Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 12, 2020

David Wilcox (pictured) is shown some love, the Mod Club closes, and MacKenzie Porter is making moves. Also in the headlines are SNRK, Teenage Head, The Fugitives, Round Hill, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, WMG, music metadata, Megaphone, Lil Nas X, Roblox, Foo Fighters, Madame Gandhi, AI, Jon Landau, and Lady A.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 12, 2020

By FYI Staff

Boujee natives: Snotty Nose Rez Kids infuse hip-hop with Indigenous identity and a wicked sense of humour

The accolades and achievements keep coming. Last year, their album “Trapline” was shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.  Last month, they cleaned up at the Western Canadian Music Awards, winning Indigenous Artist of the Year and Rap & Hip Hop Artist of the Year, and in August, SNRK played the finale concert for the Virtual Santa Fe Indian Market. – Nativenewsonline

Is this the best slide guitar freak-out you've never heard?

Every slide player needs to hear David Wilcox's masterful blues, That Hypnotizin’ Boogie. – Damian Fanelli, Guitar World

Some kinda fun: The epic story of Teenage Head

Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head has already aired to acclaim on TVOntario, and is now available everywhere at and TVO’s YouTube Channel. It’s a wonderful, nuanced, fun and moving story. And it fills a huge gap in the chronology of pop culture in the country. Teenage Head mattered and its outsized importance has never been celebrated. – John Doyle, The Globe and Mail


Toronto's Mod Club venue closes

The 600-capacity music hall, which opened in 2002, hosted The Weeknd’s first concert on July 24, 2011. The singer posted a memory to Facebook this summer, calling Mod Club “the stage that changed my life.” Other artists who performed at Mod Club included Amy Winehouse, Calvin Harris, Muse, The Lumineers, The Killers, Sia, John Mayer, Florence + The Machine, and Lana Del Rey. – Karen Bliss, Billboard

Moonshinin Music Fest will see eleven local acts rockin' the Rickshaw and the Heatley for six hours on November 21

The Vancouver music community is getting together for a big online rock 'n' roots show this month. Eleven local acts will perform at the Rickshaw Theatre and the Heatley on November 21 from 6 pm to midnight, with proceeds going to support Music Heals and to supply warm clothing for needy residents of the Downtown Eastside. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

The Fugitives evoke old battles with the poignant Trench Songs

Brendan McLeod of the Vancouver folk band the Fugitives began working on a project that eventually became Ridge, a monologue with music that retells the Canadian military victory at Vimy Ridge in France in April, 1917. Ridge in turn inspired the Fugitives album, Trench Songs, a new collection of First World War front-line soldiers' songs updated with new melodies and contemporary roots-music arrangements, now out on the Toronto folk label Borealis Records. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


MacKenzie Porter: A 90-proof collection

Singer-songwriter MacKenzie Porter sure has come a long way from the ranch where she was raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Since moving to Nashville in 2014, she’s developed a unique style that may best be described as a traditional country with a contemporary edge. – Roman Mitz, Music Express


Round Hill fund raises $282m ahead of London IPO this Friday

Round Hill's new royalty fund (Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd) has announced it expects to IPO on the London Stock Exchange on Nov. 13. The company has also announced that the fund has raised gross proceeds of $282m, following applications for the issue of 282m Ordinary Shares at a price of US $1.00 each. – MBW

Big-money music deals could explode before 2020 ends... thanks to Joe Biden

Behind the scenes, leaders of the commercial music industry, with its power bases in Los Angeles and New York, generally seem just as happy with the U.S. election result as their biggest pop icons, judging by the feedback I’ve received from every senior exec I’ve spoken to in the past few weeks. Yet there’s one thing that many in the music market aren’t quite so excited about when they look forward to Biden’s presidency — and it’s going to lead to a flurry of big-money deals in the next 70-odd days. – Rolling Stone


Live Nation share price rockets up after exciting covid-19 vaccine news

Live Nation Entertainment’s shares soared over 22% earlier this week following the news that a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by pharma firms Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be more than 90% effective. – Murray Stassen, MBW

How Ticketmaster plans to check your vaccines status for concerts: Exclusive

Ticketmaster has been working on a framework for post-pandemic fan safety that uses smart phones to verify fans' vaccination status or Covid-19 test results. Dave Brooks, Billboard


Stu Bergen announces exit from Warner Music Group after 14 years with major

Stu Bergen, the executive who has overseen Warner Music Group's international success in the streaming age, has announced his departure from WMG after 14 years with the company. He will leave in January 2021. NYC--based Bergen was named CEO of International and Global Commercial Services at WMG in 2016, having served as EVP of International and then President of International from 2012 onwards. As such, he has run WMG's recorded music strategy outside of the US and UK markets for the past eight years. – Tim Ingham, MBW

State of Play: The rise of in-game concerts

In-game concerts, such as Travis Scott’s shows in Fortnite and Open Pit’s festivals in Minecraft, have become the pinnacle of a new generation of immersive musical entertainment amidst the pandemic...But there’s a whole, separate layer of spectatorship that has been largely untapped to date. – Cherie Hu, DJmag 

Three types of music metadata

Metadata is the foundation of the modern digital music industry. It’s one of the most important things for independent musicians to master. In this post, we’re here to break down the 3 different types of metadata you’ll encounter throughout your career. Here’s what you need to know. – Randi Zimmerman, Symphonic Distribution

Spotify to buy podcast ad platform Megaphone for $235M

Spotify has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire podcast advertising and publishing platform Megaphone. That company provides hosting and ad-insertion capabilities for publishers and targeted ad sales for brand partners. Variety reports Spotify is acquiring the company for $235m in cash, which is more than Spotify itself generated in total advertising revenues in the whole of Q3 ($185m). – Murray Stassen, MBW

45 great music docs to stream now

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about hip hop, you're guaranteed to learn something new from Hip-Hop Evolution. Hosted by Canadian rapper Shad, the four-season, 16-episode series trace's hip hop's history - Creem, the Clash-inspired White Riot, and more. – Brooklyn Vegan 


Music managers unite to demand better streaming royalties 

A music manager coalition is demanding a number of changes to streaming royalties paid to artists – or the lack thereof. The European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA), an Estonia-based coalition with over 1,400 worldwide members to its credit, recently unveiled the demands in a formal release. – Dylan Smith, Digital Music News

Roblox and Grammy Award winner Lil Nas X unite for groundbreaking debut virtual concert on the platform

Roblox, a global online platform bringing millions of people together through play, announced today a partnership with Columbia Records and record-breaking artist Lil Nas X to launch the first-ever, exclusive virtual concert on the Roblox platform. Roblox will open the first of three free concert showings at 1 pm PST on November 14th. – Digital Media Wire

Veterans’ fundraiser to go virtual, with a prince and a Boss

This year’s Stand Up for Heroes fundraiser is going virtual for the first time and The Boss will once again be there. But so will a real prince. Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Tiffany Haddish and Brad Paisley have all signed up to participate — as well as Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, for the first time. The fundraiser, which benefits injured veterans and their families, will also feature comedians and other musicians. – Mark Kennedy, AP


5 worst albums from celebrities who dabbled in music

Celebrities are just like us. They vote, they put on their pants one leg at a time, they pay their taxes (or at least most of them) and they have creative aspirations outside of their profession. Some were successful before they tested their fanbase's patience. – Dallas Observer

Foo Fighters announce new album, debut single "Shame Shame" on SNL

Featured as the musical guests for Dave Chappelle’s Saturday Night Live episode last weekend, the Foo Fighters debuted a performance of their new single Shame Shame. Foo Fighters also announced their tenth studio album Medicine at Midnight following the episode. The band’s record arrives Feb. 5. – Lexi Lane  Paste

The best lead singers in punk, from Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry to Joe Strummer

What goes into making a great lead singer usually begins with the final word in the title; singer. But to be a great frontman or woman for a punk band is to embody the very ethos of punk, you must have the attitude, you must have courage, you must not be determined by anyone else but yourself and, perhaps most importantly, you must be willing to bleed for your art. – FarOut

Why musician and activist Madame Gandhi is fighting for your civil rights

Gandhi, 31, is working on her third album, “Vibrations,” under her new record deal with Sony Masterworks. Harvard-educated, she is also a social activist. – LA Times

'It's the screams of the damned!' The eerie AI world of deepfake music

Artificial intelligence is being used to create new songs seemingly performed by Frank Sinatra and other dead stars. ‘Deepfakes’ are cute tricks – but they could change pop for ever. – Derek Robertson, The Guardian

Q's with Jon Landau, The Rock Hall's 2020 Ahmet Ertegun honoree

Jon Landau saw the future of rock ‘n’ roll and its name was Bruce Springsteen, but it also turned out to be his destiny as well. When this year’s Ahmet Ertegun honoree for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the non-musician category wrote that now-famous review of Springsteen’s show at the Harvard Square Theater in May 1974, Landau had no idea their professional lives would be entwined. – Roy Trakin, Pollstar

One name, two musical acts and a story of privilege: How the Lady A controversy captured the state of the music industry 

It started with a carefully crafted statement that was more prescient than anyone could have predicted. Two weeks after George Floyd’s death in police custody sparked a national reckoning over racial injustice, members of the country music band formerly known as Lady Antebellum announced they were going to drop the latter half of their name. – Emily Yahr, Washington Post

Media Beat: Google Will Pay $100M A Year To Canadian News, But The Issues Remain (Opinion Column)
Photo by Shiwa ID on Unsplash

Media Beat: Google Will Pay $100M A Year To Canadian News, But The Issues Remain (Opinion Column)

The number the tech giant has agreed to pay as a workaround to the Online News Act sounds large but when it's divided up it won't add up a lot for those in Canada's impoverished media landscape.

The tech giant has agreed to a five-year deal to pay $100M a year, indexed to inflation, to news publishers as a workaround to the Online News Act, which compels online companies with 20 million unique monthly users and annual revenues of $1B or more to compensate news outlets for sharing links to their pages.

Only Google and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, meet those criteria in Canada and Meta has opted out by disallowing its users to post links to Canadian news stories (but continues to allow screenshots of news stories without links to be posted).

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