Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 1, 2021

Martha and The Muffins return to the fray (pictured), restrictions are lifted for Ontario music clubs, and Randy Bachman gets reflective. Others in the headlines include Majid Jordan, Romane Bonnier, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Our Lady Peace, Fionn, Bovine Sex Club, Jeff Beck, Classified, UnitedMasters, The Go-Go’s, Billy Bragg, Alejandro Escovedo, Ed Sheeran, and Patti Smith.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 1, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Ontario music venues get clearance to hold standing shows, operate at full capacity

 Ontario’s live music venues can get concertgoers back onto their feet after a sudden change in the province’s Covid-19 guidelines. As part of a broader decision to remove capacity limits at outdoor, organized public events, a rep for the province confirmed Thursday that indoor concert venues can operate at full capacity. – David Friend, CP

Martha and the Muffins’ fresh batch almost ready — but first, their anthology lets them look back

Good news for Martha and The Muffins fans: the Toronto-based duo of Martha Johnson and Mark Gane is planning to release an album of new music in 2022. But their forthcoming compilation, “Marthology — In And Outtakes,” out Nov. 5, isn’t it. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


Randy Bachman on his love for Winnipeg and Burton Cummings’ voice, and reuniting with his beloved Gretsch guitar

In the pantheon of worldwide songwriting pairs, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings are somewhere near the top of the Canadian music chain. Bachman Cummings: The Collection,” a new box, is now out, and Randy gets reflective here. – Gilles LeBlanc, Toronto Star

Montrealers mourn 24-year-old Romane Bonnier, ‘a real light,’ with marching and music

 For the last two weeks, tens of thousands of Quebecers have been mourning a stranger, 24-year-old Romane Bonnier. A singer who dreamed of working on the stage, she recorded almost 60 videos on her YouTube channel in the past year and a half—covers of famous or not-so-famous songs, often done playfully and with a guitar or ukelele. – CTV News

Toronto R&B duo Majid Jordan mark a decade of friendship with new album Wildest Dreams

Upon the release of their long-awaited new album, Toronto electronic R&B/pop duo Majid Jordan find their career coming full circle as they celebrate – and look back on – one special date. – Ibnul Chowdhury, Globe and Mail

Review: In 'Keyboard Fantasies,' legendary Canadian musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland gets his due

Exhilarating as the Canadian American musician’s late bloom has been to the music world, the full picture of his life, as captured tenderly by filmmaker Posy Dixon in “Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story,” is even more poignant and remarkable. (Made in 2019, the film is now in theaters and on digital and VOD via Greenwich Entertainment.) – Jen Yamato, LA Times



New legislation proposed by the provincial government Tuesday aims to formalize out loud and in print a commitment to Alberta’s working artists. Bill 75, The Arts Professions Recognition Act, formally acknowledges artists’ contributions to the provincial landscape and encourages fair compensation and greater respect for freedom of expression.  – Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal

With its sequel album Spiritual Machines 2, Our Lady Peace heads back to the future

Many musicians are embracing modernity. On Saturday, the new album from the Canadian alt-rock band Our Lady Peace has just been released as a digital asset known as a non-fungible token. A shimmering, often-danceable concept record, Spiritual Machines 2 is the sequel to 2000′s Spiritual Machines. The self-explanatory single Stop Making Stupid People Famous was released this summer. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Fionn teams up with Mauvey for a "I Won't Lie" video that suggests nothing will actually be okay

"I Won't Lie"—a new collaboration between Vancouver's Fionn, and Vancouverite-via-London solo artist Mauvey—proves that sometimes angst comes in a sleek and silky-smooth package. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Toronto Pillars: How the Bovine Sex Club survived 30 years on Queen West

The dive bar and music venue is celebrating three decades of rock n' roll – and junk on the walls. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Exactly 10 years ago the world's best living guitarist played Vancouver

Exactly one decade ago, the world's greatest living rock guitarist played the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. His name is Jeff Beck, in case you didn't know. And if you did know, maybe you were there. To jog your memory, here's my review. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


The road less travelled with Luke Boyd aka Classified

He's released 18 studio albums, has four platinum singles and three gold singles and is one of the premier hip hop artists in Canada. Nova Scotian Luke Boyd's first book, Classified: Off the Beat'n Path, is on shelves now. In it, the Juno-award winning artist discusses the path that brought him a successful career and life living in rural NS with his family. – Sheldon MacLeod, Chronicle-Herald

Opera Atelier’s Angel will be heavenly for lovers of music, but storytelling event is overselling it

Angels’ Atlas, choreographer Crystal Pite’s latest astonishing work set amid a smoky cosmos, was one of the last pieces programmed on stage at the National Ballet of Canada before the pandemic (and will return there next month). – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail



UnitedMasters valued at $550m, after raising $50m in new funding round

Led by Andreessen Horowitz, the new round values the independent artist distribution platform at $550 million, which, The Information reports, includes that new investment. Last week's news marks yet another significant financial milestone for New York-headquartered UnitedMasters. – MBW

Hall of Fame joy for glass ceiling smashers The Go-Go's

Each of the members of the Go-Go’s had pretty much given up on getting into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Having released their Beauty & the Beat debut album in 1981, they became eligible 25 years later, so 2006. But the years kept passing without so much as a nomination and, after a few of those cold shoulders, the ladies said “fuck it then.” Now, finally, they're in. – Brett Callwood, LA Weekly

Americana stars align in Austin for spectacular 'Austin City Limits' Hall of Fame show

The stars were strewn across the stage as the "Austin City Limits" Hall of Fame show reached its grand finale on Thursday night at ACL Live, enough to christen a new heavenly constellation called Americana. Inducted were Wilco, Lucinda Williams, and local hero Alejandro Escovedo. – Peter Blackstock, Austin 360

Billy Bragg: ‘Boris was trolling me the whole time. We’ve got a wind-up merchant as PM’

As the bard of Barking tours a new album, he reflects on modern politics, his scraps with the Daily Mail and why he could do with listening a bit more. – Jude Rogers, The Guardian

Bajan artistes ‘losing hundreds of thousands’ to poor management, digital music distribution

Dozens of Barbadian artistes are said to be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue because of poor management and a lack of education about how to use the digital space to market and sell their music, a recording industry executive has said.– Kareem Smith Barbados Today

'Solo party': Ed Sheeran releases album while isolating for Covid

Music star Ed Sheeran released his fourth solo album, entitled “=” (equals), on Friday while isolating for Covid-19, saying he was going to celebrate with a “solo party.” – Reuters


Ed Sheeran: = review – calculated, craven, corny … or brilliantly crafted?

One of the world’s biggest pop stars only slightly tweaks the formula for an album that many will already have decided they either love or hate. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

When Patti Smith reviewed a Television gig in 1974

Almost ten years would pass before Television found themselves on stage and a young performance poet, artist and full-time journalist in the form of Patti Smith sat in the audience. She had trundled along to some little-known club slowly gaining traction called CBGBs. – Tom Taylor, FarOut

2024 Power Players


Rufus, Chaka Khan, ‘Ask Rufus’

Fronted by Chaka Khan, one of soul music’s most combustible singers, Rufus built its mid-Seventies sound on heavy-footed, guitar-slathered funk. But after spending 16 months in the studio working on Ask Rufus, they came out with a record that gave their songs more room to breathe, anticipating the lithe, loose arrangements of Nineties neo-soul. Khan glided through the head-nodding “Everlasting Love” and the twisty-turny “Better Days,” and fans appreciated the adjustment: Ask Rufus was the group’s first platinum record.