Richard Flohil
Richard Flohil

Music News Digest, May 24, 2019

– A man with more endurance than the Energizer Bunny, veteran Toronto music publicist and promoter Richard Flohil turns 85 on June 24. Known for hosting great milestone birthday parties, he has planned another one for the Horseshoe Tavern on June 28. A stellar list of local artists set to perform include Paul Reddick, Ariana Gillis and David Gillis, Jay Aymar, Candace Shaw, Cat and the Queen, Jaymz Bee, Jenie Thai, Kaia Kater, Loryn Taggart, Russell deCarle, Saint Stella, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Scotty Campbell, Shakura S’Aida, Sonya Cote with Lena Luna Rose Cote, and Washboard Hank.

Tix are $25 and proceeds, after expenses, go to the Unison Benevolent Fund. A fun night is guaranteed.

– Carly Rae Jepsen's Dedicated Canadian tour dates have been announced. The 12-city trek begins Aug. 28 in Vancouver, wrapping Sept. 19 in London. The pop siren has just released her fourth album, Dedicated, on 604 Records. Jepsen's European tour began last night in Sweden.

– Our Lady Peace's rock festival Summersault made a splash from 1998 to 2000 and was then put on ice, until now. The lineup for the event's return has just been announced, and it finds fellow '90s faves Bush and Live joining OLP, with support from Dear Rouge, Human Kebab, and others TBA. Summersault 2019 begins in Quebec City on Sept 1, then heads to Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. Tix on sale today (May 24).

Drake's receipt of a $769,000 diamond-encrusted OVO jacket to honour his work as the Toronto Raptors’ ambassador has drawn fire online, with many suggesting it should be auctioned for charity. The Toronto Star initially reported this as a gift from MLSE, but later retracted this, saying it was a gift from the custom tailor involved.

– POP Montreal has announced its line-up for the 2019 edition, running Sept. 25-29. Notable acts include Aldous Harding, 47soul, KOKOKO!, Shonen Knife, Tinariwen, Nick Cave, Torres, Xiu Xiu, Laurie Anderson, Hollerado, Weyes Blood, Colin Stetson, and Yung Baby Tate.

– The Indigenous Music Awards (IMAs) were held May 17 at Winnipeg's Club Regent Event Centre in a ceremony that coincided with the Manito Ahbee Festival. Awards for music by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists were handed out in 21 categories. Winners included Don Amero, Beatrice Deer, Logan Staats, Mimi O'Bonsawin. In addition to the awards, songwriter Ernest Monias was honoured with the IMA's Lifetime Achievement Award, Erica Daniels was honoured with the Indigenous Film Award, and Anachnid was presented with the 2019 TD Indigenous Songwriter Award.

– CIMA has announced the special guest performers who will be paying tribute to this year's award recipients on the evening of June 10 at Lithuanian Banquet Halls in Toronto. The lineup comprises Joel Plaskett, Kevin Drew & Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene), Whitehorse, It's Your Shot winner Moscow Apartment, and The Sorority.

– The Top 12 finalists for Alberta's Project WILD 2019 have been announced. They are Aaron Pollock, Ben Chase, Blake Reid Band, Devin Cooper, Julia Vos, Lauren Mayell,  Lyndsay Butler, Mariel Buckley, Mariya Stokes, Mark Times, Michela Sheedy, and Ryan Lindsay. The winner of the professional development program earns a $100,953 award.

– The 11th edition of the mostly-free Diapason Festival runs July 4 to 7 in Sainte-Rose, Laval, featuring Alaclair Ensemble, Beyries, Emilie Kahn, Fred Fortin, Julie Doiron, Mara Tremblay, O.G.B.,
Philémon Cimon, Salomé Leclerc, and more. Lineup here.

– MusicOntario is working with its Prism Advisory Committee (supporting LGBTQ2S+/QTBIPOC creators), comprised of artist and music industry community leaders and activists, to develop opportunities, safer spaces, and visibility for queer and non-binary voices in Ontario’s music biz. It is teaming up with NXNE this year on a showcase at The Baby G in Toronto on June 13, featuring Moscow Apartment, Savannah Taylor, Above Top Secret, Wolf Saga, and Bliptor.

– Next week, CIMA returns to Mexico for the 2019 edition of the FIMPRO Festival and Conference, May 28-31. CIMA is bringing a delegation of seven Canadian companies to Mexico City and Guadalajara for a showcase and business initiative. This trek includes a Canadian Blast networking reception and showcase in Mexico City featuring The East Pointers, We Are Wolves, Digging Roots, Pierre Kwenders, and BuenRostro. The conference in Guadalajara includes a workshop, B2B meeting sessions, networking receptions, and more. On May 29, Music Export Canada and QuebecCreates present a Canadian Blast showcase featuring those same artists (excluding BuenRostro).

–  A new production of the musical Caroline, or Change in Toronto features two big names in the cast: award-winning soprano Measha Brueggergosman will play the Moon and Canadian R&B star Jully Black will make her musical theatre debut as the titular Caroline. This production is presented by Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre Company and runs at the  Winter Garden Theatre, Jan. 31 to Feb. 16, 2020. Source: Toronto Star

– There are changes in store for noted London, ON, bar and live music venue Call the Office. After going up for lease last July, it has now been bought by Darren Quinn, the former owner of Toronto's Hard Luck Bar. He told The London Free Press he has plans to "upgrade the building; the equipment, the operations for a better guest experience, for the artists, the patrons, for the music fans and the staff."  Since 1983, Call the Office has been a fixture of London's live music scene and has hosted the likes of Radiohead, Green Day, Blink-182, the Tragically Hip, Melvins, Teenage Head, the Sadies, PUP, and many more.

– Charlotte Street Arts Centre in Fredericton is bringing back the Girls+ Rock Camp, This five-day camp, Aug. 19-23, is for girls, trans and gender non-conforming people from ages 11 to 18, and it aims to allow girls to learn a new instrument and express themselves in creative and artistic ways. More info here

– US hitmakers The Lumineers release their next full-length album, III, on Sept. 13 through Dualtone (an Entertainment One Company). This week the band put out three music videos for the new tracks, Gloria, Donna, and Live In The City. A press release terms the album "a cinematic narrative told in three chapters, with the songs from each chapter focusing on one primary character out of three generations of the fictional Sparks family." Each chapter will be released as an audio EP within the full-length album. 

– The strong sense of community on the Hamilton music scene extends to its record stores. That has just been demonstrated by Mark Furukawa, owner of Dr. Disc. When he heard that a competitor store, Into the Abyss, was seeing a real drop in business because of construction issues in the area, he and Scott Bell, owner of Revolution Records, organised a benefit concert to assist. Brodie Schwendiman, owner of The Casbah, offered his venue, bands offered to play, and Tom Wilson contributed an original painting for auction. The fundraiser, Out of the Abyss, takes place June 8 at The Casbah, featuring The Dill, Bad Crush and the Crowleys, plus two surprise guests headlining. A GoFundMe account is also up. Source: Hamilton Spectator

– Thunder Bay-based blues singer/songwriter artist Sunday Wilde has hit #1 in Canada on the roots campus stations charts with her strong new offering, Sunday Wilde & the 1 Eyed Jacks. It is her first release since the death last year of her musical and personal partner, Reno Jack. Wilde plays the Cameron House in Toronto on Aug. 8, with another T.O. show TBA.

RIP

Jake Black, a member of the band Alabama 3 and the co-writer of The Sopranos theme tune, has died on May 21. He was thought to be in his late 50s.

The musician had taken ill after a performance at Highpoint Festival in Lancashire on 17 May and was admitted to hospital.

The news was broken on the band’s Facebook page, with a post that read in part: "On a beautiful summer’s day, our friend, comrade and spiritual teacher, Jake Black AKA The Very Reverend D Wayne Love, passed over to the higher ground.”

Born in Glasgow, Black formed the Alabama 3 alongside Rob Spragg in Brixton, London in 1995, crafting a fusion of the country, blues, and acid house genres. They first started as the First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine, before changing their name to Alabama 3 and signing a record deal in 1997.

Their biggest hit, Woke Up This Morning, about a woman who shoots her husband dead after years of abuse, was used for the opening credits of HBO’s The Sopranos, for which the band was reportedly paid $40,000. Their music has also been featured Gone in 60 Seconds, Football Factory, and Definitely, Maybe. Source: The Independent

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