Song of the Day: Hercules & Love Affair Featuring Faris Badwan – Through Your Atmosphere

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

hla

It’s only fitting that on the day of the release of the new Horrors album, we post a song featuring their lead singer. “Through Your Atmosphere” is one of two collaborations with Hercules & Love Affair on their new album Omnion. It’s a solid dark dance tune and just adds to an already impressive summer resume for Faris Badwan.

It’s been a long time since I loooooooooved a Hercules & Love Affair song (probably not since “Blind”) but this one I love. It’s got this moody yet beaty vibe to it. Probably a track that goths dance to. Check it out.

Polaris Prize 2017 Gala Review: Lido Pimienta wins!

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.42.43 PM

Surely by now you know that a shocked Lido Pimienta won the Polaris Music Prize this year, beating out the likes of Feist, Leonard Cohen and Gord Downie. Surely by now you also have read about the expletive laced speech Lido gave after her initial speech about the sound guy that somehow is overshadowing the fact that the Polaris Prize once again went to an underdog artist, proving once again just how diverse the Canadian music industry is once you are willing to look away from skinny white boys with guitars.

Let’s not dwell on those facts, lets talk about the gala itself.

Taking place on a warm September Monday night, the gala took place at the prestigious Carlu, which really is one of the cooler chic places to have a gala. I do wonder why it’s on a Monday night instead of a Friday, but I guess that’s the cheapest night to rent a place like this. Then again, for musicians, maybe Monday is like a Friday to them. I know this is the case for bartenders.

Let’s move on to the important things. How was the food? Here’s a brief review of each food item, all of which I ate two of.

Fish Tacos – nothing special. I think it was on a flour tortilla. Obviously this is a mass feeding situation so the fish didn’t feel like it was fresh out of the fryer. A fish taco’s real strength is blending the crispiness of the fried fish with the sweet, tangy notes of the supporting ingredients. Without that crispiness, the fish taco cannot achieve the level of tastiness that you would strive for. So in order words, average.

DIY Caesar Salad bar – Very good. A surprise entry, the DIY sat quietly in the corner but don’t let the non-prime placement of this station fool you, it was very tasty. The things that you could use to build your salad were:
– lettuce
– croutons
– gran padano cheese
– fried lentils (weird, I know)
– pickled quail egg

The pickled quail eggs were amazing. Tiny sour bites of unborn bird that packed quite a punch. Im guessing its the umami contribution to the salad that is a solid substitution for anchovies. An innovative contribution to the night, for sure.

3 Kinds of Grilled Cheese – Something I was looking forward to, but ended up a disappointment. Grilled cheese is best piping hot off the stove top, and this catered situation did the chefs no favor. The bread was lukewarm by the time they served it and the cheese wasn’t cooked into the gooey goodness you expect. Even the three kinds did it no favor, it’s kind of like when you go to those shitty big box franchise restaurants and they offer you 100 things on the menu. This was more like a warm cheese sandwich than anything.

Meatballs – Very good. It’s hard to mess up meatballs and tomato sauce, and these little packets of meat were flavorful and the sweetness of the tomato sauce complemented each bite nicely. This was Paul’s favorite thing of the evening and tied with the salad for mine.

Overall- Better than last year.

Drinks – Considering most people in the music industry are raging alcoholics and a large amount of those people are piss poor (because they are in the music industry), it seemed kind of cruel to serve wine at 9 dollars a glass and beer at 8 dollars for a tiny pour. Maybe what they were really doing was pricing up the alcohol (more expensive than last year) so that people don’t get wasted. If that’s the situation, then I guess that’s okay. All I know is next year will be flask city.

Performances

Lisa LeBlanc – It’s always tough to open an award show because most of the people are still busy networking or trying to score deals or something. However Lisa LeBlanc played a nice two song set that really showed off her versatility as an artist. The first was a rock number while the other was a whimsical almost folk song that provided some much needed humor in a year where a lot of artists took a very serious route.

BBNG / Tribe Called Red / Gord Downie / Leonard Cohen
They were no shows (some had good reasons, like being dead). This was always going to leave a gap in the night and we were all curious as to how they would tackle this. Polaris (or CBC) decided to handle this by playing either music videos or recorded live performances. Bad move, if I wanted to watch youtube videos, I would have done it at home. The music video portion of the night took a lot of momentum away from the show in terms of energy. Hopefully next year they can address it better. Holograms, I say.

Tanya Tagaq – A powerhouse performance that captured the room in it’s entirety. It was a very metal performance (she performed Rape Me) but boy, was it super intense. Tanya Tagaq’s an artist that grabs your attention from the moment her set begins and doesn’t let it go until she decides to. The song ended with many women in the crowd standing up while wearing a red dress, showing solidarity for the REDress project, a project that focuses the many many missing or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. Find out more here.

Leif Vollebek – I’ve heard a lot about Leif and this was the first time I found out what he looks and sounds like. It was pleasant and less Starbucks then I thought. That’s all I gotta say about that.

Feist – Perfectly pleasant. Feist has a nice voice. I kind of wish Siri had her voice.

Lido Pimienta – Brought her A game to the show, despite some sound issues (as she noted post award), Lido’s voice sounded great and filled the room. Accompanying her was a whole brass or horn section and a slew of dancers. It’s great to see someone put so much effort into delivering just one song.

Weaves and Tanya Tagaq – By this point of the night, I was lamenting the fact that there wasn’t a whole lotta rock music tonight. Then Weaves came on and ended that complaint. Unfortunately, the fifteen minute wait (to fix sound issues) did the band no favors as people were anxious by then. Still, the band sounded solid and have grown a lot since I last saw them.

Last but not least, the host.

Raina Douris was by far the most professional host that I have seen at Polaris, but I thought she was too professional. I kinda like some of the amateur hour stuff they did in the past because it was less smooth. Perhaps some more humour during the show would have been nice. However if you had asked me during those times maybe I would have asked for a more professional person so who knows.

All in all, a good night.

Polaris Prize 2017 Preview

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

Polaris 2016

Tonight is the biggest night in the Canadian music industry, and if Sean Spicer was going to show up like he did last night at the Emmys, he would probably declare the Polaris to be “THE MOST IMPORTANT MUSIC EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE EARTH, PERIOD.”

The Polaris Prize, as you probably know by now, is rewarded to the Canadian artist with the best record of the year. The initial long and short lists to reduce the amount of qualified candidates are voted on by the who’s who of the Canadian music industry. Once that happens, a grand jury is selected based on Steve Jordan’s feelings and then they are locked into a bunker at the Carlu to argue it out 12 Angry Men style to determine a winner, once and for all.

This year’s short list is as follows:

A Tribe Called Red, We Are the Halluci Nation
BADBADNOTGOOD, IV
Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
Gord Downie, Secret Path
Feist, Pleasure
Lisa LeBlanc, Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
Lido Pimienta, La Papessa
Tanya Tagaq, Retribution
Leif Vollebekk, Twin Solitude
Weaves, Weaves

An impressive list of artists, and definitely some that might make for incredible stories for the next day, including:

- Leonard Cohen, getting a posthumous award for his last piece of work (I am assuming he’s not going Tupac on us and releasing 12 mix tapes in the next decade)
– Gord Downie, obviously
– Tanya Tagaq and Feist, each could be the first two time, two time winner

But surely that will not impact the jury who will for sure vote based purely off musical qualities.

The gala will be streamed live on CBC and will feature performances by:

Feist
Lisa Leblanc
Lido Pimienta
Tanya Tagaq
Leif Vollebekk
Weaves

If we are lucky, they might all come onto the stage together and sing “We Are The World”, which would be the best.

Who will win? tune in to find out!

Concert Review: Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, September 16, Massey Hall

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment

20170916_211513

Prog rock legends Yes were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, which was notable for a few reasons. Firstly, it was another sign that the HOF’s longstanding bias against progressive rock was loosening. Secondly, it was notable for former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman using the occasion as an excuse to try out his borscht belt routine, throwing out a few dirty jokes like some kind of British, long haired Rodney Dangerfield. Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of it however, was the announcement shortly after the induction that the trio of Wakeman, singer Jon Anderson, and guitarist Trevor Rabin would be using the Yes name once again, meaning that there would now be two separate versions of the band making the rounds. On Saturday night, their version of the band played Massey Hall, officially billed under the somewhat unwieldy name Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, though I’m pretty sure most people just said they were going to see Yes for the sake of brevity.

Having seen the other Yes live a few years back, the main draw for me was seeing original singer Anderson and keyboardist Wakeman do their thing (No slight intended to Rabin, of course, who impressed with his performance as he took the lead mid-set on “Changes.”) Hearing Anderson’s voice live on classics like “And You And I,” “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” and “Roundabout” was surely a treat for any Yes fan and Wakeman was of course a sight to behold behind his array of synthesizers, clad in one of his trademark capes. That’s mostly what I was hoping to get out of this show: to see a grown man in a glittery, multicoloured cape rocking a bank of synths (and also, later, a keytar). If only he’d been given the chance to fire off a couple of dirty jokes, it would have been that much better.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 1046 1047   Next »