Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 11, 2019

A feud with Trump boosts Nickelback (pictured), Drake at odds with his dad, and Canadian musicians discuss the election. Others in the headlines include Aaron Carter, Rihanna, POP Montreal, Black Keys, Audius, HMV, Aurora, Vulfpeck, Iceland, the business of celebrity, and Michael Jackson.


Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 11, 2019

By FYI Staff

Nickelback sees record bump in music streams after meme-y Trump tweet

Donald Trump's doctored video targeting former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, although removed by Twitter due to copyright infringement, has succeeded in generating a storm of response on social media, to Nickelback's benefit. – Svetlana Ekimenko,  EinMusicNews

25 Canadian musicians tell us why they're voting this election

Jessie Reyez, Shad, Fred Penner, Darren Creech, Bif Naked, Rae Spoon and more on the issues that matter most. – Holly Gordon, CBC Music · 

Drake, patch things up with your dad — whether he’s right or not

Is there anything more depressing than celebrity family feuds? Enter Drake and Drake’s father, Dennis Graham. In a recent LA interview, the family patriarch disputed a central plank of Drake’s origin rap story, which is that the old man was MIA. – Vinay Menon, The Star


U.S. popster Aaron Carter claims he's moving to Canada, settling in Nova Scotia for a 'change in scenery'

On Monday, Carter posted a picture of himself and real estate agent Mike Randall posing in front of a sprawling property he alleges to have purchased in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. –

How women musicians use persona to subvert gendered expectations

Saddled with gendered conceptions of authenticity, today’s singer/songwriters blend fact and fiction in new and interesting ways. – Sarah MacDonald, NOW 

POP Montreal turns 18, but the irreverent music fest will never grow up

Even at the age of majority, POP continues to fight for underdogs of music. The 18th edition ran Sept. 25 to 29 and was headlined by the likes of Laurie Anderson and Mavis Staples. – T'Cha Dunlevy, Gazette

Jagmeet Singh & Rihanna's Instagram DMs actually exist

New Democratic Party leader Singh made headlines earlier this week, when it was revealed that pop-goddess Rihanna had become one of his 320,000 followers on Instagram. Shortly after, Drake also joined the NDP leaders’ following. – Narcity 

Graham Rockingham: A walk through Hamilton’s punk history

Former Forgotten Rebel Chris (Pogo Au Gogo) Houston will guide you through some of The Hammer's punk music past this weekend. –Spectator 

Planned Forks music festival a ‘love letter to Winnipeg’, say organizers

A new music festival is coming to The Forks. Ethero Events –  involved in planning Table for 1200 More, Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, and the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade – is set to launch Current Music Festival in August 2020. – Sam Thompson, Global News


Night Owl Festival keeps growing in a challenging year

The Toronto psych fest, now in its fifth year, is propelled by a community that's stepped up during a difficult time. It runs Oct. 10-12.  – Olivia Bodnar, NOW


Canadian owner to relaunch HMV website, open U.K. stores

British music and film retailer HMV Group Plc will relaunch its online store on Nov. 1, as part of a turnaround plan under new Canadian owner Doug Putman. He said in a phone interview that he also plans to open several new stores in 2020, with a particular focus on London. – Greg Ritchie, Bloomberg

The Black Keys explain how to game the Billboard charts and get a #1 Album

Once upon a time, the band that sold the most albums topped the Billboard charts. Now, it’s a totally different game. Here’s a deal that the Black Keys decided to turn down – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News 

The strange evolution of viral music stardom

From Kitty Pryde to Lil Nas X, going viral has gone from a quirky phenomenon to the new normal. – Rawiya Kameir, Pitchfork 

Tunecore challenges major labels in China with Tencent partnership

TuneCore has entered into a partnership with China-based Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) that will make TuneCore artists’ recordings available to TME’s massive listener base in China.TuneCore says that it now distributes over 250,000 artists. – Murray Stassen, MBW

SoundExchange website to let artists search and claim unmatched recordings

In a move to bring more transparency and potentially help reduce black-box royalties, SoundExchange is updating its website to allow artists and labels to now see all recordings currently associated with their accounts, as well as allowing them to search and claim recordings in the organization’s pending and unmatched database. The new features are expected to be available on the SoundExchange website in November. – Ed Christman, Billboard


How funk band Vulfpeck sold out Madison Square Garden without a manager or big label

One of the band's agents, Jackie Nalpant, calls the manager-and-label-less approach "pretty much an anomaly," but suggests other artists might be able to follow Vulfpeck's lead."  – Steve Knopper, Billboard

New blockchain streaming service Audius is a copyright nightmare

New startup Audius says its blockchain-based music streaming service is the solution that finally pays attention to indie artists’ needs. It’s also full of pirated material. – The Verge


US musicians union calls for streaming residuals

Musicians claim they have been impacted by the transition to streaming, and unlike actors, musicians do not receive residuals for films and television shows made for streaming services. – Ian Courtney,CelebrityAccess

How Aurora reached 5M people on TikTok by asking people to hold hands

Aurora's UK label, Decca Records, teamed with Gen Z influencer company Fanbytes to promote a campaign, centred on the song, with “a positive message promoting mental health awareness” at its core. – MBW

Meek Mill and Van Jones have launched an organization to reform the broken probation system

After Mill’s high-profile case opened people’s eyes to issues with probation and parole, he’s working to fix it–alongside sports and entertainment luminaries like Jay-Z. – Fast Company

Iceland will pay 25% of artists' expenses if they record there

Iceland is now offering a 25% rebate on all recording expenses for international artists. The new government-backed initiative is called “Record in Iceland” and is conceived by Iceland Music, which is the country’s music export office. – Indie88

Why is being a celebrity such a big business?

Being a celebrity is really about having control over the economics of distribution of your creation. – Neil Senturia, San Diego Tribune

The 200 Best Songs of the 2010s

The defining tracks of the decade, starring Robyn, Drake, Vampire Weekend, Grimes, Daft Punk, SZA, and many more. –  Pitchfork

Michael Jackson musical to open on Broadway next summer

The show, now called “MJ The Musical,” will begin previews July 6 at the Neil Simon Theater. –  New York Times

How Quentin Tarantino got the ‘60s sound for ‘Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood’

For director and L.A. native Tarantino, all of his obsessions — vintage rock and roll, movie-business lore, darkly comic idylls cut through with horrific violence — wound through a property at the top of Cielo Drive. – August Brown LA Times

Starwatch Entertainment & Tigerspring partner with Believe on new ‘super-indie’ label, Lobster 

Leading German music label Starwatch Entertainment, Denmark-based independent label and publisher Tigerspring, and Paris-based music distributor Believe have partnered to launch a new label called Lobster. it has already signed Danish pop star Mads Langer, US artists Jackson Penn and Patrick Martin, and UK artist Jack Curley. –  Juliette Jagger, Celebrity Access


'Right here, right now': Fatboy Slim samples Greta Thunberg for live show

The dance artist electrifies crowd after mixing the climate activist’s UN speech slogan with his club favourite. – Kate Lyons, The Guardian

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Music News

Music Biz Headlines: New Joni Mitchell Biography, More Canadian Festival Lineups

Also this week: vinyl bootleggers, The Apollo Theater's star-studded anniversary, Cadence Weapon's Hockey song and more.

New Joni Mitchell Biography Follows the Canadian Icon as a Cultural Influencer

The new book from the author and National Public Radio music critic Ann Powers is Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell, an essayistic examination of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s life and musical evolution. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

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