Friday, February 03, 2006

The Diableros "You Can't Break The Strings in Our Olympic Hearts"

Stream the entire album here
CD Release party on February 18th at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Whisper To A Scream

Rumblings has it that The Arcade Fire are to recieve the most nods at this years Junos. Carl Wilson deserves a nod for this

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Now That He's Traded, I Can Date Outside The Religion...

The Blue Jays also made a minor trade Tuesday, acquiring left-hander Brian Tallet from the Cleveland Indians for right-hander Bubbie Buzachero.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It's Only January...

I am submitting my candidate for album of the year by this guy

Produced by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse), it's a dark album with the most poignant lyrics written since some guy named Dylan graced our presence.

The album The Animal Years is out in April.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Oh What The Hell, Newman's Year End List

Albums that I enjoyed the most in 2005 (and yes, there is a bias)...

Jason Collett - Idols Of Exile: This album is superb and became the go to for summer driving. Jason Collett is like the Craig Conroy of music, good journeyman, gets together with the right linemates and is now a star.

Jon Rae & The River - Old Songs For The New Town: The album as a whole seems thrown together and not very well thought out. However, the moments of brilliance reached far outweigh the let's push record and see what happens mentality that underscores this album.

The Diableros - You Can't Break The Strings in Our Olympic Hearts:
My label is releasing this record in February. I've had the great pleasure of sitting with it for a couple of months now and it's become the macaroni and cheese of my musical diet.

The Band - Box Set:
Hard to find a bum track in this bands legacy.

Wintersleep - Wintersleep:
Made me feel as if I was 17 years old pulling out not only the air guitar but the air drums to accompany perhaps the best drummer in Canrock today.

Matthew Barber - Sweet Nothing
: The songs on Sweet Nothing are a compromise between an artist and his musical conscious. He gave his major label a handful of songs that would be played on radio all the while tucking in little nuggets of classic rock infused americana.

Sarah Harmer - I'm A Mountain: The woman is Dolly, Emmylou and Loretta all wrapped into one with an enviromental conscious.

Tangiers - The Family Myth: James Sayce writes incredibly catchy songs, Josh Reichmann writes songs that teeter on insanity but are tugged in by the most subtle pop melodies. Together, they made an album that is equal parts riveting and comfort.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Today, I was walking my dog down Manning Street in Toronto. I was behind this kid, about 16 years old and watched him get approached by two guys who were slightky older then him. One of the approaching guys asked him "What are you doing walking down this street" to which the kid replied "Going home". He was then met with a grab of the arm and a warning of "You know this is my street and you're not allowed to walk down it, we own this street". The poor kid got off with a warning and I was cast an attempted intimidating glance.

This is the second time in 2 days that I've witnessed kids claiming street ownership. The first occasion happened on Saturday when I was once gain walking my dog down Queen Street. I was standing outside the Czehoski bar when 3 mid level street kids (not full blown skids but on their way) were jumped by a group of kids who claimed ownership of Queen Street. They assaulted the street kids and stole some of their belongings.

I remember growing up in Thornhill hearing of fellow classmates venturing downtown only to get "rolled" for their Air Jordans and having to walk home in their socks. However, when I moved to Toronto, the amateur crime scene seemed relegated to the Yonge Street area with the more severe crime occuring in Regent Park. Now, it seems as though, kids have feel the need to be part of a gang and inflict intimidation amongst other kids who have the gaul to walk down "their" streets.

The similarties amongst these encounters is that all of the kids involved seemed to be influenced, at least by their clothing, by hip hop and hip hop culture. I find it hard to take anyone serious who wears a flat brimmed basketball hat tilted to the side but apparently it works. It's not breaking news but the hip hop estethic is being sold to and bought by disenchanted white kids. White kids are trying to emulate their hip hop heroes such as the G-Unit posse. The release of 50 Cent's film "Get Rich or Die Trying" is going to continue to propel gang culture amongst white kids. When i saw Good Fella's for the first time, I wanted to join the mafia, I was 16 years old and saw the power and glamour that came with being associated with a gang. It's no secret that a lot of today's rap artists were also inspired by mafia films, they often cite Tony Montana aka Scarface as one of their big influences and heroes. If Cribs is in a rappers house, there's a good chance there's a picture of Pacino on the wall somewhere.

I'm all for free speech and have no problems with the movie, but gang culture is being glamourized and the kids are eating it up. This city is going to shit, the gun violence is at an all time high cause guys need to show their strength by "poppin a cap" into someone. The male ego is at fault here, men don't want to be show up or stepped on and feel that it's their resolve to kill someone who wrongs them in anyway. It goes right up the ranks to the White House, men do not want to be pushed around or admit any wrongdoing, no matter the consequences. They want to show dominance and be able to intimidate others, it's a jungle philosophy.

The question is, how far will this go before this city erupts? The white kids now have a new hero to look up to. It's all going to break.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Stripes Cover Tegan & Sara

The Stripes cover Walking With A Ghost. Click here for a listen