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Showing posts from September, 2017

Shortlist for CODE’s 2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature Announced

From a media release: Shortlist for CODE’s 2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature Announced A literary award and literacy initiative like no other Ottawa, September 24, 2017 — CODE is proud to announce the shortlist for its 5th annual Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis for Young Adult Literature. Established by CODE—a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for over 55 years—with the generous support of William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the award recognizes excellent, engaging and culturally-relevant books in English for youth that are written, illustrated and/or translated by First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators. This year’s shortlisted titles were selected by a peer assessment committee administered by CODE’s partner, the Canada Council for the Arts. In alphabetical order by title, they are: The Break, by Katherena Vermette , published by House of Anansi Press The Mask Tha

Rock Review: Kris Heaton Band - World Gone Mad (Independent, June 1, 2017)

Rock Review: Kris Heaton Band - World Gone Mad (Independent, June 1, 2017) • Listen on Spotify  • Buy at CDBaby Rock and roll and social commentary mix in melodic fashion on this release, the seventh by industry veteran Kris Heaton. He's got a classic rock sound that he comes by honestly, having been tearing it up in bands since high school in the late 1970s. Don't Let The Bullets Fly is urgent and driving. Kris has a great rock voice - all growl, edge, and expression. The band has been compared to Bruce Springsteen in its blue collar ethos, but I'd add a dash of glam rock in its originality and vocals that can veer into an operatic pop territory - think a toned down Ian Astbury. A long timer in the music biz, Kris has hit the national charts 4 times with his releases. He has won the Miller High Life Rock To Riches Award as well as numerous Akademia Music Awards including Best Rock Song 2017 for Who Let The Bullets Fly. His Youtube vids sometimes reach a million v

Review: Shrek Is Love, Vol 1: This Is My Swamp (Independent, February 2, 2017)

Review: Shrek Is Love, Vol 1: This Is My Swamp (Independent, February 2, 2017) • Listen on Spotify What happens when fandom and musicianship collide? In this case, the result is an inventive release from Shrek Is Love, a bi-coastal RnB/Jazz quartet with imagination and the chops to bring the concept to life. It's quirky and compelling music, bouncy and fun without sacrificing musical integrity. How did this all come about? According to the band's material, after meeting in 2015 and playing the Remix to "Ignition" by R. Kelly at the Thelonious Monk Institute Room at UCLA, Michael Mayo, Jacob Mann, Nick Campbell and Christian Euman booked Shrek is Love's debut show at the Blue Whale. At the time of the booking they had not written any music; however, their love of Shrek spawned a legendary 2-hour, through composed tribute to the best animated movie of all time. You don't really need to be a fan of Shrek to love the music. This Is My Swamp layers Michael

Direct From Brooklyn - Giant Flying Turtles - CD: Waltz To The World (Independent, September 23, 2017)

Recently Released: Giant Flying Turtles - CD: Waltz To The World (Independent, September 23, 2017) • Stream and download the album online Many bands bill themselves a genre defying or something similar, but it's not often completely true. Giant Flying Turtles, a quartet hailing from Brookylyn's indie scene, is the exception. They have a full sound, with the keyboards and bass figuring prominently, along with guitar and a wide range of instrumentation, including the cello, fleshing out the sound. Perhaps oddly, this is music that will appeal to oldsters and hipsters alike, fueled by really tight musicianship - in particular, Johnny Young's liquid fluency on the keyboard that offers many of the release's highlights. Tight, crisp, and inventive drumming by Jim Toscano is another part of their signature sound. Johnny Young is also the band's main vocalist, with a sound that ranges from rough edged rock to the pure tones of prog rock. The songs cover a range o

Bluegrass: Free Willy - Remember the Alamo (Buddha Belly Records, 2017)

Bluegrass: Free Willy - Remember the Alamo (Buddha Belly Records, 2017) • Buy it at CDBaby • Listen via Spotify  W.B. Jones is the heart of Free Willy, a band that was formed back in 2016 after he was inspired by a jam session at the Camp Street Cafe in Crockett, Texas. He's joined by Jimmy Taylor on bass and back up vocals. Taylor is a produced and an engineer who started out his career as the sound guy for the late, great Don Wilson, and served as recording and mixing engineer for Willie Nelson's "Nacogdoches" album a dozen or so years ago. From that core duo, Spence Peppard on lead guitar and drums, Kevin Carter on fiddle and mandolin, and Steve DeVries on banjo and harmonica were added to flesh out the full, textured sound. The fiddle and mandolin anchor the sound, with sweet guitar lines that weave in and out of them. The band infuses a range of expression into a traditional genre; without breaking from those traditions musically, they breathes new life

Rock Single: Rachel & The Ruckus - Water & Oil (Independent - July 4 2017)

Rock Single: Rachel & The Ruckus - Water & Oil (Independent - July 4, 2017) Rachel And The Ruckus deliver straight up high energy rock and roll with a country music edge in their latest single, Water and Oil. As you'd suspect from the title, the lyrics cover the usual 'we're not good for each other, so I've moved on' territory with a polished flair. "I moved from California to be with my husband who is from here." say Rachel Alena in a media release. "It's basically about leaving my home and chasing a dream. What's more rock and roll than that?" Rachel has a strong voice, full-bodied, with a nice range that goes from a low country twang to sweet and high. The vocal line is expressive and she's got a variety of tricks in her toolbag to impress. She's an accomplished keyboard player in addition to her vocal abilities. Singer/keyboardist Rachel Alena and guitarist Alec Sims formed the core of the band, meeting severa

Toronto Restaurant News: Alo Joins Relais & Chateaux - with New Bistro On The Way

From a media release: Toronto Restaurant News: ALO JOINS RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX Chef Patrick Kriss announces second restaurant on eve of prestigious designation September 21, 2017. Toronto, ON . Alo Restaurant now joins the 550 world-class hotels and restaurants around the globe, recognised by the prestigious Relais & Châteaux designation. After setting a benchmark for inventive cuisine and outstanding hospitality in the world of fine dining, chef Patrick Kriss and General Manager Amanda Bradley proudly wear the distinction awarded to only seven Canadian properties to date. Relais & Châteaux members are recognized for their unique experiences and expression of the culinary arts. Serving uncompromised tasting-menus on the third floor of a heritage building at Queen and Spadina, Alo and chef Patrick Kriss have done just that:  created the unexpected. “We are honored to join the Relais & Châteaux family,” said chef Patrick Kriss, “and we are committed to honouring t

The Orange River Wine Route: Explore the Green Kalahari in South Africa

The Orange River Wine Route Explore the Green Kalahari in South Africa In the middle of a semi-desert area in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, the so-called Green Kalahari stretches improbably on either side of the Orange River, or Orange-Senqu River -- a wine route that has become a favourite of tourists and locals alike. Upington, Keimoes, Kakamas, Groblershoop and Grootdrink are the towns you'll find stretched along the river. Larger than Germany, the Northern Cape is the most sparsely populated region of South Africa, and includes a variety of landscapes and environments from savannahs to semi-arid areas of red sand dunes to the green valley of the Orange River. How to Get Here: The N8 will get you as far as Upington. From there you can make a base camp, or keep driving till you hit the N10 at Groblershoop. Continuing northwest along the west bank of the river, you'll soon reach the N14. Vineyards extend about 300km on either side of the river. You can co

Vancouver Art Gallery: Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting September 30 2017 to January 1 2018

From a media release: Vancouver Art Gallery: Exploring the story of Canadian painting in a major exhibition, Entangle d: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting September 30, 2017 to January 1, 2018 September 8, 2017, Vancouver, BC – On September 30, 2017, the Vancouver Art Gallery is excited to open Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting, on view until January 1, 2018, featuring artists and painting practices from across the country. The story of contemporary painting in Canada is constantly changing, and for good reason—dynamic and influential art practices, wildly differing opinions and strongly held beliefs make for a charged atmosphere in art schools, studios and public and private galleries. Within the community of painters, strong ideas give shape to new modes of painting and new techniques that are in turn shared, debated, tested and critiqued in studios across Canada. Sandra Meigs, pile by furnace (from The Basement Pile Series) 2013; acrylic

McMichael exhibition on groundbreaking Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice runs until February 11 2018

From a media release: The McMichael presents major exhibition on groundbreaking Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice runs until February 11, 2018. KLEINBURG, ON— On September 2, 2017, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will proudly present Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice—the first major exhibition on the life and work of this renowned Inuk artist since her untimely death in 2016. Cape Dorset artist Annie Pootoogook Pootoogook, who received the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2006, is widely known for the skill and colourful detail with which she captured candid and contemporary scenes of everyday life in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Taking both the exceptional and the mundane as her subjects, Pootoogook's drawings intrigue in their openness, wit and sincerity, all the while challenging the mainstream perception of what Inuit art should and could be. "Annie Pootoogook's work cracked the glass ceiling for Inuit art and its place in contemporary Canadian art history,&