A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.
Nicholas Jennings

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road
The Summer of Love gave the world the Monterey Pop Festival and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. Ultimately, those precious months in 1967 produced something far greater: the full flowering of the hippie movement and a sense of cultural, social and political barricades coming down. Change was in the air. The seeds were sown at the Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and quickly spread to most major cities in the western world. In Toronto, the May Love-In at Queen’s Park attracted a crowd of barefooted flower children who danced to Buffy Sa...
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Nicholas Jennings

Feature Article: Riverboat Plaque Presentation

riverboat groupRiverboat Plaque Presentation June 18, 2009   On June 18, Heritage Toronto was joined by some of Canada's most notable musicians to commemorate famed Yorkville coffeehouse, the Riverboat.   Located in the narrow basement of a house at 134 Yorkville Ave, the Riverboat was opened in 1964 by Bernie Fiedler and became the best-known coffeehouse in Canada. Over its history, the Riverboat stage was graced by Canada's music elite, including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot. The Riverboat remained open until 1977, by which time...
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Nicholas Jennings

Liner Notes: The Paupers – Dig Deep 1966-1968

Liner Notes: The Paupers – Dig Deep 1966-1968
Canadians have a peculiar ability to downplay—or forget altogether—their artists’ achievements. “Cultural amnesia,” Margaret Atwood once called it. Canada’s first lady of letters could well have been referring to how the fabulous Paupers were (until now) relegated to the delete bins of Canadian music history. Atwood was giving her first poetry readings at Toronto’s Bohemian Embassy when The Paupers were establishing themselves as a legendary live act up the street, in Yorkville clubs like the El Patio and Boris’ Red Gas Room. The group went on ...
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Nicholas Jennings

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Aardvark

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Aardvark
By the end of the 1960s, the psychedelic-rock revolution was peaking. Dream-laced lyrics and trippy effects, including distortion, tape-loops, echoes, delays and phase shifting, were rampant. Adventurous musicians were busy employing a new array of instruments to conjure up kaleidoscopic sounds. The Beatles, leaders in the new music, had already introduced the sitar on Sgt. Pepper’s and the Mellotron on “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The year 1969 saw numerous bands tripping out with delightfully freaky albums, including Skip Spence’s Oar, Jeffer...
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