa charities, Justin and Ariana fight back, and the plight of live music. Others in the headlines include Sony Music, Band Ladies, Cirkut, Goldman Sachs, Spotify, David Byrne, drive-in shows, Nine Inch Nails, Robert Johnson, Sparks, Bruce Springsteen, and Charlie Minor.

Music Biz Headlines, May 22, 2020

By FYI Staff

Music, publishing and sports industries back Canada’s blockades of a pirate site

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has to decide whether the country's first pirate site blocking order can stay in place. It's a far-reaching decision that has gained the interest of a wide range of copyright holder groups. – Torrentfreak

'There is no opportunity right now'

Live music venues in Edmonton at risk of shutting down permanently. – CTV News

Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Billboard respond to Tekashi 6ix9ine’s allegations they rigged the pop charts

The two pop stars have defended themselves after a Brooklyn rapper with a history of provocation accused them of manipulating sales of their new No. 1 hit Stuck With U. Tekashi 6ix9ine, also charged chart-compiler Billboard magazine with discounting video streams of his own song Gooba, leading to it finishing in third place this week. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


The show must go on for Montreal promoters and venues — but when?

When is the next time we’ll gather for a concert at the Bell Centre? Or a play at the Segal Centre? Or even an intimate gig at the legendary alt-music venue Casa del Popolo?  – Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

The best of music in the worst of times

Leave it to a pandemic to make everything old new again. Especially when it comes to music. Down through the ages, a number of composers have given some of their best to the worst of the plagues. – Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

Protect Ya Hands: Wu-Tang Clan sells hand sanitizer, meals to benefit Ottawa charities during pandemic

The Wu-Tang Clan is raising money to help three Ottawa charities “Triumph” over covid-19. The New York City-based rap collective announced its official partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Food Bank and the Ottawa Mission shelter on Wednesday morning. – CP

Listening together, listening alone: A music professor sounds off on his shifting industries

Brian Fauteux reflects on the way covid-19 is affecting his two passions: music and teaching. – CBC

The Toronto-shot Band Ladies uses punk rock to express the angst of a generation

On paper, or in that pitch to a big studio executive, it would seem too contrived to fly. Would audiences really buy into an eclectic group of five angst-filled, but comfortably-bored women in their 30s and 40s – some buttoned-down and financially-secure, others flaky and/or free-spirited – who make a quick jump to punk rock musicians? – Denis Grignon, Toronto Star


Cirkut chops price of Hollywood Hills home

Canadian hit record producer and songwriter Henry Russell Walter, aka Cirkut,  has not had the same success selling a celeb-pedigreed Hollywood Hills home. After two years on and off the market, the property is still available at just under $5.5 million, far less than the in-hindsight too rosy initial asking price of nearly $6.5 million. – Mark David, Variety


Goldman Sachs just cut its 2020 paid streaming forecast by $2.2bn... but the future still looks bright

The Goldman Sachs’ Music In The Air report has become a highly influential paper for prognosticators chewing over the entertainment industry. Now, in a new update, Goldman has, in the light of the COVID pandemic – but also in light of recently published stats from IFPI – made some adjustments to its predictions, with a mix of good and not-so-good news for artists, labels, songwriters and publishers.  – MBW

Spotify allows employees to work from home until 2021

A memo went out on May 21 explaining that the streaming giant is following local guidelines on the re-opening of its offices during the current pandemic, and will be taking a “phased approach” on the matter. – MBW

Sony Music braces for operating revenue declines after a 40% bump

At the same time, Sony music publishing revenue increased by 30.8%.– Forbes


How a top promoter is envisioning a future for live music after Covid-19

Peter Shapiro has navigated some major challenges in his career — but nothing like this.  Patrick Doyle, Rolling Stone

Songwriters go online to craft the next hit song remotely

During a recent songwriting session, singer-songwriters Sarah Loethen and Christoffer Wadensten pieced together the lyrics and melody of a song they were writing about the global pandemic. Loethen played the first verse and Wadensten, aka Meadows, came up with a melody for the chorus on his acoustic guitar. The pair were on different continents. – Kristin M. Hall, AP

Concerts by the carload: Live Nation looks to take drive-in shows bigger this summer

Keith Urban's glee at performing for socially distanced fans at a drive-in theater in Tennessee may soon be shared by more major artists, as a Live Nation plan to use amphitheater parking areas for shows could bring the automotive concert concept into the mainstream. – Variety


Nine Inch Nails turns now-postponed tour merch into fundraiser for local food banks

The industrial band was set to play four nights at Seattle's Paramount Theatre. – Taryn Daly,  KISW

After the coronavirus, the race to resume film production goes global

Ever since the coronavirus crisis put entertainment production in a deep freeze, Hollywood has been eager to get the cameras rolling again. After all, box office revenue has sunk to virtually zero and more than 100,000 entertainment industry workers have lost their jobs. With stay-at-home orders in place and domestic production at a standstill, filmmakers are starting to see a thaw abroad. – Stacy Perman, LA Times

New Robert Johnson photograph revealed in upcoming memoir

There aren’t many photographs of blues legend Robert Johnson in existence. In fact, only two have been verified. A new one will grace the cover of a new memoir written by the blues legend’s stepsister.  Brother Robert: Growing Up With Robert Johnson is an inside look at Johnson’s early years. – Robert Dye, American Songwriter 

What made Charlie Minor great

When lists are made of the greatest promotion executives of all time, Charlie Minor’s name invariably appears in the uppermost echelon.  Let’s examine the case for Charlie Minor. – Lenny Beer, Hits Daily Double

Death Angel drummer says he met Satan during near-death coronavirus coma

A thrash metal drummer says he visited hell during a coronavirus-induced coma — and Satan wasn’t as cool as he thought. Will Carroll, of the band Death Angel, was comatose at the California Pacific Medical Center for two weeks in March after catching the virus on a European tour earlier that month. – Tamar Lapin, NY Post

After 50 years of cultdom, rock oddballs Sparks are about to have a moment

Could this be the year that Sparks break? On the surface, it’s a ridiculous notion. The Los Angeles band, composed of brothers Ron and Russell Mael, has been making music for a cultish niche of devotees for coming on 50 years now. Perhaps an upcoming Sparks movie musical will change that. – Randall Roberts, LA Times

Bruce Springsteen calls Trump's leadership during the coronavirus outbreak “weak” and “cowardly”

The Boss is no fan of President Donald Trump. But on Wednesday, he delivered some of his most pointed criticisms of Trump's leadership to date on his fourth  “Bruce Springsteen: From His Home, To Yours” broadcast on Sirius XM's E Street Radio. – App

Sky Sports apologise after libellous comment about Morrissey is aired

It aired during the latest Sunday Supplement broadcast. Viewers reportedly heard a conversation between the panel, before the libellous comment about Morrissey was then made by the Telegraph’s chief football writer, Sam Wallace. – Nick Reilly, NME


"I feel like the biggest power of music is that it makes people feel like they’re not alone in the world. Whatever your ideas or orientation or whatever, music can make you feel like there’s somebody else out there who is going through the same things that you are." – American Songwriter
Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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