Music News Digest, July 12, 2017

Music Managers Forum Canada holds its 2017 Annual General Meeting in the YouTube Space Toronto at the George Brown College School of Design – 230 Richmond Street East- on July 25, at 1.30 pm. The event incudes a free info session from YouTube Canada to help you monetize your YouTube channel and build your audience. 

 — The North American Indigenous Games are coming to Toronto  July 17-21 with a stellar list of leading artists performing free public shows, including Tanya Tagaq, Midnight Shine, Crystal Shawanda, Digging Roots, DJ Shub, Cris Derksen, and Mimi O'Bonsawin. More info here.

— The 2017 Polaris Music Prize Short List will be revealed tomorrow (July 13). The keenly-anticipated announcement will come at 11am ET via a live stream here

— Toronto singer, songwriter and actress Melanie Peterson releases her EP, Two, on July 14 with a performance at The Artists’ Garden outdoor stage in Toronto on the 26th. This is her third EP, and Peterson has also released two full-length albums, all produced by Mitch Girio (Emma-Lee, Tamara Williamson). The lead single and video is “Been So Long."

 — The baseball All-Star Weekend always attracts some top-notch musical all-stars too. Those performing around the events this year included Pitbull and Lenny Kravitz, while rising Canadian star Jocelyn Alice was selected to sing "O Canada" at the All-Star Game in Miami last night. Alice's latest single, "Bound To You," is now a top 15 radio song in Canada. Reaction to her rendition was not all positive, however.

 — It didn't grab any real media attention here, but Monday July 10 marked a significant anniversary in the history of Canadian punk. On this date, 40 years ago, legendary New York City punk club CBGB's hosted three of Canada's most important punk bands, The Viletones, Teenage Head, and The Diodes. Billed as "outrageous Toronto bands" (even though Teenage Head have always been proud Hamiltonians), the three acts opened up for US faves The Cramps.

Noting the milestone in a FB post, The Diodes' John Catto reminisced that "the whole thing was kind of fun but I don't think it was terribly groundbreaking for any of the bands though Frankie made quite the mark swinging and climbing on the pipes over the stage." The Diodes manager at the time, Ralph Alfonso does consider that gig important. He posted on FB that  "The Globe, Toronto Star, etc, went down there to cover it; playing in NYC legitimized Toronto punk for the local media and it was a roller-coaster ride the rest of that summer."

Mariposa Moments: Can't imagine Canada's birthday being celebrated ANY better than the closing show at Mariposa Sunday night.

"The Last Waltz" was a brilliantly produced tribute to one of our greatest musical groups "The Band."

As producer, pianist Lance Armstrong said "Historic songs from 4 young guys from southern Ontario plus a couple from Arkansas." The 2 hour set was filled with standing ovations.
This was following Russell DeCarle (never sounded better), Suzy Vinnick (raves galore), Bruce Cockburn (he is pretty good, you know. Gordon Lightfoot came out and watched his set), Great Lake Swimmers and "The Last Waltz" (the perfect closing to a brilliant festival. Plus a full moon).
See you next year — Don Bird on Facebook

— And fellow scribbler Richard Flohil was inducted into the Mariposa Festival Hall of Fame this past weekend. Here he is looking ever so jolly holding the plaque affirming his place in the festival's august memory lane.


Jay Z’s 4:44 tour lands in Montreal on Nov. 21, Toronto 22, Edmonton Dec. 9 and Vancouver on the 11th.

— BreakOut West has added more western Canadian talent to the festival line-up, September 13-17. That list includes Mobina Galore, The Lytics, Port Juvee, Nuela Charles, The Wet Secrets, Youngblood, and Amy Nelson.

Also showcasing will be two Australian acts, Letters to Lions and Winterbourne. This addition was developed through a partnership with Australian Music Week (AMW) to feature the first international artists performing as part of the festival, reciprocating the agreement that brought four western Canadian artists (Poor Nameless Boy, Sarah MacDougall, Amy Nelson and Youngblood) to AMW in 2016. 

— 2017 SCMA Guitarist of the year, Topher Mils has released a co-write with Codie Prevost and Doug Sylvester that serves as the calling card for an upcoming EP. The track went to radio on Wednesday. It’s titled “Right Place, Right Time.”

— We recently mentioned Catherine MacLellan teaming up with Bob Mersereau on a book about her late father, singer-songwriter Gene MacLellan. What we failed to point out is the daughter has just released a tribute album of Gene’s songs, entitled If It’s Alright With You: The Songs Of.  Here’s a music video of the title track song.

Céline Dion posed nude for Vogue while the magazine was shooting her in Paris. The photo was posted on Vogue’s Instagram account Tuesday, with the singer sitting on a chair strategically placing her arms and legs. One wonders if she is trying to transform her goodie two-shoes image with this spread. If you care to see, The Montreal Gazette has the pic.

— Former Blue Rodeo guitarist Bob Egan left the group a few years back for a job as the Kitchener Public Library's manager of community development. He has helped create a new instrument lending program, one that was launched on Monday with the help of bandmate Jim Cuddy.

Egan told the CBC that 150 instruments including hand drums, guitars and keyboards will be available to be loaned out. Cuddy noted "this program can go on and on, and it will change lives."

Music NS is now accepting noms for its Industry Awards. The trade org’s 20thannual is set for Truro, Nov. 2-5.

— John K Samson, Tift Merritt, Moe Berg, Leif Vollebekk, Art Bergmann, Ron Hawkins, Skydiggers are among those set to perform at the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, Aug. 27 through Sept. 3.

— Canada's Extreme Metal Radio is now taking band applications to participate in their 2018 edition being held from May 4th to 6th at The Forge in Edmonton

Exclaim! reports a slew of Canadian concert dates by Deadmau5 in late fall.


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