Erin Costelo  Photo: Mat Dunlap
Erin Costelo Photo: Mat Dunlap

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 7, 2019

Books about music blast away January blahs

The darkest time of the year needs some music to brighten things up. New titles include looks at Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Tom Stephen. – Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star

Everything you missed at the Drake Hotel's three-floor New Year's Eve party

The Headlines NYE party featured a stacked lineup of local hip-hop and electronic musicians including Ryan Hemsworth, Sean Leon, Jimmy Prime and more. –  Claudia McNeely, NOW

Rising hip-hop phenom Noname is making her mark


Obituary: David Sinclair, a musician's musician

The easy-going guitarist played with a who's-who in Canada, including Sarah McLachlan, k.d. lang, and his own band, Straight Lines. – John Mackie, Vancouver Sun

Throwback Thursday: 25 classic albums turning 25 in 2019

There’s an argument to be made that 1994 was one of the best years ever for music. Grunge and alt-rock saw some of their biggest releases. – Dave Breakenridge, Edmonton Journal

HiHo Kids meet Angel Blue in a viral video that puts the pop back into opera

Earlier this year, the opera world had one of its few-and-far-between viral videos. It’s an episode of the Kids Meet series by YouTube’s HiHo Kids. Soprano Angel Blue – whom Toronto audiences can hear live as Mimi in the Canadian Opera Company’s 2019 production of La bohème – sits for several interviews with kids and she answers their questions about her very cool job. – Jenna Simeonov, Globe and Mail

Seven Nines and Tens' David Cotton on releasing cassettes in a digital age and mixing stoner metal with jazz

Coup Sur Coup Records has released Satisfy the Faction, a comprehensive document of a decade's worth of recordings by Cotton's band, Seven Nines and Tens. Satisfy the Faction came out in the form of a double-cassette boxed set. – John Lucas, Georgia Straight

30 years later, the Pursuit of Happiness is back on its feet

“Gotta get up and take on that world,” Moe Berg sang ages ago. “When you’re an adult it’s no cliché, it’s the truth.” When he wrote that line from the sardonic Pursuit of Happiness hit I’m An Adult Now, Berg was in his 20s, soon to be a rock star. About three decades later, Berg is 9-to-5-ing and pushing 60. He’s no longer a rock star.  – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Faith/Void is closing in February

The multi-purpose venue and record store was a champion of DIY in Toronto’s music and arts scene. – Michael Rancic, NOW

Toronto musician turns his mother’s reflection on her Parkinson’s disease into new album

In recent years, Joseph Shabason has been forced to reckon with the hard realities of having a family member stricken with Parkinson’s disease. The experience inspired his new album. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star

Erin Costelo doc airs on CBC 

The making of Sweet Marie was directed by the Halifax singer's good friend Amelia Curran. – Tara Thorne, The Coast

Five Songs About the music industry

In this edition, we bring you five songs about the music industry itself. SPOILER ALERT: people don't tend to write songs about the music biz when they're feeling good about it. –  John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Atlanta symphony’s struggles shed light on TSO’s challenges

Symphony orchestras across the country are fighting for audiences in these days of abundant leisure-time options, to find them, to expand them and often just to hold onto them. – William Littler, Toronto Star

Coachella either gets it kind of right or mostly wrong with the announcement of 2019 headliners

Considering rap pretty much ruled everything the past 12 months, there’s a case to be made that the 2019 edition of Coachella got things at least partly right on the headliners’ front. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight


Album sales are dying as fast as streaming services are rising

Music consumption shot up in 2018, no thanks to the album or song sales. – Amy Wang, Rolling Stone

'Rappers are growing up': Tiffany Calver, the new voice of BBC rap, on 2019's hip-hop trends

As the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Rap Show, Calver explains where the genre is heading – from mental health themes to female empowerment. – Ammar Kala, The Guardian

After widespread complaints, Coachella is enacting a new anti-sexual harassment policy. But is it enough?

Music festivals have always been places for escape and community. But amid the groundswell of the #MeToo movement, the spotlight has grown to include not just artists but the fests’ own longstanding problems around sexual harassment and assault. – August Brown, LA Times

Universal Music Group buys House of Blues Studio for $4.3M

Universal Music Group purchased the House of Blues recording complex in Berry Hill in November, continuing the company's aggressive investment in major recording studios. UMG also owns famed London's famed Abbey Road Studio, which it recently renovated, and LA's Capitol Studios. – Nate Rau, Nashville Tennessean

Lady Gaga, Jay-Z allegedly declined to appear in Surviving R. Kelly docu-series

Executive producer dream hampton claims the R&B singer’s former collaborators Céline Dion, Erykah Badu, Dave Chapelle and Questlove also turned down interviews. – Laura Snapes, The Guardian

How the music industry overlooked R. Kelly's alleged abuse of young women

McPherson, who has since left Sony, did not respond to multiple interview requests. He is far from the only industry figure who worked with Kelly and benefited from the partnership, even as a cloud of allegations - mostly involving the sexual abuse of young women - began to grow around the star. –  Washington Post

The 2018 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

NPR Music's 6th Annual Jazz Critics Poll places Wayne Shorter's Emanon as Album of the Year. – Francis Davis, NPR

YouTube's streaming domination clips the market’s wings 

For all the media attention given to Spotify and Apple Music, YouTube is still the world's most popular music streaming service. But its unique licensing position and massive free offering often have a negative effect on the entire music streaming market. – Mark Mulligan, MIDiA

Latin albums are now more popular than country albums in the U.S.

A new report from the data company BuzzAngle suggests that consumption of Latin music continued to blossom in 2018. – Elias Leight, Rolling Stone

RIAA names Mitch Glazier Chairman, CEO and Michele Ballantyne COO

Mitch Glazier has officially taken the helm as the chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), replacing Cary Sherman. Ballantyne has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the music industry trade group. – Hypebot

Ed Sheeran to face trial over claims he copied Marvin Gaye

 A judge ruled his song Thinking Out Loud was similar to Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, so a trial in New York City looks possible.  – Harriet Alexander, The Telegraph

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