Pete and Leah of July Talk
Pete and Leah of July Talk

Music News Digest, April 20, 2018

The lineup for this year's edition of NXNE in Toronto is TBA, but the fest has announced the curators and venues for the second annual (and expanded) Club Land Curators Series. There will be over 30 Club Land shows throughout the festival week of June 10-16 , including DJ sets and after parties. The renewed emphasis on club shows follows the decision to end the outdoor Port Lands shows of recent years.

Some impressive names take on curating duties, including Leah Fay and Pete Dreimanis (July Talk), K-os, Jasmyn Burke (Weaves), Odario Williams (CBC, Grand Analog), Katie Monks (Dilly Dally), Cadence Weapon, Jim Cuddy, Cone (Sum 41), Terra Lightfoot, Ian Blurton, Moe Berg, Ralph, The Elwins, and promoter Dan Burke. Wristbands are $29 at nxne.com.

– A true giant of the Canadian music industry, label head Gerry Lacoursiere passed away a year ago. He will be remembered by his colleagues at a CMW A Gathering of Friends event on May 11.  Running from 3-5pm on May 10, it will be held at the Pinnacle Room of the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. More info here . Read an earlier FYI tribute here

– Drake and Justin Bieber figure prominently in the nominations for the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, earning nine and eight noms respectively. They trail frontrunners  Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, who share the lead with 15 apiece. Post Malone have 13 nominations and Imagine Dragons 11. See the full list here

– The Prince estate has produced a new video for ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,’ one of the late star's best-known tunes. The clip features previously unreleased footage from 1984, including rehearsal footage shot with his band The Revolution from that summer. The video was shot inside Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse six years before Sinead O’Connor covered the song and made it a huge hit.

– Effervescent Toronto indie-rockers Monowhales are readying the release of a new EP, Control Freak, out on June 1. A second single from it, "Real Love," has just been released, with a video. Produced by AL-P of Mstrkrft, the song was recorded during the same sessions that yielded “Take It Back”, their most recent single/video which peaked at #25 on the Canadian Alternative Rock Charts and amassed over 1.4M views on Facebook since its release last fall.

– Eight Ontario shows have been announced, beginning with a May 7 gig at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre, supporting Matt & Kim. The official hometown EP release show is at Adelaide Hall on June 9.

– Rock outfit Wolf Parade has extended its 2018 international tour schedule in support of its album Cry Cry Cry. Following Euro dates in June, there are newly added summer US dates, Aug.  17-31, followed by a  fall run of Canadian dates (Sept. 26,  Oct. 10-16) that will have the band visiting Quebec City, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Nelson. Tix for these shows go on sale today (April 20). Full itinerary here

– Canadian composer Andrew Lockington scored the movie Rampage, and it is a box-office hit, grossing $34.5 million in its opening weekend (April 13-15). Lockington is one of SOCAN's #ComposersWhoScore, and he previously scored another No. 1 film hit, San Andreas. Both films starred Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

– Soul diva Lauryn Hill will celebrate the 20th anniversary of her groundbreaking debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with a North American tour, where she'll perform the classic LP in full. Check out dates below via Pitchfork. The 29 date trek begins July 5 in Virginia Beach, and includes shows at Toronto's Budweiser Stage on July 18 and Burnaby's Deer Lake Park on Sept. 14.

– S4G4 (pronounced SAGA), is a hip-hop duo from Toronto starting to cause a stir. Comprising Demyn Joel and Rahdel, they've released a R&B flavoured debut single, Bruce Wayne. Check it out.

– Nightseeker is the non-fictional band of fictional character Dean from cult movie fave FUBAR. The group, led by Dean Murdoch, releases its album, 3069: A Space-Rock Sex Odyssey, via Royal Mountain Records today, and launch it with a Toronto show at The Horseshoe on April 21. Mayhem will ensue.

RIP

Randy Lynn Scruggs, an award-winning music producer, songwriter and guitarist, died on April 17 at age 64, after a short illness. The middle son of bluegrass star Earl Scruggs, he won four Grammy Awards and was twice named "Musician of the Year" at the Country Music Association Awards.

Randy Scruggs produced records for or played on albums by such artists as Waylon Jennings, George Strait, John Hartford, Alison Krauss, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert and Emmylou Harris.  His career began in 1970 with the release of All the Way Home, a collaboration with his older brother Gary. Scruggs recorded his debut solo LP, Crown of Jewels, in 1998.

As a songwriter, Scruggs penned numerous country hits including three of Earl Thomas Conley’s four number 1’s from his 1984 album Don’t Make It Easy For Me. He also penned hits by Sawyer Brown, Billy Joe Royal, and Deana Carter. Sources: Billboard, Wikipedia

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