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News Story
 
 
| Corb Lund To Release Covers Album Through Warner Canada
 
Jul 22, 2019
 

Embracing his Western heritage through his music, Lund has been known to touch on a range of cowboy themes past and present - from rough-and-tumble tales of lawless frontier saloons to the somber realities of running a modern family ranch.  Cover Your Tracks presents some of the songs by others that Lund says have inspired him throughout his career. 

 
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Media Beat
 
 
| Media Beat: July 22, 2019
 
Media Jul 22, 2019
 

Porn, Facebook, Google, pop culture, radio listenership, Claire Anderson, George Garrett and CKNW, Disney+, POTUS, and Frank D'Angelo make headlines in today's column.

 
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On The Charts
 
 
| Teddy Goes Straight To No. 1 With 'No. 6'
 
Jul 22, 2019
 

Ed Sheeran’s No. 6 Collaborations Project debuts at number one on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart with 30,000 total consumption units and scores a clean sweep in picking up the highest album sales, audio-on-demand streams and digital song totals for the week.

 
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Top New Tracks From Yangaroo DMDS
 
 
| Top New Tracks From Yangaroo DMDS: July 22, 2019
 
Jul 22, 2019
 

Ed Sheeran, Ken Chesney, Sam Smith, Gord Bamford, and (pictured) Wildlife have the top 5 hot new commercial radio fave picks this week.

 
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News Story
 
 
| Independent Artists: The Age of Empowerment
 
Jul 22, 2019
 

Record labels often worry about streaming services disintermediating them, but they should be more concerned about artists disintermediating them themselves. With all of the tools and services at their disposal, artists have the ability to create their own bespoke labels.

 
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| Prism Prize Video: Jean-Michel Blais - Blind
 
Jul 22, 2019
 

The 2019 Prism Prize for Best Canadian Music Video was awarded recently to Kevan Funk, for his clip for Belle Game’s Low. We will continue to profile prominent recent Canadian videos, including this one from an acclaimed Montreal pianist/composer. Slaight Music is Patron Sponsor for the Prism Prize.

 
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Record labels often worry about streaming services disintermediating them, but they should be more concerned about artists disintermediating them themselves. With all of the tools and services at their disposal, artists have the ability to create their own bespoke labels. In this ‘label as a service’ world, record labels have to define a new role for themselves, one in which artists will place ever greater focus on retaining creative and commercial independence. Signing a traditional record label deal is now just one option among many for artists.

  • Culture first, cash second. Artists’ definition of success is very much culture first, then cash. They are looking for respect and recognition first and foremost. With this respect and recognition, they can become viable touring acts with the chance to earn loyal fan bases.

  • Labels are not a prerequisite. Artists now view labels very much as one possible means to an end. Less than a third of label artists consider it important to get signed to a record label, while for independent artists (i.e. those without record labels) the rate rises to a little over a half.

  • Earnings are the biggest obstacle. It is just as well that artists take a culture first, cash second attitude as most artists should not expect to earn a living from music without something close to divine intervention. Nearly three quarters of independent artists earn less than $10,000 a year from music, and average incomes are also low even for signed artists.

  • Artists’ income streams vary widely. Streaming income, along with earnings from live performances, make up the majority of artist revenues today. For independent artists, streaming is now their primary source of income at 30%.

  • Signing to a label is not enough for artists’ financial security. Being signed to a label often does little to ease an artist’s financial woes. Overwhelmingly, both independent and label artists do not feel that they earn enough from music to not worry about their financial situation.

  • Don’t give up the day job: Most artists have plural careers. Whether signed to a label or not, over two thirds of artists feel they will have to keep up other work alongside making music in order to make ends meet.

  • The age of artist empowerment has arrived. Despite the challenges of a music career, the vast majority of artists now feel they have more control over their careers than ever before. With their choices both increasing and improving, nearly two-thirds of artists have a positive outlook about their career paths.

  • Artists want to listen. The modern-day artist has flexibility and freedom to make choices – but how do they make the right choices? While the vast majority of artists do not want to lose creative control, most of them are open to influence and advice about their creative direction.

The above content is taken from a synopsis from MIDia's new report, released in conjunction with Amuse – Independent Artists: The Age of Empowerment. The report is based on a global survey of independent artists that we conducted earlier this year, with respondents from all of the world’s continents. The full report is immediately available for free download here.

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Corb Lund is set to release Cover Your Tracks on September 13th via Warner Music Canada. 

The 8-song EP is a collection of unexpected cover songs previously recorded by AC/DC, Nancy Sinatra, Billy Joel, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Willie Nelson & Ray Charles, and Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show.  It was produced by Lund and John Evans, and features guest appearances from the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Hayes Carll and Canadian Western music legend Ian Tyson alongside Lund’s band The Hurtin Albertans: Kurt Ciesla, Grant Siemens, and Brady Valgardson. 

Hailing from the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, and with a family lineage of ranchers and rodeo people, Lund is about as authentic as they come. Embracing his Western heritage through his music, Lund has been known to touch on a range of cowboy themes past and present - from rough-and-tumble tales of lawless frontier saloons to the somber realities of running a modern family ranch.  Cover Your Tracks presents some of the songs by others that Lund says have inspired him throughout his career. 

Lund states, “Earlier this year I recorded a bunch of cover songs by some of my favourite artists and writers from various periods in my life, mostly for fun and to get them out of my system.” He says, “Many of the songs we’ve been playing live for years. Being re-inspired by this stuff and getting back in the studio to cut it was a great warm-up for making another record of my own songs, which I’m working hard on writing as we speak. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy listening to these old favourites as much as we enjoyed recording them.”

Lund previews the album with a duet with Hayes Carll on an interpretation of Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show's classic “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”  Lund says, “I’ve been playing this in bars for years because it’s always made a great honky-tonk tune. And the subject matter all feels kinda familiar. Thanks to brother Hayes for jumping in.”  Meanwhile, Carll muses, “You mean I get to hang out with my bad-ass country singing, horse riding, guitar picking, longtime friend, Corb Lund, record a classic Shel Silverstein song, and then accept all of the glory, fame, money, and accolades that will surely follow?  Count me in!” Hear it here

Lund has received multiple CCMA, Juno, and international award nominations and wins.  His seventh album, Cabin Fever, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Canadian Charts; three of his records have been certified Gold, and his latest studio album, Things That Can’t Be Undone, produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell), cemented his status as one of the best contemporary country singer/songwriters working today.

NPR said “The album is a high mark of a long career” while Rolling Stone named him one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” stating, “Things That Can’t Be Undone finds Lund flirting in fresh sonic waters, while still keeping his sardonic mix of eerie lyrics and deceptively joyful vamps well intact.”  PopMatters exclaimed, “Melodically engaging and narratively compelling, Things That Can’t Be Undone furthers the case for Corb Lund as one of the best contemporary country songwriters.” 
Lund’s Cover Your Tracks will be available on compact disc and across digital retailers and is available for pre-order now HERE. Lund is entering the studio this summer to record his forthcoming full-length record featuring the singer’s signature brand of “agriculturally tragic” wit and Western themes. The album will be released in 2020. 

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The following are tracks delivered to radio by digital distributor DMDS/Yangaroo in Canada and broken down into two categories. Top Downloads represents the most copied tracks in the weeks ending July 19  and the Most Active Indies blends downloads and streams, with the affiliated label and radio promotions company in parenthesis.

Top Downloads

Ed Sheeran - BLOW (with Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars) [Official Video] - YouTube
  1. Ed Sheeran “BLOW (w/ Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars)” (Warner)

  2. Kenny Chesney “Tip Of My Tongue” (Warner)

  3. Sam Smith “How Do You Sleep?” (Capitol/Universal)

  4. God Bamford “#REDNEK” (Cache/Sony)

  5. Wildlife “Wasted” (Culvert/Canvas Promo)

  6. Steven Lee Olsen “Hello Country” (SLO Circus/The Orchard/Sony)

  7. Madeline Merlo “Dear Me” (Open Road)

  8. Ed Sheeran “Beautiful People (feat. Khalid)” (Warner)

  9. Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine “It’s Not Alright” (Armada/Sire/Sony)

  10. Kygo & Whitney Houston “Higher Love” (Kygo/RCA)

Most Active Indies

Wildlife - "Wasted " (Official Audio) - YouTube
  1. Wildlife “Wasted” (Culvert/Canvas Promo)

  2. Madeline Merlo “Dear Me” (Open Road)

  3. Rheostatics “Rearview” (Six Shooter)

  4. Kayla Diamond “Cry Wolf” (Pheromone/DMD)

  5. Taylor Knox “Live It Up” (Cadence/RPMpromo)

  6. Russell Lee “Amazing” (Indie/L. Tutty Promo)

  7. Brady Kenneth “Between You & Me” (Orchard Ent)

  8. Midnight Shine “Leather Skin” (Midnight Shine)

  9. Electric Youth “Arawa” (Last Gang)

  10. Gregg Bolger “Road Trippin’” (Indie)

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Ed Sheeran’s No. 6 Collaborations Project debuts at number one on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart with 30,000 total consumption units and scores a clean sweep in picking up the highest album sales, audio-on-demand streams and digital song totals for the week. This is Teddy’s third consecutive chart-topper, following 2014’s X, and 2017’s Divide, which spent nine weeks at No. 1. Divide moves 17-15 with a 5% consumption gain.

Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? edges 3-2 with a 17% consumption increase, switching positions with Lil Nas X’s 7, which falls to No. 3. His “Old Town Road” once again tops both the Streaming and Digital Songs charts.

Only two other new releases debut in the top 50 this week. American singer (Jillian Rose), Banks’ III, comes in at 7, her highest-charting album to date. It surpasses the No. 8 peak of her first charted album, 2014’s Goddess, and tops the No. 12 position of her last album, 2016’s The Altar.

The soundtrack for the remake of the movie The Lion King debuts at 29.

-- All data courtesy of SoundScan with colour commentary provided by Nielsen Canada director Paul Tuch.

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The 2019 Prism Prize for Best Canadian Music Video was awarded recently to Kevan Funk, for his clip for Belle Game’s Low. We will continue to profile prominent recent Canadian videos, including this one from an acclaimed Montreal pianist/composer. Slaight Music is Patron Sponsor for the Prism Prize.

Jean-Michel Blais - Blind

For the music video for Blind, Jean-Michel Blais teams up with director Mauriès Matos to present a cinematic narrative, which explores the idea of consciousness and self. The video follows a young woman in the midst of important experimental research. During her study, she inserts herself into the process and discovers a type of plant, which helps people reach their own consciousness. Before announcing this major discovery, she experiences her first encounter with Self.

Director Matos also states that an underlying theme of the video is the idea of Belief as a source for change:  “That magic isn’t an effect. It’s a way to create change through processes that you can’t entirely understand. There are aspects of human reality we can’t measure, supernatural things that happen. Magic means you can give yourself an opportunity to stop analyzing things.”

Production Credits:

Director: Mauriès Matos

DOP: Ariel Méthot

Talent: Deragh Campbell

Executive Producers: Conor Illsley, Jon Riera

Producer: Stephanie Hooker 

Production Manager: Shannon McNally

Jean-Michel Blais - Blind (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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Tenille Townes - Somebody's Daughter ft. Girl Scouts of Middle TN Troop 6000 (Columbia Nashville/Sony):  Now based in Music City, this young Canadian country singer/songwriter has been quickly making a splash there. That will hopefully accelerate with the release of this powerful new single and video.

It is actually a new version of an earlier single, one given extra heft by the addition of vocals from Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Troop 6000, an initiative that serves girls without permanent housing. Sixteen girls from Troop 6000 came into the studio with Townes to earn their musician badge and learn about music and recording with Townes and producer Daniel Tashian. All of Townes' proceeds from this version of the song will support Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Troop 6000 initiative. 

The song is an emotional piano ballad, one that paints an affecting portrait of a homeless woman, and Townes' vocal performance impresses. It may struggle to find country airplay amidst all the bro-country tunes out there, but the song deserves to be heard.

Tenille Townes' social conscience is not new. At age 15, she started a benefit concert in her hometown of Grand Prairie, AB, for a youth shelter, Big Hearts For Big Kids, and it has gone on to raise $1.5M.

She performs on NBC's Today show July 23 and is out on the road this summer as support act on two major tours - with Dierks Bentley, July 25 to Aug. 23, then Miranda Lambert, Sept. 26-Oct. 12. Dates here 

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Tenille Townes - Somebody's Daughter (Lyric Video) ft. Girl Scouts of Middle TN Troop 6000 - YouTube

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Exclusive: Toronto rapper Puffy L'z talks new music, working with Drake and more

Puffy L’z, a young Somali kid from the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto, is one of the good ones. He’s an artist full of potential, a great personality and a non-threatening playful sense of humour. – Respect

Justin Bieber asks Donald Trump to "let those kids out of cages"

In a tweet, Bieber alludes to the ongoing controversy surrounding the conditions of U.S. migrant detention centres. – Daniel Sucar, Montreal Gazette

It’s Alive! Metallica’s Kirk Hammett shares his horror obsession at the Royal Ontario Museum

Horror film memorabilia belonging to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett will be featured at a new exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum through January of 2020. – Brad Wheeler, Globe 

‘Be sure of yourself and love yourself’: Lido Pimienta on navigating the music industry

Lido Pimienta gave a talk at the Whitehorse Public Library last week, advising Yukon musicians on how to get by as a musician in Canada. – Joshua Azizi, Yukon News

Vancouver Folk Music Fest 2019: Sam Roberts aims to hold up a mirror to his times

“Lyrically speaking, the world is all over the map right now, and it’s hard not to want to talk about it. It’s hard not to want to… if not offer an opinion, at least hold up a mirror to the times that we’re living in,” Roberts says. – Alex Varty, Georgia Straight

Warm memories, hit singles: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunite for charity show

The on-again, off-again musical partnership reached a high note at Music Under the City Stars, a fundraiser in support of Canada’s Walk of Fame at Toronto’s landmark Casa Loma, where the duo reminisced about the good times.. – David Friend, CP

'Further than I ever dreamed': Dirty & the Perks preps for Ness Creek debut

Dirty & the Perks has risen quickly from playing open mic nights to one of the biggest music festivals in their beloved home province. – Matt Olson, Star-Phoenix

J Mascis played a surprise set with Matthew "Doc" Dunn at Grasshopper Records

The Dinosaur Jr. guitar hero joined the local singer/songwriter for a full set of psych-jams for a crowd of 40 crammed into the Dundas West record store. – Jesse Locke, NOW 

Dolly Parton's house 

Heist’s annual Pride tribute goes big-haired with a salute to Dolly Parton. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

David Crosby says Woodstock 50 is "dead" and "not happening"

Despite having no venue or any tickets on sale, organizers behind the beleaguered Woodstock 50 festival still have yet to call the whole thing off around a month before it's scheduled to begin. Now, Crosby is outright claiming that the event is "not happening." – Exclaim!

Music Notes: Reel Big Fish in a little pond

Music might slow down in the summer, but it never stops. Matt Olson recommends a few concerts happening in Saskatoon. – Star-Phoenix

3 Generations of Jazz make century-old music cool again with a familial twist

The family band is making waves in the Vancouver scene for playing traditional jazz music. Tom Arntzen represents the middle generation, but he says that whole family’s love of all things arts stems directly from his parents, especially his father, Lloyd, who still plays in the band at age 91. – Ben Boddez, Georgia Straight

international

How Live Nation helped Metallica and other artists place tickets directly on the resale market

A secretly recorded phone call sheds light on the process, sparking outrage. –  Dave Brooks, Hannah Karp, Billboard

Film Review: ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’

In a stirring rock-nostalgia documentary, David Crosby appears as the aging poster boy for '60s excess, and for the spirit it took to survive it.  – Owen Glieberman, Variety

Beyoncé: The Lion King: The Gift review – superstar shows impeccable taste

Her solo numbers are of varying quality, but Beyoncé gives a valuable platform to African artists in this collaborative Disney spinoff. –Alexis Petridis, Guardian

‘Sharpening the knives’: Musicians join the protests in Puerto Rico

Among the tens of thousands who flocked to the streets of Puerto Rico this week to call for the resignation of the island’s governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló, there was a new kind of activist: well-known musicians ready to use the clout of their enormous social media followings to energize the brewing discontent.  – Frances Robles, NY Times

Earth, Wind & Fire becomes first R&B Group to receive Kennedy Center honors

They're only the fourth music group overall to be honored, following three rock groups: The Who(2008), Led Zeppelin (2012) and Eagles (2016). The award generally goes to individuals.  – Paul Grein, Billboard

Austin implements ‘digital tip jar’ for local musicians

The city of Austin has launched a new program to help local musicians earn money using digital tip jars. The program is called “tip the band” and it’ll allow fans to give artists money, using a debit or credit card through a special device from DipJar.  – Matthew Prendergast, KXAN

Burt Bacharach review – magic moments from master of lounge

His political fire may be dampened by syrupy backings, but Bacharach’s musical chemistry with guest vocalist Joss Stone is considerable. –  Mark Beaumont Guardian

Patrice Rushen found success in jazz and dance music. She hasn’t been forgotten.

She was already an accomplished jazz bandleader when she began releasing pop albums for Elektra in 1978. A new best-of compilation looks back at her major-label career.  – Giovanni Russonello, NYTimes

Pitchfork Music Fest 2019: 14 things we loved from a sweaty day 

The heat and the music were rising as the Pitchfork Music Festival kicked off its 14th year Friday in Union Park. Here are some highs, lows and oddities from Day 1 of the three-day festival. –Staff, Chicago Tribune.com

Donald Trump has suggested that he is willing to pay A$AP Rocky’s bail

The US rapper is in custody in Sweden as police investigate his alleged involvement in a street fight. – The independent

Across L.A., murals are a testament to Nipsey Hussle’s legacy

Months after his death in March, Nipsey Hussle’s influence pulses through the city — in alleys, on the fronts and sides of buildings, along busy highways and streets, on billboards and basketball courts, in galleries and breweries. – Dorany Pineda,  LA Timesrany Pineda,  LA Times

Musicologist backs up copyright infringement claim against Katy Perry on Day Two of 'Dark Horse' trial

Expert witness Todd Decker alleges “five or six points of similarity" between Perry's 2013 hit and the 2008 Christian rap song "Joyful Noise." – Chris Eggertsen,  Billboard

Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby form band, announce new album

The four noted songwriters have formed a new supergroup: The Highwomen. Their self-titled debut album is out September 6 via Low Country Sound/Elektra. – Pitchfork

Spice Girls Las Vegas residency could net £10 million each

The famed girl group - which includes Mel B, Mel C, Emma Bunton and Geri Horner - recently enjoyed a successful reunion tour across the UK, and they're now being lined up for a six-week show in Sin City. – Music News

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Jack White's love of vinyl and record stores is well-known, and it was in evidence in Vancouver over the weekend. His rock band, The Raconteurs, thrilled fans with a free afternoon in-store performance at downtown store Neptoon Records on Saturday. The store posted this message on Instagram: "The fact that a band like The Raconteurs are still contacting small shops like us and wanting to do something cool like this is absolutely mind-blowing. This was a dream come true and I don’t think any of us will ever forget this day."

– Beginning in 2017, Across The Board conducted a study across 30 Canadian music industry boards, finding that women only held 19% of the seats. In an aim to achieve 50:50 gender parity on the boards of directors of Canadian music industry associations and organizations by 2020, Across The Board now announces it is 10% away from accomplishing this goal. Last December, ATB distributed a survey to compile information on the progress of this initiative. The results showed that the participation of women on boards of directors had more than doubled to 40% by 2018's year-end.

– Billboard has released its list of the Highest Paid Musicians of 2018. Topping the list is Taylor Swift, with a hefty US$90.5M million in touring income in 2018 -- almost twice that of this year’s runner-up, Bruce Springsteen. Drake comes in at No. 3, thanks to hs status as the No. 1 streaming artist. The $17.1M he generated from 11.3 billion streams in 2018 was a hair short of doubling his $8.6 million take in 2017. He was also No. 1 in total recorded-music royalties: $21.8 million.

– L.A./Toronto combo MonkeyHouse's fifth full-length, Friday, comes out on ALMA Records this Friday (July 27), and is preceded by a rare Toronto show, at Hugh's Room Live tonight (July 22). Led by singer/songwriter/keyboardist/composer Don Breithaupt, the band has played together for 25 years. The MH sound will appeal to lovers of sophisticated and witty pop, a la Steely Dan.

You on the Brain | Monkey House [from the album Headquarters] OFFICIAL - YouTube

– On The Grand's Reggae Fest on July 27 at Bingemans Centre in Kitchener sports a strong lineup that includes Konshens, Gyptian, Kranium, Luciano and Stylo G. Tix here

– Jaap Nico Hamburger has been named Mécénat Musica's Composer in Residence 2019-2020. The appointment was announced by Jean Dupré, President and Director General of the Orchestre Métropolitain, at the rehearsal for the recording of Hamburger's Piano Concerto with the Orchestre Métropolitain, at Montréal's Maison Symphonique. Mécénat Musica has had a Composer in Residence program since 2014. Mécénat Musica Compositions' scores and notes are provided to emerging Montreal, Québec, and Canadian artists, without royalties, in perpetuity. Source: Broadway World

A song and video from a Vietnamese-American composer who was inspired by the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong has gone viral among both Vietnamese and Hong Kong netizens. Truc Ho, a well-known musician and composer among the Vietnamese community overseas, described on Facebook how he was inspired to write the song, "Sea of Black." Ho had travelled to Hong Kong n 2014 to support the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, and recent mass protests there inspired the new song. Source: Global Voices. 

"Sea of Black" | Music by Truc Ho [Official Music Video] - YouTube

Music BC has announced two new hires: Jimmy Leitch as Program Manager, and Jaeden Froese as Program Coordinator. 

–The trendy Ossington Avenue Strip between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West in Toronto hosts the fourth annual OssFest on July 27. The free all-day event has a musical lineup that features The Reposadists, The Saul Torres Band, Evan Redsky, Ariana Gillis, Geoff Marshall & The Mail Order Cowboys, Brainfudge, Brutus Begins, Common Deer, and Menage.

– The second weekend of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival runs July 27-28. Events include Jazz in The Park in Simcoe Park, Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake, on July 27, and on July 28, a Dixieland Jazz Brunch at Ravine Vineyards, followed at the same venue by a tribute to Nat King Cole from award-winning jazz vocalist Ori Dagan.

– Music publisher and rights management company CCS Rights Management held its Summer Event in Toronto last Thursday. Two of the acts on its roster, Laurent Bourque and Yukon Blonde performed for industry attendees.

Laurent Bourque - Matador (official video) - YouTube

– Creative Manitoba is presenting a course entitled The Art of Managing Your Career – Indigenous Perspectives,  an overview of the practical skills you need to grow your career as an artist and creator. The course features eight sessions in October and November, and the instructor is Yvette Hawkes (Métis), a Winnipeg-based freelance Visual Artist. Register here

– Music BC's sixth and final Let's Hear It Live Concert is on July 25 at The Fox Cabaret in Vancouver, featuring Teon Gibbs, COTIS, and Prado. Tix here

– MusicOntario presents a private showcase room at Folk Music Ontario (FMO), Sept. 27-29, at Hilton Airport – Mississauga. Applications are being accepted until Aug. 16 here

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FYI Music News by David Farrell - 2h ago
What Was Said – Prisoners of Pop Culture

There seems to be consensus these days that advertising on the whole is pretty stinky. There are all kinds of explanations for this. I have my own theory.

I believe that advertising has become tethered to youth culture in a way that is undermining imaginative thinking, harming our creative output, and seriously limiting marketing effectiveness.

Pop culture and fashion have always been stupid. If you want to die an imbecile, don't pay attention to art, literature, history, science, or nature. Pay attention to Kardashians.

After World War II something new arrived in the U.S. -- the "teenager." Previously, in all of history, there was no such thing. There were just young people who went out in the fields or down in the mines or over to the factories and worked their asses off. Overwhelmingly, the fruits of their labors and the imperatives of their lives were focused on the relentless struggle to help keep their families alive. It was a brutally hard existence.

That changed over time. In the 1950s and '60s, unprecedented prosperity and affluence arrived and the "teenager" was born. A teenager was a young person who had what no other young person in history ever had -- money and time.

With the teenager came something else that was completely new -- youth culture. At first it was just music and language. But then a whole set of customs and values evolved including fashion, celebrities, attitudes, economics and imagery.

Coincidental with the rise of pop culture was the rise of the "creative revolution" in advertising. In the beginning, advertising didn't have much use for pop culture. Have a look at the great ads from the early period of the "creative revolution" (VW, Alka-Seltzer, etc.) and you'll see the ads were about products not "lifestyles," the actors were grown-ups, and youth iconography didn't exist.

Slowly but surely youth culture worked its way into the advertising lexicon. At first it was thrilling.  People were tickled to hear their favorite types of music and see young people like them in ads. What made it exciting was that it was new and different.

What has changed is that pop iconography is no longer the exception in advertising. It is now by far the dominant tool in the toolbox. Pop culture is no stupider today than it was 50 years ago, it is just more pervasive.

And that's a problem. As wealth and economic power have been hugely concentrated in the hands of mature people, youth culture rarely interests or engages the people who have and spend most of the money. In fact, it is often off-putting. But it has become the default language of advertising despite the fact that it is not the language of the people who drive our economy or dominate our commerce.

Worse, it is self-perpetuating. The more that marketing people see youth-orientation dominate advertising the more they unconsciously assume that it is the proper voice for advertising and that they better employ it, too.

As a result, much of advertising has become a tiresome, one-note exercise in celebrity/music/technology banality. It creates a false feedback signal to marketers and the business community that pop culture/youth sensibility is the correct vocabulary for marketing.

There is nothing wrong with the use of celebrities or cultural trends in advertising so long as they are not used as a shallow substitute for an idea. Once, a small percent of advertising leaned on pop culture as a replacement for strategy. Today that number is much higher. The pop iconography of music/celebrities/technology is everywhere and the discipline of brand differentiation is largely missing in action.

We are tethered to youth culture in a way that is harmful to our goals and to business. The attribute most noticeable in creative work is not imaginative thinking, it's the slavish conformity to whatever's trending. As usual, our obsessions have undermined our perspective.

One of the pernicious side-effects of this is our inability and, in fact, our blind refusal to speak to the people who have and spend most of the money in our economy. As a recent research paper from the UK said about our industry...

"...we, like everyone else, prefer to talk to people we are familiar with and understand. Witness the industry’s continued fixation with targeting 18-34... which is surely driven more by the composition of our industry than the demographic reality of our aging population and the massive concentration of wealth and spending."

The auto industry, which is one of the largest categories of advertised goods, provides an excellent example. While car makers often feature young adults in their ads, adults under 25 comprise less than 1% of new car buyers. In the past 5 years, car ownership among 18-34 year olds has dropped 30%. Meanwhile, about 75% of new car buyers are over 40.

There are two reasons advertising agencies default to youth imagery. First, the people in agencies are overwhelmingly young and don't have the cultural vocabulary to speak comfortably to mature people. Look in any coffee shop and try to find someone in his 20's talking to someone in her 50's. I mean, other than saying, "Can I take your order?" When the people writing the ads are disconnected from the people buying the products, there is a problem. And while only 6% of agency employees are over 50, 57% of new car buyers are over 50, and 51% of all consumer spending is done by people over 50.

Second, binding to youth culture is such an easy and attractive way to seem relevant. Particularly if you have been seduced by advertising's feedback loop and don't understand the limited role young people actually play in our economy.

There is a lazy, unimaginative way to do advertising, and a difficult, inspired way. The lazy way has been the same for decades -- find a pop song or celebrity and borrow some glow. The difficult, inspired way is to untether yourself from the banality of trendiness and search for something interesting to say. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

First Indigenous woman CRTC commissioner appointed

Claire Anderson has been appointed CRTC commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon, becoming the first Indigenous woman and Yukon resident to sit on the commission and only the second Indigenous appointee since 1968. Her five-year term will begin Aug. 26. – Connie Thiessen, Broadcast Dialogue

Ottawa’s approach to supporting charitable media foundations is uncharitable – and self-defeating

When the federal government released details about its plan to assist media organizations with a five-year, $595-million package of tax credits, we were shocked. While media organizations are allowed to apply for charitable status to receive donations and issue tax receipts to donors, as of right now, only non-profits that produce original content will be allowed to issue such receipts. That means foundations and non-profit organizations, such as Les amis du Devoir (The Friends of Le Devoir), would be excluded from such benefits.

The list of winners across Canada in this unfair lottery can be counted on the fingers of one hand. How could Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodriguez accept the exclusions? –
Bryan Myles and Andre Ryan, The Globe and Mail (subscription)

‘Intrepid reporter’ George Garrett reflects on CKNW’s 75-year history

Former CKNW reporter George Garrett earned the title of “intrepid reporter” from long-time broadcasting legend Rafe Mair.

Now after a career that spanned more than four decades at 980 CKNW, the 84-year-old former reporter is also an author.

His new memoir, George Garrett: Intrepid Reporter, is a collection of stories from Garrett’s career as well as his childhood. – Niki Reitmayer, Global News

Studies show rapid decline in radio listening globally

Broadcast radio is still one of the most used sources of media and a top vehicle for music discovery, but it won't maintain this top spot for long if the current trend holds, according to two major listenership studies.

Despite the hopeful numbers thrown around by the radio industry, it appears that digital infotainment consumption is catching up with radio in the one place that it thought it was safe – the automobile. 

Making matters worse, one of the studies reports that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z (people born after 1995) and its influence and relevance will continue to decline unless it reinvents itself. – Bobby Owsinski, Hypebot

Stations seek ways to lift listeners out of ‘news fatigue’

Digital media and cable news executives told Axios last month that audience interest in their Trump-related coverage had dropped. A report by the Pew Research Center in early 2018 found that 68% of American adults surveyed felt “worn out” by the amount of news. – Karen Everhart, Current

Almost 70% of Americans surveyed would pay for Disney+

In a market research study from Global Web Index, a survey showed that 69% of respondents were open to paying for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. Disney+ is set to launch in November, with a price point of $6.99 per month.

The survey went on to show that some respondents were looking forward to the new streaming service and the content being offered that they would have been willing to pay between $10-20 per month. – Jess Barnes, Cord Cutter News

Google, Facebook are tracking your porn preferences – even in incognito mode

Using software to analyze third-party tracking scripts, the researchers found that Google’s advertising subsidiary DoubleClick had been implemented on 74 percent of all porn sites. Tracking software developed by Oracle and Facebook (which notoriously outlaws explicit content on its platform) was discovered on 24 and 10 percent of scanned sites, respectively. – TNW

Donald Trump, the racist in the White House

Trump always made a point of forming “friendships” with Don King, Mike Tyson, and a few other black celebrities, but the fraud was obvious. As Kip Brown, a driver who worked at one of Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City, told Nick Paumgarten in The New Yorker, “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor. . . . I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.” – David Remnick, The New Yorker

Frank D’Angelo returns with Making A Deal with the Devil flick

The 75-minute drama takes viewers behind the scenes of a plot developed by the FBI as they work secretly with the mob to eradicate corruption and crime in the USA.

Making A Deal With The Devil - Movie Trailer - YouTube

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