Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 17, 2018

Tanya Tagaq (pictured) turns literary, Karena Evans moves into the spotlight, and Justin Bieber reportedly gets hitched. Also making headlines are Lily Allen, Drake, Simon Cowell, Scott McCaughey, The Matador, The Dirty Nil, and Mudhoney.

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 17, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Tanya Tagaq steps out onto an unfamiliar stage

The Toronto-based Inuk musician is uncharacteristically nervous about her literary debut, but Split Tooth will get you in the gut, heart and mind as much as her music does.  – Carla Gillis, NOW

Drake video director Karena Evans steps in front of the camera

Living the dream as a young, Black female director is an experience Karena Evans doesn’t take for granted. Over the past year, the 22-year-old Toronto filmmaker stood behind the camera on music videos for superstar Drake and Grammy nominee SZA.  – David Friend, CP

In what is sure to be a long and fruitful union, Justin Bieber marries girlfriend of several months Hailey Baldwin

According to multiple news sources, Justin Bieber is no longer on the market. Reports are that that 24-year-old Canadian megastar married his girlfriend of several months, 21-year-old Hailey Baldwin, in New York Friday morning.  – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Winning a major music competition doesn’t guarantee a career

Winning a major competition opens doors. It does not guarantee a career. Jon Kimura Parker recalls that his victory at the Leeds International Piano Competition sent him all over England and Canada, but years passed before he developed much of a career in the United States.  – William Littler, Toronto Star

The X Factor’s return: ‘Simon Cowell is like a cross between Steve Bannon and an Irish wolfhound’

The autumnal reality staple is back! But despite some new Robbie-shaped additions, it’s never looked so flat, joyless and bored of its own existence.  – Fiona Sturges, The Guardian

The Minus 5's Scott McCaughey on his harrowing stroke

Friends saved the popular indie rocker from getting 'wiped out' by hospital bills.  – Craig Rosen, Billboard

The Matador lives to fight again

With a new zoning certificate in place, owner Paul McCaughey hopes the venue will open by March 2019.  –  Michael Rancic, NOW

Lily Allen: ‘I was pretty brazen with all my behaviour. I just didn’t care'

Fame, family, failure, being stalked, getting low, getting high: nothing is off limits in the musician’s new memoir. She explains why.  –  Sophie Heawood, The Guardian

What's in Your Fridge: Richie Felix Alexander

We ask interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators.  – John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Review: The Dirty Nil are totally committed to the power of rock on Master Volume

The Dundas, Ontario trio exist more for the primal act of rock music than its culture, and their delightful, precise new album hints at why.   – Luke Ottehof, NOW


Mudhoney abides: Steve Turner on the grunge backlash, Nirvana, Green River, vintage metal, and digital garbage

The co-founder of the veteran Seattle band holds court. – Allan MacInnis, Georgia Straight 

TIFF still hoping to work with Drake after opening-night cancellation

Drake’s scrubbed appearance at the film fest may have left some fans upset, but the two could still collaborate in the future, suggests the artistic director of TIFF.  – Victoria Ahearn, CP

Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion


Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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