Morning Coffee with David Farrell, Oct. 29

by FYI Editor on October 29, 2010

Updated @ 12:50pm

As I’ve expressed on many occasions in this and other forums, I believe strongly that the days of the need to own music are rapidly coming to an end. That’s not to say, however, that music is now or should be free, far from it. Music had traditionally been paid for by a very small segment of the audience. There is now the real opportunity for artists, songwriters, labels and publishers to be compensated in a meaningful way through revenues derived from on-demand and user-influenced models that are finally taking center stage Ted Cohen, MIDEM blog

Music / NYC: Author, broadcaster and music consultant Ritchie Yorke returned to the hallowed pages of Rolling Stone magazine recently with a review of the 1st show of the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience in Dawson Creek, BC. It had been 40 years since Yorke was a regular contributor to – and Canadian editor of – Rolling Stone. During a Manhattan meeting this week, Yorke and magazine publisher Jann Wenner explored the possibilities of Rolling Stone excerpting parts of his forthcoming book on John and Yoko Lennon’s War Is Over peace campaign. Working title for the book is Peace Man.  Yorke was the Lennon’s International Peace Envoy in 1969-70.

Ritchie Yorke in Manhattan this week with Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone magazine's co-founder and publisher.-- Music / NYC: Author, broadcaster and music consultant Ritchie Yorke returned to the hallowed pages of Rolling Stone magazine recently with a review of the 1st show of the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience in Dawson Creek, BC. Yorke was Lennon’s International Peace Envoy in 1969-70.

Live / NYC: Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark actor Kevin Aubin was injured at a recent presentation for ticket brokers and group sales agents that demonstrated the show’s flying stunts, according to the New York Post.Aubin broke both of his wrists when he slammed into the stage following the demonstration of one of the flying effects that catapulted the actor from the back of the stage to the front. Aubin was taken to the hospital following the accident; he returned to rehearsals for the $65-million production this past week.

Digital Media / Gatineau: Metered internet usage is on the way, with the CRTC handing down its final decision yesterday on how wholesale customers can be billed by large network owners. The federal regulator gave Bell Canada the approval to implement so-called usage-based billing to wholesale customers — usually smaller internet service providers that rent portions of its network — within 90 days. Under the plan, Bell will charge wholesale service providers a flat monthly fee to connect to its network, and for a set monthly usage limit per each ISP customer the ISP has – CBC.

Digital Media / Timmins, ON: The CRTC has begun hearings in Timmins this week over the future of broadband internet service in rural and remote parts of the nation. The basic thrust of the hearings is whether or not the regulator should consider broadband access a basic service. The CBC reports that large internet providers such as Bell Aliant as well as satellite company Barrett Xplore have argued that no intervention is necessary from the CRTC. They said that improving wireless and satellite options are providing better services and choice to rural Canadians. According to the regulator’s Communications Monitoring Report, there are 700,000 households currently out of reach of DSL, cable or the fixed wireless access.

Biz / Toronto: SparkNetworks has an exclusive deal with Toronto-based RockPeaks to distribute a new weekly Web series for radio station websites. The deal also brings together two well-known Canadian radio and media industry leaders, Barnaby Marshall and Jean-Marie Heimrath. Called VLOG, each video-enabled episode includes the week’s most important music performance news, grouped into four segments – On Air, On Disc, On Tour and On File – for a total running time of  4 minutes. Marshall founded the privately-held music video web portal with investor Gary Slaight several years back. He describes RockPeaks as site that “connects the dots between YouTube, Wikipedia and Amazon”. SparkNetworks, launched earlier this year, is a full-service radio syndication and marketing arm of Vancouver-based SparkNet Communications–an international radio consultancy specializing in programming, licensing, marketing and strategic consulting.

Biz / Montreal: Canadian Radio Star (CRS) is now accepting entries from aspiring and proficient songwriters – published or unpublished – across Canada. Sponsored by Astral Radio, and presented in association with Canadian Music Week, the contest offers emerging artists the opportunity to submit their songs for the chance to win music equipment, services and up to $10,000 in cash.  New to the Canadian Radio Star competition this year, songwriters can submit their songs directly online or to the participating radio station in their area.  Complete details and contest rules can be found online at

In announcing the launch, Astral Radio’s Rob Braide said that through initiatives like CRS “We have the opportunity to discover, empower and promote the stars of tomorrow” and CMW president Neill Dixon added that the competition offers a “launching pad” for Canadian songwriters and  “opens doors  to new possibilities” and provides “unrivaled exposure” for their songs.

Broadcasting: A California AM has rolled out a listener call-in contest that is offering a half-ounce of pot every day. “Obviously, this giveaway will only be available to those listeners with doctor recommendations. This will be part of a daily feature entitled ‘Rate That Bud!’ with callers commenting (on) and rating the best medical marijuana buds and what dispensaries carry them,” KFI/640 AM host Frosty Stillwel explains – Orange County Register.

Talent _ Music: U2 will issue a limited edition three-track live EP, Wide Awake in Europe, including a previously unreleased song, as an exclusive item for independent record stores on Nov. 26. Limited to 5,000 copies, the 12-inch vinyl release will include a version of the concert favourite Mercy, recorded live in Brussels on Sept. 21. Set will also feature I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (cut in Dublin in July 2009) and Moment of Surrender (recorded last month in Paris).

Touring: After 36 consecutive years on national TV and over 65 years in the entertainment business, Tommy Hunter, the man known to millions of  fans as “Canada’s Country Gentleman” has decided to do one more cross-Canada tour before hanging up his guitar. Hunter’s final crossing will take place in 2 segments, appearing from Ontario to BC in March and April of 2011, and in Eastern Canada as well as other areas of Ontario in early 2012. More info. via Hunter’s website.

Biz Universal Music Group has confirmed the promotion of Rob Wells to the newly-created position of president of global digital business. Previously Sr. Veep at the U Group, he moves to the Santa Monica headquarters and reports directly to UMG prez and CEO Zach Horowitz and U Music Int. COO Max Hole.

Biz / Vancouver: The Lionsgate-MGM drama is turning into a Hollywood thriller that few in the entertainment capital would believe is real.  Twenty-four hours before MGM creditors will vote on a possible management deal with production company Spyglass Entertainment, Lionsgate slapped Carl Icahn with a lawsuit and branded him a “corporate raider” playing a “double game” of trying to delay a merger with MGM until he can buy enough debt in the ailing studio to make the corporate marriage more profitable for himself.  The suit, filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court, accuses Icahn and his son Brett Icahn of “misleading Lionsgate and its shareholders” by promising not to pursue the MGM merger if they tendered their shares to him – NY Post.

– Digital Media: Though it’s too early to count Google out of the Web TV race, the search giant has reportedly shifted its Google TV initiative to YouTube.  Crunchgear speculates that the move is in response to negative reaction to the service among major content owners. Further reading via the San Francisco Chronicle, which broke the story.

Social Media: Continuing to flesh out its board of directors, LinkedIn announced the appointment of a 7th member, investor Stan Meresman. In a statement, LinkedIn says it opted to expand its board for the 3rd time this year as its membership and operations continue to scale globally, and better position itself for “long-term growth”. “And readying a public offering in the next 12 months, I’d wager,” writes TechCrunch’s Robin Waters.

Biz / Washington: A proposal by US radio broadcasters to mandate FM tuners in cellphones and other portable devices hit a roadblock yesterday when a coalition of music industry interests voiced opposition to the plan. “We are deeply troubled by the NAB’s rewrite of the hard-fought agreement Musicfirst struck with broadcaster negotiators this summer,” said Musicfirst adviser Tom Matzzie. “That agreement on fundamental economic terms was jointly communicated by the NAB and Musicfirst to Congress in late July” – New Bay Media.

IP: Craft site Etsy is coming under scrutiny as the growing number of-for-profit home-based business selling  fan-related trinkets–offering everything from beaded likenesses of Justin Bieber to “Twilight “inspired” dolls–threatens to undermine  licenced vendor sales and the granting rights of trademark owners — CNET

Digital Media / NYC: Getty Images, Inc., a leading creator and distributor of digital media, yesterday announced an agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to licence and distribute its Spin City library of R_B, soul, jazz, urban, hip hop, classical and orchestral music. Custom created for Sony/ATV by some of the leading producers and session players in NYC, the pre-cleared library is available to Getty clients online for commercial licensing in broadcast and film production, motion pictures, advertising, websites and other new media.

Biz / Winnipeg: Canadian Country singer Errol Ranville, the lone survivor of a car crash that killed his wife and 4 others in a car en-route to a show near The Pas on Oct. 8, issued a statement earlier this week to thank family, friends, fans and the media for respecting his privacy. In it he said that he is making funeral arrangements to bury his wife, Marcie. Ranville’s band, C-Weed, was formed in 1975.

Broadcasting _ Media

Conrad Black, the convicted press baron currently out on bail, is hinting that he might return to the media business. “I think they have been so devalued that some of them are bargains now,” Black said of newspapers on BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show. “I mean, many of these great American newspapers are now in the hands of receiver managers, and if they can be had for almost nothing, they are a bargain” – Yahoo News.

For the 2nd year, the Canadian Opera Company is broadcasting all its main-stage productions on CBC Radio 2 and Radio-Canada’s Espace Musique. The productions will also be available to listen to on the broadcasters’ website.

On Nov. 10, Canada’s telecom leaders will gather to celebrate this year’s additions to the virtual Telecom Hall of Fame. Previous Ottawa inductees include Don Chisholm, who headed Bell Labs and is called the “Father of the Digital World”; Terry Matthews of Mitel and Newbridge; the Communications Research Centre; Nortel; and Colin Franklin, a leader of our first satellite project. Ottawa lawyer Lorne Abugov conceived the Hall 7 years ago. He is holding talks with the Museum of Science and Technology about a possible joint effort – CTV.

Radio consultant Tom Taylor’s most recent Taylor On Radio online newsletter cites a medium-sized market CHR reporting having received over 1,400 contacts from music companies wanting airplay, in a single month. The factoid is part of  Taylor’s pro-radio commentary about the on-going feud between rights holders and broadcasters over fair compensation. Those interested can sign-up for the newsletter here.

Talent _ Music

– German-American NetlabelBlock Starz Music and The H.Y.P.E. Magazine are accepting submissions from “talented young ladies” around the globe for She Got Next, a new all-female compilation album. To submit music for She Got Next,  e-mail [email protected].

– Equipment manufacturer Audio-Technica has launched an online search for the most entertaining alternative Christmas track. The popular audio firm is looking for “fun and vibrant” YouTube video entries from the underground music scene that put a positive new spin on the age-old tradition of Christmas carols. Further info., visit

Montreal’s NEeMA has released her 1st official music video for the single Escape, taken from her critically acclaimed sophomore release, Watching You Think that Leonard Cohen had a strong hand in the making of. The video, shot at École St-Ambroise in Little Italy in Montreal, features the singer as the teacher of elementary school children.

It’s … easy to note that the photogenic (Justin) Bieber’s onstage dancing has all the fluidity and emotional depth of a flagpole slowly sinking into a giant vat of cement. Less restrained observers might snicker as they note that, virtually every time Bieber, 16, dances at his concerts, his heavily Auto-Tuned singing is on tape. But, hey, far more experienced acts than him are also incapable of singing live while they dance (and, often, even when they don’t) – San Diego Union-Tribune gives the Beeb two-thumbs up on his SRO San Diego Sports Arena show earlier this week.

American Eric Reed has joined The Canadian Brass on French horn, commencing last week with a 6-day recording session in Toronto. He is one of several new inductees into the horn band that has sold over 2-million copies of  90 recordings over 40 years. The most recent release, Stars _ Stripes: Canadian Brass Salute America, peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Top 25 Classical chart earlier this year – Evansville Courier-Press.

Having sold 55 million albums worldwide and with 33 #1 singles to her credit, expectations are always high for Reba McEntire and she definitely didn’t disappoint the soldout crowd that packed Regina’s Brandt Centre on Thursday night. The 21-song, 85-minute show included material from her 34th studio album, All The Women I Am, scheduled to hit stores on Nov. 9. Opening for her was CCMA Country music queen Victoria Banks who displayed a “vast talent with an impressive seven-song, 30-minute set” – Leader Post.


–  ZipDJ’s Kevin Unger sports a new e-mail address: [email protected]

–  A church service for Heather Ostertag’s father, Peter, who passed away earlier this week, is to be held on Saturday (10/30) at 14 Harriet Street, in Coldwater, ON. Heather can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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