Music Biz Headlines, May 24, 2019

Quebec star Jean Leloup (pictured) has a new album, Raptors superfan Drake draws flak, and The Verve settles a dispute with The Stones. Also in the headlines are Bashar Murad, Old Town Road, Stewart Copeland, Eliza Doyle, Evalyn Parry, The Verve, The Stray Cats, Snow, Woodstock 50, Elton John, Ornette Coleman, The National, Gilles Peterson, and Cracker.

Music Biz Headlines, May 24, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Dunlevy: Jean Leloup free as a bird on new solo album

L’étrange pays is a Leloup solo album in its purest form. Recorded by the singer-songwriter on balconies, in parks, and other outdoor locations, the material highlights his ever-existential lyrics, underpinned by his emphatic strumming, giving each tune an inherent sense of groove. – T'Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

Ambassador or distraction: Raptors superfan Drake walks a thin line

But Drake is no ordinary fan. Love him or loathe him, he’s an entertainment icon who has used his celebrity to put his hometown on the map. The Raptors, desperate to harness his star power, even made up a job for him back in 2013, granting him the ceremonial title of “global ambassador.” – Curtis Withers, CP


Old Town Road is killing pop music, and it’s all kinds of wonderful

The most anomalous musical juggernaut in recent memory is a remix of Old Town Road, the genre-bending, Nine Inch Nails sampling, country-rap hybrid by Lil Nas X, featuring 1990s country singer and Hannah Montana star Billy Ray Cyrus. It boasts the biggest streaming week in Spotify history, besting Drake’s 2018 smash In My Feelings. – Kc Hoard, National Post

Matador fiasco shows Toronto hits wrong notes in quest to be Music City

"I purchased the Matador building in March of 2010 and over the subsequent nine years I renovated it back to its 1916 glory, raising it from the ashes of its ignominious late night past, to the nobility it has today, a Music City Icon with a future." – Paul McCaughey, Toronto Star

Gay Palestinian pop singer Bashar Murad keeps dreaming big

At CMW, Murad was the only gay Palestinian pop singer to open his shows wearing a wedding veil and to go on to perform a cover of the John-and-Yoko classic anthem Imagine, complete with altered references to dreams of no checkpoints, visas and passports, too. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

The Police's Stewart Copeland and the ESO roll cinematic Ben-Hur into Winspear

The famed UK band's former drummer Stewart Copeland is at Winspear Friday and Saturday with his orchestral and dramatic version of Ben-Hur. – Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal

Sask. musician turns festival into a non-profit supporting the arts

Eliza Doyle spent most of January in the small town of Stanley Mission after bringing instruments and music programming to the community. The experience stuck with her so much, she’s already planning how she can continue her work. – Matt Olson, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 


Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

It was an off-chance meeting between Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and Evalyn Parry aboard a cruise ship headed to Greenland, Laakkuluk’s maternal homeland that sparked a friendship (and collaboration) forged in the history of Canada. For the touring performance of Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools, they paired up to show how their individual experiences could represent two different cultural perspectives.  –Sandra Omik,Canadian Art



The Bitter Sweet Symphony dispute is over

One of rock music's most famous injustices has finally been resolved. For the last 22 years, The Verve haven't made a penny from Bitter Sweet Symphony, after forfeiting the royalties to The Rolling Stones. Singer Richard Ashcroft has announced Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have now signed over all their publishing for the hit track. – Mark Savage, BBC Music

The Stray Cats are ready for a comeback 40 years after the rockabilly band became MTV stars

Getting back together may sound easy enough but, for decades, the Stray Cats usually sniffed at reunion talk. Or at the idea of talking at all. – Geoff Edgers, Washington Post

Woodstock 50: Who wants to go?

This is like the Fyre Festival in reverse. The litigation happens before the festival plays and the proprietors go to court first. Will Michael Lang go to jail? The planning of both festivals seems to be the same. An idea. But execution is everything, ideas are a dime a dozen. – Bob Lefsetz, Celebrity Access


Winter is here: Inside the return of‘Informer rapper Snow

The Canadian MC teases the first album in 17 years and explains how his 1992 hit got a second life in Daddy Yankee’s Con Calma.  – David Browne, Rolling Stone

The rock critic Robert Christgau’s big-hearted theory of pop

Two recent collections make the surprising case that Christgau, who is known for his capsule reviews, has done his best work in his essays.  – David Cantwell, New Yorker


When Elton John became a rock star: The untold story of the Troubadour concert

John played eight shows in six nights at LA's Troubadour n 1970, and those shows helped turn him from an odd-named unknown into rock’s biggest star since the Beatles. Rolling Stone included the Troubadour shows in a recent list of the 50 greatest concerts of the rock era. – Rob Tannenbaum, LA Times 

World's oldest record store bans Morrissey sales over far-right support

‘I only wished I’d done it sooner’ says the owner of Spillers in Cardiff after singer’s backing of the For Britain party. –  Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

 Flashback: Ornette Coleman sums up solitude on Lonely Woman

A painting the saxophonist saw on his lunch break inspired his most famous composition — which in turn may have planted the seed for the Velvet Underground. – Hank Shteamer,RollingStone

A sneak peek at the world's first guitar-shaped hotel 

Why stay at a regular multistory hotel when you could stay in a guitar? This fall, the world's first guitar-shaped hotel will open in South Florida. The $1.5 billion Hard Rock property in Hollywood, Florida, is part of a larger project -- a $2.2 billion project expanding two Florida Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. – Stacey Lastoe, CNN

The National was stalled. Two outsiders got the band moving again.

The New York group was ready for a break when the director Mike Mills asked to collaborate. Contributions from Carin Besser, its lead singer’s wife, provided the spark. – Rob Tannenbaum, NY Times 

Sally Timms explains how The Mekons don’t function like a normal band

"We rent vans, we don’t own any…we have toured in cars, splitter vans, regular vans, on trains, planes…never a tour bus. We broke down in Black Canyon City once, the first time I saw a cowboy ride a horse down the main street and we arrived just at show time with our van belching black smoke in Albuquerque." – Mayer Danzg, Twangvlle

Gilles Peterson on his six must-see artists at the We Out Here festival

Over the last few years,  the DJ has been shining a spotlight on London's set-to-spill jazz scene. With new festival We Out Here, he's showcasing its key players alongside towering greats of days gone by. – Rob Jones, The Line Of Best Fit


Hit 1990s band Cracker refuses to crumble; helps kick off Levitt Pavilion season this weekend

It might be a surprise, but 25 years after alternative rock band Cracker had its biggest success with the album “Kerosene Hat,” and the hit songs “Low” and “Euro-Trash Girl,” the band is no longer a full-time endeavor for its founders — vocalist David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman.  – John Moser, McCall

Why play a music CD? ‘No ads, no privacy terrors, no algorithms’

Streaming services have revolutionized the discovery of songs, but here’s why Ben Sisario, who covers the music industry, still likes to listen to compact discs. – NYT

Rick Ross performs during the "Miami Jazz In The Gardens" music festival at Hard Rock Stadium on March 09, 2024 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Rick Ross performs during the "Miami Jazz In The Gardens" music festival at Hard Rock Stadium on March 09, 2024 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Rb Hip Hop

Rick Ross Keeps Drake Beef Going, Updates ‘Champagne Moments’ Cover Art

The Miami rapper continues to troll his former friend.

Rick Ross isn’t done beefing with Drake.

The Miami rapper recently updated the cover art to his “Champagne Moments” diss track aimed at his former friend and collaborator. The original artwork was from a 2014 tweet that read, “please take a moment to enjoy: white guy who looks like drake.”

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