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Features

From playing Coachella and The White House, to a chart-topping album and sold-out tour, YGG! prove they’re a musical phenomenon to be reckoned with

They’ve sung and danced with the likes of Weezer, DEVO, Of Montreal, Hot Hot Heat, The Ting Tings, The Killers (and many more), played at this year’s Coachella fest and received rave reviews (Video), played at The White House, and recently released a chart-topping hit album. Who do I speak of? This may sound surprising, but it’s Yo Gabba Gabba! Yes, the children’s television show that began in 2007 and has since developed into somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. The YGG! crew is no longer solely loved by kids, but also by college students, adults, and hipsters worldwide, who refuse to believe that such a great musical show is not geared towards them. YGG! was created by musicians Christian Jacobs (lead singer of punk rock band The Aquabats) and Scott Schultz, and following a sold-out debut tour, the gang behind the show recently hit the road again, this time reigning over Canada from September 4 – 19. 

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Rock News

From Coachella to The White House, Yo Gabba Gabba! are hotter than ever and hitting the road to tour North America

If you don’t know of Yo Gabba Gabba! – You’re missing out. If you do know of YGG!, but think it’s all child’s play – You’re wrong.

What started out as a children’s television show in 2007 has become a true cultural phenomenon, as the YGG! crew is now loved by college students, adults, and hipsters worldwide. Why? How? It’s simple really. YGG! always manages to snag the best musical guests (they even played Coachella this year!) Think Weezer, DEVO, Of Montreal, Hot Hot Heat, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Snoop Dogg, The Killers, The Roots, and oh so many more! Now their YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! Tour is hitting the road and coming to Canada September 4 – 19.

Montreal, (Monday, May 31, 2010) — Fresh off a triumphant sold-out tour debut, a headlining performance at The White House, a critically-acclaimed, chart-topping album, and an appearance at Coachella that garnered rave reviews from spectators and media alike (Video), DJ Lance Rock and the cast of YO GABBA GABBA! are heading back on the road with YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! to play to enthusiastic fans in Canada. Today’s hottest live show for families will tour Canada from September 4 to 19. YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! is produced by S2BN Entertainment in association with Wildbrain Entertainment and The Magic Store and presented by DKD Events.

Champions on the stage and in the community, the Gabba Gang will partner with Child Find and The Missing Children’s Network to further their efforts to bring home missing children in Canada. In addition, $1 from every ticket sold for YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! will be donated to the local Child Find affiliate and The Missing Children’s Network in Montreal.

VIP packages with premium tickets and meet and greets will also be available. For complete tour, ticket information and VIP packages, visit www.yogabbagabbalive.com.

The state-of-the-art production features music, singing, dancing and animation.  The show is an interactive experience that offers audience members of all ages the opportunity to witness their favorite characters come to life.  Joining the characters on stage will be hip-hop legend Biz Markie to teach kids how to beat box with “Biz’s Beat of the Day”.  Special guests will join the party on stage for the Super Music Friends Show and Dancey Dance segments.

Released in October, 2009, YO GABBA GABBA!: MUSIC IS AWESOME Volume 1 topped kids and overall music charts at iTunes (#1 kids album), Amazon (top 5 kids album) and Target sales, which reached more than 40,000 copies in only 6 months since its release. YO GABBA GABBA!: MUSIC IS AWESOME was picked as one of 2009’s top holiday gifts for toddlers by both PARENTS magazine and the popular Mom web destination MomLogic.com.  YO GABBA GABBA!: MUSIC IS AWESOME Volume 2 will be released on iTunes and will hit shelves nationwide this September.

Dates, venues and ticket prices are subject to change.

About Yo Gabba Gabba!
Yo Gabba Gabba! premiered in the U.S. on Nickelodeon in August, 2007 and currently ranks as one of the most popular children series on television.   Yo Gabba Gabba!, was voted as one of the best new shows on television by TIME magazine, won a BAFTA Award in 2008, was awarded the “Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Television” Award by the Television Critics Association, and is a two-time Emmy nominee. The series airs three times a day, seven days a week on Nick Jr. and in Australia, Canada, Israel, Latin America, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.K.

Yo Gabba Gabba! infuses retro-style and beat-driven music to teach simple life lessons through music. The series stars DJ Lance Rock (Lance Robertson) and a cast of colorful characters, including: Brobee, the little green one, Foofa, the pink flower bubble, Muno, the red Cyclops, Toodee, the blue cat-dragon and Plex, the yellow robot. Today’s most popular names in movies, television, music and sports flock to guest star in the groundbreaking show, including Jack Black, Rachel Dratch, Melora Hardin, Tony Hawk, Biz Markie, Jack McBrayer, MGMT, Mark Mothersbaugh, The Roots, Andy Samberg, Amy Sedaris, The Shins, Amare Stoudemire, The Ting Tings, Jimmy Eat World and Elijah Wood, among others.  Yo Gabba Gabba! toys, apparel and other merchandise are sold in stores nationwide in the U.S. and have skyrocketed in popularity.  Yo Gabba Gabba! is recommended as a trusted program for preschoolers by The Smart Television Alliance, a non-profit organization comprised of leading non-profit children’s media organizations including Common Sense Media, Parents’ Choice Foundation, Parents Television Council and Coalition for Quality children’s Media: KIDS FIRST!.  Visit www.yogabbagabba.com.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR COMES TO CANADA IN SEPTEMBER FOR SINGING & DANCING AND TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL CHILD FIND AFFILIATE

Saturday, September 4 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto

Sunday, September 5 – Place des Arts, Montreal

Wednesday, September 8 – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton

Thursday, September 9 – Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary

Sat. & Sun., Sept. 11 & 12 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Tuesday, September 14 – Brandt Centre, Regina

Wednesday, September 15 – MTS Centre Theatre, Winnipeg

Saturday, September 18 – John Labatt Centre, London

Sunday, September 19 – Scotiabank Place, Ottawa

$1 From Every Ticket Sold To Benefit Local Child Find Affiliates and The Missing Children’s Network

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Features

The good, the bad, and the unfortunate: A look at Osheaga 2010

July 31 and August 1 saw the fifth annual Osheaga music festival in Montreal. Usually a pretty modest affair, most of what Osheaga does, it does right. Beer, for instance. Osheaga does beer really well: the lines are short and the price isn’t too steep. And they’ve done away with beer tents, allowing Canadians the freedom to roam with their brew – just as God intended. There isn’t an overwhelming sense of corporate sponsorship, and the free metro ride home is very much appreciated. Oh, and the music is pretty good too.

In past years, Osheaga hadn’t attracted as many big performers as Coachella, Lollapalooza, or Bonnaroo, but this year it joined the ranks of the heavy hitters. Weezer and Snoop Dogg were some of the high profile names, but the band that made Osheaga truly transcendent was Montreal’s own Arcade Fire.

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Reviews and Suggestions

Concert Review: Wolf Parade at Le National, Montreal

Wolf Parade performed the first show of their international tour at Montreal’s Le National on July 8th and what better way to start a set of gigs than by performing back-to-back shows in a hometown venue? When these guys jam, they do their band name justice. I kid you not, they all resemble wolves engaging their instruments in passion, angst, and fun.

A little background on the wolves: Dan Boeckner, Dante DeCaro, Spencer Krug, and Arlen Thompson have participated in successful indie projects including Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Hot Hot Heat, and Handsome Furs. Wolf Parade’s first full-length album, “Apologies to the Queen Mary,” got a Polaris nomination back in 2006 and after the success of their first LP, the band released 2008’s “At Mount Zoomer” under Sub Pop. Spencer Krug’s lyrics follow from the aesthetic of Patty Smith, whose “rock poetry” appropriated fragments of symbolist writing to construct indeterminate sequences of metaphor and meaning.

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Artists and Bands

N x N + E = BBQs & Networking

Over the last few years I’ve been traveling down the 401, from Montreal to Toronto, to experience one of Canada’s biggest music industry conferences and festivals: NXNE. But this year’s NXNE really broke down into a clever, and almost mathematical, formula that I’ve discovered. When you take N x N + E, it equals something really special called, networking galore!

Arriving in Toronto on a Thursday, I wasn’t sure what my plans would be. This was the first year I told myself that I would play it by ear and word of mouth, and I sure am glad that I trusted my gut feeling because the rewards were just priceless. What I discovered at this year’s NXNE was tons of rooftop parties and backyard BBQs. All these were the right spots to be, whether you were an industry-type or a musician. The first rooftop party I ended up at was hosted by the XM Verge radio show. Arriving to the rooftop with industry friends from Liberty Music Traxx and BreakingTomorrow.com out of Montreal, we hit the party and it was crammed! Tons of people squashed like sardines, and super loud due to both people chattering and bands playing in the background. I met a few people that I knew there, but my rating on this bash was so-so, compared to the others I attended. I can’t do places where you can’t even talk to the person next to you because you can’t hear each other. But overall, just sitting on a rooftop in the sun and having fun with friends can never be a bad thing.

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Artists and Bands

Hot Hot Heat get candid and explain what rock and roll is all about, and how it got effed up

You may not know it yet, but Hot Hot Heat might just be the band that saves Canada’s rock scene. The group’s latest record, Future Breeds, hit shelves (physical and virtual) on June 8th, and proved that the darlings of rock have done it again. First appearing on British Columbia’s music scene in 1999, Hot Hot Heat may have gone through a lot of changes over the years, but one constant has always been their signature quirkiness, stellar musicianship and intoxicating sounds.

I had the chance to sit down with drummer Paul Hawley and bassist Luke Paquin at Toronto’s Red Bull Headquarters during the NXNE festival, as Hot Hot Heat prepped for an exclusive performance at the intimate, loft-style locale. What follows is not a typical Q&A interview, but rather an open conversation that allows one to gain a glimpse into what Hot Hot Heat is all about, and what the band members’ personalities are truly like.

Luke: Once you hit play [on your recorder], I’ll get serious so …

Paul: Well, if you hit play we’re going to hear some other interview you did.

Me: You’ll probably hear Alice Cooper then.

Luke: What, today? Where? Was it a phoner?

Me: Yeah, he apparently doesn’t like to do interviews in person.

Paul: Really? I don’t like to do them on the phone. I like to do them in person, but I’m also like, half his age.

Luke: Well, the thing about Alice Cooper is; he’s a pretty big deal.