Alessia Cara holding her Grammy
Alessia Cara holding her Grammy

Music News Digest, July 4, 2018

The 2018 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards return to Toronto on Sunday Aug. 26. The first round of performer announcements comprise Alessia Cara, Halsey and Marshmello, with more TBA. Cara co-hosted last year with Joe Jonas.

– The late Joe Strummer, frontman of Anglo punk pioneers The Clash, will be celebrated with an upcoming retrospective of his post-Clash work, Joe Strummer 001, due on Ignition Records, Sept. 28. It includes his three records with the Mescaleros, an album’s worth of previously unreleased recordings found in his backyard shed, and some material from The Clash era. The collection has a strong Canadian connection, as it features the restoration and mastering work of Grammy-winning archivist/engineer Peter J. Moore (The Basement Tapes, Cowboy Junkies).

–It has been an on-again-off-again saga for popular Toronto music venue The Cadillac Lounge in recent months. The club had been sold and owner Sam Grosso even took down the Cadillac embedded in the front wall. The deal fell through, however, and Grosso announced last week that it is business as usual at the Caddy, for now at least.

– The ’77 MONTRÉAL fest is offering a local band a paid 30 minute set at the fest on July 27. Submissions and voting close July 15. Acts this year include AFI, Rise Against, D.O.A., The Rezillos, and Suicidal Tendencies.

– Sarah McLachlan has teamed up with online fundraising platform Omaze to offer one fan the chance to spend the day with her in Vancouver. To enter the contest, individuals must, before Aug. 14, make a donation through Omaze to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, which provides free music programming to at-risk youth in Vancouver, Surrey, and Edmonton. Each $10 donation is worth 10 entries.

– Back in May, Toronto rapper TG (aka Top Gunna) released a new video, for the track “Got The Drop.” That clip is now marked "unavailable" on YouTube, and we suspect that is because TG (real name T'Quan Robertson) is now the subject of an extensive police manhunt and is considered armed and dangerous. This stems from a recent incident at a Toronto playground in which two young children were shot. A recent interview with TG on the We Love Hip-Hop YouTube channel remains up.

– The 2018 Edmonton Music Awards were held last week at the Winspear Centre. An audience of 1,000 watched as 28 trophies were handed out to local artists. Multiple winners included Celeigh Cardinal (she led the nominations with seven, and won two awards), Lyra Brown (with three), The Dungarees, and Bardic Form (two apiece). The Legacy Award went to Tommy Banks. See full list of winners here

– Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, has presented its 10th Anniversary Impact Report. The free downloadable publication draws upon case studies and contributions from independent labels and distributors worldwide, new data findings and trends from 2018's Merlin membership survey. The report seeks to explain how the agency has helped independent labels to thrive and compete in the digital music market. Download it here

– The Professional Music Publishers’ Association (PMPA) recently awarded the Prix Christopher J. Reed to Montréal music publisher Denis Wolff. Named after the influential music publisher who died in 2012, the Prix is presented annually to an outstanding music publishing advocate. The award presentation, organized by APEM with SOCAN support, took place in Montréal as part of the Rendez-vous Pros des Francos music festival. Wolff worked at Audiogram prior to creating the Maisonnette agency in 2007, and, last year, Ray-On, an artist development and music services agency.

– Born in Buenos Aires and now based in Kitchener, Sebastian Olzanski is an 18-year-old pop singer with a rapidly growing international following. He is playing South American dates this month, followed by US and European touring. Check out his new single here

– The archives of Canadian showbiz pioneer Saul Holiff are now featured in a just-opened collection at the University of Victoria’s Mearns Centre for Learning – McPherson Library. Holiff is best-known as the longtime manager of Johnny Cash, and the collection is entitled Volatile Attractions: Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash, and Managing a Music Legend. The archives include thousands of rare and exclusive Cash-related items, including first-hand accounts of his 1966 overdose in Toronto and death threats from the KKK. View the exhibit here

– Veteran Toronto R&B band Crack of Dawn is making a welcome return with a new album, Spotlight. The all-star lineup currently includes Carl Harvey (Toots and The Maytals), Rupert Harvey (Messenjah), Trevor Daley (Third World), and vocalist Michael Dunston. The group has a show at Beaches International Jazz Festival in Woodbine Park, Toronto, on July 29. Crack of Dawn's self-titled debut album came out in 1976, and the group reunited in 2013.

 

R.I.P.

Alan Longmuir, bassist and founder member of the Bay City Rollers, died on July 2, at age 70, following a short illness. Two weeks ago he was flown home from Mexico where he had contracted a virus.

Known as the "tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh", the Bay City Rollers started back in 1966. The band's commercial heyday came in the mid-'70s, via such international hit singles as "Give A Little Love," "Saturday Night," "Money Honey," "Rock And Roll Love Letter," and "I Only Want To Be With You."

In 1976 Longmuir was replaced by rhythm guitarist Ian Mitchell. He returned to the group in 1978 and last played with them in a 2016 series of reunion concerts. Sources: The Independent, The Mirror

Steve Soto, founding member and bassist of seminal US punk band The Adolescents, died on June 27, age 54. The cause of death is not immediately known, though it appears to have been sudden and unexpected. News of Soto’s passing was confirmed by his longtime Adolescents bandmate, singer Tony Reflex. 

He co-founded Agent Orange in 1979, then left the band within a year to form the Adolescents. Between 1981 and 2016, the Adolescents released eight albums, during which time Soto also worked as a solo artist and played in numerous other groups. In The Adolescents, he recently wrapped up a leg of East Coast tour dates and had further gigs scheduled in Europe for this summer. Sources: Consequence of SoundRolling Stone

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