Music News Digest, Aug. 23, 2017

It has been more than five years since the stage collapse at a Radiohead concert in Toronto's Downsview Park killed drum technician Scott Johnson. Resulting charges against Live Nation and an engineer and contractor have yet to be resolved in court. On Monday, defence lawyers claimed the charges should be stayed because of unreasonable delays in the legal process. A mistrial was declared in the spring, with a new trial now scheduled to begin on Sept. 5. Source: Toronto Star

— 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Big Blue Sky, the debut album from Saskatoon-based rockers The Northern Pikes. It went gold and launched the band's career, and it is now getting the deluxe reissue treatment. On Oct. 6, Universal Music Canada will issue it in a triple LP format and 2 CD set + digital..

The lads will support it with a 27-date Canadian tour, beginning in St. John, NB on Oct. 12 ( at the Imperial Theatre) and closing out in Saskatoon on Nov. 25 at the Broadway Theatre. There is one change from the group's original lineup, with guitarist/vocalist Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath) replacing Merl Bryck. Kane and Pikes guitarist Bryan Potvin have recently been recording and performing as a duo.

— After a recent technical glitch, Folk Alliance International's official showcase application site is back online. The deadline to apply for Folk Alliance 2018 is Sept. 13, with the application rate increasing on Aug. 30 (from $40 to $50 for non-members, $20-$25 for FAI members). FAI is held February 14-18, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It is the world's largest gathering of the folk music industry and community, attracting over 2700 attendees from 27 countries. 

—Popular Canadian modern rockers Zeus recently scored their first feature film. Written and directed by highly-regarded Toronto independent filmmaker Ingrid Veninger, Porcupine Lake gets its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September. The film is described as a coming of age tale and we're informed that "Zeus's distinct, chilled-Canadian vibe stands perfectly against the Parry Sound backdrop." The band will play a launch party for the film at Toronto's Monarch Tavern on Sept. 11.

Veninger recently filmed a music video for the track "Typical" by Toronto band Goodbye Honolulu. The group's singer/guitarist Jacob Switzer is her son (she's married to producer/bassist John Switzer). The debut Goodbye Honolulu EP, No Honey, is out on Sept. 1.


— Vancouver’s Westward Music Festival runs Sept. 14 to 17, and it recently announced the relocation of two of its shows. The concerts scheduled for the Red Truck Brewery back lot will be moved to the Vogue Theatre and Venue. The Sept. 16 show featuring Vince Staples, Charlotte Day Wilson, Busty and the Bass, JOAN and Ralph moves to The Vogue and is now all-ages. The Sept. 17 lineup of A Tribe Called Red, Hannah Georgas, Too Many Zooz and Clairmont The Second will now perform at Venue. The fest is presented by MRG Concerts. More info here 

—Toronto folk veteran Howard Gladstone will launch his fifth album, Hourglass, with a Hugh's Room Live show in Toronto on Oct. 5. The evening also marks the unveiling of a new high-resolution record label Sonic Peach, co-founded by Gladstone and fellow singer/songwriter Laura Fernandez. A press releases states that for its releases "the label aims to focus on the highest possible audio resolution, 192K/24bit in digital multi-track format."

— Manitoba Music's  MB Live at The Cube, a free concerts series on Wednesdays over the noon hour at Old Market Square in Winnipeg, closes out today (Aug. 23) with the pop trio Amadians.

— Dance-pop duo Blue Hawaii release a new album, Tenderness, on Arbutus Records on Oct. 6. They play Montreal's Club Lambi that night, Toronto's Longboat Hall on Oct. 7 and Vancouver's Celebrities Underground on Oct. 14, as well as SF and LA shows. Ten European shows are in their calendar in November. Singer Raphaelle 'Ra' Standell is also in the highly-touted Braids. Here's the new video for Tenderness' first single, "No One Like You."

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