Music News Digest, Dec. 9, 2019

Irish Mythen (pictured) heads the 2020 Music PEI Awards nominees, Celine Dion’s Courage album falls into an abyss, and Sonic Unyon has two new artists. Also in the news are Anvil, Women's Blues Revue, The Tenors, Kensington Christmas, Frank Marino, Cliff Jones, Bat Out of Hell, the Musical, celebrity real estate, Yoko Ono, Paragon Cause, and farewell Juice WRLD.

Music News Digest, Dec. 9, 2019

By FYI Staff

What Was Said

Imagine you have before you a blank sheet of paper. All existing copyright legislation, the whole history of property laws relating to creative works, has been completely erased. It’s up to you to rewrite it from scratch. Where would you start?

What if, for instance, we were to agree on a broad general principle that, whatever money comes in, the artist would always get paid first, instead of last? What if ‘public domain’ were the default and copyright was something you had to ‘opt-in’ to? What if there was a cap on maximum earnings from copyright collection societies? What if we were to separate out control of one’s works from their attribution and remuneration?


What if we regarded the whole question less through the lens of property law and more in terms of labour law? And what if we stopped expecting copyright to solve all the problems of the music industry? — Robert Barry, The Quietus

Irish Mythen leads the pack of nominees in 30 categories vying for a trophy at the 2020 Music PEI Awards. The list, announced Friday, has Mythen leading with 7 for her new album Little Bones in the categories of Album, Entertainer, Roots, Song and Touring Artist of the year.

Paper Lions and Sorrey eared 6 nominations each. Both bands had albums out late this year and have garnered nominations in some of the top categories including Album, Group Recording, and Song of the year. Atlantic String Machine and Cory Gallant have 5 nominations, and vying with 4 are Andrew Waite, Dennis Ellsworth, Tara Maclean, and Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys.

— There’s plenty of noise about CelineDion’s Courage album falling into an abyss from No. 1 on the Albums charts in the US and UK in its 2nd week of release. Chief amongst the scuttlebutt is Pepe Munoz, her creative director sometimes inferred as her faux lover, giving questionable advice to the thin white duchess. Inside her camp, unnamed sources claim the whispers are rubbish, but where there’s smoke there’s fire, eh! What is fact is the report that Dion’s first-week album sales were stoked by bundling them with concert tickets that jettisoned her to 1st place in North America and various other parts of the world. A logical explanation for the album’s nosedive in its 2nd week is that CD sales cleaned out the initial placement and her label was left hustling to get more in the distribution cycle. Pure speculation, mind!  


— Forever almost famous Anvil has released a lyric video for Busted In Nebraska, a teaser track pimping the release of Legal at Last, the trio’s 18th album. German metal label AFM Records plans to release it on various formats on Feb. 14. March 4 through April 14, Lips Kudlow and company are on an 11-country tour across Europe and the UK.

Hamilton’s indie label Sonic Unyon Records has just announced a pair of new signings: singer-songwriter Evangeline Gentle and hip-hop auteur LTtheMonk. 23-year-old Peterborough-based singer/songwriter Gentle's eponymous debut album (produced by Jim Bryson) has been highly-praised and will be issued on vinyl on March 20.


Originally from London, UK, LTtheMonk moved to Hamilton. in 2017. His current album, Kinks, Drinks & Hip-Hop, is his third, and another release is planned for 2020

— Never one to miss greatness, Richard Flohil tips us on two dazzling performances from the recent Women in Blues Revue at Roy Thomson Hall. The performances below aren’t taken from the show but are Floh's two highly touted performance acts. First up, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes,


and Melissa McClellandwho performed this same song with an acoustic guitar in total darkness as she stood with the audience in an aisle.

— The audience at the Toronto Star's 41st annual Christmas Carol Concert in a Toronto church on Saturday were given a treat via a surprise performance by The Tenors. The hit trio sang two songs (including Santa's Wish) at both afternoon concerts.

— A star-studded lineup of vocalsts will perform at the Kensington Christmas concert at St Stephen-in-the-Fields n TO's Kensington Market on Dec. 12. The list includes Ins Choi, Tara Kannangara, Tia Brazda, Sarah Hiltz, Colleen Brown, Matt Gerber, and The Young Novelists. Proceeds from the evening will go to Youth Arcade. Tix here 

— Montreal axe god Frank Marino is hustling his 56-track, 6-hour Blu-Ray Cleveland concert DVD, Live at the Agora. As such, the Mahogany Rush principal is doing a round of interviews that includes Metal Voi,ce where he denounces the VIP ticketing program where fans pay a premium for a meet-and-greet. Quoting from…” I spent my whole life meeting everybody (and) now they are selling this Meet and Greet…I'm thinking what is the psychology behind that? Guys standing behind the rope line letting two at a time sitting on your lap like you are Santa Claus. I find something screwy about that, weird. The agents that we are using to go out on tour this time even suggested this VIP to me. And I said no, what are you nuts? I'm not going to do that. "

In another recent interview, with Ultimate Guitar, he has some fighting words about AC/DC continuing to tour with two members now deceased.

— Canadian playwright and composer Cliff Jones has a knack for choosing sprawling themes as the subject matter for his musicals. Among them: Alexandra: The Last Empress, a full-length musical based on the overthrow of the imperial Russian family during the 1917 revolution, and For the Love of Howard, a two-and-a-half-hour musical about Howard Hughes. And then there’s Rockabye Hamlet (originally titled Kronborg 1582, first commissioned by the CBC with Cal Dodd as Hamlet and Nancy White as Ophelia.


It was staged by the Charlottetown Festival in 1974 and 1975, then toured eastern Canada with Brent Carver as Hamlet and Beverly D'Angelo as Ophelia. It had a brief Broadway run and has since popped up on stages in various Canadian cities and LA. Now 70, Jones is thrilled to see his Shakespearean musical return to the same stage in Charlottetown for a three-week run this summer.

— UMC has released several 45th-anniversary configurations of Harmonium’s debut album XLV, including a gold vinyl pressing.

Bat Out of Hell, the Musical, plays 5 nights in 5 cities in Australia in June. The Jim Steinman adaptation has had several successful runs in the UK (and returns in 2020). It has also been staged in Vienna, Las Vegas, Dallas, New York and Toronto.

— California Dreaming: A Santa Barbara estate once owned by the Beach Boys’ Mike Love is for sale at US$14.95M. The gated, oceanfront compound covers 2.5 acres, including a bluff with unobstructed views of the Channel Islands. Made up of five cottages, guest quarters and a music studio, the more than 10,500 square feet of living space contains 15 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.


Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys sold his getaway on Lake Arrowhead for $2.85 million. He bought the house in 2012 for $2.1 million. The chalet-inspired home, overlooks the water and includes a dock slip and a lakeside deck.

A Palm Springs property known as Elvis Presley’s honeymoon retreat has circled back on the market at $3.2 million — the same price as early this year. To be sure, the king of rock ’n’ roll never owned the stucco and flagstone house but leased it for a very special occasion. He and Priscilla Presley stayed there following their secret wedding in 1967. — LA Times

Yoko Ono on Twitter last week: Dear Friends Every day, 100 Americans are shot and killed with guns. We are turning this beautiful country into a War Zone. Together, let's bring back America, the green land of Peace. She added: Over 1.4M people have been killed by guns in the U.S.A. since John Lennon was shot and killed on Dec. 8, 1980.

— Amidst the flood of new (and old) Christmas songs out there, Paragon Cause's new track, Let Me Be, grabs attention with its claim of being an "anti-holiday song." A press release from the Ottawa band explains that the tune "is an emotional plea, both musically and lyrically, to reminisce about a time when people appreciated the simpler things in life. It represents an admission that the current trend toward commercialism in the world is too much, and sometimes, we all need a break."


Juice WRLD (born Jarad Anthony Higgins), a hit US rapper, died on Dec. 8,  aged 21, after suffering a seizure in Chicago’s Midway airport.

The Interscope-signed artist released his second studio album, Death Race for Love, in March. It hit No.1 on the Billboard 200.

According to Nielsen data, the rapper was the seventh biggest artist in the US in the first half of this year, in terms of consumption across all formats, In terms of audio on-demand streams, he was the fifth biggest, racking up 1.91B plays in the US across the Jan-June period.

Juice WRLD broke through with the track All Girls Are The Same, featuring Lil Yachty, then the smash 2018 hit Lucid Dreams. He also grabbed a feature on Travis Scott's chart-topping AstroWorld album, singing the hook on the track, No Bystanders. Sources: MBW,All Access

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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