Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 2, 2023

By Kerry Doole

‘Fake bullshit shows’: Guess Who co-founders sue ex-bandmates

Founding members Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings filed a suit against the band and fellow founding members Jim Kale and Garry Peterson, calling the current lineup a "cover band." – Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone

Is concert promoter Live Nation’s growing footprint in Toronto stomping out competition?

The corporate-speak sentence at the bottom of the press statement, however, was more daunting: “The Opera House is the latest addition to the company’s growing venue footprint in Canada and the expansion of its global venue portfolio, Venue Nation.” – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Lauryn Hill thrilled Toronto with a chaotic, unpredictable show — and a special guest

On her “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” 25th anniversary tour, Hill revisited her famous album. Wyclef Jean ended the night on a high note. – Vernon Ayiku, Toronto Star 


Theatre La Seizième presents fearless Francophone productions in its 2023/2024 season

For a country with two national languages, the West Coast could absolutely do more to promote French. Theatre La Seizième wholeheartedly embraces the project, staging Francophone productions to promote the diversity and daring of French theatre.  And yes, there are often English surtitles for everyone who’s gotten a bit rusty since school. – V. S. Wells, Georgia Straight 

Six take-aways from the CBC investigation questioning Buffy Sainte-Marie Indigenous heritage

Saint-Marie disputes the allegations and maintains that she is proud of her “Indigenous-American identity.” – Andy Takagi, Toronto Star

Many of us are heartbroken over Buffy Sainte-Marie. But we must remember what she gave us

Cree writer Michelle Good on the ‘soul-deep sadness’ sparked by the Sainte-Marie controversy — and how the Indigenous community can find comfort together. – The Star

26 years later, Halifax’s North of America still punk as ever

The post-hardcore band that defined Halifax in the late 1990s and early 2000s will play a pair of reunion shows at Dartmouth’s Woodside Tavern on Nov. 17 and 18. – Martin Bauman, The Coast

Kardinal Offishall and Haviah Mighty headline free November show in Halifax

Halifax’s Jah’Mila and Kayo join the star-studded concert at the Marquee Ballroom on Nov. 9. – Martin Bauman, The Coast  

Kim Petras brings horny Halloween energy to her Feed the Beast world tour

Just before Halloween, Kim Petras’ Feed The Beast world tour landed in Vancouver. In accordance with gay Christmas tradition, the crop-top wearing audience is also sprinkled through with a healthy number of costumes—as well as a few people in nothing but undies and harnesses, living their best hot lives. – V.S. Wells, Georgia Straight


A big hit at Toronto’s Massey Hall, Bob Dylan played no hits

At Toronto’s Massey Hall on Friday, Bob Dylan and his band presented 18 songs, half of them off the 2020 album Rough and Rowdy Ways. Save for 1979′s Gotta Serve Somebody, no hits were performed. There were so many deep cuts, the set list could have been covered in blood. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


Taylor Swift helps fuel Universal Music Group’s third-quarter revenue

Taylor Swift helped fuel revenue at Universal Music Group in the third quarter, the world’s largest record label said last week. With the release of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” Swift became the first woman to have four albums in the Top 10 charts at the same time. –  Dawn Chmielewski, Reuters

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has been left concussed by 'discontinuation'

But with a seemingly rock solid 'call option,' Merck Mercuriadis still holds all the cards. – Tim Ingham, MBW

BMG, under new CEO, reorganizes its structure

Thomas Coesfeld, CEO of BMG since July, has made another major move at the Bertelsmann-owned company. Berlin-based Coesfeld this week confirmed to staff that BMG is reorganizing its global structure in pursuit of his strategic goal for the company to become “more efficient and more effective”. – MBW

Spotify reportedly plans to pay even less in royalties to less-popular artists

Spotify, already notorious for its insultingly low royalty rate, is reportedly planning to pay even less to artists who don’t already get a ton of streams. Billboard reports that the giant Swedish streaming service is restructuring its royalty system and that it “will de-monetize tracks that had previously received 0.5% of Spotify’s royalty pool.” –  Tom Breihan, Stereogum


Spotify changes its royalty model to crush streaming fraud and introduce a minimum payment threshold

The giant plans to shift $1B in payouts towards 'working artists' over the next 5 years.  – Tim Ingham, MBW

Morgan Stanley is investing over $700m to buy music copyrights in partnership with Kobalt

Kobalt has  announced a new partnership with investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value to invest more than USD $700 million to acquire music copyrights over the next few years. As part of the venture, Kobalt will manage the creative, synch, licensing, administration, and investment services for the copyrights.– MBW


Milli Vanilli’s Fab Morvan: ‘There was a human side to the story I think that was never told’ 

Story of the scandal-plagued duo that’s not been told before gets airtime in new Paramount Plus film “Milli Vanilli.”– Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial docuseries announced at Apple TV+

Kiefer Sutherland will narrate the three-part series chronicling Lennon’s 1980 murder by Beatles fan Mark David Chapman. – The Guardian

‘Time heals’: An insider look back at Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ 30 years later

Bassist Krist Novoselic, producer Steve Albini and biographer Michael Azerrad reflect on the album’s reissue. – Gilles LeBlanc, Toronto Star

Country musician Megan Moroney says she writes sad songs for sad people. It's making her a star

 Not so long before her platinum-selling single “Tennessee Orange” became inescapable on country radio, this year scoring Megan Moroney her first-ever CMA nominations (song of the year and artist of the year), the up-and-comer was attending the University of Georgia. The life of a country musician? It wasn't supposed to happen. – Maria Sherman, AP

‘I’ve been waiting all my life to shed light on them’: musicians on their unsung home-town heroes

From gigs in sketchy Toronto buildings to Punjabi folk in Birmingham, musicians including Mogwai, Nakhane and Cornershop champion the local acts who never hit the big time. – The Guardian

Watch CBS 60 Minutes’ report on the state of the blues

CBS television’s 60 Minutes traveled to Clarksdale, Mississippi to do an in-depth story on the state of the blues. The story highlighted multiple artists including James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Ghalia Volt, and an extensive interview with Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Blues club owner Morgan Freeman was also interviewed for the feature. – Blues Rock Review

Love K-pop star Mark Tuan's new EP? You can discuss it with 'Digital Mark,' his AI twin

 Accessibility can be an artist's greatest asset. Listeners want to feel close to the musicians they admire and support — and most would jump at the chance to communicate one-on-one. But celebrity schedules rarely allow for that kind of intimacy. So what's the next best thing? – Maria Sherman, AP 

Travis Barker wants to be ‘superhuman.’ Catastrophe will do that to a man

At 47, it seems Barker is being karmically rewarded for his perseverance. Blink-182 is back together with a new album and he’s preparing to become a father again with wife Kourtney Kardashian. In the latest “For Real With Amy Kaufman” column, Barker gets candid about where he is at in this stage of his life.–  LA Times


Willie Nelson looks back on 7 decades of songwriting in new book 'Energy Follows Thought'

Willie starts with the words. –  Andrew Dalton, AP

Meet the ‘freak from behind the barricade’ who produced the new Rolling Stones album

Andrew Watt talks in-depth about working on the Stones' Hackney Diamonds, which he calls "the honor of my life."  – Kory Grow, Rolling Stone

Mélanie Renaud
Courtesy photo

Mélanie Renaud


Obituaries: Quebec Singer Mélanie Renaud, Saxophone Legend David Sanborn

This week we also acknowledge the passing of English keyboardist John Hawken and soul/ska singer Jimmy James of The Vagabonds.

Mélanie Renaud, a Quebec singer, died on May 14, at age 42, from ovarian cancer.

The Haiti-born artist, who was adopted by Quebecois parents when she was eight months old, was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer more than seven years ago.

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