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.

Music Feature: Irish balladeers Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

Any traditional music from the British Isles, when played well, can breathe history as if aged in wood. A pair of young Irish folksingers stopped briefly in Toronto to give listeners a taste of the bittersweet ballads and jaunty jigs from another era.Paul Brady and Andy Irvine are former members of Planxty, a now defunct Irish band whose versatile music won them fans all over Europe. As a duo, Brady and Irvine provide all the moods and memories of their homeland, captured in songs of classical splendour.Their performance at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education Auditorium gave the audience tales as strange as the instruments to which they’re sung: “Wearing the Britches,” an admitt...
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Music Feature: Expeditions to pop's global village

On Naked, the latest album by rock’s influential New York City-based Talking Heads, leader David Byrne sings: “’Round and ’round and we won’t let go/And where we stop no one knows.” The song is “Ruby Dear,” and Byrne could well be referring to the new disc’s musical tour around the world. Recorded in Paris with a crew of international musicians, Naked reflects pop’s global village, where Congolese guitars meet Latin-style horns and ancient Middle Eastern melodies play off modern Western synthesizers. The result is one of the band’s best recordings. And by crossing a number of cultural boundaries, Naked signals a strong new trend toward international pop.Rock music ha...
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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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