Features

Definitive Randy Bachman Documentary Begins Production

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The Randy Bachman documentary is set to put a spotlight on the music legend.

Bachman is a contemporary film about the man, who is often referred to as the ‘architect of Canadian Rock n’ Roll,’ Randy Bachman. Few artists can claim to have made a bigger impact on popular music which he has done through his list of unforgettable anthems turned pop-culture touchstones. Since his first hit in 1965 with "Shaking All Over," Bachman has sold over 40 million records and earned over 120 gold and platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing, and his songwriting has garnered him the coveted #1 spot on radio playlists in over 20 countries. Randy Bachman is one of only two countrymen to have been inducted twice into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

The full-length documentary explores his global impact on popular music; Randy Bachman’s songwriting produced chart-topping hits for The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, including “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” “American Woman,” “Let it Ride, “Taking Care of Business,” “Looking Out for #1,” “No Sugar Tonight” and “These Eyes,” tracks that have become pop-culture touchstones.
Farpoint Films teams up with Paquin Entertainment Group on Bachman which is licensed to The Documentary Chanel and brings together an award-winning team including director John Barnard and Larry LeBlanc, widely recognized music industry journalist.

Bachman is currently in production.

David Clayton-Thomas Ode To The Donald

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Submitted by Don Graham

David Clayton-Thomas,former lead singer of the  internationally recognized band Blood Sweat and Tears and  Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, and Canada’s Walk Of Fame inductee has released a Donald Trump tribute “Ode To The Donald”.

Thomas was born in England , grew up in Canada and became a huge success fronting a band from the United States so his opinion has some well traveled credibility.

With Blood Sweat and Tears, Clayton-Thomas headlined at major venues around the world: Royal Albert Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden and Caesar's Palace, as well as the Newport Jazz Festival and Woodstock. They were the first contemporary band to break through the Iron Curtain with the historic United States Department of Statesponsored tour of Eastern Europe in May and June 1970.

Denise Donlon - Can’t Stop the Girl!

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Submitted by Michael Williams

In the summer of 1980, I worked in Vancouver at Ted Thomas Quintessence Records on West 4th, home base for everything punk/ indie in Vancouver, from Doug and the Slugs first release "Too Bad" to the incredible, best band ever the Pointed Sticks.

There is freedom to the west coast that's truly Canadian, the legend of Joe Forte, the unofficial black lifeguard of English Bay ,the statue of Olympian Harry Jerome, to the Hendrix family who settled in Vancouver making Jimi's family and Al Hendrix is Canadian. (his father was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1919).

I love Canada and the west coast; so does Denise, it is where she began to shape who and what she wanted to be, could be, when she grew up.

We never met back then even though we had common friends (Doug Grover, Bryan Adams, Tom Lavin, Bob Rock.) We first met at MuchMusic on 99 Queen Street. On her first day she was given pieces of paper on an easel and told to make the rock news into a great show by John Martin. Not the last time he would challenge her; she was full of energy that jumped through the screen, as she found her way through the spontaneous combustion sometimes minefield called MuchMusic. Our job challenge by John and Moses was always to make something great out of nothing.

Denise made herself great!

MW: Why did you write the book now...is your work in the cultural industries over or taking a new turn?

BTW JP Maurice, The Red Cannons, SUSTO, Sarah Beatty, Abigail Lapell, Danny Michel

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

After dealing with some serious adversity in his life over the last few years, Vancouver musician/producer JP Maurice is working towards a prosperous 2017 with the release of some brand new music. The Ferryesque Maurice recently releaseD new EP Girls January 13th and celebrated with a release party at The Biltmore Cabaret on January 14th.

After touring across Canada and Europe, and then taking home 2nd place in the PEAK Performance Project radio contest in 2015, a loss in the family turned Maurice mostly inwards and he focused on channeling his emotions into his art. He made the decision to invest in his own studio (Blue Light Studio), which allowed for late night collaborations, producing other artists, and creating endless song ideas. The result is the Girls EP, which sweeps from cinematic pop-noir into slinky neo-soul, all tied together with Maurice's powerfully emotive vocals. It's a modern sound that capture timeless sentiments - love, loss, and the twists and turns in between.

Robbie Burns: The Rock Star

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Submitted by Don Graham

There’s little doubt that had Robbie Burns, the Ploughman Poet, been born a hundred years later he would have been a certified triple A rock star. The ladies’ man, the poet, the eternal romantic.

Burns was in fact regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic period, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that started in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, peaking from about 1800 to 1850. Whether his subject was a man or a mouse or even a louse, Scotland’s National Bard had that rare talent of putting himself into others peoples place and circumstances and found a way to express life's universal emotions.

Burns was capable of creating traditional ballads and romantic songs and humorous songs and poem. Robert Burns composed some of the world's most instantly recognizable lines of poetry and song lyrics. His “Auld Land Syne” is a staple around the world on New Year’s Eve. It IS because of Rabbie Burns that we promise,every Hogmanay, to 'tak a cup o' kindness' with the people and go into the new year with a proclamation of hope for the future.“

He wrote love songs that spoke to people’s hearts and the women loved him and his ability to flesh out the emotions of love. Like Kris Kristofferson did in the ‘70’s with his “I don’t want to be alone, so help me make it through the night “Burns did with “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose” with lines like “ My love is like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June. My love is like a melody that’s sweetly played in tune.”

BTW-Austra, Jerry Leger, Jan Kudelka, Ron Hawkins, Winterfolk, Maple Blues Awards, Blackalicious

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Venues may come and go but Toronto's got live, if you want it.

"Our current climate leaves many feeling apathetic but despair can act as a compass - the less you can ignore, the more you have to act." This cryptic call to arms from cold wave artrock band Austra's guiding light Katie Stelmanis is at the core of upcoming album Future Politics, out Jan.6. Austra recently revealed the video for the album's title track and kicks off an extensive international tour on January 20 at The Mod Club with Lafawndah

Austra's third LP is the Canadian band's most ambitious to date and calls for radical hope: "a commitment to replace the approaching dystopia," says Stelmanis, who leads Austra with the support of Maya Postepski (Princess Century, TR/ST), Dorian Wolf, and Ryan Wonsiak.

Harris Institute Ranked Best for 5th Year

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: John Harris Founder Harris Institute

For a 5th consecutive year, Toronto’s Harris Institute is ranked best private school in the 2017 ‘Media Arts Education Report’. Author Jim Lamarche says, “Harris Institute is the best school of its kind in Canada. Highly Recommended”.

Included in the Report Card’s top 10 schools areRyerson University’s School of Media, OCAD University, the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART), Metalworks Institute and Seneca College.In its 9th year with over 100,000 visitors from around the world, Lamarche’s Report is the quintessential source of comparative information on media arts education in Canada.

Harris Institute is the only school outside of the US in Billboard Magazine’smost recent “Top 11 Schools”. The college was previously featured in Mix Magazine’s “Audio Education’s Finest’ and Billboard’s “Schools That Rock”.

Harris graduates won or were nominated for 197 awards in the past two years, including Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, Juno and Canadian Screen Awards. The school’s Arts Management Program is the only college program in North America to achieve seven 0% Student Loan Default Rates and it’s Audio Production Program achieved a fifth 0% Default Rate in 2016.

Hugh’s Room Toronto On The Brink

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Submitted by Don Graham

One of the most iconic and loved listening rooms, Hugh’s Room in Toronto, has been on the brink of going under. But as long as there is hope people need to stop burying the body before it flatlines. At this writing, owner Richard Carson has NOT gone bankrupt as reported by some on social media, but has filed for insolvency. On January 8, Richard statement read: “To all our supporters – performers, audience, and staff – I am sincerely sorry to have to say that Hugh’s Room has reached a point of insolvency. More information will be available over the next few days as to how we can proceed from here, but at this time we are closing our doors until we can see what options are available to us.”

Richard opened Hugh’s Room in April 2001 and named it after his late brother Hugh.

With the late great Jesse Winchester as the first act to grace the stage. Since Jesse’s passing Bill McKettrick has organized a Jesse Winchester Tribute show there with one scheduled for this April. It’s still a large possibility as the room, although closed now, is working on a solution. On January 9, Hugh’s Room issued this statement, “We have received a tremendous amount of good will and support over the past few days and we’re working on finding ways where we may be able to garner that support. It certainly has given us some encouragement that we may be able to move forward and continue in the ways where many people – performers, audience, and staff – have been touched by the room over the past 17 years. It ain’t over folks!”

Michael Williams The Losses and the Gains of 2016

Ethan McLaren, Xavier Lane, Michael Williams and Bobby Curtola Photo Credit Bill King.jpg

Photo: Ethan McLaren, Xavier Lane, Michael Williams and Bobby Curtola
Photo Credit Bill King

2016 was covered by unexpected lose of the icons of our youth, Muhammad Ali I saw once at Cleveland Hopkins airport while leaving for California. It was a glance and smile that energized me for years.

David Bowie like Rush are part of the rather sophisticated musical DNA of Cleveland, Ohio and one of the many reason why the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland.
Cleveland is the musical sister city to Montreal, with exactly the same high musical I.Q.

WNCR started it with Billy Bass, Shauna,Doyle, Dennis Saunders, Jeff Gelb,Caroline, WMMS continued the musical legacy with Billy Bass at the helm as PD and Dennis Saunders as MD, both on air.

WMMS was the first station in America to play and present David Bowie; we broke Bowie, Lou Reed Hall and Oates, Mott the Hoople and Rush to the world. I was at the first two Bowie Concerts in Cleveland. Love shared and received.

Prince was always brilliant like Billy Bass, Mayor Carl B. Stokes and myself, we were Black and shared in that promise fulfilled, never denied. We had the possibility of being connected to everything that is, was and shall be.

Never coming from or being part of the culture of less with full license to be all that we could be!

Losing Prince still hurts!

A Christmas Story in June

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Danforth Greektown Fountain

The little village square in my hood has a small stage at one end, so the sound of live music providing counterpoint to the omnipresent traffic thunder, is often and welcome. 'Twas early summer, the city air still soft , the greenery new and full of promise, a fresh crop of toddlers duking it out with the pigeons for fountain space when I heard the subtly turbulent chromatics and cascading arpeggios of Debussy rushing like a springtime stream from a keyboard.  Behind the keys, an elfin brunette young woman just getting started on a set that referenced Brubeck, Fatha Hines, Oscar Peterson, some delicate etudes from Beethoven, Burton Cummings and Diana Krall, among the stuff I recognised.

Come break time, I'm right over there curious to hear what else she can do. So she played me some show tunes, some Elton John, and when I called out for New Orleans sounds, she dropped some Dr. John, some Professor Longhair and her Fats Domino medley had the rugrats rompin'. All layered with numerous to me, unknown pieces, some of which were gorgeous and celebratory in tone, with a persistent flow of challenge and struggles informing the dynamic.

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