Music News Digest, March 5, 2018

Hey Ocean! hosts its annual benefit concert #SingItFwd in Juno Week, and a stellar lineup is announced for the Outlaws & Gunslingers shindig. Those in the news today also include SXSW, RapCaviar, Cirque du Soleil, SOCAN, Toronto jazz history, Howard Shore, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and Rachel Beck, and we farewell Andrei Talbot and Mickey Foote. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, March 5, 2018

By Kerry Doole

–  A talent-laden Juno Week show has been announced by indie-pop trio Hey Ocean!, for its benefit concert, #SingItFwd. They will be performing at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on March 21 alongside Leif Vollebekk, Mother Mother, Said The Whale, Dawn Pemberton, and Khari McClelland, with more artists TBA.

This will be Hey Ocean!’s 7th annual benefit for #SingItFwd, an initiative which they founded. It has raised awareness and more than $200K for the non-profit music school Saint James Music Academy, Vancouver. Concert tickets available here.

– With SXSW fast-approaching, NPR Music has come up with The Austin 100, an online mixtape featuring 100 songs by artists performing at SXSW 2018. We're pleased to note the inclusion of some of Canada's hottest artists, including Casper Skulls, Lisa LeBlanc, Pierre Kwenders, Mauno and Partner. Check it out here.


– The hip-hop based playlist RapCaviar has become one of Spotify's Top 5 playlists worldwide, but its head of programming, Tuma Basa, has just departed Spotify. Under his guidance, RapCaviar has attracted nearly 9m followers on the service and last year expanded into live events in tandem with Live Nation. The news of Basa's exit comes just one day after Spotify filed to float on the New York Stock Exchange. Source: MBW

–  Six Shooter Records and comrades Starfish Entertainment are again co-presenting an Outlaws & Gunslingers showcase during Juno Week. The rootin' tootin' honkytonk' romp takes place March 23 at the Imperial, and the stellar lineup includes Jim Cuddy, Terra Lightfoot, The Jerry Cans, Rose Cousins, Harrow Fair, Ensign Broderick, NQ Arbuckle, and Whitehorse, with Ford Pier as music director.

–  Internationally-acclaimed Quebec circus troupe Cirque du Soleil lost fans in New Orleans recently. A Cirque du Soleil employee solicited the local Soul Brass Band to perform at a private event at the House of Blues in The Big Easy, after Cirque’s opening night show at the Smoothie King Center.


The Advocatereports that "in the offer, submitted through an online form on the band manager’s website, the Cirque rep requested Soul Brass Band play two sets, starting at 11 p.m. But instead of payment, she proposed a “service exchange”: Two free Cirque du Soleil tickets for each musician." That didn’t sit well with the group's manager, Oren Krinsky, who termed it "an egregious example of exploitation. Cirque du Soleil can afford to pay the musicians fairly.”

–  SOCAN has promoted Diane Petrucci to the position of Chief Financial Officer for the organization, effective Feb. 15. Since joining the company in 2007, Petrucci has made significant contributions to SOCAN, helping to increase revenues through our licensee audits, while developing and managing business and financial controls. She became a manager in 2009, before taking on the role of director last summer.

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste observes that SOCAN's executive team is balanced, with seven of its 13 members being female. The organization's total staff of nearly 300 across North America is made up of 60 percent women and 40 percent men.


– Long before the phrase "music city" became overused, Toronto was a real one regarding live jazz. The colourful history of the city's jazz clubs is the subject of a fascinating new exhibition at the Market Gallery (in St. Lawrence Market). The launch of Notes In The Night: The History of Toronto Jazz Clubs since 1946 on Saturday drew a large crowd, with those spied including jazz broadcaster Ted O'Reilly, author Mark Miller, and Toronto Jazz Festival head Josh Grossman.

All were impressed by the exhibit, expertly curated by jazz enthusiast Ralph Coram, who explained his mission was "to rescue the memories." It features archive photos of such famed clubs as The Town Tavern, The Colonial, George's Spaghetti House, Montreal Bistro, and Top O' The Senator, plus footage of such jazz greats as Thelonious Monk and Ray Bryant, an NFB documentary on the scene, memorabilia, and video interviews. More info on the highly recommended show here


–  Adam Lewis at Planetary Group has announced the lineup for his showcase at SXSW, to be held at Tap Room At The Market on March 16. The international bill includes acts from Australia, The Netherlands, the US, and three Canadian bands, Grand Analog, Scenic Route To Alaska, and Faith Healer.

–  Oscar-winning Canadian film composer Howard Shore (Lord Of The Rings, Silence Of The Lambs, The Hobbit) discusses the subject of music and film at a free event at the U of Toronto on March 6, 7:30 pm.

–  Montrealer Yannick Nezet-Seguin is to become music director of the Metropolitan Opera next season, two years earlier than planned. The acceleration of the timeline is due to the recent suspension of music director emeritus James Levine following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

–  Last week, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir announced that two upcoming concerts are cancelled and that longtime artistic director and conductor Noel Edison has taken a leave of absence. News surfaced that this arose from allegations of misconduct, still unproven. The boards of the Mendelssohn Choir and the Elora Festival Singers, which Edison co-founded, have launched an independent third-party investigation. Source: Toronto Star

–  PEI-based singer/songwriter Rachel Beck released her eponymous debut album on Friday and begins a Maritimes tour on March 8, with a house concert at Rice Point, PEI. The seven-date trek closes out at The Carleton in Halifax on March 18. The album was produced and recorded by Daniel Ledwell at Echo Lake (Jenn Grant, David Myles, Fortunate Ones), and the first single, "Reckless Heart," is charting at CBC Radio 2.




Andrei Talbot, Toronto live music supporter and booker at Dora Keogh, died on March 2. Talbot headed Walk Tall Promotions and produced the radio show "The Mystic" at Northumberland 89.7 FM Small Town Radio. On an FB post, Irish pub Dora Keogh stated "Andrei was instrumental in the presentation of music at the Dora and introduced us - and Toronto - to a wonderful variety of artists, acts, performers, bands and talent. He was music’s greatest fan, not only because of his unwavering enthusiasm but because his devotion was informed by knowledge, taste, insight and experience in the industry."

Artists expressing condolences and appreciation for his support included Stephen Stanley, Al Tuck, Andrea Ramolo, and Jerry Leger. A tribute night, ‘Walk Tall Forever,’ will be held April 28 at Dora Keogh’s.

Mickey Foote, the producer of The Clash's debut album, died last week at age 66, after a stroke.  Foote first met Joe Strummer when The Clash frontman was in London band The 101ers, and then worked doing sound for The Clash before being recruited to produce The Clash in 1977. His other production credits include Subway Sect's Ambition.


After retiring from the music industry, Foote worked as an engineer for a sanitation firm in Aberdeenshire. He was an active campaigner against the Trump International Golf Course being built near his home in Scotland. Source: The Guardian,

Vanessa Heins


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Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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