The chatter around the Westin lobby bar Saturday afternoon held that EMI had boycotted Friday night's Gala Industry Awards Dinner to protest an apparently haphazard balloting process used to determine winners, sending junior staffers and interns to attend in place of publicity, sales and marketing higher-ups. The truth, though, is slightly less contentious.
According to EMI's Carole MacDonald, EMI did send pups to eat the rubber chicken, but not because of any boycott. With showcases that night by priority acts Sky and Econoline Crush and the in-town presence of affiliate managers, artists and labels, EMI staffers were spread too thin to clock off four hours to hear host Mike Bullard tell Randy Lennox jokes. "Of course," says MacDonald, "the boycott rumour is far more rock and roll, which I guess is why it spread."
SENIOR FIDDLE FAN
Contender for strangest phone call of CMW: Lee's Palace GM Lyn McNeill fielded an inquiry from a woman as to whether it would be logistically feasible for her 80-year-old grandmother to attend Saturday night's East Coast-themed Lobsterpalooza showcase. Granny was perhaps hoping to hear Damhnait Doyle's lovely warble? No way, Jose -- she wanted to see freaky fiddler Ashley MacIsaac. "I told her to get here early to get a table so the old woman wouldn't have to stand on a chair," laughs McNeill. No word on whether the geriatric fan actually made it out.
Kudos to those behind new music trade mag Canadian Music Network. During a panel Friday hosted by publishers Donald Tarlton and John Woodruff and keenly presided over by VP and radio/music editor Adrian Strong, a prototype of the forthcoming weekly revealed a snappy collection of charts, record release dates, retail activity and the like, laid out in a reader-friendly style reminiscent of American radio trade bible FMQB.
Given how pitiful Canadian music trades of the past have been, the presence of a mag that deals in information people can use -- as opposed to showcasing endless self-congratulatory photos of record reps/ad buyers glad-handing each other -- is hugely welcome. Look for the premiere issue May 2.