November 2012

Ross Petty and His Toronto Tradition of Fractured Fairy Tale Musicals

Cove Nov 30, 2012

Submitted by Sandy Graham

So how does a serious actor/dancer/singer come from Winnipeg, end up in Europe, perform on Broadway and create his own role on the #1 ‘soap’ All My Children?

‘I actually went to Victoria to study acting, and when I decided it was time to take my craft to the next level, England was far more advanced at that point so I headed to London to apply to the BBC. My family, although not musical in anyway, supported me in my quest, and my mother always was there for me.  It all really started in England.”

Ross Petty was born in Winnipeg, Canada and at the tender age of 23 traveled abroad, and although the BBC did not pan out, what did happen was a role with Betty Grable in the London West End musical, Belle Star. Not bad for a kid on his own in Europe. This led him to France, where he actually sang at Le Lido in Paris. “I just lucked out, it was all very easy back then. I was young and fearless and living the life of a performer. We had 1 show at 11 pm – the second at 1 am. It was an upside down schedule – sleeping during the day and working until dawn. It was all very glamourous, with gorgeous chorus line girls in skimpy outfits. I did a full year of it before the hours took their toll. I decided to go to New York at that point and give it a shot. I was young and fearless back then, with nothing to lose.”

Flying Monkeys and Barenaked Ladies: A Review of the BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout

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Submitted Courtesy of Robin Leblanc – The Thirsty Wench


November 28, Toronto, Ontario - There was quite a commotion going on at the LCBO’s Summerhill location today as the iconic Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies made an appearance for a signing not for the release of a new album, but for the release of their new beer.


Around September Canadian beer lovers and music fans alike were excited to learn of a collaboration beer being made with Barrie, Ontario-based Flying Monkeys Brewery and the legendary Barenaked Ladies. With quirky hits such as “One Week”, “Get in Line” and even the theme song for The Big Bang Theory, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that they would team up with a brewery called Flying Monkeys.


What makes this fun is that BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout, which hit stores across the country to coincide with the "Symphony Barenaked" Canada tour starting November 30th, isn't just a matter of the boys sticking their names on the beer and leaving it be. They kept well connected with the folks at Flying Monkeys, working out what they wanted the beer to represent, supplied box and label art by band member Kevin Hearn and even showed up for the first day of brewing. "The guys got a crash course in the brewhouse. Honestly, we’ve never collaborated with a better bunch of guys!” says Flying Monkeys founder and brewer Peter Chiodo.

Crystal Castles: (111)

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Last Gang

Edgy electro pop duo ease up on the confrontation and get ready to go for the money. The end result is more shoot yourself in the foot than hit bound mainstream sound. Which is the biggest problem here; nothing wrong with changing up the sound but it's best done in small steps, unless you’re Neil Young.

That said, the team of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass is too inherently subversive to dismiss this sharp turn sideways as self-indulgence. Except for anything resembling a hook or catchy melody, everything we like about CC is here. The deep, dark conflicted electro groves, the horrific lyrics, menacing bass runs and Alice’s banshee wail are all on deck here. Just a little messed over is all. 

Especially, somebody’s in love with the reverb and it doesn’t do the vocal mix any favours. A shame, since Glass’s lyrics are a big part of the CC appeal and lines about selling your bones for ivory and protecting us from all the things she’s seen are enticements for digging through the reverb for the rest. 

Sonically, the manic mashups of the first two album is replaced by a more focused, more inhibited flow of beats which work well in some places ("Affection"), not so much in others ("Mercenary") and towards the end, sounds a litle same same.

The League of Notions: The League of Notions

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Treaty Records

A joyous shambolic noise with sonic links to rock’n’roll satirists from Frank Zappa to the Barenaked Ladies, Talking Heads to Rich Aucoin. The self-described East Side guys of TLON are Corey Cosineau (gtrs, vcls), Kashiro Figueroa (bs) and Phil Hill (drms, percs, whistle, vcls) and they’re working their own little corner of the zany aesthetic like manic street preachers.

Which explains the album’s 17 tracks and its helter-skelter street party vibe. Beneath the boogie, there’s no mistaking they’re knowingly dancing in the darkness of urban disaffection. If there’s connective tissue here, this is it.

From the opening one-two of ‘The Park In The Dark’ and ‘Jar Food Man’ to the close out pair ‘Living On The Sidewalk’ and ‘Hope’, the collection’s spattered with the tears of a clown. A dancing clown.

Despite its 17 tracks, the album never overstays its welcome thanks to the speedy nature of the tunes. It’s not quite gone in 60 seconds but that aesthetic prevails. If you don’t get this one in 2.28 (average song length here) no worries, another quick tickler’s coming right along. Sooner or later you’ll hear something that’ll connect with you.

Jon Patterson: New Beginnings

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Submitted by Don Graham

Singer/songwriter Jon Patterson is that warm coat on a cold day. His songs are personal accounts that everyone can relate to. He sings and writes with the voice of experience but with a touch of innocence that shows his vulnerable side and makes it easy to connect and relate to his music. To say that Jon took the scenic route to get to his first CD recorded would be an understatement but it was well worth the wait.

Jon grew up in Ontario, in the blue collar town of Oshawa, and has carved out a life consisting of music, writing and being a father to three boys. All of this has formed the man that Jon is today and a listen to his CD ‘New Beginnings’ will give a great look at that life while relating a lot of his experiences to your own. This album is well thought out, well produced and masterfully sung.

Jon’s dad was a military man so the opening cut ‘Hero’, is a natural for him to sing and write. This song springboarded Jon into the military limelight allowing him to perform at many military functions and troop gatherings. It is probably his best known tune but when you listen to the rest of the album you discover there is much more to the man.