BTW- Starring Keram, Julian Taylor, Buddy Black, Royksopp and Robyn, Rusty Ford, the return of Current Records, Emilia and the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame 2014

Karem howls at The Supermarket.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right:
Keram howls at The Supermarket

Keram came back to the T.Dot with a bang and a hot new album. Unfortunately, he dropped in from El Lay just long enough to light up The Supermarket with a killer performance of tracks off current cookie Come to Life. The movie actor/singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist and conceptual artist brought all of that and more to the gig. The album’s lush and sprawling conceptual art-rock was brought to sparkling life in all its multi-layered glory with the able assistance of some of the 30 players on the album.

The acting thing is a big plus here, as the songs are written from a wide variety of viewpoints and Keram inhabits the different personae with conviction. From the haunted lover of “Killing Days, Living Nights” through the defiant swagger of “The Devil Knows Me Well,” which includes the classic Keram humoresque lyric: “I’m coming back like William Shatner” and including a guest spot from “Mary Magdalene,” he brought them all to vivid life.

At about the midpoint, Alex ‘Rush’ Lifeson, who’s credited as executive producer on the album, got up to rip some of the wicked guitar lines he plays on the album, especially on “The Devil Knows Me Well,” and “Moving Dark Circles.” And the crowd went even wilder. Afterwards, looking around at the sweat soaked and emotionally drained looking survivors, it comes to mind Keram just doesn’t play our town often enough.

Emilia chilling in the studioEmilia chilling in the studioCurrent Records, the legendary independent Canadian record label that was the home of Juno award-winning 80's bands Martha and the Muffins (“Echo Beach”) and The Parachute Club (“Rise Up”) is getting back into the game with the signing of 22-year-old Toronto singer/songwriter Emilia, and the forthcoming release of her first full-length CD.
Gerry Young, longtime president of Current Management, and also the new and former president of Current Records, is pleased to announce that Emilia has been signed to the re-established label, and that her new CD titled “E” will be released in mid-September.

“E” contains ten new original songs by Emilia, and was produced by the artist and musical arranger Joel Lightman. The album was recorded at Noble Street Studios in Toronto, engineered and mixed by Juno award winner George Seara (Drake, Rhianna, Holly Cole).

Emilia's critically acclaimed breakthrough 2013 EP “Flying Colors" featured the successful single “Closer All the Time,” which received strong national radio airplay.

In making the announcement Young said: “Emilia is a stunning singing and songwriting talent, and she and her new CD deserve the support and attention that only an independent artist-oriented label like Current can provide. We look forward to a long and bright future together.”  Gerry can’t say it but it doesn’t hurt she’s easy on the eyes too.

The principals behind the new Current Records along with Gerry Young, include former CHUM Ltd. broadcasting executive Jim Waters, Vancouver businessman and former co-founder of Current Records Joseph Fodor, and Tom Vukota, president of Vukota Capital.

"Although Emilia received offers from other labels that included major label distribution in Canada, we both came to realize, that signing with a re-established Current Records, that came with both a strong creative and financial team, was without question the best option for both her present and long-term international career development.” Young told Cashbox Canada. Congrats and best of success to all at Current on getting back into the spin.

Julian Taylor eats up Taste of the DanforthJulian Taylor eats up Taste of the DanforthEast side rocker Julian Taylor wowed a cross-city crowd on the final day of Taste of the Danforth. For the second year, Taylor’s headlining gig was a crowd-puller, which was good news for the opening acts as Taylor fans came early and stayed to the end. Backed by an extended to six pieces JTB, the mellow-toned crooner got the female-heavy crowd all sweaty and jumping, running through a tight and sparkling hour long set, the back half of which drew heavily on tunes from current album Tech Noir, including crowd faves “Be Good To Your Woman” and “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Slightly askew Vancouver country singer-songwriter Rusty Ford, whose unique tunes are a saucy salute to the golden age of classic country and include such tear-jerkers as "I Hate Every Bone in Your Body Except Mine", and "I Miss You But My Aim's Improving". Currently staggering up the charts in a drunken stupor is Rusty’s latest single, "Crack Smokin' Mayor".

Rusty wrote the song in response to the allegations and resulting media frenzy of the past year that has surrounded the mayor's tenure in Toronto. Commentaries from the bumbling mayor made for such great satire-song writing fodder, Rusty simply couldn't help himself! Though the song may not be family-friendly, there is nothing in it His Worship hasn't said himself in front of the world, so go on and enjoy this satirical salute to the man who may currently be Canada's most famous citizen.

"Crack Smokin' Mayor" is available on CD Baby or iTunes as a single, along with Rusty's debut album My Truck, My Dog and You.

Back in the T.Dot, the conceptual rockers in the Buddy Black camp are staging the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (Hip Hop Pavilion) tonight (Aug.21) at the Magpie Taproom in the west end. If this sounds like a steam punk hip hop showcase, you’re absolutely right and check for Watered Down among the rhymers on show. But no, Buddy Black hasn’t gone hip-hop yo. The dark prince of Canadian Gothic, backed by The Ghost Umbrellas, close the show with a set likely focused on fresh material but there’s a good chance we’ll hear stuff off the infamous The Story on the Road to Waterloo album, due for a re-release this Fall.

Royksopp and Robyn has premiered the video for “Monument” courtesy of Vice and Intel's The Creators Project. The 10-minute epic “Monument” opens the critically acclaimed mini-album Do It Again. The Scandinavian cold steppers latest album has garnered worldwide critical praise, a sold-out tour, and chart success. As they come to the end of their DIA Tour they bid farewell with the release of their final video - for the epic 10-minute long track “Monument”, the inspiring mini-album opener.

“The video is about exploring the space around you and in you and finding your own space within it all. Half real, half fantasy. The way I see film is as a hybrid of technology and emotions, and hopefully there's an artistic vision there as well. In a way that is what Röyksopp & Robyn also do - they merge something real with something computer-generated to create bigger landscapes than possible without the help of technology.” (Max Vitali)

“The video for “Monument” is a kind of inner journey which I think is also what the music is about. Like space in time and physicality and your own experience of your body.” (Robyn)   “There is light and darkness colliding and it’s all being served on a lit-up platter to encapsulate this ceremony we are partaking in. It has been influenced by the iconic imagery in 70’s sci-fi comics that we grew up with.” (Svein Berge)

Do It Again entered the Official UK Album Chart mid-week at #8. The mini-album serves as an introduction to the new Röyksopp album, set for later in the fall. Röyksopp and Robyn play Toronto August 25 at Echo Beach.

Finally, should y’all happen to be in the ‘hood, the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame 2014 Induction Ceremony goes down Sunday Sept.7. Inductees are honoured for their contributions to that city’s rich musical heritage. This year’s winners are Ron Harrison (composer), Tommy Hunter (Musician, entertainer), Joey Cee (promoter, producer) and Billy Talent (band), Showtime’s 3 p.m. and it’s an outdoors gig.