Music News Digest, Sept. 4, 2019

Dallas Smith (pictured) hits No. 1...again, Anyway Gang is a new Canrock supergroup, and Justin Bieber gets confessional. Also in the news are the MusiCounts Scholarship, Taylor Swift, Terra Lightfoot, Casino NS, Harris Institute, Kevin Hearn, Vivek Shraya, Harrow Fair, Gillian Smith, and farewell Jim Swindel.

Music News Digest, Sept. 4, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Just ahead of his co-hosting role (with Billy Ray Cyrus) at the CCMA Awards on Sunday night, Dallas Smith is celebrating the news that he has earned his 8th No. one single with Drop as the track tops the Nielsen BDS and Mediabase Canadian Country Radio charts. This is the most #1 songs by a Canadian artist on the Country airplay chart in Nielsen BDS and Mediabase history. The cut is the third consecutive chart-topper from his current EP, The Fall.

– Even though his main gig, Sloan, is still going strong, Chris Murphy keeps making a habit of helping to form Canrock supergroups. First, there was TUNS, then Trans-Canada Highwaymen and now he's a member of Anyway Gang. Joining him in this new venture are Sam Roberts, Hollerado's Menno Versteeg, and Tokyo Police Club's Dave Monks.


Versteeg explained the band's origins in a recent post on Instagram: "Last summer I got together with a few of my tour buds who also happen to be some of my favourite songwriters. We mostly made dad jokes, but we also jammed on a bunch of three-chord songs we had lying around. We recorded a bunch of stuff in a few days and over the year we'd add some ideas here and there and all of a sudden a year had past, and we realized we kinda had an album." A debut Anyway Gang single, Big Night, is due in a few weeks. Source: Exclaim!

– Canada’s music education charity, MusiCounts, has announced six recipients of the 2019 MusiCounts Scholarship presented by the RBC Foundation’s Emerging Artists Project. This year, MusiCounts has partnered with Indigenous national charity, Indspire, to support two students through the program. In addition to a $4K financial contribution, the recipients receive a five-day mentoring and networking experience in Toronto with industry experts. The 2019 Scholarship winners are Joash Almeda, Kelly D Ermine, Cassidy Glecoff, Liam Gordon, Nathalie Parent, and Kierian Turner.


–  In a lengthy Instagram message on Monday, Justin Bieber states that his struggles with depression and experiences as a child star led him to make “every bad decision you could have thought of” by the age of 20. Bieber credits his marriage to American model Hailey Baldwin with helping him establish healthier habits. Source: CP

– Hamilton rocker Terra Lightfoot has been recording a new album, set for 2020 release. She'll preview new material on a just-announced fall tour of Canada, starting at Winnipeg's WECC on Oct. 30, closing out Nov. 9 at Station On Jasper in Edmonton. Sam Weber supports on all shows. Dates here 

– The 2019 Casino NS Artist in Residence Finalists have been announced: Arsoniste, Cameron Nickerson, Keonté Beals, MAJE, and Tommy Green Jr.. The five candidates move onto the performance round of the selection process, Sept. 20, at Casino Nova Scotia. The program, administered in part by Music Nova Scotia, provides the selected musician or group with $20K in funding to assist career development. The public is invited to see the final five perform. Free admission. More info here


 Toronto's Harris Institute celebrates its 30th anniversary with an event in support of UNISON Benevolent Fund and MusiCounts on Nov. 28 at The Berkeley Church. The evening will feature The Harris Alumni Awards, food, a silent auction, raffle items and performances by THE INVIGILATORS (Harris Faculty) making their only Canadian appearance in 2019, plus guest artists TBA.

"This milestone event will raise much-needed funds for two charities making a difference in people's lives", says John Harris, founder of the college. Jim Norris (Publisher, Canadian Musician Magazine), is coordinating Event Sponsors. Contact him at 905.374.9012 or  


– Ontario’s top court has ruled that a Toronto gallery must now pay $60K to Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn, who alleged he was sold a fake painting purported to be by the renowned Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau. A trial judge had earlier dismissed a legal action by Hearn against the Maslak-McLeod Gallery. The experience was the subject of a recent acclaimed film documentary, There Are No Fakes. Source: CP

– Canadian writer and musician Vivek Shraya launched her VS. Arts Grant at the beginning of the year as an equitable source of funding for a young, marginalized musical act to record their debut EP. After reviewing 40 applications from across Canada, Shraya has announced the winner of the $5K grant: cutsleeve, a five-piece female queer East Asian emotional rock band from Toronto. Source: NOW

– Roots duo Harrow Fair has begun its BINGO Mondays! residency at Toronto's Dakota Tavern, from 7-9. Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner promise new songs, special guests and BINGO!, with the proceeds going to Unison Benevolent Fund.

– Manitoba Film & Sound Recording Development Corporation is seeking a permanent CEO & Film Commissioner. The application deadline is Sept. 17. More details here

– Halifax violinist Gillian Smith launches her first solo CD, Into the Stone with an Oct. 5 concert at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. The album comprises the premiere recording of solo violin works by five Canadian women composers: Veronika Krausas, Ana Sokolović,  Alice Ping Yee Ho, Kati Agócs, and Chantal Laplante. Tickets here. Listen to one composition here 


Jim Swindel, US music industry veteran, died Sept. 1. Cause of death and age not reported.

Swindel was the President of Qwest Records in the early '90s, SVP, and GM of Virgin from 1987 to 1992, and SVP at Arista in the late 1990s. Early in his career, he was VP Marketing and Sales at Island Records and Marketing Manager at A&M Records.


Before starting his own children’s entertainment company Marvelous Media in 2006, Swindel held executive positions at Gibson Guitar and Artist Direct. Source: Hits Daily Double

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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."

DeMar DeRozan, the beloved former Toronto Raptor who was once close enough to Drake that he spilled the beans on an upcoming mixtape joined fellow L.A.-born NBA player Westbrook onstage at the Forum during "Not Like Us."

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