The 10th-anniversary edition of Hamilton's popular free music fest Supercrawl shapes up to be its biggest yet. A fourth evening has been added, with the fest running Sept. 13-16 on James Street North. Significant names announced include Lights, Cadence Weapon, The Dirty Nil, Wintersleep, Ian Thomas, Elliott Brood, Iskwe, Hollerado, Weaves, Owen Pallett, The Elwins, Lindi Ortega, Ben Caplan, Rita Chiarelli, Harrison Kennedy, Steve Strongman, and Tim Gibbons. More info here
– Few rock photographers have had careers to rival that of veteran Englishman Mick ‘The Man Who Shot the Seventies’ Rock, whose portfolio with famed images of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Queen, Blondie, The Ramones, and other greats captured that era. He remains active, but it is the seminal and eye-catching work from the '70s that dominates at a new exhibition of his work at Liss Gallery in Toronto. It officially opens on June 2, running to June 30, but FYI was lucky enough to get invited to an intimate soiree at the gallery on Wednesday evening. Fresh off the plane from NYC, Rock held court in charming style. Interesting factoid: Rock was first introduced to David Bowie by the latter's publicist Anya Wilson, a name familiar to many of our readers. The show is highly recommended.
– Is this a case of Portnow's Complaint? Billboard has just reported that Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the Recording Academy, will step down from his post when his contract expires. He had served as the head of the organization that produces the Grammy Awards since 2002 and has a deal that runs through July 2019, the sources said, meaning a new leader should be installed by next summer.
"The evolution of industries, institutions and organizations is ultimately the key to their relevance, longevity and success," Portnow, the longest-serving president in Recording Academy history, said in a statement confirming that he will not seek an extension to his current deal. " Portnow infuriated many artists early this year when he commented that women needed to "step up" if they wanted to be better-represented in the music industry.
– Heavily slanted to the avant-garde and sonically adventurous, the Electric Eclectics fest returns to Meaford, ON, for its 13th edition, from Aug. 3 to 5. The initial lineup includes Apetechnology, Aquarius, Bobbypin, glassEYElashes, Greydini, Open Fortress, Ora Cogan, Petra Glynt, Phèdre, Pink Noise, Sages, Tess Roby and Ylang Ylang.
– Alan Greyeyes left Manitoba Music at the end of May to take on a new role at the sākihiwē festival, along with other music industry work. He managed the Indigenous Music Development Program for MM, helming projects on a local and national scale.
– Highly-regarded T.O. bluegrass combo The Slocan Ramblers previews its new album Queen City Jubilee (out June 15) with a June 2 show at Toronto's Revival. The group won the 2015 Edmonton Folk Fest Emerging Artist Award and is known for putting on a spirited show.
– Toronto's SummerWorks Performance Festival will run Aug. 9-19. The first round of artist announcements for the multi-media fest includes Molly Johnson, Jason Collett, Maylee Todd, and Robbie Grunwald. More info here
– Aboriginal Music Manitoba (AMM) has announced the full details for the 2018 edition of the Sākihiwē festival (formerly known as Aboriginal Music Week), set for June 15 - 17 in Winnipeg. The list of Canadian and international performers includes Keith Secola, Akylla, Mihirangi and the Māreikura, Jeremy Dutcher, Quantum Tangle, and Iskwé. Details here
– The Montreal born and based Juno-winning contemporary jazz pianist and composer Francois Bourassa will lead his longstanding quartet on a Canadian jazz festival tour (six cities) in support of his recent album Number 9 on Effendi Records (Naxos of Canada). This is Bourassa's ninth album of original music for his own band. A Toronto Jazz Festival date is at Heliconian Hall on June 27 is free and highly recommended. Check the itinerary here
– Much-hyped 2017 Polaris Prize winner Lido Pimienta has signed to leading US indie imprint Anti- Records. Her winning album, La Papessa, will be reissued on vinyl for the first time in the fall. Pimienta and her band begin a worldwide tour including dates in Europe, the US and Canada today (June 1) in Dudingen, Switzerland. Dates here
– Toronto rapper Patrik released his latest single, "Staylone," last week, a sample of his Spadina EP, due out later this year. He is part of the Unsigned showcase at The Boat in Toronto on June 7. Here's the video for his previous single, "Entitled."
– Stalone is a new duo project comprising Canadian songwriter/producer Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker The Star) and Greek singer/songwriter George Poirot Dimopoulos. A debut single, "Orangina," is now out on Bandcamp.
– Popular East Coast songsmith David Myles checks into Toronto's Dakota Tavern tonight and tomorrow (June 1-2), accompanied by high-powered guests. They include Ria Mae (on both nights), Kim Stockwood, Sarah Slean, Damhnait Doyle, and Justin Rutledge.