|October 18, 2011||Filled under Entertainment, Music|
LCBO, in partnership with its suppliers, kicks off Whisky Rocks, its annual whisky promotion taking place until November 5, with a special benefit concert and whisky tasting event at Toronto’s The MOD Club on Thursday, October 20 – doors open at 7:30pm.
A celebration of whisky and music, the evening’s proceeds will benefit Dixon Hall, a United Way member agency, and its Music School program, which provides youth with music instruction and opportunities to attend music camps across Ontario.
Music performances are by Big Sugar, Divine Brown, Rehan Dalal and a surprise encore appearance, along with a sampling of four new whiskies and light hors d’oeuvres.
Tickets are $35 and available for purchase at www.ticketbreak.com, by calling 1.866.9.GET.TIX or at the door. Concert-goers must be 19 years of age or older and valid ID is required. There will be no cash bar available during this event.
In the meantime, here are a couple of whisky cocktail recipes to enjoy: www.whiskyrocks.com./recipes
More Info: www.whiskyrocks.com
|July 19, 2011||Filled under Entertainment, Music||
Held at Tudhope Park in Orillia and in its 51st year, the Mariposa Folk Festival (July 8-10) was once again an entertaining musical event. With eight stages, the artist lineup was exciting and diverse; this year featured a stellar roster of talent including The Beauties, David Myles, John McDermott, Peter Yarrow and “surprise artist” Ron Sexsmith. Here are some of the other artists that performed:
|July 8, 2011||Filled under Entertainment, Music||
The 2011 TD Toronto Jazz Festival (June 24 – July 3) celebrated its 25th year in style with 350 concerts, 1,500 musicians, 40 locations and over 500,000 all jammed into 10 eventful days.
Opening night was one the city won’t forget. The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin kicked off the festival with a free concert at Metro Square and hundreds attended to hear her sultry voice. Jazz legend Dave Brubeck performed at the Koerner Hall and Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm ended the evening with another free show at the outdoor stage.
The festival featured local, national and international acts playing a diverse range of genres – something for every music lover. Here are some of those acts that graced the festivals stages this year:
|June 20, 2011||Filled under Entertainment, Music||
Moderator Sean Coakley, Songlines
Jim McGuinn, KCMP The Current
Mark Abuzzahab, 93.3 KGSR
Chris Douridas, KCRW
Carmel Holt, WDST
With over 50 interactive presentations and panels at NXNE to choose from this year, the one I attended was “FM USA” – The NXNE Music Meeting; a panel of four FM USA radio programmers provided insight into why a song gets picked or tossed.
Representing stations with a AAA (Adult album alternative) radio format, these programmers have a broad range of playlists consisting of mainstream pop and rock as well as many other music genres such as indie rock, alternative rock, alternative country, jazz, folk, world music and blues.
Moderator Sean Coakley played a variety of current songs (mostly independent artists that he found on the internet). Members in the audience and panel had to score each song ranging from 1 to 10, give a critique and guess who the artist was.
One of the tunes was from Lindsay Buckingham’s soon-to-be-released album Seeds We Sow; some thought the production lacked a more contemporary sound and surprisingly only one panelist recognized the legendary Fleetwook Mac guitarist as being the artist.
“Out All Night” by Zoo Legacy got a better review. One of the panelists, who also places songs for TV and films, said he would consider it for a Showtime TV project airing early next year.
The winning song was by roots act, The Deep Dark Woods – their Americana song scored high by both audience and panel. It was praised for its up beat and feel good vibe, traditional sounds/harmony and live band production.
In total, six songs were reviewed; production quality, lyrical content, hook development, energy level and song genre were hot topics. What was interesting was to see the disparity of ratings between members on the panel; even though they are all coming from the triple-A radio format their preferences for song choice varied considerably.
|June 20, 2011||Filled under Entertainment, Music, Profiles||
Like every band attending the NXNE year after year, Kovak wants to “blow away the industry and get a big fat deal.” Across the pond from Brighton, UK, the four member band just may get what they are wishing for. With its contagious high energy electro dance sound and trashy pop image they are poised to take stardom on – and have fun doing it.
Lead vocalist Annelies, who has been with Kovak for two years, explains that originally the act started off 10 years ago as an indie rock band and over the years the music has evolved. “It doesn’t roll off the tongue that easily but I would describe our music as electro dance pop disco with balls – I will have to make an abbreviation of that one day,” she adds jokingly.
With so many bands vying for attention in the music market just getting noticed can be challenging. Annelies knows that it helps if you have something that sets you apart from the pack. “What we have in our favour is being quirky – this is so important because we don’t want to be a clone. Also, if you look at the top 40 in the UK there are a lot of fabricated acts out there where the people fronting it are just the performers and there is a whole team behind them writing the material. Whereas Kovak – we do it all ourselves.”
Their formula must be working because their dance track “Sex Electric” from their debut album Heroes and High Heels is featured in Michael Madson’s new film The Big I Am and their single “I’ll Be Good to You” video has already had over 30,000 hits and still climbing. They are also organizing their next video with legendary producer Tim Pope and they are months away from finishing their second album which they are recording with dance producer Andy Gray.
Kovak will be performing at the El Mocambo on June 16 @ 10pm. “Come out and see us, if you can and have a look at our facebook page … we would really love to come back to Canada again.” After NXNE the band, which is managed by Andy Hollis, will be returning to the UK to do a host of gigs and festivals. Then in August they will be appearing on MTV – it sure looks like this little band from Brighton is garnering enough momentum to get their big break…and deservedly so.