Music News Digest, Oct. 4, 2019

Sloan (pictured) gives Navy Blues a deluxe reissue, voting opens for the 2019 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, and the Junos revamp the Indigenous music category. Also in the news are The Garrison, the Cobalt Prize, Ed Roman, Royal Wood, Don Breithaupt, and farewell Barrie Masters and Kim Shattuck.

Music News Digest, Oct. 4, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Navy Blues, a seminal record in the long career of Canadian rockers Sloan, turns 21 this year. To celebrate, the band has just released a limited edition (1200) Deluxe Vinyl Box Set, featuring three LPs and two 7-inch singles, and other goodies. Sloan notes that "this 4th LP was the first record where there were real expectations, both commercially and critically." The group has an extensive North American tour set to hype the reissue that launches at Burlington, ON's Living Arts Centre tonight (Oct. 4), and concludes in Buffalo next March. Dates here.

– Voting is now open for the 2019 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, an honour showcasing classic Canadian albums from the pre-Polaris Prize era. This year's candidates are The Band, Robert Charlebois & Louise Forestier, D.O.A., Sarah Harmer, k.d. lang, Maestro Fresh Wes, Main Source, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, Stan Rogers, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and The Weakerthans. The deadline to vote here is Oct. 11.

– Survival for a full decade on Toronto's challenging live music venue scene is a milestone worth celebrating, and The Garrison is doing just that this weekend. From Oct. 3-5, it presents free 10 Year Birthday shows from such local faves as Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs, Odonis Odonis,  Casper Skulls, Hot Garbage, Peeling, and more. Our congrats to owner/operator Shaun Bowring for becoming something of a role model for how to run a club well (he opened a sister club, The Baby G, in 2006). Bowring was formerly in late '80s band Teknakuller Raincoats.

– Submissions for the sixth annual Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award are now open. Founded by Juno-winning bluesman Paul Reddick, in partnership with The Toronto Blues Society, the Cobalt Prize (worth $1K) aims to promote blues music through the exploration of its form. Apply by Oct. 31. More info here  Here is last year's winning song.


– Known for his humanitarian work, Canadian musician Ed Roman is now raising funds for dyslexia through Amazon Prime Video sales and rentals of his award-winning animated music video, Red Omen. Roman, who has dyslexia, is partnering with The Whole Dyslexic Society (WDS), and will donate a portion of the Amazon Prime Video sales and rentals of the music video to WDS. Source: Menafn

– Pop songsmith Royal Wood's music is given the deluxe treatment on Dec. 3 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Orchestrated: Royal Wood & Friends with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra features A-list guest performers Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, Jill Barber, Peter Katz, Good Lovelies and Elise LeGrow. Tix here 

– LA-based Canadian songwriter and recording artist Don Breithaupt  (Monkey House, The Breithaupt Brothers) and Chicago singer (and fellow Canuck) Neil Donell co-wrote the new Chicago single, All Over The World. Out on streaming services now.


Barrie Masters, frontman of '70s British pub rock band Eddie and the Hot Rods, has died, aged 63. A statement posted to the group’s social media suggested his passing was unexpected, with no cause of death given.


Masters was a founding member of the band, which formed on Canvey Island in 1975. A year later, the Sex Pistols would play their first London show in support of the pub rock group. An early single and album, both named Teenage Depression, found chart success.

The Hot Rods disbanded in 1981 but reformed sporadically after, with Masters the only constant member of the band. Ther ninth and last album, 35 Years of Teenage Depression, was released in 2011, primarily reworking songs from their debut. The group last performed together in April 2019. Source: The Guardian


Kim Shattuck, singer/guitarist of The Muffs, died on Oct. 2, age 56, after a two-year-long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

Shattuck began her music career as a member of LA rock band The Pandoras before she left in 1990 to form The Muffs. The Muffs released a self-titled debut album in 1993, and later went on hiatus after releasing their 2004 LP Really Really Happy.  They reunited in 2014 for their sixth studio album, Whoop Dee Doo. Besides fronting The Muffs, Shattuck was also a member of The Beards and The Coolies. In 2013, she had a brief stint as the Pixies’ bassist

The Muffs' final album, No Holiday, comes out on Oct. 18 on Omnivore Recordings. Source: NME

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.
Nykieria Chaney/Getty Images for ABA

Billie Eilish performs during Music Midtown 2023 at Piedmont Park on Sept. 16, 2023 in Atlanta.

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