Last week I wrote about a downward trend in peer-to-peer downloading - many observers see this in part as a result of the increased use of free and easy streaming music services such as imeem, Pandora, Last.fm, and Spotify. Why download and store files, when you can have access to anything you want, from any location, on demand?
Well, in the last few days, much has been written about the sorry state of business for these services. In the UK, where the artists are much more organized and active in demanding that they be written into the deals (not just as a footnote in their labels' deals with these services), google/youtube is currently in a battle with the PRS, claiming that they can't afford to pay artists for content. Other streaming music companies are lining up behind google, hoping to benefit from the behemoth's bargaining clout. Meanwhile, the companies themselves are still scrambling to come up with a homerun service that users actually like and use. The much heralded MySpace music, for example, was a major flop and is in the process of re-inventing itself again.
In many cases, it seems to me that it's inking deals with the major labels that is at the heart of...
The Aboriginal Album of the Year category received a lot of profile at the JUNO Awards this past weekend. There was an outstanding Honouring Ceremony, a standing ovation for the category winner and great support from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
The Honouring Ceremony was held for Tracy Bone, Billy Joe Green, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Team Rezofficial, Tagaq and Crystal Shawanda on Saturday afternoon at the Chief Joe Matthias Recreation Centre on Squamish Territory. The event was organized by the Aboriginal Initiatives Committee of the Music from Sea to Sky Host Committee for the 2009 JUNO Awards and included traditional honouring songs and the presentation of blankets and painted hand drums. The Spakwus Slulem were the first to sing and their song accompanied the presentation of the Coast Salish blankets made by Debbie Sparrow. An honour song by Mike Dangeli & Family followed, bringing the drums painted by Mike Dangeli (Nisga’a, Tlingit and Tsimshian Nations) and Don McIntyre (Anishinabe) to life.
The ceremony was quite moving and a couple of the nominees teared up during the honour songs and gift presentation. “The aboriginal honouring celebration was...
Winnipeg’s own Sonia Eidse is a sweet songwriter with the ability to craft memorable melodies. She’s only 17-years-olds so be sure to watch for her in the next couple of years cause I still can’t get her choruses out of my mind.
Another rising star is Darrelyne Bickel from The Pas in northern Manitoba. She’s got an outstanding voice and a lot of swagger. Her new CD is entitled M.I.A. and it features six great country tracks.
Sadie is a hip hop artist coming out of the Fresh I.E. camp. Her new E.P. entitled Boomboxx Sounds features six tracks with solid rhyme schemes and great production. She’s been performing with Fresh and the Lil' Disciples for a while now, so I’m sure she’s set for big things this year.
History lessons generally aren’t the most exciting of times. The Take the Fort tour successfully changed that. The two-hour show featured Métis multimedia performance combining music, dance, and video, re-telling the story of the Red River Resistance of 1869 (during which Louis Riel led the Métis of Red River to take back their land).
Acts involved in the tour included the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers -a traditional style Metis dance troupe of thirteen-, renowned Manitoba fiddler Darren Lavallee with Marc Arnould, Melissa St. Goddard and Dylan Goudry, and The Puppet Folk, who re-enacted the Red River Resistance via video.
“It’s rare that you’ll see all of these different elements come together for one showcase,” says Production Manager and Creative Director Andre Clement.
The tour kicked off in Winnipeg on Tuesday, February 17. Other stops included Vancouver (February 19, Capilano Performing Arts Theatre), Calgary (February 20, Calgary Public Library), Saskatoon (February 21, Broadway Theatre) and Regina (February 22, Regina Performing Arts Centre).
Clement found that audiences across western Canada took away “a sense of the rich...
Back in May, I wrote about EMI Music's appointment of former Google CIO Douglas Merrill as head of digital strategy. The move seemed to indicate that EMI was serious about rethinking their approach to digital distribution.
But now, less than a year later, EMI has announced in an internal memo that Merrill is "moving on." They have appointed Cory Ondrejka to the position of executive vice president of digital marketing - essentially signaling that they will no longer have a digital department, but that digital strategies will permeate all aspects of the company's business. It's probably the right idea, but many observers seem unconvinced.
In the troubled world of print publications, music mag Blender is the latest to call it quits. The magazine was a glossy pop culture mag, but included serious music feature articles and decent record reviews. Blender follows No Depression which threw in the towel last year, in becoming an online only publication.
Vancouver is about to get a taste of Manitoba’s legendary hospitality with a special celebration of Manitoba music during the 2009 JUNO Awards street party in Vancouver on March 29. Presented by Manitoba Film & Music, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, and Manitoba Music, the event will feature performances by 2009 Juno nominees Doc Walker, Tracy Bone, Billy Joe Green, and Big Dave McLean, showcasing some of the great talent coming from our province. With 11 nominations, this year marks Manitoba’s strongest showing in Juno history.
Three Manitoba bands are strong contenders for the top prize in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) category this year, solidifying Manitoba’s reputation for great roots music. This year’s contenders include soulful roots music outfit Chic Gamine for its self-titled debut, genre-defying roots act The Duhks for Fast Paced World, and Americana duo Twilight Hotel for Highway Prayer.
Hometown talent is also leading in the Aboriginal Album of the Year category, landing three nominations this year. Nominees include country chanteuse Tracy Bone and her Western Canadian Music Award-winning debut, No Lies, on Winnipeg-based...
Manitoba Music hosted a session last night with Mark Meharry from MusicGlue. Mark is based in London and is a pioneer of the "free" music approach to building a fan base and building careers for independent artists. Mark helps artists give away music, as a way to track and interact with fans, and build other revenue streams from concert tickets and merchandise. In the face of declining CD sales, artists and music industry companies are looking for new buisiness models and business structures.
One of the trends that we talked about last night was the move from downloading and storing music, to streaming music. Broadband speeds and access to online file storage are increasing and becoming cheaper, moving towards zero cost. This is leading to increased ease of access to music through legal channels like mobile phone delivery and streaming online services. Rather than building libraries of music, the user can simply plug into vast existing catalogues.
Illegal file sharing has been as much about ease of access as is about cost - labels weren't quick enough at making music available and transportable so mega music fans and tech savvy kids looked elsewhere. Now that music is...
This month, Brandon Friesen's music empire will expand yet again. The award-winning producer, engineer, label and studio owner will launch his latest project: Arbor Live. Airing across the country on APTN, the music variety television show features an exciting new mix of live performances, scripted comedy, and artist interviews.
Hosted by rock legend Stevie Salas, episodes will include comedy bits, behind the scenes antics, and featured artists participating in gags. Beyond the laughs, Arbor Live will also feature performances by emerging Aboriginal artists alongside some of today's hottest music stars.
"We're doing something very unique in the sense we're trying to get away from the standard live music variety show formula where you have a few acts playing then interviews. We find that model has been way overdone," says Friesen.
Along with about 50 million other projects he has on the go, Friesen is founder and owner the show's namesake, Arbor Records. The label, which now has offices in both Manitoba and Ontario, releases genre-spanning albums by Aboriginal artists, including Salas. Friesen and Salas came up with the show's idea while working together on Salas'...
The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards (NAAA) were established to encourage and celebrate excellence in the Aboriginal community. The Awards recognize the outstanding career achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, in diverse occupations. This year, the awards are being held March 6 in Winnipeg. Although the awards aren't about strictly music, Manitoba certainly has plenty of success in that department to brag about.
This week on the show, Wab has a couple special guests. Eagle and Hawk will be playing at the NAAA; so we thought Vince Fontaine and Jay Bodner of the group could come in ahead of time for an intimate studio session. There's also going to be exclusive concert material from this past Manito Ahbee showcase, including sets from Leanne Goose and Donny Parenteau.
And later in the show...
New music from Winnipegger-turned-German horse master, Old Seed (aka Craig Bjerring). For about a year, Craig spent a year on a horse ranch in Germany. Just to regroup - no music, just horses. But the troubadour is back at the music making. This month, he's played Rome, Frankfurt, Paris, and now, the great metropolis of Winnipeg. Craig sent us some of the new...
Gimli’s population is about to get a little bigger. Twenty Aboriginal artists from across Canada will converge on the town’s Misty Lake Lodge for the fourth installment of AMP Camp, which runs March 1-6, 2009.
Hosted by Manitoba Music’s Aboriginal Music Program (AMP), the week-long professional and artistic development residency project gives emerging and mid-career Aboriginal recording artists a chance to develop their understanding of the music industry along with their ability to succeed in it.
Past participants, including 2009 JUNO Award nominee Tracy Bone, have gone on complete acclaimed albums, receive multiple award nominations, win music awards, and make music their full-time job.
AMP Camp is made possible by a partnership between Manitoba Music’s Aboriginal Music Program and the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts. The project provides the participants with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the music industry along with their ability to succeed in it. Each day of the five-day retreat includes close to 12-hours of professional development workshops on business topics and creative development labs to help the artists develop their...
Live music hits the streets of Vancouver! Today at a JUNO Awards concert inside HMV in Downtown Vancouver, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced the extensive line-up of 2009 JunoFest performers slated to hit the stages during JUNO Awards Weekend. JunoFest wristbands (priced at $30) go on sale starting Saturday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. (PST), through Ticketmaster and participating JunoFest venues. JunoFest takes place on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, each night from 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Wristbands offer fans priority entry at all JunoFest venues (subject to capacity). Must be 19 years of age or older to attend.
Produced in association with Vancouver-based Donnelly & Associates Event Marketing Inc., JunoFest is a two-night music extravaganza that showcases the talents of over 100 local, regional and national artists representing the diverse spectrum of Canadian music.
Nearly half of the participating line-up has been chosen locally to highlight Vancouver’s rich and diverse music scene, in addition to performances from 2009 JUNO Award nominees and some of Canada’s national touring acts.
MARK THE CALENDAR FOR JUNO WEEKEND EVENTS
COMING MARCH 26-29 IN VANCOUVER
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today the details of its popular JUNO Awards Weekend Events including Juno Cup, Juno Fan Fare and Songwriters’ Circle. Tickets to select Juno Weekend Events go on sale starting Saturday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. (PST) and are available through Ticketmaster.
To kick off the upcoming four-day weekend in Vancouver, March 26-29, JUNO Awards organizers staged a morning face-off at General Motors Place between 12-time JUNO Award winner Jim Cuddy and former Vancouver Canuck Cliff Ronning to help announce this year’s team rosters for the 6th Annual Juno Cup game presented by The Keg Steakhouse & Bar. The Rockers have gathered an enormous roster with artists such as Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea, Kathleen Edwards and Sarah McLachlan.
Juno Cup - Presented by The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Date: Friday, March 27
Location: UBC Thunderbird Arena
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Juno Cup is an ever-growing popular event among fans that mixes music with sport, matching NHL alumni with top artists and...
We've been in downtown Memphis before, so when Sara and I arrived at the airport, we caught a cab straight to the whole foods market grocery store. Walking through downtown Memphis feels a bit like being on Truman show - there are roads and sidewalks and nice street lights but no people, and certainly no grocery stores. And with the restaurant scene leaning heavily toward the heavy (famous bbq and such) some veggies and fruit would be welcome snacks in the days ahead. So I was surprised but not that much to run into fellow Canadians at the whole foods, who were also making a trek for supplies, and we were happy to catch a lift back to the conference.
Folk Alliance all takes place in one downtown hotel, with a little spillover into the adjoining conference centre. That makes it a pretty close knit event where you keep running into old friends, and it makes it pretty straight forward when trying to make new connections. The amount of great music is phenomenal (the amount of bad music is kind of staggering too, although pretty easy to avoid).
With 9 Manitoba acts at the conference this year we've had a big presence and a great reception. Many of the artists are down for the...
Made up of the five industry associations in the west; Manitoba Music, SaskMusic, Alberta Music, Music BC and Music Yukon the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA) annually celebrates the force of musical and industry talent in Western Canada. The four-day event is comprised of a music industry conference, a multi-genre music festival, and two awards shows. This year’s event will be held in Brandon, MB, September 17-20.
The WCMA festival is an intimate music extravaganza showcasing the greatest Western Canadian musical talent. The WCMAs are a place where great new talent is discovered and bands making their mark on the national scene can take it to the next level, getting seen by key music buyers and festivals across the US and Europe. It has been said that the WCMAs "bring the world to you", providing priceless networking opportunities for industry and musicians.
The WCMA Awards Show is a unique celebration of the talent that has shone in Western Canada over the past year. Is this the year you will grace the stage to accept the hardware?
Submissions for the 2009 Artistic and Industry Awards nominations and for the WCMA Festival showcases open...
The announcement this week of a Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger made official what has been speculation for some time. But the move will not be a smooth one, and is already facing challenges, from official anti-trust concerns to chatter from the concert buying public.
Live Nation runs their own ticket service, which competes directly with Ticketmaster and is an attempt to cash in on the service fee bonanza. It's reported that they would keep that service running even after a proposed merger, a strange move, but one that is probably in place to try and mitigate the anti-trust concerns.
Meanwhile, the embattled concert ticket behemoth Ticketmaster is already facing class action suits for it ridiculously high ticket fees and its ticket reselling site TicketsNow which sells tickets at a huge markup from their original price.
Now Taking Submissions for a Toronto Showcase Opportunity
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Thursday, February 26, 2009
Manitoba Music and MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC are teaming up with Manitoba Homecoming 2010 to present an exciting showcase of three or four Manitoba artists at the Rivoli on Toronto's Queen Street West on Thursday, April 16, 2009. This event is an excellent opportunity for acts to showcase in front of top names in the Toronto-based music industry. We will work with each selected act to help get the people they need (label reps, agents, managers, etc.) in the audience.
To be considered for a showcase, you must:
• Have a current release
• Be export-ready
• Have financial capacity to undertake travel and accommodations in Toronto (Market Access Program Support is available, but will not cover full costs)
• Be a Manitoba Music member
• One (1) copy of your current release
• One (1) copy of a current video (if available)
• One (1) copy of your press kit (include location of electronic press kit, if available)
• One (1) copy of a letter explaining how this showcase would fit with your band's overall development plan
Billy Joe Green, Tracy Bone and Team Rezofficial grabbed three of the five nominations in the Aboriginal Album of the Year category for the 2009 JUNO Awards. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced nominees early on February 3, naming several other homegrown acts as well as a few expats in the process, making this one of the strongest showings for Manitoba music in recent Juno history.
Green picked up the nom for his latest release on Strongfront Records entitled First Law of the Land, while Arbor Records label mates Bone and Team Rezofficial are nominated for their No Lies and The World (And Everything In It) discs, respectively.
Manitoba is also well represented in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) category with nominations for Chic Gamine, The Duhks and Twilight Hotel. Doc Walker is in the running for Country Recording of the Year, Composer T. Patrick Carrabré is nominated for Classical Composition of the Year, Paquin Entertainment’s Gilles Paquin, with Joan Prowse, is up for Music DVD of the Year for Buffy Sainte-Marie’s A MultiMedia Life and Winnipeg blues legend Big Dave McLean is up for Blues Album of the Year.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Thursday, February 19, 2009
Manitoba Music is planning a night of music at the Red River Exhibition between June 12-June 21, 2009.
The Red River Exhibition attracts an average 200,000 visitors over the 10-day, family-focused event. Manitoba Music will be programming an evening of music running 4pm to midnight (date TBD). Set lengths will be approximately 45 minutes long; bands will be compensated for their performance. This is a great opportunity for bands to get in front of a variety of people and gain some exposure.
To be considered for a showcase, you must:
• Have a current release
• Be a member of Manitoba Music
• One (1) copy of your press kit (include location of electronic press kit, if available)
• One (1) copy of any other promotional material you want included
Submissions will be evaluated based on:
• Track record
Final decision will rest with Red River Exhibition.
Submit by 4pm CST February 19, 2009 to:
Danielle Strueby, Marketing Coordinator
1-376 Donald Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2J2
In order for your CD to be eligible it needs to be available for sale to the general public and have been released in the following period:
ELIGIBILITY: January 1, 2008 - January 31, 2009
NOTE: You must become a member of the Native American Music Awards in order to be able to submit your CD. This costs $100 per year and you can send in your membership fee with the rest of your submission.
SEND YOUR SUBMISSION TO:
Native American Music Awards
511 Avenue of the Americas #371
New York, New York
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Manitoba Music’s Aboriginal Music Program is planning a Manitoba Aboriginal Artists Showcase during the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico between April 23 and 27.
The Gathering of Nations is Native America’s biggest cultural market. It includes the worlds largest competition pow wow, a trade show and market place, and a venue for live music by Indigenous artists called “Stage 49”. Native American business leaders, community leaders and media outlets attend this annual event, which makes it a great place to network and market Aboriginal music.
To be considered for inclusion in this showcase, you must:
• Have a current release
• Have a valid passport and be able to perform in the US
• Have the financial capacity to undertake travel and accommodations in Albuquerque (Market Access Program support is available, but will not cover full costs)
• Be a member of Manitoba Music
• Two (2) copies of your current release
• Two (2) copies of a current video (if available)
• Two (2) copies of your press kit (include location of electronic press kit, if available)
• Two (2)...
Sierra Noble is coming to a theatre near you for one night only on January 28. The 18-year-old singer/songwriter and fiddler is featured in the film Larger Than Life, which will be presented on the big screen in high definition and digital surround sound at 52 select Cineplex Entertainment theatres across the country.
Larger Than life is a celebration of Aboriginal talent, featuring Noble as well as artists Plex, Marc Nadjiwan, Jason Burnstick, The Johnnys, and a special guest appearance by Canadian music legend Bruce Cockburn. Emceed by Winston Wuttunee at Revival in Toronto, the lineup of diverse musical talent joined together to celebrate Aboriginal music on one stage. The film is presented by Working Title Artists and filmed by Strong Road Productions.
"We are very proud to present such an incredible line up in such a unique way. The concert will be exceptional, as is expected from this talent and we are fortunate that it will find its way to Canadians cross country," said Working Title Artists’ Brent Bain in a media release.
Noble has kept busy in the last year, releasing her latest effort, Possibilities, in December 2008. While she’s perhaps best known for...
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOON, Monday, February 9, 2009
Manitoba Music is planning the release of two new promotional tools:
1. USB Drives - Will be distributed widely through various music industry festivals and conferences, as well as directly to key players in the industry. Manitoba Music gets these USB drives into the hands of managers, labels, agents, festivals, publishers, campus and club buyers, radio programmers, publicists, music journalists, as well as many others who can help your career.
2. Drop Cards - Will be distributed widely through various music festivals, public events that Manitoba Music is associated with and music lovers.
Both promotional items will be multi-genre (e.g. rock, punk, pop, roots, country, hip-hop, etc.).
To have your track included for consideration, please email:
• High resolution (300 dpi) photograph in jpeg format
• Mp3 with track name, songwriting and publishing credit
• 100-word bio/one sheet in PDF format
• Contact information (contact name, phone, email, and website)
• Completed Grant of Rights form
Submissions will be rejected if incomplete.
N.B. - You must be a Manitoba Music member to be considered...
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Monday, February 9, 2009
Manitoba Music and MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC are planning an exclusive showcase at MUSEXPO in Los Angeles between April 26 and April 29, 2009.
MUSEXPO is one of North America’s most important music business conferences with very exclusive showcasing opportunities. It is attended by some of the highest profile and most powerful people in music and entertainment, including heads of A&R, film and television music supervision, online and traditional video gaming, telecommunications, and more. Some of this year’s confirmed speakers and delegates include: David Rezner (Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group), Kenny MacPherson (President/Senoir Executive, Chrysalis Music), Ian Rogers (CEO, Topspin), Ron Spaulding (Executive VP/GM of Fontana), Bob Lefsetz (Editor, The Lefsetz Letter), Terry McBride (CEO, Nettwerk Music Group), Steve Schnur (Worldwide Executive of Music & Marketing, EA Games), and Simon Wright (President & CEO, Virgin Entertainment Group).
The Manitoba initiative will also include an exclusive showcase for area music supervisors in Los Angeles on April 30. The list of invitees for this showcase is a...
If there is one thing that has been striking in the past few days of American political celebrations, beyond the pitch perfect speech writing and orations of the central figure, it has been the stellar music that accompanies every moment. From the fabulous Lincoln Memorial Concert on the weekend, to the thoughtful and prominent musical offerings in the inauguration ceremony itself. There was so much high profile music involved that Billboard produced a music specific schedule for the four days of festivities.
The question for us now that the parties are over, is not whether musicians love Obama, that seems clear, and indeed Obama seems quite fond of music and the arts, but what will it mean for the creative industries in America and abroad to have a music lover back in the White House.
The new President came to power thanks in a large part to urban voters and, according to the Telegraph, the support of the creative class. What remains to be seen, is if Obama can reciprocate with support for the creative industries. Richard Florida writes that while politicians and economists are shouting about putting shovels in the ground and saving the auto industry, true economic...
Manitoba Music and the Winnipeg Folk Festival present
OPEN MIC NIGHTS at THE FOLK EXCHANGE
Friday, January 23, 2008 | 7pm
Winnipeg Folk Festival and Manitoba Music are happy to announce the next Open Mic Night @ The Folk Exchange. The exciting line-up of guest hosts -- which has included Karla Adolphe, J.P. Hoe, Don Amero, Rob Wrigley, Keri Latimer, Ruth Moody and Twilight Hotel -- continues this month with Kraink.
On Open Mic Nights, musicians and music-lovers unite to share songs, inspiration and just plain old good times in the casual, intimate atmosphere of the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Folk Exchange venue, located at 211 Bannatyne Avenue (behind the Festival Music Store @ Albert Street).
Bring your instrument and take your turn on the Folk Exchange stage–or just come to listen (non-players will be charged a $2 cover).
Call the Festival at (204) 231-0096 for more information.
Neilsen SoundsScan released sales numbers for music in the United States last week, and for Canada this week.
The good news is that music sales are up. Overall units sold in Canada increased in 2008 by 11.5%. The bad news for the industry is that album sales are down, and album sales have the largest impact on profitability. Overall album sales dropped by 8.5%. Sales of digital albums rose by nearly 70%, but still represent only a fraction, less than 10%, of overall sales.
The cool thing, is that vinyl sales in the US (I can't put my finger on Canadian numbers) doubled in 2008 to 1.88 million units. I think we've all noticed vinyl on the merch table at more and more shows lately, often accompanied with a digital download. In the spirit of making music as accessible as possible through digital downloads but also providing value-added physical packaging to entice consumers to buy a physical product, vinyl seems to fit the bill nicely, and it seems that young music fans are leading this trend.
Apple announced Tuesday, at the MacWorld Expo, changes to the iTunes store that many though were inevitable: the end of digital locks known as DRM. The technology restricted consumers' ability to copy music to multiple devices and was viewed by major record labels as a way to protect copyright and reduce elligal file sharing.
Apple has been a hold out on the DRM approach to music sales - several other companies, including Amazon and Rhapsody, had already negotiated DRM-free deals with the majors.
As part of the changes, Apple has also announced that labels will be able to set a price point for track sales at $0.69, or $1.29, in addition to the usual $0.99 price that Apple has ardently stuck to over the past few years.
The North American Indigenous Image Awards is a new award show that is set to launch at the Isleta Casino and Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 23, 2009. This is the Thursday of the Gathering of Nations weekend.
They are now accepting submissions for the following music categories:
* Best Hip Hop/Rap Song
* Best Hip Hop/Rap Album
* Best Rock/Metal/Punk Song
* Best Rock/Metal/Punk Album
* Best Country Album
* Best Powwow Album
* Best Blues/Jazz Album
* Best Flutist Album
* Best Music Video