Arkells are heading to HPX
Arkells are heading to HPX

Music News Digest, Sept. 11, 2019

Taking place in Halifax, NS from Oct. 23-26, HPX (Halifax Pop Explosion) 2019 has announced a formidable lineup of artists. Notable names include Arkells, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Weakened Friends, Charlotte Cornfield, DJ NDN, Rich Aucoin, Haviah Mighty, PUP, Elisapie, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Mother Mother, Just John x Dom Dias, Spencer Krug, Kaia Kater, Walrus, and more. Festival wristbands, VIP passes, and conference badges are on sale now here  

– Launched by Serena Ryder and Sandy Pandya (Pandyamonium Management), ArtHaus is a new multi-purpose creative working space in Toronto that already has songwriting camps, recording sessions and other activations underway. It was showcased last night at a party that attracted many music industry movers and shakers. Those we spied enjoying the vibe included Jack Ross, Jake Gold, Rob Lanni, Keely Kemp, Bonnie Fedrau, Richard Flohil, Mark Smith, Shauna de Cartier, Skinny Tenn, Amanda McAuley, and Spencer Mussellam. Our congrats to Serena and Sandy.

– Linus Entertainment Group has appointed Cat Bird the new Director of Marketing and Business Development. Bird has spent the past 12 years as the proprietor of, facilitating funding for artists in the music, film and digital arts sector as an independent grant writer and consultant. Before that, she served 10 years as the sponsorship and trade show coordinator for the NXNE Music Festival, launched the US bookings department of Paquin Entertainment Agency, was Executive Director for the Songwriters Association of Canada, and worked as an independent concert promoter and tour manager. 

– Canada has been invited to be the Partner Country for the next edition of Jazzahead, taking place next April 23-26, in Bremen, Germany. CIMA and the Conseil Quebecois De La Musique (CQM) will present an information session on the event on Sept. 23 at 1:30 pm at Lula Lounge n Toronto, ON). The session will be live-streamed via the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) Facebook page. Confirm your attendance by RSVP’ing here 

– Noted folk singer-songwriter David Wiffen will be honoured in his hometown of Ottawa on Sept. 14. The day has been declared David Wiffen Day by the City of Ottawa, and that morning, from 10 am to noon, Wiffen will be featured in a two-hour radio special on CKCU-FM's Canadian Spaces, the longest-running folk music program on Canadian radio. An impressive list of musicians will join host Chris White then, including Tom Wilson, Lynn Miles, and Sneezy Waters. Wiffen's songs have been recorded by Anne Murray, Harry Belafonte, The Byrds, Ian & Sylvia, Jerry Jeff Walker, Eric Andersen, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Tom Rush, The Cowboy Junkies, and members of the Black Crowes.

–  Hamilton label Sonic Unyon has announced the signing of rootsy singer-songwriter Sam Weber, with a new album, Everything Comes True, set for release on Oct. 25. Weber will promote it via a Canadian tour supporting labelmate Terra Lightfoot. Those dates run Oct. 30 to Nov. 9.

–  The commercial power of mysterious graffiti artist Banksy extends to the music world as well. Discogs has released ts latest Top 30 Most Expensive records chart for the Discogs Marketplace over the month of July, and topping the list was a rare Banksy-painted Röyksopp record, pressed an ultra-limited edition of their 2002 double-LP Melody A.M.. It fetched US$8178, a significant increase on the US$6962 a copy of the same record fetched in May.

–  Juno-winning East Coast folk singer-songwriter Rose Cousins has been added to the lineup of Nova Scotia Music Week, with a concert at First United Church (711 Prince St) in Truro, NS, on Nov. 8. Cousins' last album, Natural Conclusion, was nominated for 2018 Grammy and Juno Awards and won two Music Nova Scotia Awards and three ECMAs. 

–  Naxos Music Group has re-launched the Naxos World label. This follows its acquisition of ARC Music Productions in 2018 and Musiques Suisses earlier this year. The Naxos World label will focus on two recording series – one that presents the ethnic folk music of distinct cultures, and one that explores contemporary fusion. The first iteration of the Naxos World label was launched in 2000 and released over 40 titles, winning a Grammy for Sacred Tibetan Chant by the Sherab Ling Monks in 2004. Naxos also operates the only dedicated world music subscription-streaming platform, Naxos Music Library World, offering access to more than 12K albums. Canadian media inquiries, contact Glenda Rush,

–  Edmonton-based visual artist Trevor “Stickman” Stickel is having his first eastern Canadian show at the Liss Gallery in Toronto, from Sept. 10- Oct. 5. Earlier rockstar subjects have included David Bowie, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, and one new work features Drake

–  Toronto-based MC Shad returns as the host of Netflix’s International Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Hip-Hop Evolution.  Season 3, comprising a 4-part docuseries, is streaming now and finds Shad interviewing Puff Daddy, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, Cee-Lo Green, and many more. Shad's most recent album, A Short Story About A War, is on the Polaris Music Prize 2019 Short List, and he performs at the Gala in Toronto on Sept. 16. Other gigs are at Halifax's Dalhousie University (Sept. 14) and Vankleek, ON, Beau’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 21).

–  On Friday, Toronto noir-folk troubadour Jon Brooks releases a new album, Moth nor Rust II (on Fallen Tree Records). He plays Oakville's Moonshine Cafe Sept. 12 and Toronto's Dakota Tavern on Sept. 13. Highly recommended.

–  Noted world music artist Aviva Chernick launches her new album, La Serena, with a concert at 918 Bathurst in Toronto on Sept. 19.  It showcases the results of many years of studying and playing Sephardic music.


Robert Frank, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, died on Sept. 9 in Inverness, Nova Scotia, age 94.

Frank's visually raw and personally expressive style was pivotal in changing the course of documentary photography. He was also a filmmaker, and his '70s documentary on the Rolling Stones, Cocksucker Blues, was blocked by the band because of its candid content. Frank did contribute still photography to the artwork for Exile On Main St.

Born in Switzerland, Frank emigrated to New York at the age of 23 as an artistic refuge from what he considered to be the small-minded values of his native country. He was best known for his groundbreaking book, The Americans, a masterwork of black and white photographs drawn from his cross-country road trips in the mid-1950s and published in 1959.

His first film, Pull My Daisy (1959), is a cornerstone of avant-garde cinema. Narrated by Jack Kerouac, it featured, among others, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Larry Rivers.

1988's Candy Mountain (1988) was an autobiographical road film directed with Rudy Wurlitzer, with a cast including Tom Waits, Dr. John, Joe Strummer, Mary Margaret O'Hara, and David Johansen.

Frank, a Manhattan resident, had long had a summer home in Mabou, on Cape Breton Island. Sources: New York Times, PBS

Leave a comment