Dan Mangan Facebook photo
Dan Mangan Facebook photo

Music Biz Headlines, Sept. 16, 2019

If the 'Drake curse' is real – does it extend to artists signed to the OVO Sound label?

Several artists signed to Drake’s label OVO have also failed to blow, leading us to wonder whether sportspeople should be the only ones concerned. – NME

Mitch Podolak, 71, was Canadian folk music’s beloved radical patron

Mitch Podolak, centre wearing a baseball cap, was variously described over the years as a 'bearded, chain-smoking radical,' a 'chubby working-class hero,' a 'banjo-playing… Trotskyite who could pass for a biker' and part of 'a cabal of deranged artist types.' – Jana Pruden, The Globe and Mail

How a former mining town in northern Quebec started one of Canada's most eclectic music festivals

Rouyn-Noranda is a city in Northern Quebec with a population of just over 40,000. The economy of the city was built around a copper mine that closed in the mid-seventies. It is currently home to the world's largest smelter, a machine that processes copper and precious metals from electronic scrap. On its surface Rouyn-Noranda isn't the first place you'd expect as a cultural hub, but during the last week of the summer for the past seventeen years the town has hosted an influx of musicians and artists from across the globe for one of Canada's best and most unique festivals. – Graham Isador, CBC News

Dan Mangan on the ‘arduous’ process of songwriting

Mangan spoke to The Globe and Mail about the “treacherous” process of songwriting, and the sweet spot that comes between finishing a song and recording it. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

Concert review: Deadmau5 captivates opening night crowd by going Cube-ist

The Canadian electronic music producer kept fans' rapt attention with a spectacular and imaginative production design conceit. – Charlie Amter, Variety

Music to stop playing at Oshawa’s Wilson and Lee after 97 years

Wilson and Lee may be Canada’s oldest music store but after 97 years in business, the family-run downtown Oshawa store is preparing to close its doors. The store is co-owned by brothers Bill and David Wilson, and they’ve sold the building to the Holiday Inn hotel next door. – Reka Szekely, Toronto Star

The Grimsby-born promoter who worked with David Bowie and has now got a place in music hall of fame

She has worked with the likes of David Bowie, The Who, T.Rex and Sir Paul McCartney and now has a place in a music hall of fame after a 50-year career in the business. But Anya Wilson’s fondest memories are firmly bedded in North East Lincolnshire. – Adam May, Grimsby Telegraph

Policeman Dave Richardson wrote the lyrics to 1970s power ballad Wildflower

The words written in a rush by Mr. Richardson, who has died at 77, would become some of the most performed in Canadian popular music. With an expressive melody composed by the guitarist Doug Edwards, the song Wildflower was a massive hit for the band Skylark in the spring of 1973. – Tom Hawthorn, Globe and Mail

Reklaws won't let friends play alone in London

Ontario duo the Reklaws will join fellow country stars Dean Brody and Dallas Smith for their Friends Don’t Let Friends Tour Alone 2019 show in London next month. The country music showcase, which hits Budweiser Gardens Oct. 3, also features Chad Brownlee and Mackenzie Porter. – Max Martin, London Free Press

Warner buys into blockchain with $11M investment round in Vancouver-based Dapper Labs

The blockchain firm is behind games such as NBA Top Shot and CryptoKitties. The funding will contribute to the development of an Ethereum rival called Flow, a new public blockchain. – Murray Stassen, MBW

International

The winners and gifts of the 2019 Americana Music Honors & Awards

All through the 18th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, artists celebrated the gifts of their heroes and peers, speaking eloquently as they introduced each other for performances and accepted awards. – Stacy Chandler, No Depression

Publishing's huge valuations, catalogs' 'frothy' market dominate at the Music Finance Forum

Attendees of the Music Finance Forum, held Sept. 13  in Los Angeles, would be forgiven if they thought they were teleported from the Skirball Cultural Center to a coffee shop. Rarely has the word “frothy” been uttered so many times in just a handful of music conference panels. In this context, frothy refers to an excited, high-priced market for music-rights catalogs. – Glenn Peoples Billboard 

Why the best album of the 21st century is Amy Winehouse's Back to Black

Quietly beautiful and earthily funny, Back to Black’s ebullient music transformed pop – and will be revered for decades to come. – Alexis PetridisThe Guardian

If you’re looking for America, you’ll find it in the epic Ken Burns doc Country Music

It’s a grand undertaking by Burns and his team, and it is required viewing. It ain’t perfect, though. What Burns does – I’ve seen all 16 hours – amounts to more his-story than her-story, and it’s a bit unduly obsessed with outlaws and rebels, most of them male.  – John Doyle, Globe and Mail

The 100 best albums of the 21st century

We polled 45 music writers to rank the definitive LPs of the 21st century so far. Read our countdown of passionate pop, electrifying rock and anthemic rap – and see if you agree. – The Guardian

'Western Stars': Film Review | TIFF 2019

Bruce Springsteen shows 'em who's Boss in his intimate feature directorial debut. –  Michael Rechstaffen, Hollywood Reporter

Bruce Springsteen knows about loneliness and fandom — he took on both at TIFF

Bruce Springsteen stands at the bar, a glass of Jack Daniels in hand and a shy grin on his face, as he surveys the room. He’s about to put his lifelong battle with loneliness to the test.  –  Peter Howell, Toronto Star

The Curmudgeon: The Sons of Lou are playing a Velvet guitar

Lou Reed's hypnotic sound many admiring musicians adopted as their own. David Bowie’s early, guitar-oriented singles had that sound, and Bowie repaid the favor by producing the only top-100 single of Reed’s career, “Walk on the Wild Side.”  The Modern Lovers, the Feelies, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Television and many more borrowed that brittle, mesmerizing guitar riff. – Geoffrey HimesPaste  

The Big Read – Iggy Pop: "Punk has to have a sense of hopelessness about it"

As he releases his eighteenth solo album ‘Free’, Pop ponders whether – after five decades at rock’s coalface – he’s finally won his “million in prizes”. – Charlotte Gunn, NME

A plea against ageism in the music

How old is too old to rock? The answer depends on whether or not you believe that rock musicians should have a mandatory best before date on their foreheads. This press release on the subject by Mark Christopher Lee of the British band, The Pocket Gods,  is worth a read.  – A Journal of Musical Things

30 new songs out today

The list includes The New Pornographers, The Pixies, and new Canadian supergroup Anyway Gang.  – Brooklyn Vegan

Mac Miller's masters are reportedly valued at US$4.7M

Legal documents filed by the late rapper’s estate note that his master recordings are worth $4.7 million, while his music royalties amount to $1.5 million. – Source: Genius

The LP’s the thing for the Australian band Paper Kites

 “We are an album band,” says frontman and primary songwriter Sam Bentley. "I still believe that there are people who understand the art form of a record, particularly with the revival of vinyl." –   John Lucas, Georgia Straight

Daniel Johnston had the biggest heart in indie rock – and magical songs

Over many years of knowing Johnston, I discovered a man who was unpredictable and charming – and who valued true love and art more than almost anyone.  –  Everett True, The Guardian

Legendary L.A. band Redd Kross drops trailer for ‘Born Innocent’ documentary

They’re long overdue for a documentary, and the filmmakers behind Born Innocent: The Redd Kross Story recently shared a trailer of the documentary that coincides with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to help finish the film. –  Jem Aswad, Variety

Brownstein: E Street Band's Jake Clemons finds bliss in Montreal

Jake Clemons, sax-man for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, believes Montreal is becoming the "cultural centre of North America" It didn’t take long for him to acclimatize himself to his new hometown. –  Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette

The Book of Prince

Prince had grand plans for his autobiography, but only a few months to live. The book would have to surprise people—provoke them, motivate them. It would become a form of cultural currency. – Dan Piepenbring, New Yorker

Man who shot President Reagan now wants job in music industry: Lawyer

64-year-old John Hinckley Jr. is interested in getting a job in the music industry, possibly in California, says his lawyer. a prosecutor said that would give the government “great pause.”  –  Jessica Gresko, AP

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