Music News Digest, Oct. 25, 2017

More than a thousand people gathered to sing about a dozen songs from The Hip as their tribute to the legendary Canadian band after the directors of Choir! Choir! Choir!, a Toronto-based sing-along collective, invited fans to Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday night to honour Downie the best way they could — through his music.

Kathy Hahn has spent her career helping people and in particular those of us in the music industry. A couple of weeks ago tragedy struck when the townhome complex she was living in was torched by someone yet to be caught. Fortunately, she and her mother were able to escape death, but they have lost their home. Now living out of a hotel room, she was walking on the street about a week later when she saw a vehicle cut down a young boy in a hit-and-run accident. She sat with him on the road as the young boy bled out and died before he reached a hospital.

Her life is now turned upside down, but she remains stoic and tells the column that she is blessed to be alive. Family heirlooms have been damaged by the fire, but the Hahn family archives to a great extent have been spared. There is now a GoFundMe page set up for Kathy and her mother to help mitigate the losses she has incurred and below is a video produced by a Brit who knows Kathy and felt compelled to do his part in helping her right her life. Heck, he even wrote a song for her.

The Edge Toronto has resurrected the CASBY Awards. Ascot Royals, Matt Mays, Dear Rouge, and the Sheepdogs marquee The Phoenix on Wed., Nov. 1.

— As Ottawa overhauls its cultural policies, Canadian record labels are pleading for the federal government to revise copyright laws in favour of artists, hoping to offset internet-driven losses to both musicians and the businesses that support them, as Josh O’Kane at the Globe & Mail explains

– John(ny) Brower is completing a second memoir as a concert promoter and has just launched an online merch store called Forbidden Swag.

Rogers Waters discusses his evolution into a Palestinian rights activist in a conversation with Martha Roth of Independent Jewish Voices Canada at a human rights event at Vancouver’s St. Andrews Wesley Church on Oct. 26.

— Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago, Johnny Clegg underwent surgery and chemotherapy. With his cancer now in remission, he has decided to do one last round of concerts in North America, as part of a tour called The Final Journey. Clegg has already played in London and Dubai and did 10 nights in Johannesburg. He is currently completing a 10-city North American tour that includes Toronto, Montreal. His album, King of Time, is set for release on Oct. 27. Also soon to come is Clegg’s autobiography. Bill Brownstein at the Montreal Gazette interviews the South African who until recently was the frontman for Juluka.

— 2015 La Voix finalist Matt Hulobowski has released a deluxe edition of his 2016 Audiogram album, Solitudes, that draws inspiration from Hugh MacLennan’s novel, Two Solitudes. The new addition tacks on a three-song Epilogue EP. The package is available on digital platforms and as a limited-edition CD. Watch the album trailer here.

— French Canadian novelist and author Roch Carrier has taken his short story The Hockey Sweater, first read on the CBC in 1979, has been adapted as a musical and has opened at the Segal Centre in Montreal. Below is an earlier NFB adaptation of the story.

Ellie Goulding's won herself a United Nations Foundation New Voices Award in recognition of her environmental and social justice activism.

DJ Mag revealed the results of its Top 100 DJs poll this weekend, with Martin Garrix coming out top for the second year running. Check out the full list here.

The number of music publishing jobs in the UK has shrunk as positions at record companies have increased by 7%, MBI reports.

Spotify is on course to hit 500M users and have a $100B valuation

Major labels are paying out as much as $1.2B to the indie sector 

Jay-Z and Jennifer Lopez helped to raise $3.7M (£for the victims of recent hurricanes and earthquakes at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Tue. Oct. 17. Joining them on the bill were DJ Khaled, Fifth Harmony, Daddy Yankee, Kaskade, Cardi B, and others.

Glenn Frey’s 6-bedroom, 11K square-foot Brentwood Estate is on the market for US$15M. You can view a gallery of pictures of the estate here.

— The just-announced addition of Post Malone is added to the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at Toronto's ACC on Dec. 9. The most-streamed artist in the world right now, Post Malone joins previously announced performers Backstreet Boys, Cardi B, Fergie, Fifth Harmony, Kelly Clarkson, Noah Cyrus, and Canadian artists Jessie Reyez, Ria Mae, and Virginia to Vegas.

–  Buffy Sainte-Marie will release a new album, Medicine Songs, on Nov. 10, on True North Records. Described as “a collection of front-line songs about unity and resistance,” it comprises material recorded over her lengthy career and is the follow-up to her Polaris Music Prize and Juno Award-winning 2015 album Power in the Blood.  It includes “You Got To Run,” a new collaboration that features fellow Polaris victor Tanya Tagaq (video below).

In a press release, Sainte-Marie explains: "These are songs I’ve been writing for over fifty years and what troubles people today have are still the same damn issues from 30-40-50 years ago: war, oppression, inequity, violence, rankism of all kinds. The pecking order, bullying, racketeering and systemic greed. Some of these songs come from the other side of that: positivity, common sense, romance, equity and enthusiasm for life."

Sainte-Marie begins a tour of the East Coast and Ontario on Oct. 30, in Souris, PEI, concluding at the Performing Arts Centre in Burlington, ON, on Nov. 17.

–Digital media management and distribution company Yangaroo Inc. has announced the signing of a multi-year renewal with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), the organization behind the Juno Awards.

Other significant shows employing the firm's technology include The Grammys, Emmys, Golden Globes, Tonys, ACM Awards, The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), The BET Awards, and The Soul Train Awards.

– As reported in FYI on Monday, American singer P!nk topped the latest Billboard Canadian Albums chart with her new album Beautiful Trauma, registering 60,000 album sales. She also went to No. 1 in the UK (70,000 in sales) and the US (385,000), but on a per capita basis, it was Australia that had the most significant response.

Album sales Down Under totalled 78,000 copies. Live Nation-produced shows in Australia and New Zealand, announced last Friday, sold out instantly, with more shows added. In all, Pink will play 35 shows there. Source:

– In what will undoubtedly be the funkiest and most entertaining Halloween party in Toronto on Saturday (Oct. 28), the legendary Chunk o' Funk return to kick up a storm at The Danforth Music Hall.

Except for al 20th Anniversary performance at the Mod Club in February 2016, the '70s funk superstars have been in cryogenic suspension - in a secret location - for over 20 years. The Halloween Blowout includes all 14 members. More info here

– Venezuelan-Canadian singer/composer Eliana Cuevas launched her fifth album, Golpes y Flores (out on ALMA Records) at Lula Lounge in Toronto on Monday night. Her all-original material blends Venezuelan-African percussion sounds with her fluent and pure vocals, and her A-list band (including keyboardist/producer Jeremy Ledbetter and drummer Mark Kelso) was in top form. Impressing with an opening set was Valeria Matzner, accompanied on some tunes by ace violinist Aleksandar Gajic. The show was the opening night of Lula's week-long Latin Festival.

– Toronto songstress Lydia Persaud released her debut EP Low Light last week and plays a launch party at the Burdock tonight (Oct. 25), with Ken Yates in support. The record was produced by Robbie Grunwald (Good Lovelies, Jill Barber) and captured live to tape. Winner of the 2013 Oscar Peterson Award, Persaud has performed extensively with The O'Pears and Dwayne Gretzky.

– Montreal singer/songwriter Yitzy (previously Isaak Salomon) releases a new single, "No Bad Days," today. Produced by Philip Shaw Bova (Bahamas, Andy Shauf),  the singer terms the sound "Folk & Western with a tropical touch." Yitzy is supporting it with a November club tour in Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, and Montreal.


Daisy Berkowitz (born Scott Mitchell Putesky), founding guitarist in Marilyn Manson, has died after a four year battle with colon cancer. Age 49. After leaving the band in 1996 during the recording of Antichrist Superstar, he played in groups including Jack Off Jill, Three Ton Gate, Kill Miss Pretty and Godhead, using the name SMP.

George Redburn Young, a pioneering Australian rock songwriter, and musician, has passed away, age 70. Young, the brother of AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young, was a member of the Easybeats and co-wrote its classic hit "Friday on My Mind."

With his fellow Easybeats member Harry Vanda, he became one of Australian pop’s best-known songwriters, creating "Yesterday’s Hero" and "Love Is in the Air" for John Paul Young; "Evie" for Stevie Wright, and "Hey, St Peter," recorded with Vanda under the name Flash and the Pan.

Australian music publishing and recording house Alberts, which had both the Easybeats and AC/DC in its stable, reported Young’s death. Source: The Guardian

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