Music News Digest, Jan. 22, 2018

Joan Jett launches a biopic at Sundance, Toronto singer Neil Donell joins Chicago, and Ed Sheeran stays top of the pops Down Under. Others in today's news include Megaphono, Neil Young, Upstream, Ronley Teper, Corey Gulkin, and a farewell to Jim Rodford. Videos are featured for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Jan. 22, 2018

By FYI Staff

Bad Reputation, a documentary look at rocker Joan Jett, has its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance film festival tonight (Jan. 22). Jett played a show at the fest on Saturday night.

This is not the first time Jett has appeared on the big screen. The 2010 drama The Runaways was based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway, by the all-female rock band's original lead vocalist Cherie Currie. Kristen Stewart portrayed Jett in that movie, which was written and directed by Canadian Floria Sigismondi. Jett drew praise for her acting prowess in the 1987 film Light Of Day, starring alongside Michael J. Fox.


–  Megaphono, Ottawa’s music showcase fest, returns Feb. 8-10. The fourth edition hosts 70 artists performing in 25 venues around the Ottawa-Gatineau region. North American and international delegates will attend and network. Last year, more than 35 international music buyers attended. 2018 lineup highlights include Nap Eyes, Jeremy Fisher, Michael Rault, Tasha the Amazon, Lido Pimienta, Willy Mitchell, Willie Thrasher, Daniel Romano, Nick Ferrio, Mauno, and Steven Lambke. More info at  

– The SOCAN-ARTISTI Original Song Award is a partnership of the pro and the Société pour l’avancement de la chanson d’expression française (SACEF) and its Ma première Place des Arts (MPPdA) competition. It features eight chosen vocalists performing songs by SOCAN writers, and the $2K cash prize will be split equally between the singer and songwriter(s) of the song selected by the joint SOCAN and ARTISTI panel of jurists.

The prize is to be awarded during the MPPdA finals on May 16. More info on the competition and a list of the chosen songwriters here

– Canadian vocalist Neil Donell has just joined Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Chicago. The announcement quickly followed the news that vocalist/bassist Jeff Coffey was leaving Chicago after a less than two-year stint.


Donell is an in-demand session vocalist as well as a songwriter, producer, arranger and vocal coach. Toronto-based, he has made guest appearances with Chicago in the past. Since 2008, he has been a vocalist in Brass Transit, a popular Chicago tribute band from Canada. Chicago has sold more than 122 million recordings in a career spanning nearly five decades. 

– On Jan. 28, the 60th annual Grammy Awards broadcast will include a tribute to those killed at live music events this past year, including at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas. In the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, 58 concertgoers lost their lives there. Three performers at that fest,  Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne, will team up for a special Grammys performance.

– Ed Sheeran remains top of the pops Down Under. His current smash ballad "Perfect" has embedded itself at No. 1 on the Australian (ARIA) Singles Chart for a seventh straight week. This feat gives Teddy an accumulated total 28 weeks at the top, spread amongst four singles. This figure ties him with Justin Bieber for the most weeks at No. 1 this decade. The Biebs tally comes from his singles "What Do You Mean" and "Love Yourself," plus his features on "I'm The One" and "Despacito." Source:


– Canadian artists can now apply to showcase at Seattle's Upstream Music Festival + Summit. The fest runs June 1-3, with over 200 emerging artists performing at 15 venues. Application deadline is Jan. 31. More info here

– Neil Young offered his feet to the cause of gender equality on the weekend, joining in the LA Women's March. He posted on FB that "Walking this morning with hundreds of thousands of people in LA was an experience I will never forget. In a sea of humanity, of people carrying signs of change, I was claustrophobic for a while but that passed. Everyone was positive and happy to be there standing up for what they believed in." He concluded by calling for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in 2018, explaining that two more US states need to vote to ratify the ERA.


– Provocative Toronto songstress Ronley Teper releases her fifth independent album, The Game, on Feb. 24. Along with her band The Lipliners, she will play a residency at Toronto club the Baby G, beginning Jan. 27, then continuing on Feb. 24, March 31 and April 28. Promoting the shows is renowned impresario Gary Topp, who boldly states "I rank Ronley Teper among the best anywhere." Teper has just put out a video for the title cut, a timely look at the topic of sexual harassment. Last year, she made the Prism Prize shortlist for the clip for "Lucky and Finnegan."

– Toronto radio station JAZZ.FM91 hosts its first 2018 Music Business Seminar on Feb. 11. Offering sage advice to artists on a wide range of topics will be Molly Johnson, Miranda Mulholland, guitarist Matt Stevens, and Dr. John Chong. The $20 fee includes lunch. Sign up here

– Congrats to Shelley Senior, Secretary to the Board of Directors of MusicNL, on her recent appointment as Queen's Counsel. The honorary title recognizes senior lawyers for exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.

– The artist formerly known as Corinna Rose has reverted to her real name, Corey Gulkin, for her sophomore album, All the Things I’ll Forget (coming out Jan, 26). This reportedly reflects the strongly personal nature of her new material, as evidenced by the title track and video. Of note: Gulkin is the granddaughter of renowned Montreal film producer Harry Gulkin (Lies My FatherTold Me). She launches the record at Burdock in Toronto, Feb. 9.




Jim Rodford, bassist in Argent, The Kinks and The Zombies, died Jan. 20, after a fall. Age 76.

Although he was not a member of the first incarnation of The Zombies, Rodford helped his younger cousin Rod Argent form that band in 1964. He was the bassist in Argent from its inception in 1968 until 1978. He then joined The Kinks, remaining a member until the group's final shows in 1996.

He later performed in offshoot bands featuring members of The Animals and The Kinks. When The Zombies reformed in the early 2000s, Rodford signed on. He last played with The Zombies early this month, on a musical Caribbean cruise headlined by The Moody Blues. Upcoming North American shows by The Zombies include a March 23 date at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, ON. There has been no notification of cancellations.

Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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