Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 30, 2018

Charlotte Cardin (pictured) evolves as a songwriter, Robert Christgau offers listening advice, and the Very Prairie music summit boosts local talent. Also in the headlines are The Barr Brothers, Tom Wilson, Greg Couillard, Spotify, Excello Records, Mark Zuckerberg, Led Zeppelin, Shania Twain, and Bruce Springsteen.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 30, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Charlotte Cardin's songwriting success has changed how she writes songs

The Montreal musician has been touring to bigger and bigger venues, all before she's released her first album – and that's turned her musical perspective.  –  Michael Rancic, NOW

Endless amounts of talent': Very Prairie music summit aims to elevate local talent

The purpose of the gathering of Sask. music professionals is to provide more local musicians with the skill set to reach the next level, Michael Dawson said. – Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

The Barr Brothers’ autumn Breakers 

It’s been a busy year for the Montreal outfit, but they’re taking Queens of the Breakers on one last run. –   Jonathan Briggins, The Coast

Robert Christgau: Ten steps for better ears

Self-identified as the “dean of American rock critics,” Christgau explained and elaborated upon his original music-listening tutorial, doing so in a manner that guides neophytes from the feel-good funk ways of James Brown to today’s hip-hop sway. –   Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


 Tom Wilson’s Beautiful Scars in oil

The rocker/artist's new exhibition “Beautiful Scars” consists of a dozen large paintings, oil on wood, all but one of them completed over the past year in his James North studio, as well as a dozen painted guitars resting on pedestals. –  Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Music Men Ruined For Me collects stories of musical mansplaining

Alison Lang gathered nearly 30 tales of condescension, heartbreak and Frank Zappa for the new zine. –   Michael Rancic, NOW

Confessions of a rebel chef

Greg Couillard was much-loved on the Toronto '80s music scene. "I got hooked on the fame and the glamour before crashing in a blaze of booze, coke and heroin" he recalls.  –  Toronto Life


Spotify's Year-End ads highlight the weird and wonderful

The popular year-end wrap acknowledges the yodelling fad and more.  –  Brian Barrett, Wired

Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story

Now available, this is one of the debut titles from BMG Book’s “RPM Series.” It chronicles the tale of one of the most unusual labels to emerge from the 1950s. –  JD Nash, American Blues Scene

Change Africa’s narrative through music – Tourism Minister charges musicians

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku, has urged musicians across the continent to use their music to help change the African narrative. According to her, the continent has an abundance of intelligent, talented and powerful musicians who can exert a positive influence.  –  JOYFM


The decline and fall of the Zuckerberg empire

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the first person in human history to draw inspiration from Augustus Caesar, the founder of the Roman Empire, but he’s one of a very few for whom the lessons of Augustus’s reign have a concrete urgency. Both men, after all, built global empires before the age of 33.  –  Max Read, New York

Making a living as a producer 

Paul Adams is the owner and founder of Bang The Drum, a management company that handles the careers of a select group of highly-talented producers, mixers, songwriters, and composers. Here he offers sage career advice.  – Rick Goetz, Music Consultant

Desk used to record Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven up for sale

The original studio console used to record the classic song is for auction at Bonhams next month. The Helios console, which was also used by the likes of Bob Marley, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, is expected to fetch a six-figure sum. –  Simon Lindley, 

'I'm absolutely underrated': Shania Twain embraces her career revival

On the eve of her first NZ tour, Twain laughingly states "I would say it's about time I'm back. It's overdue."  –  Robert Moran, Stuff

Beneath the surface of Bruce Springsteen

For more than fifty years, he’s travelled deep into the heart of America. But with his new Netflix special—a film of his intense, powerful one-person show on Broadway—Bruce Springsteen reveals that his bravest journey has been wrestling with his mental health.  –  Michael Hainey, Esquire


Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion


Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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