Richard Flohil (pictured above) is doing the unthinkable and finally publishing his long-anticipated, much-in-demand collection of personal stories about artists he has worked with over his decades-long career as a publicist and impresario. It's a regal collection too. drawing from a coveted list that has included Muddy Waters, kd lang, Billy Connolly, George Martin, Eric Idle, Charlie Watts, Alice Cooper, Miles Davis and a good few more.
Started 10 years ago and originally pitched with a GoFundMe drive, hesitation and an incomplete manuscript have stretched longer as he delayed by adding more colourful recollections, and then covid hit and he went into a patented Flohil funk. Well, he's back with the energy of a young lad and has tapped out somewhere in the region of 80K words that spin umpteen stories with more being added. on an ad hoc basis. The book idea is now binned, but the good news is that he’s started irregularly posting chapters on Substack. You can subscribe to his Stories from the Edge of Music for $6 monthly, sign up for an annual $60 subscription, or receive irregular mailings for free.
– The Weeknd’s sold-out global stadium run has been pulling in record-breaking numbers. The tour recently broke an attendance record at London Stadium with 160K concertgoers over two nights and 87K filling into Wembley Stadium. But it’s his Australian shows that are truly mind-boggling with 2 shows at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, capacity per show – 60K; 3 at 3 at Sydney’s Accor Stadium, capacity – 83K per show; and 3 at Melbourne’s Marvel Arena, capacity – 53,300+ per.
All in that’s over a half-million tickets sold, and a pair of shows at Auckland’s giant Eden Park stadium guarantees another 100K more sold.
Weeknd's After Hours til Dawn has spanned North America, Europe, and South America and winds up in Australasia, ending Dec. 8 in New Zealand.
– Drake is pulling in mega-cash on his tour as well. According to Touring Data, he became the first rapper to earn over US$5M in a single arena concert in US history, with $5.032M each night at Capital One Arena in Washington on July 28-29. The venue recorded a reported 34,303 attendance, with ticket prices averaging $293.40.
– Ed Sheeran broke the house record for attendance at Vancouver's BC Place last Sat., Sept. 2, with 65,061 fans jamming the multiplex. A statement from BC Place said that its previous attendance record was set in 2009 by U2 — who attracted 63,802 fans for their 360° tour.
– Cineplex reports the concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour will play in more than 150 theatres around the country starting on Oct. 13. The film will play Thursdays to Sundays.
– Hate To Love Nickelback makes its TIFF premiere on Sept. 8 with subsequent screenings on the 9th, 10th and 15th. The doc is directed by Leigh Brooks and the run time is 90 mins.
– Also making a premiere at the festival is In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, a six-decade retrospective from Sounds of Silence to Graceland, directed by Alex Gibney.
– Another premiere doc (Long Live Montero) focuses on genre-bending black gay rapper Lil Nas X, directed by Carlos López Estrada.
– Yesterday’s Jimmy Fallon live-streamed YouTube interview with Mick, Keith and Ronnie, touting the Oct. 20 release of their new Hackney Diamonds album, was largely a missed opportunity with the host all gushing and nervous. American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Andrew Watt produced, as he has for a long list of others that include Grammy wins with Cardi B and Ozzy Osbourne. Below, is the music video for the new song, Angry, which has the lads looking altogether youthful and actress Sydney Sweeney looking ever so lovely as she turns in a remarkably unremarkable walk-on part that's more cheese than testosterone rock.
– The CLMA, in collaboration with associations CAPACOA, RIDEAU, and FAME, has been advocating under the banner “#FutureoOfLIVE” for the permanent establishment of the two-year supplementary investments in the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) and Building Communities through Arts and Heritage (BCAH), which were initially introduced in 2019 and extended in the 2021 budget. This recommendation can also be found in the CLMA’s Federal Budget submission here
– A few months back, Hamilton's famed Grant Avenue Studios changed hands. Founded in 1976 by Canadian record producers and artists Bob Doidge, Daniel Lanois and Bob Lanois, the facility attracted artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, U2, Johnny Cash, Brian Eno, Sarah McLachlan, and Bruce Cockburn. Lanois sold his interest in the studio to Doidge in 1985 and set up his own studio in New Orleans. Earlier this year, Doidge sold his ownership to music and film industry pros Mike Bruce (Aeon Bayfront Studios) and Marco Mondano (D.C. Music), with Andrew Lauzon (aka the ‘Audio Geek’) installed as head in-house Engineer. During the Supercrawl fest this weekend (Sept. 8-10), Grant Avenue is opening its hallowed doors to the public. Kerry Doole recounts the studio’s notable history here.
– Toronto-based Indigenously owned and operated Red Music Rising has struck an exclusive global distribution agreement with Warner Music Canada through its ADA indie distro arm. Founded in 2020, RMR’s roster includes Anishinaabe DJ/producer Boogey The Beat, country singer-songwriter Mohawk singer-songwriter Logan Staats, self-professed queer, Indigenous and Chinese singer-songwriter Nimkish, and Ojibwe electropop artist Johnny Saga’s professional nomenclature of Wolf Saga.
The first release under the new deal is Wolf Saga’s single, Main Character (visualizer video below).
– Nova Scotian actor, writer and director Charlie Rhindress earned the ultimate compliment recently when Anne Murray attended a VIP lunch he hosted at the Anne Murray Centre in her birth town of Springhill. This comes after a quartet of well-attended musical tribute shows he penned about her that played in the area, entitled Now and Forever.
Rhindress had earlier planned an extended run at the Murray Centre but was foiled when pandemic regs shuttered entertainment venues in 2020. She not only attended but agreed to a picture we poached from his FB page.
– Applications for the June 2-8 2024 CMW festival are open. Apply here.
– Julian Taylor has special guest Shakura S’Aida with him on his first headlining show at the 500-capacity Allied Music Centre in the Massey Hall complex on Dec. 6. Tickets are on sale this Friday, Sept. 8. Below the lyric video for his storybook song Georgia Moon, included on his upcoming Oct.20 retrospective album, Anthology 1.
– The accomplished, eclectic and ever-underrated Fergus Hambleton’s latest album matches him with original Jamaican toaster Lord Sassafrass on a nine-track Sassafrass collection of ska and reggae songs that will gently have you believe you’re whiling away the day at an idyllic fronded beach bar in the islands. A Better Tomorrow, the album is available for download here and on Amazon.
– Art Bergmann has his biographer Jason Schneider joining him on stage at Vancouver’s Rickshaw Theatre on Sept. 29. The ticketed event includes Bergmann performing material from his new album ShadowWalk and a Q&A with Schneider conducted by local cultural scribbler Aaron Chapman. The biog, published by Anvil Press, is entitled The Longest Suicide. From the new album…
– Toronto’s dreamscape and EDM producer Wrené recently released Metamorphosis her first full-length album, available on Bandcamp and her website. Eric Alper reports she sports a new Playboy centrefold but we couldn’t find it.
– Corb Lund and his Hurtin’ Albertans are touring this fall promoting new material included in a 2024 acoustic album released and dedicated to longtime pal Ian Tyson. Lund also stars in a 90-minute comedic drama entitled Guitar Lessons that earned a 3-star rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
– Derek Andrews is now programming music for the Aurora, ON. Cultural Centre. Past posts postings have included Harbourfront, Small World, Global Café, Blues Society, Mundial, and Luminato.
– Madeline Merlo spills her latest single during this year’s CCMA confab in Hamilton, Sept. 14-16 with the final night awards at FirstOntario Centre hosted by The Reklaws, with performers announced to include Sam Hunt, Jade Eagleson, James Barker Band, Dean Brody, Carly Pearce, Josh Ross, Dallas Smith, Train and Tenille Townes. Merlo makes an appearance on the big night and is also featured on the first night of a songwriters-unplugged series at The Studio (Hamilton Place).
– Vancouver’s 42ndfilm festival, Sept. 28-Oct. 8, offers an exhaustive schedule of premieres, workshops, shorts, docs et al. Included is the Canadian premiere of Sofia Coppola’s highly praised bio-drama Priscilla (Presley). No screen date given as yet. The fest this year is offering as many as 140 features and 100 shorts.
– Congrats to Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay on being named Law Firm of the Year by Best Lawyers. Stohn, a songwriter and lawyer is also Chancellor of Trent U.
– Earlier we mentioned Open Road celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Here’s a supplied yet impressive list of the label’s direct signing successes (not counting four licensed Taylor Swift albums) over the years:
Blackjack Billy "Booze Cruise" Gold single (8.13.2013)
Madeline Merlo "Neon Love" Gold single (8.14.2020)
The Road Hammers "The Road Hammers" Platinum album (8.15.2013)
Dean Brody "Bring Down The House" Double Platinum (8.24.2017)
Dean Brody “Beautiful Freakshow” Platinum album (8.26.2021)
Johnny Reid “Dance With Me” 3 X Platinum album (8.2.2017)
Tim Hicks “Hell Raisin’ Good Time” #8 on Canadian Radio (8.29.2013)
Tim Hicks “Here Comes The Thunder” #9 on Canadian Radio (8.17.2014)
Tim Hicks “5:01’ Album Release (8.5.2014)
Dustin Bird “Hating on Love” single release (8.5.2022)
Dustin Bird opened for Tim Hicks Campfire Troubadour Tour (8.2021)
Dean Brody “Bob Marley” #2 on Canadian Radio (8.25.2012)
Dean Brody “Trail In Life” album release (8.17.2010)
Jason McCoy “I Feel A Sin Comin’ On” #7 on Canadian Radio (8.15.2004)
Sons of Daughters opened for Luke Bryan/Kelsea Ballerini (8.10.2019)
The Road Hammers “Girl on the Billboard” #3 on Canadian Radio (8.16.2006)
Doc Walker “What Do You See” #6 on Canadian Radio (8.9.2007)
Doc Walker headlined Boots & Hearts kick-off party (8.10.2017)
Emerson Drive “That Kind Of Beautiful” #8 on Canadian Radio (8.2.2010)
High Valley “Let It Be Me” #6 on Canadian Radio (8.12.2012)
High Valley “She’s With Me” #5 on Canadian Radio (8.17.2015)
High Valley "County Line" Gold album (8.2.2017)
Johnny Reid “Dance With Me” #10 on Canadian Radio (8.7.2009)
Tara Oram “Living The Dream” single release (8.3.2009)
Prairie Oyster “One Kiss” album release (8.22.2006)
– Crash Test Dummy Brad Roberts has relocated, from New York to Hamilton, ON. Coincidence is that he’s purchased the palatial digs owned by music, media, film, TV & ethical brands. X-concert promoter Ellen Davidson, who has called it home for the past 10+ years.
– Not since Tom Williams was penning Under the Eaves at Attic Records has there been a newsletter as irreverent and funny pushed out as that by the Six Shooter Records gang.
Below, is the latest with the time and place (deleted for obvious reasons) …
We want to celebrate you, so we are bringing back our beloved International Babes of Glory cocktail hour, this time in partnership with Heather Gibson and our friends at the National Arts Centre. Join us at the divine Six Shooter office on (deleted).
First off, we want to welcome the many artists from the Global Network of Women Music Producers who are joining us from around the globe. From Canada: Caracol (Carole Facal), Brenley MacEachern & Lisa MacIsaac, Katharine Fountain, Sarah MacDougall, Hill Kourkoutis, Denise De’ion, Elisa Pangsaeng, Maïa Davies, and Erin Costelo. From Argentina: Ignacia, Mica Hourbeigt, Natalia Perelman, and Lucy Patané. From Australia: Kween G Kibone, Becki Whitton, and Antonia Gauci. From Estonia: Kelly Vask, Anett Tamm, Mariin Kallikorm, Anneliis Kits, and Maris Pihlap. From Mexico: Pahua.
From Sweden: Langbacka/Badagard, Anna Engberg, Hanna Ekström, Katharina Nuttall, Vera Vinter, Natalie Knutzen, Karin Turesson, Melisha Linnell, and Sibille Attar. From Wales: Heledd Watkins, Eädyth, Ani Saunders (Ani Glass), and Lleuwen Steffan. You can learn more about this program and these accomplished producers here.
Wowsa! That is a lot of talent for one room!
But it doesn’t end there…we have many more toasts we want to make at our party! We want to acknowledge the brave women we know who started record labels during the pandemic: Sandy Pandya of Arthaus, ShoShona Kish and Amanda Rheaume of Ishkode Records, and our very own Sarah Sleeth of Twin Fang Records. We’ve toasted some of these incredible women before, for different accomplishments, and we continue to marvel at their guts and their leadership. Go Bitch!
We noticed that Canada’s Rock of Fame is doing a “mega induction” this year and among them are literally our heroes: Lee Aaron, Carole Pope (Rough Trade), and Lorraine Segato (Parachute Club). Mega respect!
And since this soiree is during the Toronto International Film Festival, we also thought it a propos to toast Andria Wilson Mirza (Producer) and Fawzia Mirza (Director) for their debut at TIFF for their film " The Queen of my Dreams.” Heroes abound!
Please extend this invitation to any awesome babes who we might have missed (or maybe who we don't even know…we WANT to know them). People of all genders welcome.
We need to know how much wine to buy, so please RSVP.
See y'all very soon,
Shauna, Helen, Emily, Pierre, Chris, Kim, Caitlin, Mike, Sarah, Andrea, Cormac, Lyle, Bev, Dounia (The Six Shooter Babes of Glory) and Heather Gibson (The NAC Babe of Glory)