Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 30, 2020

The humble origins of The Reklaws (pictured), advice on the Grammys for The Weeknd, and a rave review for TV Freaks. Also in the headlines are Jann Arden, The Clash, Keithmas, David Bowie, Sam Wilson, Drake, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Lorde, Toots Hibbert, Alice in Chains, Dizzy Gillespie, and Liam Gallagher.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 30, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Here’s why The Weeknd should shake off his snub: the Grammys don’t matter

Come on. He should know demanding transparency from the Grammys is like asking Oscar Mayer for step-by-step instructions on how to manufacture jumbo franks in your garage. I bet even Grammy voters are mystified by how their trophy sausages are made. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

Pitchfork review: TV Freaks - People

On their fourth LP, the Hamilton, Ontario garage punks step up with a more ambitious and accessible sound without sanding down their raw edges. – Stuart Berman, Pitchfork

Phil Nimmons celebrated with tribute album led by grandson

Nimmons was awarded the very first Juno Award for best jazz album in 1977, and he’s been inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educators’ Hall of Fame. His most recent honour is The Nimmons Tribute, a recording of his music performed by friends and former students and produced and arranged by none other than his grandson Sean Nimmons-Patterson, a fantastic musician in his own right. – Heather Bambrick, JazzFM


The Reklaws have come a long way since playing in between the pig races on their family’s Ontario farm

If you assume the Reklaws are living high on the hog, you don’t know the half of it. Before becoming Canada’s top country sibling duo, Jenna and Stuart Walker performed in between pig races at the family farm in North Dumfries, Ont., near Waterloo. They are now concluding a seven-city national “virtual tour.” – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Excerpt from Jann Arden’s new book If I Knew Then

‘I kept telling myself that the best was yet to come.'  – Jann Arden, Globe and Mail

Wylin' in a winter wonderland

The Coast helps you feel holly jolly with a playlist of holiday tunes heavy on local favourites. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

How "luck" was a factor in k.d. lang's early career

k.d. lang is one of the most distinguished, unique artists of our time. Here are some stories — including a couple that even she may not know about — to illustrate how unexpected, unplanned factors helped build her early career. – Richard Flohil, The Sound Cafe

Quebec cartoonist traces the life of Leonard Cohen in black and white

The graphic novel, Leonard Cohen: On A Wire, is set to be released in French and English in 2021. – Marilla Steuter-Martin, CBC News · 


Vancouver singer Mary Garnett Edwards releases debut album at age 63

After a life spent around music and musicians, singer Mary Garnett Edwards has released her debut album, White Lightning at age 63 The voice is world weary in a haunting way. Part high lonesome twang, part folk blues croon with a fair bit of cosmic country thrown in. – Stuart Derdeyn, Postmedia

Stardust: Imagined David Bowie adventure lacks imagination and adventure

Stardust is a movie ostensibly about David Bowie that contains no music by David Bowie. It also begins with the disclaimer “What follows is mostly fiction” which, at least, is a promise fulfilled. That admission should be followed by this one: “In 20 minutes time, you will want to tear your hair out.” – Kim Hughes, Original-Cin

13-year-old B.C. blues musician nominated for Maple Blues Award

Liam Docherty has been nominated for New Artist of the Year in the national awards. – CBC News 

It's back again in 2020—this time, Keithmas will be broadcast live from the Rickshaw.

One of Vancouver’s most anticipated Christmas concerts is Keithmas, held every year to celebrate Keith Richards’s birthday and raise much-needed funds for the Vancouver Food Bank. The gig always features the cream of the city’s rock ’n’ roots talent, with local legend Rich Hope leading the way, but this year’s lineup is still under wraps. Keithmas 2020 will be live-streamed from the Rickshaw Theatre on December 18. – Georgia Straight


Arts organizations deserve better when it comes to the B.C. government’s confusing pandemic rules

Arts organizations – that operate on often shoestring budgets because they believe in what they’re doing and want to make the world a more beautiful and more interesting place – deserve explanations and some understanding from government. – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

Covid-19: Struggling arts industry hit hard by two-week ban on live performances

The not-for-profit arts industry has been dealt a particularly cruel blow by this pandemic. – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

Edmonton music community mourns Covid-19 death of guitarist and educator Bobby Cairns

He was the very definition of a consummate professional over his storied career, but even Bobby Cairns had his trial by fire.– Edmonton Journal


Sam Wilson draws from pioneer blues guitarists on Southern Limbo

Southern Limbo is the latest single from Nova Scotian jazz guitarist Sam Wilson, and the first look into her upcoming release Into a Heart – Part II. It is a solo instrumental piece that expands on a pioneer blues guitar sound and offers some immediate contrast to the ensemble post-bop prevalent in her previous work, Groundless Apprehensions. – Camilo Villamizar, The East


Drake calls for Grammys to be replaced after snubbing Black artists

Singer’s demand follows absence of The Weeknd in all categories of the 2021 awards despite huge success this year and dismay at exclusion of Lil Uzi Vert. – Laura Snapes, The Guardian

No encore for Music Publishers who say Covid-19 wrecked copyright trial

Music publishers were expecting to win huge damages in a five-year copyright battle over concert recordings. Did a health pandemic ruin these plans? The publishers alleged that the streaming of rock concerts was a copyright violation, and in April 2018, the judge agreed that the defendant lacked requisite license. – Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter

The culture of The Clash and the band's closeness to fans

Patrick Sawer on a new book which underlines the extraordinary closeness that The Clash used to enjoy with their fans. Frontman Joe Strummer regularly invited them to crash on his hotel room floor. – The New European 

Eric Clapton joins Van Morrison in ridiculous anti-lockdown song because 260K Tears in Heaven aren’t enough

Eric Clapton? Great blues guitarist? Not too bright otherwise. Clapton has joined Van Morrison, another Mensa member, in his protest of the British lockdown to stop Covid from rising. Apparently 260,000K victims in the US and 57,000K in the UK are not enough tears in heaven for Clapton. So on December 4th he and Morrison will release a single called “Stand and Deliver.”  – Roger Friedman, Showbiz411

'Frank didn't adhere to any movements': Behind the Zappa documentary

A new film aims to reflect the unusual life and career of Frank Zappa with help from his family and those who knew him best. – Jim Farber, The Guardian

Lorde urges climate action ahead of new book on Antarctica trip

New Zealand singer says Donald Trump, Great Thunberg and California wildfires spurred her to visit before it turns ‘to slush.’ – Eleanor Roy, The Guardian


Grammy nomination ‘Got to Be Tough’ - The Maytals, supporting musicians still mourning loss of Toots

Earl ‘Paul’ Douglas, one of the first instrumentalists added to The Maytals, describe the Grammy nomination or best reggae album as “surreal”, even as he still grapples with the loss of a colleague and friend, Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert. – The Gleaner

Alice in Chains tribute on December 1 boasts a stellar lineup

Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture has announced the lineup for its annual Founder Awards show for Dec. 1, and it's pretty friggin' impressive. Those taking turns paying online tribute to grunge masters Alice in Chains include Metallica, Korn, Mastodon, Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins, Kim Thayil from Soundgarden, Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart, Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction, Corey Taylor, Dallas Green, Duff McKagan from Guns N' Roses, Krist Novoselic from Nirvana, and Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

Dinner with Dizzy: For years, jazz great Gillespie celebrated Thanksgiving here

The best jazz requires improvisation. So do the best lives. You can’t buy sheet music that tells you how to live. Improvise, man. Improvise. So when Dizzy Gillespie says he wants to come to your house for Thanksgiving dinner, you peel a few more potatoes and put out another plate. – John Kelly, Washington Post

The 11 best vinyl & record player accessories for every turntable setup

From sound tweaks to a record club, gift ideas for every record nerd. – Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork


Mississippi road signs for Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash site

Lynyrd Skynyrd, the rock band famous for “Sweet Home Alabama“ and “Free Bird,” now has highway signs pointing to the site of the Mississippi plane crash that claimed the lives of some of its members. Fans gathered Sunday as the Mississippi Department of Transportation unveiled exit signs from Interstate 55 near McComb and state Highway 568 near Gillsburg, the Enterprise-Journal reported. – AP

Liam Gallagher wants to end feud with brother Noel on ‘The Great British Bake Off’

"Maybe we’ll just bake some bread and that, or a cake, or throw strawberries at each other. Have a cream fight. That kind of stuff.’ – WENN

Covid-19 hits hard for South Louisiana's Cajun musicians

Musicians — who depend on live audiences as much as they do — have been especially hard hit by the pandemic. Perhaps nowhere has this been felt more acutely than in South Louisiana, where music lies at the heart of Cajun culture. – NPR

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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