Music News Digest, Oct. 16, 2017

For fans of popular Newfoundland band Hey Rosetta!, Friday the 13th was indeed a Black Friday, as the band announced then that the band members are going separate ways.

“It’s our hope that you see this beautiful community we’ve made as not a dying thing but as a spreading and a living thing, and that you’ll come with us as we branch out and continue to do our things as individuals and that you’ll stand by us ‘til we're all back together again,” the band—band members Tim Baker, Adam Hogan, Phil Maloney, Josh Ward, Kinley Dowling, Romesh Thavanathan and Mara Pellerin said in a statement that you can read in full here

In a decade together, Hey Rosetta! released four full-length albums (one, Seeds, made the Polaris Prize shortlist) and five EPs, and won numerous East Coast and Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards. Their last album was 2014’s Second Sight. The group will perform five farewell shows in December, with three in Toronto (Mod Club, Dec. 17-19) and two hometown shows in St. John's (Delta Ballroom, Dec. 21-22). 

— Who says print is dead? Probably not indie rock hero (Rheostatics) and prolific author Dave Bidini, who can now add 'newspaper publisher' to his resume. He is leading the team behind the West End Phoenix, a new Toronto monthly paper that has just published its premiere issue.

The subscription-only paper is being run as a non-profit, as Bidini explained at a packed launch event at the Gladstone last week. The hotel/arts hub donated a hotel room for Bidini and his team to assemble the Phoenix. Notable contributors include Jeff Lemire (The Secret Path) and Rush's Alex Lifeson, spied at the soiree alongside such fellow musos as Andrew Cash, Don Kerr, Dave Clark, Peter Elkas, William New, David Celia, and Matt James. Other industry types in attendance included authors Denise Donlon, Nicholas Jennings, and Michael Winter, who charmed with an anecdote about life as a West End home-owner. We wish the venture well.

— As is now widely known, Robbie Robertson has deep Indigenous roots, having spent part of his childhood growing up on the Six Nations reserve in southern Ontario. On Saturday, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer received the Six Nations of the Grand River Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony at the new Six Nations Convention Centre in Ohsweken. “We are truly excited to recognize and honour Robbie’s many accomplishments,” said Chief Ava Hill. “He is truly an inspiration to many artists.” Source: Two Row Times

— Nominees for the 2017 American Music Awards have been announced, and Canadian artists figure prominently. Bruno Mars tops the list with eight nominations, with The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd tied with five each. Justin Bieber, Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi received four.

Now in its 45th year, the awards show will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, 8:00 pm ET on ABC. A full nominees list here 

— The Canadian Blast Showcase at Australian Music Week 2017 will take place on Friday, Nov. 3, at the Brass Monkey in Cronulla. Events are partnered with the The East Coast Music Association (ECMA), the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Canadian Music Week (CMW), BreakOut West (BOW) and the Canadian Consulate of Australia.

Showcasing artists selected by Australian Music Week include Dylan Menzie (ECMA) Paper Lions (ECMA), Terra Lightfoot (CIMA/CMW), Amy Nelson (CIMA/CMW), Twin Peaks (BreakOut West), and Louise Burns (BreakOut West). For more information visit

— On Saturday, singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan placed her name on the wall of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in Calgary, joining earlier inductees including Oscar Peterson, The Band, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. This 'plaque ceremony' follows McLachlan's official induction into the Canadian Hall of Fame during the 2017 Juno Awards.

The ceremony took place at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, and the first physical home of Canadian Music Hall of Fame, which has been inducting artists since 1978. “Every day I feel so lucky and blessed to have the amazing career that I have had so far,” said McLachlan, who has earned three Grammys, 10 Juno Awards and sold 40-million records. In March, the National Music Centre launched Milestones: Sarah McLachlan, a temporary exhibition that pays tribute to the singer-songwriter’s career.

The Lilith Fair founder is the 50th artist to be inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame. The first two artists to be inducted in 1978 were Oscar Peterson and Guy Lombardo. Inductees have to have been active in the music industry for at least 20 years to be considered. Source: Calgary Herald

 MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto is a new series that amplifies the history of Toronto's music scenes with six free live concerts over the next few weeks. It is organised by the City of Toronto as part of the City's TO Canada with Love program and is produced in partnership with the Province of Ontario’s Ontario150 Program and the Government of Canada.

The series launches with a killer triple bill at The Horseshoe on Wednesday, featuring Johnny & the G-Rays, Lori Yates and Hey Stella, and Whitney Rose. An Oct. 24 show at Hugh's Room Live includes Sylvia Tyson, Doug Paisley, Jennifer Castle and Liam Russell (Titcomb), followed by a roots reggae night at Sankofa on Oct. 28, featuring Jay Douglas, Nana McLean, Otis Gayle and Eyesus.

World music is repped at Lula Lounge (Nov. 7) by the  New Canadian Global Music Orchestra Sextet, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque and Kobo Town, followed by jazz (Nov. 10) and hip-hop (Nov. 11) nights. More details here

— In between two Toronto shows at the Air Canada Centre last week, veteran British rocker Roger Waters lent personal support to two groups of Indigenous Ecuadorian villagers fighting oil giant Chevron in a bid to collect a US$9.5-billion judgment awarded to them.

Waters was present in the Toronto courtroom for the hearing, and he told the media that "the way Chevron has behaved here is against everything that any of us might believe society ought to be like."

— Singer Russell deCarle was formerly frontman of Prairie Oyster, one of Canada's most popular country groups ever, and one with six Juno Awards in the trophy case. Now a solo artist, he's about to launch his third album, Alone in this Crowd, with a show at The Dakota in Toronto on Tuesday (Oct. 17).

The release event is to be sequelled with a nine-date tour of Alberta and British Columbia with guitarist Steve Briggs. Support singers on the typically eclectic new CD include Erin Costelo, Cindy Church, Karla Crawford and Michelle Willis.

Last Thursday, Saskatoon rockers One Bad Son celebrated the release of their new album Made In The Name of Rock N Roll (604 Records) in Toronto. The evening featured a special presentation of the band's SOCAN #1 Award in recognition of the album's first single "Raging Bull" topping the Nielsen BDS Mainstream Rock Chart. Band members Adam Hicks, Kurt Dahl and Shane Volk, were on hand to accept the award along with Juno-winning producer Gavin Brown. 

— Montreal pop artist Alex Calder was scheduled to release a new album on Oct. 20  on the Captured Tracks imprint, but the album was shelved after the label was alerted to a sexual assault allegation. Captured Tracks released Calder's album BEND last year. He was previously in the band Makeout Videotape and put out his solo debut Strange Dreams in 2015. Source: Stereogum

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