A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

Blog post: Listen to This - Serena Ryder

Blog post: Listen to This - Serena Ryder
Serena Ryder's got our number. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the Juno-winning artist from tiny Millbrook, Ont., who’s won the hearts of Canadian fans with her big, bluesy voice and anthemic songs. Now, the “Stompa (What I Wouldn't Do)” singer is back with a stirring, gospel-inflected rock number that seems certain to get listeners clapping their hands and stomping their feet all over again. Listen: Serena Ryder - Got Your Number
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Blog post: Listen to This Band - Transviolet

Blog post: Listen to This Band - Transviolet
From Los Angeles via New York comes a fresh new group, led by sassy Sarah McTaggart, with a hot summer jam. The electro-pop sounds of this track are catchy and hypnotic — in other words, totally irresistible. “Only love you when you’re someone,” singer McTaggart coos over a bubbly beat. “I wrote this song about my love/hate relationship with Los Angeles,” explains McTaggart, who shares stylistic similarities with Lorde and Lana Del Rey. “Everyone here wants something so desperately.” Be warned: the three-minute song, a dystopian cocktail of des...
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Music Review: The Tragically Hip - Man Machine Poem

Music Review: The Tragically Hip - Man Machine Poem
News that the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer shocked a nation that has long embraced the band affectionately known as just “the Hip.” The May revelation also made tickets to its summer tour. There’s a deep love for the Hip, whose songs seem to define what it means to be Canadian. The band, which gave a command performance for the Queen in 2002, showcases the talents of poet-singer Downie throughout their latest album. On “In a World Possessed by the Human Mind,” his lyrics have a spooky foreshadowing: “Just give me the n...
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Feature Article: Beatlemania Toronto Style

Feature Article: Beatlemania Toronto Style
The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle-bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings, Ian & Sylvia, had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute ...
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Blog post: Bill King's Conversation with Nicholas Jennings

Blog post: Bill King's Conversation with Nicholas Jennings
I’ve had a casual relationship with music journalist Nicholas Jennings through the years; always a fan of his writing and passion for music. We served together on a panel years back for one of those Ontario Arts giveaways and mostly saw eye to eye. We just happen to be sharing duties with a not so generous singer hell bent on not freeing any grant money to other female singers. This is why I’m not a big fan of these practices other than you do meet some lovely folks who you’d likely never spend a solid three to six hour sit down most days. We p...
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Blog post: The Bygone Blues of C.W. Stoneking

Blog post: The Bygone Blues of C.W. Stoneking
C.W. Stoneking is the best blues artist you’ve never heard, a distinctly white performer (dressed head-to-toe in white as well) from the far northern reaches of Australia, a man who inhabits the sounds and vernacular of traditional music so convincingly it’s as if he’s been mysteriously transported from the distant past and landed smack dab in the middle of the bright and shiny present. He slicks his hair down with Brylcreem, plays old-time blues, country and calypso on a 1930s Dobro or 1950s Gretsch electric, uses only vintage tube amplifiers ...
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Music Review: Drake - Views

Music Review: Drake - Views
The Toronto rapper and singer has never been shy about his feelings his hometown or the women in his life. Both subjects dominate Drake’s eclectic fourth studio album, originally to be called Views from the Six in reference to his beloved Toronto. The cover shows him sitting atop the CN Tower. Then there’s “Weston Road Flows” and “9,” where he claims to have flipped Toronto on its head. While he’s unequivocal about his hometown, his relationships with women are less certain. On the island-flavored “Too Good,” his “he-said-she-said” collaboratio...
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