How The Beatles Taught Me To Record

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I used to wake up at about noon and put on my tie. In my final semester of high school, I had only one class:  Art. It was during fourth period, so I had basically entire days free at home, without my family or friends to distract me from the crushing boredom that was slowly enveloping me like a weighted fog.  Instead of thinking about my future or worrying about a career, I was lost in cassette tapes. Continue reading

In Conversation With Daniel Lanois @ TIFF

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Last night I had the supreme pleasure of attending an evening billed as “In Coversation With Daniel Lanois” the the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Any time I get a chance to hear a great artist, an icon, talk about their work, I jump at the opportunity. Continue reading

Music on Film at TIFF 2014

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For many people, music attains its greatest emotive power when accompanying a moving image. Whether your thing is comedy or experimental art-house, it’s hard to imagine our favourite films without their respective scores. Here are three films that I saw at this year’s TIFF in which music played a pivotal role. 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

“Psychedelic Pill” by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

On his new album, Neil Young is looking back at over 40 years of making music, and he isn’t sure how he feels about it. Continue reading

“Trophy Lovers”- Old World Vulture

Old World Vulture are a cyborg of a band. The fusion of electronic elements into a rock band can sometimes create art that is cold and inhuman, losing the best qualities of both humans and machines. Old World Vulture escape this trap by infusing their electronic dreams with human characters, who wordlessly speak their hopes and fears against the backdrop of a wind-swept city that blinks like a circuit board, shaking their artificial fists at a poisoned crimson sky. They are reminding you that the Age of Technology is powered by the same source as all others: the human soul. Continue reading

GEARHEAD: Inside Les Paul’s Vault

Les Paul passed away almost three years ago, finally leaving this earth at the admirable age of 94. And now, his private treasures from a life full of music, machinery, and magic are being sold by auction. As you can imagine, the Les Paul Vault contains riches beyond the scope of your average rock star. Continue reading

Death to the CBC

The Canadian Broadcasting Company is under attack. Like many Canadians, I have mixed feelings about our semi-venerable state-sponsored national broadcaster. Part of me feels a deep connection to its very Canadian-ness, its humble programming, and its support for homegrown arts. Another part of me despises it as a governmental pawn/whipping boy, that spews bland programming at an unquestioning populace, too afraid of losing favour with whichever moronic politician happens to be in power to actually take a stand on anything or be too ambitious. However, I am surprised at my own intense reaction to the people trying to dismantle it. Continue reading

Spark of Genius

May 16th marks the birthday of David Edward Hughes, one of the pioneers of radio technology, and co-inventor of the microphone. Everyone knows that Thomas Edison was a leader of radio and microphone technology. Continue reading

GEARHEAD: Gord Mylks of Kingston Guitar Shop

In a previous instalment of GEARHEAD, I wrote about the Kingston Guitar Shop, my favourite guitar store, and expressed admiration for their luthier and owner Gord Mylks. He is a cool guy who loves his job, and has found a way to make music his business. Gord was kind enough to answer a few questions for me via email, and I present that interview to you now. Continue reading