The FYI News Bulletin

–  CEO Erin Benjamin and crew at the Canadian Live Music Association must be zoomed out dealing with the bollocks that the pandemic has wrought. None the less, these good people have squeezed out even more overtime to deliver a digestible and informative year-end report that can be viewed online as a PDF file. From the annual, in the past calendar, the CLMA increased its membership by more than 20-percent and now represents some 270 companies in the sector. That says a lot, and this team keeps on fighting the good fight without too much sunshine for their troubles. But that will change.

First reported on in December by FYI, US Citizenship and Immigration Services will (again) increase all P visa fees, effective Oct. 2. The new fee for a P2 (and all categories of P Visa) will be US$695, and $705 for O Visas. At this time the recommended processing time is still 60 calendar days.

The Premium Processing fee of $1440 remains unchanged, but the processing time has increased from 15 calendar days to 15 business days. In addition to the fee increase, there is now a 25-person cap per petition. Therefore, large touring ensembles and orchestras comprised of more than 25 performers will be required to file more than one petition, along with the appropriate per petition fee.

Billboard cites new RIAA data that indicates the U.S. recorded-music business was still in an upswing in the first half of 2020, growing 5.6% at retail to US$5.7B, up from $5.4B, continuing a trend of growth that extends back to the industry’s nadir in 2015.

Hits Daily Double has hilariously been hammering “the Bible” for months over its loopy chart methodology, secure in its own corner in using Alpha Data/Buzz Angle stats to compile its own compelling hit parade collections that include the unique Song Revenue Chart. Buzz Angle, you will recall, made a stab at grabbing a share of market from Billboard and Nielsen in Canada earlier and found it an unreceptive market. It then had a deal in place to provide CIMA with several indie countdowns but that too seems to have fizzled. Now, with the MRC/Penske Media Corp. alliance, Billboard, Vibe, The Hollywood Reporter Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide are allied and this throws a big curveball into Buzz Angle’s equation as it was also aligned with Rolling Stone. So far, Hits Daily Double has had nothing to say about the new alliance that clearly gives Billboard supremacy in the charts sphere today.

– US-based not-for-profit Music Business Association is plugging an Oct. 5-8 online summit with workshops and keynotes. So far, the line-up is heavy on streaming and digital platforms, with a list of speakers who represent TikTok, Amazon Music and the like. What’s puzzling is that talent agents, managers, promoters and acts seem to be overlooked in the mix. We’re sure this is an oversight so we wait patiently to see if those who need a voice in the industry have the chance to step forward and share their insights. Details on the event here.


Peter Jackson’s ‘Get Back’ doc: All you need to know

Jackson’s ‘Get Back’ doc will be a new take on the Let It Be sessions that became the movie and album of the same name. A book is synced to the release of the doc, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 2021. Here’s the trailer that gives nothing away about what’s to come.

Come From Away’s George Masswohl has just released a single and it’s a tear-jerker

The unofficial mayor of Gander, Masswohl, has teamed up with Greg Hawco and Gerry Finn and they are calling themselves The Rowdymen. The acoustic trio’s debut is titled Bell Island Pony, a heartrending song penned by mutual friend Blair Harvey and Steve Cochrane that pays homage to the carthorses that in another era worked pulling ore from deep under the ocean floor without ever seeing daylight.

Malcolm Gladwell interviews Rick Rubin

Malcolm Gladwell talks with Rick Rubin about Tom Petty, who died in October 2017 at the age of 66. Rubin and Petty worked together for two years on his beloved 1994 album “Wildflowers.” Rubin talks about Petty’s writing style, and how half the songs they recorded for “Wildflowers” ended up on the cutting room floor.

Here’s the trailer for the new Ronnie Wood doc, ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’

Ronnie Wood: Somebody Up There Likes Me traces the life of the guitarist from his childhood in post-war England through his time in the Jeff Beck Group, the Faces and the Rolling Stones — it also details the many addiction issues he faced along the way.

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