Lennon Stella  Facebook photo
Lennon Stella Facebook photo

Music News Digest, March 16, 2020

SaskMusic, a non-profit representing Saskatchewan musicians and music industry workers, announced Friday a fund meant to help offset income loss due to COVID-19 amid a wave of cancelled events. Because of the expected demands on the fund, the association’s statement also included a call for private donations to help supplement what it can provide. Music fans were also encouraged to purchase music and merchandise directly from artists as a means of showing support. According to SaskMusic, further information on applications will be released outlining how once a process is finalized. In the meantime, anyone wishing to donate to the fund can do so online via the website. Donations can also be sent by cheque to the SaskMusic office in Regina. Source: Star-Phoenix

– As the Coronavirus situation poses a real financial challenge to musicians, expect a lot of GoFundMe style fundraisers of support. Quick off the mark is Hamilton patron of the arts Ellen Davidson. Her CONTRIBUTE 2 The RENT campaign is to help out indie musicians in The Hammer with their rent payments during this crisis, and you can contribute to this worthy cause here. Popular Toronto bar/music venue Club120 and 120 Diner has also started a GoFundMe page, with co-owner Todd Klinck posting that “I'm afraid that the business myself and my business partner Mandy Goodhandy have been running for 14 years will not be able to make it through these tough times without your help.”

– The City of Austin may have shut down SXSW 2020 out of fear of a coronavirus outbreak, but the music remained at many clubs in the city dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World. A look at the Austin Chronicle listings showed many smaller clubs hosted bands this past weekend, while famed blues club Antone’s will feature blues-rock star Ian Moore tonight (March 16). The Mohawk had a planned New West showcase set for March 20, featuring Justin Townes Earle, Canadian Daniel Romano, and more, but cancelled the show yesterday.

– Add the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2020 induction ceremony to the ever-growing list of postponements and cancellations. It had been set for May 2 in Cleveland and is now "indefinitely postponed." Hall of Fame Inductees for this year include Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, T-Rex, and the Notorious B.I.G..

– Nashville-based singer, songwriter, actress, and multi-instrumentalist, Lennon Stella releases her debut solo album Three. Two. One April 24 via RECORDS LLC./Columbia. In addition, the rapidly rising Canadian star has also released new single and video Jealous. The song was written by Stella alongside Finneas O’Connell, Justin Gammella, Ruslan Odnoralov, Emily Weisband, Erin McCarley and produced by Joel Little (Lorde).

–  Here’s good news for lovers of Canadian music. Toronto musical renaissance man and author/photographer Bill King has, through his 7arts Press imprint, just published Talk!, comprising 72 in-depth interviews (totalling 436 pages) with some giants of our musical community. That list includes Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Jeff Healey, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tom Wilson, Johnny Reid, Bruce Cockburn, Doug Riley, Andy Kim, and Ian Thomas. Talk! will be available in all formats, and you can order directly from the source via e-mail: billkingpiano@gmail.com. Delivery will be prompt for what will be ideal reading for your self-isolation. 

– BC hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids (SNRK) release a new EP, Born Deadly, on April 3. It includes the pair’s latest single, Cops With Guns Are The Worst!!!, in support of the Wet’suwet’en pipeline protests that have been taking place across Canada. SNRK’s first-ever U.S. headlining tour kicks off April 12 in Portland, but that may be in jeopardy, given the coronavirus spread.

– Toronto noir-pop singer/songwriter Lou Canon has announced her new (third) album, Audomatic Body, will come out on May 29, on Paper Bag Records, while the lead single and video, Ancient Chamber, is out now. Collaborators on the album include Ariel Engle of Broken Social Scene/La Force, Hayden, Tim Kingsbury of Arcade Fire and Brendan Reed of The Unicorns/Arcade Fire. Parts of Audomatic Body were recorded with Grammy-winning producer Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Timber Timbre, Basia Bulat) in Montreal, and others at home studio set-ups.


Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (born as Neil Andrew Megson), the co-founder of avant-garde band Throbbing Gristle and leader of Psychic TV, died on March 14, of leukemia, aged 70, according to reports from their family.

P-Orridge had been diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia in 2017, and in recent years had been touring farewell shows with Psychic TV, last playing in London and Berlin in 2018.

P-Orridge grew up in Essex. S/he was a member of radical art collective COUM Transmissions in the late 1960s, and went on to form Throbbing Gristle with Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter. The band’s three albums in the late 70s were considered landmarks of the industrial scene.

Godstar, Psychic TV’s tribute to Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, came closest to delivering a pop anthem from an artist who had helped pioneer industrial sounds and then adopted trappings of psychedelia.

In 1993, P-Orridge and second wife, Lady Jaye, devised the “Pandrogeny Project”. They received body modification surgery to resemble one another as a single being named Breyer P-Orridge and adopted gender-neutral pronouns. Lady Jaye died in 2007, and P-Orridge continued to identify as part of their pandrogynous being for the rest of their life.

Read an extensive obituary by Alexis Petridis here. Source: The Guardian

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