Music News Digest, Jan. 31, 2020

Hard rockers Sumo Cyco (pictured) sign a deal, Polaris Prize dates announced, and Neil Peart is to be honoured. Also in the news are Supercrawl , Wavelength Winter Festival, The Hidden Cameras , Music Canada, Jessie Reyez, Bad Child, Christos Hatzis, Billie Eilish, Kendra Kay, and farewell Bob Shane and Reed Mullin.

Music News Digest, Jan. 31, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has revealed its key dates for 2020. The 40 albums Long List for the 15th edition of the prize will be announced June 15, and the 10 album Short List will be named on July 15. This year’s Polaris Gala is Sept. 21 at The Carlu in Toronto, ON,  streaming live at The Polaris Music Prize awards $50K to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2020 Short List will receive $3K each courtesy of Slaight Music.


— A motion to begin the process to rename the Lakeside Park Pavilion in Port Dalhousie after Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart has passed unanimously at St. Catharines city council. The motion from Walter Sendzik asks staff to prepare a report providing guidance about how to move forward with any future tributes. A statue or sculpture remains a possibility. Peart's family and representatives for the band will also be consulted on any memorials or concerts in his name. We've heard rumours of a Neil Peart Memorial and Benefit Concert planned for St Catharines in May. 

— Eclectic Canadian hard rock combo Sumo Cyco has been earning an international audience in recent years, and that has helped bring a new record deal, with Napalm Records. The group is currently on a US tour with The 69 Eyes, Wednesday 13 & The Crowned. Dates here. The band is fronted by Skye ‘Sever’ Sweetnam, who was nominated for a Juno Award for New Artist of the Year back in 2006. Read an earlier FYI story on the group here

—  Today (Jan. 31) is the final deadline to apply for Hamilton fest Supercrawl 2020 (Sept 4-6). Submit for Art, Fashion, Music, Theatre, Dance, Performance, Talks & Spoken Word here  


— Toronto’s Wavelength Winter Festival presents Polaris Prize winner The Hidden Cameras reuniting for the fest and playing a free All Ages show. Also added to the strong lineup is hip-hop artist Notifi, closing the fest on Feb. 16. More details at Wavelength Winter Festival 

.— Recent Music Canada certifications went to Les Soeurs Boulay (a gold album for 4488 de l’amour and a platinum album for Confetis) and Jessie Reyez (a triple-platinum single for Figures).

.— Canadian artist Bad Child is featured on the Feb. 7 digital release of To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Original Soundtrack, out on Capitol. His new cut Candy features Ryan Chambers. Also on the collection are new songs from Chaz Cardigan, Marina, OTR, The New Respects and Hanne Mjoen.

— To mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,Bravo Niagara! will present the world premiere of Menorah by composer-in-residence Christos Hatzis. More details to come about Bravo Niagara!'s Voices of Freedom: Sounds of Hope and the legendary Canadian composer who will premiere this work in Nov. 2020.

— Fresh from her triumph as the most decorated artist at The Grammys last Sunday, Billie Eilish has confirmed she will perform at the 92nd Oscars on Feb. 9. The show will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. 


— Manitoba Country Music Association (MCMA) Female Artist of the Year Kendra Kay showcases at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern on Feb, 3, taking the stage at 9 pm sharp. Her current single, How It's Done, is faring well.


Bob Shane, the last surviving member of folk legends The Kingston Trio, died on Jan. 26, age 85. No cause of death has been reported.

The trio broke through in 1958 with a self-titled debut album featuring a hit version of Tom Dooley. The song, featuring Shane's lead vocals, topped the pop charts and helped launch the folk music revival in the US. 


Subsequent albums also topped the charts and featured such hit tunes as Where Have All The Flowers Gone, Sloop John B, 500 Miles, and more. Sources: AP, The New York Times

Reed Mullin, Corrosion of Conformitydrummer, has died, at age 53. No cause of death has been revealed publicly.

The metal band announced Mullin’s passing via social media. Their statement reads in full: “It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer. Reed, you are loved and always will be. Let's all take a moment…”

Mullin had missed several Corrosion of Conformity shows in the past several years due to health issues, including an alcohol-related seizure in June of 2016 in the middle of a tour.

John Green, the band’s former drum tech, had been filling in for him of late. Sources: Metalsucks

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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