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Showing posts from September, 2020

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…

Single: jefff - R U Hip 2 the Revolution (Conch Town Music / 21 August 2020)

jefff - R U Hip 2 the Revolution
(Conch Town Music / 21 August 2020)Stream It On SpotifyR U Hip 2 the Revolution combines spoken word and song in a hip hop-ish vein. Its strengths are a hypnotic rhythm and jefff's expressive vocals.
The track builds in momentum, with anthemic chord progressions that ramp up the intensity. It's danceable, with a nice melodic keyboard line.The song's somewhat reminiscent of Marcy Playground's Sex & Candy - an irresistible rhythm and clever lyrics, although here, they're about global politics and not a furtive hook-up.Listen for yourself.

Electro-acoustic singer-songwriter: Dan Tuffy - Letters of Gold (Independent / 24 April 2020)

Electro-acoustic singer-songwriter:
Dan Tuffy - Letters of Gold
(Independent / 24 April 2020)Stream It On SpotifyThere's an organic, acoustic feel to Dan Tuffy's Letters of Gold, even where he introduces electronic effects. That kind of seamless synthesis is just the point.
His music is rhythmic, with the emphasis on his nuanced and expressive vocals, and the words he's singing. From Can't Contain My Feeling,Snow fell at daylight
My eyelids fluttered...
He talks about the album in a media release."What's vital to me about this album is our success at welding electronic and organic sounds together in a way that supports the songs/themes you hear. I'm very happy about the sonic world we have created and how it pushes the boundaries of the roots/songwriter genre."He has an intimate sound. It's evocative and poetic in effect. A sense of urgency comes fromthe rhythm. Often the electronic and electrified sounds are used for atmosphere. Here, the electric gui…

Acoustic Fusion: Mark Vickness Interconnected - Interconnected (Independent / 15 September 2020)

Acoustic Fusion:
Mark Vickness Interconnected - Interconnected
(Independent / 15 September 2020)Interconnected is a new instrumental album of acoustic fusion by Mark Vickness and Interconnected - with the album of the same name. The album contains four solo pieces and four new original pieces for the ensemble that includes two time Grammy winning violinist, Mads Tolling, cellist Joseph Hebert, Dan Feiszli on upright and electric bass and tabla virtuoso, Ty Burhoe. Known for his fingerpicking guitar style, Vickness gets percussive as well as melodic sounds from the guitar. Three videos have been released so far.Interwoven is a piece that begins with acoustic guitar and mournful cello. Gradually, those layers are overlaid with a violin and then tabla. The play of melodies and rhythms is absorbing. Is it neoclassical, or classical crossover - it doesn't matter.Hot Apple Stuff was created for the Tiny Desk Competition 2020. In it, the ensemble creates sonically intriguing layers that buil…

Contemporary Americana: Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - American Bardo (Baggage Room Records / 30 July 2020)

Contemporary Americana:
Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - American Bardo
(Baggage Room Records / 30 July 2020)Stream it on SpotifyNeocountry, or contemporary Americana, with a minimalist aesthetic and a penchant for a guitar that sounds ghostly and full of echoes, the sound created by Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz is hard to pin down into today's streaming slots.  I liked the effect on Masterbloomfight (Revisited) with its lost highway guitar and vocals in a melodic tenor that sings over a sparse drum beat. Bury Me has lovely harmonies between the strings and acoustic guitar, with electric guitar that makes its way in later, once the mood has been set.Northern Californian singer-songwriter, Eric Anders, and southern Californian guitarist-composer, Mark O'Bitz are veterans of the music business in Cali. American Bardo was inspired by the book Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (who won the Mann Booker Prize for it). Eric, who wrote all the songs along with Mark, says the tr…

#TIFF2020: For The Love Of Short Films - Short Cuts Programme #3

For The Love Of Short Films
Short Cuts Programme #3Check it out from 6pm todayShort Cuts Programme 03 (2020)
Short Cuts, Drama, Life Experiences, Women In Film, Canadian • 1h 36m • Canada, France, Senegal, United States
Short films have to capture a key moment in an ongoing story, which is what the seven films in this programme do well. In each story, the characters face a pivotal situation.With your stream of all seven shorts, you'll also get roundtable talks about the films, and other video material to complete your film festival experience.
The Archivists
Director Igor Drljaca
Noah Reid, Bahia Watson, and Maxwell McCabe-Lokos star in this Canadian film about keeping the past alive in a dystopian future. It was shot in 16mm, and delivers a message about the ghosts of the past. Benjamin, Benny, Ben
Director Paul Shkordoff

A young man is on his way to a job interview. Intense and anxious, his journey begins to unravel. I recognized good old Hamilton, Ontario as the filming locati…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Electro/Dance/Rock - Les Techno: Flowers for Dystopia (Solid Bass Records / July 31, 2020)

Les Techno: Flowers for Dystopia
(Solid Bass Records / July 31, 2020)Stream It On SpotifyFlowers for Dystopia, by New York City based Les Techno, is full of stick-in-your-head hooks and enigmatic lyrics. Les Techno blends genres, electronics and live instrumentals for a sound that's thoroughly contemporary - albeit with a tip of the hat to the past.
Techno has a great feel for songwriting in a nutshell, with all the tracks coming in at under 4 minutes. He lists Bowie, Psychedelic Furs and others as influences in his media, but I'm hearing 1970s era radio pop as well - with a modern electronic edge - and tracks like Come Along are reminiscent of Freddie Goes To Hollywood's iconic dance track, Relax, Don't Do It.He calls himself a post-punk electronic rocker, and blends rock guitar sounds, electronics, hip hop beats, and live bass. He talked about the title track in a media release."This song came in a dream. I dreamt the live band was on stage at so…

COVID-19 And The Restaurant Industry: What Happens When Winter Comes?

COVID-19 And The Restaurant Industry:
What Happens When Winter Comes?The travel and hospitality industries have taken a huge hit in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, one of the bright spots to emerge has been the public's immediate acceptance of outdoor dining as soon as the worst of the restrictions was lifted.Even for places like New York City, which rely to an enormous extent on tourist dollars, it was a lifeline to a struggling restaurant industry.But, what happens across North America now that temperatures are getting colder?Jason Kaplan, CEO of the New-York based restaurant consulting group JK Consulting, is quoted by CNN. "Everybody is scared of the winter right now," he said. "[They are] still losing money, regardless of delivery and takeout and outdoor dining, they're still not being profitable. And they're still having problems paying rent."In some areas, like NYC, indoor dining is still banned. In others, some indoor dining is allo…

New Single: Patrick Ames - You Make Me Scream (Independent / 19 August 2020)

New Single:
Patrick Ames - You Make Me Scream
(Independent / 19 August 2020)Stream it on Spotify"You Make Me Scream (YMMS) is dance music. After a year writing serious songs and protest songs about our country and the politics, and experimenting around on the edge of folk and other genres, I just wanted to dance. And in the middle of the Pandemic, after months of quarantines and isolation, I wanted to dance."
The latest single from Patrick Ames is three minutes of fun - a dance tune for the pandemic, let's say - with an irresistible beat and vocals that intertwine above it. The addition of harmony vocals adds another dimension to the song.Patrick talks about it in a media release."There is nothing music does better than make people dance. At one early point in the song writing process, I had "You make me scream, democracy" and the whole point was that democracy is exasperating. But the symbiosis between systems of government and funk music just didn't jiv…