Liner Notes: Bullet News For January 28th

RIP: Paul Kantner, founding member, guitarist and singer for Jefferson Airplane and Starship, died Thursday of multiple organ failure and septic shock. He had suffered a heart attack earlier in the week, according to San Francisco Gate. He was 74. With Jefferson Airplane, Kantner helped pioneer the oft-imitated psychedelic sound: simple, fuzzy guitar lines steeped in dreamlike reverb. The group formed in 1965 and, within a few years, scored hits with "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit." In their first run, five of the band's seven albums went gold, including 1967's Surrealistic Pillow and 1968's Crown of Creation.
Before San Francisco was the land of shark-eyed tech CEOs and Google buses, it was the land of hippies, flower power and tie-dyes — a California paradise where bold talk of revolution mingled with the dank smell of marijuana floating on the breeze. And though one band — the Grateful Dead — may symbolize the Summer of Love in the minds of many, there was another arguably more vital: Jefferson Airplane.
“Paul was the catalyst that brought the whole thing together,” Jorma Kaukonen, Jefferson Airplane’s lead guitarist, told the New York Times. “He had the transcendental vision and he hung onto it like a bulldog. The band would not have been what it was without him.”


- The Polaris Prize has announced key dates on its 2016 calendar. On June 15, the 40 album Long List will be revealed (location tba), and on July 14, the Short List (10 albums) is revealed at The Carlu in Toronto. That same historic space hosts the Gala event on Monday Sept. 19. The PMP awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales.

Fast-rising Toronto rock band Modern Space has just released its debut album Before Sunrise on Warner Music Canada and the lads aren't wasting time in promoting it. The Toronto five-piece is already out on the road winning over fans. A 15-date Western Canada tour got underway on the weekend, and it includes five sold-out shows opening for Arkells. The band worked with producer/co-writer Tawgs Salter on the the six-song LP, and they have the benefit of being backed by Spotify’s Spotlight 2016 program on tour.

The cold season in Toronto for roots music fans is always brightened by the Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival. The lineup for the 14th annual fest, running Feb. 12-14) has been unveiled, and it’s impressive. Amongst those playing at four Danforth Ave venues are Old Man Luedecke, Nashville’s Mean Mary, Julian Taylor, Joey Landreth, Jack De Keyzer, Drumhand, HOTCHA!, Tia Brazda, Murder Murder, and Turbo Street Funk. Early bird pricing (til Jan. 30) has general admission wristbands on sale for just $10, a seriously budget-friendly bargain.

- Manitoba Music has assembled an impressive grouping of notable industry types for their January Music Meeting mini-conference. Now in its second year and held at the Manitoba Music office, JMM takes place for three days, beginning today (Jan. 29) . Label, agency, management, festival, publishing, and publicity representatives will discuss the state of Canada’s independent music industry and provide concrete advice on how to succeed in the ever-changing music business.  Notable attendees will include Canadian Musician editor Andrew King, songwriter/producer  Andy Stochansky, manager Jason Burns (Arts & Crafts),entertainment lawyer Lisa Whynot, publicist Jen Fritz, artist manager Michael Gorman (Pandyamonium), SOCAN’s Rodney Murphy, and Pipe & Hat co-founder Tim Jones. Go to for more info

- New duo Matt & Florence comprises two jazz artists with strong solo followings. Torontonian Matt Dusk and Quebecer Florence K are bridging the two solitudes by teaming up for a duets album, Quiet Nights. It is released on February 12 (via Productions J), preceded by a first single and video, a bilingual rendition of Frank and Nancy Sinatra hit “Something Stupid.”

- The Jutra Awards honour excellence in Quebec film. The nominees in the Best Original Music Category of the 18th edition have just been announced, and they are:
•    Jean-Philippe Bernier, Jean-Nicolas Leupi (Le Matos) for Turbo Kid
•    Michel Corriveau for Anna
•    Gaëtan Gravel, Patrice Dubuc for Elephant Song
•    Martin Léon for Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre
•    Jenny Salgado, André Courcy, Luc St-Pierre for Scratch

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the renowned composer François Dompierre. He received a similar honour from SOCAN in 2008. Dompierre has scored more than 60 movies, documentaries and TV shows, including Le déclin de l’empire américain, Jésus de Montréal, and Léolo. The awards show is at Montréal’s Monument-National on March 20, 2016.

The Great Escape festival is known internationally as one of Britain’s best. This year it runs from May 19-21 in Brighton, and a huge lineup of participating artists has just been unveiled. Three of Canada’s most buzzed-about rock bands, Dilly Dally, Foxtrott and Frigs, are on the bill. Given the distance and costs involved, it’s surprising to note that Australia will be far better-represented there. A three day conference is held in conjunction with the fest. More info at the festival site.

- The CRTC has called for the public's comment on Corus Entertainment’s $2.65B acquisition of Shaw Media, and will be accepting submissions until Feb. 15. The deal is subject to approval from the regulator, as well as Corus shareholders and if approved it is expected to close at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2016. Corus and Shaw Media combined generated $1.9B in revenue in fiscal 2015.

- Japan’s government has announced a draft revision of the country’s copyright law, which will be in line with the broad agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As part of the revision, the Government has decided to allow for the prosecution of copyright infringement without the need for a formal complaint from the original creator or rights holder. The draft will also include a change in the copyright protection period from the current 50 years to 70 years after the original creator’s death. The government plans to submit the draft revision at a Diet (Japan's Parliament) session in late March.

- London, ON’s Mayor Matt Brown hopes to reinvigorate the downtown core with a roadmap that includes a music strategy. It’s more than just political bluster too. The City has hired a Development Officer and created a Music Industry Development Task Force. Behind the scenes Music Canada has provided meaningful data and shared key knowledge as architects in this fast-developing tourism resource. 


- Pictured above: Paul Kantner, centre, with glasses, and the rest of Jefferson Airplane in San Francisco in 1968. From left, singer Marty Balin, singer Grace Slick, drummer Spencer Dryden, Kantner, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bass guitarist Jack Casady. AP





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