Music Biz Headlines, May 27, 2019

A look at superstar record producer Bob Ezrin (pictured), Drake is dissed for buffoonery, and John and Yoko's bed-in remembered. Others in the headlines include Deane Cameron, Lydia Persaud, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Bookie, Ron Hawkins, Loud, Higher Brothers, Inuit pop, Aretha, Moby, Beastie Boys, Ultra Music Festival, and Rudimental.

Music Biz Headlines, May 27, 2019

By Kerry Doole

As basketball groupies go, Drake is the barnacle of blingy acolytes

Drake is no fool. He just plays one on Raptors TV. When Justin Bieber is the more mature celebrity in the room, then this city has a notoriety-fame problem, as viewed through the prism of Drake’s mortifying buffoonery. – Rosie DiManno Toronto Star 

From Pink Floyd to Peter Gabriel, producer Bob Ezrin on the highlights of his career

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Ezrin has been just as close to the heartbeat of the music as the musicians themselves. He takes us through the biggest moments of his unbelievable journey. –CBC Radio

Music executive Deane Cameron passionately supported Canadian talent

In the industry where he spent his entire working life, Deane Cameron was fondly known as Captain Canada, a passionate man with an unwavering commitment to musicians, a hilarious way with one-liners and a heart, many say, that was as big as the country itself. – Nicholas Jennings, Globe and Mail


The Montreal bed-in at 50: Peace, love and chance

On May 26, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono made music history — and marked our city’s soul — when they set up camp at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Those who came into their orbit recall the luck of being there. – T'Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

Review: Toronto's Lydia Persaud embraces soul on Let Me Show You

The O'Pears and Dwayne Gretzky singer is an excellent songwriter and her voice is beautifully warm and sweet – sometimes too sweet for the genre. – Chaka V. Grier, NOW

The form and fun of Snotty Nose Rez Kids 

The Vancouver duo combines hip hop with their Indigenous culture: “It goes hand in hand, really.”  – Morgan Mullin,The Coast

In memoriam: Dave "Bookie" Bookman was one of Toronto's greatest supporters of independent music

For over 30 years, as a host on Edge 102.1 and Indie88 and with his Nu Music Nites at the Horseshoe, Bookie has been crucial for discovering new music. – Cam Lindsay,  NOW

Lowest of the Low’s Ron Hawkins on the ‘difficult dance’ of protest music

Even within the ranks of his own longtime Canadian indie-rock outfit, the Lowest of the Low, co-founder Ron Hawkins occasionally finds himself in the battle for what he believes is right. –  CP

Loud in the here and now: Quebec's biggest rapper chooses his landmarks

“It’s more fun to make music thinking about the short term,” Loud says ahead of the launch of Tout ça pour ça.  – Erik Leijon, Montreal Gazette


Hey Ocean! and the Boom Booms announced as headliners for this year's Khatsahlano Street Party

 Last year's  Party attracted a whopping 180,000 people, making it one of the summer's biggest and most successful events in Vancouver. –   Georgia Straight

Scotia Festival of Music and Chris Wilcox: 40 years and 40 festivals 

After turning Halifax into a chamber music destination, Scotia Fest’s director has one last encore. – Brandon Young, The Coast

'The trombone picked me': Edmonton trombone festival slides into third year

"We all play this beautiful instrument and we want to celebrate it," says Allen Jacobson, the festival's founder. – Thandiwe Konguavi, CBC News 

Memoirs of Canadian classical musicians that hit the right note

Canadian classical musicians are seldom the subject of book-length treatment and memoirs are rarer still. The potential readership, it seems, is thought to be too small. And yet, such books do appear from time to time.  – William Littler, Toronto Star

Higher Brothers becoming a global rap juggernaut while the world wonders who is minding the store back in China

How in the hell can a country that famously has a less-than-zero tolerance on the issue of drugs continue to turn an oblivious eye to a rap unit that dubs itself the Higher Brothers? – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Side by side: Sharon & Bram say goodbye to 40 years of enduring fans

The faces of Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bramwell "Bram" Morrison beam brightly at the audience as they sing together in a video projected onstage at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium recently. This serves as introduction to many a show on Sharon & Bram's current farewell tour; a nod to Lois, who retired from the group in 2000, and died of cancer in 2015.  – Holly Gordon, CBC



Go with the floe: inside the ice-cool Inuit pop scene

Nunavut music week aims to stimulate the music industry in the territory, but it is also a rallying call for the Inuit artists to come together and face down the fallout from colonialism that threatens not just their music scene, but their whole existence. –   Luke Ottenhof, The Guardian

Did Aretha Franklin leave her will under the couch cushion?

Handwritten documents have surfaced that suggest the celebrated singer had given much thought to how she wanted her assets distributed after she died. When Aretha Franklin died last year, her family said that she had left no will. But, as it turns out, she may have left a few of them. –  Ben Sisario, Steve Friess, NY Times


Merck Mercuriadis' Hipgnosis Songs Fund buys Jamie Scott catalog

The deal includes both the writer’s and publisher’s share of the music. Scott has co-written multiple platinum-certified singles including the four times platinum certified ‘Cold Water’ by Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and the platinum-certified ‘Skin’ by Rag’n’Bone Man. – Tim Ingham, MBW

John Zorn recoups losses from Pledge Music bankruptcy

Last year John Zorn released the mammoth 11 album box set project The Book Beriah.  Although released on Zorn's label Tzadik, a crowdfunding campaign hosted by Pledge Music to help fund the project now faces huge losses in light of Pledge Music's recent bankruptcy. A series of limited edition releases now aims to recover costs. – The Wire

Moby's treatment of Natalie Portman is a masterclass in nice-guy misogyny

If someone had said the word “Moby” a week ago, chances are the first thing you’d have thought is “Dick.” That probably hasn’t changed – but now you’d likely be referring to the 90s musician rather than the 19th century whale. He's repeatedly insisting that he and the actress used to be an item, even if she says they weren’t. –  Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian 

The Beastie Boys on rap, friendship, and taking a stand for their values

The rap trio played a formative role in the evolution of American hip-hop music. They have sold millions of albums with their unique blend of rap, rock and humor, all while prioritizing their friendship above their career success. Now, the two surviving members have written a book about their experiences. –  PBS to advise Montreal AI startup on ethics, bias


From L.A. punk to Staten Island hip-hop

A look at the summer season's best music books. – NY Times


The women of Hot Luck Fest talk food and music

15 Austin chefs share kitchen tunes & exclusive bites. Playlists include Arcade Fire, Celine, and the Biebs. – Jessi Cape, Austin Chronicle

Miami Beach rejects Ultra Music Festival as possible fix for city’s spring break woes

Miami Beach won’t be hosting Ultra Music Festival next year. City commissioners rejected a proposal to start discussions with festival organizers about bringing the three-day electronic dance music event to South Beach in March 2020. –  Kyra Gurney, Miami Herald

Does a hit song really need 9 writers?

Rudimental's uplifting dance track These Days was named the most-performed song of 2018 at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards. A major international hit, it topped charts across Europe, but their prize had to be shared between nine writers - a phenomenon that's become increasingly common. According to research by Music Week, it took an average of 5.34 people to write last year's Top 100 biggest singles. – Mark Savage, BBC Music 

Avril Lavigne
Tyler Kenny

Avril Lavigne


Avril Lavigne Announces First Greatest Hits Album, Spanning 20 Years of Her Career

Set for a June 21 release, 'Avril Lavigne - Greatest Hits' features 20 fan favourites from across the Canadian star's two-decade career, accompanying her upcoming headline tour.

A Canadian music icon is releasing her first ever greatest hits album.

Avril Lavigne, the skater girl from Napanee, ON who went on to sell fifty million records worldwide, will release a double LP of 20 fan favourites on June 21, titled Avril Lavigne — Greatest Hits.

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