Shawn Mendes with his awards for Best Song and Best Artist backstage at the 2017 MTV EMA in London on Sunday. (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/Associated Press)
Shawn Mendes with his awards for Best Song and Best Artist backstage at the 2017 MTV EMA in London on Sunday. (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/Associated Press)

Music News Digest, Nov. 13, 2017

Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes emerged as the big winner on Sunday at the MTV European Music Awards (the EMAs)  in London, winning the best song (for “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”), best artist, biggest fans, and best Canadian act categories. He was the only quadruple winner, after earning five nominations. Taylor Swift had the most nominations with six but failed to win an award.

The EMAs were held at the SSE Arena, Wembley, but also saw MTV stage events around the British capital. Performers included U2, Eminem, The Killers, Rita Ora, Demi Lovato, and Kesha.

Mendes recently made Billboard history. Now 19-years-old, he has scored three number one songs on the US Adult Contemporary chart before turning 20. No other artist in history has accomplished this, according to the trade publication.

Here is a full list of winners.

Whiskey Jack has been invited to sing “The Hockey Song” at Stompin’ Tom’s posthumous induction to Canada’s Walk of Fame, on Nov. 15. As band member Duncan Fremlin explains: “It was the very first song we sang with Tom on our 1993 cross Canada tour.  The stage was set - it was Canada Day on Parliament Hill in front of 500,000 proud Canadians and broadcast to a few million more on the CBC.  As you can see from this clip, it was one of Tom's most emotional performances.”

Whiskey Jack is presently rehearsing for the 2018/19 touring season which will begin at the Fifth Annual Stompin' Tom Birthday Celebration in Feb.  

– Artists, DJs, and industry professionals like Taiwo Bah, Theo Ellis, Jonathan Cromwell, Phat Phillie, Cash Dough, Bob Crevatin and Dwayne Marcial, performed at the first Urban East conference in Saint John this past weekend. FACTOR and Muzic Iz the Motive Ent. were participating sponsors of events.

– An investigation by CBC/Radio-Canada and the Toronto Star, based in part on documents found in the Paradise Papers, rips the lid off Julien Lavallée's multimillion-dollar ticket scalping operation based out of Quebec and reveals how eBay-owned ticket website StubHub not only enables but rewards industrial-scale scalpers who gouge fans around the world.

Lavallée, who got his start in his early 20s reselling hockey and concert tickets while living at home with his parents, now runs an international ticket harvesting operation.

Financial records detail $7.9M in gross sales in 2014 alone.

On his resume, he describes himself as a "ticket broker" and lays out plans in 2015 to expand into the U.K. in a "partnership" with StubHub.

One estimate projects the global resale industry will grow to US$24.55 billion by 2021.

– US-based iHeartMedia, the nation's largest holder of radio stations, is again warning investors of its longtime viability after incurring heavy losses in recent months, Billboard reports. In a quarterly report filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the San Antonio-based radio giant painted a grim picture of its finances, saying it lost $248.2M in Q3 and increased its overall debt by $200M. Company debt increased from $20.4B as of June 30 to $20.6B now, and revenue dropped 1.9 percent to $1.54B in the quarter, from $1.57B a year ago.

iHeartMedia also has about $350M in interest payments due in the fourth quarter,

Bloomberg analyst Philip Brendel suggests: “It’s not a broken business model. It’s a broken balance sheet.”

– On Sunday night's episode of The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2 -- Arcade Fire's Win Butler visited the House Of Strombo for an in-depth exploration of the band’s latest album and tour for Everything Now, bad shows, theology, the story behind "Wake Up," being the biggest "rock band" in the world, the modern political landscape of America, Tom Petty, the teacher that changed his life, the value of New Orleans, his boarding school upbringing, fatherhood, DJ Windows 98, deconstructing the role of a rock star, his son's obsession with Michael Jackson, sexism and assault in the entertainment world,  and violence at concerts.

–FYI: “KKK Blues” from Chris Rea’s multi-CD collection, Blue Guitars (Album Number Two - Country Blues), released in ’05.

– Globe and Mail columnist John Doyle describes CBC’s newly reformatted edition of The National a “harebrained muddle”. In part, he writes: “Maybe it's some kind of homage to Max Headroom. A few of you will remember Max Headroom, an artificial intelligence TV character from the 1980s. In a nutshell, Max was a head-and-shoulders TV figure that floated around the screen, disconnected from the studio and from reality. Eerily and uncannily just there, floating. That's your four hosts of The National now. Regrettably, the gimmick makes them all look like Pez dispenser heads.”

– Various published stories suggest that top-ranked EMI Music Publishing is on the block and that some of its key shareholders are ready to sell the company for a price tag of around US$3B. The pubbery represents 1.3M copyrights including works from the likes of Beyoncé, Drake, Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, P!nk, Scissor Sisters, Rihanna, Stargate, Usher, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Tinie Tempah, Duffy and Arcade Fire. MBI has the details.

– The life and times of Harvey and Louise Glatt are celebrated in a feature appearing in artsfile this month. The story unfolds with the Ottawa impresario meeting Louise Jaffee when she was a music student at the Crane School of Music, and Glatt teaming up with Arnold Gosewich to open the first Treble Clef store on Slater Street in the capital city.  

– Congrats to ole and its songwriters who took home three ASCAP and 3 BMI Country song awards at the 55th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, held on Nov. 6 at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. So far this year, the company has enjoyed four number-one hits in the US.

“We are ecstatic to have so many ole songs recognized as the best of the past year. It’s a testament to both the calibre of writers on our roster and the talent of our staff,” said ole VP Creative John Ozier.

Dualtone Music Group (Dualtone), an Entertainment One Company, have announced that Daniel Higbee has joined the company as VP of Synch.  Higbee will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Nashville-based Dualtone President Paul Roper.

–  A recent CBC Books blog post previews six books with Canadian connections coming this month, including two by Canadian musicians turned authors. Tom Wilson'sBeautiful Scars and Jann Arden's Feeding My Mother, are both published on Nov. 21, and both are personal memoirs.

In the 'Why we want to read it' category for Arden, the post stated that "she is as well-known for her wit and warmth as she is for her award-winning music. This book looks to be a touching, inspirational read about a common human experience." For Wilson, it reads "this memoir promises to have it all: a search for identity, a mystery and rock & roll."

A Toronto book launch for Wilson takes place at The Gladstone on Nov. 27. In a concert entitled Tom Wilson's Symphonic Beautiful Scars, he will collaborate with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for a literary recital at FirstOntario Concert Hall in his Hamilton hometown on Jan. 26.

–  Two narratives of The Tragically Hip’s 2016 Man Machine Poem tour will be released soon via Universal Music Canada. A National Celebration encompasses the band’s hometown concert in Kingston from August 20 while Long Time Running is the feature film documentary of the preparations for and completion of the tour.

Long Time Running premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September ahead of its theatrical release via Elevation Pictures and subsequent broadcast by BellMedia. UMC releases the physical DVD and Blu-Ray formats of Long Time Running Nov. 17, with the retail version of Long Time Running including a 10-minute featurette containing interviews not in the theatrical cut, including reminiscences from Leslie Feist and Sarah Harmer, among others. A Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition Box Set version will be issued Dec. 8. A National Celebration will also be available as a standalone DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital offering from Dec. 8.

– London, Ontario, has announced its first Music Career Day, an event seeking to highlight the job opportunities that exist within the music sector. It will be held on Friday, Nov. 17 at Wolf Performance Hall, from 9 am to 4 pm. Attendance is free, but advance registration is required. Speakers will cover a variety of topics and career paths, including songwriting, production, A & R, music synchronization, publishing, royalties, radio tracking, promoter, venue management, social media and publicity.

– Vancouver's New Orchestra Workshop Society (NOW) turns 40 this year, and continues with the mandate of "providing a focus  for the creation of original Canadian music by advancing the ideas, values and practices of creative improvisational music." NOW hosts a series of performances from Nov. 15-18 at the Roundhouse Community Centre. A schedule of events can be found here  Source: Vancouver Sun

– Coup de Coeur francophone is an annual song festival, which started in Montreal over 30 years ago. This year, the event consists of 75 shows in French in 45 Canadian cities from coast to coast, as well as over 115 shows in 19 venues in Montreal. Two rising star performers involved are Damien Robitaille and Mehdi Cayenne, and they share a fest show at Toronto's Adelaide Hall on November 20. They also have dates together in Whitehorse, Nov 16, Edmonton, Nov. 18, Calgary, Nov. 21, and Winnipeg, Nov. 23.

– The highly-praised Danceworks festival in Toronto is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a series of events at Harbourfront Nov 16-18. One performance with a notable music component will be veteran choreographer Denise Fujiwara’s dance piece “Moving Parts.” It will feature a 30-member choir performing four popular songs arranged and directed by Gemini Award-winning composers and musicians Laurel MacDonald (Mary Jane Lamond, Darbazi) and Phil Strong (Plunderphonics). Choir members include Annabelle Chvostek and hillbilly swing duo Hotcha!.

–  On Friday, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society Board of Directors announced the departure of Linda Tanaka as the festival's artistic managing director. "Linda has been at the helm of the VFMF for ten years, during which time she has been an incredible champion for the festival, as well as for the artists who join us each summer at Jericho Beach Park," reads a statement issued by the festival.

During her tenure, the VFMF was named the 'Best Local Music Festival' by the Georgia Straight six years in a row. Tanaka is reportedly returning to Salmon Arm, where she founded the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival in 1991 and acted as its artistic director until 2008.

– Performing rights organisations around the globe were heartened by a judicial ruling in Australia last week. A Federal Circuit Court judge last week found Escape Bar & Nightclub Pty Ltd, Surfers Paradise, had been unlawfully using music (copyright works) for three years and had refused to take out a Recorded Music for Dance Use licence from APRA AMCOS, Australia's pro.

The judge awarded $32.9K (Aus) for licence fees APRA AMCOS would have received from the venue under the Recorded Music for Dance Use licence scheme for the period 1 September 2014 to 23 July 2017. The judge also levied $3.85K for interest on these fees, plus costs of $8.93K and another $70K in additional damages against the nightclub and its sole Director. Works used unlawfully included hits by Bruno Mars, AC/DC, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Spice Girls.

– Four of Hamilton’s music venues now sport exterior signage letting musicians know how they can load equipment without getting ticketed.

The idea was brought forward as a recommendation by the Music Industry Working Committee (MIWC) and Hamilton Live Music Venue Alliance. In Toronto and many other cities, parking tickets continue to be an issue for bands loading in and out of clubs.


Chuck (Charles Henry) Mosley, former frontman of Faith No More, passed away on Nov. 9, age 57. His family released the following statement: "After a long period of sobriety, Charles Henry Mosley III lost his life, due to the disease of addiction. We’re sharing the manner in which he passed, in the hopes that it might serve as a warning or wake up call or beacon to anyone else struggling to fight for sobriety. "

Mosley was the frontman of influential rap/metal band Faith No More between 1984 and 1988, the period during which the band released Introduce Yourself and We Care A Lot. He later fronted Bad Brains and started funk metal band Cement. In more recent years he rejoined FNM on stage and had an ongoing solo career after the release of his debut album Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food in 2009. Source: The Quietus

Bob Halley, a successful American songwriter who had a string of hit songs covered by Nat King Cole, Garnet Mimms, Gene Pitney, the Marvelettes, and Paul Young, passed away on September 14th, as reported by daughter Jenn Halley. Halley famously co-wrote (with Carl Spencer) and arranged the Ugly Ducklings big hit, “Gaslight.” The track, produced by Bill Gilliland and Halley at Arc/Yorkville studio in Toronto, was released on Gilliland’s Yorkville Records, in 1967. Halley also wrote the sweetening on Ronnie Hawkins’ arrangement of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Home From the Forest” at the same studio.

Lloyd “Bud” Shaw Farquharson, died October 27 at The Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton after a month-long battle in ICU. He was 82. The long-standing employee of Capitol Records was for many years Ontario branch manager but was later to be named GM of the company. He was known as a man with many friends, a sport enthusiast and had strong allies in the record retailing community. Service will be held on Saturday, November 25th from 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Saint John's Anglican Church, 2878 St. John's Drive, Jordan, Ontario. A Celebration of Life reception to follow from 1 – 4 p.m. at Rockway Golf, 3290 Ninth St., St. Catharines.

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