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

Feature Interview: Kiesza

Kiesza has a look and sound as diverse as her background. Born in Calgary of Norwegian and Scottish heritage, she pursued ballet, a stint in the Royal Canadian Navy and even entered the Miss Universe Canada pageant before settling on a career in music. Kiesza’s hit single “Hideaway” blends house, trance and pop. Its dance-filled video, featuring her in blue jeans, suspenders and high-top sneakers, has gone viral with over 135 million YouTube views and made her a star. She’s now writing songs for the likes of Rihanna. Kiesza, 25, who just released her debut album Sound of a Woman, spoke to Hello! about celebrities and her sense of style. How would you describe your look? There’s a lot of fusi...

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Feature Article: Toronto's El Mocambo to close

Historic Toronto music venue that has welcomed U2, Rolling Stones, Ramones to its stage has been sold once again, confirms co-owner Sam Grosso. By Sadiya Ansari Toronto Star Sep 17 2014 Sam Grosso, co-owner of El Mocambo, has confirmed that after over 65 years the legendary music venue — which has seen the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Ramones and U2 — will be closing its doors Nov. 6.“I would like not to sell it, but I don’t have the money to continue buying out certain investors,” said Grosso, who has owned the club for the past two years. The property has been conditionally sold, but Grosso would not comment on who the buyer is. As for what will stand at 464 Spadina Ave. after the sale...

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Cover Story: Owen Pallett - Has Something to Prove

His work has won Grammys, JUNOs and an Emmy, and he’s been nominated for an Oscar. He’s an acclaimed solo artist, frequent collaborator with Arcade Fire, composer for ballets and symphonies, and the music industry’s go-to guy for lavish orchestral arrangements. On top of that, Brian Eno is one of his biggest fans. And yet, Owen Pallett still finds himself wracked by self-doubt. “I always feel like I have something to prove,” admits the 34-year-old indie pop auteur. “I’m constantly trying to prove to myself that my songs are worth writing. I don’t see that as a bad thing,” he adds. “A lot of songwriters out there haven’t settled into a confident state.” Growing up on a small farm outside of T...

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Feature Article: Jesse Winchester

Jesse Winchester was born in America, but chose Canada as his home. We were the better for it. A superb musician with a profoundly soulful voice, he gave us a body of work to last a lifetime and beyond. Here are a few of his most memorable songs: Biloxi Twigs and Seeds Yankee Lady Brand New Tennessee Waltz Bowling Green Mississippi You're on My Mind Rhumba Man Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt Talk Memphis That's What Makes You Strong Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding Despite his enormous talent, Jesse Winchester was a deeply humble man. Quiet About It, the tribute album that James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams and others made of his work, was aptly named. Losing a fine songwriter is a lot like los...

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Before the Gold Rush @ Winterfolk

Giving talk + slideshow with rare photos of '60s Yorkville #Winterfolk this Sun. 3-4 @GlobeBistro 124 Danforth Ave. pic.twitter.com/5dw0uKFZhk — Nicholas Jennings (@nicojennings) February 14, 2014    

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Feature Article: Neil Young covers Lightfoot

Neil Young is the latest artist to cover Gordon Lightfoot's 1966 classic "Early Morning Rain." He recorded the song at the Farm Aid concert in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 21, 2013. It's one of Lightfoot fans' most beloved compositions. Lightfoot wrote the song, which includes the memorable line "you can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train," based on his memories of living in Los Angeles as a music student and watching "big 707" jetliners taking off from LAX. Now Young is recording "Early Morning Rain" as part of a new album of cover songs for Jack White's Third Man Records and will likely be released by Warner Bros, as well. In December 2013, the Neil Young website Thrashe...

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Nick's Picks: Best of 2013

Arcade Fire Reflektor Inspired by Haitian rhythms and modern disco, Win Butler, Régine Chassange and company ask tough questions that are easy to dance to.     Vampire Weekend Vampires of the City Although they’ve moved away from their delicious African-pop hybrid, the New York smartypants remain relentlessly inventive.     Valerie June Pushin’ Against a Stone Her “organic moonshine roots music,” featuring old-school hymns and stomping blues-rockers, makes for an intoxicating brew.     Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action The Scottish pop-rockers sound as fresh and vital on their engaging fourth album as they did on their first.    ...

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Feature Article: Pokey LaFarge - Live @ Imperial Club, Berlin 26 Nov. 2013

Pokey LaFarge brought his distinctly old-timey brand of what he calls riverboat soul to Berlin’s Imperial Club last night. Making his debut in the German capital with his five-piece band, LaFarge, dressed in a dark suit, fedora and two-tone brogue shoes, introduced Hoagy Carmichael’s “Riverboat Shuffle” by asking the audience the name of the city’s river. “Spree,” shouted the crowd in the peculiar German pronunciation of “schpray.” “Right,” said LaFarge, not attempting to repeat the word himself, much to the locals’ amusement. The dapper bandleader then kicked into a spirited rendition of Carmichael’s tune, with some inspired harmonica and washboard playing from his bearded cowboy sidekick R...

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Feature Article: Adele - Skyfall

While we await Adele's third album, which could conceivably be called 23 (following its predecessors 19 and 21), it's worth revisiting her last recorded release: the theme to the latest James Bond film. When it came out last October, the song was a major hit and became first Bond theme to win at the Golden Globes, the Brit Awards and the Academy Awards. With its over-the-top instrumentation and Adele's soaring vocals, instantly brought to mind the best Bond themes, especially those sung by the iconic Bond theme artist Shirley Bassey. What was disappointing, however, was Adele's video for the song, which she co-wrote with Paul Epworth. The British superstar's video was an unispired film tease...

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Feature Interview: Rufus Wainwright

Rufus has had an eventful summer, celebrating a significant birthday and performing everywhere from the prestigious Teatro Real opera house in Madrid to England’s Glastonbury Festival. The charismatic singer tells us about his favorite current music and his continuing efforts to honor the memory of his late mother, folksinger Kate McGarrigle, with the release of a tribute album, Sing Me the Songs, and a documentary concert. Do you enjoy touring now as much as when you were younger? I’m lucky because I get to play all these gorgeous opera houses, so everything is pardoned and replenished once you get into those beautiful halls. What was it like to play Glastonbury? It was amazing. I was playi...

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