May 2018

Avatar Country Out Now

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Citizens! If the message hasn't been clear enough already, the King of Kings above all Kings ruling in the realm of Kings has decided to speak directly to his flock and let them know that The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country! 

This beautiful truth shall shine upon the faces of those who follow the Majestic March to Immortality in the latest and greatest so-called "Music Video" with the Mighty Conqueror of Hearts and Land Alike and His orchestra, AVATAR.

Directed by long-time collaborator, Johan Carlén, this is the third music video we've heard from the King with Avatar from His new record titled, Avatar Country.

AVATAR released their seventh, and most Royal, full length, Avatar Country earlier this year via Entertainment One. The LP debuted at #2 Indie, #4 Hard Music, #8 Rock, and #25 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

Critics praised the release as well. New Noise Magazine said Avatar Country was "the culmination of the group’s evolution into a singular powerhouse, a trip into the heart of what makes metal so distinctively powerful."

Loudwire called the opening track, Glory To Our King sounds like, "it could’ve come straight off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club, a warm and over the top introduction to the rest of the album." And finally, Metal Injection called Avatar Country "a wonderful ride."

The Ultimate Dance Party with Michael Williams at the Duke Live

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Michael Williams is a Canadian television personality who may be best known for his work as a VJ at MuchMusic from 1984 to 1993. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Williams moved to Montreal in the 1970s to attend the Communications Arts School at Loyola (now Concordia University). While attending the school, he started a DJ service in the receptive musical city of Montreal and started
Williams was part of MuchMusic's core opening team of VJ's alongside J. D. Roberts, Erica Ehm, and Christopher Ward. Williams hosted various shows including Soul in the City, RapCity, Electric Circus, Pepsi Power Hour and The NewMusic. To this day people stop Michael in the street and ask for his autograph, or tell him what an influence he had on them during this Much days. Some thank him for being an inspiration to them.

CMW In a 1,000 Words- Cupcake/Chippy Nonstop, Lydia Lunch, Aloe Blacc, Beams, Sunshine & The Blue Moon, Vaquero Negro, Maria Robot, Troker, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, Julian Taylor, Sc Mira, Harry Manx

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute & Sammy Jay Copeland
Photo at right: Lydia Lunch

CMW round our way was a fairly sedate affair, with the notable exceptions of the Cupcakke/Chippy Nonstop and Lydia Lunch shows. The former was a feast of raw, sex funky rap witticisms that had its share of squirm-making moments at the Mod Club. Billed as  Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, the show at Hard Luck Bar was a full-on career retrospective from 1977 to the present. Thing is, LL's output has veered from shrill No Wave to sludge rock to Goth psychedelia and beyond. All that was delivered in the mostly sludge rock style, robbing the material of its original intent. All of which didn't seem to matter to the newbies in the crowd. As she remarked to an overzealous fan near the end of a fairly shambolic show, "If this set makes sense to you, then you’re about as fucked up as I am.”

Doing the Shag at CMW

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

K, now calm down. It's not a euphemism for the horizontal bop, as in the UK, but a new/old dance craze that's sweeping the American South. Although the idea of a mass shag-in did cross my mind. Let's think of it as a cross between swing and jitterbug, a prog-rock kind of mutation. Individual dancers bring their own thang to the floor, with the result shag is by now hybridized as all get out and very entertaining. Consequently, when the shaggers from North Myrtle Beach hit the floor at the Rivoli, it was like somebody dropped a cherry bomb. Sliding and gliding, there were rubberized ankles, way limber legs, intricate, close order jive moves, a dab of dirty dancing here and there, grace and kinetic beauty everywhere.

The term "Carolina Shag" is thought to have originated along the Atlantic Ocean strands between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, during the 1940s. According to Bo Bryan, a Carolina Shag historian and resident of Beaufort County, the term was coined at Carolina Beach, North Carolina. The Carolina Shag is a descendant of Carolina Jitterbug, and its predecessor, Little Apple which was the white version of the Big Apple (dance) (whose origins can be traced to Columbia, South Carolina in 1937) after whites sat (after "jumping the Jim Crow rope") in the balconies in the black clubs to watch the dancing.   

LulaWorld Festival Partners with Dundas West Festival

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

What do you get when you combine Toronto's most artistically vibrant, culturally rich and diverse street festival with new music works and collaborations by local and international Latin, Brazilian, jazz, folk and global artists? A smoking summer music playlist! This summer, the annual LULAWORLD FESTIVAL will anchor DUNDAS WEST FEST when Toronto's hottest festival in Toronto's coolest neighbourhood showcases 80+ artists from LULAWORLD Festival performances at one of two main stages, June 1 and 2, 2018. DUNDAS WEST FEST runs along Dundas Street West from Ossington Street to Landsdowne Avenue, while LULAWORLD Festival, which runs May 31 - June 10, takes place at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West.

"We are thrilled to join the Dundas West Fest in this celebration of creativity and diversity, particularly combining and amplifying our shared passion for music from around the world," says Tracy Jenkins, Executive and Co-Artistic Director, Lula Music and Arts Centre/Lula Lounge.