Music News Digest, Dec. 8, 2017
The Hawk's legendary nest in the Kawarthas has been sold. Also in today's news, a major new Live Nation venue for Toronto, Hedley boosts MusiCounts and Depeche Mode's record-breaking tour, plus items on Curve Music, Rumble, Feist, The Eagles, Steven Taetz, and Dan Burke.
By Kerry Doole
Some brighter news on the beleaguered Toronto live music scene comes word that a new mid-sized venue in the city’s east end has passed all the government hurdles involved. Live Nation has secured the necessary permits to turn Champions Greenwood off-track betting location in the Beaches into a 2700-capacity live music hall with plans to host as many as 150 events yearly.
— Rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins' Stoney Lake estate near Peterborough, ON, has been sold to a Chinese-Canadian family from Mississauga. Hawkstone Manor is to be used for their personal use, not redevelopment, the listing agent tells The Peterborough Examiner. The deal will close June 30. The 175-acre property, including a 5,600 sq ft home, sold for $3.98M. Four years earlier it was on the market for $14.9M.
— Music education charity MusiCounts has announced that Juno-winning band Hedley will sponsor the 2018 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. Established in 2005, the Award pays tribute to the accomplishments of one exceptional music teacher each year. Previous sponsors of the Award include Rush, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, The Rolling Stones, and Michael Bublé.
"Music teachers empower and inspire the next generation of Canadian artists," says Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard. "Without dedicated teachers, there would be no music class." Nominations can be made via musicounts.ca until Jan. 5.
— Guess which act sold the most concert tickets worldwide through the first nine months of 2017? Ed Sheeran? Bruno Mars? Justin Bieber? Wrong. A Bloomberg story reveals the somewhat surprising winner is Depeche Mode, noting that "an old New Wave rock band that’s never had a No. 1 song in the US is selling more concert tickets than the biggest pop stars in the world."
In October, the English synth-pop veterans became the first act to sell out four consecutive shows at LA's famed Hollywood Bowl. Now Depeche Mode is back on the road for its second tour through Europe this year and will head to Latin America in 2018.
— The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced its Top Ten Canadian Films of 2017 list. Making the cut is the music documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World. Directed by Catherine Bainbridge, Rumble (named after the Link Wray classic) explores the musical impact of Indigenous artists, and so far the doc is earning international kudos. All ten films will be screened as part of a cross-country Canada's Top Ten Film Festival that includes short films.
— After a four-year run, Hamilton music venue The Bay City Music Hall closes on Jan. 1. Club operator Art Boiago's bid to extend his lease was rejected by the building's owner, the Leander Boat Club. BCMH has hosted shows by acts such as Crowbar, Sonny Del-Rio, The Shakers, 54-40, and Anvil. The final shindig will be New Year's Eve with Jack DeKeyzer. Source: Hamilton Spectator
— Toronto independent record label Curve Music has announced a worldwide physical distribution agreement with Amplified Distribution. Headed by industry veteran Brian Hetherman, Curve Music's roster includes hot roots combo The Dead South (36M views for the hit video shown below), Garth Hudson, and Lindsey Broughton. The label's current digital distribution agreement for North America will remain in place with Entertainment One and worldwide with IDLA.
— Just in time for the holiday season, Feist has announced the Dec. 11 release of Pleasures: The Meals Of An Album, a cookbook companion to her latest album, Pleasure, co-written with chef Adrienne Amato. The vegetarian recipes are organized on a song-by-song, day-by-day basis of what Amato made while the band was recording the affiliated album. Proceeds from all sales will be donated to charitable org, Community Food Centres Canada. The cookbook is available exclusively here
— We're not quite sure how closely The Eagles follow Canadian hockey, but the rock vets will headline a concert that will kick off the 100th edition of the Canadian Hockey League’s (CHL) national championship (the Mastercard Memorial Cup) tournament next year. The event takes place on May 17 at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium. Also on the bill are Vince Gill and Deacon Frey. Public tix go on sale Dec. 11.
— Singer, lyricist and composer Steven Taetz has just released Cool Yule, a four-song EP of Christmas swing and adult contemporary material co-written and recorded with leading Canadian jazz artists. One ballad, "Lovers In The Snow," is a co-write with Caracol. Taetz plays TD's Music Fridays at Union Station in T.O., Dec. 22. Another EP will come out in the spring, accompanied by dates in Ontario, Quebec, New York, and Alberta. Details TBA.
— Irascible Toronto music promoter Dan Burke (Silver Dollar, El Mocambo) is much-beloved by many in the local indie scene. In honour of his 60th birthday, a marquee of bands and guest singers are throwing a party for him at Lee's Palace tonight (Dec. 8). Performers include The Highest Order, Comet Control, Hooded Fang, and Moscow Apartment, with such guests as Jennifer Castle, Dallas Good, Andre Ethier (The Deadly Snakes), Briå (Frigs), and Michelle McAdorey (Crash Vegas).