Andy Shauf
Andy Shauf

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 27, 2020

The sound of Toronto right now: this music is setting the tone in 2020

From globe-trotting hip-hop to future dancehall, here are eight snapshots of artists pushing the scene forward and more to watch in 2020. The music they’re making is strong, vibrant and diverse – the whole world in one city’s music scene. – Staff, NOW

The NMC is tuning in to how music can help heal

Taking a cue from a national mental health initiative, the National Music Centre is launching a music and healing program stream. In spring, it will launch a weekly music and healing program for the public. In the fall, NMC will also unveil its updated Body and Brain exhibition with new content. – Calgary Herald

Review: Andy Shauf sets an entire album at Parkdale's Skyline diner

Written and performed wholly by Shauf, The Neon Skyline is wistful, but also sweet, philosophical, self-deprecating and very relatable – especially if you live in Toronto. – Carla Gillis, NOW

Wolf Parade coming up with their fifth album, Thin Mind, is somewhat miraculous

Popular rock bands are on the verge of becoming an endangered species in the land of Rush. Three of the most anticipated Canadian rock records of 2020 come from fortysomethings who formed their bands at least 15 years ago: Billy Talent (1993), Alexisonfire (2001), and Wolf Parade (2003). Of those three, Wolf Parade would have been the one that the music industry would have dubbed “least likely to succeed.” – Michael Barclay, the Globe and Mail

Thunder Queens: London pre-teens releasing first punk album

Inspired by Girls Rock Camp, the duo is hoping to make a mark on the local music scene. – CBC

Ensemble Made in Canada wraps up sprawling Mosaïque Project tour in St. Catharines

One hundred and fifty or so years in the making, Ensemble Made In Canada’s ambitious Mosaïque Project culminated in a live-streamed concert on Jan. 24. The piano quartet commissioned a suite of new works by 14 Canadian composers (including indie rocker Julie Doiron, jazzer David Braid and classical composer Ana Sokolovic), each representing a province, territory or Indigenous region of Canada. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail  

STP cancels tour, including a Commodore show

Stone Temple Pilots have suddenly been forced to cancel a North American tour that was supposed to kick off February 5 at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom. The '90s faux-grunge act announced that singer Jeff Gutt has been diagnosed with herniated discs, and will require weeks of physical therapy and rehab. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Ten questions with Braden Lam

The Driftwood People's front person dishes about Stanning Tim Baker and his NSYNC phase. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast 

International

Sony Music increases focus on Southeast Asia, Middle East with strategic restructuring

The company is following recent moves in the region by Universal Music Group, AEG and others, opening new hubs throughout Asia and the Middle East that will more directly connect its operations in those regions with the company’s New York-based leadership team, it was announced Thursday (Jan. 23). – Chris Eggertsen, Billboard

Grammy Awards chief alleges nominating process is 'rigged' in NBC News interview

In an interview with NBC News' Kate Snow, Deborah Dugan also described the academy as an "old boys' club" where misogyny runs rampant. – NBC

Grammy preview: Will the sound of the new — Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Rosalia — have staying power?

The nominations for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards provided a window into now, the artists that defined 2019: Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Rosalia, Lil Nas X. The trouble with “now” is making it last. –Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge toasted by Shawn Mendes and more at Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony

A host of A-list stars including Justin Bieber, Lionel Richie and Lewis Capaldi turned out for the Thursday morning tribute.  Pamela Chelin, Billboard

How a punk-inspired collective beat the streaming giants at their own game

The streaming regime is a terrible way for artists to make a living. A punk co-op just fixed that. – Liliana Harrington, Salon

Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket on adapting to a changing music industry and the power of song

In a quickly changing music industry, Toad the Wet Sprocket singer, songwriter and guitarist Glen Phillips has looked for new ways to challenge himself artistically outside the commercial realm. – Jim Ryan,  Forbes

Amazon Music gains on Apple Music with over 55 million subscribers globally

The announcement represents the first time Amazon has shared growth metrics for its streaming service, which is claimed to be catching up to Apple Music's last subscriber count of over 60 million last June. – Tim Hardwick, Macrumors

Beyond applause, questioning authority: Taylor Swift grows up

The Sundance Film Festival began Thursday night with the premiere of a new documentary titled “Miss Americana,” though you could have just as easily called it “The Awakening of Taylor Swift.”  – Kyle BuchananThe New York Times

Mickey Smith Jr. is the recipient of the 2020 Music Educator Award

The honour is presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. – OaOa

Aerosmith's Joey Kramer turned away from rehearsal by guards

He arrived at an Aerosmith Grammy rehearsal in L.A. only to be turned away by two security guards. The guards made it clear they were given the orders to refuse Joey's entry by the other 4 members of the band. – TMZ

Chick Corea is the well-tempered clavierist

At 78, in the midst of a wave of creative activity that’s impressive even for him, the pianist is intensely focused on staying in tune—in every sense of that term. – Tom Moon, JazzTimes

Galway-born Eimear Noone will be the first female ever to take charge of the orchestra at the Academy Awards when she conducts excerpts from the five nominated scores at the Dolby Theatre for the Oscars on February 9. – RTE

Music pick: The Haden Triplets

Rachel, Tanya and Petra are often linked with their late father, the influential jazz double-bassist Charlie Haden, who played with Ornette Coleman and led his own Liberation Music Orchestra, among other projects. But the trio go further back in time to celebrate their heritage on their new album, The Family Songbook.  LA Weekly

A Jimi Hendrix Experience in London

Thanks to surviving landmarks and an impressive museum exhibit that recreates one of his old flats, London offers a lot to Hendrix fans, 50 years since the performer last called it home. –Justin Sablich, The New York Times

Huey Lewis says Ménière’s disease has left him unable to sing and perform

The upcoming Huey Lewis & The News album will likely be his final release. –  Alex Young, CoS

Tommy Chong waxes philosophical about his stoner persona, jazz music, and dealing with Trump

In a recent phone interview, the performer waxed philosophical about his new film, his career as a whole, and his thoughts on jazz musicians, drugs, and drug laws. – Gary Kramer, Salon

Drive-By Truckers on meeting Mick Jagger — and getting back to work

The recording process, though, featured a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will forever be etched into the making of The Unraveling. – Chuck Armstrong  No Depression 

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