Music News Digest, Feb. 16, 2018

Jane Siberry is nominated at The IMAs and Folk Alliance honours the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Also in today's news are Migos, John Box, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonya Côté, Terrell Morris & Free n Losh, Soundstreams, Ben Klick, Rhye, Grounders, Winterfolk, Carole Pope, West End Phoenix, Sean Hogan, Attack In Black, Craig Northey, and a farewell to Tom Rapp.

Music News Digest, Feb. 16, 2018

By FYI Staff

Folk Alliance International (FAI) kicked off its 30th Annual Conference on Wednesday with the International Folk Music Awards Show at Kansas City’s historic Folly Theater and included a live-streamed broadcast, partnership with Folk Music Canada. Hosted by Ruthie Foster, performances included Guy Davis, Giri and Uma Peters, Anais Mitchell, and The Staley Falcon Chorale.

Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Peter, Paul and Mary, Richie Havens, and Elektra Records. Bonnie Raitt won the People's Voice Award, and The Clearwater Award went to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. A full list here.

– Here's a tasty music promotion stunt. To hype the new Migos single "Stir Fry," a Migos themed food truck has been visiting a handful of college and university campuses in Toronto to hand out free samples of the title edibles.  The final day of the promotion is today (Feb. 16).


Jane Siberry turns up among a lengthy list of nominees in the 16th annual Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), an international program that honours top-ranked indie artists and releases in 96 categories. The winning projects will be selected by judging panels of top recording artists including Tom Waits, Slayer, Bakithi Kumalo, Michael W. Smith, Sepultura, and Evanescence’s Amy Lee and announced March 31st   from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in NYC. Submissions for the 17th annual open in June. Details here.

Below, the title track from Siberry’s nominated album, Angels Bend Closer

John – is reaching out to readers to raise money for MusiCounts and Unison Benevolent Fund through a ticket sale for the 2018 music industry Blue Jays baseball game. Last year, he reports, “we sold 400 tickets and raised $4400”, and the goal for 2018 is to sell 500 and raise $5K. Tickets are $25 each. Payment can be sent by e-transfer to, and cash in person. No receipts, anyone interested in helping organize the drive, please contact him, as too anyone wishing to donate to an affiliated silent auction.


CMA Ontario Festival & AwardsJune 1-3 in London is open for showcasing applications as of today.

The Polaris Music Prize 40 album Long List is to be announced June 13; the 10 album Short List on July 17, and the Polaris Gala is Sept. 17 at The Carlu in Toronto.

– The 16th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival takes place at four Toronto venues this weekend (Feb. 16-18). More than 100 artists are performing, and the lineup is arguably the strongest yet. It covers a wide range of styles and notable names include Ken Whiteley, Jack De Keyzer, Jon Brooks, David Essig, Julian Fauth, Danny Marks, Hotcha!, Kat Goldman, Moscow Apartment, and Noah Zacharin. A $20 wristband gets you into most of the shows. A full lineup here

– Three-fourths of the Smashing Pumpkins' classic lineup will reunite for a North American tour this summer. The trek marks Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin's first tour together since 2000, though the band's original bassist D'Arcy Wretzky will not join the trio, Rolling Stone reports. Vancouver so far is off the list, leaving Montreal’s Bell Centre and Toronto’s ACC on Aug. 7 and 8 as the only northern border stops on the Shiny and Oh So Bright tour.


– Writer, singer, public speaker, sex columnist, actor and one-time stripper Sonya Côté launches a new, revised edition of her book I’m Not Naked (anymore) at The Painted Lady in T.O. on March 22.

– Rising Toronto hip hop duo Terrell Morris & Free n Losh have released “Oak” featuring Basecamp.

Soundstreams – a Toronto-based music presenter that commissions, develops, and showcases the work of contemporary Canadian and international composers – is seeking a creative curator for its 2018-19 Ear Candy series. One applicant will be selected to collaborate with the presenter’s artistic director, Lawrence Cherney, to produce a program, 60-90 minutes in length, that will be performed in spring 2019 in Toronto. Soundstreams will provide a fixed artistic budget of $4K, and a $500 honorarium. Details about the program and applying here.


– It took some experimentation.  And French artist Julia Drouhin is still working out the kinks. But chocolate records sound surprisingly good — and tasty.

– Kelowna-based indie country songwriter/performer Ben Klick has proven himself with 3 charted singles, 2 BC Country Music Awards and 5 International Country Music Awards.  The storyteller has spun success with an almost three-year-old 6-song EP titled Today, and is set to release his next song collection in June. “Middle of Nowhere” is his latest single.

– The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will present its Outstanding Achievement Award to record-breaking hit “Despacito” — by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee along with Justin Bieber on its remix — at the Music Biz 2018 Awards Luncheon during its 60th annual conference on May 17 at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Mark Bego’s book Eat Like A Rock Star has become a big-time best-seller, offering over 100 recipes from pop stars. Who knew that Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones) makes an amazing Lamb Chops with Endive and Blue Cheese Salad, that Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) loves Pasta with Ham and Parmesan Cheese, or that Boz Scaggs eats Tuscan Grilled Chicken? Mary Wilson from the Supremes writes the foreword and a Vol. 2 is now in the works.

– Toronto experimental pop ensemble Grounders has released “Scum For You” – the 3rd song from the Nevado Music album Coffee & Jam that comes out worldwide on Feb. 23. Below, “Perfect” that is also included on the new album.


Rhye, the R&B musical project of Canadian singer Milosh, released the new album Blood (Last Gang Records) earlier this month and came up with a smart marketing idea for boosting interest in it with an e-card for Valentine’s Day that lets one share the track, “Song for You.” The band toured for three years after releasing Woman, selling out venues and appearing at festivals such as Coachella, Pitchfork, and a highlight concert in Denmark accompanied by a 49-piece choir. Rhye is now solely led by Milosh, who grew up in Toronto’s Bayview and York Mills neighbourhood and is at the forefront on this new project, writing, performing and producing much of the new album on his own. Currently touring in the US, he is set to appear at Montreal’s Corona Theatre on March 3 and Massey Hall on the 5th. The Corona date is already SRO. Below, “Please” from the new album.

– So, when exactly do people form their lifelong musical tastes?  18?  21?  35?  63?


Writing for the New York Times, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz decided to find the answer to that question.

For his project, streaming music platform leader Spotify gave him data on how often men and women listened to chart-topping songs between 1960 and 2000.  Radiohead’s ‘Creep,’ for example, ranked as the 168th most-popular song among 38-year-old men.  These men were 14 when the first song came out in 1993.

The most important period in forming lifelong musical tastes for men comes between ages 13 to 16.  Women formed their tastes slightly earlier than men, roughly between ages 11 to 14 – Digital Music News

Carole Pope – currently working on a musical with Kate Rigg, the Asian Canadian comedian, speaker, actor and lead singer for the band Slanty Eyed Mama ­– appears at Hugh’s Room Live on March 8. Here’s a performance video from her recent Lesbians album.

– Founded by author/musician Dave Bidini (Rheostatics) Toronto’s West End Phoenix is an ad-free, non-profit monthly broadsheet. A fundraising concert to support its work takes place at The Great Hall on March 29. Hosted by Tom Wilson, it features performances by Rheostatics (with Alex Lifeson of Rush), Whitehorse, Nasim Asgari and more. Lifeson is a regular contributor to West End Phoenix. Admission by donation with RSVP

Six Shooter Records and WEP have also announced the New Voices Scholarship for young music writers. Any individual 18 and under living in Toronto is encouraged to submit a short personal essay (no more than 400 words) on the song that changed their life. The winner will receive $500 and will be published in May's West End Phoenix. Submit here

– Campbell River musician Sean Hogan penned a song about a small Mexican town last year and to his surprise, some locals in Huatulco decided to fly him down to shoot a video for it, and have also arranged a series of performances at local clubs and hotels. Here’s the resultant video.

Penny Blacks perform a couple of songs from their new album Long Lights on a houseboat on the lovely Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia.

Canadian indie rockers Attack In Black attracted a strong following a decade ago, and ongoing interest in the band since their breakup is sparking reissues. This week Dine Alone released a re-issue of the group's last EP before disbanding. Fake Love Songs, a collection of six songs recorded in 2008 and made available as a short run of cassettes during an Australian tour. A vinyl edition comes out on April 20, with a re-issue of the Curve Of The Earth album coming later in the year.

Musician and songwriter Craig Northey of the band Odds has composed the music for the new CBC web series This Blows. His daughter Aleita stars and his son Cole directs the eight-part series, while Bruce McCulloch (Kids In The Hall) writes and produces. The series premiered online yesterday.

The 2018 Polar Music Prize has gone to US hard rock veterans Metallica. Not to be confused with the Polaris Music Prize, this one is a Swedish award present each year for significant achievements in music. A cash prize of 1 million kronor (US$124K) will be presented June 14 in Stockholm.


Thomas Dale (Tom) Rapp, singer/songwriter and founder of US underground folk-rock band Pearls Before Swine, died on Feb. 11, of cancer, at age 70. 

He formed Pearls Before Swine in Florida in 1965 with high school friends. Their debut album, One Nation Underground, primarily comprised Rapp's songs, and it reportedly sold 200,000 copies. The group released four others, the final being 1971's Beautiful Lies You Could Live In.

Rapp later also released four albums under his name and practised as a civil right lawyer. Sources: New York Times, Wikipedia

Cadence Weapon in Edmonton Oilers jersey
Courtesy Photo

Cadence Weapon in Edmonton Oilers jersey


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