Music News Digest: May 29, 2017

The production company that was putting together the Pemberton Music Festival has begun laying off staff in the wake of a bankruptcy filing, according to Billboard.

Huka Entertainment was signed on to help put together the festival but downplayed its involvement when organizers announced they had filed for bankruptcy and a trustee appointed.

On Friday, a Billboard article reported the company had started showing employees the door. Huka CEO Evan Harrison told Billboard the layoffs were meant to “scale down appropriately.” He said the company still has “a concert-tour team as well as a scaled-down fest team.”

“We, too, are a vendor of Pemberton who was caught off-guard by this,” he said, declining to give a current employee count.

— The Zolas, The Courtneys and D.O.A. will lead the line-up for this year’s Khatsahlano.

The 7th annual, touted as “Vancouver’s largest free music and arts festival”, will take place Saturday, July 8.

Katy Perry is reportedly earning US$25M for her participation in the new round of American Idol, surpassing the cheque stubs paid out to Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest.

In its glory days a decade back the show attracted as many as 30M viewers. The show finale last year peaked at 13M.

Ian Tyson will lead 1500 guitarists plucking a rendition of “Four Strong Winds” on Canada Day at Calgary’s Olympic Plaza. From another stage, the city’s Philharmonic Orchestra and Calgary Opera will underscore this main event.

The Weeknd’s weekend performance at ACC included a cameo by Drake.

The Silver Dollar Room on Spadina has its last hurrah on June 16. Performers announced for The Last Shuffle include Donnie Walsh, Michael Fonfara, Chuck Jackson, and Pat Carey. The edifice will remain but the grubby grey exterior is to become a multi-storey student co-op.

— Submissions are now open for the 13th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMA). Canadian artists and groups whose albums were released in Canada between June 15, 2016 to June 14, 2017 are eligible.

The 13th edition of the CFMA weekend takes place Nov 18 and 19, in Ottawa. Full details and submissions through the the CFMA website.

Google Play is offering new subscribers an additional month of free service for a total of four. The service comes with a number of bells and whistles, including a storage locker.

Carly Rae Jepsen has released a brand new track, entitled “Cut To the Feeling” that is included in the animated adventure comedy Leap, released earlier under the name Ballerina.

Deadmau5 will headline a free Canada Day concert at Halifax Common. The line-up of July 1 event also includes Neptune Theatre presenting a tribute to Stan Rogers.

—  Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre has announced its 2017 Summer season is celebrating Canada's cultural heritage with Sounds of Home. On June 27, a free event dubbed Here in the 6ix: Celebrate Multiculturalism Day features Six String Nation with Jowi Taylor, The Dream Catchers (a hip-hop youth musical), and a set by Kardinal Offishall.

Performers during the summer season include Kinnie Starr, Mob Bounce, Tanika Charles, Delhi 2 Dublin, Alex Cuba, TUNS, The Sadies, Boogat, Lisa LeBlanc, Le Vent du Nord, Nick Sherman, and The Jerry Cans. A full sked here

— To expand their audiences, symphony orchestras often move out of their traditional classical music comfort zones into the mainstream pop or rock arena. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will be doing just that at The Orpheum on July 7 by presenting an evening of Pokémon classics.

The Georgia Straight notes that “conductor Susie Benchasil Seiter will lead the 70-strong organization in an orchestral rendering of classic numbers from every version of the game from Red and Blue to X and Y.”

— Halifax psych-rockers Walrus will release its debut LP,  Family Hangover, on June 9, via Dan Mangan's Madic Records. Following Toronto shows at CineCycle (June 1) and the Field Trip fest (June 3), the band supports Wintersleep on a seven-city tour of the UK and Europe.

This is to be followed with North American dates through July. A full itinerary here and learn more about Walrus here


Gregg Allman, (born Gregory LeNoir Allman), keyboardist, singer and songwriter, died in Savannah, GA, on May 27 at age 69, of complications from liver cancer. Allman, along with guitarist brother Duane, spearheaded the Allman Brothers Band, recognized as the leading lights in the Southern rock scene of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Allman’s soulful vocal style was influenced by such artists as Elmore James, Bobby Bland, and Little Milton.

Allman also pursued a solo career, achieving a Top 20 hit in 1973 with “Midnight Rider.” His 2010 solo album Low Country Blues was nominated for a Grammy Award for best blues album. His final studio album, Southern Blood, produced by Don Was, is scheduled for release later this year.

Allman was married to Cher for a period in the mid-'70s. He had well-publicised struggles with alcohol and drug dependency and had a liver transplant in 2010.

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