When Alanis Morissette received the Icon Award at the Billboard Women in Music honours in December, she reflected on her mercurial legacy. “I was loved and ignored, and adored and hated, then I was considered really hip, and then totally irrelevant, and then totally relevant again.” Maybe there’s a future song in there, or maybe there’s a past song (called Hand in My Pocket). Whichever, the singer-songwriter Morissette is indeed relevant again. The rock musical Jagged Little Pill, inspired by Morissette’s blockbuster 1995 album of the same name, made its Broadway premiere last month. In 2020, Morissette hits the road with a Jagged Little Pill 25-year anniversary tour and, this spring, releases Such Pretty Forks in the Road, her first new album in eight years. As for the shifting narratives of her career, Morissette’s audaciousness has been nothing if not consistent.
Given her status, it might surprise people to learn that the singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez has yet to produce a full album. That changes in 2020. No release date for the unnamed LP has been set, but don’t be surprised if it drops around the time of the 2020 Grammy Awards on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles, where Reyez’s sophomore EP Being Human in Public contends in the urban contemporary category. Other albums in the 2020 pipeline include discs from Sarah Harmer, Andy Shauf, the Shuffle Demons, William Prince, Caribou, Paul Langlois, Basia Bulat, Rose Cousins, Grimes, Destroyer, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and Neil Young, who finally releases 1975′s long-lost Homegrown.
The highly public feud between Taylor Swift and music manager Scooter Braun is set to run well into 2020. After Braun acquired the rights to the superstar singer’s first six albums without her knowledge, Swift used the sale to advocate for artist rights. She called out Braun specifically during her acceptance speech after she was honoured as the woman of the decade at the annual Billboard Women in Music event in December. Unhappy that she doesn’t own the masters to her back catalogue, Swift is expected re-record her biggest hits in November. We’ll see how it all shakes down, but a fight with the queen of the break-up song likely won’t end quietly.
The Elton John-approved alt-rock quartet hit the road for a 17-date tour that begins at Victoria’s Capital Ballroom on Feb. 6 and ends with the third of three homecoming shows at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on March 1. Other concerts I’m looking forward to include visits by the soulful British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka, the reunited Black Crowes, blues veteran Charlie Musselwhite and The Doobie Brothers, who take it to the streets with returning member Michael McDonald on a 50th-anniversary tour.
The last time we saw the Russian activist group Pussy Riot was when four of its members ran onto the soccer pitch during the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow. The group, whose members in 2015 served as international grand marshals of Pride Toronto’s annual parade, make a pair of rare Canadian appearances in 2020: At Vancouver’s Fortune Sound Club on March 19 and at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre exactly two months later. Other intriguing upcoming concerts include appearances by Laurie Anderson (The Art of Falling, at Toronto’s 21C Music Festival, Jan. 18), Sinéad O’Connor (Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre, Feb. 1), Jane Birkin (Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique, Montreal’s Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, March 3) and the Norwegian pop artist Jenny Hval (Toronto’s Longboat Hall, April 4).
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