Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 10, 2022

Vinyl popularity softens decline of Canadian album sales: industry report

Ten years ago, it would’ve been unthinkable that vinyl records could soften the decline of Canadian music sales, but a new industry roundup says renewed popularity in the physical discs did just that in 2021. MRC Data reports 1.1M vinyl records were sold in Canada last year, an increase of 21.7 per cent over 2020 when sales dipped amid Covid and supply issues. The latest numbers topped the record of 1.03M units sold in 2019. – David Friend, CP

NEXT’s Best Albums of 2021

While we were locking down, wasting away the time glued to Bridgerton, Selling Sunset and Yellowstone, our favourite artists were hard at work. – Staff, NEXT Magazine

Despite hurdles caused by Covid, Toronto choir remains intact and prepared for next live show

After Ontario eased public health restrictions this past October, the ECC reunited at the Etobicoke church where they had long practiced before the pandemic. They opened up the windows to the cold fall air and spread themselves out among the pews, still a bit nervous after months of solitude.  – Ben Mussett, Globe and Mail

5 bold predictions for Toronto’s music scene in 2022

This year, expect more focus on concert safety, the labour rights of artists and even more NFTs. – Richard Trapunski, NOW

Arbitrary shutdowns show that most Canadian leaders hold little value in artists

In Ontario, all indoor arts venues of any kind are now closed, as provincial governments face down the highly transmissible Omicron variant with widely differing regulations. – Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail 

The rising stars of 2021: Here are the young artists who had a very good year

2021 proved to be particularly good for a number of Calgary and Calgary-area performers. From actors landing their first major roles to bestselling authors and teenage TikTok stars, here are 10 rising stars whose careers enjoyed an impressive bump this year. – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

The Weeknd dances to death in disco-inspired ‘Dawn FM’

The electronic- and-R&B-driven 16-track, 52-minute opus that serves as his fifth studio album finds Abel Tesfaye at the top of his form, writes Nick Krewen. – Toronto Star

The Weeknd’s new album ‘Dawn FM’ drops: Here’s everything you need to know

The Toronto-born, Scarborough-raised artist has been busy ahead of the release of his highly-anticipated fifth album. Here are all the details. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

The Weeknd: Dawn FM review – a stunning display of absolute pop prowess

If this is the end for the Weeknd, what a way to bow out. Abel Tesfaye confirms his status as an all-time great with an album of icy 80s-inflected splendour. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Timbaland likens The Weeknd’s ‘Dawn FM’ to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’

"This shit is amazing" says star producer. – Will Lavin, NME

The List: The most popular musical with a staycation option

Despite certain closures, Edmonton's Mayfield Dinner Theatre has kept their stage alive with Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story . Written by Alan Janes, it deputed in 1989 and ran for more than 12 years in London’s West End, and with more than 22 million viewers to date, it’s earned the reputation of being the world’s most popular musical. – Jenny Feniak, Edmonton Journal 

Rush joins some select rock 'n' roll company with its own pinball table

Stick around long enough and you’ll not only find yourself cool, but also cool enough to warrant your own pinball machine. One of the true giants of prog rock, Rush was big in the late ’70s and positively huge in the early ’80s. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight 

Primus pays homage to prog legends Rush with A Tribute to Kings at the Orpheum Theatre on June 12

If you haven't already blown your entire 2022 entertainment-fund allotment on the new Rush pinball table, here's another way to pay homage to the Canadian prog-metal gods. Primus, a pretty decent prog-metal trio in its own right, will be performing A Tribute to Kings at the Orpheum Theatre on June 12. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight

National Music Centre’s CEO wants to show cities how investing in local music can tap into huge potential

The 10th global edition of the Music Cities Convention is scheduled to take place concurrently in Edmonton and Calgary from Feb. 9-11 – hosted by West Anthem, the National Music Centre, and Alberta Music. The event will highlight the ways in which music can provide communal, economic and cultural benefits to cities that invest in their local music ecosystems. We learn more from NMC head Andrew Mosker. – Daniel Reech, Globe and Mail

'I've always been able to see music:' Saskatoon prof. animates January SJO concert

Allyson Glenn sees music. A professor of painting and drawing at the University of Saskatchewan, Glenn experiences synesthesia — when someone experiences one of their senses through another. In preparation for a Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra concert in the new year, Glenn worked closely with a pair of Saskatchewan composers to build video animations based on what she sees when she hears their music. So on Jan. 22, the audience will get a chance to see music through Glenn’s eyes. – Star-Phoenix 

International

Over 82% of the US music market is now claimed by catalog records

You couldn't say that 2021 was light on blockbuster album releases.We know all of this because of numbers contained in a new annual report released today (January 6) by US market monitor, MRC Data. Yet we also know, thanks to that same report, that 2021's biggest success story in the US had nothing to do with a new release: it was 'catalog' music. – MBW

Adele, BTS and Taylor Swift help increase CD sales in the US for first time in 17 years

Adele's '30' accounted for over 2 per cent of all CD sales in the US last year. – Jackson Langford, NME

Now John Legend sells: BMG and KKR buy catalog from All Of Me hitmaker

Music's latest big catalog sale has been confirmed: US songwriter and performer, John Legend, has sold his songwriting catalog for an undisclosed fee to both BMG and KKR. Interestingly, it appears that the Legend sale to KKR and BMG was finalized before the two companies jointly acquired a catalog from ZZ Top. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Terry Allen on the Texas roots of his music and art

In a body of work that spans albums, installations, radio plays, and drawings, Allen, who is seventy-eight, evokes the region’s long stretches of empty roads, dingy motels, and neon-lit barrooms, and the bank robbers, washed-up football players, and small-town loners who inhabit them. The potential for violence, or romance, always seems to be humming below the surface. – Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker

Judy Collins announces Spellbound, her first album of all-original songs

Listen to “When I Was a Girl in Colorado” from the singer-songwriter’s 29th album. – Evan Minsker, Pitchfork

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