Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 8, 2020

Hannah Georgas (pictured) impresses The Guardian, Salome Bey is remembered in the NYT, and a look back at Arcade Fire’s breakthrough album. Also in the headlines are Lenny Breau, WMG, Ruth B, the impact of covid, TikTok, Live Nation, Jason Derulo, The Copyright Alliance, Marc Bolan, Pink Floyd, Kanye West, David Byrne, BTS, Seiji Ozawa, John Cage, Eric Burdon, and Helen Reddy.

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 8, 2020

By FYI Staff

Hannah Georgas: All That Emotion review – magisterial indie-pop for introverts

Georgas’s fourth album, immaculately produced by Aaron Dessner, traverses a personal and sometimes opaque journey. – Rachael Aroesti, The Guardian

Salome Bey, soulful Toronto singer, actress and playwright, dies at 86

Ms. Bey, known as “Canada’s first lady of the blues,” broke ground in her adopted country by creating opportunities for Black people in the theater. – Catherine Porter, NYT

Black sopranos Othalie Graham, Audrey Dubois Harris and Measha Brueggergosman on inclusion and Black Lives Matter

Last week, opera lovers had the rare opportunity to spend some time with revered Black sopranos Othalie Graham, Audrey DuBois Harris and Measha Brueggergosman. A virtual event called Black Opera Live: Canada presented the acclaimed artists in conversation with baritone Kenneth Overton, and the discussion included Black Lives Matter. – Luke Welch, The Globe and Mail


Catching Fire: what happened for Arcade Fire in the wake of incredible success of Funeral

Arcade Fire burned themselves into the memory banks of those lucky enough to witness their debut Irish gig at the 2005 Electric Picnic. They had the sound of a band that had seemingly arrived from nowhere, fully formed. As two band members release albums, it's worth reflecting on a time when the Canadian ensemble set the music world ablaze. – John Meagher, The Independent 

With fall around the corner, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival wants you to help plot out the coming months

With the summer winding down, and a fall chill starting to creep into the nights, the Jazz Fest is now looking to the coming months. And that’s where you come in. The festival is asking fans to take a streaming survey. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Opinion: Remembering Lenny Breau, jazz’s most inventive guitarist

Under-appreciated in his short lifetime, Breau was one of jazz’s greatest guitar players. His first album, recorded in 1961, is a gem fit for any music lover’s collection. – Sanjoy Narayan, Live Mint

Calgary man's meme page part of US$85M sale to Warner Music Group

A popular meme page operated and developed by Calgary man is part of a mega-deal worth more than $110 million with Warner Music Group. The record label reportedly paid US$85 million to acquire digital media company IMGN Media, founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York and Tel Aviv. – Sammy Hudes, Calgary Herald


Ruth B on filming in her hometown and fighting racism with music

Singer’s new music video follows the release of song about anti-Black racism. – Madeleine Cummings, CBC News 

Sudbury to hold its first drive-in concert

Serena Ryder, Hawksley Workman, Julian Taylor,  Martine Fortin and Maxwell José to perform Sept. 19.  – Sudbury Star

How growing up as a Black Jew shaped my personal identity, and my music

Canadian musician Daniel Greaves (The Watchmen) reflects on how his mixed-race identity shaped his life and his art. – CBC 


How the coronavirus could change the live music industry for good

Amid the crisis, the live music industry is indefinitely on hold. Tightly packed crowds in concert halls break virtually every set of social distancing guidelines, and 90 percent of independent venues are expected to close in the next few months if there’s no additional aid. – Julia Munslow, Yahoo News

No one is paying attention to touring industry's troubles says Harvey Leeds

Harvey Leeds is a legend in live music. From senior positions at Sony and Live Nation, he literally invented modern touring marketing. Now Leeds sees his beloved industry at a standstill and wonders why no one seems to care. – Hypebot.

Big Hit, headed for a $4bn valuation, hands $54m in shares to BTS members ahead of IPO 

The label is aiming to float 7.13m shares, with an indicative price range of 105,000 to 135,000 South Korean won per share. This suggests that BTS' cumulative stake (those 478,695 shares) will be worth circa 64.6bn Korean won, which equates to just over $54m at current exchange rates. – Murray Stassen, MBW


This is the only question for the next head of the Copyright Office

So really there is simply one question for the next Register. "Do you support codifying Google's terms of service in the law?" That's a yes or no question. And it is absolutely serious with not a hint of sarcasm. – Chris Castle, Musictechpolicy

Facing Trump ban, China’s TikTok embeds itself into U.S. culture

TikTok, the app with an uncertain future owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., has been building a vocal contingent of young supporters in the U.S., working behind the scenes to turn creators into superstars, arming them with brand deals and introductions to Hollywood power brokers. – Sarah Frier, Bloomberg

Live Nation and Ticketmaster hit with a new round of furloughs

Variety reports: “Live Nation and Ticketmaster were hit with another round of furloughs on Thursday, said to number in the hundreds, sources tell Variety. The cuts at the world’s largest live-entertainment company (Live Nation owns Ticketmaster) are said to reach across all business units, particularly regional offices.” – Variety


Cinq Music Group buys Beluga Heights label, including Jason Derulo catalog, in eight-figure deal

Another day, another big money music acquisition. The deal includes the Jason Derulo recordings catalog. US star Derulo has sold over 190M singles worldwide. – MBW

TikTok sale hits some bumps, but could still come soon

Cnet reports: “Chinese tech giant ByteDance may be ready to give up its control of TikTok after all, with reports in recent days saying the social networking app’s sale may be finalized soon.” –Digital Media Wire 

What makes this song valuable?

So, let’s really tear apart a great song, and note all the component parts. The song is Maroon 5’s “Misery,” a top 15 hit and a Grammy nominee. Hands All Over, the album on which this track appears, took two months to record, even though they used the producer’s own studio which was available 24-7. The producer, of course, was the famous (or infamous) Robert John “Mutt” Lange. – Stephen Carlisle, Copyright Nova 

Copyright Alliance survey reveals growing threat of state infringement 

The Copyright Alliance recently launched a public survey soliciting feedback from copyright owners on their experiences with infringement by states and conducted interviews with a number of individual creators and organizations that have encountered state infringement. As a result of this research, compelling evidence was compiled showing that remedies against state infringement are inadequate or non-existent. – Kevin Madigan, Copyright Alliance

Shelved: Pink Floyd’s Household Objects

 Household Objects, recorded during several desultory sessions over a two-year time frame, was constructed with rubber bands, wine glasses, spray cans, newspapers, brooms, and other such utilitarian gear. It was shelved. – Tom Maxwell, Longreads 

Why Marc Bolan was 'the perfect pop star', by Elton John, U2 and more

The T Rex singer captivated generations with his strutting music and hyper-sexual charisma. As a tribute album is released, stars explain why he is glam’s greatest icon.  – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian


Kanye West's campaign faces a setback

Judges in Virginia and Arizona on Thursday ordered state election officials to keep Kanye West's name off the states' general election ballots in November, dealing a fresh blow to the rapper's unorthodox presidential bid. – CNN

David Byrne regrets Talking Heads’ blackface, brownface skit

In the latest instalment of veteran performers just now realizing they messed up, we have former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne apologizing for wearing brownface and blackface in a 1980s comedy skit. The musician took to Twitter last week to issue the apology after a journalist pointed out Byrne’s participation in the racist sketch to promote the band’s 1985 concert film, Stop Making Sense. – Nardine Saad Los Angeles Times

Wrong speeding: A brief history of records that sound good at the wrong speed

We looked into the history of DJs playing records at the wrong speed, with a little help from LTJ Bukem, Nick The Record, Sally Rodgers and Vladimir Ivkovic. – Attack

Music world to conductor Seiji Ozawa: Happy 85th birthday

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is asking the music world to help it celebrate former conductor Seiji Ozawa’s 85th birthday Tuesday. The orchestra is encouraging fans to honour his birthday on social media with the hashtag #happybirthdayseiji.. s part of the celebration, Mayor Marty Walsh has issued a proclamation declaring Tuesday “Seiji Ozawa Day in the City of Boston.” – AP


LA rappers prepare for legally illegal domination

Hawthorne hip-hop duo Coyote spit out stories that, as is the tradition with the genre, tell of their everyday lives. Their struggles, their successes, and everything in-between. They pull no punches but, simultaneously, the ‘Yotes are super fucking funny. It all started when the brothers lost a championship basketball game and, naturally pissed, they sat down and smoked together for the first time. Suitably enhanced, they started freestyling. – Brett Callwood, LA Weekly

The marvelous music of ‘Mrs. Maisel’ is the joy break we all need now

Nothing really moors us to a sense of time and place the way the show’s music does. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is unusual in its use of music — the sheer amount of it, the canny choices both from the era and beyond. Sinatra, Streisand, the Mamas and the Papas, jazz, and classical crop up at critical moments. – Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer 

John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years

Fans have flocked to a church in Germany to hear a chord change in a musical composition that lasts for 639 years. It is the first change in the piece, As Slow As Possible, in seven years. The work is by the avant-garde American composer, John Cage and is one of the world's longest and slowest pieces of music. –  BBC

Eric Burdon says Donald Trump’s use of ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ “suits him so perfectly”

The former Animals frontman describes the song as "a tale of sin and misery set in a brothel."  – Will Lavin, NME

Ozzy Osbourne lives to tell story in A&E doc

Osbourne is spotlight in new Biography episode Ozzy Osbourne is the epitome of a rock star with his legendary rebellious shenanigans. One wonders how the Black Sabbath frontman and solo artist has survived a storied past that seems too unreal to be true. – Buddy Iahn, The Music Universe

Original-Cin Q&A: Tilda Cobham-Hervey on embodying feminist icon Helen Reddy in new biopic

Australian-American singer Helen Reddy, known for her feminist empowerment anthems and activism during the 1970s, has her own biopic, I Am Woman. The movie is directed by Unjoo Moon and arrived on-demand on September 11. – Bonnie Laufer, Original-Cin


The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024


The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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