Music News Digest, Sept. 1, 2022
The Weekend wins at the VMAs,The Sheepdogs (pictured) announce a major US tour, and Emily Reid earns a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award. Also in the news are the Intersection Festival, A More Beautiful Journey, Anne Murray, Music NL, CIMA's Canada House, Reeperbahn Festival, West End Phoenix, Bywater Call, PUP, Jess Moskaluke, Jessie Reyez, Dan Edmonds, Tia Brazda, and Melanie Peterson.
By Kerry Doole
The 2022 MTV Video Music Awards were held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Aug. 28, and the Canadian nominees mostly came up short. The one winner was TheWeeknd, who won the Best R&B Video Award for Out Of Time. Tate McRae was featured as a presenter, while rising young Canadian star Lauren Spencer Smith performed two songs on the main show. The show was emceed by LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, and Jack Harlow. Minaj was honoured with the Video Vanguard Award, and Red Hot Chili Peppers received the Global Icon Award which was presented to them by Cheech & Chong. See the full list of winners here.
– On Aug. 22 at a luncheon event in LA, SOCAN presented professional songwriter Emily Reid with a No. 1 Song Award for co-writing the hit song Boys. Performed by Dean Brody and Mickey Guyton, the track reached the peak of the Billboard Canada Country Chart on March 29, 2021, and again on April 3, 2021. Boys was co-written by Reid, Matt McVaney, and Travis Wood, and is published by Creative Pulse Music and BMG Platinum Songs US.
– MusicNL has announced the nominees for its 2022 awards.. Leading the way are Ife Alaba, Rachel Cousins, Nick Earle & The Reckless Hearts, and Jason Benoit with 5 noms, followed by Deantha Edmunds, Kubasonics, Mick Davis & Thin Love, Florian Hoefner, Quote the Raven with 4 nods each. Check a full list of nominees here. MusicNL also released details of a new partnership with Boomstick Brewing Co., a new beer, "Every Inch a Sailor Sour," to be available during the conference later this fall.
– Held in Toronto Sept. 1-5, the adventurous Intersection Music & Arts Festival is described as "an annual multi-day festival that celebrates musical experimentation, and confronts people in their own environment, on common ground." A highlight this year will be a performance by legendary avant-garde jazz pioneer Anthony Braxton, performing at St. Anne's Church on Sept. 2, with James Fei and Nadja. Featured as part of the Intersection Festival is A More Beautiful Journey. Organised by The Music Gallery, AMBJ is a city-wide sound installation featuring dozens of Toronto musicians soundtracking TTC surface routes across the city. The augmented-reality AMBJ platform launches today (Sept. 1) with free live concerts at three streetcar loops across Toronto, and this app is free to download to your phone. More fest info here.
– Last Saturday, The Globe and Mail published a two-page open letter to Bell Media, criticising the firing of CTV news anchor Lisa LaFlamme. Signatories included Jann Arden, Sarah McLachlan and Anne Murray, alongside a long list of major political and business leaders.
Anne Murray also made a splash last weekend by reprising her role as anthem singer at a Blue Jays game as part of the 30th anniversary of the team's first World Series win.
– CIMA's Canada House makes its full in-person return to Hamburg and Berlin, Germany, this month for the 2022 edition of the Reeperbahn Festival & Conference. Events will kick off in Berlin on Sept 19, as participating Canadian companies will take part in a pre-Reeperbahn business initiative organized by CIMA and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. In Hamburg, Canadian companies will get the chance to participate in a Meet the Canadians matchmaking session, organized by Reeperbahn, with German industry. The Canada House showcases will take place on Sept. 22 and 23 at Uwe (formerly Kukuun) and will feature 28 of Canada’s top indie acts. Showcases begin at 11 am, running until 1 am. Check the impressive list of showcasing artists here.
– Highly-regarded Toronto local newspaper West End Phoenix (founded by musician/author Dave Bidini five years ago) has announced a star-studded 6th Annual Fundraiser to support independent journalism. Ron Sexsmith, Barenaked Ladies’ Tyler Stewart, Tom Wilson, and Andrew & Sameer Cash are among the artists joining host Bidini with The Mercenaries House Band on Sept. 17, in the Planet Storage courtyard (1655 Dupont, at Edwin). The show, dubbed Saturday Night Phoever, will feature fresh takes on disco-era classics. Tickets are available here.
– The 2023 Road to Memphis Band representing The Grand River Blues Society, Bywater Call has a scheduling conflict with a one-month tour of the UK and has withdrawn. They will, however, support the Road to Memphis Fundraiser to help offset the travel expenses of the representing acts. This will be held at Stonewalls Hamilton on Nov. 27, and will also feature FrankCosentino and his trio (who now head to Memphis) and Brooke Blackburn. More info here.
– Rockin' road warriors The Sheepdogs have just announced a 50+ date North American tour including performances at Toronto’s Massey Hall, Montreal’s MTelus, and 2 back-to-back shows at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. The extensive tour will also hit major U.S. markets including NY’s Bowery Ballroom and a sold-out show at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. To commemorate, the band will release exclusive vinyl of their LP, Live At Lees, offstage and online in October. Joining the band on stage is Quebec blues and rock guitarist Ricky Paquette who will be filling in for Jimmy Bowskill on the tour. Itinerary and tix here.
– Vérité Films, Jeremy Fisher Music, and Hidden Pony Records have announced Jeremy and Jazzy, a new children’s animated television, music, and multi-platform brand. The series brings to life a new collection of children’s music written by three-time Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher.Jeremy and Jazzy debuts in Canada on the free CBC Gem streaming service on Sept. 5, followed by its linear broadcast premiere on CBC Kids beginning Sept. 12, then streaming on CBC Kids’ YouTube channel starting on Sept. 19.
The series stars Jeremy Fisher (Jeremy) and award-winning artist Aiza Ntibarikure (Jazzy). The first 26 two-minute episodes and one 11-minute special (featuring a guest appearance from Joel Plaskett) will be available to stream at launch. Here's a preview of the first short, Jeremy and Jazzy (Theme).
– Toronto punk stars PUP begin a US tour next week, and the release of a new live EP has been announced. PUP Unravels Live In Front Of Everyone They Know was recorded across multiple shows in the band’s hometown of Toronto earlier this year, and it comes on Oct. 12. via Little Dipper Records / Universal Music Canada. The band has just shared its first two tracks from the EP, live versions of Matilda and Robot Writes A Love Song. Streaming links here
Platinum-selling country star Jess Moskaluke expands her national 2022 Mapdot Tour announcing four additional dates in Barrie, Portage La Prairie, Brandon, and Winnipeg. Joining Moskaluke on tour is 2021 SiriusXM Top of the Country winner, Tyler Joe Miller. Tix for the new tour dates go on sale today (Sept. 1) here.
– 4x Juno-winning singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez releases her sophomore album, YESSIE, on Sept. 16, via FMLY / Island Record. She recently announced The YESSIE Tour, a 29-date fall trek across North America, produced by Live Nation. See the list of dates here. Tickets on sale to the general public start Sept. 2 here
– On Aug. 27, this scribe attended a free afternoon concert in Hamilton, in front of the Gasworks venue. It was part of the HMC – Eclectic Local series and this one featured acclaimed local singer/songwriter Dan Edmonds, accompanied by F.R.I.E - The Fort Rose Imagined Ensemble (Annie Shaw, Connor Bennett, & Joel Banks). They delivered mellow sounds perfectly fitting the weather, reimagining some old tunes in an adventurous yet accessible fashion. Nice to hear an Arthur Russell composition. Edmonds impressed with light vocal and guitar touches at times suggestive of tropicalia and John Martyn, while Shaw sang sweetly on a couple of tunes. Spied in the appreciative audience were local music luminaries Jeremy Greenspan (Junior Boys), Martin Verrall, Kristin Archer (I Heart Hamilton) and scribe Graham Rockingham.
– Toronto jazz-pop vocalist Tia Brazda returns to the Songbook songs of the '30s on her new album When I Get Low. She launches it with a performance at 3030 (Dundas St. W.) in Toronto on Sept. 9, at Hugh's Room Live show. Tix here
– Toronto singer/songwriter Melanie Peterson releases a new EP, We Got This - Side Two, on Sept. 2, and plays a hometown release show at The Dakota Tavern (7-9 pm) that evening, accompanied by a top-notch band comprising Frank Koren, Peter Collins, Pete Lambert, and Bob Cohen.