Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 5, 2020

A doco on Teenage Head (pictured) repeats on TVO this weekend, Arcade Fire premieres a new song on US TV, and Emm Gryner turns to jazz. Also in the headlines are Toronto record stores, Shannon Hoon, the Zolas, Hipgnosis, Spotify, TikTok, Discogs, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, and The Grammys.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 5, 2020

By Kerry Doole

New documentary tells the story of Hamilton’s Teenage Head

The history of Teenage Head is not always a happy one. It is a story of lifelong friendships forged in the classrooms of Westdale Secondary School, on neighborhood baseball diamonds and local hockey rinks. It is the story of a tremendously talented punk rock band robbed of the success due by an untimely road accident. It also involves the death of the band’s flamboyant front man, Frankie “Venom” Kerr. – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Watch Arcade Fire perform new song “Generation A” on Colbert’s Election Night 2020 Special

Stephen Colbert said the new track is “inspired by the current climate of the country.” – Evan Minsker, Pitchfork

Emm Gryner dedicates first jazz album to her father

Singer-songwriter Emm Gryner has been writing and recording for decades. Now, she’s made her first-ever jazz album, Just for You, dedicated to her father. As Gryner explains, he picked out the standards for her to sing and even joined her in the studio for the first time to see her in her element. – Brad Barker, Jazz FM


10 list but not forgotten Toronto record stores

Before the resurgence of vinyl, Toronto lost a whole lot of record shops in the 1990s and early 2000s. From massive country-wide chains to truly independent operations, the old stores were places where you might actually snag a deal or rejoice at stumbling upon an import. Nostalgia for record shops is particularly deep because these are the places that provided the soundtrack to our earlier lives. – BlogTO

That crazy full-moon Halloween in Vancouver when Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon got naked and peed onstage

It was a full-moon Halloween not unlike last week's when something quite shocking happened during a Lenny Kravitz concert in Vancouver. The year was 1993, the place was the Pacific Coliseum, and the person supplying the shock was Shannon Hoon, vocalist in the show's opening band, Blind Melon. – Steve Newton, Georgia straight

Yolanda Sargeant, Hello Moth release video and song to lift spirits of the dead and the living

In September, a ragtag crew of artists staggered into the badlands.They stumbled, they danced, they fell to the ground, they helped each other back up, they smeared turquoise paint on their faces and bodies. It was all in service of a video by Calgary artists Yolanda Sargeant and Hello Moth for Hold Me Up, a duet. It was also an attempt to lift the spirits of the living, Sargeant says. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


The Parkdale Hall brings a historic Toronto venue back to life

A former theatre dating back to 1920 is coming back to life on Queen West, slowly but surely. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

On Our Radar: Zolas get us thinking everything's more fun in America with video for "I Feel the Transition"

It’s hard not to read plenty into the Zolas' new single “I Feel the Transition”. You want a uplifting message for one of the bleakest points in modern history? Pay attention at the 2:18 mark, when frontman Zachary Grey offers up “When light turns to dark/We’ll face it arm-in-arm-in-arm-in-arm-in-arm”. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Hipgnosis acquires 33,000 songs from Kobalt Fund in $323 million deal

Hipgnosis Songs has acquired 42 catalogs, comprising more than 33,000 songs, from Kobalt Music Copyrights S.à.r.l. for a total consideration of $322.9 million. The catalogs were owned and sold by investors in Kobalt Capital Limited — which is distinct from the music company itself — and the songs will continue to be administered by Kobalt. KCL is a financial conduct authority regulated investment advisory firm that focuses on music rights. The acquisition spans many musical genres and some 1,500 songwriters. – Jem Aswad, Variety


Spotify is letting record labels influence personalized recommendations... so long as they pay for it in royalties

Spotify is launching a new tool within its so-called “two-sided marketplace” strategy – and it’s sure to get the music industry talking. On Nov. 2, the streaming platform confirmed that it will soon start allowing artists and record labels to flag tracks that are a particular priority for them via a ‘Discovery Mode’ feature… and that this flagging will then influence the selection of songs that Spotify’s algorithm picks out for listeners. – MBW

TikTok has signed licensing agreement with Sony

TikTok, the short video sharing app and the overseas version of Douyin, confirmed that the company has signed a new licensing agreement with Sony Music Entertainment. This agreement allows all users to obtain Sony's music resources for creators to use. –ChinaTechNews


U.S. will ‘vigorously defend’ TikTok executive order despite ruling

The U.S Commerce Department said on Sunday it would “vigorously defend” an executive order that seeks to bar transactions with Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok after a federal judge halted the action. U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone on Friday blocked the Commerce Department order set to take effect on Nov. 12 that would have effectively barred ByteDance-owned TikTok from operating in the United States. – David Shepardson, Reuters

Thank you for 20 years of Discogs

Discogs turned 20 years old on November 1, 2020. We’re looking back on two decades of music fandom, and it's incredible how far we’ve come. Discogs now has 13 million releases, 7 million artists, and almost 60 million things for sale from 150,000 sellers. And it’s the go-to resource for people that really care about music. – Discogs

A No Deal Brexit will be “catastrophic” for British touring artists, music industry warns

Figures from the UK music industry have warned of the potentially “catastrophic” impact of a No Deal Brexit, leaving thousands of British artists unable to make a living. –

German scientists conduct Coronavirus concert experiment, find risk of spread to be “Low to Very Low”

Back in August, researchers assembled 1,400 volunteers for a 10-hour show, featuring German pop singer Tim Bendzko. – Matthew Ismael Ruiz and Matthew Strauss, Pitchfork

Music industry in crisis: Severe skills shortage threatens return to live music in Australia

The Australian live music industry is facing a shortfall of catastrophic proportions and is in dire need of assistance. – Scenestr

Live music returns to Australia in a big way

The Australian first Great Southern Nights events will see over 1,000 gigs take place throughout Sydney and New South Wales this Nov. The covid-safe concerts will go ahead across the state in an attempt to "kick-start the recovery of the live music, hospitality and tourism industries in a safe environment". – The Music

Sam Smith exclusive: Superstar embraces heartbreak on new album

Mark Daniell, National Entertainment Editor for SUN Media, has a sit down conversation with the international multi-award winning English singer/songwriter about his new album Love Goes.  – Mark Daniell, Toronto Sun


Taylor Swift became the new soundtrack of the Biden-Harris campaign

As the presidential election wound down, Taylor Swift knew America isn’t out of the woods yet. On Friday, the Democratic Party debuted a new campaign advertisement for former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris featuring Swift’s song “Only the Young” in an effort to engage young voters. – Christi Carras, LA Times 

15 Best Songs of October 2020

There was stiff competition for this month’s best new songs. We heard the latest single from Dirty Projectors’ 5EPs collection, the return of Kendrick Lamar, Tierra Whack and Julien Baker, an exciting new track from Black Country, New Road’s debut album and much more. Scroll down for 15 of our favorite tracks from October 2020, listed alphabetically by artist. Toronto's The Weather Station makes the cut. – Paste

Here’s why the Grammys has changed its ‘world music’ category to ‘best global music’

The Grammy Awards have changed the name of their best world music album category to the best global music album, an attempt to find “a more relevant, modern and inclusive term.” The Recording Academy said in a statement that the new name “symbolizes a departure from the connotations of colonialism, folk and ‘non-American’ that the former term embodied.” –Y Naija

Hailey Bieber
David Sims for W Magazine

Hailey Bieber

Music News

Hailey Bieber Opens Up About ‘Emotional’ Moments During Pregnancy & Trying to ‘Soak In’ Alone Time With Justin Bieber

The couple announced they are expecting their first child together in the spring.

Hailey Bieber is gearing up for motherhood, and the model opened up about her pregnancy journey for a new W Magazine cover story.

“I probably could have hid it until the end, but I didn’t enjoy the stress of not being able to enjoy my pregnancy outwardly,” she explained of announcing her pregnancy at the six-month mark. “I felt like I was hiding this big secret, and it didn’t feel good. I wanted the freedom to go out and live my life.”

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