Music News Digest, Aug. 20, 2018
Neon Dreams (pictured) initiate a fundraiser for victims of sexual violence, Gramatik pays tribute to Aretha, and Ian Tyson's health falters. Others in the news include The Pursuit of Happiness, Smoke Dawg, Prince, Great Lake Swimmers, David Clayton-Thomas, CIMA, Mike Ness, and a farewell to Betty Richardson.
By Kerry Doole
The final round of presenters for the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs was announced this morning. Those added are Craig McMorris, Francesco Yates, Jus Reign, Madison Beer, New City, Scott Helman, Sofi Tukker, The Reklaws, and Tyler Shaw. Loud Luxury are confirmed to DJ the two-hour broadcast on Aug. 26, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine (The Launch) and Tyler Shaw will kick off the street party with red carpet performances.
– Halifax band Neon Dreams is the catalyst for a Toronto fundraiser to benefit Youth Rising Above (YRA) and the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape (MWAR). It takes place at The Gladstone Hotel on Sept. 9, featuring sets by Ralph, Neon Dreams, Jillea, and The Command Sisters. Neon Dreams is also donating $1K to the TRCC/MWAR to initiate the fundraising efforts and help the organizations reach their fundraising goal of $5K. Ticket info here
– Electronica artist/producer/DJ Gramatik (Denis Jasarević) is quick off the mark with a tribute to Aretha Franklin. He has just released a single, "Let Me Know The Way," inspired by the late Queen of Soul. Citing Franklin as one of the most influential artists on his career, Gramatik has sampled the soul icon countless times over the past 15 years with two of his most prominent beats, "In This Whole World" and "I'm Free," sampled from her discography. "Let Me Know The Way" will be featured on Gramatik's upcoming Street Bangerz Vol. 5
– Ian Tyson is currently in hospital, and he reports (via manager Paul Mascioli) that “I’m having some heart problems and the doctors are looking after me. Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and see you soon.” He is expected to recuperate at his ranch, but all of his upcoming appearances have been cancelled or postponed for the time being. The 84-year-old singer/songwriter was scheduled to perform in Drumheller, AB with Corb Lund on Aug 25. Lund explains that "I will be honouring the intended spirit of the evening by continuing with the show solo and performing many of the songs (Ian's and my own) that we had planned to sing together. Ian will still be receiving his share of the proceeds to use during his recuperation."
– Canadian rockers The Pursuit of Happiness (TPOH) will release a remastered deluxe 30th-anniversary edition of their 1988 debut album, Love Junk, on Sept. 21 through Universal Music Canada. The Love Junk Deluxe Edition will be available on 2CD, 2LP Deluxe and digital versions. Booklets for both editions contain liner notes with interviews from band members past and present, written by Rolling Stone's David Wild. Produced by long-time collaborator Todd Rundgren, Love Junk, the group's debut album, was a critics' fave that went on to sell platinum in Canada.
– Fast-rising Toronto rapper Smoke Dawg (Jahvante Smart), was gunned down in T.O. in June. A posthumous track, “No Discussion, was released last week. Produced by Murda Beatz (Drake), the cut features UK grime artist AJ Tracey and is expected to be included on Smoke Dawg’s forthcoming EP Struggle Before Glory. Source: CP
– On Friday, Legacy Recordings launched its first round of Prince catalogue digital releases. The titles to be released through an exclusive agreement struck in June between SME (Sony Music Entertainment) and The Prince Estate, focuses on 1995-2010. 23 Prince catalogue titles (many of them hard-to-find or out-of-print) and Prince Anthology: 1995-2010 (a newly-curated anthology of 37 essential tracks from the era) are now available across all major streaming services and digital service providers.
– Toronto folk-rockers Great Lake Swimmers released their new album, The Waves, The Wake, on Friday via Nettwerk. The group plays Peter's Players in Gravenhurst, ON, on Aug. 21, followed by extensive North American tour that includes a Nov. 23 show at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall.
– Grammy Award-winner David Clayton-Thomas (Blood, Sweat & Tears) is making a splash online with the video for "Back To The 60s", a track from his recent album Mobius. It has generated over 325,000 Facebook views, and you can check it out here.
CIMA is offering a professional development session on Sept. 27. Entitled Lunch & Learn 01: Battle of the Brands!, it is an introduction to the world of corporate sponsorships. Led by Jason Maghanoy (Director of Revenue, NOW Magazine), it is held at Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave, Toronto, from noon to 2 pm. Free for CIMA members.
– Mike Ness, the lead singer of punk veterans Social Distortion, has made no secret of his dislike of Donald Trump. That was reaffirmed at a recent SD concert when Ness spotted an audience member giving him the finger for his anti-Trump rant, then jumped offstage to punch the concertgoer, Tim Hildebrand of Galt, California. Hildebrand is considering pressing charges. Source: Rawstory
Betty Richardson, Toronto-based blues, R&B and jazz singer, died on Aug. 12, of cancer.
Richardson started singing professionally at the age of 15 with her older sister, Jackie Richardson. She was an original member of the Toronto cast of Hair and was active as a studio and jingles singer. Groups she featured in included The Tiaras (with Jackie Richardson and Colina Phillips), The Silhouettes with Doug Riley, Formula Five (alongside Liberty Silver), and The Richardsons (alongside Jackie and her daughter Kim Richardson). Source: Jazz.TO