Music News Digest, February 24, 2022

One of the biggest summer music festivals in Canada, Montreal Osheaga Music and Arts Festival announced its dates and programming. The 15th anniversary event, presented by Bell in collaboration with Coors Light, will take place at Parc Jean-Drapeau, July 29-31, 2022. In addition to Foo Fighters headliners A$AP Rocky and Dua Lipa , the star performer list includes Machine Gun Kelly, Mitski, Burna Boy, The Kid Laroi, Kygo and many more. Notable Canadian artists booked include Arkells, Les Louanges, Caribou, JP Saxe and Pierre Kwenders. Weekend passes on sale now herewith day passes available Feb. 25.

– Earlier this week, we reported a new Single plane single which includes Sum 41 singer Derryck Whibley. Now we know the two platinum-selling pop-punk outfits are joining forces for an upcoming two-part, complete co-headline series in the US, which they dub Blame Canada. The two groups will commemorate their first records, with Sum 41 on stage Any killer with no filler in full and simple high-performance plan No pads, no helmets… Just balls.. The first leg kicks off on April 29, with guest Set It Off. A full list of dates is here. $1 from every tour ticket sold will help raise funds for the Simple Plan Foundation and Sweet Relief.

SiriusXM Canada launched its fourth annual SiriusXM leads the nation competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association. The National Emerging Talent Search offers participants a national platform, a SOCAN songwriting camp, industry mentorships and a chance to win a grand prize of $25,000. Canadian solo artists and country bands can now subscribe to SiriusXM Top of the Country until March 4 here.

– Veteran Edmonton Roots Rockers Jr. Gone Wild have announced their spring-summer tour itinerary for 2022, which will take them through Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Check tour dates here.

– The Mondial Montreal conference and festival has announced its 2022 dates for November 15-18. It now accepts applications from artists wishing to perform there. The deadline for applying here is March 15.

– Toronto indie rock band Long range stampede released their third album, I’m alive, but only if you say I am, tomorrow (February 25), kicking it off with a local show at Lee’s Palace that night. Produced by acclaimed Scottish producer Tony Doogan (Wintersleep), it was recorded over the tumultuous summer of 2020 at Bathouse studio in Kingston, Ontario.

MusicOntario & band camp join forces for a new webinar, Communities Connect: Bandcamp 101 for hip-hop artists, held today (February 24, 1-2 p.m. ET). The platform’s Hip-Hop Ambassador, Amit Nerurkar, will discuss how artists can get the most out of Bandcamp. Register here.

– Volunteers (aged 19 or older) are currently being recruited to Juno Week, which will be held in Toronto, May 9-15, culminating in the Grand Prize Giving. More details here.

– On March 8 (3-5 p.m. EST), the three Music Manager Forums from across North America come together to celebrate International Women’s Day. The networking event features attendees from across Canada, the United States and Mexico, and includes a fireside chat between two of the industry’s top musical minds, Cherie Hu (Water & Music) and Kristine Grant (Westcott Multimedia). Registration is free herewith non-members welcome.

TEAR

Gary Brookerthe frontman of 1960s British rock band Procol Harum, died on February 19, aged 76, of cancer.

The London-born singer has led the band throughout its 55-year history, co-writing and singing their most famous song, 1967’s A Whiter Shade of Pale.

He was named an OBE in 2003 and A Whiter Shade of Pale was honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Brooker has also toured with Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr and performed with Sir Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, George Harrison, the Alan Parsons Project and many more. In 1996, he appeared alongside Madonna in Alan Parker’s film adaptation of avoid, playing Argentine Foreign Minister Juan Atilio Bramuglia.

Brooker was just 14 when he formed his first band, The Paramounts, at school. They signed to EMI Records, scored a minor hit with their first single, Poison Ivy, in 1964, and opened a few shows for the Rolling Stones.

Brooker then formed Procol Harum in 1966 and released their best-known song, A Whiter Shade of Pale, the following year. It became one of the most commercially successful singles of all time, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. At the first-ever Brit Awards in 1977, it was named co-winner (alongside Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody) of “Best British Pop Single 1952-1977”. In 2009 it was named the most played song of the last 75 years by UK radio stations.

The group followed up with a top 10 single, Homburg, and their third album, 1969’s A salty dog, is considered a masterpiece of progressive rock, ushering in an era of lush, orchestrated progressive rock. The band broke up in 1977 after a series of line-up changes. Brooker launched a solo career and toured with Eric Clapton’s live band in the 1980s, but reformed Procol Harum for a new album, The Prodigal Strangerin 1991.

Meanwhile, Procol Harum’s modern line-up continued to record and tour until the Covid pandemic put their plans on hold. They played their last gig with Brooker in Switzerland in 2019 and took advantage of their absence from touring to record a three-track EP, Missing people (living forever), which was released in May 2021.

Read more obituaries at rolling stone, The Guardian, BBC News, Procolharum.com

Marc Lanegansinger-songwriter and rock songwriter considered a pioneer of grunge through his work with Screaming Trees, died on February 22, at the age of 57.

No cause of death has been reported. He survived a battle with Covid-19 that left him in and out of a coma for months of 2021, and inspired a memoir, Devil in a comapublished last December,

Lanegan’s troubled youth included a lengthy criminal record for a string of offences. In 1985, at age 21, Lanegan was working for a video store in his hometown of Ellensburg, Washington, when he formed a band with his boss’s sons, guitarist Gary Lee Conner and bassist Van Conner.

The Screaming Trees went on to record seven studio albums before breaking up in 2000 and rose to fame as part of the early 1990s grunge movement centered around Seattle. The group’s biggest commercial success is the track Nearly Lost You.

Lanegan began a solo career at the height of the group’s fame and continued after its demise. His solo debut in 1990 The winding sheet included guest appearances from Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana, and subsequent albums such as Whiskey for the Holy Spirit, Scraps at Midnightthe cover collection I will take care of you, and working with Isobel Campbell to critical acclaim. He also had a stint in Queens of the Stone Age.

A severe drug addiction plagued his career at times, but, as detailed in his 2020 memoir, Sing backwards and cry, Lanegan had been sober for over a decade at the time of his death. Sources: The Guardian, rolling stone, Seattle Times

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