Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 15, 2018

Halifax trio Neon Dream has a renewed focus, Canada’s artistic middle class is under threat, and Phil Collins impresses in concert. Others in the headlines include Spotify, Real Ponchos, Liz Phair, cowboy poets, Lil Wayne, USMCA, IFPI, Horseshoe Tavern, Hey Ocean!, Sentric, Genius, female producers, Bryan Adams, Amy Winehouse, Drake, Katy Perry, Nirvana, and Bob Dylan.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 15, 2018

By Kerry Doole

The glow of Neon Dreams 

New focus, new singles, new cross-country tour— Halifax trio Neon Dreams kicks it all off at home this week.  – Tara Thorne, The Coast

Can Canada’s artistic middle class be saved?

Donald Quan is one of Canada’s most successful composers that you’ve likely never heard of. But you know his work. Here he reflects upon the challenges facing Canada's creators. – Tony Wong, Toronto Star

Zen and the art of Real Ponchos

For the Vancouver band, creating music is a way of making sense of the world.  – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Phil Collins may be moving slower, but he showed Toronto he's still got it

Singer-drummer Phil Collins has jokingly called his first trek in 12 years the ‘Not Dead Yet Tour,’ after his 2016 autobiography of the same name. And while Collins is definitely still walking the Earth, he’s doing it slowly and with the help of a cane. – Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun


Review: Liz Phair and Speedy Ortiz were a refreshing exit from Guyville at the Phoenix

In a rock show that centred women, it felt like an antidote to decades of bro-centric rockism. – Sarah MacDonald, NOW

Oraltorio show is a fast-paced sample of a uniquely Black musical frequency

In its roughness, you see the freshness of this theatrical mixtape, and I'd tune into it again. – Carly Maga, Toronto Star

Spotify just turned 10 — here’s how it’s impacted music: Alan Cross

While Spotify wasn’t the first streaming service (Rhapsody, a spinoff of Real Networks, launched its product at the end of 2001), it has become the dominant force in the space with a reach extending through at least 65 countries. It boasts nearly 200 million users a month, 86 million of whom are paying for the premium service. –  Alan Cross, Global News

Words of the West: Poetry and music written to 'keep the cowboy lifestyle and culture alive’

Rural populations are falling and family farms are fading. But at hundreds of gatherings across the continent, the culture of the cowboy lives on in verse. – Globe and Mail

Lil Wayne's comeback is scattered, but he's still got it

On the long-awaited The Carter V, he shows he can still hang with contemporary rap flows and sometimes improve on them. –  Nick Flanagan, NOW

How the Canadian music biz is reacting to the new trade deal with U.S., Mexico

SOCAN and CIMA among orgs to praise the pending deal, which would extend the term for copyrighted works. – Karen Bliss, Billboard


Ever the explorer, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry charts new territory

When Richard Reed Parry travelled the world last year with Arcade Fire he often thought of ways to secretly escape. The plan was to leave his Montreal bandmates behind, jump into a rented car and trek into nature where nobody could find him. –  David Friend, CP

The Emeralds coming to Rimbey for Lions Club’s Octoberfest

Remember The Bird Dance! The Emeralds, the band that came out with the famous Bird Dance Genius are coming to Rimbey for an Oct. 20 show. – Rimbey Review

Who has played Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern over the last quarter century?

The list of acts hosted by the famed watering hole s an impressive one. – completelyigmored

British folk-rockers Red Dirt Skinners hitting their stride after move to Canada

“The (Canadian) response was unbelievable. It felt like home in a way we had never felt back in England." - Sarah Skinner.  – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

On Our Radar: Hey Ocean! takes SKOOKUM on a disco journey with "The Feels"

If you missed SKOOKUM back in September, or are just eager to relive the experience of attending the inaugural edition of the festival, Vancouver's own Hey Ocean! has just released a reminder in the form of a live video.  – John Lucas, Georgia Straight


IFPI music consumer insight report

The massively informative PDF doc (available for download) tells the story of how recorded music is woven into the lives of people around the world.

Sentric Electronic launches to service "thousands of producers without music publishing

Like Sentric Music’s original model, Sentric Electronic’s core offering is a 28-day deal that will see the company collect performance, mechanical and neighbouring rights revenue from around the world, with clients retaining 100% of their copyrights.  – MBW


Apple Music lyrics smarten up with Genius

Music-streaming service to display lyrics drawn from popular online music encyclopedia Genius. – Anne Steele, WSJ

Promoter of failed Fyre Festival gets 6 years in prison

Billy McFarland was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald called him a “serial fraudster.” – AP

How women are rising from songwriters to producers in the recording studio

Last week, a group of female songwriters packed into a room at Pulse Music Group's L.A. headquarters for the second workshop in a series called REBOOT, a new initiative seeking to empower women in the music industry. – Nicole Pajer, Billboard

Talent and touring

Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour set for 2019

The production will boast live band, singers, and theatrical stagecraft, and is endorsed by her estate. – Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone


Bryan Adams in Mumbai: Canadian rocker treats longtime fans to nostalgia on return to old stomping ground

Adams, in more ways than one, is a symbol of nostalgia. And this nostalgia is not a copyright of the proverbial '90s kids or the those-were-the-days breed. His concert in Mumbai on 12 October lent more credibility to my observation. – Devansh Sharma, showsha

Drake blames Kanye West for telling Pusha T about his secret son

During an interview on HBO’s The Shop., Drake candidly discussed his feud with Pusha, which resurfaced in May when he released Daytona – an album Kanye produced. – WENN

Kathleen Turner to make Metropolitan Opera debut

One of acting’s most distinctive voices will make an unexpected Metropolitan Opera debut. Kathleen Turner, known for words that smoke rather than shimmer, is joining the cast of Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” in the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp. – Ronald Blum, AP

Katy Perry is stepping away from music to focus on 'spiritual and emotional side'

The pop star is taking a hiatus from her music career to focus on other things in her life, including her romance with actor Orlando Bloom, her mental health and her own shoe line. – Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY

Snoop Dogg to 'racist' Trump supporters: F*** you and f*** Kanye West too

The rapper hit out at President Donald Trump in an expletive-laden rant published online, calling the president's supporters racist, including fellow musician Kanye West. – Chantal Da Silva, Newsweek

Watch Foo Fighters stage Nirvana reunion with Joan Jett, Deer Tick’s John McCauley at Cal Jam

Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic reunite for a six-song set to close out San Bernardino, California fest.  – Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Love and Theft: Musicians talk about admiring and trying to live up to the great Bob Dylan

The text here is pulled from nearly 20 years of interviews with other musicians and arranged in a loose chronological order tied to Dylan’s career. I wasn’t talking to any of these people specifically for a story about Dylan. Such is his standing in songwriting that he just comes up in conversation with other songwriters. – Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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