Is this the site of Neil Young's Dec. 1 concert?
Is this the site of Neil Young's Dec. 1 concert?

Music News Digest, Nov. 29, 2017

It’s probably the worst kept secret but Bell Media, CTV and Neil Young’s management are remaining silent about the location of the singer’s 90-minute solo acoustic concert this Friday. That said, it’s a very good guess the setting is in Ontario’s northern town of Omemee, once a hometown for Young as a young lad–and the venue is the 140-capacity Coronation Hall. Of course, after the film and audio crews have moved in there will be a much smaller number of seats, but the upside is (assuming this is the location) that the show will be aired live on CTV, streamed on and through the iHeartRadio Canada app. Outside of Canada, the show is to be live-streamed on Facebook. Young’s romantic other, Daryl Hannah, is in charge of the filming of the show.

The show coincides with the release of Young’s new album The Visitor and a new online archive of his work.

Young, who was born in Toronto, lived in Omemee from ages four to 11 and life there has long been considered the inspiration for the line about "a town in North Ontario" in his song Helpless. In Young's memoir Shakey, he remembers it as "a nice little town. Sleepy little place . . . Life was real basic and simple in that town. Walk to school, walk back. Everybody knew who you were. Everybody knew everybody." – Various sources, including CP

— The Boston Globe has reported that the American Repertory Theater has now, as promised, begun adapting Alanis Morissette’s smash 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, for the stage. Writer Diablo Cody, director Diane Paulus, and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui recently finished a three-week workshop to develop the musical. Cody won the Academy Award for best original screenplay with Juno in 2007. The show premieres at the ART in May

— Vintage TV Canada has partnered with Prism Prize, Canada's major award for music videos. The link will see a one-hour Vintage TV Canada segment entitled Prism Presents which will feature curated playlists of the best music video content in the world. The programme, curated by the PP team, will also feature the videos of Prism Prize competitors and winners.

— Fans, friends and family gathered in Sydney, Australia, earlier this week for the funeral of AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young, who died on Nov. 18. Those attending included present and former bandmates Angus Young, Mark Evans, Cliff Williams, Phil Rudd, and Brian Johnson, plus Oz rock notables Jimmy Barnes, Harry Vanda, Angry Anderson and Albert Records head David Albert, who gave a eulogy at the funeral.

— The Montreal live music scene is mourning the imminent loss of one of its most popular venues, Divan Orange. The St-Laurent Blvd. music club has announced it intends to close its doors in the spring of 2018. Estimates are it has hosted 10,000 acts over its 13 years. In a recent FB post, organizers said their “financial situation is untenable”, and they are unable to continue to operate under “such precarious conditions.” They urged all levels of governments to do more to support local music. Artists set for Dec. shows there include The Weather Station, Bernice and Les Filles du Roy. Source: Montreal Gazette

— Maritime-raised, Windsor-based rock duo Partner has emerged as a buzz band in 2017, with a debut album, In Search of Lost Time, generating unanimous raves. Partner play The Drake in Toronto on Dec. 9 and Le Belmont in Montreal on Dec. 10, amidst US shows. A Western Canada tour begins Jan. 17 at The Slice in Lethbridge, and featuring shows in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary. More details here.

— Toronto indie-rockers Born Ruffians just announced a North American tour in support of their new Paper Bag Records album, Uncle, Duke & The Chief. The tour includes a five-night stand at Toronto's Lee's Palace, April 4-8. It begins at Montreal's Casa Del Popolo on March 1, concluding April 8th, at the end of their Lee's stint.

Un Blonde, the solo project of musician, producer and composer Jean-Sebastian Audet, has signed with ANTI- Records for his albums outside of Canada, with Flemish Eye working them domestically. This week Un Blonde begins a tour of North America with Canadian labelmate Chad VanGaalen, beginning with a sold-out show at Toronto's Lee's Palace on Nov. 30. Itinerary here

— Progressive rock is not a genre to get much mainstream media or record industry support these days, but FACTOR is acknowledged as a supporter of the prog rock 5/4 Fest that takes place in Toronto at The Rivoli on Dec. 16-17. The head trip features nine local bands Israel's Stormy Atmosphere. More info here.

— Rocker turned author Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings) launched his new memoir Beautiful Scars at a packed to the gills event at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel on Monday. After a revealing interview with Indigenous broadcaster Jesse Wente, Wilson read from the book, then performed material with the accompaniment of Darcy Heppner and strings. One spoken word piece was reminiscent of Jack Kerouac, while a version of Wilson's "Beautiful Scars" was a fitting finale.

Those spied at the soiree included Wilson's musical collaborators John Dymond (BARK), Colin Cripps (Junkhouse), Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies), and Andrea Ramolo, plus Jack Ross and scribes David McPherson, Rob Bowman and Richard Flohil. Initial signs are that Beautiful Scars is a hit.

— The Achromatics are a nine‐person Toronto-based group with a sound that fuses Motown, funk and Latin elements, driven by an all-female horn section. They launch the appropriately-entitled debut album Give Me That Beat at Hugh's Room Live tonight (Wed. 29), and also play Toronto's Supermarket on Dec. 7. 

— Rockers Shred Kelly will release their fourth album, Archipelago, on Feb. 16, via German label Devil Duck Records. It will be supported with extensive touring in Canada and Europe, beginning Feb. 15 at Edmonton's Starlite Room. Eight European dates are set for April. A full itinerary here

— Hamilton experimental pop band Ellevator has signed with Arts & Crafts for an upcoming album. Formerly known as The Medicine Hat, Ellevator also recently signed to booking agency Paradigm. The group has a Dec. 28 show at The Rivoli in Toronto.

—  Operated by Ken Tizzard (The Watchmen), Campbellford (ON)-based independent label Booth Street Records has had a prolific first year, putting out albums by Brian Finley, Muddy Hack, Ontario Kelly & Caravan Haylan, Tizzard, and Jane Archer. BSR is hosting a music-filled Christmas party tonight (Nov. 29) at The Church-key Pub and Grindhouse in Campbellford.



Eric Irwin, Mayor of Dauphin, Manitoba, died on Nov. 24, while vacationing in Florida. Qcountryfm reports that "a source close to the family says the cause of death was a heart attack." Irwin was a driving force behind Dauphin's Countryfest from its beginning. The annual event has been termed "Canada's longest-running country music festival." Irwin was elected mayor of Dauphin in 2010. Source: CBC, qcountryfm

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