Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 2, 2020

A collection of early Joni Mitchell material attracts attention (pictured), Justin Bieber gets confessional, and punk legend Chi Pig is commemorated. Also in the headlines are Alberta’s music industry, the TSO, Jessy Lanza, The Reklaws, YouTube Music, Elvis Costello, Frank Zappa, Aespa, Herb Alpert, Billie Joe Shaver, Taylor Swift, Midnight Oil, hologram gigs, and Genesis.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 2, 2020

By FYI Staff

Remarkable records of Joni Mitchell’s changes

The story of why Joni Mitchell quit piano lessons is also the story of how Joni Mitchell wrote her first song. She was around 7, and the tune was called “Robin Walk” — “it was real bouncy,” she remembers in a spirited interview for the liner notes of her new archival collection, “Joni Mitchell Archives — Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967).” – New York Times

Tracing the remarkable rise of Joni Mitchell

An ambitious new retrospective explores the early years of the small-town folk singer, from a Yorkville coffee shop to an undeniable musical force.  – Paul Wells, Maclean's

Justin Bieber: 'I want to help people who feel suicidal, like I did'

The pop superstar wants to be a role model for those contemplating suicide after confessing he thought about ending his life before he found love with wife Hailey in a revealing new documentary. He has opened up about his darkest days in the new Justin Bieber: Next Chapter film, revealing there was a time he feared he would suffer forever, and thought death was the only answer. – MusicNews


Mural of punk icon Chi Pig going up at Cambie Hotel

A wall-sized portrait is going up of punk rock legend and SNFU mainman Chi Pig who was a fixture in Gastown for decades. – John Mackie, Vancouver Province

Quebec musicians pleading for help as survey shows one-in-five saying show's over

Professional musicians are calling on governments for help when nearly one-in-five of them has decided to give up their career during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Quebec musicians guild (GMMQ) published the results of a survey this week that it conducted by polling 755 musicians in October, and the findings on the state of musicians in the province are alarming. – CP

Music venues facing sky-high insurance rates, if they can get a policy at all

Clark Bryan owns Aeolian Hall in London, Ont. On top of all the other calamities facing him during the live-music shutdown, his insurance premiums were just jacked up by 20 percent. “It’s like kicking the wounded,” he said. Still, he considers himself lucky. Many venue owners whose policies expired during the pandemic are having trouble getting any new ones offered to them at all. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Alberta should 'harness creative capital' of music industry in post-pandemic recovery, report says

The sector accounted for $2.1 billion of the provincial GDP in 2017.– CBC News 

Report looks at how to turn Calgary's music sector into an economic driver for the province

'You can take the obvious examples like Nashville and Austin, which have been music cities for a long time. Those things didn't just happen organically.' – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

THE SCOOP | Toronto Symphony announces surprise $3.875-million gift

The Toronto Symphony has announced a significant $3.875 M donation from TSO subscribers Bob and Francine Barrett, of the Barrett Family Foundation. With ticket revenues all but done for Toronto’s namesake orchestra, the news is particularly well-timed. The gift will be distributed over five years and used to support the TSO’s Education & Community Engagement programs. –Michael Vincent, Ludwig-Van 

Alan Cross: Would it be nice if Spotify paid more to artists? Yes, but it's complicated

Spotify isn’t just being mean or miserly when it comes to payouts. The company’s licensing agreements are set by these negotiations and statutory edicts with entities that you’d think would have the artists’ best interests in mind. – Alan Cross, Global

Jessy Lanza: Daring to be vulnerable

Juxtaposing dark lyricism and honeyed vocals with calmly euphoric computer beats and an earthy authenticity, her new album has been a much-needed balm. – Words & Music

The history of the haunting at 131 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto

The recently-demolished Toronto home was once the site of major poltergeist activity, as well as numerous ghost sightings. It was featured on a 1984 CBC series about haunted Toronto and was written about in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life magazine and many others. The property was purchased in 1969 by Benjamin D. McPeek, a virtuoso Canadian arranger and composer and jingle maverick. – BlogTO


How ‘The Reklaws’ became Canadian country music stars

Global News Weekend Host Mike Arsenault speaks to brother-sister country music duo ‘The Reklaws’ about their careers and how they go to where they are in the latest episode of ‘The Training Ground’. – Global News

Daniel Lanois: ‘If U2 called about another album? I’d go, which planet are we making it on?’

The co-producer on some of U2’s biggest records talks on the eve of the 20th-anniversary rerelease of ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ about bringing the best out of the band. – John Meagher, The Independent


Carly Rae Jepsen drops festive bop 'It's Not Christmas Till Someone Cries'

The Canadian singer can relate to all your home-for-the-holidays disasters. – Ruth Kinane, People


YouTube Music has over 30M subscribers and ad revenue is soaring

There was a minute there when YouTube Music risked looking like a bit of an also-ran in the global streaming race. October 29, YouTube parent Alphabet gave us an update on YouTube Music’s progress as a subscription app, with news of an important milestone. It now boasts over 30 million Music and has generated $5B from ads in a single quarter. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Hit songs used to be written by just one person

You don’t have to go back to the days of Irving Berlin & Cole Porter to find a time when it was utterly normal for big hits to be written by just one person. The revived popularity of Fleetwood Mac's “Dreams,” written by Stevie Nicks, is a reminder of an era when No. 1 songs were frequently written by just one person. – Paul Grein, Billboard

This note visualizer helps you see why these 10 piano pieces are so hard to play

YouTube piano maestro Rousseau plays 10 extremely difficult piano pieces, augmenting a note visualizer so you can appreciate just how complex the compositions are. In an addendum to his video, Rousseau made a ‘more realistic top 10 most difficult piano pieces’ with a little blurb on each. – Twisted Sifter

Elvis Costello discusses new album and the reissue of an old classic

Elvis Costello knows that, this deep into a four-decade-plus career, he will always be asked the inevitable then-and-now questions about how his attitude has changed, beckoning the 66-year-old to pit the late-1970s version of himself against the gentler and more accomplished Costello that constitutes this century’s model. – Chris Willman, Variety

‘Zappa’: See new trailer for ‘definitive’ doc about an unclassifiable artist

Alex Winter’s long-in-the-works, estate-approved film profiling Frank Zappa arrives on November 27th. – Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Off-Broadway theaters, comedy clubs sue New York over closure

A group of Off-Broadway theaters and comedy clubs are suing government officials in hopes of ending forced closures that have lasted over seven months thus far amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blaso are named in the lawsuits, which hope to nullify the state order restricting indoor performances and attendance. –Dave Clark, TicketNews


A chorus of artists tells Trump to turn it down

It’s become a sub-cycle in the endless campaign cycle. The Trump campaign can hardly play a song without the artist denouncing its use and sending a cease-and-desist letter. Neil Young, John Fogerty, Phil Collins, Panic! At The Disco and the estates of Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty and Prince are just a few of those who have objected. – Andrew Dalton, AP

Introducing Aespa, a Kpop girl group with both human and virtual members

South Korean powerhouse SM Entertainment is debuting a new Kpop group venture that mixes humans with virtual members. Founder Lee Soo-man appears to take inspiration from Marvel with his SMCU (SM Culture Universe). – Ashley King, Digital Music News

A documentary look at Herb Alpert is now streaming online

Available to stream online through local theatres, a new feature-length documentary traces the life and career of trumpet player, philanthropist and A&M Records founder Herb Alpert. Herb Alpert Is… features interviews with artists including Sting, Questlove, Quincy Jones and Lou Adler. The film was directed by John Scheinfeld, who also helmed the John Coltrane documentary Chasing Trane. – JazzFM


Spotify stock drops on earnings miss — but premium subs hit 144 Million

Spotify recently missed earnings estimates but secured 21 million additional users during 2020’s third quarter, per a newly released performance analysis. Now, Spotify stock has parted with more than five percent of its value on the day.  – Dylan Smith, DMN

I'm gonna catch tomorrow now: Billy Joe Shaver's rowdy outlaw country for believers

A veteran music journalist takes a look back at the life and music of the late great songwriter. – Holly Gleason,

5 new albums you should listen to now: Ariana Grande, Oneohtrix Point Never, and more

Also stream new releases from Chucky73, Elvis Costello, and Dizzee Rascal. – Noah Yoo, Pitchfork

A new music-themed doc on Jimmy Carter is a star-gazer's delight

In what is both a fresh storytelling tactic and a highly entertaining look at the 39th president of the United States, director Mary Wharton’s Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President considers the renowned humanitarian and politician not through his myriad achievements but through the lens of the company he keeps. – Kim Hughes, Original-Cin

Willie Nelson singing ‘Under Pressure’ with Karen O is the duet we didn't know we needed in 2020

The legendary collaboration between Queen and David Bowie gets a remake by an intergenerational pair of icons. – Dan Solomon, Texas Monthly

Taylor Swift lends ‘Only the Young’ to new political ad

Song appears in get-out-the-vote spot from Democratic representative Eric Swalwell’s Remedy PAC. – Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone 

Midnight Oil: The Makarrata Project review – a chorus of anger over stolen land

Voices of Indigenous musicians from Alice Skye to the late Gurrumul are given equal weight in the Australian rock band’s first new music for two decades. – Bernard Zuel, The Guardian

Genesis begins rehearsals for huge 2021 reunion tour

Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins will head out on 'The Last Domino? Tour' in April. – Will Richards, NME

Smashing Pumpkins wax nostalgic over 25 years since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

With Oct. 23 marking 25 years since the release of the band’s epic album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,” why not have an in-depth conversation via Zoom with longtime member Jimmy Chamberlin? From separate locations, of course. – Gilles LeBlanc, Toronto Star

Hologram gigs: the solution for live music events in lockdown?

It’s live music, but the band is playing from a small studio on the other side of London. This hologram gig could be the future of safe and socially distanced live music. – Reuters

Lil Wayne is the latest rapper to back Donald Trump

Lil Wayne is feeling the heat after he became the latest prominent rapper to endorse President Donald Trump for reelection. Before Trump jetted to Miami recently for last-minute campaigning, he met privately with the “A Milli” artist. – Laura Zornosa, Los Angeles Times

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending May 16, 2024

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending May 16, 2024

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and year-to-date comparisons to last year.

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and YTD with comparisons to last year. This chart is published every Tuesday. The abbreviation "TEA" is a term used to describe the sale of music downloads or singles. A track equivalent album is equal to 10 tracks, or 10 songs.