Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 12, 2018

Erin Costelo (pictured) shows her self-confidence, Robbie Robertson tackles multiple projects, and Ontario musicians advocate for tenants' rights. Others in the headlines include Crown Lands, Tafelmusik, Jacob Hoggard, The Weeknd, Reignwolf, Freddie Mercury, Sharon and Bram, Raghav, Spotify, Philip Norman, the Beatles, Al Schmitt, Joni Mitchell, Damon Albarn, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Maria Callas, Snoop Dogg, and Jeff Tweedy.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 12, 2018

By Kerry Doole

The most confident version of Erin Costelo 

On Sweet Marie, the Halifax soul siren started with a love song by Randy Newman and ended up somewhere bold and new: “It’s exactly what I wanted to say.” – Tara Thorne, The Coast

Robbie Robertson isn't slowing down any time soon

His projects include a Band reissue, scoring a Martin Scorsese movie, and writing a second memoir. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Oshawa duo Crown Lands hits the road with Jack White on Canadian tour

A rock duo from Oshawa, Ont., is hitting the road with rock royalty and hoping to raise awareness about Indigenous issues. – CBC

Musicians across Ontario team up for tenants’ rights

The shows in Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa are meant to call attention to the housing crisis across the province. – Samantha Edwards, NOW


Tafelmusik makes a case for the obscure Baroque music of Agostino Steffani

Not only was his music a revelation, the concert itself was beautifully performed by the period-instrument Tafelmusik Orchestra, Chamber Choir and guest soloist, Toronto-based mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó.  – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Hedley singer's behaviour got worse with fame — and went unchecked by those around him, ex-drummer says

As Jacob Hoggard's sex assault case continues to wind its way through the court system, the Hedley frontman's former drummer is speaking out — to police and to CBC — about inappropriate behaviour he says he witnessed during his 11 years as a bandmate. –

Review: The Weeknd shares the spotlight at Rebel

A roll-call of rising Canadian and American artists helped the Toronto pop superstar launch his creative entrepreneurship incubator Hxouse.  – Sumiko Wilson, NOW

'Without Saskatoon, I wouldn't have any of this': Reignwolf returning for a big hometown concert

When Jordan Cook lived on the prairies, he still went by that name. Now he returns as Reignwolf, the name he gave to himself in Seattle, and now the three-man band he performs with. – Matt Olson, Star Phoenix

An open letter to the many fans of Bohemian Rhapsody from a concerned queer

The Freddie Mercury biopic isn't just inaccurate — its demonization of his sexuality is actively harmful. – Peter Knegt, CBC Arts

Sharon and Bram savour their retirement tour

When the children's entertainers announced they were heading down the road to retirement they expected to draw interest with a series of farewell concerts. But the pair say after 40 years of performing together they're surprised at the sheer number of grownups who want to recapture their childhoods. – David Friend, CP


On Our Radar: Rodney DeCroo's ferocious "War Torn Man" returns

Rodney DeCroo’s fruitful collaboration with producer Lorrie Matheson gave us last year’s hook loaded Old Tenement Man  album. Now the duo turn their attention to the singer-songwriter’s past with this radically reworked version of 2006's "War Torn Man," one of DeCroo’s most raw and direct statements. – Adrian Mack, Georgia Straight

Familiar music from past may give Alzheimer’s patients a cognitive boost: study

It's long been known that Alzheimer's patients often retain musical memories, even when recall of names, faces and places has been lost as the disease relentlessly  destroys key areas of the brain. Now Canadian researchers believe they know why, thanks to the power of MRI brain scanning. – Sheryl Ubelacker, CP

Raghav on the evolution of his sound and navigating fame on two continents

The singer/songwriter burst out of Calgary to have huge success in the U.K. and India, and for the last 10 years he's been navigating that dynamic. After taking some time away from making music, he talks about his brand new single and an upcoming album. – CBC

Album of the Week: Davers

Known up until now as one of the two singer-songwriters in Victoria’s chilled-out Current Swell, Dave Lang steps away from the veteran unit with his first solo release, Davers. This five-song outing is for when the November rains roll in and the best thing in the world is a cabin with a roaring fire.  – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight



Why is Spotify charging half price in some of the world's richest countries?

Spotify is on the verge of launching in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and with that comes news it will charge the local equivalent of about $5 per month , or half of what it charges in the US and Europe. Several of these nations are far richer than the US and most European countries. – Hypebot


Four new books illuminate the inner workings of  Hollywood, past and present

Ingrid Sischy, Sally Field, and more explore Hollywood’s history and the lurking origins of #MeToo. – Julia Vitale, Vanity Fair

Beatles biographer Philip Norman: 'Yoko was waiting for me – with two lawyers'

He has charmed Elton John, angered Paul McCartney – and horrified Yoko Ono. What will he uncover about the ‘murky’ death of Jimi Hendrix? The great rock writer reveals the pain – and pleasure – of chasing stars.  Philip Norman, The Guardian

Al Schmitt on winning 23 Grammys and working with Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney & Steely Dan

The acclaimed engineer's new autobiography shares seven decades of tales. Schmitt is the most awarded recording engineer in Grammy history. – Melinda Newman, Billboard

The accidental perfection of the Beatles’ White Album

Fifty years later, “The White Album,” the Beatles’ masterpiece, is still good, still indelible, still as clean and pure as its sleeve, requiring no explanation or description beyond the band’s name. –Jordan Orlando, The New Yorker

Back with the real Beatles: the White Album reviewed - archive, 1968

Fifty years ago, the Guardian printed two reviews of the Beatles and recommended listening to ‘what is likely to be the biggest event of the pop music year’ in stereo. –  Geoffrey Cannon

Talent and touring

Joni Mitchell thrills concert audience just by showing up

As an adoring-but-anxious crowd wondered if she’d appear at an all-star concert celebration on her 75th birthday, Joni Mitchell was stuck in traffic. It was only fitting for a singer and songwriter whose music helped define the experience of modern Southern California. – Andrew Dalton, AP

ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons fires opening act over singer wearing a Trump hat

Benton Blout posted on Facebook “suppression of Conservative opinion doesn’t happen and it doesn’t affect your career!” – Sofa-King-Cool

Damon Albarn on Brexit: 'We live on this stroppy little island'

The Good, the Bad & the Queen have been trying to figure out what’s become of England since the EU referendum. And the answers aren’t comforting.  – John Harris, The Guardian

Iconic protest singer Buffy Sainte-Marie has been blacklisted by Nixon, sampled by Kanye, and breastfed her baby on Sesame Street—for starters

Over a career spanning more than five decades, Buffy Sainte-Marie has spoken truth to power in some of the most powerful protest songs ever written. – Corey Seymour, Vogue


Raising the dead  — and a few questions — with Maria Callas' Hologram

The irony couldn't have been more vivid when Maria Callas sang the words "The dead don't rise again from the grave," from Verdi's opera Macbeth, on stage Friday night. It wasn't the real Callas. Instead, it was a surprisingly life-like, and literally electric, three-dimensional hologram of the diva, lip-synching to her famous recordings, accompanied by a live orchestra. – Tom Huizenga, NPR

Snoop Dogg smokes blunt outside White House: “Fuck the president”

 In the wake of the midterm elections, Snoop found himself in Washington, D.C. and used the opportunity to stage his own unique form of protest. It all started when Snoop Dogg “got the urge” to “not only go to the White House but do some gangsta shit.”  – Ben Kaye, Consequence of Sound

Joni Mitchell at 75: Trouble is still her muse

"I wouldn't have pursued music but for trouble," Joni Mitchell once said. She was referring to real problems — her childhood time spent bedridden with polio and the life-shaping loss she experienced after giving her daughter up for adoption in 1965. Trouble is Mitchell's jazz, the blasted-open space that can feel like a void but is also the real ground of possibility. – Ann Powers, NPR

For Jeff Tweedy, it's easier to explain how a song is written than what it's 'about'

The Wilco frontman opens up about his love for language and his songwriting process in an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Let's Go (So We Can Get Back). –  Esquire


Any Other Way: The Jackie Shane Story
Courtesy NFB

Any Other Way: The Jackie Shane Story

Music News

Music News Digest: A New Glimpse at Late Soul Icon Jackie Shane

This week also brings Canadian music news from the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame, the Forest City London Music Awards, and a key member departs Juno-winning hard rock band Monster Truck.

Internationally acclaimed classical violinist Adrian Anantawan and multi-platinum selling guitarist and songwriter for Platinum Blonde, Sergio Galli, will be inducted into the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame as part of this year’s Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival. The Induction Ceremony will take place on September 8 at 11:00 am at Memorial Park’s Gazebo Stage in Port Credit, Ontario and the public is welcome to join the festivities.

Established in 2012, the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame has previously inducted Oscar Peterson, Gil Moore and Rik Emmett of Triumph, Ronnie Hawkins, Tommy Hunter, Denny Doherty of the Mamas and Papas, Jeff Healey, Phil X of Bon Jovi, Liberty Silver, Alessia Cara and many more.

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