Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

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Obituaries, Books

Music Review: Paul Simon - Graceland

Paul Simon’s new album, Graceland, opens with an accordion wheezing erratically, as if trying to catch its breath. Then, a thundering drumbeat and a pulsing bass gradually add a more certain rhythm. By the time Simon begins to sing, the strange music has cast a hypnotic spell. That first song, “The Boy in the Bubble,” is a stirring introduction to the colorful sounds of South African music, a topsy-turvy world where guitars play the role of percussion instruments instead of providing the melody, and voices create rhythmic accents. Simon recorded “Bubble,” like much of Graceland, in both Johannesburg and New York. By melding the traditional, vigorous urban sounds of black South Afri...
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Music Feature: Adrian Miller - Canada's King of Ska

Toronto loves ska music, the Jamaican-born style that’s a lot like reggae played at 78 rpm.Witness the large number of local outfits—including King Apparatus, Skaface, Hopping Penguins and One—playing that speedy, syncopated sound.Meanwhile, British groups like the Specials, Madness and English Beat have always enjoyed a huge following in this city. Last month’s Skavoovee show, featuring members of those bands plus veterans the Skatalites, drew over 1,400 devotees alone.Further proof of Toronto’s love affair with ska can be found at Harbourfront Centre’s massive New Year’s Eve celebrations tomorrow night. Headlining the bash is singer Adrian Miller, Canada’s own king of ska. And op...
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Book Reviews: Carole Pope and Randy Bachman

Of all the Canadian music autobiographies published in recent years, no two could be more different than Anti Diva and Takin' Care of Business. The former, by Carole Pope, is a titillating walk on the wild side with the former Rough Trade vocalist who once sang “she makes me cream my jeans when she comes my way.” By contrast, Randy Bachman’s account of his life is like a sober family history with all the spicy stories about drunken aunts and rakish uncles left out to protect 1 innocent ears. In that respect, both books accurately reflect their subjects: Pope is a lesbian trailblazer and pop provocateur who has revelled in sex and drugs, while Bachman, the burly guitarist with ...
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