Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 19, 2018

A playlist for potheads, Classified is curious about cannabis promotion, and Eminem shows a sense of humour. Others in the headlines include Troye Sivan, Art d'Ecco, Murray McLauchlan, consumer tech spending, Spotify, MMA, Sony's blockchain, Grammy picks, Drake, Elle King, K-pop, Kanye West, Disturbed, and Avril Lavigne.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 19, 2018

By Kerry Doole

High on the charts: Ben Rayner’s music playlist for pot legalization

Looking for a playlist fit to mark the advent of legal marijuana here in Canada? Here’s a little something to play in the background and commemorate the moment with a few tunes that should fit the mood of the occasion. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Very curious, slightly confused, rapper Classified tests limits of cannabis support

Classified has been a proponent of smoking marijuana for years, but he says Canada’s new legalization laws have left him confused over the ways he’s allowed to promote the cannabis lifestyle. –  CP

Review: Troye Sivan's Sony Centre concert was beautifully and explicitly queer

One of the few current male pop stars to put queerness at the forefront of his music, he's grown into his own as a confident, charismatic performer. – Natalia Manzocco, NOW


Halifax Pop Explosion profile: Art d’Ecco 

The artist wants to turn a genre inside out on his debut Trespasser: “The generic tropes of masculinity and ham-fisted bar-rock is so tired to me.”  – Brandon Young, The Coast

Sharing tourism tips and Empire State Building trivia, Eminem shows maybe he hasn't lost his sense of humour

But last night, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, we got a sign that Marshall Mathers might not be as tortured in adulthood as we’ve been led to believe over the past decade or so. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

The career of Murray McLauchlan is long, storied — and coming to Saskatoon

After spending time in Italy, the veteran troubadour picked up new guitar techniques that have added a new sound to his music. He’s excited to come back to Saskatoon to give people a taste.  Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix

Best Toronto music of the week: Luge, Ebhoni, Sauna and others

A brand-new video from weirdo rockers Luge, the first taste of Ideé Fixe’s new supergroup and a full playlist of new autumnal bops. –  Michael Rancic, NOW


Attention shoppers: The background music you hear may not be licensed

Businesses that play music from consumer streaming services like Spotify are underpaying by as much as $2.65 billion, a new study estimates. – Anne Steele, WSJ

Holiday consumer tech spending to hit record $96B: CTA

Consumer spending on smart home devices is looking to be robust this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The new study estimates 164 million U.S. adults plan to purchase a tech product as a gift this year, which is on par with 2017, with consumers spending a record amount on IoT categories including smart speakers, smart home devices and smartwatches. – Chuck Martin, Media Post


Royalties from digital, international, streaming, reach all-time high in Australia

It was another record-busting year for APRA AMCOS with group revenue surging past $400 million for the first time. The across-the-board gains are, not surprisingly, attributed to the continued strong growth in consumer demand for digitally-delivered works. – Lars Brandle, Industry Observer 

The Bill that brought Kid Rock to the White House, explained

Last week, with his old pal Kid Rock at his side, President Trump signed the Music Modernization Act of 2018 into law. Lauded by streaming services, artists and industry organizations alike, the law proposes to “reform our outdated music licensing system” and bring some aspects of musical copyright law into the digital era.  –Jessica Meiselman, Noisey 

Episode 105: – Live Nation Canada’s Paul Haagenson, AEG PNW’s Marketing Director Andy Roe

The podcast features Live Nation Concerts Canada’s President Paul Haagenson, who gives us a glimpse of business over the Canadian border. – Celebrity Access

With America’s Music Modernization Act signed into law by President Donald Trump last week, you might think that the music industry’s lobbyists Stateside could take a little time off from endlessly chattering about copyright issues. But no. The American Law Institute now faces their criticism. – Chris Cooke, CMU


Canadian music agents tell artists not to support marijuana publicly

To prevent border hassles, some agents are advising musicians to get  rid of social media images of smoking weed and not publicly engage in any activity that links them to marijuana. – Mike Adams, Forbes

The new movie soundtrack: A Spotify playlist

The streaming service will post music from director Jonah Hill’s ‘Mid90s,’ no record label needed. – Anne Steele, WSJ

Sony: We built a blockchain for music, video rights

The company has found a “more efficient way of managing and demonstrating ownership of copyright-related information for written works” — using blockchain. – Jonathan Chadwick, CBR

Talent and touring

Grein on Grammys: Best New Artist - who's in, who's out

Grammy Whisperer Paul Grein takes a look at who’s making the cut in one of the most contentious top-tier categories. – Hits Daily Double


U2, Hozier and Christy Moore stars share in €28.1m royalty bonanza

The payout was made by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) last year. IMRO generates its royalties from a broad range of sources – from the music played to phone callers when put on hold – to a low percentage of revenues at the Three arena in Dublin. –  Gordon Deegan Irish Examiner

Drake once wanted 'perfect family' with Rihanna

The God's Plan rapper and the Work singer enjoyed an on-off romance between 2009 and 2016. On The Shop, Drake recently opened up about this, admitting he had hoped it would end differently. – Music News

K-pop: HyunA sacked over relationship controversy

The singer has been dumped by her record label, Cube Entertainment, after her relationship with bandmate E'Dawn became public knowledge. Many K-pop artists - often known as "idols" - are not allowed to enter into any form of romantic relationship while under contract. – Tom Gerken, BBC

Kanye West to work with local artists to promote Uganda’s music industry

While visiting Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO) Children's Village in Masulita, Wakiso District on Tuesday, Kanye made the pledge. “We shall be back to work with Uweso Children’s village to make sure the children get a better life,” he added. – Daily Monitor

Tough-as-nails rocker Elle King learns to love herself

After a period of depression and substance abuse, she has rallied with the help of her Brethren bandmates. –  Kristin Hall, AP

Disturbed don’t cover anyone on Evolution on purpose

On their new album, the hard rock veterans dispense with their tradition of a cover song on every record. –  Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Avril Lavigne on Lyme disease : ‘I had accepted that I was dying’

“I was in bed for fucking two years,” says the singer. It was like being gaslighted by her body. Instead of being able to do what she had always done -- precisely what she wanted -- she was trapped. –  Anna Peele, Billboard

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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