Music Biz Headlines, July 19, 2017

Among folk musicians, protest music’s future is up for debate

Many people know the protest songs of the 1960s and '70s, born of the civil rights movement and the social and political upheaval sparked by the Vietnam War. Today, hip-hop has taken the lead in protesting police brutality and the injustices suffered by the poor — but a new generation of folk artists is also creating music that might not always sound like the protest songs of yore — C.J. Janovy, NPR

Venezuelan musicians protest repression with a smoking cover of Ruben Blades

As clashes between government security forces and protestors critical of the current administration continue in Venezuela, a group of musicians has decided to make their thoughts known by making a version of Prohibido Olvidar, the 1991 song about repressive politics by singer Ruben Blades — Kevin Lui, Time

Ethiopian musicians charged with terrorism for 'inciting' song lyrics

In 2016 another Oromo singer who comforted, inspired protesters through her songs was imprisoned — Endalk, Global Voices

Neo-Nazi concert raises free speech concern

The leader of Thuringia in eastern Germany says people's right to assembly should be redefined to combat right-wing extremist music events. This comes after some 6,000 neo-Nazis attended a concert in the town of Themar DW

How Afghani rapper Sonita Alizadeh’s Song “Brides For Sale” changed her fate

Her brother was set to get married, but her parents needed cash for the celebration so they colluded to sell her off. She raised a ruckus, and wrote a song called “Brides For Sale” — Tessa Stuart, Rolling Stone

Congolese singer Heritier Watanabe at Paris' Olympia music hall creates heat

Clashes erupted ahead of the concert Saturday evening, with protesters accusing the hip-hop singer from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of supporting the government of the central African country — RT

Palestinians protest Radiohead’s support for ‘apartheid’ Israel

A group of Palestinians from the UK, besieged Gaza, occupied West Bank and Israel have co-authored a letter to the British rock band, Radiohead, over their controversial decision to hold a concert in Israel later this week — Memo

Evangelical leader calls for protest against Roger Waters

Head of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations calls for protest against Roger Waters concert in Miami due to his anti-Israel positions — Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva

The technology of protest: the whole world is watching

How the radicalised flower children of the 1960s seeded the growth of electronic protest — Paul Dempsey, E&T

Why it’s naïve to think musicians should keep out of politics

We all know how the line goes: teens and young millennials are believed to be largely politically apathetic. Too busy on our phones or buying avocados and whatever else to engage with national and local elections. But: fuck that — Chris Bethell, Noisey

This photo says everything about Apple’s ambitions in the music business

Spotify hit with two lawsuits claiming “staggering” copyright infringement

The plaintiffs, including a founding member of the group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, call the streaming giant's recent $43M  settlement with publishers and songwriters an "empty gesture" Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter

Spotify goes where no composer dares to tread

Spotify has hired François Pachet who created the first known pop songs composed with AI, as well as launching the first music label dedicated to the professional use of AI for music production — Music Business International

Winnie the Pooh is banned in China for resembling President Xi Jinpin

Like Xi, Winnie has a rotund face and nose, and netizens have been taking split-screen pics of the two making similar poses, including one of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands with Xi looking downtrodden. Abe’s sad eyes and hairstyle even look like Eeyore, too — Shannon Laio, The Verge

Six inconvenient truths about NAFTA renegotiations

The first inconvenient truth is that, despite having firms with innovative ideas, Canada has a weak innovation ecosystem, leading our companies to do less well than our competitors, even taking into account our smaller economy.  This is not for lack of trying. Canada has roughly the same number of researchers per capita as the United States and spends more on public research and development (R&D) as a percentage of its GDP than does the United States. But these efforts have not paid off regarding the export of knowledge-based products and services — Centre for International Governance Innovation

NAFTA, the details are in the details

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has called for comments from industry and the public on goals it should promote as it renegotiates NAFTA, which opens a window for the TPP’s proponents to try to use NAFTA to establish at some of the dangerous proposals they hoped to impose through the TPP – including the TPP’s so-called intellectual property (IP) rule — Electronic Frontier Foundation

The battle for copyright protection in the digital era

Canada has slowly begun modernizing its copyright regime to allow the cloak of anonymity to be stuck and alleged infringers to be exposed — Daniel Daniele, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

The age of computer-generated playlists

Muru Music has trained machines to address classification, and this A.I. lies behind its remarkable ability to generate fluid, listenable playlists on top of music streaming services. Muru’s technology has translated a seasoned DJ’s brain into algorithms and rule sets — Rockpaper Scissors

How digital technology and exporting have changed the Canadian music landscape

Today, more Canadian musicians and their export teams see that while the U.S. market is still “the golden ring, they also know that if they can get traction elsewhere, such as in Scandinavia, Europe or Australia, “then let’s get over there” — Peter Simpson, Export Wise

Look out, YouTube and Facebook: Amazon’s coming for video publishers

YouTube and Facebook get a bulk of the attention from digital publishers looking to build and scale video businesses. Meanwhile, for the past year, Amazon has created a platform that not only offers publishers another place to distribute videos but also the opportunity to make money from day one — Sahil Patel, DigiDay

Music Go Round set to sell franchises in Canada

The music equipment reseller is poised to sell franchises in Canada. Backing it is a company that markets franchises — Business Wire

Canada podcasts, the laundry list

The real deal on what’s available and what the podcasters are selling, giving away and the stories behind what they are pitching — PlayerFM

The richest artists in the world make 75% of their money from touring

Music streaming has helped major labels post record-breaking revenue.  In its Q1, WMG posted over $1 billion.  During the same period, Sony Music reported $1.2 billion.  UMG alone earns $4.5 million a day from streaming.  But despite the rise of streaming in the music industry, the richest artists still make the majority of their cash from touring — Daniel Adrian Sanchez, Digital Music News

Russell Peters is laughing all the way to the bank

Mr. Chuckles, who left a lasting impression on the Juno organizers at this year’s annual, has dropped US$6.45M for a swanky 12K square-foot LA pile with eight bedrooms, five car garage and an overhead of other trimmings. It’s one of five bedsits the funny man now owns — Variety

How I Made It: Bob Lefsetz went from failed music manager to one of the most influential voices in the industry

Lefsetz is nothing if not opinionated. And he isn’t afraid to upset anybody, including some of the biggest acts, with what he writes. Criticisms leveled in his newsletter have sparked some high-profile public feuds, including with Gene Simmons, Kid Rock and most famously, Taylor Swift — Ethan Varian, Los Angeles Times

The Streaming Problem: How Spammers, Superstars, and Tech Giants Gamed the Music Industry

On a website with more than 100 million active daily users, there are plenty of ways to game the system, be it for attention, or, if the streams pile up enough, profit. And the frauds cashing in on the latest hot single are hardly alone. A bevy of unknown artists have found ways to juice their streaming totals, whether it’s covering songs from artists who don’t allow their songs on Spotify, or uploading an album of silent tracks, each precisely long enough to generate a fraction of a cent for the artist — Adam K. Raymond, Vulture

‘Slap in the face’: grassroots music venues face closure as funding bid fails

Arts Council England accused of favouring ‘high’ culture over initiative to help small clubs  — Jamie Doward, The Guardian

Summer concerts in Vancouver: Is '80s pop the new classic rock?

The likes of The Psychedelic Furs, Violent Femmes and Echo and the Bunnymen are heading to town  — Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

Beliefs premiere bewitching post-punk jam '1994,' share details of their new album

Highly-touted Toronto duo prepares for the release of the third album in Sept.  — Chris Payne, Billboard

Nashville acts band together for an anti-Trump, pro-Planned Parenthood compilation

Notable names include Mary Gauthier, Steve Poltz and Radney Foster  — Aaron Brophy,

Dozens of Indigenous musicians reinvent 'Symphony' at Winspear

Project adds to and localizes a famous American sound-art work by paying tribute to three often-overlooked women from Alberta’s history — Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal

Usher and The Roots turn Saddledome into a soulful dance party

US R&B stars are a hit in Calgary —  Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

Kirsten Olivia goes her way 

The R&B force redefines success on her terms —  Stephanie Johns, The Coast

George Strait’s Long Ride

Can country music's most consistent hit-maker hold on? —  Kelefa Sanneh, New Yorker

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson soars in Hamilton's Lancaster bomber

Heavy metal singer and pilot takes flight before Toronto show — Adam Carter, CBC

Toronto musician Prakash John scored his greatest gig with the Wayne Gretzky wedding

His band The Lincolns was chosen to perform at the 1988 celebrations —  Neil Acharya, Toronto Star

Manufacturing Bob Marley: A new oral history shows just how much of his story is up for grabs

Marley became a symbol of peace and unity; some of his less accommodating bandmates thought justice mattered more —  Hua Hsu, The New Yorker

Hermann’s Jazz Club backers fear changes will hurt purchase campaign

Much-loved Victoria venue struggles to survive after death of owner — Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist

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