Tag Archives: music

In Session With…Kristin Fung

Kristin leads her own R&B band in original tunes infused with her signature super funky soul grooves (Massive Stride available now on iTunes), she is a featured soloist in the live and recorded versions of Anthony Braxton’s experimental opera Trillium J, a member of both Braxton’s Ghost Trance Choir and Christine Duncan’s The Element Choir, creator of the creative vocal/dance trio celeste, and half of the hip folky duo K Funk and Lady Ree.

Big Dumb Heart
You For You
The Man Is Optional

Recorded Live inside Girth Radio studios.

West End Phoenix – Concert

Last night I attended the West End Phoenix fundraising concert at Toronto’s The Great Hall.

Not only was it an opportunity to help fundraise for the local community newspaper that Dave Badini founded, the West End Phoenix, but it was also a great opportunity to experience some great spoken word performances and live music.

First up was a spoken word performance by poet, Nasim Asgari.

nasim asgari

Next up was an hour long set by Juno award-winning band, Whitehorse.


Closing out the evening was one of Canada’s most unconventional, yet influential bands, Rheostatics. They were joined on stage by Kevin Hearn (also from the Barenaked Ladies), Alex Lifeson (of RUSH), Don Kerr (Toronto-based band Communism) and Tom Wilson (from Junhouse and Lee Harvey Osmond)


For more information on how to be a patron or newspaper subscriber please visit https://www.westendphoenix.com/.

The 2018 Junos

After catching a bit of the 2018 Junos I realized that a few people that I saw on TV have actually been in studio with me!

Anna Hill – Episode #63 – What does Anna have to do with the Junos? Nothing really. Except, I saw her on the TV broadcast! She was sitting beside Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies. (They’re partners!)

Jim Creeggan –  Episode #51 – Now in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a member of the Barenaked Ladies!

Maestro Fresh Wes – Episode #100 – Wes was nominated in the Rap category at this year’s Junos.

Mike Downie – Episode #88 – Mike Downie is, of course, the older brother of Gord Downie and accepted (at least once) the awards that Gord won. At this year’s Junos, Gord won Songwriter of the Year, Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Artist of the Year.


Episode #115: Abigail Winter

Abigail Winter is an actor, writer, and film-maker. And she also used to work at the coffee shop down the street from our studio.

abigail winter and karim kanji

Listen below:

Girth Radio
Apple Podcasts
Google Play Music
Pocket Casts
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.
Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you enjoyed this episode you’ll also like:

Episode #33: Huse Madhavji
Episode #101: Kelly McCormack

Check out this other Girth Radio show: Sammy speaks with Strombo!

What Blurred Lines Decision Means for Musicians & Industry

Remember this song?

What about this one?

Yup. One copied the other.  This morning an American court of appeals upheld a verdict that the 2013 chart-topper “Blurred Lines” infringed the copyright to Marvin Gaye’s iconic “Got To Give It Up.”

J. Michael Keyes is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

“In the closely watched music copyright infringement case, a panel of the 9th circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, upheld a jury verdict that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (the world’s best-selling single from 2013) infringed the copyright in Marvin Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up” from the 1970s.  The Court’s decision is noteworthy in a couple of respects.”

“Upholding the jury’s verdict (and the ultimate damage award) could very well mean we see a new wave of additional music infringement lawsuits and claims.  The 9th Circuit majority decision was quite explicit in opining that musical works receive broad protection and that “there is no one magical combination of factors that will automatically substantiate a musical infringement suit.”   That standard is rather noteworthy and leaves quite a bit of play in the joints for future litigants to cobble together a music infringement claim.  In fact, as the dissenting opinion points out, the majority decision seems to give copyright protection to a “musical style” as the two works “differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm,” Keyes says.

“One important but rather technical issue that the court did not decide (and that is directly relevant in the Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven appeal pending before the 9th Circuit) was whether the “scope” of copyright protection is dictated by the notes on the printed page (the sheet music) or whether the sound recording can be considered as defining the scope of protection  The trial court ruled that the scope of Gaye’s copyright protection was limited to the sheet music because that is what was submitted to the Copyright Office and what was ultimately registered.  The 9th Circuit assumed, without deciding the issue, that the trial court made the correct decision.  We will need to wait and see how the court deals with this same theme in the Stairway to Heaven case,” Keyes says.

Keyes is an intellectual property attorney with extensive trial and litigation experience in cases involving trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition and false advertising. He has tried several cases in federal courts across the United States. Keyes has a piano performance degree and has written on the issue of music copyright. One of his law review articles was cited extensively in a case in Chicago federal court in a music copyright case brought against Lady Gaga. Before going to law school to work with copyright law, he studied piano and composition at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Image: https://beardedgentlemenmusic.com/2015/03/17/where-do-the-blurred-lines-get-drawn/ 

Episode #114: Our Lady Peace

For upwards of 25 years, Our Lady Peace has been one of Canada’s pre-eminent rock bands. Fronted by lead singer and main songwriter, Raine Maida, OLP has sold millions of albums worldwide. They’re still touring and making new music after all these years.

Our Lady Peace is currently on a cross-Canada tour with Matthew Good. I sat down with lead guitarist Steve Mazur and drummer Jason Pierce in between Toronto shows to talk about recording new music and their current tour.

Listen below:

Girth Radio
Apple Podcasts
Google Play Music
Pocket Casts
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

our lady peace

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

If you enjoyed this episode you’ll also like:

Episode #51: Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies.

Listen to other Girth Radio podcasts like The Creative Imbalance with Sean Sirianni.

International Boundaries

This past weekend I found myself in Toronto’s Cadillac Lounge to join my friend (and former rock star!), Gregg Tilston, and watch an 80’s retro cover band The Bomb.  It turned out to be a reunion of sorts!

Back in the mid to late 80’s a new wave rock band was taking over Oshawa. Known as International Boundaries, the band featured Shaun Gillespie, Jeff Teravainen, Jamie Pugh, and everyone’s favourite keyboardist, Gregg Tilston.

Well, they were all in attendance watching as Shaun (bassist) was playing with The Bomb.

Here’s the before and after photo:

international boundaries

Here they were in their heyday:

Let’s hope they do a reunion soon!


Music in 2017

2017 was a fun year for me for attending concerts.  As you know I’m not much for words so here’s a quick re-cap:

The first concert of the year was The Sadies opening for Blue Rodeo at Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre. It’s a nice little venue that we’d visit again later in the year.

The last show of 2017 was Teen Ravine opening for July Talk.

This was our second time seeing July Talk. We saw them earlier in 2017 at Budweiser Stage during the summer in support of Arkells.

Also on that ticket was Said The Whale and Mondo Cozmo. Kahzmir and I saw Said The Whale again in Scarborough. Along with less than a couple dozen others braving a summer shower.

The smallest venue we visited was a couple of local community centres in Scarborough as part of SoFar Toronto (Scarborough). We saw a bunch of acts over 3 different concerts including the Saxaphone Brothers and Renee The Voice.

Sofar Toronto #music #weekend #indie #sofarscarborough #sofar #sofartoronto

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The largest venue was the SkyDome (aka Rogers Centre) were we saw the Lumineers open for U2’s The Joshua Tree tour.

Sunday Bloody Sunday #joshuatreetour2017 #Toronto

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Favourite venue was the Horseshoe Tavern. Finally saw a show  there. The James Clark Institute opened for Pursuit Of Happiness. Yes, I’m an adult now!

I went to NYC in September 2017. Besides seeing almost every taping of the New York late night talk shows I also visited the legendary Apollo theatre in Harlem. And this was during the famous Amateur Night where we witnessed more almost a dozen musical acts including the famous house band.

We also saw some classic acts such as Pink Floyd’s Rogers Waters and the return of Guns N’ Roses!

Throughout the year we also saw Neil Haden perform at least three times. Twice with his band, Two Left Feet and once at his Uncle Neil and Friends Christmas Toy Concert.

The Bach Children’s Chorus and Youth Choir also played multiple times during 2017. We saw them three times last year. It’s especially fun when our son, Kahzmir, is part of two of these performances every year!

2017 also introduced us to Kc Roberts and the Live Revolution (a fusion of jazz/funk/rock), A-Track and Chromeo (both DJs in the EDM space – I think!)

One of the last shows of 2017 (although not the last!) was Canadian Music Hall of Fame band Barenaked Ladies with support from one of Canada’s finest songwriter’s, Ron Sexsmith!

Finally. We’re at my favourite shows of 2017. It’s a virtual tie. But there always has to be a winner.

So, in second place was:

Opening Act: Broken Social Scene (I was so happy to finally see this band live after many near misses!)

Headlining: Arcade Fire. No matter what the critics think of their latest album(s) the power group from Montreal (via Haiti and USA) knows how to put on a show with their collection of rock anthems.

The winning combo…

Opening Act: Matt Mays

Headlining: Arkells. We saw Arkells for the second time in Oshawa. The venue was smaller than when we saw them in summer. Arkells is rock and roll. They have anthems, pop songs and love songs. They are tight but play with the enthusiasm and joy of teens. This was the most fun I’ve had at a concert all year. These guys are the real deal. And while they’ve arrived they will only get bigger and better. If you can, see Arkells.