Music News Digest, Oct. 27, 2017

On Wednesday evening at Toronto's Jazz Bistro, Kim Stockwood and her producer/pianist Bill King celebrated the release of their new collaboration, Sometimes the Moon. Out on Slaight Music, the mini-album features the singer offering fresh takes of some of her favourite songs, from Vera Lynn and Patsy Cline classics to the title track, written by her mentor/friend Ron Hynes. Stockwood became quite emotional as she introduced that latter tune (Ron's daughter was in attendance). The material came to vivid life on the night, and it was a treat to see her back onstage.

Well-wishers in attendance included Tom Cochrane, Serena Ryder, Damhnait Doyle, Michael and Rosie Levine, Gil Moore, Jaymz Bee, Stockwood's manager Sheri Jones, Tragically Hip manager Patrick Sambrook, CARAS/Junos head Alan Reid, Warner Music's Steves Kane and Coady, Sony Music's Warren Copnick, author Stephen Brunt, and Gary and Ali Slaight, Derrick Ross, and the Slaight Music team.

— In between all the showcasing at the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) conference last weekend, some awards were handed out too. Recording Artist of the Year Award went to The Bombadils, while FMO Songs From The Heart Awards in six different categories went to Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Preetam Sengupta, Doris Folkens, Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté, Chris McKhool and Richard Bona, and Kate Weekes. The prestigious Estelle Klein Award was presented to singer/songwriter/festival host Magoo. More info here

—  The lineup for the Canadian Jazz Festival in Calgary was announced earlier this week. The event will run from Nov. 9-12 at various venues around the city, and notable performers will include Juno-winners David Braid and Mike Murley, Steve Amirault, Trevor Giancola, Alain Bedard and his Auguste Quartet, Evan Arntzen, Top Cat Swing, and Foothills Brass. More details here 

—  When Alice Glass left popular Toronto synth-pop band Crystal Castles in October 2014, she stated that it was for "a multitude of reasons both professional and personal." She and the group's co-founder Ethan Kath then traded accusations over who came up with the band's material. This week, things turned even more serious with Glass publicly accusing Kath of sexual assault. In a note posted to her website, she alleges that "he forced me to have sex with him or, he said, I wouldn’t be allowed to be in the band anymore.”

In a statement through his lawyers to Pitchfork, Kath responded that "I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship. Her story is pure fiction, and I am consulting my lawyers as to my legal options. Fortunately, there are many witnesses who can and will confirm that I was never abusive to Alice." All Crystal Castles' upcoming tour dates have been cancelled.

—  On Nov. 8th, an event at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Humber College. The school has a renowned jazz program, and the concert will feature some notable musicians directed by Denny Christianson. Featured in the line-up are Pat LaBarbera and Al Kay with guests including Kurt Elling, Rik Emmett, Laila Biali, and Rich Brown’s rinsethealgorithm with Robi Botos, Larnell Lewis and Luis Deniz. More details here.

—  Election campaigns around the world often use well-known songs, sometimes despite the opposition of the artists involved. In what could be an interesting precedent, New Zealand’s high court has ruled that the country's National party infringed on Eminem’s copyright in September 2014 for using a version of his chart-topping song "Lose Yourself" in an election campaign advertisement. The court awarded the rapper’s publisher NZ$600,000 (approx $500K Canadian)  in damages.

The court ruled on 25 October that the National party’s use of a track was “sufficiently similar” to Eminem’s original song that it impinged on copyright and that "Lose Yourself" was a “highly original work.”

— Creative Manitoba and partners including Manitoba Music are teaming to offer Winnipeg youth 16–19 years old a chance to participate in youth mentorship programs. Each eight-session program is lead by an experienced professional, features a variety of industry/discipline specific guest mentors and results in a final project. Programs run between February and April and are free of charge for qualifying applicants. Areas include Filmmaking, Creative Writing, Music Management and Promotion, and Interactive Digital Media. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15.

—Twin sisters Mercedes Arn-Horn and Phoenix Arn-Horn from Canadian alt-pop band Courage My Love have signed a publishing deal with Nettwerk Music Group. The Juno-nominated ensemble released their debut full length, Synesthesia, earlier this year, with lead single “Stereo” reaching #1 on the Spotify Viral Top 50 Chart. They played 41 US dates on the Vans Warped Tour this summer before joining Simple Plan on their Canadian tour in September. They head to the UK for a headline tour in November.

— Canadian turned Kiwi roots singer/songwriter Tami Neilson has reportedly been wowing them big time on her Quebec tour. She detours to Toronto for a free show today (Friday) at the First Canadian Place Waterfall stage at 12:15 pm. Highly recommended.


Antoine (Fats)  Domino, the New Orleans R&B singer and pianist who became one of the defining figures of early rock ’n’ roll, died on Oct. 24 at his home in Harvey, La, of natural causes. He was 89.

The most popular of a generation of great Crescent City keyboardists, Domino first made a mark in 1950 with the self-referential single “The Fat Man,” the first of a string of R&B hits that stretched into the early ’60s. In all, he toted up nine No. 1 R&B hits and 40 top-10 R&B singles through 1961. He first scored pop success in 1955 with the  top-10 hit “Ain’t That a Shame," then became a pop star of the first rank with a series of top-five hits like “I’m in Love Again,” “Blueberry Hill,” “Blue Monday,” and “I’m Walkin’.”

Artists including Pat Boone and Ricky Nelson had hits with his songs. Domino's last pop hit was his version of the Beatles' "Lady Madonna" in 1968, but he remained a popular performer.

In 1986, Fats Domino joined Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Little Richard as an inaugural inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and received the National Medal of the Arts in 1998. Sources: Variety, Billboard

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