Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 18, 2021

Ontario club venues have a beef about covid restrictions, Neil Young and Crazy Horse announce a new album (pictured), and Leonard Cohen’s mining of sacred texts. Also in the headlines are Picanto, Gordon Lightfoot, Massey Hall, BadBadNotGood, Elton John, Spotify, UMG, CMW, Drake, Spirit Music Group, SongVest, Adele, the Stones, Flea, Tom Morello, Cher, Manfred Mann, and the Velvet Underground.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 18, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Ontario venues say new Covid-19 rules create 'double standard' for standing concerts

Indoor concerts are slowly coming back to life in Ontario, but venue owners say the latest Covid-19 guidelines will dampen any significant return to live music in the coming months. They say they were disappointed to learn the policies only apply to spaces with seating - mostly stadiums, arenas and theatres. – David Friend, CP

Neil Young and Crazy Horse to release album created in pandemic

Neil Young and Crazy Horse are coming out with “Barn,” a new studio album they made while cooped up during the Covid-19 pandemic. The legendary folk singer-songwriter says the 10-track release will arrive on Dec. 10 after being written and recorded over the past year. Young debuted the first single, “Song of the Seasons,” on his Neil Young Archives website on Wednesday. He says the track, which also opens in the album, is the “oldest song on the record, written about this time last year” when he was staying in Canada. – David Friend, CP


Is there really a Canadian music? With its digital platform Picanto the Canadian Music Centre provides an answer

As Glenn Hodgins, the institution’s president and CEO, points out, Picanto, its new “digital platform for creative music content,” includes nine different musical categories: jazz, Indigenous, intercultural, sonic exploration-musique actuelle, electronic, vocal/choral, chamber music, opera and orchestral. – William Littler, Toronto Star

How Leonard Cohen mined sacred texts for lyrics to his songs

New book reveals extent of the musician’s fascination with scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. – Donna Ferguson, The Guardian

Leonard Cohen got me pregnant and made a fool out of me

On October 29, 1980, before a concert in Brussels, Cohen met Gabriela Valenzuela, a 20-year-old Costa Rican student. Although her name did not appear in a single interview, she was to become one of the most important women in his life– Michael Posner, The Times

Gordon Lightfoot postpones tour dates in Western Canada due to Covid-19 in the region

Lightfoot is postponing a number of tour dates in Western Canada until late 2022 as infection rates soar in the region. The changes affect seven venues across Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC that were supposed to take place this November. Six shows have been moved to October 2022, but a stop in Red Deer, Alta. has been cancelled. – CP


Marking the ‘magical musical moments’ of Massey Hall

Western grad David McPherson's latest book honours iconic Toronto venue. – Keri Ferguson, Western*U

New album ‘Talk Memory’ takes Toronto-based jazz combo BadBadNotGood in a new direction

Last month, the shape-shifting BadBadNotGood broke a two-year performance fast with a headline-grabbing turn at a Met Gala after-party hosted by the fashion iconoclast Virgil Abloh. – Toronto Star

Scene & Heard: Your record of news to note from the Halifax music scene 

While live music in general is back with a bang (notably Nova Scotia Music Week, lighting up Truro Nov 4-7 and Symphony Nova Scotia’s slated return in late October), the recent requirement of proof of vaccination to enter cultural gatherings means our dreams of mosh pits are one step closer to returning. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Canadian Music Week is returning to Toronto music venues in 2022

The long-running conference and venue-hopping music festival will bring back in-person shows for its 40th anniversary. – Richard Trapunski,  NOW

How a Toronto restaurant and bar became an essential neighbourhood music hangout

Few places in Toronto have built up a loyal following as rapidly as Drom Taberna, a business unlike any other in various respects. The Eastern European tavern's commitment to live music, tasty food, cultural diversity and good vibes have created a massive tidal wave of awesome at 458 Queen Street West. – Ori Dagan, BlogTO

Lessons from a legend: ‘I don’t look back,’ says soprano Measha Brueggergosman

“I am the least sentimental person you could possibly know,” says the Canadian opera star. “Literally as the applause on stage is happening, I know that it’s an odd way to end your workday.” – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Drake hung out with Alphonso Davies and other soccer stars in Toronto after big win

Canada's national soccer team is now one step closer to competing in next year's FIFA World Cup thanks to a decisive win at BMO Field in Toronto on Wednesday night. Drake, for his part, simply shot star Davies a congratulatory text message, and soon after hung out with the lads.  – Lauren O'Neil, BlogTO


Spotify and other streaming services propose 'lowest royalty rates ever' for songwriters

You might want to sit down for this one, songwriters. Music streaming service owners including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Pandora and Google have all filed documents with the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) this week to tell them what they think they should pay songwriters for the five years between 2023 and 2027. – Murray Stassen, MBW


Spirit Music Group parent strikes $500M alliance with Northleaf

Spirit Music Group owner Lyric Capital Group and Toronto-based global investment firm Northleaf Capital Partners have struck a strategic alliance, through which funds managed by Northleaf hold an interest in certain music royalty catalogs managed by Lyric, led by Jon Singer and Ross Cameron. Northleaf led the USD investment in which global investment group Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec was a significant co-investor.–  Murray Stassen, MBW

Beatles royalties & family conflicts: What we found in UMG's 300-page prospectus

 The Universal Music Group's prospectus for the company’s successful listing on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange revealed plenty of tidbits of information, in addition to providing financial insights to educate investors about the global music giant and its worthiness to be included in their stock portfolios. – Ed Christman, Glenn Peoples, Billboard

The SEC just green-lit the sale of shares in a hit song  

The value of music rights was given major investor validation last month with UMG‘s blockbuster listing on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Now music rights as an asset class have been given further credibility over in the US, as we learn that fan investment platform and royalties marketplace SongVest has created what it claims is the first-ever public securities offering for royalties. – MBW

Adele makes comeback with new single Easy On Me

British singer-songwriter Adele made her highly anticipated music comeback on Friday, releasing her first new record since the 2015 Grammy award-winning album “25″. The song is the first to be released from her upcoming fourth album “30″, out in November, which Adele has said she recorded to help explain her divorce to her young son. – MarieLouise Gumuchian, Reuters

The Rolling Stones review, Los Angeles: How is it possible that they’re still in their prime?

A full six decades after Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first laid eyes on each other, they remain in rude health. – Kevin E G Perry, The Independent


Review: Guests take Tom Morello’s album on a wild ride

Once the paint-peeling guitar riffs, spleen-shaking drums and rip-roaring parade of guests subside, Tom Morello’s “The Atlas Underground Fire” really gets hearts racing. The album also shows Morello wants America to shape up. – Steve Wine, AP

In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Ron Bension, President and CEO, ASM Global

Possessed with keen observational, marketing, and team-building skills, an executive who is apt to quickly understand products, team members, challenges, and the value proposition of a business, Bension has an industry-wide reputation for being laser-focused on combining strategic insights with managerial innovations, and fostering entrepreneurial cultures. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Musicians on Musicians: Lorde & David Byrne

On fighting stage fright, staying true to your inspiration, and the mysteries of songwriting. – Simon Levinson, Rolling Stone

Cher sues heirs of Sonny Bono over song and record revenue

Cher has sued the widow of her former musical partner and ex-husband Sonny Bono over royalties for Sonny and Cher songs including "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On." In a federal lawsuit filed in LA on Wednesday, Cher alleges that former Rep. Mary Bono and other defendants have attempted to terminate provisions of business agreements Cher and Sonny Bono reached when they divorced in 1975 that entitled each to 50% of songwriting and recording royalties. – AP


The Velvet Underground Review: And Me, I'm In A Rock 'n Roll Band

Todd Haynes’s documentary paints a jagged, revelatory portrait of the New York avant-garde scene of the 1960s. – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

60s hitmakers Manfred Mann: ‘I’ve sung this 10,000 times and never liked it!’

They had screaming fans and transatlantic hits as part of the 60s’ British invasion – an unlikely result for a band of jazz and blues heads. Still touring as the Manfreds, they look back on one of the strangest catalogues in UK pop. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Elton John talks about the magic of collaboration and his new album ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ 

Sometimes no plans are the best plans. According to pop superstar Sir Elton John, his star-studded, upcoming 32nd studio album “The Lockdown Sessions,” out Oct. 22, wouldn’t have happened without an invitation from Charlie Puth, the L.A.-based singer and songwriter of the hits “Marvin Gaye,” “Attention” and “How Long,” to write in Puth’s studio. –  Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Mick Jagger shoots a pretty funny pisstake at Paul McCartney at Stones LA gig

Mick Jagger paused at the Rolling Stones concert in LA on Thursday night for a funny jab at Paul McCartney’s comment about the Rolling Stones being a blues cover band. Jagger gave a shout-out to the celebs in the audience, Lady Gaga, Kurt Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio and said “Paul McCartney is here. He’s going to join us in a blues cover later on.” – Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Larry Cohn: The Collector

A long-time resident of L.A., Cohn still has the massive collection of records he’s acquired over his long life, and among the thousands of 78s are about 350 test pressings of alternative takes from pre-World War II sessions, many of which have never been issued. Like his friends in the “blues mafia” he has contributed to the reissue of early recordings, although his work has been on a much grander scale. – Scott Barretta, Spin

Opinion: Has Kacey Musgraves been snubbed?

Remember how shocked Kacey Musgraves looked when she won album of the year for her Golden Hour at the Grammy Awards in 2019? That’s exactly how I feel right now. Shocked. Shocked that one of country music’s most beloved singer-songwriters could be so easily snubbed by the Grammys just a few years after so many massive wins, both in the country and all-genre categories. – Alison Bonaguro, Holler

A funky Flea celebrates his birthday, his school’s founding

Flea had a funky birthday. So did the music school he co-founded that has become an LA institution. As the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist turned 59 and his Silverlake Conservatory of Music turned 20, they celebrated with a joint party in the parking lot for the Los Angeles school that often serves as a de facto performance space for its faculty and students. – Andrew Dalton, AP

Soleil Launière
Jaime Antonio Luna Quezada

Soleil Launière


Soleil Launière wins the Francouvertes: “It means a lot to me as an Indigenous artist”

Meet the Innu artist, big winner of the 2024 edition of the showcase-competition, who is the first Indigenous artist to win since the Quebec music competition started allowing submissions in Indigenous languages.

Soleil Launière has won the 28th edition of Francouvertes, becoming the first Indigenous artist to win the Quebec-based music competition.

The multidisciplinary Innu artist from Mashteuiatsh, Quebec won the grand final of the musical showcase on Monday, May 13. The Montreal-based artist edged out rapper Sensei H and maximalist rock singer-songwriter Loïc Lafrance.

keep readingShow less