Music

David Clayton-Thomas Ode To The Donald

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Submitted by Don Graham

David Clayton-Thomas,former lead singer of the  internationally recognized band Blood Sweat and Tears and  Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, and Canada’s Walk Of Fame inductee has released a Donald Trump tribute “Ode To The Donald”.

Thomas was born in England , grew up in Canada and became a huge success fronting a band from the United States so his opinion has some well traveled credibility.

With Blood Sweat and Tears, Clayton-Thomas headlined at major venues around the world: Royal Albert Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden and Caesar's Palace, as well as the Newport Jazz Festival and Woodstock. They were the first contemporary band to break through the Iron Curtain with the historic United States Department of Statesponsored tour of Eastern Europe in May and June 1970.

BTW JP Maurice, The Red Cannons, SUSTO, Sarah Beatty, Abigail Lapell, Danny Michel

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

After dealing with some serious adversity in his life over the last few years, Vancouver musician/producer JP Maurice is working towards a prosperous 2017 with the release of some brand new music. The Ferryesque Maurice recently releaseD new EP Girls January 13th and celebrated with a release party at The Biltmore Cabaret on January 14th.

After touring across Canada and Europe, and then taking home 2nd place in the PEAK Performance Project radio contest in 2015, a loss in the family turned Maurice mostly inwards and he focused on channeling his emotions into his art. He made the decision to invest in his own studio (Blue Light Studio), which allowed for late night collaborations, producing other artists, and creating endless song ideas. The result is the Girls EP, which sweeps from cinematic pop-noir into slinky neo-soul, all tied together with Maurice's powerfully emotive vocals. It's a modern sound that capture timeless sentiments - love, loss, and the twists and turns in between.

BTW-Austra, Jerry Leger, Jan Kudelka, Ron Hawkins, Winterfolk, Maple Blues Awards, Blackalicious

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Venues may come and go but Toronto's got live, if you want it.

"Our current climate leaves many feeling apathetic but despair can act as a compass - the less you can ignore, the more you have to act." This cryptic call to arms from cold wave artrock band Austra's guiding light Katie Stelmanis is at the core of upcoming album Future Politics, out Jan.6. Austra recently revealed the video for the album's title track and kicks off an extensive international tour on January 20 at The Mod Club with Lafawndah

Austra's third LP is the Canadian band's most ambitious to date and calls for radical hope: "a commitment to replace the approaching dystopia," says Stelmanis, who leads Austra with the support of Maya Postepski (Princess Century, TR/ST), Dorian Wolf, and Ryan Wonsiak.

Harris Institute Ranked Best for 5th Year

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: John Harris Founder Harris Institute

For a 5th consecutive year, Toronto’s Harris Institute is ranked best private school in the 2017 ‘Media Arts Education Report’. Author Jim Lamarche says, “Harris Institute is the best school of its kind in Canada. Highly Recommended”.

Included in the Report Card’s top 10 schools areRyerson University’s School of Media, OCAD University, the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART), Metalworks Institute and Seneca College.In its 9th year with over 100,000 visitors from around the world, Lamarche’s Report is the quintessential source of comparative information on media arts education in Canada.

Harris Institute is the only school outside of the US in Billboard Magazine’smost recent “Top 11 Schools”. The college was previously featured in Mix Magazine’s “Audio Education’s Finest’ and Billboard’s “Schools That Rock”.

Harris graduates won or were nominated for 197 awards in the past two years, including Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, Juno and Canadian Screen Awards. The school’s Arts Management Program is the only college program in North America to achieve seven 0% Student Loan Default Rates and it’s Audio Production Program achieved a fifth 0% Default Rate in 2016.

Michael Williams The Losses and the Gains of 2016

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Photo: Ethan McLaren, Xavier Lane, Michael Williams and Bobby Curtola
Photo Credit Bill King

2016 was covered by unexpected lose of the icons of our youth, Muhammad Ali I saw once at Cleveland Hopkins airport while leaving for California. It was a glance and smile that energized me for years.

David Bowie like Rush are part of the rather sophisticated musical DNA of Cleveland, Ohio and one of the many reason why the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland.
Cleveland is the musical sister city to Montreal, with exactly the same high musical I.Q.

WNCR started it with Billy Bass, Shauna,Doyle, Dennis Saunders, Jeff Gelb,Caroline, WMMS continued the musical legacy with Billy Bass at the helm as PD and Dennis Saunders as MD, both on air.

WMMS was the first station in America to play and present David Bowie; we broke Bowie, Lou Reed Hall and Oates, Mott the Hoople and Rush to the world. I was at the first two Bowie Concerts in Cleveland. Love shared and received.

Prince was always brilliant like Billy Bass, Mayor Carl B. Stokes and myself, we were Black and shared in that promise fulfilled, never denied. We had the possibility of being connected to everything that is, was and shall be.

Never coming from or being part of the culture of less with full license to be all that we could be!

Losing Prince still hurts!

A Christmas Story in June

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Danforth Greektown Fountain

The little village square in my hood has a small stage at one end, so the sound of live music providing counterpoint to the omnipresent traffic thunder, is often and welcome. 'Twas early summer, the city air still soft , the greenery new and full of promise, a fresh crop of toddlers duking it out with the pigeons for fountain space when I heard the subtly turbulent chromatics and cascading arpeggios of Debussy rushing like a springtime stream from a keyboard.  Behind the keys, an elfin brunette young woman just getting started on a set that referenced Brubeck, Fatha Hines, Oscar Peterson, some delicate etudes from Beethoven, Burton Cummings and Diana Krall, among the stuff I recognised.

Come break time, I'm right over there curious to hear what else she can do. So she played me some show tunes, some Elton John, and when I called out for New Orleans sounds, she dropped some Dr. John, some Professor Longhair and her Fats Domino medley had the rugrats rompin'. All layered with numerous to me, unknown pieces, some of which were gorgeous and celebratory in tone, with a persistent flow of challenge and struggles informing the dynamic.

My Christmas Memory

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Submitted by Don Graham

Every year we at Cashbox get to write a little vignette describing a favourite Christmas memory and every year I think I don’t have any more, I‘ve told them all.  But turns out that’s not true and the beauty is it forces me to travel back in time to various stages of  my life, looking for a new Christmas memory.

So I thought this year maybe I’d write about something that happened after my childhood, when I was an adult. Nah, that won’t work. All my real happy memories of Christmas are from when I was a young boy. Christmas was different then. It was commercial alright, but not to extent it is now. As kids we each got one “big” present and a bunch of little things like socks or gloves or a little book. Our stockings had an orange, always an orange, some nuts; walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans and such. And usually a little candy and chocolate. It really was more about family and all being together on that special day. My feeling and memory of is of a huge, full tree covered in long strands of tinsel, great big lights, not the puny little lights of today, big round, fragile Christmas balls of red, green, silver and blue. A beautiful angel that perched on top of the tree and angel hair scattered all around.

BTW- Bernice, Melanie Peterson, Jen Lane, Ault Sisters, Saxsyndrum, Tasseomancy, Susan Aglukark, Psychic Mind, Donkey

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Not at all Christmassy but bright fun all the same is “St Lucia”, newest video from artpop crew Bernice, pairs soulful vocal melodies with playful sonic tripouts. Bernice vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann says artist Sonia Beckwith-Cole, who directed the “St Lucia” video, was the clear choice – “Her animation felt completely right to me, and I knew she would make something so beautiful for the song's world.”

“When I first heard the song I imagined pinks and blues, a lot of textures and water, water, water,” director/animator Sonia Beckwith-Cole says of her inspiration for the video. “The song talks about how as a woman you are connected to a lineage of women that are a part of you, and contribute to who you are, while somehow still being distant. The verses bring up these complicated feelings and the chorus brings us escape from these worries to be present in a moment of joy. The woman in my story starts out in a confused wandering state surrounded by dark, obscured imagery. When she finally dives off the edge of a waterfall the imagery becomes bright, colourful and full of movement and she finds solace with friends in the water.”

BTW-Your Boy Tony Braxton, The Funk Hunters, Zoe Sky Jordan, Liam Titcomb, Royal Canoe, Dylan Shay, Lily Frost, Melanie Peterson, Sharon Jones

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Earlier this year, rapper, radio host, and now soft rock singer, Shad released a surprise album, Adult Contempt, under the name Your Boy Tony Braxton. He is preparing to hit the stage with Tokyo Police Club for three nights at The Mod Club on December 8, 9 and 10 in support.

Recently Your Boy Tony Braxton shared the music video for album track “Good (Enough).” The video, directed by Justin Broadbent, takes us on a trip back to the 90s and features Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning trying to rent a copy of Speed 2 on VHS.

"So, this is a song about a man who's just beginning to understand what's behind his loneliness, insecurity, and rage," explains Shad. While Broadbent added "I wanted to make a video that affirmed it was ok to like things like Speed 2. We often get in our heads about our futures or art making and need to take a step back and truly enjoy things for what they are."

Veteran Canadian Radio Host Holger Petersen Releases Second Book of Musical Conversations

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

While Holger Petersen’s best known for his blues-based radio programs, he’s just as interested in artists who work in other roots music genres — Cajun musicians Zachary Richard and Bobby Charles, Allen Toussaint, Sam The Sham, Van Dyke Parks, Rory Block, Mose Allison, Billy Boy Arnold, UK singers Maggie Bell and Maddy Prior (together), guitarists James Burton and Albert Lee (together) and songwriters Chip Taylor, Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham (together) and Tony Joe White are among those whose interviews are included.

Each of the conversations is introduced by Petersen’s personal recollections of the artists he’s meeting, and the book’s foreword is contributed by Grammy-winning musicologist Rob Bowman. As Bowman explains, “Talking Music 2 is an important collection, as interviews with the majority of the artists included are not common and certainly do not get included in question- and-answer format interview anthologies such as this.

“The strength of these interviews is Petersen’s conversational tone and the ease he has with the artists he is talking to.”

In addition to his ongoing 30-year run at CBC, Petersen has hosted “Natch’l Blues” on the Alberta radio network CKUA since 1969. He estimates that he’s done well over 3,000 interviews — and the conversations in Talking Music 2 were originally recorded for his radio programs, or at side-stages at folk festival.

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