Tag Archives: music

Review: coffee, beer and mosh pits

coffee, beer and mosh pits

On Tuesday night I had the opportunity to visit the Toronto Reference Library and listen to Randy Bachman tell stories like no one else can. But that is for another blog post. Today’s post – and photos – is from an amazing collection of photos, videos and posters which exhibit Toronto’s diverse and eclectic music scene from the 1960’s until today.

Maestro Fresh Wes
Maestro Fresh Wes

This jam is amplified. So just glide and let your backbone slide. Remember Maestro Fresh Wes from Scarborough? Now my favourite Canadian rap artist stars on Mr. D on CBC. Soon, he’ll be a guest on Toronto Mike’d with Mike Boon.

Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene

Toronto’s Broken Social Scene is perhaps the most influential musical collective and is headed up by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. The group has helped with the musical maturity of acts such as Metric, Leslie Feist, and The Stars. You can actually see the latest incarnation of Broken Social Scene this summer at the Field Trip outdoor concert festival.

coffee, beer and mosh pits
coffee, beer and mosh pits

Classic posters and hand bills in the gallery.

More posters and photos
Guess Who? More posters and photos
Yorkville Music Scene
Yorkville Music Scene

Yorkville was once home to future musical greats such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.

Coffee, Beer and Mosh Pits runs in the TD Gallery of the Toronto Reference Library until the end of this month. Visit the website for more information

Cost: Free

Concert Review: Paul Simon and Sting at the Air Canada Centre

1986’s Graceland by Paul Simon still remains one of my top ten favourite albums of all time. And Stewart Copeland’s distinctive  drumming while with The Police made it cool for kids like me to air drum.

So when my sister gave  tickets as a present for me to see Paul Simon and Sting (lead singer for The Police for those of you not at “mature” as me) this past weekend, I was more than excited.

While I thought that the sound system could have been improved upon (Neil Young’s last visit to the ACC may have blown a few fuses – I was at that concert too) the two did not disappoint the thousand in attendance.

Paul Simon and Sting
Paul Simon and Sting

Both eclectic songwriters performed hits such as Every Breath You Take, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, Walking On The Moon, Graceland, Roxanne, The Boxer (which was a Grade 5 favourite of mine), and You Can Call Me Al.

Watch some of my Vine’s from the concert:

https://vine.co/v/MKEEq2YP7F9

Toronto is Awesome: Reason #5 – Indie 88

This is my fifth article in the Toronto Is Awesome series. I would love your comments, thoughts and future suggestions for this series.

Indie 88
Indie 88

Giving great music a home. This is the motto of Toronto’s newest radio station. Indie 88 is my go to radio music station for home, car and even office.

I love the music and the independent feel of the station’s hosts. Even the commercials sound “indie”. One of my favourite things about the station is that I can also listen to it online via their live stream feed. And if you visit it you will notice the online chat. In the chat, you can find people debating the merits of playing Arcade Fire almost every hour. Most of all you will find the deejay’s (I like to call them hosts) participating in these chats.

A real gem in Toronto. Give them a listen even if you live elsewhere.

Arcade Fire keep pushing boundaries of digital content with Reflektor

Holy shit. Arcade Fire has done it again. And I’m not referring to their new single, Reflektor. I’m talking about their new video (I call it their new digital experience because that’s what it is).

I have previously spoken about Arcade Fire and their innovations in digital both here and here.

Today their new single and video(s) were released at 9pm local time. The traditional video is dark and gets some getting used to. However, when I found out that Arcade Fire also released an interactive experience I was hooked.

Another Chrome experiment, the experience is actually called Just A Reflektor and is a short film that follows the world of a woman in Haiti as she experiences both her world and ours.

Here are a couple of screen shots:

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 9.18.54 PM

This one is of me within the video.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 10.12.47 PM

The one above is of the heroine.

Vincent Morisset is again the genius behind this production as he was with sprawl2. If you haven’t experienced the video make sure to watch experience it and read about the technology here.

Make sure to use the Chrome browser via desktop/laptop or an iOS/Android device. Enjoy!

Neil Young: 1972-2012

Recently I conducted a session at our social media agency in Toronto. It was about Neil Young and his mostly musical career over the past 40 years. I say past 40 years because Neil has been rocking in the free world for much longer.

[slideshare id=20160276&style=border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px&sc=no]

Others have written much on Neil and his dealings with technology. Here are three of them.

Technology Highlights:

  1. Lionel Trains – model trains
  2. LincVolt – big cars can be clean cars
  3. Pono – 21st century digital

What podcasts do you listen to?

I’m in the need for some new and inspiring podcasts to listen to. I’m a Blue Jays and MMA fan.  I’m also an entrepreneur and a social marketer. So the podcasts reflect this.

Here is what I currently listen to:

Drunk Jays Fans – brought to you by the guys from The Score’s mosts popular blog on your Toronto Blue Jays.

ESPN UFC Podcast – from across the pond in England. This is one of the most unbaised podcasts on MMA around.

Freakonomics Radio – from the blog and book of the same name.

Humble and Fred Radio – because sometimes I need to relax and just have some unadulterated fun.

Q: The Podcast – Jian Ghomeshi is the best interview today.

The Ricky Gervais Podcast – Gervais is not actively podcasting these days. But when he does, it’s golden.

Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel’s weekly conversations are very enlightening. And the monthly Media Hacks is entertaining and informative.

Spark – Nora Young helps us understand how our lives are being transformed by technology.

This American Life – Some of the best stories of people and their lives from south of the 49th.

This Week in Startups – Jason Calicanis is entertaining and his interviews and weekly news roundups are a must listen for all entrepreneurs in the tech space.

Under The Influence – Terry O’Reilly uses his unique story-telling style to bring today’s marketing and advertising trends to Canadians.

Wiretap – One of the best shows by CBC.  Jonathan Goldstein’s unique brand of humour and his band of characters always brings a smile to my face every week.

What’s your favourite podcasts? And why? Please share. Thanks!

3 Music Streaming Services To Discover New Tunes

I love listening to music at home, in the car, in my ear buds, at home and even at live concerts. And of course I love social media. Which is why I helped organize MusicConnectTO a few years back:

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/16837473 w=500&h=281]

Today, let me share with you my 3 favourite music streaming services and why I like them. In no particular order:

Mediazoic

Mediazoic was founded by my friend and cousin-in-law, Greg Nisbet. Mediazoic’s internet radio system allows individuals and organizations to create, customize and deejay their own internet radio stations as they create playlists, have complete control over the look and content of their station(s), and distribute a graphic “tuner” pointing to their station(s) anywhere on the web. The best thing about these stations is that tend to change every week and almost every time I have no clue who I’m going to listen to. It’s one of the best music discovery sites out there.

My favourite Mediazoic station is New Canadian Music (click on link for a link to the player)

New Canadian Music

Songza

Songza is my station of choice if I’m with a group of people with different music tastes. There are professional curated playlists and even one’s put together by fand and friends. My favourite feature is picking music based on the day of the week, time of day and what I’m doing. Hat tip to Karim Awad from big time design for pointing out this website out to me.

Grooveshark

Grooveshark is my old-faithful. I’ve been using this service to listen to my favourite new and old music since as long as I can remember. I have the ability to search for music, create my own personal playlists and listen four hours without hearing the same song. Grooveshark is the only place online where I have found that I can listen to all my favourite Neil Young songs for a whole day without ever hearing the same song twice!

What are your favourite music streaming services?

New podcast in my ears

Many of you know I love listening to podcasts. Almost everyday I’m commuting 2-3 hours per day. So I spend most of this time listening to podcasts such as This American Life, Wiretap, This Week in Startups, and even the UFC ESPN Podcast.

Last week I discovered another podcast: Humble and Fred Radio.  I wasn’t a big listener of theirs when they where on the radio here in Toronto. However, these guys are gold. They are funny and raw. Besides their random musings they also have amazing interviews. Recently they had Toronto Blue Jays long time announcer Jerry Howarth on.  This was one of the best interviews I have ever heard.

Great job guys! And congrats on your new deal with Corus.

What podcasts do you consider required listening and why?