A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

Music Review: Tami Neilson - Dynamite!

Music Review: Tami Neilson - Dynamite!
Dynamite is right. With a voice that channels Pasty Cline and Peggy Lee in equal measure, this Canadian torch singer has exploded since emigrating to New Zealand, where she’s become a country music star. From the plaintive twang of “Cry Over You” to the defiant sass of “Walk (Back To Your Arms),” her talent is on full display.
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David Bowie R.I.P.

David Bowie R.I.P.
David Bowie 8 January 1947 - 10 January 2016 I interviewed Bowie on the morning of March 17, 1987, in a Toronto hotel room. He was the most extraordinarily controlled and self-contained subject I'd ever faced, immaculately dressed and absolutely oozing confidence. I remember wondering if he was really that self-assured or simply an extremely good actor (which of course he was). He later performed at a mid-afternoon press conference at the oldDiamond Club on Sherbourne Street, which I was lucky enough to attend, with a five-piece band that inclu...
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Music Review: David Bowie - Blackstar

Music Review: David Bowie - Blackstar
Rock’s most famous chameleon has changed personas countless times during his career, from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke. With each mask comes a new sound. For his 25th album, Blackstar (stylized as a symbol), the icon threw out the rulebook. His longtime producer, Tony Visconti, says the goal was to avoid rock ’n’ roll and create a new fusion sound. Released to coincide with the singer-actor’s 69th birthday, the seven-song album includes the unsettling title track, a shape-shifting, apocalyptic torch song that runs nearly 10 minute...
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Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule

Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule
Neko Case’s extraordinary journey from punk drummer and country torch singer to avant pop icon is well documented in this box set, which gathers her entire discography of eight titles on remastered vinyl and includes an 80-page book of photography. The collection features the American-born, Canadian-bred musician’s 1997 solo debut The Virginian, on vinyl for the first time, and her excellent 2004 live album The Tigers Have Spoken, recorded with Toronto’s The Sadies. There are a wealth of inspired covers, including the Everly Brot...
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Music Review: Adele - 25

Music Review: Adele - 25
The British star’s last album, 21, sold over 30 million copies—the only release this century to reach that zenith, making Adele’s long-awaited followup something like pop’s second coming. The “Rolling in the Deep” singer doesn’t disappoint. Her new album revisits the heartbreak that informed 21 while allowing Adele, now a mother of one in a steady relationship, to move on. It opens with “Hello,” featuring her wondrously deep, soulful voice, and includes “When We Were Young,” about running into an old flame. “River Lea,” takes her into gospel te...
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Feature Article: Taj Mahal - Bluesman on a mission

Feature Article: Taj Mahal - Bluesman on a mission
Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, better known as Taj Mahal, is an American music treasure. A self-taught singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mahal has done more to stretch and redefine blues music than any other artist past or present. Over the course of his over 50 year career, he has taken the blues and fused it with the sounds of the Caribbean, Africa, the South Pacific and beyond. This diverse, melting-pot approach has puzzled some listeners while making Mahal a hero to lovers of eclectic roots music. “Here’s the thing, plai...
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Music Review: The Beatles - 1+ Deluxe

Music Review: The Beatles - 1+ Deluxe
They’ve never looked so fab. The Beatles were early adopters of film technology. But now it’s possible to see the group as never before. This DVD/Blu-ray collection offers 50 enhanced promotional films and videos, along with a book and the band’s 27 chart-topping singles, which will amaze even diehard fans. The material ranges from the Beatles performing “She Loves You” before a spellbound Stockholm audience in 1963 to a bittersweet London rooftop performance in 1969 of “Don’t Let Me Down” for what would be their last public performance. Among ...
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