Music News Digest, Aug. 6, 2020

William Prince (pictured) has won the 2020 English SOCAN Songwriting Prize, Arcade Fire releases a new video, and the deadline to apply for the CMF Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund has been extended. Others in the news include Bad Child, Michael Bublé, Halifax Jazz Festival, Samantha Wilson, MusicWorks, CIMA, Guess Who, Habari Africa Festival, the Stones, Ghosts of the Royal Alex, Care Not Profits, Inna Modja, Warren P. Sonoda, FabCollab, and farewell Michael P. Smith.

Music News Digest, Aug. 6, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Winnipeg's Indigenous roots artist William Prince has won the 2020 English SOCAN Songwriting Prize for his track The Spark. Prince receives the $5,000 first prize, a Yamaha Keyboard, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade. In a first in SOCAN Songwriting Prize history, each of the remaining nine nominated songs was awarded $500 for the writers. A list of runners-up here. Music fans from across Canada cast their votes from July 16 to 30 for the 10 finalist songs as determined by a panel of music experts. The winner of the Prix de la chanson SOCAN is Maintenant ou jamais – written by Félix Dyotte, published by Dare To Care, and performed by Evelyne Brochu.


– To commemorate the 10th anniversary of its hit third album, The Suburbs, Arcade Fire has shared a new video, for the track Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). 

– The Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist known as Bad Child has a twofer song release out now via 21 Entertainment and Universal Music Canada. The couplet titled II, includes Hi Def as well as the latest single, Blood. The first two-pack, I, came out earlier this year.

– The deadline to apply for the CMF Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund Phase 2 has been extended to Aug. 12 in order to accommodate stakeholders who may be encountering difficulty with the application process. You can find details on eligibility requirements, FAQs and the application process here.

– Vocal superstar Michael Bublé is to be appointed to the Order of British Columbia, one of the province's highest honours. The Burnaby-born singer headlines the class of 13 British Columbians set to become the order’s newest members. Other notable appointments include former B.C. finance minister Carole Taylor. The official in-person investiture ceremony has been postponed due to COVID-19 and this year’s members will be invited to attend a ceremony in 2021. Source: CP


 The TD Halifax Jazz Festival is presenting three nights of live, online performances, Aug. 6-8.  These shows will be recorded at the Sonic Temple Studio and live-streamed on the HJF's Facebook and YouTube channel at 7 pm (ADT). Electro Jacques Therapy & Krasnogorsk and Corey Adams play Aug. 6, Andre Fenton & Samantha Wilson and Easley - Stevenson - Arsenault perform Aug. 7, and Jah’Mila and Jerry Granelli are on Aug. 8.

– Toronto-based MusicWorks has launched its 10th annual Electronic Music Composition Contest. The juried competition spotlights new musical talent from around the world and offers cash prizes and opportunities to be published and heard. In 2019, it received 148 submissions from across North America, and around the globe. The first prize is $500 Can., a composer profile in Musicworks Spring 139 2021 issue, and the composition released on the Musicworks 139 CD. Second and third prizes ($200 and $100 respectively) also bring coverage on in 2021. The contest closes Oct. 23. More info here

– CIMA is now accepting registration for its upcoming Zoom event, Connecting with Countries: Chile Edition. Set for Aug. 11, 4 - 6 pm EDT, it features record labels, promoters, festivals, associations, representatives of public and private entities and other agents of the Chilean industry in this market development B2B series. Participation is free of charge; however, there are limited spaces available for each country so register your interest as soon as you can. E-mail Jenia Schukov ( to receive the registration link.


–  Despite a spike in the state’s coronavirus cases, South Dakota is still allowing the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to take place. Running Aug. 7-16, it attracts up to 250K bikers and spectators. Amongst the rock bands slated to perform is Canada’s Guess Who, a version featuring only drummer Gary Peterson from the classic lineup. We’re guessing Guess Who principals Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman aren’t too sad about missing this gig.


– Toronto’s Batuki Music Society is presenting the seventh edition of the Habari Africa Festival with online concert presentations of African music featuring a strong line-up of national and international artists. Subscribe to the Batuki Music YouTube Channel to watch daily performances at 8 pm from Aug. 7-16. Artists include Alpha Yaya Diallo. Mighty Popo, Juno-winner Djely Tapa, Emmanuel Jal, Okavango African Orchestra, Ruth Mathiang, Madagascar Slim, Brian Litvin, and Omar Bongo. 

– The next Indie Weekly online session takes place on Aug. 11, 3 pm Toronto time. Addressing the topic of Building Your Audience are guest speakers Eric Alper, Sarah Lutz (Looters), and Darryl Hurs (CD Baby/Indie Week). Free registration here 

– The official video for The Rolling Stones’ new track Scarlet is set to be released today (Aug. 6), featuring Emmy-nominated actor Paul Mescal (Normal People). Join the official video premiere on YouTube at 7 pm BST here. Scarlet, the previously unheard Stones track featuring Jimmy Page and Rick Grech, was released on July 22 and will be included on the box set and deluxe CD and vinyl editions of the re-release of 1973 classic Goats Head Soup, out on Polydor/Interscope/UMe on Sept. 4.

– Ghosts of the Royal Alex, a six-part serialized story (available in a podcast) and song cycle (released as a music video) has added a new chapter and a new song release. Acclaimed musical theatre star Ma-Anne Dionisio performs The Bottle and the Song on the podcast, one set at Toronto's famed theatre in 1959.

– SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor, unions that represent healthcare workers across the long-term care sector, welcome Chantal Kreviazuk, The Sheepdogs, Basia Bulat, Born Ruffians, and Tokyo Police Club as the latest Canadian musicians to add their voice to the growing Care Not Profits campaign to reform Ontario’s long-term care system by encouraging fans through social media to take action and sign the letter to Premier Ford. Last week, Sarah Harmer performed a Care Not Profits Facebook Live session for over 30K viewers in support of long-term care reform, which can be streamed here.


– Lovers of thought-provoking film documentaries should check out the just-released The Great Green Wall, described as “an epic journey to the front lines of climate change.” It features Malian musician-activist Inna Modja, who traverses Africa’s Sahel region, to help grow an 8,000 km 'wall of trees’ stretching across the entire width of the continent. The film is written and directed by Jared P. Scott (Age of Consequences, Requiem for the American Dream ( add details). It is now in select cinemas and available online.

–  Things I Do For Money is a new Canadian film thriller with a musical bent. Directed by Warren P. Sonoda (a top music video director who has won four MMVAs), it stars two Japanese-Canadian cellist brothers (played by real-life virtuoso brothers) who accidentally steal $20K and become entangled in the Hamilton criminal underworld. The featured brothers, Theodor and Maximilian Aoki, are known as the versaCello duo. They won the 2015 Junos Turn It On: Sound Off competition, and the 2018 As It Happens Theme Song Challenge for the CBC, and much more. Things I Do For Money is their debut as actors and film composers, and it also features Arkells, July Talk, Jane’s Party and The Northern Pikes ( the brothers reinterpreted Pikes hit Things I Do For Money for the movie). The film is having its Canadian digital launch across VOD platforms ( iTunes, Rogers, Bell, Shaw, Vimeo, and Cogeco), Aug. 11.


– On Aug. 9, at 7 pm EST, Canzona Chamber Playerspresents Yosuke Kawasaki and Jessica Linnebach in a violin duet virtual concert benefitting Toronto's St. Michael’s Hospital Covid-19 Courage Fund. 

– On Aug. 9, FabCollab launches its first live-streamed festival in partnership with the Musicians’ Performance Trust Fund, CBC Toronto and producing partner Small World Centre. The Women in Song Festival features some top Toronto world music artists in six 30-minute live stream sets throughout the day, free-of-charge. The acts are Tamar Ilana feat. Lia Grainger, Nastasia Y, Eliana Cuevas, Naghmeh Farahmand, Samidha Joglekar, and Lauren Barnett. Tune in here or here


Michael Peter Smith, a much-recorded star of Chicago’s folk and club scene, died on Aug.3, of colon cancer, age 78.

Besides writing songs including ‘The Dutchman (recorded by Steve Goodman), the Chicago folk music pillar wrote stage scores including Steppenwolf’s The Grapes of Wrath and Victory Gardens’ The Snow Queen.

His songs have been covered by performers including Suzy Bogguss, David Allan Coe, the Four Freshmen, the New Kingston Trio, David Soul, Spanky and Our Gang, Jimmy Buffett, and Bonnie Koloc. Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Shawn Hanna



Incubus’ ‘Morning View’ Re-Recording Has ‘Reinvigorated’ the Band as They Prep New Music

"We've written probably half a record already," frontman Brandon Boyd tells Billboard.

This month, Incubus reinvented one of their most beloved albums with the release of Morning View XXIII, a track-by-track re-recording of their 2001 album — and the process of returning to their fourth studio album may ultimately speed up the release of their in-the-works ninth album.

“This new version [of Morning View] has been a jumping-off point, too, because we’ve been working on new music steadily over the last several months,” Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger tells Billboard during a Zoom chat earlier this month. The band’s recent tour of Australia, New Zealand and Asia “took us away from that process for a little bit,” Einziger continues, “but we’re jumping right back into it. All of it has reinvigorated us in ways that are new, that are going to result in new music from us that’s different than music we made before.”

keep readingShow less