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BTW-Starring-Rich Aucoin, Jerry Leger, Sultans of String, Miss Quincy and The Showdown, Melanie Brulee, Mimi

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Subterranean highway alien hives, basement cult hideouts, and BMX bikes everywhere - just a few things every good kid’s paranormal adventure movie needs and also the heart of Rich Aucoin’s new video for “Want To Believe.” Produced by Jason Levangie, directed by Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), and starring Aucoin as Detective Wolfe, the video packs an epic storyline into three short minutes of reckless imagination. “Rich's track brought back memories of my youth,” says Eisener. “Going on adventures with friends and believing that we could find ghosts, monsters and aliens. Being an adult sucks, and you can get so caught up in grown up stuff you forget that it can be fun to just believe in the paranormal. Rich and I both grew up on movies like The Monster Squad, The Goonies, The Sandlot, and The Explorers, and we always knew if we were ever to going to make a music video together we had to create our own kids’ adventure.”

The video joins a list of acclaimed visuals from Aucoin’s sophomore album, Ephemeral. Following the release of the crowdsourced “Are You Experiencing” the animated video for “Yelling In Sleep”, directed by Canadian Joel MacKenzie, was awarded Best Music Video at Animation Block Party 2014 in Brooklyn.

Produced by Rich and his drummer, Joel Waddell, and mixed by some heavyweights including Mick Guzauski (Daft Punk / Random Access Memories). Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, the lyrics explore the universal themes of the ephemerality of human existence, solitude and the importance of relationships.

The 10 tracks are energetic, contagious and have an intense narrative arc. The momentum just does not slack off on this relentlessly upbeat album, bashing out the bigass monster jams one after the other. Hitching the sounds to Aucoin’s insightful and more than a shade wistful lyrics end up delivering songs that make anyone in earshot wanna sing along.

Sunrise Records Getting Ready For Sunset!

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Submitted by Glenda Fordham

Since the late 90’s, I’ve been buying my music (and movies) from one store: Sunrise Records at 784 Yonge St, just south of Bloor in Toronto. Not only did they carry all the current hits but also all the hard-to-find albums from artists who were hit-makers way back when.  The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and they always had great recommendations especially for new Canadian artists. This is how I found out about down east troubadours Nudie and the Turks whose haunting “Who Was Handsome Ned” and the catchy “Dear Departed” are constantly in “press/play” mode in my home.

So you can imagine my disappointment upon learning that my Sunrise and the second downtown location were being closed by the company’s new owner. Aaw, come on, it’s not just us old fogeys who still buy hard-copies of albums  - with the resurgence of vinyl appreciation, especially by the younger generation of music fans, why now when records are becoming cool again? Why take away the habit that you’ve spent years pushing on us?

General Manager Stephen Yorke with sales assistants Kristie Callaghan and Maesy KitchingGeneral Manager Stephen Yorke with sales assistants Kristie Callaghan and Maesy KitchingI recently sat down with the store’s general manager, Stephen Yorke, and two of his staff, Maesy Kitching and Kristie Callaghan, to find out more about the planned November 15th closure.

Jack Bruce Passes Away at 71

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Submitted by Don Graham

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven Band just got a whole lot better as the legendary Jack Bruce leaves this earth and joins his many brothers in the great beyond. And no matter who’s playing bass in that band right now, they will gladly give the lead cord to Jack Bruce who many, including Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, thought “was probably the most musically gifted bass player who's ever been." Jack was born on 14 May 1943, in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire,  Scotland and attended  14 different schools as his parents moved around a lot. He started playing the jazz bass while still a teen and studied cello and musical composition at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama on a scholarship.  He gigged  with Jim McHarg's Scotsville Jazz Band to make a few pounds but The Academy disapproved of its students playing jazz. "They found out, and said 'you either stop, or leave college.' So I left college.”

In July 1966 Bruce, Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker founded Cream , the original power trio, and  they became superstars playing  a mixture of blues-rock and jazz influenced rock music. Jack Bruce was the lead singer on most of the tracks in the beginning. Bruce, with his Gibson EB-3 electric bass, became one of the most famous bassists in rock, winning musicians' polls and influencing the next generation of bassists such as Sting, Geddy Lee and Jeff Berlin to name just a few.  Bruce co-wrote most of Cream's single releases with lyricist Pete Brown including the hits, "Sunshine of Your Love", "White Room", and "I Feel Free". In 1968, Cream broke up.

BTW-Starring Kogging, Kenny Butterill, Port Juvee, Crystal Castles, Stars, Hey Rosetta, Elizabeth Shepherd.

Kogging

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

The Rex hosted one helluva Dutch treat when Amsterdam quartet Kogging dropped by to show off new album ‘Sketches of Ordinary Life’. Kogging is Norbert Kögging, (composer/lyricist) vocals; Folkert Oosterbeek, (composer) piano; Tobias Nojboer, bass and Felix Schlarmann, drums, and they play a style of Eurojazz referencing American old school jazz circa the early Sixties.

Norbert’s an alumnus of the Banff Centre’s ‘Creative Music Winter Residency’ and used its facilities in 2011 to record debut album, Daydreaming. Norbert then took the opportunity to get Kogging on the road and tour across the country.  This was the start of a special relationship with Canada and since then, the band has returned to tour each year, so The Rex show was a big deal and their fans responded in numbers.

Kogging’s vocals play with hip-hop and be-bop flows with nods to Bobby McFerrin in the flow and the occasional step onto Michael Buble turf, in terms of phrasing. Kogging spent much of the set working from his mid-range but when he swung for the fence it was with a voice that could easily get him work in musical theatre. He describes his style as singer-songwriter jazz, which likely accounts for its intimacy and inclusiveness, which make songs like ‘Right From The Start’ very much like a short story. One that’s carried on a river of music from the cats behind Norbert, all of whom got their chance to shine solo wise and man, did they. Nojboer put on a stand-up bass clinic during ‘Fly Out’, drummer Schlarmann playfully hinted at the variety of styles he’s good with and pianist and co-founder Oosterbeek’s beautiful and cleverly arranged melodies lead the way to wonderful resolutions, especially on album opener ‘Prelude” and the trippy ‘Wajang Scenes’.

Kogging takes  ‘Sketches of Ordinary Life’ out West this weekend. y’all.

Chad Brownlee Headlines 2015 Nationwide When The Lights Go Down Tour


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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Rest in Peace John Ford RCA

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

John Ford (aka John John) passed away October 8, 2014 in Gibsons, British Columbia. Born July 19, 1940, John leaves behind Myra, his wife of 52 years, and three daughters Leslie (granddaughter Karly), Terry (granddaughters Ella, Mia & Shane) and Jacqueline.

John joined RCA Records in Vancouver on January 1, 1970 as a senior salesman and promotional representative, working his way up the ranks to national sales & promotional manager in Toronto and eventually USA. He is the only RCA Canadian representative to be promoted to RCA Records USA – eventually as Vice-President –based out of New York. He moved back to Canada in 1986, first to Toronto, then Vancouver. John retired in 2005 moving to Gibsons on BC’s Sunshine Coast a few years later.

John was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer in July of 2014 and on October 8 2014, he passed away at age 74 at the Hospice care facility at Surrey Memorial, with his wife and daughters by his side.

BTW-Starring The Weeknd, Don Graham, Emilia, Buddy Black, Luke & The Apostles, The Heavyweights Brass Band, Royksopp

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Is The Weeknd losing the plot?  Playing his biggest T.Dot venue yet, the Molson Amphitheatre, Abel Tesfaye jumped on the heavy production facilities like a model in a lingerie store to indulge his theatrics to the max. Of which the new look avec huge flak jacket and coiled-up dreads came over more like a cartoon character than the conflicted S&M master he’s going for. Handful of new songs added to the set, of which the strongest was a remix of Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’. Dude does have the falsetto to pull it off and he did. Still, never a good sign when a cover’s the best new thing y’all have. Sound twitched between noise rock and minimalist r’n’b, correctly arranged and executed. Since it’s all about Abel, there’s little interaction between him and the faceless backing three-piece.

The sound was bigger than big and squeaky clean, a nice counterpoint to the dirty soul on offer here. But there’s a sameness creeping in and it’s about the between songs raps, the images of naked women all wrapped up in their work and even the sound itself. Song after song about Abel’s hard life as a sexually adventurous pop star was getting a shade claustrophobic at the end. He closed out with the best of the new ones, Often, which drew the crowd into a sing along.

Maybe it was the setting or the lack of strong new material but somehow this Weeknd didn’t come across as edgy or dangerous as previous. Which leaves us with a show that was good enough but not the best.

Buddy Black’s Back on the Road to Waterloo

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Every day we all wake up to another flood of new music, churned out by insomniac elves while we slumber. Given this musical monsoon, it’s inevitable that some really good stuff will be swept away along with the froth, to exist thereafter only in the memory of the few who experienced them. Such was the fate of The Story on the Road to Waterloo, the vampire-centric punk country opera released by genre mastermind Buddy Black to a climate of, for the most part, chilly indifference. However, the scatterlings who picked up on it were enough in number and enthusiasm that over time, The Story on the Road to Waterloo has achieved a certain cult status.

Which is just not enough for Buddy Black. The cult thing is nice but dude believes his opus deserves a wider hearing. This is about to happen when Buddy Black & the Ghost Umbrellas roll out The Story on the Road to Waterloo Thurs. Oct. 2 at The Cameron House.

“Simply, I think it’s the best thing I’ve done yet. It’s the kind of thing that sticks with you. I know I’m not alone in this; people who’ve heard it say it’s their absolute favourite of everything I’ve ever done. It’s beautiful, tragic and harrowing and both the story and the music have a purity of feeling. The problem with the initial release was poor distribution due to a number of obstacles. I feel I’m now in a position to reach a wider audience, spring boarding from the cult following.”

The timing’s right as there’s also a wider, more appreciative audience for all things vampire, so the project should benefit from this. The EP’s theme derives from the 1988 horror cult classic ‘Chillers’, from the scary mind of Daniel Boyd, a movie very dear to Buddy’s heart.

George Hamilton IV Gone Home

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Submitted by Don Graham

Country music legend George Hamilton IV passed away Wednesday September 17, in Nashville  after suffering a heart attack.  He was 77 years old.

Hamilton was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on July 19, 1937 and while he was a 19-year-old student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he recorded "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" for Chapel Hill Records. The song was written by John D. Loudermilk, and made it all the way to No. 6 on the country charts. By 1960, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" went gold for ABC-Paramount who had acquired the song. The self-penned B-side, "If You Don't Know", showed Hamilton's rockabilly side. In late 1959, Hamilton moved his family to Nashville to pursue his dream of being  a country musician. In February of 1960, Hamilton officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and later that same year, he began recording for RCA Records, having been signed by Chet Atkins.

Hamilton's breakthrough hit was the 1961 song "Before This Day Ends" while his biggest hit came two years later with "Abilene", another song penned by Loudermilk and Bob Gibson. The song spent four weeks at No. 1 on country singles chart and reached the Top 20 of the Hot 100. The success of "Abilene" was followed with the song "Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston" a Top 5 hit in late 1964.

After his American chart success declined in the early 1970s, Hamilton began touring the world, across the Soviet Union Australia, the Middle East and East Asia. These widely acclaimed international performances earned Hamilton the nickname The International Ambassador of Country Music. He also hosted several successful television programs in the UK and Canada during the 1970s, and in the 1990s he played himself in the West End musical Patsy, based on the life of Patsy Cline.

Hamilton was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

U2 Free Download - Musical Generosity or Aggressive Arrogance?

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Submitted by Don Graham

If you’re a U2 fan with an iPhone you woke up to a nice gift, a free download of the band’s new album automautically downloaded on your iTunes. Yippee!  If you’re NOT a U2 fan and don’t want to listen to their music you got their new album “Songs of Innocence”  downloaded on your account. The company deposited the band's album into the online accounts of half a billion iTunes users.  The unsolicited appearance of the album's 11 songs was viewed by many as an aggressive marketing assault.

The gripes on Twitter were along the lines of "I'd rather have food poisoning on Christmas" and "Why and how did a random U2 album download onto my phone?" Not everyone saw the songs automatically download to their devices. User settings determined whether the songs would download or simply remain in the "cloud" on a list of albums purchased through iTunes.

The band hasn't had a new album in five years, and lead singer Bono wants to get U2’s  music to as many people as possible. He is quoted as saying. "And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way . . . the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail," he added.

But it wasn't that simple for iTunes users. There is no easy way to remove what some people were calling the "U2 virus." You can delete the songs from your device, but in the cloud the most you can do is hide the album in your online library.

Songs of Innocence will still be displayed as an “iTunes in the Cloud” purchase. That means it will still be shown as part of your music library, even if you delete all the tracks. The only way to make the U2 album disappear is to go to your Mac or PC and hide all of your iTunes in the “Cloud” purchases, or use iTunes to manually hide each track from your purchased items list.

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