Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Around the Horn ~ the NUV, Kori Pop & Wheels on Fire

Posted by vcanning On November - 9 - 2010

Written by: Victoria Canning

Editors Note: Here’s another new feature we’re trying out. We get a lot of media requests from independant musicians from all over asking for some exposure. Rather than having to sift through so many requests and see which of our contributors will do a full fledged review, we thought highlighting all these releases would be a better approach. Sometimes you’ll find audio clips, sometimes tour/gig dates, but you’ll always find new music.

Italy’s, The NUV (the New Ultraviolet Vanish), are a modern day coalition of the late great grunge and early 2000s alt rock scene. Citing the Pixies, Sonic Youth and Nirvana as a surmise of their influences, The NUV waste no time upping the ante on their recent debut, Top Model Super Fashion released earlier in July. Akin to Jets’ “Get Born”, Top Model Super Fashion’s youthful flair and rough guitar riffs revive the distant 90s in a way Cobain would be proud of. The NUV kick off their European tour at the end of November. Click below to listen to “Jennifer”;

Ontario’s answer to Katie Melua, Kori Pop is a bright talent amongst the flagging hopefuls of 2010. With vibrant vocals and whispering melodies, Pop soars where other modern day singer songwriters have fallen. An album comprising all from pianos to accordion and vocals covering pop, soul and rock, Pop’s debut,  From the Outskirts acts as a refreshing reprieve. Check out the video for “Nowhere Near My Heart” below;

Taking influence from many rock originals a la The Replacements and The Clash, third album, Liar Liar by Athens, Ohio’s Wheels on Fire, is a fine reproduction of vintage rebellion. Bordering on alt-punk with their high energy and up beat tunes, Liar Liar embodies youth, life and love in it’s short but sweet 25 minutes. A 4 song EP of new recordings titled Cherry Bomb is also now available exclusively from Kind Turkey Records. Click below to hear the track “Black Wave”;

Popularity: unranked [?]

Gentlemen Husbands Take On Ontario

Posted by cristóvão On June - 22 - 2010

From Press Release;

Gentlemen Husbands are setting out on a very action packed summer! Having just played a number of well-received sets at this year’s North by Northeast Music Festival, the band will spend the rest of the summer on the road playing festivals and bringing their feel-good alt rock and roll to new stages! Their live show is not to be missed and their pure brand of Canadiana rock and roll is the perfect remedy for your summer blues!

The band’s rambunctious live performances have won them over fans across the province. They’ve shared stages with the likes of The Arkells, Lucero, Ron Sexsmith and Murder By Death and been invited to play festivals such as Cutting Edge Music Festival, SCENE fest, Rock the Mill, Canadian Music Fest, and more. Expect to hear much more from these small-town rockers before the year lets up!

Tour Dates;

  • June 21 @ Call the Office, LONDON (w/ Del Asher)
  • June 22 @ Karma Lounge, OSHAWA (w/ Del Asher)
  • June 25 @ Cherry Cola’s, TORONTO (w/ Monster Truck)
  • June 26 @ Market Hall, COBOURG (w/ Teenage Kicks)
  • June 27 @ Patrick Sheehan’s, ST. CATHARINES (**SCENE Music Festival)
  • July 3 @ Happy Gilmores, COBOURG
  • July 10 @ Rock The Coliseum, MISSISSAUGA (w/ Sights _ Sounds)
  • July 14 @ SummerFest Free Outdoor Stage, BELLEVILLE (w/ The Balconies)
  • July 15 @ Farini’s, PORT HOPE
  • July 19 @ El Mocambo, TORONTO (w/ The Bad Ideas)
  • July 30 @ The Townehouse, SUDBURY
  • Aug. 6 @ D’Arcy McGee’s, OTTAWA
  • Aug. 7 @ D’Arcy McGee’s, OTTAWA
  • Aug. 20 @ Sneaky Dees, TORONTO (w/ Teenage Kicks)
  • Aug. 21 @ Rock the Mill Festival, CAMBRIDGE
Gentlemen Husbands are setting out on a very action packed summer! Having just played a number of well-received sets at this year’s North by Northeast Music Festival, the band will spend the rest of the summer on the road playing festivals and bringing their feel-good alt rock and roll to new stages! Their live show is not to be missed and their pure brand of Canadiana rock and roll is the perfect remedy for your summer blues!

The band’s rambunctious live performances have won them over fans across the province. They’ve shared stages with the likes of The Arkells, Lucero, Ron Sexsmith, and Murder By Death and been invited to play festivals such as Cutting Edge Music Festival, SCENE fest, Rock the Mill, Canadian Music Fest, and more. Expect to hear much more from these small-town rockers before the year lets up! Tour dates and bio below.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Priestess Announce Canadian Dates in July

Posted by cristóvão On May - 18 - 2010

From press release;

Good news for Priestess fans in Canada.  The band has just announced they will be doing a run of dates in Ontario and Quebec during the month of July.  The tour kicks off on July 16th in Toronto and ends on July 23rd in Ottawa.  The California band High On Fire, with whom they just spent six weeks touring the US with, will be joining them on these dates.

Since the release of their sophomore record Prior To The Fire back in October Priestess have kept real busy with tours in Europe, a trip down to SXSW as well as their recent US tour.  The four guys will be spending time this summer working on some new material and will be heading back to the US, Europe and even Australia later on in the fall.

Upcoming Tour Dates;

  • July 16th – Opera House, Toronto
  • July 17th – London Music Hall, London
  • July 18th – The Blind Dog, Windsor
  • July 20th – The Casbah, Hamilton
  • July 21st – Time To Laugh Comedy Club, Kingston
  • July 22nd – Le Cercle, Quebec City
  • July 23rd – Capital Music Hall, Ottawa

Popularity: unranked [?]

Pop diva ready to rock the world

Posted by rlatham On January - 27 - 2010

Written by: Rob Latham

Toronto-based Rebecca Stephens is ready to set the world alight with her unique brand of power rock/pop music.

The 20-year-old singer/songwriter, from Wasaga Beach, Ontario, will be wowing the Toronto music scene with the combination of her powerful voice, mature musicality and stunning good looks throughout the new year as she looks to build her musical stock and explore new and exciting sounds.

Rebecca said: “My musical style is very true to 80′s rock diva’s such as Pat Benatar, Blondie and Heart. I love the raw emotion that these artists all express in their music, it’s very real and timeless.

“However, music as a whole has really come such a long way since then and I think it’d be really exciting for me to take my influences from these women and build on it by utilizing modern technology and of course, my own creative expression.”

Rebecca‘s music has a funky, rocky edge to add to her fantastically powerful voice while also retaining a very poppy, upbeat feeling in her songs, as best portrayed in the lively ‘Not Your Girlfriend.’ Add to that her gorgeous, curvaceous good looks and we are well and truly onto a winner.

But her music also has a very delicate side resulting in a flexible creativity as shown off in the delightful, touching ‘Always.’

Her debut EP, released last year, was crafted with the help of veteran Toronto guitarist Peter Mueller to create a sound that effectively portrays Rebecca‘s powerful voice and early classical training and provide an interesting and refreshing sound.

Rebecca explains: “Working with Peter Mueller on the EP was a great experience because he helped me to take all of my musical influences and find my own sound amidst all of them. In the end, he really gave me a direction while doing this which is so important to have as an artist who wishes to achieve longevity in the business.

“It was something that I lacked entirely before I worked with Peter and now that I have a much better idea of where I’d like to go with my music, I’m confident I will be able to really dig into who I am as an artist when I start writing for my first album and, hopefully, people will like me.”

Her influences range from experienced performers like Blondie and Sheryl Crow to more modern day icons Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson, all of whom’s influence is very evident when listening to Rebecca’s music but the singer explains there is a lot more to her brand of music.

She said: “My goal as a performer is to really be able to rock it while still pulling my audience in on an emotional level like I feel more able to do when it’s just me and the piano. I plan on getting a band together once I’m in Toronto and then building on that idea.”

This year sees Rebecca launching an assault on the Toronto music scene, following a succesful tour through southern Ontario last year and the singer is already working on new material for an album.

To check out Rebecca’s music visit her MySpace page.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Small-town girl ready for big city success

Posted by rlatham On November - 25 - 2009


Written by: Rob Latham

Photo by: Sai Sivanesen

The classic story of small-town girl looking to make it big in the bright lights of the city is a dream almost come true for pop singer/songwriter Sara Giguere.

Moving into a new decade sees the Toronto-based singer, who hails from the town of Iroquois Falls near Timmins, Ontario, going it alone in the music world and looking forward to the release of her debut single.

Having given up on the idea of trying to setup a band in Toronto, where she moved to fulfill her dream of being a musician, Giguere is now fully focused on a solo career with a new-found confidence in her undoubted singing talents.

As she explains: “When I moved to Toronto I wanted to get out there so bad and so I tried looking for band mates and people I could write with. I just wanted to perform but at the end of the day I don’t think I was on the same page as everyone else and it became harder to forge that relationship.

“Six months ago I realized I could do this on my own and with the help of some amazing people I was able to get my voice out there and write again, I believe I’m still meant to do this.”

Giguere‘s style is intriguing, with a strong focus and passion for the meanings of lyrics and keeping her songs from the heart and honest.

“I find writing lyrics is so hard, I want what I sing to be honest and I want to believe in all the words,” she said.

“And because of that I write from experience. I write what is true to me. But at the end of the day my inspiration comes from the world around me, it comes from past relationships, losing someone close, finding love.”

Giguere‘s influences are wide-ranging and as a result so is her music, which from song to song can switch from fast-paced tracks to a slow ballad depending on the theme, but the main focus of what drives her to write music are artists whose lyrics appeal to her.

Giguere said: “Most importantly I adored a few artists, like Jason Mraz and Martina Sorbara of Dragonette, for their writing styles, it may not be similar to mine but the way they capture words is amazing.

“But what I listen to is always changing. I listen to what moves me, what makes me feel good or what makes me feel sad, not necessarily what’s big right now.”

Giguere has always had a strong musical background from her upbringing and inherits her writing skills from her mother and performing abilities from her father, who used to play shows on the guitar and harmonica when she was a child.

Giguere explains: “Music was always a big part of my life growing up and my parents did the best they could at involving me in anything musical.

“My family had no idea I could really sing until one year my dad bought a karaoke machine before Christmas when I was 12 and my mom asked me to try it. I remember I sang a Christmas song and that’s when my parents realized: ‘Hey, she can sing.’”

Giguere certainly has a knack for writing a catchy pop song and when you throw her unique sounding voice and good looks into the picture she is certainly onto a winning combination.

To check out Sara Giguere’s music visit her MySpace page.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Clothes Make the Man ~ “Privy”

Posted by cristóvão On October - 3 - 2009

Clothes Make the ManToronto group Clothes Make the Man have just completed recording their new album, Distance with producer Julius “Juice” Butty (Alexisonfire, Protest the Hero).

There is no release date set for Distance yet, but they have announced that it should be expected sometime in 2010, presumably the early part of the year.

Having spent most of the summer in studio, they still managed to get out and play a few shows including opening for Hey Rosetta! and a slot at this year’s Edgefest. They’ve also played with Moneen, Cancer Bats, Malajube and Attack in Black in the past, so fans should be happy to hear that they  are embarking on an Ontario-wide tour with dates in Guelph, Toronto, Kitchener, Mississauga, Oshawa, Burlington, Peterborough, London and Ottawa (see dates below).

For those of you not familiar, this video for “Privy” should not only give you a taste of their style, but also of their humour;

Ontario Tour;

  • October 14, 2009 ~ Guelph, ON ~ Van Gogh’s Ear 3rd Floor
  • October 15, 2009 ~ Toronto, ON ~ El Mocambo
  • October 16, 2009 ~ Kitchener, ON ~ Circus Room
  • October 22, 2009 ~ Mississauga, ON ~ Marcellos
  • October 24, 2009 ~ Oshawa, ON ~ the Green Bottle
  • October 28, 2009 ~ Burlington, ON ~ Red Rooster
  • October 30, 2009 ~ Peterborough, ON ~ Montreal House
  • November 7, 2009 ~ London, ON ~ Blackshire Pub
  • December 4, 2009 ~ Ottawa, ON ~ Live Lounge

Popularity: unranked [?]

Virgin Festival Ontario Announced!

Posted by cristóvão On July - 14 - 2009

2008virginfestlogoThe last of the 2009 Canadian Virgin Festivals was just announced today and it looks to be the best of the lot.

Virgin Festival Ontario, to be held at Burl’s Creek Park just North-East of Barrie, ON, about an hour North of Toronto, will take place on August 29th and 30th featuring plenty of big names on the bill.

The Saturday night, the headliners will be Ben Harper _ Relentless7, the Pixies and Franz Ferdinand while on Sunday night, Nine Inch Nails, Pet Shop Boys and Our Lady Peace. Of course, there are loads of other acts so here’s the confirmed line-up thus far;

NIN fans in Ontario should be absolutely delighted since Trent Reznor announced the band would be no more after his tour was done. This new addition to NIN‘s Wave Goodbye tour (along with a host of to-be-announced club dates in the U.S.) stretches out the group’s farewell which should be fine by many.

Tickets for Virgin Festival Ontario go on sale this Saturday, July 18th at 12:00 hrs NOON Eastern Time but stay tuned for pre-sale details once they are announced. Tickets for the full weekend are $99 plus fees, significantly less than Virgin Festival Alberta (boo-urns!) yet not as cheap as Virgin Festival Nova Scotia turned out to be. The one-day show on July 4th was supposed to feature the Tragically Hip as the headliners but at the last minute they had to cancel due to a family emergency and Virgin organizers refunded everyone their ticket price and let everyone else for free.

Popularity: unranked [?]

the Most Serene Republic Introduce Another New Song

Posted by cristóvão On June - 18 - 2009

tmsr-fingerMilton, ON’s the Most Serene Republic are getting closer and closer to releasing their third full-length album, …And the Ever Expanding Universe on July 14th but you can hear yet another track from the forthcoming album.

They announced yesterday the new track would be up on their MySpace page. After just one quick listen to “Phi”, it’s very reminiscent of Broken Social Scene. This follows the first track from the new album, “Heavens to Purgatory” being posted weeks ago (and you can download a free copy of the track on their own web site).

…And the Ever Expanding Universe will be released on CD, vinyl and digitally through Arts _ Crafts on July 14th.

Here’s a full track listing;

  • “Bubble Reputation”
  • “Heavens to Purgatory”
  • “Vessels of a Donor Look”
  • “Phi”
  • “the Old Forever New Things”
  • “All of One is the Other”
  • “Patternicity”
  • “Four Humours”
  • “Catharsis Boo”
  • “Don’t Hold Back, Feel a Little Longer”
  • “No One Likes a Nihilist”

Popularity: unranked [?]

Canadian Virgin Festivals Confirmed With Montreal Announcement

Posted by cristóvão On May - 6 - 2009

2008virginfestlogoI’ve noticed quite a few people have been popping into the web site reading last year’s Virgin Festival Calgary news articles, certainly because they are searching for info on this year’s rumoured festival. Trust me, I’m as anxious as you are.

Well, today we’ve finally got confirmation that not only will there be Virgin Festivals in Canada, but the first Festival’s line-up has been announced with the first-ever Virgin Festival Montreal. Not only that, there are going to be FIVE Virgin Festival’s in Canada this year. However, details on the others are pretty vague.

Let’s talk about the Montreal festival though. You may want to sit down for this. Virgin Festival Montreal will take place Friday, June 19th with headliners Black Eyed Peas, Simple Plan, Hedley, the New Cities and Eva Avila. I know. Saturday, June 20th will feature, ahem, New Kids on the Block, Akon, Live, Lights and Devine Brown.

Should I bother providing commentary on this line-up?

Let’s talk about the other four Virgin Festivals. Sadly, the only news regarding these are that they will take place in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. Now, last year, Virgin Festivals only took place in Toronto and Calgary while Vancouver was cancelled before it had a line-up announced. With only provinces being identified, it’s possible we could see Virgin Festivals take place in Edmonton instead of Calgary but I’m fairly certain Toronto and Vancouver are on solid ground. Halifax is likely but not a certainty.

Hopefully the line-ups for the remaining four Virgin Festivals will be FAR from Montreal’s line-up. Thiers makes last year’s Virgin Calgary line-up look PHENOMENAL! (I should note that I’m rescinding any ill-toward I previously had for last year’s show. I hear Stone Temple Pilots were quite good and missing the Flaming Lips was a mistake.)

Popularity: 11% [?]

Ticketmaster Ignores Ontario Government at Own Peril

Posted by show On March - 24 - 2009

ticketmaster_no_fullIn the face of mounting consumer anger towards Ticketmaster and its resale racket site, TicketsNow, the Ontario government has announced plans to move forward with the introduction of legislation that would prevent the company from allowing tickets to events in the province from being resold on the TicketsNow site.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said Tuesday that the province was preparing for a fight against the company after their request to stop the practice was ignored by TicketMaster.

Ticketmaster is sticking to its statement that it does not divert tickets to TicketsNow or give preferential treatment to the site in an effort to boost already inflated ticket prices, and has failed to respond to requests for a comment by members of the media.

Troubles have been brewing for the company for some time now, with two class-action lawsuits already filed against them in Canada and the announcement by Industry Minister Tony Clement that the federal Competition Bureau would be looking into the company’s policies.

Although I always find it hard to get behind politicians who are out to protect the little guy from price gouging, when they themselves do it so well, I have to admit that it’s nice to see them responding to public outcry against unfair retails practices by a company who holds a near stranglehold on the market.  Do I think it will make a huge difference? Probably not. Do I think it’s still good to try and make them change their ways? Absolutely.


Popularity: 5% [?]





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