Florence + The Machine Facebook photo
Florence + The Machine Facebook photo

Music News Digest, April 26, 2019

Game Of Thrones fever is certainly benefiting Florence + The Machine. The group's performance of "Jenny of Oldstones" appeared over the end credits in the latest episode of HBO's hit series, April 21, and it set the record for the most number of Shazams in 24 hours, Shazam has confirmed that Welch's track was 'Shazamed' approximately 300,000 times worldwide during a 24 hour period following its appearance in the show. The previous record was Adele's "Hello" in Oct. 2015, with 200,000 'Shazams' in its opening 24 hours. Source: MBW

– US sales figures for Record Store Day 2019 are in from Nielsen Music, and they did indeed set records. The 12th annual indie music retailer celebration, staged on April 13, helped yield 827,000 vinyl albums sold in the US in the week ending April 18. That's a new high for RSD week, and the third-largest sales week for vinyl albums since Nielsen Music started tracking sales in 1991. The only two larger weeks for vinyl album sales overall were logged during the Christmas season of 2018.

The top-selling Record Store Day-exclusive album this year at independent record stores was Grateful Dead’s archival acoustic concert package Warfield: San Francisco, California, October 9th, 1980 / October 10th, 1980. It sold a combined 10K copies on vinyl and CD. The week’s second-and-third-biggest selling Record Store Day-exclusive titles at indie stores were Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks: Test Pressing and Green Day’s Green Day Live! Woodstock 1994. See the full top 25 list of the week's biggest RSD exclusives here Source: Billboard

– The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced a new multi-year relationship with TD Bank Group that sees both the 2019 and 2020 CCMA Awards presented by TD. Together, the two will soon launch the CCMA Ultimate Fan Contest, with details TBA. The 2019 CCMA Awards presented by TD air live from Calgary, AB at 9 p.m. EST/PST on Global, on Sept. 8.

– This June, The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records and TIDAL, will release Originals, a 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings of songs Prince composed and recorded for others, including The Bangles hit "Manic Monday." Starting June 7, Originals will stream exclusively on TIDAL for fourteen days; then, on June 21, Warner Bros. Records will release it on CD and vinyl.

– Bachman: Special Edition is coming to Blu-ray and DVD on May 10, via MVD. The doc tells the story of Randy Bachman from his early days in The Guess Who to Bachman-Turner Overdrive to the present day. It includes footage, pictures, and documents that have been stored at the National Archives in Ottawa for decades.

– Bruce Springsteen releases Western Stars, his first studio album in five years, on June 14. Reports suggest it was inspired in part from pop records that emerged from Southern California in the late '60s and early '70s. “This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character-driven songs and sweeping cinematic orchestral arrangements," he noted in a news release.  Sessions were primarily held at Springsteen's home studio in New Jersey, with additional work in New York and California.  Ron Aniello returns as producer, and "Hello Sunshine," an advance single, becomes available today. Source: Ultimate Classic Rock

– Entertainment industry heavyweights Jay-Z, Diddy, and Drake have announced their new co-ownership of online casino giant Casumo. Their venture is being termed the world’s first ‘black-owned’ casino. “Casino owners always want us to perform at their casinos and hotels, but when we ask to own a piece they go silent,” Jay-Z explained. “They want to pimp our celebrity status, but not pay us fairly. Okay. We won’t perform at your casino. We’ll become your biggest competitor instead.” A promo launch in Canada ended this week, with the US to follow. Source: Robustwellbeing.com

– Epic Records Chairman & CEO Sylvia Rhone will receive the 2019 Hall of Fame award at MIDEM and will also give the keynote address. MIDEM runs June 4-7 in Cannes.

– On Wednesday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Dick and Brian Cooper (The Cooper Brothers) at the start of the City Council meeting. Ottawa-based Southern rockers The Cooper Brothers signed with Capricorn Records in 1978, releasing a couple of albums on that famed label. Radio Silence, the Cooper Brothers’ seventh studio album, was released in 2017.

– Price increases for the Mariposa Folk Festival take effect May 1. The full lineup for the July 5-7 hootenanny in Orillia has been announced.

– Stephanie Hardman has left Outside Music after a 21-year stint as Director, Media Relations, at the Toronto-based label. She has set up her own company, Hard Copy Media, and will continue repping the artists she worked with at Outside. That list includes Jill Barber, Measha Brueggergosman, Tami Neilson, Justin Rutledge, and The Weather Station. Hardman tells FYI that "I will also continue to represent Domino Recording Co., in the same capacity: Middle Kids, Hot Chip, Cinematic Orchestra, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, The Kills, etc." She can be reached at stephanie@hardcopymedia.ca

– Popular Toronto record store June Records is opening an in-house event space, NOW reports. The 500-square-foot speakeasy-style venue at the back of the College Street shop will come equipped with a custom-built reggae sound system from the 80s. The space will hold 30-40 concertgoers, and owner Ian Cheung reports it will open for public events in June. He hopes this helps to fill the void left by a rash of music venue closings.

– In less positive news, Toronto heavy metal record store Stained Class Records is closing at the end of April.

Music BC's fifth Let's Hear It Concert, set for May 23 at The Fox Cabaret in Vancouver, showcases des hume, Fintan, and Biawanna. 

– To celebrate Toronto Blues Society's 34th Birthday, Paul Reddick performs at Island Cafe on Ward's Island June 7, accompanied by Kyle Ferguson (The Sidemen). A free show.

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