The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Gala – S12E01

2016-polaris-gala-main

It’s become a tradition to start the new season in Toronto for the Polaris Music Prize Gala at The Carlu. Congratulations goes out to Kaytranada for winning the 2016 edition of the music prize for the album, 99.9%. It beat out the likes of 9 artists and bands from Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Grimes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, Pup, Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls and White Lung.

At the gala, there were live performances from Black Mountain, Jessy Lanza, Basia Bulat, Andy Shauf, White Lung, Carly Rae Jepsen and U.S. Girls. All of the performances were. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra assisted in Bulat’s and Jepsen’s performances. The gala were hosted by Amanda Parris of The Exhibitionist on CBC and Tom Power, new host of CBC Radio q.

To my own delight, there were food served at the Gala. There were perogies, sliders and five spices pork.

Got to hand to Steve Jordan and the Polaris Music Prize staff for the great work as usual.

Don’t forget to check out the photos here.
Enjoy!
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Some Vinyl Listening – S11E17

Basia Bulat You Say Party Vinyls

This week saw the release of two new music albums. One from Basia Bulat and the other being the return of You Say Party. 2016 sees some fantastic releases from Canadian musicians and bands and what not better to go through these two album. I had the opportunity to listen to the albums on vinyls.

Good Advice by Basia Bulat
Released on February 12th, Good Advice is her fourth studio album and the unique part to this album was that it’s produced Jim James of My Morning Jacket. For those that don’t know, being a fan of The Strombo Show, Bulat was on George Stroumboulopoulos’ radio show in 2014 and she made a mention of My Morning Jacket being one of her favourite bands. Not knowing her soon-to-be album at that time had inklings of Jim James producing.

With her new album, the theme running through each tracks go through heartbreak and breakup. Bulat’s last album, Tall Tall Shadow went through loss and sorrow. This album is entirely different. The first half of the album sounds fast pace and no slow melodies in the form of a ballad. The latter half of the album is more relaxed.

One song that felt strong is Let Me In. You can hear the emotion and the heartbreak of the song. It’s like being locked out of the door and trying to get back in.

The song, The Garden slightly reminded me of a song from her 2010 album, Heart of My Own. That song being The Shore. When listening to The Garden, it’s reminding me of walking into a big garden whereas The Shore reminded me walking to a beach or some place that’s near water.

Overall, Good Advice totally delivers and a terrific outing for Bulat. Continue reading

Second Day at NXNE, 2015 Edition – S10E28

Paper 100 Main

On Thursday night, Paper Bag Records host an event at Lee’s Palace to celebrate their 100th release and as part of NXNE. It was an evening of music from performers of the past, present and future who helped Paper Bag Records. The event was hosted by CBC Radio 3/CBC Music‘s Lana Gay.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay for the whole night of fantastic music. I was able to check out DIANA (again), the 2015 Polaris Music Prize Long List nominee and Ottawa’s The Acorn, Nils of The Rural Alberta Advantage, the return of Rock Plaza Central and Alana Yorke. The best part was getting the #Paper100 bag with goodies.

U.S. Girls at The Garrison
The reason for leaving #Paper100 was to get to The Garrison to check out U.S. Girls. I have heard some good thing about this musician. Meg Remy, originally from America and based in Toronto, has been making music since 2007. Her music brings a style of Pop with some electro beats and funky sounds. Remy uses a reel-to-reel player for the unique mixing. A lot of dancing and energetic beats from her music.

Another reason to check U.S. Girls was Basia Bulat. She was there on the supporting vocals. It’s very different from her own music because I would say she’s having fun. There was a good turnout to those who checked out U.S. Girls.

Overall, it was another fun night to be at the venues and meeting the people I know.
Lastly, you check out the photos at Flickr by clicking HERE (for #Paper100) and HERE (U.S. Girls).

The Impossible Polaris Polaroid – S10E05

Impossible Polaris Polaroid

Back from Ottawa and this will be a wrap-up to the 2014 Polaris Music Prize coverage. This is more on the photos, instant photos, to be precise.
From the previous entry, I mentioned that half of the photos were on Flickr, it’s now updated and you can go to the link by clicking HERE.

I also brought along the trusty Polaroid SX-70 camera and several packs of The Impossible Project films to Toronto for the Polaris Music Prize Gala. Worse part was having to carry multiple equipment with a small carry bag. At least, I was able to bring the fun to shooting instant film photos. You will see the colourful frames and wonderful black & white photos taken from the pre and post Polaris Gala as it’s posted below.
I got a chance to try out Impossible’s B&W Film for 600 Hard Color Frames Edition. The colour frames looked great with the black & white instant photos. It’s definitely fun to look at.
You will see some of the familiar faces with the Impossible instant photos.
There’s a few instant that didn’t out well and that’s being posted up.

Short Basia Bulat Interview
It’s been awhile I have done audio interviews and had the opportunity to do a quick chat with Basia Bulat. You can listen to the interview from below. It’s just great to see her at the Gala.

For fashion, I rarely dress up nicely and shoot selfies. It was quite dapper of me to wear the bow tie from Hudson’s Bay.

Other Things
Going off on a different topic or going backwards. Prior to attending the Polaris Music Prize Gala, as I arrived to Toronto, I went straight to CBC Toronto, the Canadian Broadcast Centre for an informal tour of the building. I’m surprised that the CBC social media/digital team have been wanting to meet up for awhile but scheduling and lack of travel, it wasn’t worked. Luckily, with the Polaris Music Prize, I was able to make a schedule to come by to the building. It’s great seeing the radio side again but never got to see the main studios (#40, 41 and 42) from the tenth floor. The last time I went on a tour, it was with CBC Radio 3. I posted several photos on my Instagram if you can look for the CBC related photos.

Lastly, a final shoutout goes out to Be SixFifty Hotel. It’s a boutique hotel located on Bay St. Their decoration is stylish and more like a fashion-chic setting. Checking into my room, it was a small, which was fine as I stayed for one day. I was provided with a bottled water and some nice treats. They were the yummy macarons and candied nuts. The staff were friendly and decided to give one of the staff an instant photo. The price is under $200 if you’re going solo and it’s convenient in the downtown core of Toronto.

That’s the fun adventure I had and time for some rest and relaxation from the sweat and muscle pain. Also quite unusual to post two entries in one day.
Enjoy!
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2013 in Review – S09E17 (Part 3)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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From The WildWorks Top 50 of 2013, It’s The Top 10! – S09E17 (Part 2)

WildWorks Vinyl December 30 v3

I had to split the entries this week because of the tribute to Anita Mui running on the same day. On this edition of WildWorks, it was the top 10 Canadian indie music of 2013. It’s considered the third part to The WildWorks Top 50 of 2013. 2013 had some good releases from Canadian musicians and bands. Myself and Lauren counted down to the 50 albums and EPs that came out this year. The number one for this year is Basia Bulat because Tall Tall Shadow (her third record) is considered a strong album and some of the songs showed some emotions as it dealt with loss.
Rounding out the top 10 are Shad, Arcade Fire, The Darcys, Born Ruffians, Young Galaxy, Austra, DIANA, Louise Burns and Gold & Youth.
The full list will be posted up on New Year’s Day.

Before airing the top 10, there was a pre-show as I played the best of 2013 where I forgot to add bands and musicians left out of my top 50 of 2013.
You can check the playlist over at this link. You can listen to the audio below.

Goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014, Happy New Year!
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The Pop Montreal 2013 Wrapup and Basia Bulat Interview – S09E04

WW Vinyl Sept 30

It was a wonderful weekend with to end September as I was in Montreal for Pop Montreal and my expectations exceed for this year because I checked out several bands and went to several venues. It was all in thanks to using Airbnb as the gracious host was accommodating and I was able to use the Bixi bike to get around to places.

The first live music to check out was at Divan Orange and it was Michael Feuerstack. It was unexpected because the place I was staying at was close by. Afterwards was getting to Pop Quarters  to get media pass and later going for two discussion panels. The first was a panel called “Some of the Smartest People We Know Discuss: Musicians, What Are your Intellectual Property Rights Now, and What Do We Want That to Really Mean?” That’s such a long title. It was formative discussion as the panellist consisting of Patrick Watson, Justin West (Secret City President), Susan Abramovitch (entertainment lawyer) and moderator, Reuven Ashtar (new media lawyer). It was quite informative as musicians like Watson need to get money to feed his family and how companies are using music for use as a property.

The second panel I went was definitely the one I wanted to check as it was The Polaris Music Prize Salon. Finally got to meet Polaris founder, Steve Jordan. The funny thing was that he thought I would be at the Ottawa salon as I was away to Toronto. The Montreal salon was one of the surprises to appear and it was a way to make up to missing out the Ottawa salon. Jordan was joined by Montreal jury members, Pierre Landy (CBC), Christine Fortier (CISM) and Erik Leijon (freelance/Montreal Gazette)

It was days after Godspeed You! Black Emperor! won best album for the 2013 edition. All were in support of GYBE winning and still being a good album. The band’s statement on their win and criticizing Polaris still left a lot of debate and discussion.
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