Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 31, 2018

Jenie Thai (pictured) finds her sound, rap battle etiquette is explored, and Nick Cave dazzles in Toronto. Others in the headlines include Alicia Hansen, Windhand, Murray McLauchlan, Reuben Bullock, Sony Music, Pharrell Williams, Guy Oseary, Bob Dylan, Candi Staton, John Deacon, and the Rockettes.

Music Biz Headlines, Oct. 31, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Seasoned performer Jenie Thai finds her music still evolving and expanding

“I feel I've finally dug into a sound I've been looking for over the last eight years now. I've finally matured into my own sound, but that could still change too” the pianist/singer says of her third album.   – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

Five things to know about Before You, by Alicia Hansen

There are aspects to her work — from the love of space and reverb to letting notes and lyrics hang and then fade away — to the incredibly high production standards and orchestration, which are consistent throughout. But on her third album, Before You, the Vancouver singer-songwriter is at her most orchestral and fleshed-out.   – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun


Can rap battle etiquette teach us something about free speech?

To refrain from striking a sensitive area is to concede defeat, because eventually, someone will land the fatal blow. Drake's feud with Pusha T is instructive on the topic. –  Calum Marsh, Calgary Herald

With Eternal Return, Windhand shows that sometimes you don't have to do it all over and over again forever

One reading of Eternal Return by the Virginia doom-metal deconstructionists is that it’s a recognition that—with the exception of the one percenters—we’re all pretty much fucked.  –  Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Review: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds turned Scotiabank Arena into the Horseshoe

At the soul-stirring final show of their marathon Skeleton Tree tour, the band proved an arena can feel just as intimate as a sweaty bar gig.  –  Vish Khanna, NOW

Seong-Jin Cho is impressively poised but lacks emotion in Koerner Hall debut

The hot South Korean newcomer had the honour of kicking off the 10th season of piano recitals at the Toronto venue.  – John Terauds, Toronto Star

A conversation with Tom Wilson: On the creative process, Twitter, and being honest

"There's something about the creative process that is free wheeling. And sometimes it takes a little while, if you're going to do it any justice, you have to give it some time to be able to really have an individual point of view to it." –  Kolston Gogan, Route26

'I've been everywhere': Murray McLauchlan on the benefits of aging, his days in the Yorkville folk scene and learning to write like the American songbook greats

The topic of longevity is a fitting one to discuss with McLauchlan. But it seems even more relevant when considering Love Can’t Tell Time, an album that mixes a handful of his favourite standards with originals that sound like they could be.  –  Eric Volmers, Postmedia


The Enthusiast: My fluency in the Irish language is gone, but the influence of Gaelic poetry has never left

"I have the distinction of winning a gold medal, at the age of 10, for debating skills in the Gaelic language.”Mind you, there wasn’t a fierce amount of competition at that debate. It was a handful of young fellas struggling to outdo each other, armed with their limited fluency. "  – John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

Reuben Bullock lifts the haze

Calgary musician finds inspiration from his dreams on new Reuben and the Dark album.  – Erin Lebar, Winnipeg Free Press


Sony Music revenues up 5.8% so far this year

The company's global recorded music revenues surpassed $2.87bn in the first nine months of 2018 – up $158m on the same period of 2017. Figures in the past quarter (to end of Sept. 2018) show a slight decrease year-on-year.  – Tim Ingham, MBW

Pharrell Williams sends Trump a legal threat letter for playing 'Happy' after synagogue shooting

"There was nothing 'happy' about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday, and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose," states the letter.  – Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter

Talent and touring

The raw, painful birth of Blood on the Tracks

On 16 September, 1974, Bob Dylan entered A&R recording studios in New York to begin work on his 15th studio album. He was 33 years old, his marriage was on the rocks and, despite a successful comeback tour that same year, his reputation rested solely on the epochal songs he had produced a decade previously.  –  Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian


Guy Oseary posts moving personal message following Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Maverick’s Guy Oseary -- who manages U2 and Madonna, among other global acts -- addressed the murder of 11 congregates at the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27 in a social media post.  – Karen Bliss, Billboard

Mark, My Words: rock stars, stop lowering yourselves to mainstream TV humiliation

After Richard Ashcroft runs amok on BBC Breakfast and Bobby Gillespie sits aghast on This Week, Mark Beaumont hopes musicians might regain some self-respect.  –


Singer Candi Staton says she has breast cancer

The 78-year-old said she received the news over the summer on the first day of rehearsals for her tour. She writes in a statement, “I decided to keep it to myself and do some soul searching. I went through all of the emotions: denial, poor me and anger.”  – AP

 Ex-Queen bassist John Deacon is not so bohemian now!

Reportedly worth £105m, he's been a recluse for 30 years living a life of blissful suburban retirement where it's golf and anonymity that now rock his world.  – Alison Boshoff, Daily Mail

Rockettes to incorporate Intel’s drones In traditional Christmas Spectacular show

One hundred palm-sized drones will create a light show over the stage, using choreographed movements to create holiday-themed silhouettes in the new finale scene, Christmas Lights. This marks the first time Intel’s mini-drones have appeared in such a large-scale integrated theatrical performance.  – Dawn C. Chmielewski Deadline

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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