The Beastie Boys, new Grammy winner Brandi Carlile, actor Elisabeth Moss, T Bone Burnett and former House Speaker John Boehner have been added as speakers at the SXSW Conference during March 8–17 in Austin, Texas. Keynotes announced this week include Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond of the Beastie Boys with Amazon’s Nathan Brackett; investor and author Roger McNamee with Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson; and Recode co-founder and editor-at-large Kara Swisher. Featured speakers include David Byrne, Elizabeth Banks, Ethan Hawke, Amber Heard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Nile Rodgers. Source: Variety
– During his truncated acceptance speech at The Grammys, Drake referenced being a hero in his hometown. That was reaffirmed on Monday night when the CN Tower, as well as the famed 3D Toronto sign outside City Hall, were lit up in gold, to celebrate Drizzy's win for Best Rap Song.
– The Sakamoto Agency has launched a new website, one allowing the user to submit a performance offer to the agent, and integrating ‘always current’ artist assets and links through Muzooka. The agency has also added to its roster with the exclusive signings of vocal impressionist Andre-Philippe Gagnon, country artist Jason Benoit, and a salute to the life of Merle Haggard called The Story of the Hag, featuring Juno-nominated artist Jess Lee (produced by GNR Entertainment), to the international roster. Sakamoto Agency has also named European Coordinator Franck Boucheraud to the team.
– Roxodus Music Fest has added Collective Soul, Headstones, Big Wreck, and Australian rocker Orianthi to the main stage lineup for the inaugural fest running July 11 – 13, at Edenvale, ON. They join previously announced acts Kid Rock, Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, Billy Idol, Blondie and Cheap Trick. Full lineup here.
– Kasador is an indie rock band readying the release of a full-length album, Brood & Bloom. Produced by Graham Walsh of Holy F*ck, and Rob Baker and Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip (Baker's son Boris is Kasador's bassist), the titular track and lead-off single comes out on March 15, preceded by an industry showcase at The Rivoli in Toronto on March 7 that will feature the new album in its entirety. Here is an earlier single.
– Following the death of popular music publicist Darryl Weeks last weekend, a GoFundMe page has been set up. All proceeds will go towards an education fund for his children.
– The deadline for Music BC’s Let’s Hear It! Live BC micro-grants is Feb. 22. Apply here
– Billboard reports that Canadian music distributor RPM, which filed for bankruptcy last month two weeks after ceasing operation, owes $8.9M (CAD) in liabilities -- the majority of which is owed to Universal Music Canada. Approx $2M is owed to Sony Music Canada and $800K to Warner Music Canada, with independent distributors Outside Music, FAB, and Select owed five-figure amounts.
– Jillard Guitars is making 25 instruments built from reclaimed wood from a historic building in downtown Hamilton. In this 99 James North project, a group of local arts businesses are celebrating their anniversaries with the limited edition run of guitars, crafted from centuries-old wood. One of the companies involved is Sonic Unyon, which turns 25 this year. That label's Mark Milne and Tim Potocic bought the building with other shareholders in 2014. Proceeds from the project to be donated to An Instrument For Every Child, an organization that aims to provide access to instruments and skilled instructors for children from all walks of life. Source: CBC
– Powerhouse Toronto funk-rocker SATE has a hometown show at The Horseshoe tonight (Feb. 15). She has just released a video for the track "Dirty Little Lie."