Music News Digest, July 19, 2017

Dallas Smith, James Barker Band, and international guest Blake Shelton are now on the bill for the 2017 CCMA Awards Show taking place at Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre on Sept, 10. Already announced to perform are Dean Brody, Brett Kissel, and Jess Moskaluke. CBC has the telecast.

— Billy Bragg takes the piss out of the Republican agenda in a remake of Dylan’s “The Times They Are Changin’ (Back)” at a recent appearance at the Kansas City Folk Festival.

— LA-based Canadian composer, singer, songwriter, and filmmaker Betty Moon has been busy setting the stage for the release of her 8th studio album, Chrome, that comes out on Aug. 25 release.  

Teasing the fact, Moon has unveiled a series of singles and remixes from the album paired with music videos that take the viewer down the rabbit hole of her larger-than-life style, lyrics, and sound. Her latest single, "Life Is But A Dream," premiered on Our Culture Magazine and is now available through online retailers.

— Vancouver art-rock ensemble Trope is recording its debut album at Armoury Studios and Hipposonic (formerly Little Mountain Sound) with band guitarist Dave Thompson co-producing alongside Mike Fraser. Here’s a taste…

The Kings of "This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" fame have retained legal counsel and apparently sent a cease-and-desist to dissuade The Philosopher Kings from releasing a new album bearing the title "Return of the Kings."

“So far we have received no word from them of any kind, and while we wanted to keep this between ourselves, maybe it is time to reach out via media," band member Mister Zero writes us.  He explains, “We have no problem with them calling their project "The Return of the Philosopher Kings," because that is their name. The Kings is ours.”

— Top 10 most expensive performances at Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History during Canada Day weekend, as reported by Tyler Dawson in the Ottawa Citizen

1. $52,500 – Mother Mother
2. $35,000 – Moon Vs Sun featuring Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk
3. $21,500 – Les Productions Prostar (clowning and street performance)
4. $19,000 – Ruth B
5. $17,800 – Les Productions Prestigo (children’s performance)
6. $15,300 – David R. Maracle
7. $12,600 – Asinabika Women’s Drum Circle
8. $12,450 – Adam Zimmerman (The Dino Project and street performance)
9. $11,300 – Aboriginal Experiences
10. $9,800 – Kromatik (face painting) 

—  Variety reports that Russell Peters has picked himself up a whale of a deal on an 11,000+ square foot pillow palace in LA where he can hang out with hood neighbours that include Drake, The Weeknd, and 19-year-old Kylie Jenner.

—  Shania Twain’sLife’s About To Get Good” comeback single is almost top 30 on the Canadian Country airplay charts in Canada in its fourth week of spreading the word. The bouncy, upbeat anthem also places 15th on the Country Digital Songs download chart, after peaking at 2 in its debut week. What it isn’t doing though is crossing over to the mainstream Hot AC and CHR charts, and that has to be a rub for the marketing whizzes who no doubt rightly expected more pervasive airplay. The song teases her 16-track, Sept. 29 Now album release.

Performing “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed” on NBC’s Today Show

—  Here’s the music video for “In Undertow,” Alvvays comeback single that pumps the Sept. 8 release of the 10-track, 33-minute album Antisocialites that was mostly written in an “abandoned classroom” on Toronto Island by vocalist Molly Rankin.

— Discontent in the Toronto music scene over the lack of any affirmative action from City Hall in its much-hyped Music City initiative is growing. Sam Grosso, owner of live music venue/bar the Cadillac Lounge, is helping fuel this, after recently receiving a noise violation summons. His post on FB that "I think we should get a bunch of bands & play an afternoon gig on the roof of the Cadillac Lounge building to protest this music city going nowhere bullshit" is getting plenty of support.

— Now in its ninth year, the Jambana One World Festival in Markham, ON, has announced its lineup of reggae and world artists for the Aug. 6-7 event. The list includes Wayne Wonder, Culture, Exco Levi, Leroy Sibbles, Half Pint, Assassin, Nana McLean, Lenn Hammond, Blessed, and Ammoye.

— Alan Cross' next Music Tech event in Toronto will be held at the Sandbox at Ryerson University on July 26. He'll be moderating a panel on “The Business of Podcasting,” featuring rapper Thrust and hip-hop enthusiasts Big Tweeze, Lindsay Bess, and Gina Kennedy. Free with advance RSVP here

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