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Music Biz Headlines, June 23, 2022

Amplify: An ode to Avril Lavigne, and all the pop stars who helped us become who we are

It’s been two decades since Avril Lavigne became a global phenomenon. I didn’t know back then, as a preteen brown girl living in the suburbs of Toronto, what an influential role Let Go would play in my life. Looking back, on the 20th anniversary of her debut album, I can see how much those tunes came to mean to me – and still do. – Prajakta Dhopade, The Globe and Mail.

Drake drones on and on in the surprisingly sluggish ‘Honestly, Nevermind’

The Toronto rapper’s latest album, released Friday at midnight, might be the most polarizing for fans, and has a little too much vocal meandering to maintain interest, writes Nick Krewen. – Toronto Star

Reggae in Canada: Johnny Osbourne among acts being celebrated in docuseries

The life and career of singer Johnny Osbourne will be chronicled in a docuseries by Canadian director Graeme “DJ Gramera” Mathieson. The five-part documentary project, which showcases reggae acts who have lived in Canada, is currently in production. – Kevin Jackson Jamaica Observer

Enamored with a truly fabled past, a recharged Zolas look to the future with Come Back to Life

There’s a reason for an energy that positively crackles over the line as Zachary Gray talks about the Zolas’ fourth studio album, Come Back to Life. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Alexisonfire is back and they’re on fire with their first album in 13 years and a slew of live shows

“Otherness” out June 24, is arguably the most representatively hard-hitting and confident channelling of Alexisonfire’s stage show the band has ever put to tape, writes Ben Rayner. – Toronto Star 

 Exclaim!'s 29 Best Albums of 2022 so far

Our contributors offer their picks of the cream of the crop.  –Exclaim!

Charlotte Day Wilson is far from being the new kid on the block

The soulful R&B singer just released her first album, Alpha, last year, but the rich, intimate record served far more as a reaffirmation of her talent and power than it did as an introductory lesson. With a slew of singles, critically acclaimed EPs and tracks with legends like Daniel Caesar and Kaytranada under her belt, Wilson’s influence was never in question — at least, not to an outsider looking in. – Rayne Fisher-Quann, NEXT

Everything you need to know about the 2022 Halifax Jazz Festival

The annual music event returns July 13-17, so it's time for your Jazz Fest crash course. –  Morgan Mullin, The Coast

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has never abandoned its mission to educate the young

Through its music school, the VSO opens the ears of students as young as three months old to live symphonic music.  –William Littler, Toronto Star

Hamilton’s Steve Strongman calls on some heavyweight help for new album

‘Strongman Blues Remedy, Vol. 1,’ to be released June 17 on prestigious Stony Plain label, features noted Canadian blues artists. –  Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt leave it all on stage in their hit double act 2 Pianos, 4 Hands

2 Pianos, 4 Hands, twenty-six years already? Now, a decade after a “farewell tour,” the two musician-actors who created the material before handing it off to casts all around the world are giving their all to it one more time at the Royal Alexandra Theatre as part of the Mirvish Productions season. – JK Nestruck, The Globe and Mail

Chor Leoni will close its season with pop-music classics at St. Andrew's–Wesley United

The Chor Leoni Men’s Choir has impressed Vancouver audiences on numerous occasions, including at its sombre annual Remembrance Day concerts and with its rich, spiritual songs at the VanMan Choral Summit. Now, to end its season, the 67 men in the choir plan to let their hair down with a raucous show of popular music. Popcappella II will feature songs by The Weeknd, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff, and A-ha. – Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight 

International

A simple Web3 Guide for musicians

In an age where the internet rules the world, it was only a matter of time before things like NFTs, Web3, cryptocurrencies, and the like infiltrated the music space. In this post, you’ll learn exactly what Web3 is, as well as its relationship between music NFTs, royalties, and more. – Jonathan Carmel, Hypebot

Reservoir generated $107.8M in its first year as a public company 

Reservoir Media just closed its first fiscal year as a publicly traded company. According to Reservoir’s SEC filing, the company’s total revenues (including recorded music and publishing) in fiscal 2022 grew 34% to $107.8M, versus $80.2M in fiscal 2021. On an organic basis (i.e. discounting acquisitions), Reservoir says that its overall revenues grew by 15% in the year. –  Murray Stassen, MBW

Beyoncé’s upcoming album, ‘Renaissance,’ drops July 29. The Twitterverse has gone berserk

The album will be the 40-year-old superstar’s first solo project since 2016. – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star

BTS announces break to focus on solo projects but label denies it’s a ‘hiatus’

The Korean pop band made a surprise announcement last week that they’re going on an indefinite “hiatus.”– AP

BTS are taking the break we all need to take

Tuesday was a bad day for BTS fans. When the Korean powerhouse boy band announced they would be taking an indefinite hiatus, my group chats instantly became support groups as professional women sidestepped urgent work tasks to process shock and dismay together. – Hannah Sung, Globe and Mail

Britain set to replace Ukraine as Eurovision Contest host

The Eurovision Song Contest is likely to be held in Britain in 2023 as the organizers deem it too risky for this year’s winners Ukraine to host it due to the war, drawing immediate disappointment from Kyiv. Organizers said the security guarantees required to hold the competition meant discussions would be held with the runner up, Britain. – Reuters

A Lotta Love to Give: The brilliant voice and too-short life of Nicolette Larson

She sang on some of Neil Young’s most enduring records and scored a Top 10 hit with one of his songs. Why didn’t her career live up to its early promise?  –Rolling Stone

Just how much did Stranger Things boost demand for Kate Bush?

The use of her 1985 hit ”Running Up That Hill“ in the new season of the Netflix series has given the singer a pop culture boost that has its limits. – The Wrap

Paul McCartney marks 80th birthday with Bruce Springsteen, 60,000 pals

Hard to think of a better way for Paul McCartney to celebrate his 80th birthday than by singing “Glory Days” onstage with Bruce Springsteen or being serenaded by some 60,000 well-wishers. That's right, the “cute Beatle” turned 80 on Saturday. It's one of those cultural milestones that bring a sharp intake of breath — has it been THAT long? — along with an appreciation of what he still has to offer. – David Bauder, AP

Dylan, Elton among the stars wishing Brian Wilson a Happy 80th Birthday

It begins with Elton John and concludes with Bob Dylan. And in between are some of music’s biggest stars wishing – and in some cases, singing – Brian Wilson a happy 80th birthday. A video compilation from all the well-wishers was released on June 20, 2022, the day the musical genius celebrated his big day. – Best Classic Bands 

‘I wore a flaming helmet to sing it’ … how The Crazy World of Arthur Brown made Fire

‘The flames could be 4ft high. At one gig, my coat caught fire and I was running around with a burning arm.’ – The Guardian

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