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Canadian groups headed to America have two choices: Stump up $2000-$5000 in border fees and union dues and wait weeks for a permit, or go without and risk a two to five year personal ban from the US. Whether it's a one night show played for beer and beds or a full arena tour makes little difference to the costs and paperwork involved.
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In thinking about what it was that made people love him so much, I came to the conclusion that it was because he was completely and utterly himself. He was always authentic to his vision and unafraid to do things exactly his way. He was someone who was truly free.
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When Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal launched, they were hailed as digital prophets that promised new ways to monetize the experience. Thus far, their solutions have fallen short of fireworks. Just slightly over a quarter of Spotify's 75 million active users actually pay for the service. And, as The Guardian UK reports, despite pulling in €1.08 bn in revenue, its losses were €162.3m. So why are all these promising platforms sinking?
Sexual assault against women is rampant. Thousands of women are subject to it, every day, all over the world. Here in North America, where we pride ourselves on fairness and justice, women who make claims of sexual assault are often denied justice and even more often, they're raked over the coals by the lawyers of the men who've been accused.
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The CBC is suffering from a series of funding cuts implemented by the federal government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The 2012 federal budget cut $115 million from the CBC over three years. While this has negative consequences for all Canadians as this national institution is forced to cut jobs and scale back its reach and scope, the country's music and arts communities, in particular, stand to lose. In many cases, it's already happening.
"No Pop" is about changing this self-imposed, self-perpetuating wheel of regulation and can do so without condescension toward the pursuit of monetary success. All that would need to, and should, change, is the perception of what makes music "commercial."
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Nicki Minaj identified an industry preference for what is seen as attractive, acceptable and what should be rewarded. It shouldn't be surprising that black artists feel some type of way when their cultural influence is undeniable but remains unrecognized. It is, however, surprising that the industry that still makes money off the backs of black artists still doesn't take them seriously.
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TORONTO - How much are Canadians willing to pay to stream music? It's a question that continues to flummox analysts, record labels and particularly online streaming services. As one component of its e...
Buying albums may eventually be like buying sheet music, but we've been in a singles era for years now and have recently entered the streaming age. People are listening to as much music as ever, maybe more, because they can access millions of songs through their phones. So ignore the doomsayers. The end isn't nigh. Or rather, it's only apocalyptic in that the definition means the end of one age and the beginning of a new one.
At the AMAs, rapper Macklemore spent much of his precious acceptance speech time discussing the injustice behind the Trayvon Martin verdict. Here's a radical idea: if Macklemore is so disgusted by the Trayvon Martin ruling, he should be the one to lead Stevie Wonder's list of artists boycotting Florida until the Stand Your Ground Law is repealed.
Some of Allen's digs at misogyny in the music industry are spot on. But then there are those scantily clad black backup dancers twerking, p-popping and pouring bottles of champagne over their bodies that have led many to accuse Allen of using black women as props, perpetuating harmful stereotypes whilst exploiting them.
Gloria Steinem was asked whether she thought Miley Cyrus was setting the feminist movement back. The icon and activist responded with cringe-worthy rhetoric for woman who spent a lifetime defying the status quo for the weaker sex. The premise that nudity is required to be noticed is a poor defense.
Every time I do a TV show, the microphone tech has his hands all over my chest before I even have time to say "yes I do mind, I prefer to install it myself." And then they are always puzzled by where to hook up the battery pack: after 80 years of televised show business, no one in a dress has EVER donned a mic set?
Currently making the rounds on Facebook is this parenting blog post about our responsibility to teach kids about "good music." What a load of hipster-douchebag crap. My retort: How on earth did your kids get exposed to this "shitty" music in the first place? So when my eight-year-old daughter decides her favourite singer is Katy Perry, what do I do? In my mind, my daughter must make her own decisions.
To the untrained eye, social media numbers are important. However, if you delve, you'll notice inconsistencies. For example, a band may have a ton of "followers", but few likes on their photos. Alternately, a band may have lots of Soundcloud plays on a particular song, but few comments. Do not let buying popularity become the new form of radio DJ payola.
Deadmau5 doesn't think that the current EDM craze can last forever, and he's surprisingly zen about the whole thing. As far as he's concerned, the electronic dance revival he's currently at the forefr...
Performing live is difficult for most musicians. Successfully conveying emotion to a crowd takes practice. Even professional musicians make mistakes. One great gig can be the difference between fame and obscurity, so don't sabotage your debut before you even arrive. Follow these tips to avoid shooting yourself in the foot onstage.
For some established bands, like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, freedom from the grasp of the labels is a choice. But for most unsigned artists, it's not. Most unsigned bands today didn't choose to be free. Freedom was thrust onto them by the ruthless market forces of a rapidly changing industry.
Returning with a new episode next week after its mid season hiatus, ABC's Emmy award-winning comedy Modern Family is arguably one of the most popular shows on television. Here's my interview with Modern Family composer Gabriel Mann.
TORONTO - A slew of streaming music services have come to Canada, and more are likely on the way, but while tech-savvy consumers seem to enjoy listening to music online, relatively few want to pay.The...
I caught up Harry Belafonte at a press conference at the Locarno Film Festival. Mr. Belafonte spoke eloquently about the very important role that art plays in politics, his roots in social activism, music and theatre, and about our common humanity.
Lately I've been obsessed with today's musical climate. Too long have I agonized over this sentiment, trying to reconcile whether "it's just me" or if music has evolved into a new beast with unusual behaviours I no longer understand. But I've decided: Modern music, I am done with thee. What keeps me going is the knowledge that people are still putting their souls into things. How do I know? Because it is in our human nature to create.
Is there any hope for music? Can the industry adapt to meet the pressures and challenges of a rapidly evolving digital frontier? My band, Enter the Haggis, decided to fund our forthcoming record through Kickstarter and we more than doubled our goal in under 10 days. From where I'm sitting, it's hard to understand the argument that the music industry is dying. I'm currently on tour, playing songs I wrote for people who are willing to pay to see me, and they're funding my career directly. From my perspective, the music business is thriving.
When my friend got over the Spice Girls, I was crushed. Not only did the Spice Girls represent something I wanted desperately to be a part of (a group of friends, to begin with), but our love of the band was something we shared. True, neither of us was popular, and our obsession with the Fab Five seemed completely insane, but we were in it together. And then all of a sudden it wasn't "cool."
Alamy: Andrew Paterson
Not only is the Canadian digital market far larger than virtually every European market, it continues to grow faster than the U.S. digital music market as well. In fact, the Canadian digital music market has grown faster than the U.S. market for the past six consecutive years. Yet, Canadian artist revenue from Canadian sales is lower than most other countries.
Since I am about to release a new CD, a glimpse behind the scenes might be of interest. The few times I have done this on my website, I have been surprised at how much people enjoy hearing about the "process."
The term 'world music' probably served some purpose in terms of cracking open the homogeneous North American market and introducing its listeners to something beyond their pop/rock/country/classical dogma, but why is it still used when all the peoples of the globe live everywhere?
"I really like the writing process, the conceptualization of new music," Mother Mother's Ryan Guldemond says. "Then recording it, it becomes so real and unveiled. And when you start touring, same thing; you're sort of punched in the face by reality."