Music News Digest, Sept. 19, 2018

Gord Bamford (pictured) hits the top in both Canada and Oz, imagineNATIVE announces its schedule, and Rogers Hometown Hockey seeks local bands, Also making news are music streaming, Phil Collins, The Dungarees, Harris Institute, Bob Seger, Billy Idol, TSO, Specialtones, L&O Music, and farewell Big Jay McNeely. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Sept. 19, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Country star Gord Bamford has just scored simultaneous No. 1 singles on country radio charts in both Canada and Australia, for "Dive Bar" and "Neon Smoke" respectively, his label ole has announced. Giving this accomplishment extra resonance is the fact that Bamford spent the first five years of his life Down Under, before his family moving to Canada.

“Dive Bar” is Bamford’s second #1 Canadian country music hit, while “Neon Smoke” is his first #1 in Australia. “This is a huge day! Thanks to Canadian country radio for all the support and dedication on getting this to #1. Great songs still do win I guess, so thanks to John Ozier, ole and Tebey for the song,” says Bamford. 


–  Toronto's imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest festival showcasing film, video, audio, and digital & interactive media made by Indigenous screen content creators. The programming for the 19th annual fest, Oct. 17-21, has just been announced. imagineNATIVE's music showcase The Beat, co-presented by Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), returns Oct. 20 at Lee’s Palace with live performances and the $10K iN Bullseye Prize award presentation. Artists featured include Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Silla + Rise,  Chhoti Maa, and DJ Boogey the Beat.

–  The popular Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour will roll into 25 communities across Canada this season with a weekend of free outdoor hockey festivities for all ages. Each tour stop features live music from local bands. MusicOntario is assisting in the search for talent in the province, and applications are now open for artists in seven different communities. More info and application forms here

–  New data from MusicWatch shows music streaming services generate 65 percent of all music revenue within the US, and this is expected to keep growing. Spotify and Apple Music alone have reached the amount of 51 million paid subscribers, twice as many as in 2016. Spotify and Apple Music also have 20 million users with paid accounts in family plans and 29 million extra users on free trials or bundled deals. The two streaming giants hold at least 80 percent of the paid market in the US. Source: pocketnow


–  Warner Music Canada is running a contest around Phil Collins' Oct. 16 concert at Bell Centre in Montreal. The prize includes airfare, accommodations, and spending money. Rules here

– Edmonton country group (and Project WILD winners) The Dungarees have announced their third annual 24-Hour Gig-a-thon in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Returning Oct. 6 at Have Mercy Southern Table & Bar in Edmonton, The Dungarees will hit the stage at 8:00 am for 24-hours of music and fundraising, with local acts also joining them on-stage. Since 2016, The Dungarees have raised nearly $30K for the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s patient financial assistance program. Click here to donate

–  Harris Institute in Toronto will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2019 with $30K in scholarships for its music industry programs. Thirty $1K scholarships will be awarded to students starting the Audio Production Program or Arts Management Program in March and July 2019. Founded in 1989, Harris Institute offers accelerated 12-month diploma programs taught by active industry leaders. In the last two years, alumni won 97 awards including Grammy, Emmy, Juno, SOCAN, CCMA and Canadian Screen Awards.


–  After 56 years of live performing, Detroit rocker Bob Seger (now 73)  is calling it a day. The Detroit Free Presshas announced that Seger's last tour — a six-month run with the Silver Bullet Band —  will launch Nov. 21 in Grand Rapids. No Canadian dates have yet been announced. While he may continue recording, Seger says this is the end of his touring career.


–  A veteran rocker not contemplating retirement is Billy Idol. He has announced a 10-show residency at Palms Casino in Las Vegas, beginning Jan. 18, 2019, and concluding with shows in October. Idol releases his new album, Vital Idol: Revitalized on Sept. 28. Source: The Music Universe

–  New Canadian music company Specialtones Incorporated focuses on applied neuromusicology. It has just announced the launch of the world’s first online music service aimed at children with special needs. The Specialtones app enables you to nurture your special child’s neurological development through music listening at home.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has announced the appointment of noted Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimenoas the organization’s 11th Music Director. His five-year term is set to begin in the 2020/21 season. Gimeno succeeds Peter Oundjian, who was named TSO Conductor Emeritus in June 2018 after a 14-year tenure as Music Director. Sir Andrew Davis is serving as TSO Interim Artistic Director until the end of the 2019/20 season. Source: Celebrity Access

–  Running Sept 21-23, the Collingwood, ON, Live & Original Music Forum features workshops led by more than a dozen professional musicians, music creators and industry notables, including Blair Packham, Stephen Stanley, Irish Mythen, Marc Jordan, Tim Thorney, and Jeff Woods. More info here. On the evening of Sept. 22, the L&O Music Crawl features shows at over 40 venues in downtown Collingwood.



Big Jay McNeely, an R&B saxophonist, died on Sept. 16, at age 91.

McNeely began playing jazz alongside Sonny Criss as a teenager, then turned to R&B. He drew attention by sustaining a single note for 50 bars of music, playing one song for an hour straight, and delivering high-energy performances.

His 1948 debut “Deacon’s Hop” topped the R&B chart, and was followed by such other singles as "The Goof," "Strip Tease Swing," "Nervous Man Nervous," "Teen Age Hop," and "3-D." He scored another major hit with 1959's "There Is Something On Your Mind."


McNeely's honking saxophone and wild stage antics gave form to what would become rock and roll, directly influencing many of the genre's legends. Sources: LA Weekly, NPR

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The Weeknd Spotted at Kendrick Lamar's 'Pop Out' Concert in Los Angeles

Unlike former Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan, the Scarborough-born artist never got onstage, but he was in the audience of the show that featured Drake diss tracks 'Not Like Us' and 'Euphoria.'

Kendrick Lamar took over the internet last night (June. 19) with his "Pop Out" concert live-streamed on Prime Video from the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. If it wasn't clear Kendrick had won public opinion in his beef with Drake, it was when the stage united cultural figures from L.A. — from up-and-comers to legends like Dr. Dre, basketball stars like Russell Westbrook, even someone Drake name-dropped in one of his diss tracks, DJ Mustard — to dance along to the scathing "Not Like Us."

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