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Features

PIGSHIT: Deep-Catalog Purple

“Just what the world needs:  Another record company.”

And with those typically snide words, on the Seventh day of February, 1968, Bizarre Productions was duly incorporated, and two hundred shares of no par value common stock issued in the State of New York, thereby creating the first of several record companies Frank Zappa would oversee during his most colorful life and career.

At this very same point in time, 3500 miles and one ocean to the east, the world’s biggest pop group launched their very own Apple company, whose singles and albums were manufactured and distributed in North America by that granddaddy of all (once-) indie labels, Capitol Records. Of course, as they usually were, Capitol’s resident Beach Boys were already over a year ahead of the Fab Four in creating their own personal Brother Records imprint, ostensibly conducting business right out of that iconic Capitol Tower on the corner of Hollywood and Vine (though, truth be told, most Brother board meetings were held in Brian Wilson’s swimming pool or, if the vibes so dictated, under a tent in Brian’s living room).

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Artists and Bands

3OH!3’s Sean Foreman gets real about showering behind tour buses, legs gashed on stage, the band’s new album and being called a ‘little bitch’ by Ke$ha

When this year’s Vans Warped Tour came through Montreal, there was one band in particular at the top of my ‘Must See’ list. Sure, their music isn’t the punk/rock you’d traditionally expect from VWT, but it is always stick-in-your-head-for-the-rest-of-your-days catchy and the band in question always has a good sense of humor when it comes to making music. It also didn’t hurt that, as it turns out, they put on a stellar high-energy live show.

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Features

The good, the bad and the commercial at Vans Warped Tour

For years I have been hearing complaints about the commercialism of the Vans Warped Tour and this year, I got to see it for myself. Having been to the very first Warped Tour here in Montreal, I initially found it very difficult to believe what people were saying; the Warped Tour I went to as a kid was all about skateboarding, good music and, of course, Vans showing off its products, which people barely knew about at the time, but there was nothing overt or pushy about it. If you liked something they had in stock, you could buy it, but no one was forcing anything down your throat.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Dan Hubbard and the Humadors “The Love Show”

Dan Hubbard spent time on his own as a singer-songwriter, during which he created several albums of music that combined rock with elements of blues, folk, blues and country. When he hooked up with three talented musicians to play concert dates, a strong musical unit was created, forming the group Dan Hubbard and the Humadors.

Recently, Dan Hubbard and the Humadors released their newest album. 2011’s The Love Show is a strong release that captures Hubbard’s blend of Americana music, and the band (consisting of Scott McRae on bass and electric guitar; Kyle Yap on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and ½ whistle; and Kevin Yarger on drums) really help bring Hubbard’s musical vision to life.

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Features

You’re banned! Your night is over! NXNE serves up good (and interesting) times with music and BBQs

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to (yet again) participate in the NXNE music fest in Toronto, ON and check out some fresh musical talent to treat my ears to.

Unfortunately (and this is the key word in my blurb) I got distracted by BBQs and parties this year and didn’t really have the chance to hear many new sounds.

I only had two days for NXNE. Arriving on the Friday, I already knew what I had planned for that night. I know the guys from St. Joe’s Mission and saw on the schedule that they were playing Hard Luck that night, so I thought I’d surprise them. This hard rock/funk band is never a disappointment, always putting on a great show. I know their album by heart and was a bit disappointed with not hearing my favorite track, “The Reins,” live but meh, what can you do? They mostly performed some new tunes and it was really enjoyable.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: John Gaar “Brighter Side of Maybe”

Austin, Texas-based musician-turned-singer/songwriter John Gaar is a musician that got his start as a guitarist at an early age. After doing some time backing up people like his own brother, Burton Gaar, John decided it was time to start writing his own material.

Recently, John Gaar released his second album entitled Brighter Side of Maybe. This release follows his previous album Bittersweet Success. When Gaar was creating this new release with his producer Ron D’Argenio, the two started with a rock base to the songs and then added different elements to each track to produce songs that had the variety to keep the album fresh from the first note to the last.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Auradrone “Bleeding Edge”

                                                                                                                             Auradrone’s new album, Bleeding Edge, has a darker sounding edge than their first album. The title fits their sound–being ahead of the curve, that is. Auradrone consists of Jon Mack, lead singer, guitar, electronics; Fred Traverso and Christopher Fudurich, electronics. Their sound is very reminiscent of Mew, Muse, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and the list goes on. Auradrone recently gave me a sneak peak of the new album.

            “Starseed” is a very interesting track. The moment the music begins, I imagine leaving the Earth and beginning a celestial journey in search of the place I came from…. The sensual overtones in the lyrics almost feel like almost like a cosmic dance between two celestial bodies, attracted to each other, dancing a cosmic dance in the heavens. The sensual voice of Jon Mack and the celestial sounds make this song worth listening to.

 

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Features

Captivating + Fascinating + Inspiring = Meet Montreal’s Sean Nicholas Savage

“Captivating,” “fascinating” and “inspiring” are the words that come to my mind when I listen to the music of Sean Nicholas Savage; his songs are catchy and can make you feel good in an instant. It was at Le Divan Orange in Montreal that I discovered him, as his performance really stood out because of his enthusiasm; he confidently danced the night away, even dry humping the stage from time to time.  He was living in the moment and for himself – and that was beautiful to watch!  

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Features

How Vans Warped Tour kicked this reporter’s ass, but provided great music in return

I can’t really say I ever fully grasped the notion behind the whole Build it and they will come theory, until I showed up at this year’s Vans Warped Tour stop in Montreal.

It may have been about 400 degrees outside (okay, maybe it was closer to 40, but who’s keeping track?) and Parc Jean-Drapeau isn’t exactly the shadiest of places, but that didn’t stop a flood of fans from continuously piling into the festival site throughout the day to catch a sliver, if not all, of the 69 bands on the bill.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: These Electric Lives “We See Light”

Toronto-based These Electric Lives kick off their latest EP, We See Light, with “Hit the Ground Running” – a punchy, synth-oriented track reminiscent of blinking lights and a crowded dance floor. “Called it Off” follows with a mellower vibe, far more laid back but still holding the foot-shuffling energy one may come to expect of These Electric Lives; the chorus swells majestically and the vocals  provide a lovely counter melody.

“Work the Night” begins with a grungier guitar and a darker tone, sounding more alternative in nature than the whimsical previous tracks. This song feels more like work than the other two and gives off a tension that was not present before, giving These Electric Lives an interesting depth.