Music News Digest, July 23, 2018

Alberta Music Week brings extra provincial funding, Massari's new album has star power, and Liquor Donuts comes to Toronto's Kensington Market. Others in the news include Mack MacKenzie, Gregory Charles, The East Pointers, SOCAN, Shawn Mendes, Pretty In Punk fest, Beggars Group, SAC, Turk, and a farewell to Richard Ring. Videos provided for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, July 23, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Alberta Music Week is now underway, running July 19-26. It was launched by Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, along with the announcement of $300K in additional funding for music in Alberta. The funding is part of an investment through the Capital Investment Tax Credit to help stimulate job growth across Alberta.

Alberta Music Week includes the debut of the Music at McDougall: Summer Concert Series at McDougall Centre in Calgary, Interstellar Rodeo in Edmonton, the Stampede Summer Jam in Medicine Hat, and the Full Throttle Festival in Cold Lake.

– With little advance fanfare, Massari released his third studio album, Tune In, via Universal Music Canada, on Friday. Combining R&B, pop and Middle Eastern styles, it features eight original tracks and high-profile collaborations with Tory Lanez, Beenie Man, Afrojack, Mohammed Assaf and Shaggy. Daheala (The Weeknd, Belly) produced. Here's the new Jamaica-filmed video for the title track. The music videos for three earlier singles from the album have gained a combined 65 million views on YouTube 


– Our Sceneis a new documentary film that puts Winnipeg’s hip-hop community in the spotlight. It will premiere at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on July 28. Source: City News

– Universal Music Canada and the newly-launched arts collective Monda Forma are partnering on an ambitious project in Toronto's bohemian Kensington Market area. The Fairland Funhouse space is being transformed into Liquor Donuts, described as" a music-themed donut shop that serves craft beer." Plans call for the location to also feature a permanent multi-use gallery space, record pressing and studio/production space in the basement. An area lobby group, Friends of Kensington Market, is expected to object to the venture's liquor license application. Source: Blog.TO

–  Fans of vintage '80s cowpunk will be intrigued to learn that Mack MacKenzie, leader of Three O'Clock Train, is collaborating with genre pioneer Chip Kinman, of Rank and File fame. The pair is in a Vancouver studio with producer Bob Rock, recording a new MacKenzie single that pays tribute to the late Tony Kinman, also of Rank and File.  The A-side will be a cover of "It's Not Worth It" by The Dils, the earlier band of the Kinman brothers, while the B-side features Tony Kinman’s production of MacKenzie's cover of Rank and File’s “Lucky Day,” recorded last October.


–  Gregory Charles recently resigned from his position with the Lanaudière Festival, the Montreal Gazette reports. The very popular Montreal-based musician, actor and television host was hired by the Lanaudière Festival last year to widen its public reach, and spruce up programming has resigned from the summer music event. The festival, founded in 1978, comprises concerts over five weekends in the Fernard Lindsay Amphitheatre outside Joliette and several midweek chamber concerts in regional churches.

–  Juno-winning PEI roots combo The East Pointers have announced additional dates for their upcoming Canadian tour kicking off in Medicine Hat, AB on Oct. 9. Eight shows out West are followed by four Ontario dates.

–  SOCAN recently presented two No. 1 Song Awards to Universal Music Publishing Canada for publishing a pair of chart-topping hits by Shawn Mendes, "Mercy" and “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back."


– Large independent label group Beggars Group (Rough Trade, XL Recordings and 4AD) has issued a stern warning to the UK music industry over fears Brexit will heavily impact industry expansion. M magazine quotes company directors as saying "Revenues from the EU are a critical element of the business. Therefore, it is of some concern that the arrival of Brexit may hold back further growth." The group also expressed fears over the music industry’s ability to stand against powerful tech-giant companies based in the US and protect creator’s rights.


–  The inaugural Pretty In Punk music fest takes place in Prince Albert, SK, on Sept. 1. It is the brainchild of singer/songwriter LJ Tyson and The Wolfe’s lead guitarist, Gabrielle Giroux, and will be headlined by Saskatoon band Bombargo. Other groups on the bill include Too Soon Monsoon, The Wolfe, and Killjoy. 

–  The Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.) is conducting a survey to better understand the main issues faced by professional music creators and determine how S.A.C. can act on their behalf to help solve them. Those who take part in the survey are eligible for prizes including complimentary memberships. Deadline is July 26.

–  Touched by the story of Bronx teenager Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, murdered at age 15 a month ago, Toronto hip-hop artist Turk collaborated with singer/producer Nu Szn on a tribute track. Check out "Justice For Junior" here


Richard Ring, Montreal jazz guitarist, died on July 6, age 80.

Lee performed regularly accompanying and recording with his wife of 46 years, renowned jazz singer Ranee Lee. Ring also played with such notables as Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Ed Thigpen, Ray Brown, Michel LeGrand and Oliver Jones, according to the website of Justin Time Records. In 1996, he released a solo album, Ring In Minor, for the label.

Ring had shows scheduled during the summer, including at the Montreal Jazz Festival, before his health declined. Source: Montreal Gazette

Live Nation logo

Live Nation logo

Legal News

Live Nation Will Soon Face DOJ Antitrust Lawsuit: Report

Federal regulators are reportedly planning to sue the concert giant over claims that it abused its dominance to undermine competition.

The U.S. Department of Justice is planning to sue Live Nation over alleged violations of federal antitrust laws, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

A lawsuit will be filed within weeks that alleges the concert giant leveraged its dominance over the live music industry to undermine competition for ticketing, the Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Few other details about the planned case were revealed.

keep readingShow less