Saturday, August 30, 2008

Free Downloads from Pony Da Look

When Sloan relaunched their Murder Records label they signed two bands (other than themselves) - my friends from Waterloo Will Currie and the Country French and Toronto's Pony Da Look as of today both of those bands have music in this site's Podsafe Download section.

Pony Da LookPony Da Look is composed of Temple Bates (composer/keyboards/vocals), Amy Bowles (lyrics/vocals/keyboards), Rebecca Mendoza (drums) and Catherine Stockhausen (keyboards/vocals) art students turned art professionals has been playing together since 2003 and according to Chartattack.com
"While drawing upon such musical influences as The Cure, Frank Black, Kate Bush and Billy Idol, each band member brings something different to the table. Through their artistic backgrounds — Bates and Bowles are painters, Stockhausen is a photographer/television producer and Mendoza is a dancer/choreographer — the quartet create an audio/visual kaleidoscopic tour de force."
Give them a listen at publicbroadcasting.ca/download/PonydaLook.

Pony Da Look - Flatlands (live)

Time to Unite Against Stephen Harper

In his speech at the Democratic convention Barack Obama laid out plainly the choices before Americans, pointing out the failure of George Bush neo-con policies on almost every front. Canadians will soon have a similar choice to make. Stephen Harper is, perhaps more than Bush himself, a George Bush style neo-conservative. Harper's policies are essentially the same as those of George Bush even when those policies benefit the US and harm Canada.

Since taking over as Prime Minister Stephen Harper has waged a non-stop attack on Canada and everything Canadians value. He has repeatedly assaulted Canada's natural environment right down to allowing Canadian lakes to be used as toxic dump sites at no cost to polluters.

Although he promised open accountable government, Harper has lead one of the most secretive, authoritarian governments in Canadian history.

And while he was elected in part due to corruption on the part of the Liberals, Harper has lead one of the most deeply corrupt governments in recent memory. From the in-out scheme to the Cadman affair and beyond.

He has waged a relentless assault on the arts from attempts to kill the Canadian film industry, to a copyright bill that is good for big media companies but bad for artists and that would make most Canadians into criminals to his rejection of a Heritage Committee recommendation that would have strengthened and improved the CBC and most recently his cuts to export subsidies for the arts.

He has been no friend to Canadian cities, he has bungled the economy (one of the few areas the Tories are supposed to be good at) and may soon take us back into deficits.

He reneged on his promise not to tax income trusts, costing many small investors - including retirees small fortunes, because Harper had promised not to tax these trusts many were buying them until days before his announcement.

Finally he has done considerable damage to Canada's reputation abroad. From refusing to attend the world aids conference to insulting the Chinese people (and Canadian athletes) by his absence from the opening ceremonies. His administration has interfered in foreign elections by leaking private information and left classified documents with girlfriends. The have also damaged Canada's reputation as a refuge from wars and war crimes by deporting asylum seekers.

In short Stephen Harper's government has been inept, corrupt, incompetent, immoral and staunchly anti-Canadain on almost every important issue. So, like the Americans, Canadians have a choice to make between the failed policies of the Bush Administration (echoed by Harper) and a reversal of that course.

Stephen Harper and his Tories have never enjoyed more than about 35% support in Canada, yet they manage to cling to power. If they truly care about Canada it is time for the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party to put aside their differences, focus on areas of common ground and at least temporarily come together in Coalition.

If the next election results in anything less than a majority parliament, Stephen Dion, Jack Layton and their parties should make it clear to Stephen Harper and the Governor General that they will act in concert and prevent the Harper Neo-Con agenda from going any further, that they can and will form a coalition Government and will block any further legislation by Stephen Harper until given a chance to do so.

To this end I have created a Facebook Group to act as a kind of petition in and of itself. While everyone is certainly welcome and encouraged to use the group to share information and ideas, and everyone is also encouraged to write to the Jack Layton and Stephen Dion and tell them to get over their squabbling and get Canada back on track - just joining the group will send a signal to everyone involved.

Please join at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=29529380865 and invite your friends, family and co-workers to do the same!

Free Downloads from the Choir Practice

Rumor has it that the Choir Practice was originally formed "as an excuse to drink wine and sing with friends." If that is true then the logic follows that if you are going to "drink and sing with friends" you might as well do it on stage and get paid.

The Choir Practice is an a'cappella vocal group from Vancouver consisting of "Coco (from The Gay and A.C. Newman) song writer, vocals and guitar, Larissa (from Kellarissa and P:ano) song writer, vocals and piano, Naomi (fashion designer) vocals, Olivia (from FanShaw) vocals, Jenn (from The Pokiok Falls) vocals and percussion, Kristen-vocals and gloc, Chris (from The Gay Straights) vocals and guitar, Ska-T (DJ) vocals, Shane (from Love and Mathematics) vocals and bass, Karin (photographer) vocals and percussion, Shira (from Blood Meridian) vocals and tamborine, Ida (from Great Aunt Ida) vocals, Sydney (from Hello Blue Roses) vocals, Marcy (from Heartbreak Scene) vocals, and finally KD (from the basement)". They are also the latest addition to this site's Podsafe Download section and the very first artists from Mint Records to be represented there.

the Choir Practice - Failsafe

Arts Funding Petition

An online petition has been started to make sure the Government of Canada knows that Canadians support the arts, and arts funding. It reads:
"Canada Supports the Arts Target: Government of Canada
Sponsored by: Professional Association of Canadian Theatres

Canadians depend on our artists and their work to tell Canadian stories. Government investment is a crucial element of cultural diplomacy in every developed nation including Canada. The arts contribute to GDP, enhance Canada's international reputation, and make Canada a more innovate and creative country.

The loss of $48.8 million in arts and culture funding is a loss to all Canadians.

We call on the Government of Canada to partner with the arts and culture sector to create new innovative policies and programs, to refine and enhance existing policies and programs and as a minimum commitment to make significant ongoing investments in arts and culture at 2008.2009 levels, through the Canada Council for the Arts, the departments of Canadian Heritage, Finance and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, for the benefit of Canada and Canadians."
Please sign the petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Canadian-Arts-Funding and pass it along to friends!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Harpers War on Art: The Myths Around Taxes

If, as I have, you've been following the online debates on the issue of Harper's cuts to the arts you will notice that Harpers supporters only really have one argument (framed in various ways). That argument is 'tax dollars'. I have already suggested that we may be able to do something to take it out of the government's hands but putting that aside for the moment: the tax dollar question is quite simply a refuge for people who are ignorant, unimaginative and bad at math.

The argument usually goes something like this:
"Sick and tired of watching my taxmoney go to pay for some garbage that one person sees as 'art' and almost everyone sees as just that, garbage.

If your product is good enough for the public to buy, then good for you. If you can't sell your product, then don't expect taxmoney to bail you out. "


(random quote taken as a sample from the CBC's comment section
First of all, the 'I'm a taxpayer' argument is tired, old, pointless and needs to be put to bed. We are all taxpayers and each of us could find something the government spends money on that we don't like or that we think could be done better - saying 'I don't want to pay for _____' is a pointless cyclical argument that leads nowhere. Yes you're a taxpayer, that means that you won't get arrested for tax evasion, congratulations.

Second, as I've pointed out before virtually all major Canadian industries are subsidized in some way, especially when it comes to exports. Arts and culture obviously provide something that defies math but, since this does not appear obvious to Harper's supporters let's look at some actual numbers.

  • According to the Board of Trade arts and culture, both directly and indirectly employ 1.1 million people, generate 84 billion in economic activity and accounts for 7.4% of GDP.

  • Arts and culture, according to the Canada Council employs "roughly the same number of jobs as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil & gas and utilities combined".

  • According to the Government of Canada's website for Trade Routes Canada's cultural exports equal 5 billion dollars annually.


  • There are a number of ways we can look at these numbers but any way you look at it Canadians are getting alot of bang for their buck. If it helps, don't think of it as 40 million in arts subsidies, think of it as a 40 million dollar investment that returns (from exports alone) $125 for every dollar invested. That's a return on investment of 12,500% - which any banker will tell you, isn't too shabby. If that still doesn't help think of it this way: they're not your tax dollars - the government takes $4 per year (.25 cents per month) from the paycheque of everyone who makes their living for the arts - think of what it would cost the government if those 1.1 million people were suddenly unemployed and didn't pay taxes?

    No matter how you want to look at it the math is indisputable. These subsidies are a huge money maker for Canada and are essential to the Canadian economy.

    So, the people who favor this cut as far as I'm concerned do so because they dislike art and artists so much that they are willing to throw away thousands of jobs and do serious damage to the economy just as a way of lashing out at artists. Arts and culture give back far more than they take both culturally and economically and that is fact, not opinion.

    On a side note: a tip of the cap to Newfoundland Premiere Danny Williams who has said that Newfoundland will make up the money cut by Harper so that their artists can continue to export.

    And now, for some music

    Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

    Letter From A Veteran

    Although this is outside the boundaries of where I usually go on publicbroadcasting.ca, I got an email today from this person that I thought I'd pass along. I am not sure who the MP is that he refers to, but if you're a journalist in search of a BC story - have at it. If you have something you'd like to pass along please use the form at publicbroadcasting.ca/contact.html.
    "I'm not sure you would be interested in printing my story, it is a long drawn out series of events that takes a disabled Veteran, who suffers Chronic Pain, and tortures him until he is forced to the Street for Medications and equipment!
    I only break the laws that I need too, and don't know if I will end up in Jail in 9 days or not!
    My crimes are fully supported by my NDP Member of Parliment, as proven by her Closing My File after begging for help!
    This must never happen to another Veteran of The Canadian Armed Forces again!!
    My family and I have suffered this torture, at the hands of VAC since my medical release for DND, and have included many different medications and Drugs being denied, Much needed surgeries been postponed or Denied by VAC, RCMP Raids, and Commission Reports, hundreds of e-mailed to MPs. News papers and Union Media!
    I still after 4 years buy my PAIN Medication from the street even when I have a Government License to produce my own!
    I am a disabled Veteran who may go to jail, and the NDP Party members have to much to lose in Black Marked Drug profit so MY FILE REMAINS CLOSED!
    Please look threw some of my My Space blogs, They are all linked to the Government actions taken against me.
    This started when Mr C was PM and continues to day!
    Yet my NDP MP, closed my file?
    Please you tell me after reading my blog that the Disabled Veterans are treated fairly?
    TTFN
    Bruce Webb"

    The Berkeley Sessions to Broadcast on Bravo

    Thanks to Joel Plaskett for the heads up on this: The Berkeley sessions are coming to Bravo TV this fall. Recorded at Toronto's Berkeley Church the series will feature

  • Episode 1 (Sept. 10): Canadian indie-rocker Joel Plaskett performs, alongside his father Bill, the acoustic versions of his hits Nowhere With You and Happen Now.


  • Episode 2 (Sept. 17): Jon Langford, founder of the punk band The Mekons, wows the Berkeley Church audience with his unique brand of Brit-style alt-country. Langford is also joined by members of Toronto's The Sadies and the Burlington Male Welsh Choir.


  • Episode 3 (Sept. 24): Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Slean and her expert trio perform old favorites and selections from her latest release The Baroness.


  • Episode 4 (Oct. 1): Southern songwriter and poet Jim White runs through an evocative set of his lyrically challenging, yet melodically appealing songs.


  • Episode 5 (Oct. 8): No mere strummer, American guitarist Kaki King uses every part of her instrument to create an astonishing range of sounds and rhythms.


  • Episode 6 (Oct. 15): Canadian singer-songwriter Pete Elkas, former member of the alternative rock band Local Rabbits, performs several of his haunting self-penned songs in his signature falsetto.


  • Since it is really the closest thing we have on television to CBC Radio, Bravo's Blog

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Bruce Mcdonald Brings Zombies to TIFF 08: Pontypool

    Bruce McDonald, director of such films as Hard Core Logo, Highway 61 and the Tracey Fragments has now made one of the scariest movies ever. At least he hopes it's scary, I haven't seen it - but the premiere is coming to the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is called Pontypool and is based on Tony Bugess's book Pontypool Changes Everything and the description, via IMDB reads something like
    "The flick is set in a radio station in Pontypool where one day the morning team starts taking reports of extreme, bloody incidents of violence occurring in town. As the story unfolds, the radio staff soon realizes the violence that is ripping society apart is due to a virus being spread through the English language. That in turn poses a problem for a yappy radio jock and his staff holed up in the broadcast booth housed in the basement of the town's abandoned church as a slaughter rages beyond its walls."
    If you watch the clip below Bruce talks about the film, as well as arts subsidies and tells you why and how Hard Core Logo will become a trilogy.

    For Showtimes and further info on Pontypool visit http://tiff08.ca/filmsandschedules/films/pontypool

    Exlaim!TV Ep.42 - Bruce McDonald Talks About Pontypool and Arts Subsidies

    Coming Up in Toronto

    Thursday, August 28
    Squiggfest 08 - Day 4
    Facebook Event Page

    NO SHAME : Green Go / The Magic / TACSO w. TSRE / Europe in Colour @ Rancho
    Facebook Event Page

    Bulbs (ex-Axolotl) w/ The Dead Are Those Who Have Died
    Facebook Event Page

    CrueFest After Party
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, August 29
    29.97
    A night of stand up comedy, live performances and the best of directing duo Adam & Dave's short film catalogue.
    Facebook Event Page

    Signal Magazine Launch Party
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM 23: Basement Arms, Hot Kid, Terror Lake, Capital Grass & the No Men
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, August 30
    Salon des Musiques Exceptionelles!
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM: We Take Lovers, Key Witness, A Sea of Gold & Burgundy & Hungry Lake
    This would have been the last show ever at Rancho!
    Facebook Event Page

    FAMILY AFFAIR
    Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, August 31
    HOUR OF POWER!
    Laugh Sabbath Presents...
    Facebook Event Page

    BLACK & WHITE PARTY w/ DJ Shannon @ Dance Cave!
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, September 3
    TOWN HALL - Budget Cut Announcement
    Facebook Event Page

    The Gazebo Pals LIVE!
    Facebook Event Page

    PWYC Weds w/ B'MO' Crazy, Gypsophilia, Waking Up Cross Eyed
    Facebook Event Page

    Local Alternative
    The Best in New Alternative out of Toronto
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, September 4
    NO SHAME : Black Hat Brigade / Magic Jordan / Tonka and Puma @ Rancho
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, September 5

    YONDER w/ Boys Who Say No & Hooded Fang
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM Presents: Leonids, Archipelagos, & Hibou
    Facebook Event Page

    maynards and slipper's SWEATSHOP HOP
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, September 6
    Nathan Lawr and Kate Maki @ Cameron House
    Facebook Event Page

    CFC SHORT FILM PUDGE SCREENS AT TIFF '08
    Facebook Event Page

    Glory Through Steel 3
    Facebook Event Page

    SLIM TWIG w/ J. Reichmann & HBF
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM 24: Make Your Exit, Plastics Inc, Sleep For the Nightlife
    Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, September 7
    CFC FEATURE FILM NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY SCREENS AT TIFF '08
    PRESS & INDUSTRY SCREENING
    Facebook Event Page

    Monday, September 8
    CFC FEATURE FILM NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY SCREENS AT TIFF '08
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, September 10
    CFC FEATURE FILM NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY SCREENS AT TIFF '08
    PUBLIC SCREENING #2
    Facebook Event Page

    Bearsuit Publishing 1 Year Party
    with Black Diamond Bay, Lily Frost, Mardeen, Emma-Lee
    Facebook Event Page

    Starlight Presents: Will Currie and the Country French
    Facebook Event Page

    Life Stories: Maayan Amir and Ruti Sela, Meiro Koizumi, Tova Mozard
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, September 11
    CFC SHORT FILM PUDGE SCREENS AT TIFF '08
    Facebook Event Page

    All Power To the People! Graphics of the Black Panther Party 1966 – 1974 and Fuse Fall Issue
    Facebook Event Page

    NO SHAME : Picastro / Leif Vollebekk / Luluc @ Rancho
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, September 12
    CFC SHORT FILM PUDGE SCREENS AT TIFF '08
    PUBLIC SCREENING #2
    Facebook Event Page

    The Coast / Will Currie & The Country French / Still Life Still @ Drake
    Facebook Event Page

    Monday, September 15
    CALL FOR PROPOSALS
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, September 19
    TUSKS TORONTO EP RELEASE w/ MANDIBLES AND STEVEN MCKAY
    Facebook Event Page

    Monday, September 22
    Spacing presents thinkTORONTO
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, September 25
    The St.Clair Jazz All-Stars
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, September 27
    The TrekZac FestiCon
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, October 4
    Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2008
    Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, October 19
    2008 Toronto Zombie Walk
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, October 30
    Flourish A Brighter Future Through Culture
    Facebook Event Page

    Out of the Shadows
    Facebook Event Page

    HALLOWEEN GHOST CRUISE
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, November 14
    Art Gallery of Ontario public opening
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Harper's War on Art: The Backlash Continues

    It's been a busy 24 hours for those interested in Stephen Harper's attempts to muzzle Canadian artists. It started with an emergency Heritage Committee Meeting where opposition parties accused Harper of censorship and abuse of power:
    ""There is real concern the government is picking and choosing which artists it is supporting and which artists it is not supporting," said Nash.

    "I suggest, in a democracy, that is a dangerous thing."

    The cuts affect programs vital to promotion of Canadian arts abroad, and appear to have been aimed at artists whose politics and philosophies are out of favour with the Conservative government, she said."
    These sentiments were echoed at a protest rally today in Montreal.
    "Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Montreal on Wednesday to protest government cuts to arts and culture programs.

    Artists, singers, actors, writers and politicians spoke out against some $48.5 million in funding cuts announced by the Conservative government earlier this summer.
    They accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of censoring creative production in Canada, and harming the nation's image abroad.
    The Tories' attitude suggests they scorn culture, says Marie Tifo, a Canadian actress and Genie Award winner."
    There are also articles in various publications today hilighting the potential damage to museums, ballet and the music industry. Even the Indo-Canadian community, where the Conservatives once drew considerable support appears to have abandoned him :
    "Prime Minister Stephen “Stevie” Harper and his ministers’ many blunders from arts funding cuts to drastic immigration changes to demonizing minorities like Muslims and Sikhs have led to a general negative opinion of minority as well as mainstream Canadians that the honeymoon wit the Conservatives is over as they are not doing a good job. "
    It all makes you wonder why Harper is so eager for an election.

    CBC to Launch 4 New Web Streams

    According to Inside the CBC, Radio 2 will be launching four new radio streams when it relaunches on September 2.
    "CBC Jazz: CBC Jazz will feature a “deep playlist” featuring jazz music and musicians from across the decades. You’ll hear an emphasis on Canadian performers and compositions (Michael BublĂ©, Diana Krall) but also favourites like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, and more.

    CBC Classical: CBC Classical will play music from across the centuries includuding pieces by classical composers and performed by the best Canadian and international orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists.

    CBC Canadian Songwriters: Pretty much what it says. Artists heard will include Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, Alex Cuba, Feist, Basia Bulat, Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, and Greg Keilor.

    CBC Canadian Composers: The entire range of music composed by some of Canada’s most reknowned composers and performed by our premiere ensembles. Think John Weinzweig and Christos Hatzis."
    So whatever you are into, CBC will have you covered.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    An Offer You Can't Refuse from Run With the Kittens

    On September 12 Toronto's Run With the Kittens is having a CD release shoe at the Horseshoe. A friend of theirs has put together this brief message to make sure everyone knows why attendance isn't optional for you, or your sister.

    Definitely Not Just a Radio Host

    You may already know all of this but Sook-Yin Lee would appear to be one of the most naturally creative people at the CBC. In addition to being a Radio Host and Olympic Blogger and singer/songwriter and writer/storyteller and actress she is also a film director.

    Toronto Stores to which she contributed a chapter premieres at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (Public 1 AMC 6 Tues Sept 9 6:00pm Public 2 AMC 2 Thur Sept 11 3:30pm). She has also written and is about to direct her first feature film.
    "It's called, YEAR OF THE CARNIVORE. It's a comedy drama, a-coming-of-age-learning-to-love-and-screwing-up-royally-story. The plan is I'm shooting it in Vancouver this fall. It's really exciting for me, but I have to admit, making movies is tough stuff. I'm like a fireman. Everyday there's a new blaze to extinguish. But darn it all, I'm gonna do it. Please check back here for updates. "

    Conference Board and Michael Geist weigh in on Harper's War on Art

    The Conference Board of Canada released a report today which it called the "most comprehensive look at the arts and cultural industries yet". According to CBC News the report found that
  • "Arts and culture contributed $46 billion to Canada's economy in 2007, but the overall impact of the sector was a much broader $84.6 billion"

  • That the above amounts equal " 7.4 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product"

  • "It attributes 1.1 million jobs to arts and culture or to spinoff industries, such as tourism"

  • That "culture has less tangible benefits, such as helping people of diverse backgrounds understand each other"

  • and that

  • The "creative economy" is a "key driver of economic growth in the future."
  • Also today Ottawa University Law Professor Dr. Michael Geist, who has spearheaded the campaign against Harper's Bill C-61 (which would criminalize most consumers of art and media), weighed in on the cuts to the arts. Geist pointed out the double standard that appears when comparing the "creative economy" to other sectors:
    "Few people argue for a market-only approach for the sale of airplanes, largely because public support is recognized as a necessary pre-condition to global commercial success. The same may be true in the cultural industries. As we move from a world of scarcity (limited bandwidth and access to culture) to one of abundance (near unlimited access to culture), Canadian policies must shift from unworkable regulations that limit access to foreign content toward efforts that back the creation and promotion of Canadian content. In other words, cutting off funding for promotion is not just bad cultural policy. It is bad economic policy."
    He also criticized cuts to programs that provide for the digitization of cultural heritage:
    "the announced cuts move Canada in the opposite direction. For example, just as the government was cutting $11.7 million to the Canadian Memory Fund (which gives federal agencies money to digitize their collections and post them online), the European Union - which is currently led by the Conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy - was committing nearly $200 million next year alone toward digitization and efforts to provide online access to Europe's cultural heritage. The European Commission has urged its member states to increase their digitization budgets, as Europe works toward the creation of a massive European Digital Library."
    An emergency meeting of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage was called for this afternoon to discuss Harper's attack on arts, culture and the economy, though I have yet to see any official reports on results from that meeting.

    p.s. not sure who to credit with the above photo - if it's yours, let me know.

    Young Galaxy: Hipsters Are Annoying

    Steve from Young Galaxy posted a new note to their Myspace just to let everyone know that the band was still around and has been working on a new album that they hope to release in the new year. Steve also did everyone the favor of pointing the way to an Adbusters article that "had me raising my fist in appreciation". The article is called Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization and goes something like:
    "We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of its subversion and originality."
    You really should read the whole article. Of course, if you like the article and want more you can still visit the original hipstersareannoying.com and even pick up one of these



    Happily they can now be seen fairly regularly on the streets of Toronto.

    Young Galaxy - Come and See

    Toronto Indie Looking for Writers



    The start of the new school year has cost Toronto Indie two of it's writers (who are off to other provinces). So, if you are 19+, like music and are willing to write about it for free fire off an email to lidia [@] torontoindie . com

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Laura Barrett's Victory Garden September 23

    A little quote today from the Paper Bag Records e-newsletter.
    "Victory Garden refers to two things: the general concept of a garden describes the rich symphonic mixture of sounds created by this more communal gathering of musicians, with the cover art illustrating that it is a more collective enterprise than my solo efforts.


    Also, the title refers to the victory gardens of wartime, as we are seeing a move toward small-scale, more sustainable farming and agriculture, and we also see a world still embroiled in war and conflict that dedicates resources toward death and not life. The Victory Garden is a hopeful act, but carries with it cynicism about humanity's development."
    Laura's new album Victory Garden will arrive on September 23. According to that same e-newsletter the track listing will go something like this:

    01 Wood Between Worlds
    02 Consumption
    03 Spoiler Alert
    04 Chidiya
    05 Bluebird
    06 A Certain Major Vinylsky
    07 Ferryland
    08 The Sharper Side
    09 Space Seed: The Musical
    10 Escape to the Sun Dome
    11 Rien A Declarer
    12 To The Stars!

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Something That's Better Than Google?

    Though Google has moved far beyond their original inception as a search engine, I think they finally now have competition in that area. addictomatic.com is yet another way of searching the web, but it presents the results a little differently and focuses more on social news and information. When you enter a search term addictomatic grabs the lates results from Topix, Live News, Google Blog Search, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Flickr, Twingly, Bloglines, Truveo, Ask.com, Technorati, Wordpress and more but leaves them all in their individual boxes so you can get the latest official news as well as 'What people are saying about...'

    It seems, at first glance anyway, to be a quick, easy way to find out the very, very latest about whatever it is your are interested in at the moment. At the very least it's more fun than Google.

    the Sadies and Elliot Brood Live at Hillside

    If you missed this year's (25th annual) Hillside Festival, or if you were there but wouldn't mind reliving a bit of it, on July 26 CBC Radio 2 was there with the tape recorders going and has now posted Concerts on Demand from the Sadies and Elliot Brood.

    Animal Names on Tour



    Ok..I'm late in getting this up. They are already out on the road but - you can still catch Animal Names in the following cities:
    August 24 Calgary @ Tubby Dog
    
August 25 Saskatoon @ The Roxy 

    August 26 Winnipeg @ Royal Albert
    
August 27 Thunder Bay @ Black Pirates Pub

    August 28 London @ London Music Club
    
August 29 Guelph @ The Jimmy Jazz
    
August 30 Toronto @ The Drake

    September 1 Sault Ste Marie @ Arcadia House

    September 3 Winnipeg @ someone's house

    September 4 Regina @ The Lazy Owl

    September 5 Lethbridge @ The Slice

    September 6 Edmonton all ages @ TBA

    Cuts to the Arts Do Not Save the Government Any Money

    It should be pointed out that the Harper Government's cuts to arts and culture programs do not save the Government of Canada any money at all. According to the Canada Council for the Arts the 7 billion dollars invested in culture (in 2004) generated $26 billion in economic activity and creates 740,000 jobs. In fact more jobs than agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and oil and gas utilities comined. This means that the Canadian federal government, as well as provincial and local government generate more money from arts and culture (through taxes) than they put into it.

    This reinforces the point that cuts to arts and culture are about silencing any Canadian cultural ideas that would separate Canada from the United States - there is simply no other reason that a government would deliberately deal itself an economic blow and eliminate jobs across Canada with no corresponding benefit to anyone.

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    R3TV Visits the Regina Folk Festival

    There is also a video at the end for Kevin Drew's "Safety Bricks". If you think you might have missed an R3TV somewhere I have a full list with descriptions and links at publicbroadcasting.ca/r3tv.html#eps

    A Few More Thoughts on Harper's War on Art

    According to an article in today's Globe and Mail the Harper Government's cuts to the arts are going to be used to pay for the Vancouver Olympics - namely the torch relay:
    "More than $40-million in savings the federal government will reap from controversial cuts to arts and culture funding will be redirected to the Vancouver Olympic torch relay and two other programs, exacerbating fears that replacement initiatives are not in the cards."
    This feeds into my theory that hosting the olympics is not actually a good thing. It no doubt provides a short term boost to tourism and the hospitality industry but leaves cities horribly in debt for decades. In my opinion no Canadian cities should bid for any future games except Montreal and Vancouver. However I don't want to get into pitting amateur athletes against struggling artists - any reasonably government should be able to help both.

    Before I found this tidbit I had already planned on writing about the funding cuts. As I mentioned earlier, on September 3 there is going to be to discuss how to fight back. A quick glance at the RSVP list for it would indicate that it is going to be very well attended. According to the Facebook Event Page shows about 300 are definitely coming, and about another 300 maybe's with over 1200 still 'awaiting reply'.

    A quick glance at the names of those coming shows that at the very least visual art, music, theatre and film will all be represented. As great as this is it also means that very few will get a chance to speak. Assuming that I'm not one of them I'd like to lay out my thoughts here:

    I absolutely think that we need to fight these cuts. With a fall election coming we may have an opportunity to throw the conservatives out (and kill Bill C61 and Bill C10 while we're at it). That said I think that the last few years have shown how vulnerable arts and culture funding can be. Neither the current Conservative, nor recent Liberal governments have great track records on arts and culture.

    Personally I think that what we need to start looking at are new umbrella not for profits that would accept 'tax deductible' donations and would serve as grants agencies for the arts while being outside the reach of government whim and sheltered from any fear of controversy.

    There are a variety of ways that this could set up and run - ways that would intice people outside he arts to donate and benefit from those donations. One possible solution could look something like CAA where artists and supporters/fans of the arts pay annual dues to belong to the organization. In return for their dues members might receive discounts to events, and even (if it can be negotiated) travel, hotel and meal discounts. These benefits would cost the organization little or nothing as these things are usually negotiated so that the organizations only obligation is to tell their members about the discounts (publicity.) A glossy magazine could even be provided to tell members about discounts as well as a calendar of events and festivals, articles on artists and on the efforts of the organization. The organization could also lobby the government on behalf of the arts, without actually being a part of, or receiving funds from government. Beyond the magazine and administrative costs the money (annual dues) would be pooled to provide grants to artists.

    That is just one of the many ways you might go about it but I think that it would be wise to come up with some plan to separate the fortunes of artists from the politics of Ottawa and the provinces and territories.

    Radio 2 Changes Around the Corner

    The all new CBC Radio 2 is set to launch in about a week and a half (September 2) and the complaints are still rolling in. When it was first announced that there would be changes I was only curious but as the exact nature of the changes became clear and the fur started flying I leaned more and more heavily toward favoring the changes.

    Those that oppose the changes will deny with all their heart that they are elitist - however the do have a tendency to keep referring to classical, opera, etc., as "real music"

    Example 1
    " This will shame Canada in the eyes of lovers of real music around the world. I agree with Gary above - keep classical music on Radio 2 and get rid of Jennifer McGuire."
    Example 2
    "I wonder who is the dummy who decided that the audience of CBC radio 2 would be happy with the proposed changes that take away so much of real music and art!"
    I personally can't think of anything much more elitist than claiming your music is real music and everything before or since is not. It should be noted here that classical music was, in fact, the first true commercial music - music made for money rather than sheer enjoyment. It also does not help the case of the anti-change crowd that one of their chief spokesmen has been Russell Smith who, the last time I heard anyway, would happily wear a t-shirt that said "Elistist" on the front (if he wore t-shirts that is.)

    The other frequent complaint is that other forms of music 'pop and jazz' already get plenty of play on commercial radio. Classical music fans can be forgiven for making this mistake because they likely don't listen to much commercial radio and they don't understand the depth and breadth of the many genres of music that currently fall under 'pop and jazz' (probably 40-50 genres if I were to list them) but their presumption is false. On this page there is a list of 300+ Canadian musical acts that I find worth listening to but I have heard only 10 maybe 15% of these acts on commercial radio. I could, given the time, make a much longer list and that would still be the case.

    Commercial radio plays only a very small subsection of whatever genre they play. This subsection is neither representational of the genre as a whole, nor indicative of its best players. Commercial radio tends to play the music that is the most commercial, which usually means the groups with the largest marketing budget behind them. You might have noticed that Avril Lavigne, Sum 41, Dianna Krall, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Allanis Morrisette, Sarah McLaughlin, Nickleback, Celine Dion, and Rush were not on that list I mentioned earlier. Some of them are good, some of them aren't, but given the marketing power behind them none of them need my help.

    Even what is called "alternative" radio has forgotten what it was supposed to be an "alternative" to. In the early 1990s when Nirvanna emerged and "the alternative became mainstream" (which it didn't) most of these stations latched on to that idea and haven't evolved since. Most of what was 'alternative' before or since Nirvanna still struggles to get air play.

    All of this aside for the moment, we live in an age when anyone, anywhere, can listen to anything they like anytime - between CDs and MP3 players and internet and satellite radio there is music out there of every sound and description, available 24/7 365 and fully customizable - for classical music in particular start by clicking here.

    I understand why people are concerned. There is very little currently airing on CBC television that makes it stand out as a public vs. a private broadcaster. I also know that this is largely due to a budget that shrinks annually - forcing the CBC to make money with it's programming, thus making it more commercial. When it comes to Radio 2 though, I have no reason to believe that it will go in this direction. If Radio 2 sounds like a commercial network and ignores talented and struggling Canadian musicians or if, god forbid, it sounds like a commercial network by playing commercials I will be the first to call them on it but given the quality that has been the tradition of CBC Radio (1,2 and 3) I have no reason to believe that this will be the case. If you want more from the CBC (television, radio or new media) - write your MP and tell them to increase the CBC's budget as recommended by the Heritage Committee but rejected out of hand by Stephen Harper. However, until such time as the CBC has more money you should try to find things you can enjoy and understand that they are working hard to do more with less every year. As for Radio 2, since they are not airing commercials, I can only believe that they are making the changes they are because they believe that it is the right thing to do as a public broadcaster.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Rifflandia: Victoria, BC Adds New End of Summer Festival

    From August 29-31 over 60 musical acts from across North America will converge on Victoria, B.C. for the first annual Rifflandia festival. Amoung those on the lineup are You Say Party! We Say Die!, Jon And Roy, The Paper Cranes, Black Mountain, Final Fantasy, Handsome Furs, Bison and Pride Tiger.

    Note: The Final Fantasy and Black Mountain shows are each $25, so if you're going you're far better off getting a festival wristband for 58

    Ticket info is available at http://rifflandia.com/tickets/ and, as you might have guessed, more information in general is available at rifflandia.com.

    Ohbijou Fall Tour with the Acorn


    On October 4 Toronto's highly acclaimed Ohbijou are kicking off a tour across North America (including their first visit to the U.S.) joining them on tour are Ottawa's the Acorn. Here's a little taste of each in case you don't know (or just feel like watching a video) - tour dates follow:

    The Acorn - Flood Pt. 1
    p.s. you can also download a live in studio session from the Acorn from the CBC Radio 3 Sessions.



    Ohbijou - the Woods
    p.s. you can also hear Ohbijou on CBC Radio 2's Concerts on Demand



    10/4/08 – Kingston, ON @ Grad Club *

    10/6/08 – Sault Ste.-Marie, PQ @ On *

    10/7/08 – Thunder Bay, ON @ @ Apollo *

    10/8/08 – Winnipeg, MB @ Lo Pub *

    10/9/08 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo's *

    10/10/08 – Calgary, AB @ Broken City *

    10/11/08 – Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop *

    10/12/08 – Kelowna, BC @ Doc Willoughby's *

    10/14/08 – Vancouver, BC @ Media Club *

    10/15/08 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar *

    10/16/08 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir * ^

    10/17/08 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern * ^

    10/18/08 - TBA

    10/19/08 - Bend OR – Saint Francis

    10/21/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern * ^

    10/22/08 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place * ^

    10/24/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland * ^

    10/25/08 – Phoenix, AZ @ Modified * ^

    10/28/08 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive * ^

    10/29/08 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown * ^

    10/30/08 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry *

    10/31/08 – Madison, WI @ CafĂ© Montmartre * ^

    11/1/08 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba's * ^

    11/20/08 – Hamilton, ON @ Casbah *

    11/21/08 – Guelph, ON @ United Church *

    11/22/08 – Peterborough, ON @ Montreal House *

    11/27/08 – Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace *

    11/28/08 – Montreal, PQ @ La Sala Rossa *

    11/29/08 – Ottawa, ON @ Barrymore's *

    * w/ The Acorn

    * ^ w/ The Acorn & Shaky Hands

    Coming Up in Toronto

    Thursday, August 21
    MBMG, Everything All the Time, Oh No Forest Fires, Dinosaur Bones!!
    Facebook Event Page
    (p.s. for free MP3 downloads from Modernboys Moderngirls visit http://www.publicbroadcasting.ca/download/mbmg)

    PDF Format @ Pop Montreal Showcase!
    Facebook Event Page

    Squiggfest 08 - Day 3
    Facebook Event Page

    Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People w/ Sandro Perri + Peace, Loving
    Facebook Event Page

    Jana Hunter / Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez / Pete Samples / John Tielli @ Rancho
    Facebook Event Page

    Default at Tattoo
    Facebook Event Page

    FESTIVAL OF FEAR GIVEAWAYS Thurs. Aug 21 @ ROK BOUTIQUE with DJ Shannon
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, August 22
    BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY Showcase - August 22nd 7pm at the NFB
    Facebook Event Page

    SINS OF A SUPERVIXEN - An Intimate Evening with Tura Satana
    Facebook Event Page

    The Cinnamon Hearts Tribute to the Silver Screen
    Facebook Event Page

    BEAUFORT
    Facebook Event Page

    The Darcys At The Supermarket!
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM Presents: Jewelry Rat, Metz, Crack Mattress, Dwarf Star $6
    Facebook Event Page

    ALL REQUEST w/DJ Calvin
    Facebook Event Page

    THE MIDNIGHT MASQUERADE BENEFIT
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, August 23
    KULTURA 3rd Annual Filipino Arts Festival
    Facebook Event Page

    Hi-Hat Recordings/TWM Re-launch merger party!
    Facebook Event Page

    Kensington station
    Facebook Event Page

    Capture The Flag - The Brickworks
    Facebook Event Page

    THE NIGHT THAT DRIPPED BLOOD - Official Party of the 2008 Festival of Fear
    Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, August 24
    Maylee and Slipper's SWEATSHOP HOP!!!!! WAVELENGTH!!!
    Facebook Event Page

    AMERICAN MONSTERS - An Intimate Evening with Tobe Hooper
    Facebook Event Page

    FABRik ShowcasE #2 @ The Rancho Relaxo
    Facebook Event Page

    Monday, August 25
    MAKING IT IN HIGH HEELS Official Book Launch
    Facebook Event Page

    Tuesday, August 26

    Kaya Fraser & Lazy Dynamite in Toronto, wsg. Shawn Clarke
    Facebook Event Page

    nothings for free freetimes cafe.
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, August 27
    Nathan Lawr & Kate Maki - Mini Reunion Tour
    Facebook Event Page

    Jesse Crowe gets serious.
    Facebook Event Page

    Seedy Ease @ The Horseshoe
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, August 28
    Squiggfest 08 - Day 4
    Facebook Event Page

    NO SHAME : Green Go / The Magic / TACSO w. TSRE / Europe in Colour @ Rancho
    Facebook Event Page

    Bulbs (ex-Axolotl) w/ The Dead Are Those Who Have Died
    Facebook Event Page

    CrueFest After Party
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, August 29
    Signal Magazine Launch Party
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM 23: Basement Arms, Hot Kid, Terror Lake, Capital Grass & the No Men
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, August 30
    Salon des Musiques Exceptionelles!
    Facebook Event Page

    TWM: We Take Lovers, Key Witness, A Sea of Gold & Burgundy & Hungry Lake
    This would have been the last show ever at Rancho!
    Facebook Event Page

    FAMILY AFFAIR
    Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, August 31
    BLACK & WHITE PARTY w/ DJ Shannon @ Dance Cave!
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, September 3
    TOWN HALL - Budget Cut Announcement
    Facebook Event Page

    The Gazebo Pals LIVE!
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, September 6
    Nathan Lawr and Kate Maki @ Cameron House
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, September 4
    NO SHAME : Black Hat Brigade / Magic Jordan / Tonka and Puma @ Rancho
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, September 6
    Glory Through Steel 3
    Facebook Event Page

    SLIM TWIG w/ J. Reichmann & HBF
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, September 10
    Life Stories: Maayan Amir and Ruti Sela, Meiro Koizumi, Tova Mozard
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, September 11
    All Power To the People! Graphics of the Black Panther Party 1966 – 1974
    Facebook Event Page

    Monday, September 15
    CALL FOR PROPOSALS
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, September 19
    TUSKS TORONTO EP RELEASE w/ MANDIBLES AND STEVEN MCKAY
    Facebook Event Page

    Monday, September 22
    Spacing presents thinkTORONTO
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, September 25
    The St.Clair Jazz All-Stars
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, September 27
    The TrekZac FestiCon
    Facebook Event Page

    Saturday, October 4
    Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2008
    Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, October 19
    2008 Toronto Zombie Walk
    Facebook Event Page

    Thursday, October 30
    Flourish A Brighter Future Through Culture
    Facebook Event Page

    Out of the Shadows
    Facebook Event Page

    HALLOWEEN GHOST CRUISE
    Facebook Event Page

    Friday, November 14
    Art Gallery of Ontario public opening
    Facebook Event Page

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    The Craft Economy Gets Crafty

    Via CBC Radio 2, Toronto band the Craft Economy has begun stapling their CD's to telephone polls along with a statement about Harper's Bill C-61. According to Radio 2 it reads:
    "Copyright should protect the rights of artists and producers of creative content, but it should not suppress creative and artistic expression. The Craft Economy has licensed our music, including this CD, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 license. This license gives you the freedom to share our music with your friends and enemies, and remix and use it in new and creative ways, provided you attribute the work back to us, and you don't make money off our work. It's fair for you and us. This is the way art should work."
    The Craft Economy has certainly made my radar with this plus they sound a bit like Devo (one of the most influential and creative bands of the last 30 years). I've added the Craft Economy's homepage blog We Make Love to the Music Blogs section of publicbroadcasting.ca and their Myspace Blog to the Band Blogsbecause I admire their courage and creativity and because karma works.

    Great Lake Swimmers in Session

    It has been said of the Great Lake Swimmers (I don't know by who but it's in the quotes on their Myspace):
    "Great Lake Swimmers explore the worlds of indie folk, roots music and alt-country pop, with a focus on lyrics and songwriting. Known for haunting, somber ballads, their sound blends natural reverb with folkie arrangements and inspirational lyrics."
    Today they are the performers on the CBC Radio 3 sessions podcast which you can download at http://www.cbc.ca/radio3/podcasts/sessions/CBCR3Sessions_2008-08-20.mp3. For those of you who don't know, every week the sessions podcast features another band performing live in studio - which means these are recordings you won't find anywhere else and it's free.

    For those of you who like Canadian music I've created a Facebook Group and a Facebook Fan Page - I also have a page on the site that gives you the links to subscribe and lists all of the Sessions podcasts so far (so you can download any favourites that you missed) - http://publicbroadcasting.ca/sessions.html.

    Modernboys Moderngirls Free Downloads

    There aren't many Toronto bands that are generating the kind of buzz that Modernboys Moderngirls are for example:
    "Modernboys Moderngirls...rock out like the devil has taken them over... The band sound like a southern-fried White Stripes" -- Chart Attack Magazine

    "If MBMG's name isn't on everyone's lips in the coming months, there's definitely something wrong with the world." -- Dose.ca

    "All of the songs feel fully realized, with the band sporting a sound that’s alternately jangly, creepy...A confident release that could easily bring bigger things" -- Eye Weekly
    They are also playing a show at the Horseshoe tomorrow night with Dinosaur Bones, Everything All the Time and Oh No, Forest Fires, AND they are the latest band to contribute some songs to the Podsafe Download area of publicbroadcasting.ca!

    Check them out before you can't afford tickets anymore.

    Burning Hell All Over Canada (tour dates)

    So I told you recently about the brilliant show put on by the Burning Hell at the Rancho Relaxo in Toronto last Friday, and I promise after this I'll shut up about it at least for a bit, but whether you live in Toronto or somewhere else you're going to get a chance to check out Burning Hell yourself - From now through November Mathias and/or the band are touring all over Canada and parts of Europe. If you can't make any of these shows (because you're in prison or something - check it out on Zunior.


    21 Aug 2008 8pm The Montreal House Peterborough, Ontario
    22 Aug 2008 8pm Solo at the MoHo - Peterborough Folk Fest Club Crawl
    Peterborough, Ontario
    23 Aug 2008 8pm Solo at The Treehouse Ottawa, Ontario
    24 Aug 2008 8pm Solo at Cornerstone Guelph, Ontario
    25 Aug 2008 9pm Solo at Bread & Circus Toronto, Ontario
    27 Aug 2008 9pm The Apollo Thunder Bay, Ontario
    28 Aug 2008 9pm Times Change(d) Winnipeg, Manitoba
    1 Sep 2008 9pm The Club (at The Exchange) Regina, Saskatchewan
    2 Sep 2008 9pm Ottoman Lounge Medicine Hat, Alberta
    3 Sep 2008 9pm The Slice Lethbridge, Alberta
    4 Sep 2008 8pm Tubby Dog Calgary, Alberta
    5 Sep 2008 9pm Little Mountain Studio Vancouver, British Columbia
    6 Sep 2008 9pm Hermann’s Victoria, British Columbia
    9 Sep 2008 9pm Deux Soleils Vancouver, British Columbia
    10 Sep 2008 19:00 Meow Records Prince George, British Columbia
    11 Sep 2008 9pm Likwid Lounge Edmonton, Alberta
    12 Sep 2008 9pm Amigos Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    13 Sep 2008 8pm Crescent Fort Rouge United Church Winnipeg, Manitoba
    14 Sep 2008 9pm The Apollo Thunder Bay, Ontario
    16 Sep 2008 9pm Solo at The Spill with Al Tuck and Black Molly Peterborough, Ontario
    18 Sep 2008 8pm The Montreal House Peterborough, Ontario
    19 Sep 2008 9pm Steamwhistle Brewery Toronto, Ontario
    20 Sep 2008 8pm The Family Thrift Store/KazooFest! Guelph, Ontario
    3 Oct 2008 8pm L’escogriffe Montreal, Quebec
    4 Oct 2008 8pm Artsweek/Hunter St. Music Festival Peterborough, Ontario
    10 Oct 2008 8pm Zapata Berlin
    13 Oct 2008 8pm Nancy Jazz Pulsations Festival Nancy
    14 Oct 2008 9pm Le Sirius Lyon
    16 Oct 2008 8pm Mistral Palace Valence
    17 Oct 2008 8pm De Nieuwe Anita Amsterdam
    19 Oct 2008 15:00 DB’s Utrecht
    24 Oct 2008 8pm Cafe Mir Oslo
    28 Oct 2008 8pm West Germany Berlin
    31 Oct 2008 8pm The Montreal House Halloween Party Peterborough, Ontario
    1 Nov 2008 9pm The Black Sheep Inn Wakefield, Quebec
    5 Nov 2008 8pm The Rose and Thistle St John’s, Newfoundland
    6 Nov 2008 9pm The Ship St John’s, Newfoundland
    7 Nov 2008 8pm CBTGs - Night 1 St John’s, Newfoundland
    8 Nov 2008 8pm CBTGs - Night 2 St John’s, Newfoundland
    9 Nov 2008 8pm CBTGs - Night 3 St John’s, Newfoundland
    11 Nov 2008 8pm Gus’ Pub Halifax, Nova Scotia
    12 Nov 2008 8pm Struts Sackville, New Brunswick
    13 Nov 2008 9pm Baba’s Charlottetown, Prince Edward
    14 Nov 2008 8pm The Capitol Fredericton, New Brunswick
    15 Nov 2008 9pm Grumpy’s Montreal, Quebec

    Peterborough Rocks


    So after I posted the updates to the site yesterday I got a message from Mathias Kom (Burning Hell) about a project that has been going on in Peterborough for a few years now Radio Free Peterborough. From RFP's about section:
    Radio Free Peterborough is an all volunteer-run Internet Radio Station that features only the music of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
    RFP also aims to be a cultural heritage resource for music that falls below the radar of the commercial music industry, but still sounds great. Especially when you know everyone you're listening to.
    We want you to start your own radio station, so go grab a copy of our D.I.Y. Internet Radio document. It's free, and so is everything you need to get started. If you have a windows computer on a fast connection that can play music, you're already most of the way to being a radio station.
    RFP has spawned similar efforts in Wakefield, Quebec and Chihuahua province, Mexico. If you'd like to read their DIY Internet Radio document you can grab a copy at http://www.radiofreepeterborough.ca/pdf/diy.pdf.

    Anyway, I decided that any city that could spawn RFP had something going on so there is a 31st city included on publicbroadcasting.ca now http://www.publicbroadcasting.ca/city/peterborough.html. It's a bit sparse at the moment, but I'm sure someone will come along and tell me what else should be in there.

    One opinion on health care

    In case anyone's wondering, this is strictly my own point of view here. It's quite possibly ill-informed, but it's all mine. And it's a bit of a rant. But since I once hailed from Tommy Douglas' neck of the prairies, the rant would perhaps be inevitable.

    You can also blame it on reading reports like this one over the last few days.

    I think that Drs. Brian Day and Robert Ouellet, the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Canadian Medical Association respectively, are wrong when it comes to the public-private argument over health care in Canada. There are real problems with their thinking.

    Start with this: the idea proposed by Dr. Day that opponents of private-run health care in Canada "need a reality check" is itself in need of such.

    If you're alive, you need health care services. This is not a negotiable item. No matter how careful you are, with your diet, with exercise, with risky (or "risky") behaviour on other fronts, something's going to happen to you sooner or later to medically complicate your life. And you're going to need help with it. The idea of having to either pay out of pocket up front everytime this happens, or working out a payment schedule or, in the extreme, flat out begging...should be offensive on principle to anyone with a brain.

    (And yes, I'm leaving out optional items like cosmetic surgery to "enhance" specific regions of the anatomy. Unless you've been disfigured by accidents, genetic or otherwise, you're out of luck with me.)

    As some of the people who posted responses to that CBC article I linked to above noted, the health care systems as we've known and built up over the decades since Douglas got the ball rolling in Saskatchewan has been shortchanged. Part of it was well-meaning, some of it was accidents of timing, some of it was deliberate attempts to roll back the societal clock.

    Yes, there is only one group of people paying the bills for the system at the end of the day: us. All of us. It's going to be that way, no matter what we do about the situation. Do we really want to drive the cost of the system up even quicker than we already know it will, by way of creeping re-privatisation or parallel public-and-private(or some other label for it as yet unknown)?

    I don't think so.

    I can't afford it.

    I don't think any of us can.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    New and Improved(?)

    Ok, just finished a major overhaul of the site. Those of you who have been following this project know that I tend to do that in the summer. Anyway, there are alot of new sections so if you feel I've left something out (or if you see any errors) let me know. I'm sure I have but I didn't want to work on this until Xmas.

    So, here's what's new:

    The Can. Blogs, Can. Podcasts and Can. News & Politics are pretty much the same. I've deleted a few defunct feeds and added a few new ones though.

    Internet Video is new and is a combination of various Canadian YouTube feeds.

    The Music Blogs is a combination of music news feeds, popular music blogs and podcasts (including CBC Radio 2 and 3) and other music related stuff.

    The Band Blogs is vastly changed. There is no more Band Blogs II and the number of musical performers included has grown to over 300.

    The Arts blogs are gone, broken down into component parts and those parts have been expanded under the heading Arts, Culture and Media. They now include separate feeds for Film and Televison, Literature, Visual Art and Design, Performing Arts and Radio.

    Instead of 3 city feeds (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver) there are now 30 including Calgary, Charlottetown, Edmonton, Guelph, Halifax, Hamilton, Iqaluit, Kelowna, Kitchener - Waterloo, London, Mississauga, Moncton, Montreal, North Bay, Oshawa, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, St. Catharines/Niagara, St. John, NB, St. John's, NF, Sudbury, Sydney, NS, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse, Windsor, Winnipeg and Yellowknife.

    Beyond that there's the usual assortment of link pages, free MP3s and other assorted goodies. Feel free to explore and let me know what you think! Also let me know how it looks and works on the various different operating systems, web browsers, monitor sizes etc.

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    One of the Best Toronto Shows This Year

    Last night marked one of the most highly anticipated concerts of the year in Toronto. In order to accommodate the throngs that were expected a large number of people were suckered into going to see Radiohat (? something like that - British act I think) at the Molson Amphitheater at 80 bucks a pop while the real show went down at the tiny Ranch Relaxo. After the Skirt Chasers warmed up the crowd it was down to theatrical and entertaining performances from The Burning Hell and Hank Frost and Lilly Pine.

    Burning Hell managed to squeeze 9 people onto the stage including their newest band member, Canada's greatest emerging bassoonist (who will be born sometime next month - I'll edit this later and put in his name once he has one.) They threatened at various points to upstage Hank and Lilly with everything from standards like "I Love the Things That People Make" and "Grave Situation" to covers of "Pop Goes the World" and "In the Air Tonight" (sort of).

    However, not to be outdone by unborn bassoonists, Hank and Lilly broke out with a ringer. They were joined on stage by fellow Victoriaite (if that's not a word I get full credit for inventing it) Carolyn Mark and ripped through a set of musical theatre that answered that nagging question: 'If the cast of Midsummer's Night Dream formed a band with Johnny Cash and Darth Vader what would it sound like ??"

    Ultimately a beautiful, fun and entertaining night of music. If you were the unfortunate folks who ended up laying out a small fortune to go see Radiohat my apologies, there just wasn't enough room at the Rancho for everyone.

    Why You Need to Know the Burning Hell