Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 29, 2020

Cory Marks (pictured) has a big hit on his hands, Glenn Gould disses Mozart, and a crop of Canadian guitar heroes. Also in the headlines are Neil and Bob Young, Halifax Pop Explosion, Spotify, Amanda Parris, Harm Franklin, Sony, BMG, Tencent, Marc Geiger,, Kanye, NZ concerts, Billie Eilish, Offset, Tool, Shane MacGowan, Danny Elfman, and Brian May.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 29, 2020

By FYI Staff


Studio whiz captured magic on The Band’s debut record

An elite recording engineer, Don Hahn soothed Streisand, saved the day for the Band and helped Herb Alpert rise again. At legendary studios in New York and Los Angeles, he captured the sound of orchestras with aplomb, a craft he learned at the heels of legendary producer Phil Ramone. The Toronto-born Mr. Hahn died in Henderson, Nev., on Oct. 10. He was 81. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Glenn Gould explains his dislike of Mozart in a 1968 public TV show

In 1968, Gould presented a segment of the weekly public television series Public Broadcast Library. His topic was “How Mozart Became a Bad Composer.” This was, perhaps suffice to say, a very unpopular opinion. Gould casually compares Mozart’s “dependable” craftsmanship to “the way that an accounts executive dispatches an interoffice memo.” – Open Culture


Why Canada is home to some of the world's most exciting hard-rock guitar players

Alex Lifeson. Neil Young. Frank Marino. Jeff Healey. Canada has never had a shortage of guitar heroes. But for every six-stringer who braved the winter cold in their youth before going on to international fame and fortune, there are tons more who have settled for being beloved heroes at home. here, The Dirty Nil, Monster Truck, David Wilcox and PUP offer a guided tour of the Canadian six-string scene. – Adam Kovac Guitar World

Halifax Pop Explosion's 28th festival should have started last week

Instead, there's been nothing but months of silence from the stalwart of Halifax's music scene. It leaves a hell of a hole. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Whistler's local music scene celebrated with Hear and Now

If you've been wondering what the local Whistler music scene has been sounding like lately, you can start finding out this Thursday (October 29). Arts Whistler is presenting Hear and Now, an online event featuring performances by 17 local bands, showing on Thursdays at 7 pm on its Facebook page and YouTube channel. Each episode will feature one Whistler band showcasing its original material and chatting about the songs and their inspiration with various local hosts. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Neil Young Archives now available globally to BluOS customers

Lenbrook International, developer of the BluOS premium hi-res wireless distributed audio and music management platform, announced that the integration of Neil Young Archives (NYA), into the BluOS platform, has been expanded to its entire global user base. Previously only available to North American customers of BluOS, the latest BluOS update has opened availability of the unique music streaming service to Young’s fans around the world.  –Twice

Amanda Parris talks about supporting Black voices in media

The CBC host discusses what needs to be done to recruit more Black talent while she steps away for a year. – Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW

Trevor Solway’s documentary ‘Intertribal’ streamed nationwide

A new documentary, ‘Intertribal,’ explores the talents and storytelling of Indigenous artists from Southern Alberta. Written, directed, and produced by Blackfoot filmmaker Trevor Solway from Siksika Nation, ‘Intertribal’ stars Armond Duck Chief, Bebe BuckSkin, Darcy Turning Robe, and Olivia Tailfeathers. Solway explains that the film was conceived three years ago through a partnership with CJSW, a Calgary campus-based radio station. – Monique Massiah, Strathmore Now

Premiere: See Canadian hip-hop artist Harm Franklin’s nod to ‘Scarface’ in ‘Bad Guy’ music video

The Punjabi origin artist who recently collaborated with Nepali-American Curtis Waters on ‘Stunnin” offers icy rap on his latest track. Rolling Stone India

Vancouver Opera’s virtual solo show ideal for home viewing to kick off 60th season

Review: La Voix Humaine, a showcase for solo female voice, is an inspired choice. It’s not opera as conventionally dished up. – David Gordon Duke, Calgary Herald


How the song happened: Cory Marks' Outlaws and Outsiders

After a country-rock song you wrote surpasses 25 million cumulative streams worldwide, a move to Music City might feel like the logical next step. Not for Cory Marks. Despite “Outlaws & Outsiders” reaching Top 10 on rock radio South of the border – and peaking at No. 3 in Germany – the songwriter is content to stay close to home. He lives in Sturgeon Falls (population 6,798), Ontario, and intends to stay. – David McPherson, Words & Music

Neil Young’s older brother Bob Young releases first song at age 78

“All you ageing baby boomers out there, give it a shot,” Bob Young said in a statement. “As Yogi Berra put it, ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over, and even then it ain’t over.'” – Andy Greene, Rolling Stone



Global Music publishing collections projected to tank 35% in 2020

The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has projected that global music publishing collections will fall by as much as 35 percent in 2020, for a total loss of $4.11 billion (€3.5 billion). – Dylan Smith, Digital Music News

Sony ups its annual music revenue forecast by over $500M, amidst a pandemic

Sony Corp’s Music division has increased both its revenue and profit projections for the 12 months ending March 2021 – the company’s fiscal year – thanks to a standout quarter for its record labels in the three months to end of September. According to new financial statements released by Sony Corp, it now forecasts that its three divisions will jointly generate 850bn Yen (approximately $8.0bn) in revenues in the annual period. That’s up by 7.6%, or around $564m, on the firm’s previous projection of 790bn Yen, released in August. – Tim Ingham, MBW

BMG on its expansion into live music: "This is the opposite of a 360 deal"

BMG has just laid down the gauntlet to its rivals. Last Wednesday (October 21), the Bertelsmann-owned company announced that it is launching its very own live music division in Germany. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Tencent buys stake in AI-driven A&R company Instrumental

We wrote about London-based company Instrumental launching its internal record label, Frtyfve, which sees it invest early in emerging artists spotted by its own technology. And two years ago, we wrote about Instrumental raising $4m to fuel its "aggressive growth plan". Now, that growth plan looks set to go supernova. Instrumental has sold a minority stake in its business to two parties: Tencent Holdings and Tencent Music Entertainment. – MBW

Ex-WME music chief Marc Geiger launches $75 Million partnership plan to ‘bail out’ concert venues

Former WME music chief Marc Geiger, who also was a co-founder of the Lollapalooza festival, has announced a plan to invest in small clubs and build an indie touring network, although that plan would see him acquiring a 51% ownership stake in the venues in question. According to an interview in the NYT,, Geiger has amassed a “war chest” to help sustain clubs throughout the pandemic and help them to reopen. – Jem Aswad, Variety


Kanye West says he wants to buy Universal Music Group for $33 billion

"I'm the new Michael Jordan of products," he claims in typically grandiose fashion on Joe Rogan's podcast. – Will Richards, NME

50 of the Best Posthumous Albums of all time

Whether a solo album by a former member of one of Canada's great rock bands, a spoken-word album by a lizard king with a backing track by the band he left behind, or a live album by a band that defined an era of confused flannel-wearing kids, they have all become an important part of music history. – Nicole Johnson, Newsweek

Concerts are virtually back to normal - in New Zealand

 New Zealand, which has a population of around 5 million, has only registered 2000 COVID cases and 25 deaths. By mid-June, New Zealand was back to allowing concerts again, limited to 100 people per venue and seated shows, but regular shows returned by July, including stadium concerts. – Brooklyn Vegan

Billie Eilish virtual concert: Is this the new blueprint for live-streams?

On Saturday night (Oct. 24th), Billie Eilish performed a global virtual concert, Where Do We Go? The Livestream. Performing with Eilish was her singer-songwriter brother, FINNEAS, and touring drummer, Andrew Marshall. It was held at a studio in Los Angeles, using XR technologies to power the immersive interactive set. Was it the blueprint for future XR live streaming events? – Digital Music News


More than 9,000 artists demand 1 cent-per-stream minimums from Spotify

More than 9,000 artists have signed a Union of Musicians and Allied Workers petition demanding that Spotify pay at least one cent per stream. Dubbed “Justice at Spotify,” the petition is growing fast. The signers’ calls for one cent per stream – which would represent a substantial boost from Spotify’s current per-stream rate – is the first of multiple demands outlined in the detailed campaign.  – Dylan Smith, Digital Music News

Rapper Offset detained by police while he posted on Instagram Live

“Media reports that entertainer Offset was arrested…are inaccurate,” the Beverly Hills Police Department says.  – Rosemary Rossi, The Wrap

Tool's frontman has a message for covid deniers

Think the coronavirus pandemic isn't that serious or is perhaps a hoax? Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has a not-so-friendly message for the truthers who think he was paid to say he had Covid-19: "Eat a d--k, dude." The rocker sat down with the Joe Rogan Experience for a new interview to further discuss how he contracted the coronavirus and the impact it had on his body -- all as cases again continue to rise in the United States. – Billboard

For a man who yearns for celebrity love, Donald Trump must hate his endorsements.

With less than a week to go until Election Day, the celebrity endorsements sideshow has been like watching a baseball game between the Dodgers and a team of regional managers from Foot Locker. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

The Pogues mainman Shane MacGowan the subject of a new film

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan is a brand new documentary film detailing the life and many stories of Shane MacGowan, the frontman of legendary Celtic punk group The Pogues (and The Nips and Shane MacGowan and the Popes, etc). According to the Julien Temple-directed film's press release, it will feature never-before-seen archival footage, contributions from the singer's friends and family, animations by Ralph Steadman (who is best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson), and much more. – Brooklyn Vegan

Danny Elfman, who scored ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ lists L.A. homes for $14.6 Million

The longtime home of the Hollywood composer and his wife, Bridget Fonda, filled with antiques and oddities such as a spider monkey skeleton and a taxidermied turkey, is hitting the market. –Katherine Clarke, Wall Street Journal

A history of hip-hop's influence on the NBA, as told by Chuck D

Public Enemy frontman Chuck D, sportswriters and NBA legends can attest to the primal influence of Georgetown’s enormously popular merchandise and “Hoya Paranoia” in both basketball and Hip Hop cultures. “Georgetown had a Black coach and they had this Black rebel squad,” Chuck D tells us. – HipHopDX

Brian May feared he would die during heart scare

Brian May feared he was going to die when he was hospitalised following a heart attack. May was admitted to hospital in May after what he initially believed was a severe muscle injury he had suffered while gardening – and required three stents in his heart due to the cardiac episode. However, the 73-year-old reacted badly to medication and suffered a stomach haemorrhage, and he has now revealed that at one point he worried he was going to die. –

Music biographer Peter Guralnick’s new book covers many subjects — including himself

Peter Guralnick is a commanding figure in music biography; his lives of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke and Sam Phillips are, as the Michelin guides used to say, worth the journey. His new book is a collection made up primarily of decades-old profiles and essays, some rewritten. It’s not so commanding.–  Dwight Garner, New York Times

Christiane Eda-Pierre obituary: Soprano whose flair for Mozart and French composers helped her to blaze a trail for other black opera singers

The soprano Christiane Eda-Pierre, who has died aged 88, was one of the first black opera singers to achieve an international reputation. A native of the French eastern Caribbean island of Martinique, she had a voice type best described as “lyric coloratura”: it enabled her to excel in taxing arias exploiting the upper register, but her warm, textured tone was also an asset in the repertoire she specialised in: Mozart and French music, especially Bizet and Rameau. – Barry Millington, The Guardian

 Machine Gun Kelly reflects on a coke and alcohol bender that lead him to make a No. 1 album

Machine Gun Kelly was living in a daze before he fell in love with Megan Fox and recorded the biggest album of his career. However, getting close with Fox on set of their forthcoming film Midnight In The Switchgrass proved life-changing and ended up serving as the influence for the album’s content. – Marisa Mendez, HipHop DX

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending June 6, 2024

Luminate Data Market Watch Facts & Figures: Week Ending June 6, 2024

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and year-to-date comparisons to last year.

Here is this week's Luminate Data Market Watch report which features Canadian music stats for the current week and YTD with comparisons to last year. This chart is published every Tuesday. The abbreviation "TEA" is a term used to describe the sale of music downloads or singles. A track equivalent album is equal to 10 tracks, or 10 songs.