September 2011

Pete Traynor The Man, The Music, The Struggle

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By Bill Delingat


If you were a young musician struggling to make it in the heyday of the hippie movement in Toronto’s Yorkville, you probably carried around your old Strat and a Traynor amp, the then affordable Canadian competitor to the Fender twin reverb, while your drummer packed his Ludwigs into the back of the families station wagon .


The place to go was Long and McQuade, located at Yonge and Yorkville, to stare at the many unreachable instruments and dream of the day that you may own one.


Pete Traynor worked at the Long and McQuade Music Store as a repairman, mainly fixing the broken rentals that came back from the now infamous “B” circuit of Northern Ontario. Traynor started off by customizing amplifiers as a way to save costs, but also like a good home auto mechanic supercharging up his car, Traynor did the same for amps. His talent and curiosity led to his making of his own brand, the first brand formed by Yorkville Sound. It all started in 1963 through experimentation and experience, Traynor developed a Bass amplifier that he called the Traynor Dynabass. By the end of 1963, Traynor started off by offering the product out as a rental and soon was selling the Dynabass amps along with matching 15-inch speaker cabinets; then the logical transition to portable columnar P.A. systems when Traynor  found a reference book of 1930s RCA commercial loudspeaker designs. Soon a business partnership to sell these amps had formed between Pete Traynor and Jack Long, the man who owned the legendary music store.

Cowboy Junkies Announce October 18 Release Of Sing In My Meadow

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Photo: CJs iconic muse Margo Timmins.


Iconic Toronto artists get set to release volume three of The Nomad Series & the follow up to Volume Two Demons, the critically acclaimed tribute to the late Vic Chesnutt.


With the October 2011 release of Sing In My Meadow, Cowboy Junkies continue an ambitious schedule of four releases over an 18 month period, collectively titled "The Nomad Series."


Sing In My Meadow is a collection of songs recorded over a four day period that the band's Michael Timmins describes as "an album that references an aspect of our live performances that we don't dig into very much in our studio recordings. We wanted the album to revolve around those psychedelic, blues-inspired forays we are so fond of exploring on stage.


“This past February the live band (the four of us plus Jeff Bird) gathered in our studio to record all of these songs over a four day period. We approached them all live-off-the-floor, nasty and dirty and disturbing the cold winter night’s peace. We tried to channel Miles at the Isle of Wight, deep in his Bitches Brew phase, Captain Beefheart and his Mirror Man psychoses, The Birthday Party live at the Electric Ballroom circa 1981 (Margo, Al and I were in that audience) and Neil and Crazy Horse in the back room at SIR….overdriven and thick with electricity."

Sing In My Meadow follows the critically acclaimed Renmin Park (2010) and Demons (2011). Renmin Park was inspired by Timmins’ two-month stay in China with his family in ‘08 and was called “their most ambitious yet” by

MARK NAKAMURA – MAKING ENTERTAINMENT FOOTPRINTS


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Story:Jaimie Vernon



Located near the intersection of Donlands Road and O’Connor Drive in East York stands an old movie theatre that, set against the charming bakeries, beauty shops and convenience stores, remains a silent, dark blue sentinel. Well, at least on the outside. If you walk through the faded Art-Deco lobby and climb the staircase to the top of the building you’ll find, hidden in a penthouse suite, a modern music recording facility called Studio 92.



I’m here to interview the new owner of the studio, Mark Nakamura, and I’ve brought along a musician friend to eyeball the facility as a potential customer. We’re greeted at the door by former co-op student, now full time employee Brent MacMillan who immediately ushers us into the ‘live room’ where one would expect musical magic to happen. The room has a vaulted, soundproofed ceiling and the 24-foot hardwood floor is more than suitable for ballroom dancing – or half an orchestra.

Kathryn Calder: Bright and Vivid

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F.U.M.

This solo sophomore album from hipster chantoosie Calder is a big step towards establishing her own tone as a solo artist. This is on account of she arrived on most folk’s radar as singer with The New Pornographers and had that to get out from under. All along, she’d been writing songs that wouldn’t fit with TNP’s aesthetic so a solo album was inevitable.


It dropped in 2010 and Are You My Mother? was the stylistic mishmash in search of a core that was, in a way, to be expected. It did serve an important purpose in establishing that Calder could take meaningful steps away from TNP and in the direction of her own voice, so there was a sense of good things to come. If the debut was the expected, this one exceeds expectations.


First to be sent to the showers the stagnant melancholia which was the dominant vibe of the opener, replaced with an inclusive cherry pick among genres suitable to Calder’s honeyed vocals.
Next off, the earnest, at times timid and sketchy production values. In its place, vast washes of sound and layer upon later of subtly subverted instrumentation and a deft hand with using voice as instrument. It’s not yet the definitive Calder album but it’s full of signposts to how she intends on getting there.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Celebrating 14 Years !

Cover, Sept 30, 2011

By Bill Delingat


Most people, no matter where they are from have heard of and may have been one of the 10 million annual visitors to “the Hollywood Walk of Fame”; the  famous 15 blocks of more than 2,400 five-pointed stars embedded along Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The emblems symbolize five categories within the entertainment industry: motion pictures, broadcast television, music and audio recordings, broadcast radio and theatre /live performances.