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Showing posts from August, 2009

Tom Wilson - musician & visual artist

Tom Wilson is a longtime veteran of the Canadian music business- about three decades long to be exact - known for his straight ahead style of blues and roots flavoured rock. You may have heard him as part of LeE HARVeY OsMOND or Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, and if you were out in the bar circuit in earlier decades, you might even remember him in Tom Wilson & the Florida Razors, or Junkhouse, who had a few hits in the 1990's. He's also put out two solo CDs, the most recent called Dog Years, featuring the help of Bob Babbit and Gary Tallent (The E Street Band,) and bassist David Roe (who played with Johnny Cash), along with Colin Linden. One of the highlights of the CD is Talk of the Town, a honky-tonk duet with Roseanne Cash. He's a popular on stage performer and it's easy to see why.

After all that music, though, Tom's talent has led him to venture into the visual arts as well, and his upcoming show, Tom Wilson & a Cast of Thousands, opens at Ottawa's…

New York City in the Summer

I go to NYC every couple of three months or so, and was just there earlier in August. It's kind've my second home these days, (ever since I discovered fares from $130 return from Buffalo!) And, as much art and culture as this megatropolis has to offer, I recommend a seasonal approach, one that goes into a relaxation mode in the summer months.

Sure, I did try MoMA on Target Friday (free from 4-8pm) and it was such a zoo I barely remember anything - impossible to actually examine anything or do any of it justice. What I do remember, and what I really wanted to see, was James Ensor's eery paintings. What was going on in his head, (or life,) I wonder? They're quite striking, and it's not only the subject matter, but his use of light and space. I'm always fascinated by what a great artist can do with paint and a canvas.

Other than that, I ventured only to the Brooklyn Museum, which you may not realize is the city's second largest. I love that ancient Egyptian stuf…

Opera Erratica's Dido and Aeneas

Opera Erratica
Dido and Aeneas
till August 29
Winchester Theatre, Toronto

It's your last chance this weekend to catch Opera Erratica's production of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, which closes its run on August 29. Forget about what you think you know about opera and picture this: a minimalist staging mostly in black, dominated by a fabric screen where videos flicker, their shadows duplicated on the wall behind. A talented group of musicians plays the elegant strains of Purcell's music on Baroque period instruments while the voices of the singers float above it all. A small video screen at the rafters offers bits of the libretto, wry commentary and philosophical musings.. This is an experience quite unlike traditional opera, cleverly brought to modern audiences in multimedia style by Erratica's Director, Patrick Eakin Young, with kudos to Ashiq Aziz and his talented musicians. At the heart of it all, though, still lies the soaring voices and charisma of a mostly youn…

Suck - a movie review (TIFF preview)

Written & Directed by Rob Stefaniuk
World Premiere at TIFF
Starring: Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré, Dave Foley, Malcolm McDowell, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Moby, Dimitri Coats, Alex Lifeson, Carole Pope

Jennifer, (Paré looking just as lovely as she can,) the bassist in a travelling bar band, comes back from a one night stand after a gig different.. she's pale and magnetically beautiful, an instant crowd sensation. It's not long, of course, before the rest of the band succumbs to the vampire allure, along with the crowds that finally begin to appreciate their ethereal pop (much of it also penned by Stefaniuk). It's just that being a vampire, as we all know these days, comes with a few inconvenient truths of its own.

Reading the title and the credits for this film pretty much tells you the whole story, but that's not necessarily a bad thing with a cast like this. The story of the guy who's put his heart and soul into a mediocre rock band that's doo…

Welcome to my New Blog!

Hello and welcome to my new blog! I was writing about arts and culture for a different blog (which I won't name here,) that was connected to a start up networking website. As is often the case with new businesses, they've decided to go in a different direction. However, I'm now hooked on all this blogging and Tweeting, so I intend on continuing on my own.

In this blog, I'll talk about art and culture - no surprise there! - mainly in the Toronto and New York areas, since that's where I roam, and since it gives me sooo much to talk about. I'll include notices of things coming up, cool stuff to check out on the web, and my mini reviews of events I attend, films I see and all that good stuff.

I'll be back soon with lots to talk about.