Music Biz Headlines, May 25, 2018

Neko Case survives adversity, Taylor Swift battles scalpers, and Teenage Head gets a hometown honour. Also in the headlines are Spotify, Sony/ATV, Kardinal Offishall, Serge Fiori, Tanya Tagaq, Jennifer Castle, Ed Sheeran, the Stones, Amuse, Slayer, Rich Aucoin, Moogfest, Aaron Allen, Baptists, and Bush Tetras.

Music Biz Headlines, May 25, 2018

By FYI Staff

Spotify to pay out $$112M in songwriter royalties settlement

The streaming company will recompense songwriters not paid enough royalties, but one unhappy music publisher claims ruling is ‘a free pass on willful infringement’ – Ben-Beaumont Thomas, The Guardian

Spotify scores a victory over unpaid royalties

Initially, the lawsuits raised the possibility of billions in damages.  But they also presupposed that mechanical licenses applied to streaming services.  The license, originally crafted to compensate publishers and songwriters for the fixation of music to a tangible medium (like records), was suddenly being translated into the murkier world of ephemeral streaming.  Sure, Spotify ‘fixes’ tethered downloads on your phone, but does a ‘mechanical’ really apply to the company’s mainline service? – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News


Sony/ATV acquisition of EMI Publishing faces regulatory hurdles

The ambitious move to acquire a controlling interest in the pubbery could face a giant regulatory difficulty.  And leading the charge is a veritable indie pit bull, Impala.  The European organization is renowned for policing mega-deals in the music space, and certain to create some static around this one – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Kardinal Offishall and Clairmont The Second: Snapshots of Canadian hip-hop’s DIY spirit

The artists explain how Canadian hip-hop got to where it is today and where it’s headed. – The Fader

Cash, Cramps, Killers: A day in the life of Compact Music

Owned by Ian and his brother, James, Compact Music is the city’s longest-running independent music retailer. It has not only survived the massive decline of the recorded music industry but continues to thrive — Ottawa Citizen

Serge Fiori, Richard Séguin revisit ‘end of an era’ for Quebec rock

The 1978 album Deux cents nuits à l’heure captured the camaraderie of the 1970s Québécois music scene. Serge Fiori and Richard Séguin "didn’t really make a decision to do the project together," Fiori says. "When I had a break from touring with Harmonium, I’d go hang out with Richard.” – Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

Taylor Swift is doing more to stop scalpers than Ontario’s new ticket act: experts

As the province gets ready to introduce a new law on July 1 that puts a price cap on resales of live-event tickets, experts say it’s the pop singer who’s doing a better job squeezing out black-market opportunists  –  David Friend, CP


The worse things get for musician Neko Case, the more she prevails

Her latest album, Hell-On, features odes to alliances formed through suffering – women who found each other through disparity and made warriors out of themselves – Carly Lewis, Globe and Mail

Seal hunting, throat singing, and fighting fair: the power and purpose of Tanya Tagaq

Before her Dark Mofo appearance, Inuk singer talks about taking on animal rights activists and the upside to living on ‘unforgiving’ land –  Brigid Delaney, The Guardian

Teenage Head returns to Westdale 43 years later, moving up from the cafeteria to the auditorium

The iconic Hamilton punk band among the list of inductees for the Westdale Secondary Wall of Distinction –  Graham Rockingham, The Hamilton Spectator

Jennifer Castle searches for the perfect combination of words

On her new album Angels Of Death, the time travelling singer/songwriter battles against the finality of death and sends a comforting message down the line –   Matt Williams, NOW

Sheeran disapproves of Irish anti-abortion campaigners use of ‘Small Bump’

The Grammy Award winner posted a statement to his Instagram story saying he had been informed the song was being used to promote a “Pro-Life campaign" –  Allyson Chu, Washington Post

The Rolling Stones review – old devils put on raw, thrilling show

There are ragged moments – a shaky Under My Thumb, a leaden Paint It Black – but plenty of others where Jagger and co achieve liftoff –  Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Swedish music distributor Amuse has closed a $15.5m Series A financing round

The capital will be used to expand operations in Europe and the US for the firm that dubs itself ‘the world’s first mobile record company’ –  MBW


Slayer kills it one last time at Shaw Conference Centre

It’s time that we all got this right. Not Slayer but SLAAAAAYER, yelled hoarsely and randomly at any public occasion, be it wedding, pet store opening, or, well, Slayer concerts. In this case, the last Slayer concert in Edmonton, ever – Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal

Ten candles: Ritornello chamber music festival celebrates a decade

"We're a stop on the national festival circuit. Performers from all around the world have contacted us asking to join in the fun"  –  Cam Fuller, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

At Moogfest, Electronics stimulate ears and emotions

At the annual Moogfest, many festivalgoers are as fascinated with how music is made as with how it sounds –  Jon Pareles, NY Times


London ON’s Aaron Allen brings outlaw country attitude north

On his latest album, Judgement Day, the native of London, Ont., shows his solidarity with artists such as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell in bringing country back to songs about real life and real people  – Jason Schneider,

Los Lobos' Steve Berlin terms Paul Simon a jerk

The group claims Simon never credited them for material they created for Graceland –

Rich Aucoin bike blog #6: Oklahoma City, OK to Little Rock, AK

"I’ve luckily made it halfway across the country with no rain. In Oklahoma, an almost tornado-level storm passed through, but I had already made it into the city"  – The Coast

5 things to know about Beacon of Faith by Baptists

The third album from Vancouver hardcore/metal crew Baptists drops on May 25. Released on Southern Lord, it builds on the promise of the band’s 2012 debut Bushcraft –   Stuart Derdeyn, Calgary Herald

Bush Tetras played a rare Toronto show at the Rivoli

One of the defining bands from New York's no wave heyday, the four-piece easily filled the classic Queen West venue with jittery punk energy –  Kevin Ritchie, NOW

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Projections are Up for the Music Industry, but Stress Marks Are Starting to Show (Column)
Photo by Jordon Conner on Unsplash

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Projections are Up for the Music Industry, but Stress Marks Are Starting to Show (Column)

In my Last Pogo at Canadian Music Week, and the last one for its retiring founder Neill Dixon, I saw multiple signs of transition that could define the festival and the industry moving forward.

One of the most memorable speakers from the early Canadian Music Week (CMW) days was in 2008 when Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, gave a keynote address that some found laughable, others downright scary. The nut of his message was that bits and bytes would transform the music industry’s future, that the CD was passé, that all entertainment would become customizable, and new delivery systems would change how music was heard by audiences globally.

His words were prophetic. Within a year of his speech, companies like Deezer and Spotify let the horse out of the barn by launching their online music streaming services and this shifted control of content away from the major labels. The algorithm was born and nothing’s been the same since.

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