Canada House at The Great Escape
Canada House at The Great Escape

Music News Digest, May 9, 2018

The Canadian Music Publishers Association has officially scratched its long-held CMPA short-form to avoid confusion with other associations with the same initials. Incidentally, the org has also stepped up its lobbying activities in Ottawa and recently was credited as the sponsor of an edition of the influential Ottawa-based morning newsletter edition of iPolitics.

– Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mac Demarco put together a song on the red carpet at the Met Gala on Monday that had a simple message: “Fuck the Toronto Raptors.' What prompted this repetitive sounding melodrama is unclear.

Celine Dion’s oldest son, 17-year-old René-Charles Angélil has started to make his mark, posting two of his remixes of songs popularized by The Weeknd on the SoundCloud platform.

–  Chart-topping pop star Shawn Mendes has announced dates for a global arena tour in 2019. It launches on March 7 in Europe and runs through the summer with 56 dates spanning North America, the UK and Europe, with more dates TBA. All concert tickets purchased in Canada include a copy of Mendes' upcoming self-titled album, out via Island Records on May 25th. Canadian dates are at Vancouver's Rogers Arena on June 14, Edmonton's Rogers Place, June 16, Winnipeg's Bell MTS Place, June 19, and Montreal's Bell Centre on Aug. 21. Tickets will go on sale this month. More info here   

– Together for only one year and with one album recorded for Columbia Records Canada in 1976, Crack of Dawn went their separate ways–although its component parts went on to have illustrious careers as musicians with Third World, Al Green, Toots & The Maytals and others. Carl and Rupert Harvey, Carl Otway, Charles Sinclair and ensemble released a new album maybe five months ago on digital platforms and reunite June 2 for the Toronto Funk & Soul Festival at the Mod Club.

– Hosted by the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and Music Export Canada, Canada House hosts three days of showcases tied to the Great Escape festival in Brighton, England, May 17-19 at The Green Door Store. More info here

–  Toronto avant-rockers Weaves made the Polaris Prize shortlist last year with their debut album, one since followed by the acclaimed Wide Open. The group has now teamed up with Polaris to release their version of the Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" as part of the SiriusXM Polaris Cover Session series. Two more Polaris Cover Sessions will be released in the coming months. All three are to be pressed on a limited edition 10" vinyl record that will be free to purchasers of 2018 Polaris nominated albums at participating retail stores, starting in July.

–  24-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Tenille Townes is starting to make waves in Nashville. Recently signed to Columbia Nashville. Townes has just released an acoustic EP, Living Room Worktapes, as her debut on the label. A feature on wbaa.org terms her "Nashville's new voice," and states that she "has spent the last half-decade in Nashville, distilling her style and finding a publisher, manager and label willing to bet on her. During an exploratory period, she did some recording with Daniel Tashian (Kacey Musgraves), before ultimately beginning work on an album with uber-producer Jay Joyce.

– A second copy of the Beatles first demonstration single for Parlophone, "Love Me Do," has been officially confirmed as sold through Discogs for US$10,553. Released on October 5, 1962, this is one of only 250 issued with McCartney (McArtney) incorrectly spelled in the writing credit. In October 2017, this same variant of "Love Me Do" broke the record for most expensive 7" sold going for US$14,757. View The Entire Top 30 Most Expensive Items Sold On Discogs For March 2018 here

– In January, Toronto artist Chloe Watkinson launched her debut single "A Universe"  (produced by Grammy-winning producer/engineer George Massenburg) at a headline concert at The Opera House. Now, she's back with a new single, "Golden," described in a bio as "an alt-disco rock song that sounds like Susan Tedeschi fronting Heart, culminating in a total dance party. Watkinson has also launched a weekly Facebook web series where she discusses her influences, sings covers and unreleased originals, and gives a further glimpse into her universe. Tune in every Wednesday at 7 pm.

–  William Leathers, a 17-year old Mississauga trumpet player, was recently accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School, and some notable musical figures are lending support to cover his tuition fees. Céline Peterson, Molly Johnson and Jazz Bistro's Sybil Walker are presenting a fundraiser at the Toronto jazz hub on May 26. The evening will feature performances from trumpeters Alexander Brown and Chase Sanborn (more names TBA) as well special guests with the Robi Botos Trio rhythm section.

–  Toronto guitarist Tim Bovaconti is an in-demand accompanist for the likes of Ron Sexsmith and Burton Cummings. Also an accomplished solo singer/songwriter, he has a new album, Fight Or Flight, ready to come out. The self-produced disc will be launched via a show on May 18 at The Hideout in Toronto.

– There is no shortage of notable CMW-related music on in Toronto tonight (May 9), but the inaugural CMW Jazz Night deserves special mention. It takes place at Jazz Bistro and features showcase sets by four vocalists, Kristen Violet May, Heather Bambrick, Ori Dagan, and Maya Rae. The A-list accompanying band comprises Alison Young , Nathan Hiltz, David Restivo, Lauren Falls and Daniel Barnes. 

– On the rock side at CMW, a potent double bill of The Julian Taylor Band and Midnight Shine at Lee's Palace on May 10 merits your attention.

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