Yonge Street mural unveiled
Yonge Street mural unveiled

Liner Notes: Bullet News For September 29

RIP: Kashif Saleem, an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, artist, composer, author, director and educator, has died. He was 56 years old. Together with Stevie Wonder he was considered a pioneer in urban music in large part linked to his specific synthesizer technology approach and the introduction of MIDI in his production. He studied Islam and changed his name from Michael Jones to Kashif, which means discoverer and inventor. He crafted his own distinctive sound and later signed with Arista Records, enjoying success as a solo artist and went on to work with the likes of George Benson and enjoyed immense success for his work with Whitney Houston.

--The rich musical history of Toronto’s Yonge Street strip will be recognized in the form of a 22-storey high mural commissioned by the Downtown Yonge BIA. It is not yet completed, but was launched at an event yesterday attended by two musical legends it will feature, Ronnie Hawkins and Gordon Lightfoot. The new mural is part of the Downtown Yonge BIA’s Music Strategy, described as “an ambitious, multi-pronged plan to re-establish the area as a ‘Music Mecca.’”

-- The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has just announced the appointment of five new members to its Board of Directors. The list includes Jeffrey Remedios, President and CEO of Universal Music Canada.

-- Described as an experimental orchestra, Flowers of Hell is led by Toronto-based composer Greg Jarvis, and he works with both UK and Canadian musicians. FoH recordings have earned praise on both sides of the Atlantic, with Lou Reed giving his endorsement. A new album, Symphony No. 1, will be out December 2 through Optical Sounds, with a small vinyl run. It will feature opera soprano Danie Friesen. Jarvis terms Symphony No. 1 "an album length abstract animated movie."

-- Kaytranada has launched a music video from his Polaris Prize-winning 99.9% album. The Quebec-based, Haitian-born producer teamed up with California singer-producer Syd tha Kyd on “You’re the One” and it has racked up over 150K views since it was uploaded two days ago.


-- Meantime, former Polaris winner Tanya Tagaq has teamed up with Shad on “Centre” -- a video release from her Retribution album that has its release on Oct. 21.


-- Music publishing and right company ole has acquired UK-based Compact Media, a firm that manages audio-visual secondary rights for more than 700 clients globally. Compact will remain under its own brand and direction of David Johnson. All of Compact’s staff members in London, the US and Australia, will be retained, the company said in a release today.

-- Justin Bieber recaptured the title of computer security firm McAfee's most dangerous Canadian celebrity to search for online from actress Nina Dobrev. Bieber, who was 2014's most dangerous Canadian celebrity, finished second to Dobrev in 2015. Now in its 10th year, the McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities list. The intel uncovers which celebrities generate the most dangerous search results that could expose fans to viruses and malware while searching for the latest information on today's pop culture icons.

Finishing behind Bieber in 2016's list of most dangerous Canadian cyber celebrities were Gemini award-winning comedian Russell Peters, Grammy and Juno-award winning musician Michael Bublé and electronic music producer and performer deadmau5.

-- Hits Daily Double reports this a.m. that SYCO’s Sonny Takhar may be departing the label. According to the insider daily, Takhar has played a big role on the SYCO team; his departure, if confirmed, would leave sizable shoes to fill at Simon’s Cowell’s company which has enjoyed an impressive run over the last several years with such acts as One Direction, Olly Murs, Fifth Harmony, Susan Boyle, James Arthur, Ella Henderson and Little Mix, and recently inked 12-year-old America’s Got Talent phenom Grace VanderWaal. Cheekily HDD adds, “Without Takhar, where does the label fit into the Sony U.K. ecosystem, and what are the well-liked exec’s plans going forward?”

-- The Financial Times of London reports Spotify in advanced talks to buy SoundCloud.

-- Lyor Cohen, the US music executive formerly heading Def Jam, has been named Global Head of Music for YouTube. Curmudgeonly pundit Bob Lefsetz says the only problem with this is “people hate him.” The often barbed newsletter scribbler doesn’t pull any punches in his most recent posting, going further in stating, “Expecting Lyor Cohen to make peace with labels is like believing Roger Waters will get back together with David Gilmour for a concert in support of Israeli statehood.” And so it goes!!

-- Concord Bicycle has announced an Oct. 28 release of a 4LP vinyl Social Distortion box set, The Independent Years: 1983-2004. The collection captures the American punk band’s indie label output: Mommy’s Little Monster, Prison Bound, Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll and the early years’ compilation Mainliner (Wreckage from the Past).

-- Tom Petty has been chosen by the Recording Academy as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year.

-- Garth Brooks becomes the first act to have seven US Diamond albums. The hat singer’s The Ultimate Hits has been certified Diamond for sales of 10M or more copies.

-- David Bowie has his legacy captured on a new reissue package entitled Legacy. The compilation includes a Ken Scott remix of his 1971 single “Life on Mars.” Scott was behind the board for the original take. The package will be released as a 20 track single CD, a 40 track 2CD set, and 20 track 2LP set. Note to fans, the single CD has the tracks in random order while the twofer presents his songs in chronological order.  Go figure!

-- FORMS is a new three-day event in Toronto described as “a festival of emergent culture that celebrates artists and thinkers who take risks and challenge convention through experimentation.” It covers design, architecture and civic issues, and also has a strong music component, so we checked out its launch party at The Great Hall last night. It featured performances from the likes of Absolutely Free and Keita Juma, and a second show tonight has Laurel Halo, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Jeremy Gara, and Brigitte Bardon't + .More info hereWe were pleased to see that the much-discussed major reno to the historic the Great Hall is a real improvement to one of this scribe’s favourite venues (KD).

-- White Rock Sun newspaper publisher David Chesney is fuming over what he sees as a notable omission in the Polaris Heritage Prize nominees’ selection for the period 1976-1985. “You got my blood boiling with the first story in (Wednesday’s) edition. My new mantra of WTF stands for ‘WHERE’S TROOPER FUCKEHEAD?’

“The first Canadian band that sold multi-platinum (600,000 copies plus of HOT SHOTS) is still rocking this great Dominion after 35 years.

“There!  Now please help me down from my soapbox.  What do I have to do, move to Toronto?”






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