Music Biz Headlines, May 31, 2019

Dears frontman Murray Lightburn (pictured) goes solo, Ralph Murphy is remembered, and contrasting takes on Raptors fan Drake. Also in the headlines are Elton John, TSO, Dave Stewart, Spice Girls, Duff McKagan, Will Smith, metadata, Willie Nelson, and Moby.

Music Biz Headlines, May 31, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Murray Lightburn, Dears’ singer, on new solo album: ‘There’s a man on this record that I aspire to be’

Oh, Dears. The Montréal-based indie rock band’s founding frontman released his second solo album Hear Me Out earlier this year and discovered an unexpected dividend during the sessions: freedom. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

The best concerts and music festivals in Toronto this summer

Vampire Weekend, NXNE and the Rolling Stones are just some of the shows we can't wait to see. – Staff, NOW

Nashville songwriter, producer and 'door opener' to fellow Canadians Ralph Murphy dies at 75

Kind, wise and generous with his time are the recurring sentiments used to describe songwriter, producer, educator and author Ralph Murphy who died May 28 of pneumonia in Nashville. He was 75. – Karen Bliss, Billboard


Rocketman: Fab Elton John biopic as surreal as the real life of its subject

Rocketman is as fabulously mercurial and debauched as its subject; anything less would have been futile and disappointing. – Kim Hughes, Original Cin

Drake, in his heartfelt and passionate defence of the Raptors and all things Toronto, perfectly mirrors the city itself

Though Drake gets an outrageous amount of press, very little of it is devoted to how much good he does on behalf of the side. By “side,” I don’t mean the Raptors alone. I mean the team, the city, the country, the whole shemozzle. – Cathal Kelly, Globe and Mail

On his worst behaviour: NBA calls Raptors about Drake's courtside antics

Toronto is being asked to rein in the rapper, who has drawn attention throughout playoffs with his antics. – CP

Toronto Symphony and Louis Lortie at their brilliant, colourful best

What could easily have been a grab-bag of musical showpieces was remarkably coherent. Even the new work on the program, the world premiere of Colour of Chaos by Canadian composer Jordan Pal, sounded as if it was written to complement The Pines of Rome. – John Terauds Toronto Star

Dave Stewart on what sets 'Songland' apart from the reality TV music pack

Eurythmics co-founder, songwriter and entrepreneur discusses the new NBC talent show he co-created years ago and got rolling in 2016 when NBC put a call out to songwriters to apply. –Karen Bliss, Billboard


What's behind the Spice Girls' sound problems?

If you believe everything you read, the sound at the Spice Girls' recent comeback shows has been zig-ah-zig-awful. Some fans who attended the opening night in Dublin complained about muffled vocals and being unable to hear the band speaking between songs. – Mark Savage, BBC


Duff McKagan defends controversial Guns N’ Roses songs

The Guns N’ Roses bassist is disputing the idea that several of the group’s ’80s hits were sexist. McKagan claims that several of the group’s more notorious songs were misunderstood, including the “tongue-in-cheek” tracks It’s So Easy and Used to Love Her. – Maeve Mcdermott USA Today

Will Smith's Genie rap is just one of many bizarre musical moments in the new 'Aladdin'

Way back in 2017, comedian Demi Adejuyigbe posited what it would sound like if there was a rap for the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin, in which Smith plays the genie. He proved prescient. – Esther Zuckerman, Thrillist

Metadata is the biggest little problem for the music industry

It’s a crisis that has left, by some estimations, billions on the table unpaid to musicians. – Dani Deahl, The Verge

Moby cancels book tour after outing himself as an arsehole

Moby has cancelled his upcoming book tour after disgracing himself by writing sleazy unconfirmed and unauthorized comments about Natalie Portman in his new memoir. – Paul Cashmere,

Willie Nelson releases new music video dedicated to his rescue horses

The country legend has put out a new video for his song Ride Me Back Home. The video was filmed at Luck Ranch, Nelson's ranch where over 70 rescue horses roam free. –  Mary Claire PattonKSAT


No cash? No problem! Austin testing out ways to tip bands with credit cards

We've all been there — listening to live music, you see a tip jar go around, but you feel bad because you don't have any cash. The City of Austin is now testing out a new program to solve that problem. It is accepting applications ‘Tip the Band,’ a new digital tipping program. – Yoojin Cho, KXAN

Spanish collection society SGAE, plagued by corruption claims, kicked out of global PRO body CISAC

This one’s been a long time coming. The General Assembly of CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, has voted to expel Spanish collection society SGAE from its ranks for a full year. The expulsion follows complaints from publishers of ‘discriminatory treatment of rightsholders and unfair practices relating to the distribution of royalties’. Tim Ingham, MBW


Influential Indie Record Labels Band Together to Form the Organization for Recorded Culture and Arts
Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash
grayscale photo of people holding assorted music instruments
Business News

Influential Indie Record Labels Band Together to Form the Organization for Recorded Culture and Arts

During a turbulent time in the music industry, 16 indies from around the globe have founded the new think tank, ORCA, including Sub Pop, Secretly Group, Beggars Group, Canadian label Secret City Records and more.

Some of the world's biggest indie labels are coming together around a common cause.

Sixteen independent record labels from around the globe, including Canadian label Secret City, have founded a new music think tank, the Organization for Recorded Culture and Arts (ORCA). The organization launched today (July 17) with a first report, Setting The Stage, laying out the basics of the industry's economy.

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