Music News Digest, Aug. 17, 2018

CARAS and Slaight Music have announced the Top 10 artists in the running to participate in Canada’s premier artist development program, the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class. Artists advancing to the next round of the competition are Dylan Menzie, Haviah Mighty, I M U R, Port Cities, Sc Mira, Shay Esposito, smrtdeath, The Katherines, The Royal Foundry, and Wolf Saga. On Sept. 20, the three Jury-selected winners will be announced. They receive mentorship and access to industry leaders, including a week-long customized program curated by Canada’s Music Incubator at Coalition Music. The artists also get to attend the 2019 Juno Awards in London, ON and earn a performance opportunity during Junofest.

–  The Polaris Music Prize has announced the performers for the Sept. 17 gala at The Carlu in Toronto. The eight shortlisted nominees taking to the stage are Jean-Michel Blais, Jeremy Dutcher, Hubert Lenoir, Pierre Kwenders, Partner, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, U.S. Girls, and Weaves. Daniel Caesar will be in attendance but cannot perform due to his touring schedule. Alvvays cannot attend due to previous commitments. The 11 Grand Jury members who will select the Polaris winner from these ten contenders have also been named. The winner receives $50K, with the other nominees each receiving $3K, courtesy of Slaight Music.

–  Ottawa online arts & culture magazine Shifter is launching Capital Essentials to promote Ottawa’s growing urban music scene, starting with a recently-launched Spotify playlist. That launch will be celebrated with an event at at ppl nightclub on Aug. 29. Shifter editor-in-chief Kevin Bourne claims that "Ottawa probably has the most diverse urban music scene in Canada." Recent success stories include Night Lovell, Elijah Woods x JamieFine, and Belly.

–  The first round of artists set to perform during Nova Scotia Music Week in Truro, Nova Scotia, Nov. 1-4, has been announced. The over 80 names include such notables as Erin Costelo, George Canyon, Alert The Medic, Mo Kenney, Hillsburn, Walrus, and Rich Aucoin. The second round of artists will be announced Sept. 11 along with the full festival sked. More info on this year's artists here

– The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) and the Festival international de la chanson de Granby (FICG) have announced that the song “Bleu et blanc” – written by Franco-Ontarian songwriter Robert Paquette – will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The induction happens on Aug. 26, live from the Scène Desjardins, during the closing concert of the 50th edition of FICG. “Bleu et blanc” was deemed a SOCAN Classic in 2001, for having aired more than 100,000 times on the radio. It was also included in a list of 150 popular songs compiled by Le Journal de Montréal for Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

– Revolutions Per Minute is returning for third season of RPM Live, a concert series showcasing Indigenous artists in Toronto. Montreal and New York, with shows from Aug. 30 to Nov. 22. Artists include Nataanii Means, Eekwol, Elisapie, Beatrice Deer, Alanis Obomsawin, Ansley Simpson, Silla + Rise, and fast-rising Polaris shortlisters Snotty Nose Rez Kids. A full sked here

–  The 1972 John Lennon & Yoko Ono film Imagine has been restored and remixed with an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack mix plus some additional cinema-only extras for a new theatrical run. It will screen in cinemas worldwide from Sept. 17. Check for a full cinema list and ticket info here

–  The Halifax Urban Folk Festival (HUFF) has announced the return of More Than Words - a free songwriters workshop. It is set for Sept. 1 (1 -2.30 pm) at Propeller Brewing Co. (2015 Gottingen Street), and features Hey Rosetta’s Tim Baker, Reeny Smith, The Lowest of the Low’s Ron Hawkins, and Sadie Campbell. RSVP by email to using the subject line "More Than Words Registration."

– Blues singer/drummer/songwriter Lindsay Beaver first made a mark with Toronto band The 24th Street Wailers, and she is now making a splash Stateside. Now based in Austin, she is signed to prestigious blues label Alligator Records, who release her label debut, Tough As Love, on Oct. 12. Alligator head Bruce Iglauer describes Beaver as "like the love child of Amy Winehouse and Little Richard.”

– MusicNL Week 2018 is still seeking volunteers to assist with the event in Twillingate, NL, from Oct. 10-14 . Those interested should attend a meeting at the Orange Lodge (118 Main Street) in Twillingate on Aug. 20 to learn more. Check with for info.


Randall Desmond Archibald, better known as Randy Rampage, D.O.A. co-founder/bassist and lead singer of Annihilator, died on Aug. 14 of a suspected heart attack, age 58. The news first surfaced on the Bloodied But Unbowed Facebook page.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Rampage was in D.O.A. from 1978 to 1981. After his departure, he released a self-titled solo EP, then moved into the heavy-metal scene with such acts as Ground Zero and Annihilator. He rejoined D.O.A. for a brief run in the late '00s before parting ways with leader Joe Keithley.

Rampage's biography, I Survived D.O.A. (written with Chris Walter), drew praise for its candour. Such peers as Duff McKagan, Art Bergmann, and Todd Kerns lamented his passing in FB posts. Sources: Georgia Straight, Wikipedia

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