Liner Notes: Bullet News for February 24th

There's much speculation about the National Music Centre, and the Junos landing in the patch hereafter known as Rodeo City. The $200M mecca for Annie and Randy's guitars and shoes - and the Stones mobile recording truck - has NMC's executive suite and Board huffing and puffing to close the the sky-high budgetary gap for completion. Surprisingly, too, selling $30M's worth of bricks is proving a tougher sell than hoped in a town where the price of a barrel of oil is less than a Tomahawk steak for two. With spuds and sprouts, of course. Our guess is the NMC will find its way, the Junos will go without a hitch and all this innuendo and seamy gossip will leave the columnist with eggs and toast with marmalade on his face.

- To read the US press about Carly Rae Jepsen, one would think she was an Adele in waiting. The latest breathless prose appears in the San Francisco Chronicle which reports that “After setting the world on fire with her 2012 smash “Call Me Maybe,” she penned over 250 songs to create Emotion, her aesthetically adventurous 2015 follow-up album, which landed on many critics’ Top Ten lists.” The unflappable singer waxes in the same piece: “…what I really love about this career is that I get thrown so many curve balls so you never really know what to expect.”

- The Crown's case against Sen. Mike Duffy relies on stitching together snippets from days of testimony and thousands of pages of evidence, all of which actually prove the controversial senator committed no crime, Duffy's lawyer said Tuesday. The actual cost of this case that was supposed to be a slam dunk? Well, no figures are available since the trial hasn’t wrapped yet, but the Gomery Commission investigating the so-called “Sponsorship Scandal” weighed in at $37M.

- Universal Music Publishing has bagged a deal to represent Pearl Jam’s catalogue including new material and Eddie Vedder’s solo works.  The American band has reportedly sold over 60M albums and is scheduled to tour in NA this summer in arenas and stadiums. No financials were disclosed.

- Sony ATV’s music pubbery has signed Canadian synthpop star Claire Boucher aka Grimes, via its co-venture with award-winning songwriter Jack Antonoff’s newly launched collaborative Rough Customer venture. The deal includes Boucher’s latest album Art Angels, which has scanned 50K copies in the US since its release earlier this month. The deal is significant for more than being a first signing, according to Antonoff. “I wanted to start a publishing company to work with friends who are making important work,” Antonoff said in a statement. “It really couldn't be more special to start things with Claire. She's one of my all-time favorite artists and a wonderful person. Her work matters on the highest level and I feel deeply proud to know her, have worked with her and now be involved here as well.”

- Following Ontario’s lead, the BC government has matched the trillium province’s $15M funding pledge to empower the wet coast’s music biz. International music biz organ MBW poses the question in a lead headline yesterday: Canada is now giving the music biz $30M a year. Will the UK follow suit?

- Music retailers may be telling the UK performing rights organizations PRS/PPL to piss off and either stop playing music in the stores (an unlikely outcome) or collectively fight against what they see as unreasonable licensing costs. PRS, which collects the money, has already been singled out for its spendthrift overhead and exorbitant executive salaries.

- The long awaited Drake album Views From the 6 will be released in April. The specific date has yet to be announced but confirmation of the month was made by Drizzy himself on his OVO Radio show.

- How is it Folk Music Canada can take taxpayer money from the Canada Arts Council, FACTOR and other orgs and sponsors to represent Canadian artists at the International Folk Alliance in Kansas between Feb. 17 and 21 and not update its Facebook page or website to report what happened in Dorothy land? Even an e-mail to organizers has gone unanswered, as of Tuesday evening. Oh, the org’s Twitter feed was bustling with 38 character exclamations and even a few photos, but announcements, press releases, media coverage of events? From where we are sitting, all appear to be held to a small circle of friends. Maybe the folks at FMC need to re-think their communications, PR and marketing strategies to reach beyond the inclusive few who already are in the know. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the strategy works, maybe Dorothy knows all and the Tin Man isn’t telling.



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