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Showing posts from August, 2017

Recently Released: Revolushn - Further!! (Independent June 15 2017)

Recently Released: Revolushn - Further!! (Independent, June 15, 2017) • Get it on iTunes Further is the second release from San Francisco psych rock collective Revolushn. Synthy melodies, rock guitar grooves, and visceral rhythms co-exist in the work of Revolushn. There's even a bit of a prog rock vibe in the virtuosic drumming work and nifty guitar lines. It's modern rock that takes threads from existing genres to weave them into an inventive, shimmery fabric. The founders of the group go by NO, on guitar, keyboard, and vocals, and Dekay (or just David Kendrick,) on drums (Devo, Sparks). Dekay also writes most of the lyrics for the band. They're rounded out by Guinevere Q on bass and vocals, Young Sun on guitar, vocals, and mandolin, and Schubert Ola on keyboards and vocals. The result is a satisfyingly full sound with a range of moods at their disposal. The music is tight, infectious and danceable. Dinosaurs opens the album with an eighties glam rock song wrapped

Toronto Hotel News: Stunning Design Changes at the Windsor Arms Hotel Just In Time For TIFF2017

From a media release: Toronto Hotel News: Stunning Design Changes at the Windsor Arms Hotel Commenced by Luxury Design Firm Dinel Design The Luxurious Toronto Landmark Hotel Brought in Toronto Luxury Designer Jacques Dinel to Provide a Revived Classic Look to Hotel as it Prepares for Busy tiff 2017 Season Toronto, ON – August 24, 2017: The Windsor Arms Hotel has hired Toronto-based luxury design firm Dinel Design to conduct the renovation and re-styling of some of the internationally renowned Toronto Hotel’s key common area rooms which include, lobby, ballroom, conference rooms and tea rooms. This historic boutique hotel is located in one of Toronto’s chicest neighbourhoods, within easy reach of the Royal Ontario Museum, the fashionable Yorkville streets and quaint luxury shops of Bloor Street, and the main shopping and restaurant artery of downtown Toronto. The luxury hotel has become a staple ‘must stay’ over the last decade for celebrities and notable international travell

2017 Jazz Album of the Year: America's National Parks by Wadada Leo Smith

From a media release: DownBeat Magazine's 2017 Jazz Album of the Year America's National Parks by Wadada Leo Smith • Buy the CD DownBeat Magazine's 65th Annual Critics Poll honors Wadada Leo Smith's America's National Parks, released on Cuneiform Records, with its 2017 Jazz Album of the Year Award. The DownBeat Critics Poll Awards, one of the jazz world's most prestigious honors, also recognized Smith with its 2017 Musician of the Year Award and its Trumpeter of the Year Award. Earlier this summer, Smith was named 2017 Jazz Artist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association. Without question, 2017 is The Year of Wadada Leo Smith. "Mr. Smith, a trumpeter of fiery purpose and intrepid imagination" -New York Times In October 2016, while America celebrated the Centennial of America's National Park Service and prepared for its 45th presidential election, the visionary composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith released an extraordinary double

Contemporary Dance: Citadel + Compagnie 'Factory' September 20-23 2017

From a media release: Citadel + Compagnie Launches 2017/18 Bright Nights Season with World Premiere of Michael Caldwell’s Factory September 20 – 23, 2017 Toronto-based Choreographer Exposes Society’s Compulsion for Power and Corruption in Full-Length Contemporary Work Tickets: Adults: $25 Seniors/Students/Artists: $20   Box Office:  Online  or ph: 416-364-8011 (ext. 1) TORONTO, ON – Citadel + Compagnie (C+C) launches its 2017/18 Bright Nights season with the world premiere of Factory, a stirring contemporary dance work examining the riotous disruption of a hyper-connected society, September 20 – 23, 2017 at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. Produced by MLC Dance with pounds per square inch performance (lbs/sq”), Factory is the first full-length project from Toronto choreographer and two-time Dora Award-winner Michael Caldwell. Created in collaboration with Gemini award-winning composer Phil Strong, this thought-provoking work will assemble five of Canada’s premier dancers

Coming October 20: ANDINA Huayno, Carnaval and Cumbia – The Sound of the Peruvian Andes 1968-1978

From a media release: UPDATE: It's out now • Buy the Release Check out the single Los Compadres Del Ande - La Mecedora: ANDINA Huayno, Carnaval and Cumbia – The Sound of the Peruvian Andes 1968-1978 The First In A Three Part Regional Series Of Albums Exploring Peru’s Diverse Musical Heritage Artist: Various Artists Label: Tiger’s Milk/Strut Release Date: October 20, 2017 A window into the full-blooded, captivating spirit of music from the Andes, ANDINA shines a fresh perspective on Peru’s multifaceted heritage. A co-release with Strut Records, the album is selected from records originally released between ’68 and ‘78, upending clichéd ideas of Andean music and bringing to light the divergent, exciting traditions to have emerged from Peru’s strip of the iconic mountain range.  Encompassing steady-grooving, Peruvian cumbia rhythms, transcendent folkloric harp recordings and Lima big band groups taking influence from their highland neighbors, it boasts a diversity

The Red Letter Plays: Two By Suzan-Lori Parks Aug 22 to Oct 8 2017

From a release: Two Plays by Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks Fucking A - August 22 to October 1, 2017 In the Blood - August 29 to October 8, 2017 All tickets $30 - No Fee Code (below) NEW YORK CITY - Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks, The Red Letter Plays: Fucking A & In the Blood are new productions of two modern-day remixes of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter that conjure two distinct interpretations of Hester, Western literature’s most famous adulteress. In Fucking A , Hester Smith, the revered and reviled local abortionist, hatches a plan to buy her jailed son’s freedom—and nothing will deter Hester from her quest. In this wild-eyed blend of story and song, directed by Obie Award-winner Jo Bonney (Father Comes Home From the Wars), Hester’s branded letter A becomes a provocative emblem of vengeance, violence, and sacrifice. In the Blood ’s Hester La Negrita is a penniless mother of five condemned by the men who love her, in

Travel Tips for LGBTQI Travelers

With material from a media release: Travel Tips for LGBTQI Travelers Holidays are for relaxing, unwinding, and hopefully learning something about the world outside your everyday. When you belong to the LGBTQI community, holiday decisions become more complex. Feeling safe is a priority. That's why doing your research, and choosing your destination carefully, lays the groundwork for a great holiday experience. Finding LGBTQ-owned accommodations is another way to help ensure an enjoyable holiday. The owners can be a source of advice on places to go and things to do along with lodgings. Gay Section on the beach Ipanema in Rio de Janero, Brazil by Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil A pragmatic approach overall is what's recommended by Lou Wiltshire-Smith, a coach driver with Topdeck , a tour operator specializing in group tours for 18 to 39s with a taste for the unusual and the adventurous. Lou, whose gender identity is non-binary

Cesar F. Correa Cordoba: Painter, sculptor, artisan and musician.

Cesar F. Correa Cordoba Painter, sculptor, artisan and musician. • Follow him on Instagram • Check out his Soundcloud channel Cesar F. Correa began his artistic life early, exploring painting and drawing as a child in Mexico City. He began to teach himself how to work in various media, later attending workshops at various cultural institutions to add to his expertise. Cesar's techniques and materials are born in Mexico's land and traditions, including ceramics, woven arts, and working in wood, metal, glass, and paper along with paints. He's been exhibiing his artistic work in solo and group exhibitions in his native Mexico since 2003. Cesar's work tends to fall in a few distinct streams. Painting Cesar's paintings inhabit a surreal world where fantasy and reality mix, lit up by a rich sense of colour and depth. People and natural subjects are both examined, with an overarching theme of linking human nature to its environment, often through social and po

Mû Mbana: A Music Whispered On The Wind

Mû Mbana : A Music Whispered On The Wind • Connect on Facebook • Check out his releases at WhatAbout Music When Westerners think of "African music" and West African music in particular, we tend to think of danceable party music - and there is plenty of that in existence. Artists like Mû Mbana, however, offer music that is more intimate and contemplative, trance-like as it builds layers of intensity. One of the perks of working with/for a music festival is getting to know some of the artists and their music a little better than I would as an audience member alone. The Hamilton World Music Festival is how I came to know Mû. Born in Guinea-Bissau, he traces his passion for music back to the age of three, when he first remembers dancing to the music on the radio. After stints working as a singer-songwriter in Portugal and Spain, including playing with a jazz-fusion trio and a gospel group, he began to develop his own style in earnest by about 2001. He's been focu

Artist & Master Printer: Agustin Rolando Rojas

Artist & Master Printer: Agustin Rolando Rojas Agustin Rolando Rojas is an artist and printmaker. Born and educated in Havana, Cuba, he now makes Toronto his home. "Cuanto tiempo espere para abrazarte" from the HUGS series, a drypoint selected by the jury of The Bucharest International Print Biennial, November 2016. Agustin studied Fine Art Printmaking at Instituto Superior de Arte, Cuba, and prior to that, graduated from the Higher Art Institute of Havana, Cuba (where he has also taught printmaking,) and Friends Select School. In 1997, Agustin won an Artist Residency at the Banff Center for the Arts in Calgary and came to Canada. After stints in both Canada and the U.S.A, he settled back in Toronto, Canada since 2007. "Zona del Refugio", etching, selected by Ourense International Print Biennial 1994. His earlier works from about the mid-1990s are largely representational and realistic. In 1995, Agustín received the Prize Pilar & Joan Miro &

CD Review: Rich Lerner & the Groove - PUSH ON THRU (Independent, May 5, 2017)

CD Review: Rich Lerner and The Groove - PUSH ON THRU (Independent, May 5, 2017) • Stream on Spotify • Buy on CDBaby This latest from North Carolina band Rich Lerner and The Groove continues in the Southern-tinged rock vein the band has been plumbing for many years and through many releases. A flair for hook-laden songwriting and tight musicianship give it an instant likability factor. Push On Thru, the title track, has a bit of a country swing, with twangy guitar lines and lyrics about just keeping on. There's a little bit of glory on the avenue Ya we're gonna drive it, that's what we're gonna do We're gonna push on thru The songs cover life and love from a working man's perspective, something that the band's local following no doubt connect with. She Kept My Room Warm is another track that leans towards country rock, with a wry, down to earth message about relationships. It's Always Something turns to classic rock for inspiration, with a n

Rock Review: Chrystyna Marie - LIFE (Independent - July 24, 2017)

Rock Review: Chrystyna Marie - LIFE (Independent - July 24, 2017) • Buy the CD LIFE is the solo debut release from Chrystyna Marie, a full length album full of rock and blues hooks. Chrystyna says she's inspired as much by classics as contemporary singers and musicians, from Janis Joplin, Ottis Redding and Etta James to Selena and Christina Aguilera. Born in Toronto, Canada, she now makes her home in Los Angeles. I Want That Boom Boom, the lead single, is a straight ahead driving rocker with her strong, clear voice threading through the heavy guitar licks. Chrystyna attacks vocal duties with a strong rhythmic sense and while she has the obvious control of a trained and experienced vocalist, she knows when to let a sense of abandon take over, as in the bouncy, bluesy Devil The Angel Eyes. She's been active in the music industry since the age of 18, when she began as a demo singer on indie label. She's also an actress, and has appeared in local community plays like

Prog Rock Review: Jacqui L - PLANET PARALLEL 5 (Independent - 5 May 2017)

Review: Jacqui L - PLANET PARALLEL 5 (Independent - 5 May 2017) • Buy the CD Prog Rock gets a bad rap these days, but in this era of canned and pre-packaged music created to play well to marketing research, maybe a return to virtuosity and imaginative theatricality is in order. PLANET PARALLEL 5 is that rare of beasts, a concept album. Jacqui L is a character, an alien scorpion-like creature from the planet PP5, known as Planet Parallel 5ians by its inhabitants, if we are to take Jacqui L at her word. Jacqui L only knows about Earthlings from TV shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Simpsons. The results are quite interesting. Happy Birthday, the lead track, is a spooky, alien-esque little ditty, featuring sweet, high vocals with a weirdly dissonant chorus that swings right into the next track, Frankenstein. She's got an eccentric sense of instrumentation that works nicely with the theme. Alice Cooper is the only obvious comparison in terms of the cemete

Review: Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage (Independent - July 7 2017)

Review: Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage (Independent - July 7, 2017) • Buy the CD Shake The Cage is the first solo effort by veteran Pittsburgh, PA musician, composer, and producer Freddie Nelson. Turn You On, the first track, sets the tone with hard driving guitar and a punk rock vibe, with sonic hooks to keep the ear entertained, and flashes of clever phrasing. I wanna turn you on Instead of working it out... Freddie's guitar playing turns seamlessly from minimalist hard rock power chords to nimble melodic riffs. Hey Doll, the first single, veers into pop rock territory with a catchy melody and chorus. Seventies influences are abundant on the release, along with shades of Eighties and Nineties power rock. Vocally, his literature compares him (several times) to Freddy Mercury, but I'd say he might be a bit closer to Ian Astbury of The Cult fame in terms of tone and sound, especially on tracks like All Night Long. He's said to have a four-octave range; cert

Muyonjo Jonah: Art for Change

Muyonjo Jonah: Art for Change Muyonjo Jonah is an artist living and working in Jinja, Uganda. He works with children, many of whom have lost one or both parents and families to HIV, and some of whom are themselves infected. Muyonjo Jonah, artist The art he makes and sells goes towards helping to support them. He also teaches the kids how to make their own creations. Muyonjo Jonah, artist Muyonjo Ayubu Jonah - or simply Muyonjo Jonah, his artist name - is 27 years old. As he tells the story, he was born of Muyonjo Akhamada and Irene Nakku into a family of seven. Muyonjo Jonah, artist He was drawn to art since his childhood. His father was a barber, a craft he also credits with sparking his artistic talents. He's passing on his love for creating art by teaching younger and vulnerable talented youngsters, along with making art for charity . He's a graduate of the JIPRA-Jinja Progressive Academy SS. Muyonjo works in pastels and paints to create scenes of the