Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 11, 2021

Two Troopers (pictured) announce their retirement, Alanis Morissette is developing an autobiographical TV comedy, and the Astrofest tragedy continues to make news. Also in the headlines are the Nova Scotia Music Awards, The Phoenix, Neil Young, Kaya Usher, Justin Bieber, Alex Porat, Cirque du Soleil, The Mayor of Kingstown, Live Nation, Lucian Grainge, Ed Sheeran, Seeco, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, and John Lurie.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 11, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Here's every Haligonian who won something at the 2021 Nova Scotia Music Awards

Neon Dreams, Keonté Beals and Aquakultre all cleaned up. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Rock band Trooper to carry on without founding members Ra McGuire, Brian Smith

‘They are both healthy and happy, they’ve just decided that this is the best time to step back from the road and enjoy the life that this unplanned time-off has dropped them into.’ – Tom Zillich, PQB News

Alanis Morissette to develop comedy series inspired by her life for ABC

ABC is developing a single-camera comedy inspired by the life of Alanis Morissette. – Variety

Discussing the genius of the "one-note solo" on Neil Young's classic 'Cinnamon Girl'

‘Cinnamon Girl’ by Neil Young is a straight-up classic. The Canadian troubadour has given us so many brilliant moments over the years, but this 1969 track ranks close to the very top. It was early moments like these that helped to solidify his unquestionable status as the ‘Godfather of Grunge’ and definitively confirm his legacy as your favourite musician’s favourite musician. – Mick McStarkey, Far Out Magazine


Gord Downie’s wife Kaya Usher releases debut music with her Family Band

More than 15 years after Gord Downie wrote the lyrics to the song Family Band, the dream has finally happened. Kaya Usher, Downie’s widow, just released the single Heart Clicks, credited to Kaya Usher and the Family Band. The new song and the forthcoming album All This Is also feature two of the couple’s four children. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Tim Hortons teams up with Justin Bieber to launch Timbit flavours called ‘Timbiebs’

Tim Hortons has teamed up with pop superstar Justin Bieber to launch three new Timbit flavours — called Timbiebs — along with co-branded merchandise. The celebrity endorsement deal marks a departure from the coffee and doughnut chain’s usual lineup of professional hockey players, a marketing strategy that could help attract a different demographic. Brett Bundale, CP

Alex Porat on how anti-Asian hate in the pandemic changed her priorities in pop music

Somewhere in the haze of the pandemic Alex Porat started thinking differently about her Asian identity. The 23-year-old Canadian pop singer has lived what she calls a “Hannah Montana double-life,” holding her mixed ancestry close to her chest with friends. Kids could be cruel, sometimes calling her racial epithets or dealing backhanded compliments about how she seemed “so white.” – David Friend, CP


Cirque du Soleil to make post-pandemic return to Toronto with ‘Kurios — Cabinet of Curiosities’

Cirque du Soleil is back — back from a dark period during the pandemic that saw the billion-dollar company struggling to stay alive, and back in Toronto with a new run of one of its most acclaimed and popular shows. “Kurios — Cabinet of Curiosities” will play a limited run under the company’s big top at Ontario Place from April 14, 2022. –  Karen Fricker, Toronto Star

Mayor of Kingstown shoot brings millions to Kingston economy

The Mayor of Kingstown was the largest film production ever to visit Kingston. It brought more than $2 million to the local hotel industry, says the Kingston Film Office. This is the hometown of series co-creator Hugh Dillon. – Alexandra Mazur, Global News

Toronto's iconic Phoenix Concert Theatre could be replaced by a huge new tower

A top music venue and nightclub in Toronto could soon go the way of the condo, or perhaps rental. It looks like The Phoenix Concert Theatre is the next target in the crosshairs of Toronto developers. The popular spot for local indie and underground alternative acts is the subject of a new development application submitted on Sunday. – Blog TO


UMG Chief Grainge under fire for earning more than all UK songwriters combined

UK politicians and songwriter advocates are taking aim at Universal Music Group head Lucian Grainge for the size of his 2021 compensation particularly when compared to funds received by the songwriters that help fuel UMG’s profits. – Celebrity Access


Live Nation 'heartbroken for those lost and impacted at Astroworld fest 

Live Nation Entertainment issued a statement over the weekend saying that it is “heartbroken for those lost and impacted” at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas on Friday (November 5) . Eight attendees tragically lost their lives and up to 300 others were injured during a crowd surge at the event in Houston’s NRG Park. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Live Nation faces multiple lawsuits over Astroworld, as stock tumbles 5%

Live Nation saw its share price fall by over 5% on Nov. 8 in the wake of the tragic events that unfolded on Friday. This decline saw more than a billion dollars wiped off Live Nation's market cap value, which currently stands at approximately $25.9 billion. A number of lawsuits have already been launched by legal firms representing injured festival goers. Law360 reports that at least 14 have already been filed. – Murray Stassen, MBW


Astroworld organizers had extensive medical, security plans. Did they follow them?

Before the Astroworld concert Friday, organizers had presented Houston police and first responders with two lengthy plans: a medical plan and a security plan addressing potential emergencies. – LA Times

Astroworld music festival deaths spur calls for independent review

The Houston police and fire departments were deeply involved in safety measures for the music festival where a surging crowd killed eight people, playing key roles in crowd control measures, on-site security staffing and the emergency response. Now the city’s police department is leading the criminal investigation into how the deadly chaos erupted during Friday night’s performance by rapper Travis Scott. – Michael Kunzelman & Juan Lozano, AP

Drake among those sued after deadly Travis Scott festival, says ‘heart is broken’ over tragedy

Toronto rapper Drake, who made an appearance during Scott’s set, made a post to Instagram late Monday evening offering his condolences to those affected. “I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy,” Drake wrote in his Instagram post. “My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering.” –  August Brown, Los Angeles Times

MPs and music industry bodies criticise pay of Universal head Lucian Grainge

After a bonus payment, Grainge will earn more this year than all UK songwriters did from streaming and sales in 2019. – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

American middle-class musicians are worth fighting for

We musicians are used to fighting. For our livelihoods, our families, our dreams. In recent years we’ve fought battles we’ve neither sought nor provoked, against powerful corporate forces devaluing music’s worth. Streaming companies, music pirates, and AM/FM radio broadcasters who, in the United States, pay nothing––zero––to artists for radio airplay. – Blake Morgan, The Hill


Ed Sheeran rocks Saturday Night Live after getting through Covid-19 isolation period

The British pop star played two songs from his latest album on the long-running NBC show. – Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight 

Fly away home, Seeco

On November 1, Jamaica lost a national treasure and I lost a wonderful friend. Alvin “Seeco” Patterson, percussionist with Bob Marley and The Wailers, passed away two months shy of his 91st birthday. Over the 25 years I knew Seeco, either in the recording studio or simply reasoning on a quiet afternoon, I was always amazed at the storied history of so humble a man and the odyssey that his life has been. – Tomaz Jardim, Jamaica Observer

‘You can’t separate them’: the unlikely love story of Guy Clark, Susanna Clark and Townes Van Zandt

The unusual bond between the three musicians is the focus of a new documentary Without Getting Killed or Caught, a story of romance, creativity and tragedy. – Jim Farber, The Guardian

Bluesfest will pay tribute to Bob Dylan on opening night

Joe Camilleri will lead a night of celebration of the music of Bob Dylan for Bluesfest’s opening night on 14 April 2022 of the Easter weekend. – Noise11

John Lurie and The History Of Bones

Writer, musician, actor and artist John Lurie is at the center of many indelible images from a certain time and place in NYC’s music and film history. On the wings of a successful HBO series, Painting With John, comes The History of Bones: A Memoir (Random House). In all of his creative endeavors, Lurie is a born storyteller. – Todd McGovern, Please Kill Me 


Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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