Tag Archives: music

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.

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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?

Toronto Digital Music Company Mediazoic Announces Licensing Deal with Major Music Labels

PRESS RELEASE (1/24/2012):

Comprehensive deal covers internet streaming of music from Universal,WarnerSonyEMI, and more than 1000 independent labels

Toronto-based digital music company Mediazoic today announced a deal with the AVLA (Audio-Video Licensing Agency), which will allow Mediazoicʼs internet radio network to carry the music catalogues of more than 1000 record companies representing the majority of all sound recordings and music videos produced and/or distributed in Canada.

Based out of a radio and record production studio in downtown Toronto, Mediazoic makes software that allows both individuals and commercial organizations to create, customize and curate their own internet radio stations. The system keeps track of all “listens” throughout the network, allowing royalties to be paid not only to the creators and rights holders of the music, but also to other stakeholders in the music ecosystem.

Current station hosts on the Canadian-owned-and-operated internet radio network include renowned deejay Alan Cross, iconic Toronto live music venue Hugh’s Room, annual music festival Indie Week, and local hip hop MC and artist MC FÜBB.

Cross, whose Weekly Top 11 show is unveiled every Friday on the network, has high praise for what Mediazoic’s unique take on internet radio has done for him. “Mediazoic’s resources have been a big help to my website, driving both traffic and time spent.” he enthuses, “Everyone should give the company a look.”

The network also has several radio shows in development, which will benefit from the wide range of music that this deal opens for Mediazoic and its listeners. One such show is hosted by established music journalist Karen Bliss, who will be resurrecting her popular interview show Lowdown, a one-hour comprehensive “this is your life” type show. Lowdown, Bliss’s music industry brand, has appeared in all kind of incarnations: a Canadian music industry column, an online radio show, a TV segment on Inside Jam, a TV show on Bite TV, and a music seminar. Through these formats, she has covered hundreds of artists, including Avril Lavigne, Billy Talent, Nelly Furtado and Sum 41.

“Our listeners know that every one of our stations has been playing great music since our launch last year.” says Mediazoic founder Greg Nisbet, “but let’s face it, now that our station hosts can throw a bit of Joni Mitchell, K’naan or Leonard Cohen into the mix, the listener experience is going to get a whole lot better. Our aim has always been to capture some of the magic that happens between people when great music is created and heard, and spread that magic across the digital realm, so we’re really excited about all of the wonderful collaborations that this deal will allow us to explore.”

“Weʼre pleased to work with Mediazoic, which will ensure that all of our members, whether they represent emerging or established artists, benefit equally from “plays” on this innovative new network,” says Graham Henderson, President of AVLA and Music Canada.

The deal between Mediazoic and AVLA covers reproduction rights. Mediazoic is also working with Re:Sound, the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company that licenses recorded music for public performance, broadcast and new media to cover performance rights. “Weʼre always happy to work with innovative companies like Mediazoic to ensure that music creators are fairly compensated within emerging business models.” said Ian MacKay, Re:Soundʼs President.