In Defense Of Neil Young

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In his interview with the CBC’s Jian Gomeshi, Neil Young starts off by saying that he wishes that he’d done the “Honor The Treaties” tour years ago. He speaks in low, deliberate tones. I know that underneath this typical reserve, he’s seething. The anger and pain is tangible, and miles away from the quirky wit he normally employs in interviews. He’s putting his values as a Canadian up for debate, and I applaud him for it. We need more of this, especially in Canada where our artists tend not to take strong political positions, either due to fear or ignorance. Continue reading

Page Tuner: “Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove”

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Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson likes music criticism. A lot. Throughout the length of his impressively arch, anti-formulaic pseudo-autobiography, he nearly spends more words on the subject of music criticism than the art form itself. As a kid, he grew up worshipping not just records, but the reviews of those records. Basically, he was part of the first generation of omnivorous music nerds, the kind of which now rule the insanely divergent cultural mass that we call the internet. As a musician, writer, and curator, he was made for these times. Continue reading

Lee Ranaldo & The Dust- “Last Night On Earth”

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I find it fascinating how Sonic Youth has split up so neatly into its constituent parts. Kim Gordon is exploring abstraction and noise with Body/Head, Thurston Moore is riffing his way through the history of punk and metal with Chelsea Light Moving, and Lee Ranaldo is making arguably the biggest gains by marrying his extensive range of guitar techniques and tones to what might be called traditional rock song craft. Continue reading

Interview: Dave Marsh

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Dave Marsh is a man of many colours. Besides his main gig as the drummer for the Joel Plaskett Emergency, he’s also a member of cult-status rockers The Super Friendz. He’s a guitarist and singer/songwriter: he makes his own records with his own band, known as Dave Marsh and The True Love Rules. Besides being a gentlemanly percussionist with a distinct stylistic flair, he’s also an entertaining raconteur. He speaks easily and seems to enjoy the art of conversation. You can imagine him socializing easily in any setting. He could swing with Gene Krupa or drink with Sinatra. He could cover himself in glitter and hang with Bowie at Ian Hunter’s place. He could chew some straw and help Roy Rogers saddle his horse. He could chill on the dock at your cottage, with a cold drink and some hot licks. Continue reading

Sound City Players- “You Can’t Fix This”

We finally have a glimpse into what is sure to be one of the greatest rock soundtracks ever. “Sound City- Real to Reel”, from the film, will be out on March 12th. Until then, we must subside on brief clips and live performances, like this superb performance of “You Can’t Fix This”, by Stevie Nicks and the Sound City Players. Continue reading

Motion Pictures: “Sound City”

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“Sound City” is Dave Grohl’s offering to the Gods of Rock. It’s a beautiful, life-affirming film that honours both rock and roll itself, and one of its greatest temples. Continue reading

Interview: Steve Poltz

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Steve Poltz is a restless and creative spirit. He is one-of-a-kind.  He’s a true Renaissance man who can change his artistic hat at any given moment. He is a musical shape-shifter who dances between genres. He is a well-spring of creative urges. Since his early days in the San Diego band The Rugburns, he has charted a unique and dynamic artistic path that few others would be able to pull off. Although he is presented as singer-songwriter, Poltz incorporates a wide background in music and the arts into his own unique stew of entertainment. Continue reading

Searching for Sugar Man

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Genius never dies. Sometimes it gets buried under a mountain of indifference. Sometimes it languishes in the wilderness. Sometimes genius has to earn a living smashing things or hauling garbage or some other un-glamorous thing. And every once in a while, genius that was ignored or forgotten is resurrected and earns its rightful place in history. “Searching For Sugar Man” is a documentary that explores the amazing story of one such genius. Continue reading

Interview: Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett and the Emergency are conquering Canada, one town at a time. After an already extensive Spring/Summer tour to support their innovative new record “Scrappy Happiness”, Joel and his stalwart band were back on the road in Sepetember and October, and will continue to bring the rock to the people of Canada well into the New Year. Continue reading

Love Me Don’t

October 5th marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “Love Me Do”, the very first single by an English band called The Beatles. Continue reading