Tate McRae  Artist website photo
Tate McRae Artist website photo

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 9, 2020

Neil Young – every album ranked!

As a new live album is released and a 50th-anniversary edition of After the Gold Rush approaches, we rate every album by Canada’s irascible godfather of grunge. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Calgary’s Tate McRae on finding global pop fame during the coronavirus pandemic

Calgary pop singer Tate McRae is finding global success by thinking outside the box, even if Covid-19 has forced her to live in one. While she’s hardly left the bubble of her family’s home in Western Canada over the past several months, the 17-year-old performer has become a bona fide star of the lockdown, propelled by her moody single “You Broke Me First.” – David Friend, CP

Hear Joni Mitchell's previously unreleased early recordings

A treasure trove of mostly unheard early Joni Mitchell recordings has just been released. Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) has 119 tracks, including 29 original songs she wrote and recorded but never put out before now. On this special edition of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's Ann Powers and I explore these early works of Joni Mitchell and play selections from the new box set from Rhino. – Bob Boiden, NPR

Yearning to tour again, singer Donovan Woods has kept busy creating songs — including two with the Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson

By the time you read this, Toronto-based singer and songwriter Donovan Woods will have performed and streamed a solo set at Roy Thomson Hall — without an audience. His take: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I hope to God!” he says, laughing, over the phone. "It’s like you being in a weird dream where you played a concert and nobody showed up." – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Metallica to livestream acoustic show in support of its charity on November 14

The Bay Area headbangers are set to mellow out a bit and perform an acoustic livestream show this month, raising funds for a worthy cause while they're at it. On Nov. 14 at 2 pm Pacific Metallica will perform its first-ever worldwide pay-per-view event, with proceeds going to All Within My Hands, the foundation it established in 2017 to create sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

The Old Nick shuttered because of Covid-19. Toronto musicians feel it the most

The Old Nick on Danforth Ave. closed its doors because of Covid in March but only last month did the reality that it will never reopen hit. Where the closure of the Old Nick hits hard is the impact to local artists, particularly musicians, who say the owner’s commitment to paying performers a fair wage and dedication to inclusivity made it a very special, rare kind place. – Brian Bradley, Toronto Star

RCAF Streamliners: The Canadian big band on the front lines of the Second World War

Retired journalist and professor Andy Sparling has published a book that tells the story of the RCAF Streamliners, a big band formed by a group of Canadian soldiers during the Second World War. – Glen Woodcock, Jazz FM

This St. John's musician couldn't tour Atlantic Canada by car — so he did it by bike instead

Singer/songwriter Adrian House hopes to tour by bicycle again in the spring. – CBC

Artist paints mural in honour of Jimmy Wisdom

Toronto artist Adrian Hayles has painted a mural of Jimmy Wisdom, a barber, musician and community leader. Wisdom died last year. 'Jimmy Wisdom was a giant in Toronto's Jamaican community who brought people together and helped people of all walks of life through difficult and challenging times,' the city says. – CBC

Don’t fake the funk, says pop-powerhouse TiKA

Mining pain and vulnerability lead to the Montreal-based singer’s spectacular artistic metamorphosis. – Jesse Locke, Xtra

Toronto music of the month: Maylee Todd, Babygirl, Cybertronic Spree and more

Listen to our favourite music of the month and check out a few upcoming concerts. – Richard Trapunski and Kelsey Adams, NOW

Tafelmusik’s making music to keep us, and them, together

Fully six months had passed since the players last faced each other when the members of Tafelmusik, Toronto’s baroque period-instrument orchestra, assembled for a rehearsal on the stage of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. What the players were preparing was a program to be performed without an audience for exclusive online viewing. A ticketed event, it constituted a component of a reimagined 2020-21 season mixing online pre-recorded and live-streamed programs, digital releases and panel discussions. – William Littler, Toronto Star

International

Live Nation chief shades Marc Geiger’s concert-venue bailout plan as a ‘fire sale’

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino had some strong words for former WME music chief Marc Geiger’s recently announced “SaveLive” plan to bail out struggling independent concert venues via a joint-venture that would see Geiger and investors taking 51% equity in the venues. Rapino called the plan, for which Geiger has amassed $75 million from investors, a “fire sale” for venues and says he does not see it as being attractive to venues, even if they are struggling. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Capitol Music Group's Steve Barnett set to retire

Capitol Music Group (CMG) Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett will retire on December 31, capping a 50-year career in the music business, including eight years at the helm of CMG. He and Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge also jointly announced the promotion of Jeff Vaughn and Michelle Jubelirer to serve as CMG’s next leaders. – MBW

Covid-19: 'The Bitter End' for nation's live music venues?

Independent music clubs all over the nation — pop culture icons like the Troubadour in West Hollywood; the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee; The Bitter End in New York’s Greenwich Village — are shuttered. And owners fear for the future of their businesses and of a musical way of life. – Kevin McGill, AP

Harry Styles has a new haircut—and the internet is obsessed

He was photographed on the set of his new movie, Don't Worry Darling, and his new hairstyle got his fans talking. – Abby Gardner, Glamour

The 10 albums we're most excited about in November

Featuring The War on Drugs, Dirty Projectors, Laura Fell and more. – Paste Staff

Iggy Pop’s favourite David Bowie songs show their beautiful friendship

At a time when we’re all trying to find new means of entertainment, redevelop the way we socially interact and, importantly, maintain relationships at a safe distance, for the second time the year — we’re turning to one of the greatest rock and roll friendships of them all and it doesn’t get much tighter than David Bowie and Iggy Pop. That’s because it’s a kind reminder that through art we can always keep our friends close to us. –  Farout

The spooky-sounding Theremin turns 100

You’ve no doubt heard the eerie, otherworldly tones of the Theremin in various 1950s sci-fi films, or heard the instrument’s one-of-a-kind cousin, the Electro-Theremin in “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys. The Theremin has just turned 100 years old this month, so we thought we’d take a look at this strange instrument. – Hackaday

Celebrities are quick to congratulate Biden and especially Harris

Those congratulating the vice president-elect on social media included Michelle Obama, Mindy Kaling and Lady Gaga.  Kamala Harris is officially set to become the country’s first Black, Asian American and female vice president. – LA Times

System of a Down release first new music in almost 15 years

Heavy metal rockers System of a Down have released their first new music since 2005 in a bid to raise awareness of the conflict in Armenia. The Armenian-American band, led by frontman Serj Tankian, have three U.S. number one albums to their name but have been inactive for more than a decade. – WENN

The New Yorker Interview: Willie Nelson understands

At eighty-seven, the musician knows what it’s like to lose a partner, your house, all your money, those big dreams. –Amanda Petrusich, New Yorker

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