Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Whitney Houston Dead at 48

Posted by cristóvão On February - 11 - 2012

R_B singer Whiteny Houston died today at the age of 48.

News of her death was confirmed by her publicist early this evening. Early reports from sources quoted on CNN state that R_B/reality star Ray J, who has recently been spotted with Houston in Hollywood, Houston’s bodyguard found her body at the Beverly Hilton hotel room this afternoon. Cause of death was not know.

Dubbed the most awarded female act of all time by Guinness, Houston scored seven #1 singles in a row (a feat no other artist has ever achieved) spanning her first two albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987). She also garnered huge success with her lead role alongside Kevin Costner in Bodyguard in which she had the smash hit  remake “I Will Always Love You”.

In the late 80s, Houston became involved with Bobby Brown. The two would marry and have a child, Bobbi Kristina but their life would turn to turmoil by the late 90s and early 2000s as drug and spousal abuse would dominate the headlines when their names appeared. The two eventually split up and in 2009, Houston spoke with Oprah Winfrey in an extremely candid interview in which she admitted to her explicit drug use.

Houston recently worked on the film remake Sparkle and was to attend a Grammy party tonight ahead of tomorrow’s awards ceremony. The Grammys have already announced that the broadcast will be vastly changed with tributes to the singer.

Popularity: unranked [?]

CD Review: Weezer ~ Raditude

Posted by lmelvin On November - 15 - 2009

weezer-raditude-aaFrom the band that brought us the likes of Pinkerton and The Blue Album, we now have Raditude by Weezer – a light, fun album that pokes fun at the California lifestyle of partying, girls, and celebrity.

The album kicks off with “(If you’re wondering if I want you to) I want you to”.  If you haven’t heard it yet, where the #*_% have you been??  Radio stations everywhere are playing it almost every hour on the hour to the point where the song is straddling the line between catchy and annoying.  Sick of it yet?  Probably.  But I doubt that’ll stop you from absently singing the words while you work much to the amusement of your coworkers…

“(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” isn’t the only humourously obscure song title on Raditude.  Judging by previous song titles, like “The Sweater Song” and “Dope Nose”, Weezer likes to play around with song titles to make the songs themselves more memorable (not that “The Sweater Song” wasn’t awesome by itself).  This album offers: “I’m Your Daddy”, “The Girl Got Hot”, “Tripping Down the Freeway”, and “Get Me Some”, just to name a few.  These tracks have the same catchy and borderline annoying quality as “(blah blah) I Want You To”.  This annoying, but appealing, quality extends all the way to the band – they’re total nerds and, yet, we love them anyway.

A couple tracks were complete, and welcome, surprises.  Songs that broke up the typical Weezer sound kept the album fresh and interesting.  “Can’t Stop Partying” is a club track fittingly about being in the club.  It’s an ironic look at the club/rapper lifestyle – VIP rooms, luxury cars, bottles of Petron, and a following of dancing girls.  There’s even a rap solo!  Be prepared to be bombarded by mental images of Rivers Cuomo break-dancing in the middle of a club wearing a diamond grill and a dollar-sign chain.

“Love Is The Answer” is inspired by, of all things, Bollywood, Hollywood’s eastern sister.  Indian sitar and a Bollywood singer help shape this track into something of a meditative mantra, almost John Lennon-esque in its message of universal love.

While it may not be The Blue Album, Raditude is a huge step up from Weezer’s most recent albums.  It’s upbeat and an overall decent album, especially with a couple gems that really keep the listener interested.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Apple Rumours to Finally be Confirmed or Denied Tomorrow

Posted by cristóvão On September - 8 - 2009

Apple September 2009 EventEvery September since the inception of the iPod, Apple puts together an event to announce new products and services to it’s loyal, and ever increasing, customers. So what do we have in store tomorrow?

Let’s tackle the first true music-centric rumour. Business analysts are telling folks not to hold their breath that the Beatles catalogue will finally appear in iTunes after tomorrow’s event. Although they have millions and millions of artists and tracks, iTunes lacks the entire works of the Beatles. There was a lot of speculation that since the Beatles are releasing two boxed sets along with their new Rock Band Beatles video game tomorrow, we may finally see the Fab Four’s songs on the world’s biggest online music retailer but that remains to be seen. However, more and more reports are citing sources this isn’t likely.

There’s also speculation that iTunes itself will get a makeover which will feature social networking integration (facebook addicts, watch out!), provide BluRay playback support and support a new feature code-named Cocktail which will entice consumers to purchase full albums rather than single tracks with extras such as full artwork, liner notes, lyrics and even small applications.

Of course, the announcement most people are anxious about is the refresh of the entire iPod line-up. It seems that the iPod Nano, Touch and Classic are all poised to receive upgrades that includes a camera. Problem is, recent news stories are indicating that said upgrades may be delayed due to technical difficulties. There’s also talk of the iPod Touch getting reduced pricing and increased storage with an 8GB Touch running you USD$149 while the new 64GB Touch costing USD$349.

Stay tuned as we’ll be revealing the news as soon as possible tomorrow. The event kicks off at 10:00 hrs Pacific, 11:00 hrs Mountain and 13:00 hrs Eastern Time.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Grohl, Homme & Jones = Trifecta!

Posted by cristóvão On July - 7 - 2009

Led Zeppelin/Foo Fighters/Queens of the Stone AgeHoly sweet fucking fuck! Words cannot describe the absolute glee at this incredible news!

According to antiquiet.com, Foo Fighters front-man Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age front-man Joshua Homme and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones are in studio in L.A. recording a new album for what should prove to be the super-group of all super-groups.

Grohl revealed back in 2005 that his next project would involve him on drums, Homme on guitar and Jones on bass telling Mojo magazine, “That’s the next album. That wouldn’t suck.” No fucking shit!

When antiquiet interviewed Brody Dalle of Spinnerette (formerly of the Distillers and oh yeah, Homme’s wife/baby-mama), she could only reveal so much but did state that it “is pretty fucking amazing…Just beats and sounds like you’ve never heard before.”

From what we can tell, there’s no indication of who the singer may be. Could be either Grohl or Homme or possibly a fourth member. Reports state that Homme invited Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton to join him on what was indicated as a separate project altogether but nothing is certain on that so speculation continues to run rampant.

Grohl has never hid is adoration for Zeppelin, honouring them with tattoos, dreaming of being their fill-in drummer for John Bonham if a reunion were to ever occur and proclaiming the day he played with Jones and guitarist Jimmy Page last summer as the greatest day of his life. Plus, he and Homme have worked together in the past, specificlaly on QOTSA’s Songs for the Deaf. With all that considered this just makes sense. The fact of the matter, and what makes us so damned excited, is that this project is underway and we will soon hear the fruits of one of the greatest collaborations of our time!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Michael Jackson Reportedly Dead at 50

Posted by cristóvão On June - 25 - 2009

michael-jackson10This news came at me so fast it’s truly unbelievable. Many I’ve passed on the news to think it’s a hoax but the King of Pop, Michael Jackson has reportedly died.

About 40 minutes ago, various news sources including CNN and CBC reported that Jackson had suffered a heart attack in Los Angeles and was rushed to UCLA Medical Center. The 911 call was apparently made at approximately 12:30 Pacific Time and it’s said he stopped breathing while paramedics worked on him.

As of 10 minutes ago, the Detroit Free Press, the Brisbane Times and TMZ are claiming that Jackson has now died of the apparent heart attack. More to come as we hear it.

Popularity: unranked [?]

FozzyFest Celebrates 5th Year

Posted by cristóvão On June - 19 - 2009

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FozzyFest, an all weekend DJ/music camping extravaganza, returns this year for it’s fifth celebration and organizers expect it to be their biggest year yet.

Started in 2005 as a birthday celebration for Shawn Lafluer (a.k.a. Fozzy) by his friends, the group rented DJ equipment and invited a whole bunch of people to join them. The outing was such a success, they decided to expand the invite list the following year and focus the celebrations around Canada Day. They began charging a small fee to recoup the costs of equipment rental but have always maintained that this is a not-for-profit, all-for-fun event. In fact, the group began donating a portion of the money collected to the Heart _ Stroke Foundation last year.

This year’s event will not only feature plenty of DJs spinning various kinds of music on both nights (June 26th and 27th, 2009) but they’ve expanded to two stages and will feature live music as well. Here’s a list of confirmed acts so far;

Headlining DJs;

Live Performances;

  • Dirty Girl Social Club
  • Erickson Dela Rosa (Live Acoustic Guitar)
  • Live Drummers

Supporting DJs;

  • Segue – Funk
  • Joey G – House
  • Felonious Funk – Mash Up Funky Breaks
  • Density – Drum _ Bass/Liquid Funk
  • Sonny Chiba – Grind Breaks/electro
  • JAWS – Deep Electro Tech House
  • Anthony Dorion – Jackin Chicago/Tech House
  • Robbie C (Canmore) – Electro
  • Floorgasm – Dirty Electro and Trance
  • G-Flux – Tech Trance
  • Keith PD – Full on Psy Trance
  • Fluctu8 – Hard Dance
  • Miss DVS – Electro/Tech
  • DJ Erebus – House/Breaks
  • Wesmo – House/Breaks
  • Dirty Dean – Hard Dance

FozzyFest is held on crown land in the South Kananaskis, Alberta wilderness so there are no facilities but there will be porta-potties and garbage/recycling bags provided for guests. “It is our goal annually to leave the area cleaner than when we got there so several volunteers help to tidy up before we leave,” event organizer Darryl Stanat told Off the Dial recently.

Tickets are $40 in advance (can be purchased at Sloth Records in Calgary or Unlimited Snow and Skate Shop in Canmore) or $50 at the site.  Organizers expect more than 200 people to attend this year.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Mars Volta Prep New Album; Possible At the Drive-In Reunion?

Posted by cristóvão On June - 13 - 2009

atdiJust as the Mars Volta prepare to release their new album on June 23rd, there’s news that a reunion of At the Drive-In is more a possibility now than ever before.

Earlier this week, Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man singer Frederick Blood-Royale interviewed Mars Volta singer Cedric Bixler Zavala in a very cool feature on music zine Drowned in Sound where artists interview other artists. Naturally, they were talking about the group’s fifth album, Octahedron when something very interesting happened.

As Blood-Royale discusses the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival with Zavala, he hazards a guess that they wouldn’t entertain any offers from the festival to reunite ATDI (something the festival tends to do) but Zavala’s response probably caught many by surprise.

“I don’t know what to say about that really. We’ve been making amends with a lot of the members and having some really good talks with them. And we’ve been trying to get our financial business in order because a lot of people have been ripping off that band really badly…as far as the business side goes. I wouldn’t mind it. Y’know, it might happen, we just have to iron out a lot of personal things. A lot of it we’ve dealt with already and I’ve apologized for a lot of things I’ve said and the way it ended…we’ll see what happens.”

Of course, let’s take one thing at a time here. The Mars Volta will be touring Europe to play many of the summer festivals but also are playing San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music _ Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 29, 2009.

You can read the entire Drowned in Sound interview here. Listen to Octahedron tracks “Since We’ve Been Wrong” and “Cotopaxi” on the band’s official MySpace page. Also make sure to check out Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Tragically Hip Pre-Sale for Toronto, Victoria, Hamilton & Edmonton

Posted by cristóvão On April - 7 - 2009

If you’re looking for the pre-sale password for the Tragically Hip in Toronto, Victoria, Hamilton and/or Edmonton, you’ve come to the right place.

Sirius Canada is holding a pre-sale for the May 19th Toronto, June 19th Vicotoria, September 30th Hamilton and September 13th Edmonton shows starting TODAY (April 7th) at 10:00 hrs local time until April 8th at 22:00 hrs local time. Simply send a message to passwords@offthedial.ca to get on our mailing list and you’ll automatically be sent the password.

SEND US AN EMAIL TO GET YOUR PASSWORD!!!

Popularity: 9% [?]

Day 91 Shenanigans

Posted by cristóvão On April - 2 - 2009

I understand that many people hate April Fools Day but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Back in 2005 when we were known as a weekly newsletter called kMNR, we pulled an April Fools reporting that System of a Down had abruptly broken up while recording what would become Mezmerize/Hypnotize. Of course, it wasn’t true but we managed to fool a few loyal readers. Sadly, it did eventually come true in a sense when SOAD went on indefinite hiatus in 2007.

This year, we returned to the antics with “Our Prayers Have Been Answered…Nirvana Return!” which not only fooled a few readers, but even fooled an unnamed Off the Dial contributor! We weren’t the only ones having fun this year. Check out what Trent Reznor pulled off yesterday;

ninstrobelight

Gotta love the track titles (“Even Closer“, “Clap Trap Crack Slap“, “Laid, Paid and Played“, “Still Hurts“) and featured artists, especially the pairing. I can’t decide which is better; Fergie with Al Jourgensen or Justin Timberlake with Maynard James Keenan. Oh, and if you actually tried to sign up for your free, $18.99 + $10 digital convenience fee copy of the album, here’s what you got;

ninstrobelighterr

Speaking of Maynard, the original kMNR 2005 April Fools was inspried by toolshed.down.net, a long-running Tool fan-site run by Kabir. He’s been pulling April Fools on Tool fans for well over ten years, the most famous being the 1997 Australian auto accident that reportedly injured several band members. The result was an online uproar from those who fell for it and thought the joke was inappropriate. Even more hilarious was the fact that a number of radio stations in the U.S. reported the story although others, plus MTV News, reported the hoax as exactly that. Ten years later, t.d.n reported on April 1st that drummer Danny Carey had injured his arm and the band had to cancel/postpone several tour dates. Nothing really outlandish but when SPIN magazine picked it up as truth, it pushed it up the ranks of excellence.

This year, t.d.n falsely reported that the band were going to play a limited number of small venue shows in between their summer festival tour and you had to call in to your local rock radio station and provide them with the password (“cozened”) to obtain ticket details. One radio station announced on-air that it was NOT true (they must’ve got quite a few calls).

Lastly, Microsoft revealed this on an XBOX web site yesterday. Enjoy!

Popularity: 5% [?]

Toronto Company Buys Up Death Row Records

Posted by cristóvão On January - 24 - 2009

Not only did this relatively unknown Canadian company pick up the entire Death Row Records catalogue for a mere $18 million US, WIDEawake Entertainment Group is headed up by a 48 year old Jewish mother of two. Not exactly what you’d consider a suitable candidate.

Yet Lara Lavi, a lawyer and recording artist who’s likened her music to Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan, outbid music industry giants Warner Music in court last week. This after Global Muisc Group tried to buy the bankrupt ridden label for $25 million US, but their financing fell through.

The steal of a deal could be very lucrative as the catalogue of music from such huge rap names as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and the (supposedly) deceased Tupac Shakur contains plenty of unreleased music and film material.

Popularity: 7% [?]

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