Music News Digest, June 11, 2018

Shawn Mendes is riding high, topping the US charts and racking up huge steaming numbers, and Toronto rockers The Golden Dogs play their final show. Also in the news are Big Billz, Khatsahlano Street Party, SaskMusic, NXNE, Manitoba Music, ole, Music PEI, and farewells to Danny Kirwan, Lorraine Gordon, and Rocky Wiseman. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, June 11, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Shawn Mendes is on a roll. For starters, his eponymously titled 3rd album went straight to No. 1 on the US charts, making it his third straight chart-topper. The fact that the June 4 release scored him his biggest sales debut is equally impressive, as is the fact that he’s also the third-youngest solo artist ever to achieve three No. 1 albums, according to Billboard.

The 19-year-old Canadian pop idol reportedly has now surpassed 1B global streams on Apple Music, knocking out Justin Timberlake who held the title for the most streamed album in 2018 with his Feb. Man Of The Woods collection.


–  Rockers The Golden Dogs played their last ever show on Saturday night, at The Garrison in their hometown of Toronto. Guests included Taylor Knox (formerly the band's drummer) and members of Zeus (that group's Carlin Nicholson and Mike O'Brien also had stints in The Golden Dogs). Also on the bill was Forces, the new band led by Golden Dogs principals Dave Azzolini and Jessica Grassia. The Golden Dogs formed in 2001, and their first two albums, 2004's Everything in 3 Parts and 2006's Big Eye Little Eye, were released on True North Records.

– Back in April, Toronto label UpTop Movement Inc. (UTM) released a compilation mixtape, Northside Jane. It quickly made noise, reaching #2 on iTunes Canada Hip-Hop chart. Artists featured include Robin Banks, Pressa, TallupTwinz, Burna Bandz, Houdini, J Neat, Rome, Big Billz, Supawassi, and T dub, and Big Billz has just put out a video for his cut, "Balace." Jeffrey Nye directed the clip and you can view it below.

–  The Khatsahlano Street Party is getting ready to rock on July 7 on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver. The announced lineup includes rocker Bif Naked (who recently moved to Toronto),  the recently reunited Slow, and roots-soul songstress Frazey Ford, roots troubadour Leeroy Stagger, and The Graham Brown Band. The fest started seven years ago, and previous headliners have included Hannah Georgas, Zolas, and a reunited Poppy Family


– SaskMusicpresents an official NXNE 2018 showcase event in Toronto this week. The jury-chosen lineup comprises Saskatchewan artists Gunner & Smith, Nick Faye & The Deputies, Megan Nash, Surf Dads, and Samurai Champs, who all take to the Dakota Tavern stage on June 13.

–  The fourth edition in Manitoba Music's songwriter development series is now underway, running June 10-13. This iteration of Summer Songwriter Retreat is part of a national project, the Canadian Songwriter Challenge, a multi-year partnership between the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA) and Bell Media.

The co-writing retreat incorporates daily collaborative songwriting sessions leading to the creation of nine new songs, with discussions on the business of professional songwriting. Participants include  Micah Erenberg, Ferro Montanino, Tyler Wagar, Sierra Noble, Kenzie Jane, Olivia Lunny, Jacob Brodovsky (Kakagi), Raine Hamilton, and Jeremy Smith (Jaywood).

– An early contender for best music industry party of the summer is ole's Blast Into Summer Party, held at The Ritz-Carlton in Toronto on Friday. Notables from many facets of the biz congregated at the DEQ Terrace and Lounge to nibble, imbibe and schmooze, and a good time was had by all. Those we spied included artists Gord Bamford, John Cody and Stephen Stanley (excited about his European tour next month), FYI contributors Cam Carpenter and Kim Hughes, Anya Wilson, Samantha Picard, Spencer Mussellam, Margaret McGuffin (CMPA), Amanda Power (Unison), Tony Tobias, Frank Davies, Paul Eastwood, Ron Kitchener, and Beth Waldman.


–  Music PEI is currently recruiting for an Assistant Event Coordinator for the 10th Annual Showcase PEI. This position is a Work Experience PEI funded program. It runs July 2-Nov. 3, with an application deadline of June 24. Send resume to




Danny Kirwan, the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist who played on five of the British band's albums, died on June 10 at the age of 68. Mick Fleetwood, who recruited the then-18-year-old Kirwan to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, confirmed Kirwan's death with a tribute on the band's Facebook. No cause of death has been announced.

Kirwan joined Fleetwood Mac following the release of 1968's Mr. Wonderful – his first appearance with the band was their Number One single "Albatross." He would go on to record five albums with the group while serving as guitarist and singer: 1969's Then Play On (the band's last Peter Green album) and Blues Jam at Chess, 1970's Kiln House (the first Mac album to feature Christine McVie), 1971's Future Games and 1972's Bare Trees.

Due to his alcoholism, Kirwan was fired from Fleetwood Mac in 1972, while touring in support ofthe Bare Trees album. In the second half of the Seventies, Kirwan released four solo albums. His next few decades were reportedly marred by bouts of mental health issues and homelessness.

He was one of eight members of Fleetwood Mac that were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, though Kirwan did not attend the induction ceremony. Source: Rolling Stone

Lorraine Gordon, longtime owner of the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York and widow of its founder Max Gordon, died on June 9, in Manhattan, following a stroke. She was 95 years old.

Born Lorraine Stein in Newark, NJ., she was an avid jazz fan from an early age. In 1940, she paid her first visit to the Greenwich Village basement haunt that she would one day own.


Before her marriage to Max Gordon, which lasted from 1949 to his death in 1989, she was married to Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion. In that capacity she began her work as a jazz advocate, helping her husband with production and legal work. In 1947, Stein discovered Monk and convinced Lion to sign and record him

In 2006, Gordon published an ASCAP Taylor Deems Award-winning memoir, Alive at the Village Vanguard: My Life In and Out of Jazz Time, in 2006. She was named an NEA Jazz Master for advocacy in 2013. In the 1960s, Gordon was also an outspoken political activist. Sources: JazzTimesNew York Times

Rocky Wiseman, drummer and a founding member of the Wonderful Grand Band, died in Edmonton on June 8 after a short illness.

Wiseman was also the drummer for Newfoundland rock band The Ravens, before joining WGB, a group that encompassed both music and comedy in the late 70s and early 80s, and whose lineup included Ron Hynes. He was featured on many locally-produced radio and TV shows and in recent years he hosted on community radio station Voice of Bonne Bay.

On Facebook on the weekend, actor/comedian Mark Critch wrote that “We lost the great Rocky Wiseman the original backbeat of the Wonderful Grand Band and the drummer for Newfoundland rock pioneers The Ravens.” 


Details of a planned memorial service for Wiseman TBA. Source: The Telegram,

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

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