Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 14, 2018

How the NMC acquired TONTO (pictured), the El Mocambo's neon sign is reinstalled, and a young Neil muses about the business. Others in the headlines include Nick Fiorucci, Maria Dunn, Vince Staples, Christine Fellows, SSO, boygenius, Rolling Stone, California fires, GDPR, Spotify, album sales, Trojan Records, surround sound, Gregg Alexander, Great Van Fleet, Astral Weeks, Dido, Douglas Rain, Ed Sheeran, and Kate Bush.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 14, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Reflections on the music business from a young Neil Young

'It's too dirty, you know? It just doesn't have anything to do with art,'  Young, then in his early 20s, told CBC Radio, during a February 1969 interview. – CBC Archives

In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc:  Nick Fiorucci, owner of Hi-Bias Records, & co-owner of zipDJ.

After plugging in his turntables at Toronto club hot spot Affairs in the mid-80s, and graduating from the recording arts and sciences program at the Trebas Institute, Nick Fiorucci became part of a Canadian movement that transformed dance music. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

The El Mocambo's neon palm tree is back on Spadina Avenue

On Monday, a new version of the rock club's famed sign was delivered to the venue, just days before it will be mounted and turned on for the first time since 2016. The club is scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2019. – CBC


How the National Music Centre acquired the historic TONTO synthesizer

The National Music Centre secured TONTO in 2013. At that time it was being housed by Malcolm Cecil in a converted barn in Saugerties, New York. It still worked. But keeping up its maintenance was becoming too expensive for Cecil to do on his own. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

Maria Dunn grateful for unexpected, insightful and rewarding 20-year career in song

“Something can be more emotionally potent if it's sung from the first person, and learning so many traditional songs I saw no barrier in writing in the first person even if it's not me." - Maria Dunn.  – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

Review: Vince Staples trims the fat on FM!

While many new hip-hop albums are full of bloat, Staples packs blunt, clever verses, elastic flows and two solid guest appearances into just 22 minutes. –  Nick Flanagan, NOW

Like a good reno

Winnipeg singer-songwriter Christine Fellows stripped her songs down to the studs, and a fresh new sound emerged. – Erin Lebar, Winnipeg Free Press

A veteran helping veterans 

Patrick Murray is a folk singer now, but his years of military service inform everything he does. He's been working on making music his full-time job, including a big step forward with 2017's New Beginnings, produced by JP Cormier.  –Tara Thorne, the Coast


London Bluesfest promoter says festival unlikely to continue

London Bluesfest is on life support. Unless deep-pocketed sponsors arrive, the plug will be pulled on the fledgling four-day festival at Harris Park, says promoter Ron Schroeyens, owner of the PA Shop Productions. He has lost more than $100,000 during the last three years. – Joe Belanger, London Free Press

Review: SSO's We Will Remember concert earns two standing ovations

Works reflecting on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War brought the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s an enthusiastic audience response.  – Sarah MacDonald, Star-Phoenix

Review: boygenius were a special kind of magic at Danforth Music Hall

The trio of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker showed serious power when they came together. If only they did it more. –  Carla Gillis, NOW


Music Business Worldwide (MBW) and Rolling Stone ink global content partnership

It is a wide-ranging and ongoing content-sharing deal, effective immediately. This includes a weekly industry-focused column written by MBW Founder and Publisher, Tim Ingham, which will appear first on Rolling Stone’s website and in its monthly magazine. – MBW

People’s Choice Awards go on amid California fires: ‘People need entertainment,’ says Jimmy Fallon

As other red carpets were cancelled because of the fires continuing to rage in California, the People’s Choice Awards show went on as planned Sunday night. – Carly Mallenbaum, USA Today

GDPR: The law that lets Europe take back their data from big tech companies

Tech companies' reign over users' personal data has run largely unchecked in the age of the internet. Europe is seeking to end that with a new law, the world's most ambitious yet. – 60 Minutes


Spotify’s stock plunges to $126 as JPMorgan Chase, Evercore, Nomura, Wells Fargo lower targets

Despite reaching 87 million users at the end of the third fiscal quarter of 2018, Spotify has been experiencing some turbulence, and it continues to burn money recklessly.  – Daniel Sanchez, Digital Music News

Revealed: Billboard's 2018 digital power players

At streaming services, record labels, music publishers, distributors, promoters, booking agencies, social media sites, rights organizations and more, these are the executives shaping the industry of the future. – Billboard

Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, Robin Thicke, Michael Plen have all lost their homes in the California Wildfires — Here’s the latest list of those impacted

Over the past decade-plus, Los Angeles has gradually become a hub for the music industry.  So the impact of a natural disaster like this one is, unfortunately, impacting a lot of people throughout the business. – Michael Pletnikoff, Digital Music News


The album is in deep trouble – and the music business probably can't save it

Sales are plummeting, and the music industry is returning to the era of track-led consumption. Is the LP doomed? – Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone

How to use Windows 10’s awesome 3D sound for headphones

Surround sound – sometimes called 3D or ‘spatial’ audio nowadays – can go a long way towards making movies and some music more immersive, enveloping you with sound from all directions. If you have a Windows 10 PC. You don't need surround speakers for immersive audio. – Napier Lopez, The Next Web

Trojan: The music label that brought reggae to Britain

The label launched in 1968 at a time when the country was divided over mass migration from the Commonwealth. The record label was known as the Motown of reggae, with dozens of hit records. It influenced generations of musicians including The Clash, The Specials, Madness and Culture Club. – BBC

Talent and touring

Orphy Robinson: why Van Morrison's Astral Weeks is a secret jazz masterpiece

The musician celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Morrison classic with a reimagining that draws out its latent jazz energy. – The Guardian

Forever Radical: Gregg Alexander on retiring, reemerging, and why he still believes a song can start a revolution

The former New Radicals frontman has quit the business three times. But he still finds his way back every now and then. – Steven J. Horowitz, Billboard

Greta Van Fleet review – rolling, tumbling, yowling classic rock

Echoing Led Zeppelin and Bill & Ted, the Michigan four-piece delivers taut, dynamic rock’n’roll topped with awesome hilarity. They’re a tribute band who happen to write their own songs.  Michael Hann, The Guardian

Neil Young loses house to California wildfires

“I have lost my home before to a California fire, now another.. We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it," the rocker states. – Pitchfork

Dido preps her first new album in five years, ‘Still on My Mind’

The English singer issues single “Hurricanes” and lines up her first tour in 15 years. – Ryan Reed, Rolling Stone


Douglas Rain, voice of HAL 9000 in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ dies at 90

As well as voicing the soft-spoken HAL 9000 robot that went rogue in Stanley Kubrick’s classic, the Canadian actor co-founded the Stratford Festival in 1952 and performed there for more than 45 years. – Erin Nyren, Variety

Kate Bush removes Rolf Harris contribution from Aerial reissue

Australian entertainer Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of sexual assault in 2014. His spoken word part on Bush's album has been excised from the upcoming reissue.  – Paul Cashmere,

Ed Sheeran settles ‘The Rest Of Our Life’ song theft lawsuit

The Brit pop star has managed to settle at least one of his many song theft lawsuits, one filed by Aussie songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden. – Daniel Sanchez, Digital Music News

Norman Wong



Happy Anniversary, Archie: Alvvays' Debut Record Gets a 10th Birthday Re-Issue

The Canadian jangle pop group's first album will be available on a new cerulean blue vinyl with an unearthed bonus track, as well as the ten original songs — including breakout single 'Archie, Marry Me' — that launched their career in 2014.

A major Canadian indie rock album turns 10 today (July 22), and the band is celebrating with a special re-issue.

Alvvays' self-titled debut helped the group break through on an international scale, propelled by jangly guitars, aloof vocals and an expertly catchy single. "Archie, Marry Me," with its soaring chorus and pleading lyrics, became a wedding song for a generation of ambivalent millennials, earnest and sardonic at the same time.

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