Concert Review: Christopher Cross, August 19, CNE Bandshell

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1x1.trans Concert Review: Christopher Cross, August 19, CNE Bandshell

When introducing his bassist a few songs into his set, Christopher Cross mentioned his various other gigs, which included playing with Suzanne Vega and in the orchestra for Broadway musical Kinky Boots in addition to his time with Cross.  ”He takes some time out for sex, drugs and rock n roll … not with us. I think that’s with Suzanne.” Yup, as Cross himself admits, he’s not exactly the most raucous on stage but then he never was one for that. While some older musicians mellow with age, Cross was always pretty mellow. He definitely fits within the confines of soft rock, or yacht rock, as much of the smooth rock of the 1970s has come to be known in recent years.  And on this evening at the CNE Bandshell, Christopher Cross brought the smooth.

As Cross launched into his 1980 hit “Sailing,” (one of his smoothest and the one whose nautical themes fit best within the genre of yacht rock) images appeared onscreen of water and boats – calming stuff.  Smooth. Fine.  Then I saw images of kayaks and surfing.  No.  No, Christopher Cross.  This is NOT sailing, this will not do. If the wind is right, I can not sail away and find tranquility on a surfboard.  Leave the surfboards to Mike Love.  Or Beyonce. Just talk to your video production team, man.  Sort this out.

Speaking of songs being matched up with images, Cross mentioned how he offered up his 2000 song “Red Room” to the producers of the 50 Shades Of Grey film because the book also has a red room in it. While the song’s mellow sounds probably don’t quite fit with what the film’s producers might be looking for, the lyrics did seem to vaguely fit … although he has yet to hear back from the 50 Shades people.  He did have a song featured on an episode of Growing Pains back in the day though and when he performed “Swept Away,” there were probably a few in the crowd who had fond memories of Kirk Cameron as Mike Seaver romancing a Hawaiian girl. Sadly, however, Cross did not perform the other song he wrote for a show, 30 Rock’s “Lemon’s Theme.”

While “Lemon’s Theme” did not make an appearance, “Arthur’s Theme” most certainly did, coming (as expected) near the end of his set ,though some in the audience might have wanted it earlier.  When a fan near the front shouted for either that or one of his other hits, Cross cheekily replied with, ”Have you people ever heard of delayed gratification?”  Nice one, Chris. Very smooth.

Throwback Tuesday Song Of The Day: The White Stripes – My Doorbell

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

1x1.trans Throwback Tuesday Song Of The Day: The White Stripes   My Doorbell

You having a good day? Looking cute and feeling great? Dominating life easy-breezy-beautiful-style? Well, let me give you a Debbie Downer reality check:

Summer is almost over.

Days are getting shorter. Vacations are ending. Work and school are about to pick up. And you’re going to have to pull out your winter coat.

Now how do you feel?

If I’ve done my job correctly, you’re going to need a pick me up. Well … guess what, I have just the song for you! Take a listen to “My Doorbell” by the White Stripes. Simple, sweet, and summery, this track will have you bouncing along in your office chair/car/metro seat etc in no time. It’s a 4 minute reprieve from the impending reality of winter that lurks behind Labor Day.

Concert Review: Blue Rodeo, The Deep Dark Woods, August 15, Molson Amphitheatre

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1x1.trans Concert Review: Blue Rodeo, The Deep Dark Woods, August 15, Molson Amphitheatre

You know that Blue Rodeo has reached iconic Canadiana status when you take a glance at their merch table. Sure, there’s the usual t-shirts, ballcaps, hoodies, posters and albums but there’s also hockey jerseys emblazoned with the band’s name. It doesn’t get more Canadian than that.  I’d bet good money that Ron MacLean probably has one of these in his closet.

Another indication of their being a Canadian institution is the fact that for the past several years they’ve been playing their annual summertime shows at the Amphitheatre, with this year’s show being played in promotion of their latest album, In Our Nature. Along for the ride this year were openers The Deep Dark Woods, who played a good set of folk/country rock that brought to mind The Band, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers at various points.  A somewhat muddy mix did them no favours but they’re still a talented bunch of players and their musicianship shone through regardless.

“Nice to hear you singing so early in the night … you must be drunk,” said Greg Keelor to the crowd after Blue Rodeo opened up their set with “Head Over Heels” and “What Am I Doing Here.”  Yes, this was a crowd that was ready to sing along and when given the chance to take the lead later on in the evening for “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” they took it.  It’s always great to hear a huge room of people singing along together and Blue Rodeo definitely gave the people plenty of chances to sing along to songs from throughout their catalogue.  While songs like “Try,” “Five Days In May,” and set closer “Lost Together” (featuring an appearance from The Deep Dark Woods) were the biggest crowd pleasers, newer tracks like “New Morning Sun” and the classic country sounding “Tell Me Again” stood out as well.  There’s a reason these guys are seen by many as a Canadian institution.

Song Of The Day: King Tuff – Eyes Of The Muse

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

1x1.trans Song Of The Day: King Tuff   Eyes Of The Muse

Kyle Thomas, aka King Tuff, has been releasing catchy, poppy, garage rock over the last few years and his upcoming album Black Moon Spell, out September 23 on Sub Pop records, looks to continue on in that fine tradition.

“Eyes Of The Muse,” the first song to be released off the album, seems to share a bit of musical DNA with The Edgar Winter Group’s “Free Ride,” which is a good sign for a classic rock geek such as myself. Come on and take a free ride and check it out.

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