Hugh's Room owner Richard Carson still holds out a glimmer of hope that the 200-seat supper club in Toronto's west-end can open its doors again. In a CP story yesterday, Carson said he continues to scour options, including restructuring the business as a not-for-profit.
-- Canadian music rights management company ole has acquired the trademarks, songwriter contracts, and catalogue of nearly 3K songs from Nashville-based music publisher Red Vinyl Music, LLC. The repertoire includes the Tim McGraw country hit, “How I’ll Always Be," co-written by Red Vinyl songsmith Chris Janson and ole songwriter Jeremy Stover, the Top 25 Janson song, “Holdin’ Her,” plus over 100 commercial songs recorded by such as Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, and Faith Hill.
-- The Ontario Arts Council has launched a new website to support Nova, OAC’s new online grant application and management system, which is now live. The dynamic new website and Nova will make it easier for applicants to search for granting programs that best suit a proposed arts activity.
-- Hard to believe but it was 15 years ago when Montreal pop group Simple Plan burst on the scene with their debut album No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls. Pierre Bouvier, Jeff Stinco, Sébastien Lefebvre, David Desrosiers, and Chuck Comeau are taking the hit-laded collection on tour with them in on a 17-city US tour, performing hits from it including "Addicted", "Perfect", "I'm Just A Kid", and "I'd Do Anything." The shows open in Ft. Lauderdale, on March 19.
-- On the re-sign of Fifth Harmony sans Camila Cabello, an unnamed source tells Billboard that Epic Records chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid “Doesn't ‘let go’ of successful artists -- ever. He even has a hard time parting with the unsuccessful ones.”
-- EU copyright law that says any repertoire that remains unpublished 50 years after it was recorded can fall into the public domain. The copyright term has led to the release of pricey boxed set collections that include Bob Dylan's 36-disc doorstop, The 1966 Live Recordings, and The Early Years--a 27-CD Pink Floyd thumper. Just released is an 80-track Motown collection that bundles unreleased tracks by headliners such as Marvin Gaye with lesser known performers, and a slew more is expected. Possible contenders include the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.
-- “Prince’s legendary performances, his unmistakable style and music, his incomparable artistry — all continue to make a lasting impression on art, music, culture, design and fashion and will continue for generations to come." That's the set-up for a multi-million dollar merchandise and branding deal agreed to by the deceased's estate and UMG-owned Bravado. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed. Next up, watch for a streaming deal or deals for his catalogue, new and old.
In a feature entitled Future sounds: the best pop and rock of 2017, top UK paper The Guardian singled out plenty of Canadian artists. Their list included Austra, Drake, The Weeknd, and Nelly Furtado. They sounded especially excited over the fact that Drake has an extensive month-long tour of the UK, including eight shows at London’s O2 arena.
-- Adventurous songwriter/producer L CON (Lisa Conway) has announced a short winter tour in support of much-praised recent album Moon Milk. The shows are at Fredericton’s Shivering Songs festival (Jan. 20), Sackville’s Stereophonic X1V (Jan. 21), Toronto’s Long Winter (Feb. 4), and Owen Sound’s Lupercalia Festival (Feb. 18).
-- English cult hero John Otway played a short but memorable set at the Church 120 club in Toronto last night, as a special guest of now locally-based producer/guitarist Chris Birkett (Sinead O’Connor, Buffy Sainte-Marie). Otway is in town putting finishing touches on a new album, produced by Birkett, that was primarily recorded in Montserrat. Spied enjoying proceedings were promoter Gary Topp (he has regularly booked Otway shows here), Mediazoic’s Greg Nisbet, Dave MacMillan, and music writers Mary Dickie and Karen Bliss.
-- The Telegraph reports that a UK government scheme to promote British music abroad is distributing £250K to promising independent musicians. The Music Exports Growth Scheme (Megs), run by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and funded through the Department of International Trade, has awarded the money to 21 different artists to help them promote themselves overseas. Since it was launched in January 2014, the scheme has spent £1.6m helping more than 100 UK acts.