Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 17, 2018

Rheostatic Dave Bidini (pictured) earns a rave review for his new book, Rufus Wainwright's opera draws mixed notices, and Tragically Hip tribute bands keep Gord Downie's legacy alive. Also in the headlines are Annie Leibovitz, The Town Heroes, Cub Sports, Lefsetz vs Flom, Tom DeLonge, Chinese hip-hop, Spotify, IFPI report, Tencent, The Orchard, MMA, Richard Branson, Chris Stein, Thom Yorke, Drake, Colter Wall, XTC, Prince, Bob Dylan, and Rihanna.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 17, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Review: Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian bares moments of genuine beauty, but weighed down by clunky plot

The Canadian's second opera arrived in Toronto in a whirlwind of press attention. – Jenna Simeonov, Globe and Mail

Dave Bidini's Midnight Light illuminates the character, and characters, of the new North

A prolific journalist/novelist/musician, Bidini’s interest in the North was initially sparked when he attended a 2014 Yellowknife literary festival. – Robert Collison, Toronto Star

One year after Gord Downie's death, Tragically Hip tribute bands are carrying on his legacy

More than 15 Tragically Hip cover bands are active across the country playing music festivals and local bars each month. Many of them are paying tribute to Downie on the anniversary of his passing. – CP

Nova Scotia won’t pay to exhibit Annie Leibovitz photos

The influential works include images of The Queen, John and Yoko, and Demi Moore. – Keith Doucette, CP


Same Town, more Heroes 

For its fourth record, the Town Heroes becomes a quartet and tries to figure out how to keep the things they care about. – Johnny James, The Coast

Musicians of the Midnight Sun: Angus Beaulieu

Angus Beaulieu is a Métis master fiddler from Fort Resolution, N.W.T. who has been playing the fiddle for almost 70 years. Here he recalls playing his first dance. –  CBC

On Cub Sport’s BATS, joy shines through the darker moments

Sometimes your reading of a record completely changes once you know the back story, that holds true for everything from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours to the extended suicide note that is Nirvana’s In Utero. That’s definitely the case for the second full-length from Australian synth-pop quartet Cub Sport. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Lefsetz vs. Flom Toronto event delivers insider music biz stories, but lacks drama

They had no script, not even an agenda or point-form notes scribbled on a napkin or the back of their hand. The event was less “versus” and more a friendly off-the-cuff exchange that the two engaging storytellers easily made entertaining and informative. – Karen Bliss, Billboard

Tom DeLonge blasts journalist over To the Stars debt report

In an Instagram post, DeLonge blasted Ars Technica for suggesting that the company was in debt. He called the post a "Blatant lie".  – Exclaim

How China seeks harmony through hip-hop

Popular rappers play up positives about troubled Xinjiang region. – Nathan Vanderklippe, Globe and Mail



The most streamed Spotify artists of the last decade

Drake, Ed Sheeran, and Rihanna top the lists. Think of them as global playlists for the last decade of your life. – Colin Bertram, Bloomberg

ERA: IFPI report 'disenfranchises' million of physical music fans

The UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has slammed international recorded music trade body the IFPI for excluding physical formats from its Music Consumer Insight Report. –MBW

Tencent Music said to postpone US listing amid dismal market conditions

Tencent has seen its shares dip to their lowest point in years in Hong Kong amid the global sell-off in recent weeks.  – Cyrus Lee,  ZDNet

Los Angeles-based investment firm Shamrock Capital buys Stargate Publishing catalogue, including Katy Perry and Rihanna hits

The deal includes hits such as Firework by Katy Perry; Diamonds, Rude Boy, and What’s My Name by Rihanna; Irreplaceable by Beyonce, as well as a ‘vast catalogue’ of pop hits from the last 20 years. – MBW

The Orchard makes a play for independent artists with new global division under Tim Pithouse

Pithouse joins The Orchard as Global Head of Artist & Label Services effective November 1 – moving over from his prior role as General Manager, International Marketing and Artist Development at Sony Music Australia. – MBW

What does the Music Modernization Act mean for producers and engineers?

Bill combines three pieces of legislation to update licensing and mechanical royalties related to streaming. – Colby Ramsey, audiomediainternational

Why uploading your music online doesn't give you tons of new fans

The first thing to do is know that there is much more to getting new music fans than just putting your songs on a website online and waiting for people to check them out. This is one of the most common methods musicians use, and it isn’t very effective.  – Tom Hess, musicthinktank


Visualizing 40 years of music industry sales

Looking back at four decades of music industry sales data is a fascinating exercise as it charts not only the rise and fall the record company profits, but seismic shifts in technology and consumer behaviour as well. – Nick Routley, Visual Capitalist

Richard Branson is launching a new US music festival in 2019

“As we move into space and cruise ships and hotels, it’s important that we keep our roots through things like festivals,” Branson says of planned Virgin Fest.  Jason Newman, Rolling Stone


Talent and touring

An interview with Chris Stein

The Blondie guitarist talks about his new photography book, doing target practice with William Burroughs and witnessing 9/11. – Michael Hogan, The Guardian

Thom Yorke debuts eerie instrumental 'Volk' from 'Suspiria' soundtrack

The Radiohead frontman's latest tune isn’t for the types who jump at noises in the night.  “Volk" is the menacing third release from the upcoming Suspiria soundtrack, due out Oct. 26 via XL. –Lars Brandle, Billboard

Review: Drake keeps making up with his enemies. His latest? Chris Brown

To paraphrase his recent hit with Migos, Drake is walking it like he’s been talking it. On Friday night, the superstar rapper and singer finished his concert at Staples Center with a few words about the value of unity. – Mikael Wood, LA Times

Songs of the Plains

Canadian Colter Wall’s sophomore album, Songs of the Plains, uses the sounds of country icons like Waylon Jennings and George Jones as musical frames for the unfurled feel of those prairie stretches. – Amanda Wicks, Pitchfork

Andy Partridge is tired of being woken up by ‘wankers’ singing ‘Making Plans for Nigel’

The former XTC frontman took to Twitter to declare his irritation with fans waking him up at night by chanting the lyrics to the very popular 1979 single for the band that he neither wrote nor sings. – Slicing Up Eyeballs

Prince's "Purple Rain" has frequently been on Trump's playlist at recent rallies, and this has angered the late star's surviving family members. – AP

‘Call Me By Your Name’ director plans film inspired by Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’

Luca Guadagnino teams with screenwriter Richard LaGravenese for adaptation that captures 1975 masterpiece’s “central themes”.  – Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

From Cat Power to Coldplay: the best, worst and weirdest Rihanna covers

The Last Shadow Puppets turned vampiric, Harry Styles harked back to prog rock, and Patti Smith was overcome by nerves … How 15 acts laid down their love for the queen of R&B. – Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Guardian

Gord Downie's extraordinary sense of purpose

Gord Downie passed away a year ago on October 17, 2017. When Downie received the news about terminal brain cancer, I often think he used the opportunity to double down on his quest to live a life of higher purpose. – Dan Pontefract, Forbes


Here’s Steve Miller’s Reaction to Eminem Interpolating ‘Abracadabra’ in New Single ‘Houdini’
Music News

Here’s Steve Miller’s Reaction to Eminem Interpolating ‘Abracadabra’ in New Single ‘Houdini’

"You are one of those timeless originators building something new on a long musical legacy of original artists," Miller wrote.

Steve Miller is sharing his thoughts on Eminem‘s new song “Houdini.”

On Saturday (June 1), the Steve Miller Band frontman praised Em after his group’s chart-topping song “Abracadabra” was interpolated in the rap superstar’s latest single.

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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