Noah Reid: Photo Aaron Wynia
Noah Reid: Photo Aaron Wynia

Music Biz Headlines, April 20, 2020

Off the road, musicians look for new means to survive

 Balaklava Blues and Lemon Bucket Orkestra member Mark Marczyk, was watching Toronto gigs, European shows, conferences, and an extensive U.S. tour abruptly cancelled when he took action, quickly gathering artists and sponsors to create the ad hoc series URGNT in late March. – Chaka V. Grier  Words & Music

‘Schitt’s Creek’ inspired Noah Reid’s return to music. Now he has a soulful new single

On “Schitt’s Creek” — which ended its six-season run last week —a crucial scene belonged to Patrick (Noah Reid), serenading David (series co-creator Dan Levy) with an acoustic version of Tina Turner’s The Best. It morphed into the most heartwarming moment of the hit show’s run and now Reid is pursuing a music career. – LZ Granderson, LA Times

The best concert films and videos to stream online

Concerts won't happen for a long time, but you can fill the void with these performances by Beyoncé, Radiohead, Lizzo, Kamasi Washington and more. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Musicians say CERB changes offer some financial relief as uncertainty persists

'There's lots of questions and unfortunately not enough answers,' says a singer-songwriter. – David Friend, The Canadian Press 

'It's about making it all happen': How star-studded benefit shows come together during the pandemic

A growing number of producers and event planners are tackling the logistical challenge of producing engaging charity benefit shows while stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. 'You have to take the audience on a ride,' says Saturday Night Seder producer. – Jessica Wong, CBC News · 

'Judge no one, wash your hands.’ Toronto artist Sean Leon shares his message to the city’s arts scene 

Leon offers up advice and a pandemic playlist for readers looking to discover new music online. – Evelyn Kwong, Toronto Star

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Sam Feldman, partner, A&F Music Ltd.

A&F Music is a dynamic 50/50 partnership between Sam Feldman and Bruce Allen that is fast approaching its 50th year. Unbelievable. Even more astonishing given that Feldman and Allen, together since 1972, have operated from separate offices in Vancouver since 1979, when Feldman broke away, leaving with all but one staffer.  –Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

The City of Toronto finds new ways to support musicians

The City Hall Live series has shifted online and local artists will be directly compensated. Musicians are also now eligible for CERB while collecting royalties. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Lido Pimienta’s Miss Colombia is a cynical love letter to her homeland

The Toronto-based artist tells us about her third album, loaded with spicy, contemporary Latin pop tunes. – Nick Fulton, i-D

Seven new and upcoming music biographies hope to strike a chord

Rush, John Entwistle, and Ted Templeman make the list. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

This much I know - Rufus Wainwright

The musician, 46, on coping with grief, becoming a parent and why he loves being a pop star. – The Guardian

Austra drops heartwarming new song “Mountain Baby” 

Canadian synth-pop star  Austra (aka Katie Stelmanis) has released a new single, “Mountain Baby,” featuring Cecile Believe and a Toronto children’s choir. The single is the third release from and in advance of her upcoming fourth studio album, HiRUDiN, due out May 1. – Luke Hanson, Mxdwn

Irish musician Philip Noone learned about Newfoundland from his fans, and now he's determined to see it for himself

 Irish musician Philip Noone was first introduced to Newfoundland by ex-pats working in Qatar. With constant requests from Newfoundland fans for him to perform here, he’s got his management working on booking a gig in St. John’s as soon as it’s safe to travel. – Tara Bradbury, The Telegram

International

 

Universal streaming revenues topped $1B in Q1

Universal Music Group generated more than $2bn in the first three months of this year – with more than $1bn from streaming alone. – Tim Ingham,  MBW

The covid pandemic has led to an uptick in the production of apparel items 

With the touring industry at a standstill because of shutdowns around the coronavirus pandemic, the music-merchandise business has found some salvation in online sales of some typically niche apparel items: face masks and bandanas. – David Menconi, Billboard

How soon should concerts return, and will they ever be the same?

Is live music going to return as normal later this year – or are fans and the industry in the middle of a historic covid-based shift? Encouraging headlines promise "Concerts to Heat Up This Summer as Coronavirus Fades." But health officials and economic policy experts aren't so sure. Neither are promoters: AEG cancellations first stretched from April into June, and now July. – UCR

Ticketmaster, AEG offering a 30-day window for ticket refunds

 AEG Presents and Ticketmaster will begin offering refunds for postponed shows starting May 1st. Billboard reports ticketholders will be given 30 days following the announcement of an event’s postponement to request a refund from the promoter. This 30 day window includes AEG Presents events that have announced for rescheduling in March and April. –The Music Universe

How composers are scoring during the covid pandemic

Providing atmosphere, lending emotion and propelling the action, an orchestral score adds much to a TV series, so when the coronavirus threat shut down Hollywood five weeks ago, composers faced a quandary: How to retain that special sound if musicians can no longer record together in the same studio? – Variety

The only show in Europe: inside Sweden’s controversial socially distanced gigs

Plan B, a Malmö venue with a long history of unorthodoxy, continues to put on shows – capped at audiences of 40 – as the continent endures lockdown. – Derek Robertson, NME

People are paying real money to get into virtual Zoom nightclubs

Can a novelty for the bored-at-home last after the coronavirus pandemic? – Michelle Lhooq, Bloomberg

Amazon will start selling vinyl again - but you should be buying local anyway

Amazon recently halted the shipments of "non-essential" items, which meant the online retailer stopped the sale of CDs and vinyl. Now, it appears Amazon will begin hawking music again, but considering the current state of record stores, is this even a good thing? – Exclaim!

Bob Andy: Reggae singer-songwriter who ranked among the Caribbean’s greats

He had early success as half of Bob & Marcia with Nina Simone’s ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ before embarking on a solo career. – Garth Cartwright, the Independent

Milk & Honey makes a statement with its new office, next door to UMG and Google

Back in January, we discovered that fast-growing talent management company Milk & Honey was expanding into the UK, hiring popular British exec Ant Hippsley to head a new London-based HQ. Today, we found out exactly where that office will be situated, and it’s an impressive locale: 7 Pancras Square in London’s Kings Cross. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Why the music industry may yet survive Brexit, after warnings by Geldof, Sheeran

The European music industry is strong enough to survive both coronavirus and Brexit. This is the view of some experts, who argue that the business is simply too big to fail. Their views contrast with stars such as Ed Sheeran, Bob Geldof and Sting, who are not optimistic about the outcome without concerted government action. – Mark Beech, Forbes

A peace meeting between Roger Waters and Pink Floyd has failed

Waters has revealed a failed attempt at civility with his former Pink Floyd bandmates. “I wrote out sort of a plan,” Waters explained, adding that both David Gilmour and Nick Mason were in the room for this conversation. “But my plan didn’t bear fruit.” – Corey Irwin, UCR

Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel has recovered from covid 

Or as he put it, ‘I kicked that son of a gun. I’m back in the saddle again.’ – Dallas News

Bob Dylan gets self-reflective with the personal exposé that is his new song ‘I Contain Multitudes’

The master's latest includes references to Walt Whitman, The Rolling Stones, Edgar Allan Poe and Frank Sinatra. – Mark Beaumont, NME

Ross Valory countersues bandmates as Journey split widens

Valory's cross-complaint, filed on April 6 in California's Contra Costa County Superior Court, refutes "outrageous" claims from an earlier lawsuit in which Schon and Cain accused Valory and Journey drummer Steve Smith of attempting a "coup" to take over the band. – Ultimate Classic Rock 

AirGigs website offers services for musicians recording in home studios

Conceived in the early part of the millennium and made a reality circa 2012, AirGigs is a website through which musicians can find other musicians or sound engineers, producers, vocalists, beatmakers, mastering engineers, album artwork and more. So how did this all come about? – Danny Coleman, NJ Arts

Allow Fiona Apple to reintroduce herself

“Nowadays, I try to remember who I was before all this started," the singer muses. Her nerves are understandable, as she has just  released her first album in eight years. – Rachel Handler, Vulture

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