Music News Digest, Aug. 27, 2018

Avril Lavigne teases a new video, Drake to introduce a film at TIFF, and Rebel nightclub has Toronto police concerned. Also in the news are Lord Byrun, Ought, Music NL, Loyal Thieves, Justin Bieber, Howard Gladstone and Laura Fernandez, and farewells to Kyle Pavone, Lindsay Kemp, and Neil Simon. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Aug. 27, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Last week, Avril Lavigne teased new tunes she has been working on by tweeting some behind the scenes clips and photos of an upcoming music video she is working on with director Elliot Lester. He directed the Emmy-winning 2014 HBO movie Nightingale, and has helmed clips for Selena Gomez and Hillary Duff. Lavigne recently hinted that new music may be coming in the following month. “I can’t wait for September,” she tweeted on Aug. 18, adding that she was preparing for the music video.

Drake is set to make a splash at TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival) this year. On Sept. 6, he will introduce the Canadian premiere of Monsters and Men, a film he executive produced. The acclaimed drama tells the story of the police killing of a Black man. Source: Toronto Star


– The four members of Montreal rock band Ought have come up with a unique concept for an EP. Tim Darcy, Tim Keen, Matt May, and Ben Stidworthy each individually reworked the track "Desire," a highlight of their most recent album, Room Inside The World. The results are packaged on translucent purple cassette, as well as being available on streaming services.

– Last week, Regina-born Lord Byrun won the Grand Prize at the finale of the 50th annual edition of the Festival international de la chanson de Granby, a francophone music festival with a competition aspect. The other three finalists were Jessy Benjamin, Laura Lefebvre and Simon Eliott. Lefebvre won SOCAN's Paroles & Musique Award and $1K cash. 

– MusicNL is looking for qualified professionals to produce live videos of showcases at MusicNL Week 2018, in Twillingate, NL, from October 10-14. The deadline is Aug. 27. Details here.

– Toronto's Rebel nightclub is one of the city's major music venues. A decision made last week by the Licence Appeal Tribunal to increase its legal capacity by 830 people at a time has elicited concern from the Toronto police, according to a Toronto Starstory that reports the site has seen "a double homicide, a shooting and dozens of assaults in the last year." The police had not received prior notification of the decision.


– Charlottetown rock band Loyal Thieves will be featured on the upcoming NASCAR Heat 3 video game soundtrack, a major career boost. The song chosen is "Nowhere Fast," written by the group's Cody Cudmore and Ian Murray. The soundtrack also features Canadians The Pack A.D., alongside artists from the US, UK, and Australia.

– According to TMZ, Justin Bieber recently spent a cool $5 million on a waterfront mansion near Cambridge, Ont. for him and his new fiancée Hailey Baldwin. The four-bedroom home, which takes up 9,000 square-feet, includes a gym, three-car garage, a two-storey wine room, games room, movie theatre, and a horse racing track.

– Toronto folk music fans should take note that on Wednesday (Aug. 29), singer/songwriters Howard Gladstone and Laura Fernandez have an outdoor show at the Artists Garden Cooperative (345 Balliol St). More info here



Kyle Pavone, vocalist and keyboardist for We Came as Romans, has died, age 28. TMZ reports that Pavone was transported to a Michigan hospital on Aug. 19 and pronounced dead on Aug. 25. Cause of death remained unknown pending an autopsy.

Pavone joined the metalcore band in 2008. The group's 2013 album, Tracing Back Roots, hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200 album chart and No. 1 on Billboard's independent album chart. Together, the band recorded five albums, most recently 2017’s Cold Like War. We Came as Romans were scheduled to begin a tour in support of Bullet for My Valentine in September.


A week ago, Pavone tweeted a line from the band's song "Promise Me": "Will I be remembered or will I be lost in loving eyes." Sources: Rolling Stone, TMZ

Lindsay Kemp, a British choreographer, dancer, and mime artist who worked with David Bowie and Kate Bush, died in Italy on Aug. 24, at age 80.

Bowie had dance and mime lessons with Kemp in Covent Garden, London, in 1967, later touring with him in Pierrot In Turquoise in the UK. The play contained a handful of Bowie originals. Kemp was also heavily involved in Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona, helping present it at London's Rainbow Theatre in 1972.

Kemp was also known for his film cameos, appearing as a pub landlord in The Wicker Man in 1973 and as a pantomime dame in the film Velvet Goldmine in 1998. He appeared in the video for Bowie's "John I'm Only Dancing."

Sources: NME, BBC News, official Bowie FB page

Neil Simon (born Marvin Neil Simon), the most commercially successful playwright of his time, has died on Aug. 26, of complications from pneumonia, at age 91.

Simon's hit Broadway plays included “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Odd Couple” and “Lost in Yonkers.” He fashioned several of his plays into movies, wrote librettos for two musicals (“Sweet Charity” and “Little Me”) that became movies and turned “The Goodbye Girl,” originally a film, into a stage musical.

When “Brighton Beach Memoirs” opened at the Neil Simon Theater in 1983, he became the only living playwright with a Broadway house named for him until September 2010, when the former Henry Miller’s Theater was renamed for Stephen Sondheim.

As an impresario, Simon owned the Eugene O’Neill Theater for 16 years and staged eight of his plays there. He came to regret being a proprietor on discovering how hard it was finding plays that could fill a theatre.


In 1976, Forbes called Simon a “one-man entertainment conglomerate” who had “probably earned more money in his lifetime than any other playwright in history.”

Simon wrote about approximately 30 plays and won Tony awards for “The Odd Couple” (1965), “Biloxi Blues” (1985) and “Lost in Yonkers” (1991), the play that won him the Pulitzer Prize. His screenplays received four Academy Award nominations. Source: Bloomberg

Linkin Park Debuts at No. 1 on Rock & Alternative Airplay Chart With ‘Friendly Fire’
Chart Beat

Linkin Park Debuts at No. 1 on Rock & Alternative Airplay Chart With ‘Friendly Fire’

It's the band's third leading entrance.

The fifth No. 1 debut in the history of Billboard’s Rock & Alternative Airplay chart belongs to Linkin Park, whose “Friendly Fire” premieres atop the March 9-dated tally.

“Friendly Fire” bows with 7.9 million radio audience impressions earned Feb. 23-29, according to Luminate.

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