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FYI

Music News Digest, July 27, 2018

Dog Day leader Seth Smith turns to film, Demo Lovato cancels her Toronto show, and Merkules announces a major Canadian tour. Also in the news are Festival of Beer, Empire Rockfest, Bat Out Of Hell, Blues Summit, Rachel Beck, Manitoba Music, Josh Colle, Lantern Tour, and Habari Africa festival. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, July 27, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Nova Scotia-based rocker Seth A. Smith earned critical acclaim with his band Dog Day, and he has now entered the film world. He co-wrote, directed, edited, and scored a low-budget horror film, The Crescent, that was positively received at TIFF and the Atlantic International Film Festival. It will screen in select theatres across Canada on Aug. 10 via Raven Banner. Label Obscura releases the soundtrack in a limited vinyl pressing of 300 copies on Sept. 7, and Dog Day has also announced a pair of reunited live shows in August that will feature material from the soundtrack. Here is an original tune from the film.


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–  Pop star Demi Lovato was scheduled to perform at Toronto’s Echo Beach on Sunday (July 29), but this has been cancelled following her hospitalisation for a drug overdose earlier this week. The concert was to be in support of Kids Help Phone. Source: Toronto Star

– Belleville's three-day Empire Rockfest kicked off last night with performances by Billy Talent and The Standstill. Tonight (July 27) is Arkells and Matt Mays, with The Glorious Sons and The Beaches closing things out on Saturday.

– Toronto’s Festival of Beer opened last night with a concert featuring Broken Social Scene, The Rural Alberta Advantage, and The Darcys. Fest organisers offered a special #TorontoStrong ticket for the show, with 100% of the proceeds going to those affected by the Danforth shooting last weekend. The fest continues to Sunday.

– Canadian rapper Merkules has announced an extensive 28-date cross-Canada fall tour, running from Victoria (Sept. 18) to Moncton (Oct. 27). Presented by The Ephin Music Group and Apex Rhythm, it features such guests as Lil Windex, Caspian, Luca Mele, Evil Ebenezer, The MG, DJ Scotty Wu, and DJ Dienamix. Merkules' self-released album Cole came out in March.

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– The hit production Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical is heading back to Toronto. A run at the Ed Mirvish Theatre from Oct. 16 to Nov. 4 will be followed by other North American engagements. The musical is based on songs written by Jim Steinman for Meat Loaf's smash Bat Out Of Hell albums. Since premiering in Manchester last year, it has had an extended run at London's Dominion Theatre.

– PEI-based singer/songwriter Rachel Beck recently played seven shows in Quebec and Ontario and 5 pm three more back on the East Coast. These are at Holy Whale Brewery in Alma, NB (July 27), the Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song in Lockeport, NS (July 28), and Trailside Cafe in Mount Stewart, PE (July 29). Beck is promoting her recently-released self-titled debut album.

– Applications to showcase at the upcoming Blues Summit 9 in Toronto close today (July 27) at 5 pm. Priority will be given to “market ready” artists who have developed a team to assist in their touring and career development.

– Manitoba Music has appointed Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais to the position of Indigenous Music Development coordinator. She is a multi-award-winning journalist and playwright who’s been on Canada’s media scene for more than 15 years, including a stint at CTV News Winnipeg. Manitoba Music’s Indigenous Music Development Program (IMDP) was launched in 2004 to help First Nation, Metis, and Inuit people develop sustainable careers in Manitoba’s music industry.

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–Toronto City Councillor and chair of the TTC Josh Colle announced his surprise departure from politics on Wednesday morning. Colle has been serving as chair of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council, established by City Council to boost the city's music industry.

– A star-studded list of artists including Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle and Graham Nash will play a five-city US tour in the fall to end the Trump administration’s family separation policies. Organized by the Women’s Refugee Commission, the Lantern Tour: Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families runs Oct. 23-28, beginning at Nashville’s City Winery. Other artists include Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Lila Downs. Source: Rolling Stone

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– Batuki Music Society and Harbourfront Centre present the fifth edition of the Habari Africa Festival in Toronto, Aug. 10-12. The free multi-disciplinary arts fest has a strong music lineup headed by Sona Jobarteh, the Habari Africa All-Stars collective, Élage Mbaye, Neema Children’s Choir, Songs of the Azmari, Tich Maredza Band, The Black Stars, Barnes/Woldemichael Quartet, and more. Music films and dance are also featured.

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The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024

Awards

The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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