Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 2, 2021

 Measha Brueggergosman (pictured) helps curate a new CBC Gem series, The Royal Conservatory of Music announces a full season, and Pershing Square buys more of UMG. Also in the headlines are the Stratford fest, Tush, BMG, Kanye West, Charlie Watts, ABBA, Tom Morello, the Beatles, the FAIR act, Fawad Andarabi, Adam Levine, Kacey Musgraves, Gene Simmons, and Patti Smith.

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 2, 2021

By Kerry Doole

National Arts Centre Orchestra’s eclectic new CBC Gem series showcases Canadian talent

The National Arts Centre Orchestra introduced a new program, commissioning four musical artists to each curate a 30-minute television episode in collaboration with the NACO. The result: four eclectic episodes that show off Canadian talent – the orchestra, the creators and a long list of other artists. Measha Brueggergosman is one of the four curators. – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

90 events - many live - planned in ‘optimistic’ Royal Conservatory season, but pandemic conditions can change

The Royal Conservatory of Music has just announced nothing less than a full 90-event season of concerts and opera. As Mervon Mehta, the conservatory’s executive director of performing arts, points out, nothing is carved in stone. Pandemic conditions can change. So the conservatory is supplying more than furry-nosed optimism. – William Littler, Toronto Star


Why the Stratford Festival’s musical shows aren’t cabaret, old chum

The first three cabarets that played outdoors at the Stratford Festival this summer could more closely be described as concerts or revues. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail

Review: Tush bring disco power to Coda’s first post-lockdown live show

Kamilah Apong and Jamie Kidd's dance outfit became the first live act to hit the Toronto club's stage during the pandemic. – Kevin Ritchie, NOW

Crow’s Theatre will be first not-for-profit theatre in Toronto to reopen doors this fall

Crow’s Theatre is set to be the first major not-for-profit theatre in Toronto to reopen its doors this fall, welcoming audience members inside who can either show they are fully vaccinated or present a negative Covid-19 test.–  JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail


Vivendi sells additional 2.9% of UMG to Pershing Square for $1.15B

Vivendi will be breathing a sigh of relief. Universal Music Group‘s majority-owner just revealed that Pershing Square Holdings (PSH), run by billionaire Bill Ackman, has committed to buy an additional 2.9% of UMG for $1.149 billion (USD) based on an enterprise valuation of UMG at €35 billion (EUR). – Murray Stassen, MBW

BMG revenues up 9% in first half of 2021

The company has over $1bn of acquisition deals in play with KKR BMG saw its half-year revenues grow 9% YoY at constant currency to €296 million ($357m) in the six months to end of June. – MBW


Musicians and actors love California’s FAIR Act – But companies eye exit if it passes

California has some of the most artist-friendly law in the land, and it may get friendlier if Sacramento passes a bill allowing musicians and episodic TV actors to exit exclusive contracts earlier and easier. – Bill Hochberg, Forbes

ABBA generate over 4 million first day TikTok views

ABBA have joined the social media platform, quickly generating impressive viewing stats. – Noise11

Tom Morello pleads for female Afghan guitar students ‘in grave danger’ under Taliban

Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello is seeking refuge for his guitar students in Afghanistan, whose lives are in peril under Taliban rule after the United States withdrew its military forces from the country. – Christi Carras Los Angeles Times

Review: A revival for Kanye West on divorce album ‘Donda’

Kanye West donned a full face mask to host three livestreamed listening parties for his 10th studio album. Beyond that, he didn’t say a word, or even tweet. After years of alienating longtime fans with forays into conservative politics and sometimes exhausting media spectacle, pop’s King of All Controversy mostly let the music speak for him when unveiling Donda. – Ryan Pearson, CP

Charlie Watts book tops best seller list

A book about Charlie Watts, only released one-month ago, has become a best seller following the death of the Rolling Stones drummer last week. – Noise11

Unreleased recordings from The Beatles' Let It Be sessions are coming

A newly-expanded Super Deluxe edition of The Beatles' final album, Let It Be, will be released on October 15 and it features previously unreleased recordings it features below. Central to the new edition will be new stereo, 5.1 surround sound DTS and Dolby Atmos mixes. –  Matt Parker, Guitar World 


Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi executed by the Taliban following nationwide music ban

The noted Afghan folk singer  has been killed by the Taliban following a country-wide ban on music, according to multiple sources — including those from Andarabi’s family. – Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Adam Levine shows compassion for Olivia Rodrigo amid plagiarism claims

Adam Levine knows it’s brutal out here for young, flourishing artists such as Olivia Rodrigo who are navigating the music industry while others try to undermine their success. The Maroon 5 frontman defended the “Drivers License” hitmaker over the weekend amid allegations that her chart-topping debut plagiarised. – Christi Carrass, LA Times


Kacey Musgraves announces a new album, star-crossed

You didn’t think Kacey Musgraves was just going to release an album like a regular artist, did you? The six-time Grammy winner announced today, after several days of social media hint-dropping, that her fourth album, star-crossed, is coming Sept. 10 — as is a companion film that will run on the Paramount+ streaming service. – Stacey Chandler, No Depression

Gene Simmons tests positive for covid  so Aussie shows postponed

Gene Simmons of Kiss has tested positive to Covid-19 right as his fellow Kiss mate Paul Stanley is recovering from the same thing. – Noise11

Grounded by Covid, Patti Smith joined Substack and Instagram. But nothing replaced playing live

For Smith — whose work ethic has led to some of rock’s most iconic albums as well as multiple volumes of verse, prose and artwork, including an award-winning memoir — pulling the pandemic emergency brake didn’t just plunge her into seclusion; it inflicted a sort of whiplash. – Evelyn McDonnell, LA Times

Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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