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Showing posts from November, 2017

Spirit of York™ heritage-inspired cocktails at the Toronto Christmas Market November 16 to December 23 2017

From a media release:

Cozy up with Spirit of York™ heritage-inspired cocktails at the Toronto Christmas Market
November 16 to December 23, 2017
TORONTO, ON - This year, the annual Toronto Christmas Market welcomes Spirit of York™ Distillery Co. to its world-class festival roster. For its first holiday season in production, Spirit of York is offering a selection of three custom-crafted cocktails, each inspired by a notable theme from Canada’s rich history. Ciders, syrups and teas have been thoughtfully paired with each of the premium Spirit of York liquors to create a warm blend of flavours with notes of nostalgia. Using only the finest locally-sourced ingredients and embodying all things Canadian, each heritage-inspired Christmas cocktail is sure to keep holiday spirits high and market-goers warm.

Spirit of York will also be selling their holiday gift sets during market hours including custom tasting boxes, cocktail kits and curated bitter sets.

Where: Spirit of York Distillery Co. (12 T…

GastroFestival Madrid January 20 to February 4, 2018

From a release:

TravelSpain for the Eats:
GastroFestival Madrid
January 20 to February 4, 2018
Find out more

Eat your way through Madrid as you enjoy the sights, sounds, culture, and fashion early next year for the GastroFestival Madrid. The city of Madrid invites everyone to enjoy first-rate cuisine during the Madrid Fusión International Gastronomy Summit. This is a world-class encounter between professional chefs, but its Gastrofestival also takes some of its creations out into the streets of Madrid.

This wide-ranging programme includes everything from delicious set menus in selected restaurants, culinary workshops, to gastronomy-themed exhibitions in major museums. The section entitled Gastroculture at the Gastrofestival features a number of museums and art galleries offering a "cultural menu" comprising itineraries, lectures, discussions and guided visits.

For fifteen days restaurants, shops, museums and cultural centres in Madrid will be taking part in this fantastic even…

Recently Released: Paul Maged - Light Years Away (Independent - 10 October 2017)

Recently Released:
Paul Maged - Light Years Away
(Independent - 10 October 2017)
Listen on Spotify

"Light Years Away" is the second release by New York City based singer-songwriter Paul Maged. It's a follow up to Diamonds & Demons, an indie release of a few years ago that turned quite a few heads critically. This release is the first in a planned trilogy of EPs.

Let's just get this out of the way from the beginning. I don't usually critique CD covers, but he really does need a better designer - ditto the promo shots. The visuals just don't go with the high bar set by the music. They deserve better.

Paul's got a high tenor that can be clear, sweet and high, or edgy, with an accomplished and nimble style. You could classify the release as a whole as power pop with a sense of urgency and drive. PC Police is a catchy punk-pop tune mocking PC culture, but with a very simplistic take on the issue.

The PC Police are coming after me,
They're coming after me.…

Pop Single: Saycille 'Wish' (Independent: Aug 15, 2017)

Saycille 'Wish'
(Independent: Aug 15, 2017)
You could say that Saycille is a latecomer to the musical party - but she's making up for that now. Born near Amsterdam, Saycille worked at a variety of jobs until the age of 52, when she lost her job. She decided to volunteer at at Tijd voor Meedoen (TvM), a local community centre, where she started a weekly group for people to get together and make new friends.

At TvM, she also joined the amateur TvM-band as a singer, and quickly discovered a desire and talent for songwriting. The only problem was, she didn't play any instruments to be able to add the chords to her words and melody. No problem! After a 15-minute Youtube video called "instant piano genius" she figured out enough to create her first compositions.

Wish is her first single, a buoyant pop song with a sense of momentum. Her vocals sweet and sincere, with a surprising depth for someone who started the way she did. The track is catchy and hummable, with an…

Review Steven Allen Gordon: All Over the Map - Music for Solo Guitar and Solo Viola

Steven Allen Gordon: All Over the Map - Music for Solo Guitar and Solo Viola
(Independent, June 03, 2016)
Listen on Spotify
Buy the CD

This release by Bellingham, WA based Steven Allen Gordon is a collection of pieces from various eras and genres of music, played largely solo by the long time musician. He plays viola (Bach, Ralph Vaughn Williams and William Walton) as well as music for classical guitar (Bach, Villa-Lobos and Tárrega), steel-string acoustic guitar (Laurence Juber), and electric guitar (Bach and Joe Pass). It's an interesting collection of pieces from an accomplished musician.

Electric Bach: Prelude in D Major is the least successful. While technically proficient, Bach loses some of its resonance in such a clean electric guitar version. The intricacy is there, but not the depth. But, that's the only quibble among the tracks.

The Prelude No.1 in E Minor by Heitor Villa-Lobos on classical guitar is engaging. It's virtuosic playing with sensitivity, and …

Alt Rock - Night Herons: Relevant Noise (Independent, June 27, 2017)

Recently released
Night Herons: Relevant Noise
(Independent, June 27, 2017)
Buy the release
Listen on Spotify

Relevant Noise is the second release from Oakland, CA based Night Herons. The core group consists of Dana Berry on vocals, drums and guitar, Mike Assenzio on guitar and Larry Huene on guitar and drums. The group has been together since 2013 and they are easing into a fully developed sound.

It's straight ahead alt rock with a nice ear for hooks and riffs that stick in your head and keep it from getting boring. The first track, Compromise, exemplifies the combination of driving rock and observant lyrics.

I compromise my life 
Doing what I like
Is getting me nowhere

While you could certainly file the release under radio-friendly alt-rock, there are a number of influences throughout the album. Tracks like Fighters & Lovers or Glaciers seem to take their inspiration from heavy metal, but with a more inventive and hook laden treatment.

Dana Barry's vocals are perfect for th…

Latin American Arts in Toronto; Sur Gallery presents Vehemence - Exhibition till December 2 2017

From a media release:
Latin American-Canadian Art Projects
Sur Gallery presents Vehemence
Exhibition continues till December 2, 2017
Vehemence Additional Programming
Performance by Regina José Galindo: Movilización (carguen con sus muertos)/ Mobilization (carry your own dead) Thursday, November 16, 7:30-8:30PM
A Conversation on Canadian Mining Companies’ Impact Friday, November 17, 7-9PM

About the Exhibition:
The exhibition explores the human body as a site of trauma and memory. Artists and designers in Vehemence create an intense vernacular informed by personal and collective narratives that transpire in Central America having a cause and effect in our lives in Canada.

For decades, Central America has been subject to abominable human right violations. Violence pervades social and cultural life with abductions, torture, death squads, and massacres of women, children and the elderly. Indigenous people are subject to the most disruptive forms of repression and fight a long battle against larg…