Pierre McGuire – What?

Posted on by Ricky in Sports | 1 Comment

I hate Pierre McGuire, he’s annoying, he falls in love with stupid hockey players (ie Mike Richards) and then spends hours during a game fawning over them. Anyways, go to 1:45 mark..

Courtesy of the best hockey blog site on Earth – Pens Blog

Concert Review: Bat For Lashes, Mod Club, April 25

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 3 Comments

Bat For Lashes, April 25, Mod Club

Toronto – Saturday night’s Bat For Lashes show at the Mod Club was in one word – awesome. I would hate to be the person who forgot that this was an early gig, stroll in around 9:30 and saw that the show was already on encore. If you are that person, you should post it on fml or something because it is that bad. Natasha Khan can really sing. There are some bands you go to see and you are like ‘wow this girl has a nice voice’ but rarely do you go to a show and you are like ‘holy crap this girl can sing’. I always thought she had a nice voice but to see it in person as she belts out tunes is different. Even Gary, who didn’t think much of Bat For Lashes before going to the show was impressed and mentioned she was ‘better then Feist’. If Earth was ever enslaved by an ancient, but deadly alien race and that our sole chance of survival depended on some one to sing to please the alien ant queen overlord, I would think that she was a good option.

I guess some information about the show would be nice. Since the Mod Club caters to ginos and 905ers on the weekends, the concert was an early one. We were there at 7 to watch Lewis and Clarke (which Gary will review). I don’t remember the last time I was at a show at 7. Maybe when I was a kid and I went to see Raffi or something. But I never saw Raffi. Anyways, Bat for Lashes went on around 8:30. The stage was adorned with Jesus figures, angels, dim lights and images of animals ..or as I like to call it – what you can get for 10$ at a 1970s garage sale from some really religious souther family who hunts on occasion. It did give the stage a more intimate maybe slightly spiritualish kind of feeling I guess.

Starting with the song ‘Glass’, Bat For Lashes played a 70 minute set that consisted of material from both albums, but primarily focusing on Two Suns. We even got a Pixie-esque two versions of Daniel – an early stripped down acoustic sounding version, as well as the set ending normal version. This was the first show of the North American leg of their tour and Natasha seemed genuinely happy to be there. Her banter in between songs mostly consisted of thanking the fans, giving a shout out to family who was in attendance and telling jokes that the crowd forgot to laugh at, prompting a nice self deprecating moment (“aww, nobody laughed at my joke”). One of the things I noticed at the concert was how much different the two primary hits of Bat For Lashes were from the rest of the music. Both ‘Whats a Girl to Do’ and ‘Daniel’ are up tempo, almost dancey electroish numbers while a majority of the songs are slower paced with more focus on the vocals. Both work well because of the strength of Natasha Khans voice. It is ultimately Bat For Lashes #1 weapon, although the rest of the band was quite fantastic as well. I had no idea Charlotte Hatherly (of Ash) was in the band. That was a pretty pleasant surprise. The girl from New Young Pony Club was the girl behind the drums, providing a tribalish beats to a lot of the songs. Some guy named Ben was the multi instrumentalist. The band used a lot of different instruments, I have no idea what half of them were. Natasha herself primarily switched between singing/dancing and keyboard duties, donning the guitar for one or two numbers.

All in all, a great way to start off the night for all who attended. I highly recommend checking out the show if they are in your area.

Panic Manual Gives Back

Posted on by Wade in Everything | 3 Comments

*Wade from the Panic Manual with Genne Speers at the CFMDC

The Panic Manual recently made a donation to the Canadian Film Makers Distribution Center (CFMDC) in appreciation for the the DVD of visuals that they put together for our Fresh Off The Boat 90’s Dance Pary a couple of weeks ago. If you attended the party and were wondering why we were showing 1950’s erotica footage, then you can thank the CFMDC.

The CFMDC is Canada’s foremost non-commercial distributor and resource for independently produced film. They represent over 2,600 film titles, including some of Canada’s most original and well-respected works of art. They act the same way as a record label, but for films. So if you make a film, you can take it to the CFMDC and they will sell it for you. They also do stuff like film restoration and preservation.

I dropped off our $40 donation to CFMDC employee Genne Speers earlier this week. Her initial response to our generosity was one of confusion, which turned into appreciation after I explained why I just stuffed two twenties into her hand. Genne mentioned that the money will likely go toward a door, and possibly even a wall, for their screening room. That’s wonderful, but something tells me that the entire CFMDC office was treated to a Swiss Chalet lunch on Friday afternoon compliments of the Panic Manual.

CD Review: Audrye Sessions – Self Titled [2009, Black Seal]

Posted on by Mark in Albums | 1 Comment

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Toronto – Audrye Sessions is a Californian rock quartet consisting of frontman Ryan Karazija, bassist Alicia Marie Campbell, drummer James Leste and guitarist Michael Knox. They’ve just released their self-titled debum album on the label Black Seal.

So what’s Black Seal anyway?  I’ve never heard of this label before.  It turns out that it’s a unit of Sony BMG. While I will admit that you can find this information on the cd case, in teeny weeny print, they certainly don’t make it very clear. After doing a little digging, I’ve found out that Sony owns a bunch of these little “record labels”: J Records, Arista records, Polo Grounds, and Battery Records, to name a few.

The history of the music and record label industry is complex and sordid.

After doing some research, I’ve come to one conclusion: the history of the music and record label industry is complex and sordid.  Some of these little tiny labels appear to have been a result of acquisitions of small up and coming labels. In other cases, it appears that they were established from the get-go with funding from the big boys. Take Clive Davis, who started J Records in 2000 with a cool $150 million of BMG moolah (prior to the Sony BMG merger). This was after he was ousted from Arista records (which is linked to Columbia). So here’s a guy who was fired from one record label to start another one.  Guess who owns both labels now? You guessed it, Sony BMG. You see Simba, it’s all part of the great circle of life.

After reading some more of the history of music labels, I came to one discovery that led to one realization. The first is that about 70% of world-wide music sales comes from the “Big 4″ record labels: Universal, Sony BMG, EMI Group, and Warner. When you add up how much the top 5 music consuming countries spent on music last year, it’s about 16 billion (USD). My realization, which isn’t quite rocket science is as follows: the music industry reallys is an industry. It does all the things big industries do: make a profit by offering a service, trying to gain and then maintain a competitive advantage in the ongoing global fight for market share.
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