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Showing posts from December, 2017

EP Review: Julia Krueger - for(e)go (Independent, 28 October 2017)

EP Review:
Julia Krueger - for(e)go
(Independent, 28 October 2017)
Listen on Spotify

Forget that Julia Krueger is only 15 years old when you listen to the music or take note of her clever and inventive lyrics. for(e)go is the first release for the California-based singer/songwriter with roots in middle America.

Julia began playing the piano at the tender age of five, and starting writing songs shortly afer that. After the move to Cali from Ohio in her early teens, Julia went through a rough patch of debilitating illness that disrupted her daily life, but left her focused on her composition. She wrote and recorded the first track on the EP - Flamethrower - at 14, adding another four new tracks over the next year.

She has an expressive voice with a soft edge, often playing off against a spare keyboard line. The production is clean yet still expressive, adding layers of instrumentation. The lyrics are predominant, observant and poetic. From Pavement,

There's a fracture in the glass
My …

Ann Millikan: Millikan Symphony (Innova Recordings - August 25 2017)

Ann Millikan: Millikan Symphony
For, about, and of Robert Millikan
Composers: Ann Millikan
Performers: Boston Modern Orchestra Project / Gil Rose (conductor) / Jennifer Curtis (violin soloist)
Innova Recordings - August 25, 2017

Buy the CD

Ann and Bob Millikan were siblings who grew up in California. Both had musical ambitions, and they made copious notes of their musical ideas, including a grand magnum opus they would call Millikan's Symphony. Flash forward decades later, and Ann is a respected composer of both chamber and orchestral music. Bob became an epidemiologist and vet, an amateur violinist and rowing enthusiast. Bob passed away at the age of 55, and Ann decided to bring thee project to fruition.


Each of the four movements of the piece reflect Bob's interests:

Millikan Symphony: I. Science
Millikan Symphony: II. Animals
Millikan Symphony: III. Rowing
Millikan Symphony: IV. Violin

The music is expressive, using the full range of the orchestra and a variety of tonal textures…

#Toronto: The Bentway Skate Trail Opens January 6 2018

From a media release:

THE BENTWAY presents
BEATS AND BENTS
Friday Night Skate Parties with Toronto’s Best DJs
#BENTONWINTER18
Opens to the public January 6, 2018
Visit The Bentway, Toronto’s newest public space, located under the Gardiner Expressway, and #ReimagineWinter with BEATS AND BENTS Friday Night Skate Parties, featuring the city’s best DJs spinning tunes from 8-11pm every Friday night.

The Bentway Skate Trail, the first section of The Bentway to be developed, will officially open to the public on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11am with special events all weekend including the Mayor’s Skate Party on Sunday, January 7 from 1-4pm with Mayor Tory and members of Toronto City Council.

Beginning Friday, January 12 and running until mid-March, BEATS AND BENTS Friday Night Skate Parties will present two DJ sets per night, kicking off with Straight Outta Toronto with UforChange alumni DJORK (Trevoy Wiliams) and didicious (Jenniffer Duverge) playing the most influential hip-hop and R&B mu…

Calpurnia - World Premiere January 14 to February 4 2018 at Buddies In Bad Times Toronto

From a media release:

CALPURNIA
A classic novel turned on its head. A dinner party gone wrong.
A Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre Co-production 
Written and directed by Audrey Dwyer
January 14 – February 4, 2018

Tickets

(Toronto) Nightwood Theatre is thrilled to partner with Sulong Theatre in the World Premiere of Audrey Dwyer’s Calpurnia, onstage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from January 14 – February 4, 2018.
A hilarious and provocative look at class, race, and appropriation, Calpurnia invites us into an outrageous and unexpected evening at the home of a wealthy Jamaican-Canadian family. As Justice Lawrence Gordon (Andrew Moodie) prepares for an important dinner to introduce his son Mark (Matthew G. Brown) to a Senior Partner at a prominent law firm (Don Allison), his daughter Julie (Meghan Swaby) grapples with her new screenplay. Seeking to redress To Kill a Mockingbird through the perspective of Calpurnia – the Finch family maid – Julie, privileged and disconnected from domestic…

Review: Seneko - True Dimension (Independent, Oct 13, 2017)

Review
Seneko - True Dimension
(Independent, Oct 13, 2017)
Stream on Spotify

Buoyed by the success of his first EP, the eponymous Seneko released in September 2016, Stan "Seneko" Olshefski has followed up with this solid collection of bouncy indie pop.

True Dimension, the title track, is reminiscent of the New Wave synth pop of the 1980s, but with a richer texture and better musicianship. His lyrics are observant of life and love, sometimes with a wry sense of humour, as in Pierced Lip Smile. The songs have satisfyingly catchy hooks that you'll find yourself humming along to even on the first listen.

The production by David Dorn and Alex Torrez is solid, with a nicely fat and textured sound that elevates the pop music genre into more than background music. The one quibble might be that the vocals often have an over processed sound - like another synth line, almost.

The EP covers a variety of upbeat pop subgenres, including the Latin-flavoured My Little Curioso, about his…

Review: Have an Inventive Christmas - Janelle Nadeau - Star of Night (Independent, November 30, 2017)

Review:
Have an Inventive Christmas
Janelle Nadeau - Star of Night
(Independent, November 30, 2017)
Stream it/Buy it

Janelle Nadeau's Star of Night is a Christmas album for those of us who may not actually want a holiday album...or maybe who already have enough of the traditional stuff. With its spare instrumentation of harp, guitar, and vocals, she manages to breathe brand new life into songs you thought you knew inside out.

The combination of harp and guitar in the arrangement of We Three Kings creates a moody and atmospheric vibe with a strong rhythmic pulse. The beloved carol is barely recognizable in parts when it veers into what sounds like improvisation over the chord structure. It's a very effective way of turning the classic song into a fresh exploration.

In Silent Night, she mines unusual harmonies between the two instruments to create new dimensions to the time honoured Christmas carol. She adds her clear, high vocals to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, with a multi-dime…

Review: Jay Clark Band - Turning It Up (Independent, 17 December 2017)

Review:
Jay Clark Band - Turning It Up
(Independent, 17 December 2017)
Buy singles or check in on the release here

Turning It Up follows hot on the heels of Jay Clark's spring 2017 release, Cocked & Loaded. It was a strong album of southern-tinged rock, and he was bent on keeping the momentum going.

"I wanted to show growth both as a writer and creatively. I set out to write songs that had deeper meaning and could keep the listener interested from the first note on Turning It Up to the last note on Hometown. I hope I've done that."

Jay wrote 5 new songs for the release, and went back to Nashville to collaborate with his session band. He's added two new singers, Adam Cunningham and Tania Hancheroff, which adds vocal depth to the whole album.

In the afternoon, I grab a vitamin C
Let's get the party going...

That party starts with the first - and title - track of the release, a Saturday night rocker lit up by his high energy attack on the southern fried genre. …

Boulders Beach, South Africa - One of The World's 50 Best Beaches©

From a media release:


Boulders Beach, South Africa
One of The World's 50 Best Beaches©
Plush white sands. Ancient granite boulders. Small penguins.

Venture to Boulders Beach in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa where a tropical day truly becomes a new adventure. The deepest blue waters stay protected and calm, hidden amongst the granite so that your swim is peaceful and serene.


As a national landmark, Boulders Beach and its penguin inhabitants remain clean and welcoming for their 60,000 annual visitors. Travelers will find themselves tanning in the average 22°C weather and 295 days of sun, splashing in the many rock pools or strolling along the beach’s boardwalk through nature’s beauty. Whatever you find yourself hoping for in a tropical vacation, Boulder Beach has it all.

Getting There
Though this tropical vacation may sound like a far-away dream land, Boulders Beach is easily accessible with a number of different travel options with top Airlines including Delta Airlines, United Ai…

Jazz Pianist/Composer Fred Hersch Nominated for Two 2018 Grammy Awards

From a media release:

Internationally Renowned Jazz Pianist/Composer Fred Hersch Nominated for Two 2018 Grammy Awards for Recent Palmetto CD 'Open Book'
“Best Jazz Instrumental Album” and “Best Improvised Jazz Solo”

Buy it on iTunes

Internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch has received two 2018 Grammy nominations for his recent solo recording Open Book on Palmetto Records. Hersch has been nominated in the categories of Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not”). The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, January 28, 2018.

Hersch has earned a total of twelve Grammy nominations since 1993 in the categories of Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Best Instrumental Composition and Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Nine of his nominations have come since his recovery from a 2-month coma in 2008.

A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively inf…

Ticket Deal: School Girls - The African Mean Girls Play - Extended Thru Dec 31 2017 in New York City

From a media release:

School Girls
or, The African Mean Girls Play
by Jocelyn Bioh
directed by Rebecca Taichman
Use code MCCWTGP and save!
Tickets: $49 and $55 (Reg. $79-$99)

NOW EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 31!
There are three easy ways to purchase tickets:
Online: Click here and enter MCCWTGP.
By Phone: Call 212.352.3101 and mention code MCCWTGP.
In Person: The Lucille Lortel Theatre Box Office, 121 Christopher Street, NYC.

NEW YORK CITY - Paulina, the reigning Queen Bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the mid-year arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter--and Paulina’s hive-minded friends.

Directed by Tony Award® winner Rebecca Taichman, Jocelyn Bioh's buoyant and biting comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe.

How far would you go to be queen bee?

Jocelyn Bioh (Playwright) is a Ghanai…