artwork for new Belly album
artwork for new Belly album

Music News Digest, Aug. 19, 2021

The 20th-anniversary edition of POP Montreal will run Sept. 22-26 as a hybrid event, in-person and virtual. For in-person concerts, the current Covid-19 protocols will be applied and a health pass will be required for entrance of the concerts. Tix must be purchased online in advance. Creative Director Daniel Seligman states “we have an incredible line-up to celebrate our 20th with many artists who have performed at POP over the years.”

Artists featured include Suuns, The Dears, Backxwash,  Cakes da Killa, Vanille, Aiza, Besnard Lakes, Fred Fortin, Socalled, Le Ren, Cadence Weapon, Safia Nolin, and Laura Niquay, plus the debut performance of new Montreal super group  All Hands/Make Light, formed by Efrim Manuel Menuck from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Ariel Engle from La Force. PM also features an Art POP exhibition on the third floor of the Rialto, Puces POP at Église Saint-Denis, conferences and discussions with POP Symposium at the Rialto, Film POP at Cinéma Moderne and L'Entrepôt77 (ciné-concert) as well as Kids POP at Parc Saint-Viateur. More info and tix here

SOCAN Foundation has announced the 2021 Recipients of the Awards for Young Composers, and Awards for Emerging Screen Composers. The org has distributed nearly $75K among 23 awards recipients of its annual competitions. Over 350 submissions were logged this year. Check the list of recipients here.

– Grammy nominated Canadian hip-hop star and producer Belly has announced his new album, See You Next Wednesday, will come out Aug. 27 via XO Records/Roc Nation/UMC  Executive produced by Belly, The Weeknd, DannyBoyStyles & The ANMLS, the album features The Weeknd, Nas, Young Thug, Moneybagg Yo, PnB Rock, Gunna, Nav, Big Sean, Lil Uzi Vert, and Benny the Butcher. Belly was one of the co-writers of The Weeknd’s mega-smash Blinding Lights.

– Now based in Austin, Ottawa blues guitarist/singer/songwriter Sue Foley has announced Oct. 22 as the release date for her next album, Pinky’s Blues (Stony Plain). Recorded in Austin with producer/keyboardist Mike Flanigin, it features Chris “Whipper” Layton (Double Trouble) on drums. After showcasing at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville, Foley will tour the album extensively. Here’s her new single/video.

– Trafalgar Releasing and Anthem Entertainment have announced the return of Rush to big screen as Rush: Cinema Strangiato - Director's Cut comes to select movie theatres worldwide on Sept, 9, this time to hype 40 years of the classic album Moving Pictures. This alternate “director’s cut” of the 2019 feature gives audiences a look into R40 LIVE, with a revamped set list including Cygnus X-1 / The Story So Far. Ticketing begins in Canada here on Sept. 1. 

– Leading Toronto music club The Garrison has announced Alive, a FACTOR-supported  a Sept. to March music series featuring prominent Canadian acts. Tickets are just $5 with all proceeds going to Unison Fund and The Artists Mentoring Youth Project.  Cadence Weapon is first up, on Sept. 29. Acts following include Vypers, Hubert Lenoir, Odonis Odonis, Corridor, Witch Prophet, Vallens, Lee Paradise, Dorothea Paas, Blue Hawaii, and Vile Creature. All shows are on sale now. 

– Went there, now I need the T-shirt. Back on Aug. 23, 1981, the two Garys (Topp and Cormier) produced the first of their now-legendary Police Picnics. Held in Oakville, the new-wave slanted event featured a formidable lineup: The Specials, Killing Joke, The Go-Gos, Payola$, Oingo Boingo, Nash The Slash, John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett, the David Bendeth Band, and, of course, The Police. There is now a limited version 40th Anniversary T-shirt in honour of the occasion that is now available hereGary Topp tells FYI that "this was Lou Molinaro's idea and venture, as he thought the event should be commemorated. I did the art and Gary [Cormier] and I gave him our blessings."

– Toronto's Opera Atelier is the recipient of an $83K Resilient Communities Fund grant from the provincially funded Ontario Trillium Foundation that provides accessibility to the company’s free online Making of an Opera education program for Ontario youth. The Fund was developed to help non-profit organizations rebound and recover from the impacts of covid.

Liberty Entertainment Group and JL Events Group announce the return of one of Toronto’s favourite summer events – the Soul in the City concert series -  for two performances, on Aug. 23 and 30. The shows feature noted soul singer Sean Jones and his seven-piece band, The Righteous Echo, performing R&B and Soul staples, as well as original music and material from Jones’ upcoming, Weekend Lover album. Read more on Jones here

– Bassist in popular Toronto combo Birds of Bellwoods, Kintaro Akiyama also records as a solo artist, under the name Kintaro. His new single, Death by Name, was inspired by the loss of his father, noted Japanese-Canadian actor and musician Denis Akiyama.

– Newfoundland singer/songwriter Tim Baker (former leader of Hey Rosetta) has some East Coast gigs lined up with Donovan Woods. They’re at the George Street Festival in St. John’s on Aug. 29,  The Shore Club - Hubbards, NS, Sept. 3-4, and LongWeekends at Lightship, Sept. 5-6. Tix here.

–Canadian fiddle phenom Shane Cook has teamed up with the International Symphony Orchestra, conductor emeritus Jerome Summers, and young fiddlers from coast to coast for an online concert that will stream Aug. 27-Oct. 31. Cook will preview selections from Be Here for a While, the debut album with his band, Shane Cook & The Woodchippers, due out on Oct. 15.

–The Contact East 2021 handbook deadline is extended to Aug, 27, in advance of this year's in-person conference in Moncton, NB Sept. 23-26. Registration now open here 

– The Cactus Festival in Dundas, ON, will be held on Aug. 21, with musical acts including Miss Tania Lou, Andy G., Rocket and The Renegades, Union & Kay, and The Lowdown Dirty Mojos. A free event. Info here. In an affiliated gig, roots-rocker Tim Gibbons plays at Shawn and Ed Brewery tonight (Aug. 19).

– Halifax Jazz Festival #35 concluded last weekend, after hosting over 30 performances, 5 Jazz Labs, live-shows and much more. The fest will return July 12-17, 2022.

– Applications are now open here for the Careers in the Arts Youth and Young Adult Mentorship, run by Creative Manitoba. Open to Manitoba residents age 16-29 living outside of Winnipeg, this customized program provides a group of 1-5 mentees the chance to work with a professional mentor from any artistic discipline in their rural community over a 5-month period, starting any time and finishing by June 1, 2022.

– The Hamilton Arts Council is presenting a live-stream music series featuring area BIPOC artists. Running Aug. 19-22, it has performances by MER, Neeraj Prem, LifeandtheTribe, and James N. Wilson. Access here.

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