About ten years ago I was asked to write a magazine profile of a young up and coming musician with a very interesting story–he was a guy born in Moscow into a family steeped in music and musical tradition, but here in Toronto he was busking on the street playing his violin in a style that is not just wonderful, but incomparable.
When organizers in Austin, Texas launched the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in 1987, they anticipated it would be a regional event drawing in less than 200 people–then over 700 showed up.
The Stogies are a band who would maybe probably rather burn out than fade away, but knowing their penchant for all things raucous and unbridled, they’d just light another one up anyways. I had the esteemed pleasure of hosting these 5 boys in my small apartment for two days during CMF. And what pleasurable chaps they were. What really blew me away about this rock ‘n’roll band with heavy classic rock and jam band elements, was that these quiet, and somewhat shy Halifax, N.S. boys really ripped on stage. A sweaty, psychedelic assault, if you will.
“Tinfoil”. “Vicious”. “Cordova”. “Screwed it Up”. “Ariel vs Lotus”. “Wake up to the Sun”. “Perfect Day to Disappear”. Chances are, if you’re a fan of Canadian rock music, you’ve heard a Limblifter tune or two. At a time where we’ve seen a strong resurgence of many CanRock bands of the 90s (Big Sugar, Big Wreck, Tea Party, Wide Mouth Mason, I Mother Earth, Treble Charger, Rusty) Vancouver, B.C. exports Limblifter, who formed in 1995, are too, at it again.
JJ Shiplett is a cowboy who isn’t afraid to spend as much time calling bar patrons onto the dance floor as he is composing songs about achingly sincere loss.
The last five years have been a big deal for former Toronto-native Lindi Ortega. In that time the soulful singer has toured Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe–where she’s currently on tour–she’s been nominated for two Juno Awards, long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize, and recently she was nominated for the Indie Awards, and the list goes on and on.
How do you score a record deal as a Canadian independent artist? Create a video that goes viral. After all, it worked for Burlington, Ontario’s Walk Off the Earth (WOTE).
Diversity and the juxtaposition of cultures are part of the formula for what makes Canada great–and nowhere does this intermingling rear its lovely head as brilliantly as in the creative works of our artists and music makers. A Tribe Called Red, a trio collective from the Nation’s Capital, presents one of the most unique multiculturally-driven acts of the decade in their fusing of traditional Native soundscapes with modern electronica genres. Now, with First Nations culture in North America gaining its rightful momentum, ATCR have taken reign as unintended, but welcome, pioneers of the movement for Indigenous recognition and respect.
Bow down to the most terribly awesome mashup you will hear all week courtesy of PomDeterrific‘s “Call Me A Hole”, which combines Nine Inch Nail’s “Head Like A Hole” with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”.
Happy Halloween, everyone! In honour of the best day of the year, we’re going back into the vaults for one of the greatest videos ever made, and certainly the best Halloween-themed music video of all time: Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.