LeBlanc's Quick Takes

Posted on

++ Canadian independent label Quinlan Road is offering customers via its web store a complete and immediate 112 K download of Loreena McKennitt’s new recording “A Midwinter Night's Dream” as well as all albums from all of her catalog when they order the CD. The offer runs until Jan. 31, 2009. McKennitt seeks to ensure that her fans have the music while they wait for the new recording to arrive. Hop to Loreena shop at: http://quinlanroad.com/explorethemusic/5.asp

++ CBC-TV’s “The Hour” host George Stroumboulopoulos received the Bob Edwards Award today (Nov. 14, 2008) in Calgary. Stroumboulopoulos is a former MuchMusic VJ (Yo George, that handle follows both you and CNN’s John “J.D.” Roberts forever). The award is passed out to Canadian journalists who possess the same literary spirit as Edwards whom columnist Allan Fotheringham calls “the finest journalist Canada has ever had the pleasure of reading.” Edwards passed in 1922 after irregularly publishing the Calgary Eye Opener for 20 years.

++ It may have taken him 12 album and over a decade but Nova Scotia MC/producer Classified (Luke Boyd) has signed with a major label, Sony Music Canada. The Enfield, Nova Scotia (population 3,245) home boy was scouted in the mid ‘90s by several Canadian majors who all passed. Classified is currently guesting on the Canadian, UK and European tours of D-12 with Royce Da 5’9”, Obie Trice and Joe Budden. A new album drops March, 2009.

++ With the recent passing of legendary Canadian punk rocker
Frankie Venom (aka Frank Kerr) at 51, Teenage Head co-founder/guitarist Gord Lewis has announced the establishment of a foundation to support artists and those in related occupations with financial burdens due to illness, accident, or old age. Revenues from Frankie Venom and Teenage Head tribute shows will support the creation of this benefit fund. A number of other related initiatives will soon be announced.

Teenage Head is slated perform with guest vocalists during the 2008 Hamilton Music Awards ceremony on Nov. 14 at Hamilton Place. The band will also be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lewis has a substantial amount of Teenage Head video footage, demos and outtakes. Some of these rarities will be released in 2009.

++ Canadian filmed entertainment studio Lions Gate Entertainment has entered into a strategic relationship with Wind-up Records. Lionsgate will exclusively use music from Wind-up Records for its VH1 reality show “Scream Queens,” including Thriving Ivory, Civil Twilight, and Tickle Me Pink as well as feature Wind-up acts, such as Seether, in the upcoming TV action thriller “Punisher: War Zone” premiering Dec. 5, 2008, with the soundtrack dropping Nov. 26.

++ Nettwerk Music Group has joined up with Naxos Music Library, the streaming audio resource owned by classical label Naxos. Nettwerk's catalog, including Sarah McLachlan, Delerium, Griffin House, Jars of Clay, Josh Rouse, Junkie XL, Ladytron, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Sixpence None the Richer will be available on Naxos Music Library which launched in 2004.

++ According to the Canadian Assn. of BroadcastersReport on the Industry, broadcasting accounts for 16% of Canada’s cultural sector’s GDP and represents 9% of direct employment in cultural industries. The report notes that private broadcasters contributed $1.6 billion to Canadian content through Canadian Content Development payments (radio) and on Canadian programming (TV) in 2006-07.

++ Astral Media Radio has launched Orbyt, a new national content and marketing division with Jean-Marie Heimrath as president and GM. The new company, also Canada's largest radio syndication network, is intended to reposition the broadcaster's entertainment, lifestyle, and sports content into media brands for web, mobile and other new delivery platforms. Plans also include showcasing emerging Canadian talent through Media Lab, an Astral Media initiative.

++ GlassBOX Television will launch AUX , Canada’s first interactive, cross-platform channel dedicated to new music, on Nov. 24, 2008 at www.aux.tv. AUX will feature videos, live performance, artist interviews, in-depth profiles, and news. GlassBOX Television has an application before the CRTC for a category 2 specialty television license for the service.

++ Gary Fung, who operates Canadian-based IsoHunt.com search engine has asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to rule on whether he is violating the Canadian Copyright Act. His action follows receiving letters in May from the Canadian Recording Industry Assn. demanding he take down links to copyrighted music material by its clients. Fung, however, maintains his search-engine website, with BitTorrent files links to more than 1.5 million files online, doesn’t break any laws. While the Motion Picture Assn. of America launched legal action against IsoHunt in 2006, CRIA has yet to do so.

++ Toronto-based Yangaroo Inc. has integrated its Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) with the MusicMaster Scheduling software produced by A-Ware Software based in Brookfield, Wisconsin. As a result, the more than 2,800 MusicMaster Scheduling software users at radio stations worldwide can now import new music and track info available through Yangaroo’s DMDS directly into their music library.

++ On Nov. 1, 2008 BBC Radio 2 broadcast a fascinating documentary "The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor Fall" on Leonard Cohen’s song "Hallelujah.” Summing up, BBC host Guy Garvey said Cohen had "brought a beautiful song into this world and 'let her go'.” Contributors to the program included Helen Walford, Allison Crowe, Kathryn Williams, John Lissauer, Andy Wallace, Imogen Heap, Alex Patsavas, The Bishop of Croydon, Brandi Carlile, Jim Devlin, Christine Collister and John Walsh (Starsailor).

The December '08 issue of Mojo magazine also celebrates Cohen with an accompanying CD tribute and a retrospective "The Incredible Resurrection of Rock's Greatest Poet" by journalist Sylvie Simmons, alongside a separate piece by Phil Alexander. The 15-track "Cohen Covered” features Allison Crowe, Judy Collins, Dion, Linda Thompson, Katie Melua, Nick Cave, and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra.

++ Chart Communications, publisher of Chart magazine, has relaunched its website, CHARTattack.com. It now features daily music news; specific content feeds; and sharing and bookmarking tools for readers to save and share content via Facebook, Digg, MySpace, etc.

++ On Nov. 19, 2008, the Mariposa Folk Festival will induct its former artistic director, the late Estelle Klein as well singer/songwriter/producer Ken Whiteley into its Hall of Fame. Joining Whiteley on stage at Hugh's Room in Toronto will be Sylvia Tyson, Al Simmons, Brent Titcomb, Eve Goldberg, Mose Scarlett among others.

++ Toronto-based music publisher ole now represents the publishing interests of Toronto-based livetronica band the New Deal. Formed in 1998, the trio is currently planning a 10th anniversary live album for a 2009 release.

++ Canadiana music aficionados might note that the newly-released film “Real Time” released Nov. 7, 2008, features Abraham’s Children’s 1972 hit “Goodbye Farewell.” The Toronto band, renamed The Children, disbanded in 1976 following the album “Time” and a string of Canadian hits, including “Gypsy,” “Thank You,” and “Goddess of Nature” "Goodbye Farewell" was released in Italian as "Bye Bye Bambina Occhi Blue.”

++Mediaedge:cia recently announced the findings of a study that examines what Canadian hockey fans think about the sport. The findings revealed that fighting in hockey is generally, if not unanimously, viewed as an important part of the sport. It also found that fans think Saturday nights won't be the same without the familiar "Hockey Night in Canada" anthem. The study notes that Canadian hockey fans were also not active in picking the new theme.


Larry LeBlanc has been a leading figure in Canadian music for four decades.

He has been a regular music commentator on CTV’s “Canada A.M” for 35 years, and has been featured on numerous CBC-TV, CTV, YTV, Bravo! MuchMusic, MusiMax, and Newsworld programs in Canada; VH-1, and EEntertainment in the U.S.; and BBC in the U.K.

Larry writes a weekly column “In The Hot Seat” for CelebrityAccess and their online ezine Encore in the U.S. He was a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record; and, until 2007, the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard for 16 years.

He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, the London Times, and the New York Times.

He has acted as a consultant for Heritage Canada, The Canadian Competition Bureau, The Canadian Assn. of Broadcasters, The Canadian Private Copying Collective, and the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada as well as such Canadian media group as Astral Media, CHUM Radio, Rogers Communications, The Evanov Group, and Harvard Broadcasting.

The LeBlanc Newsletter is exclusively carried and archived by Canadian Music Week in Canada at: http://www.cmw.net/cmw2009

it is available In the U.S. at EncoreCelebrity Access: http://encore.celebrityaccess.com

Read more news