It’s not strictly CanCon, but hearing Chilly Gonzales discuss his contributions to the new Daft Punk record, Random Access Memories, he gets us psyched for that album’s May 21 release. In this installment of the Intel/Vice webseries "The Collaborators", the piano man explains his role as a chord-builder and melody maker, and his role in bridging old world classicism with futuristic electronica, and his earlier involvement as collaborator with Feist and Drake. When the A-list asks you personally to fulfill a specific musical role, how can you decline?
Victoria-based indie-folkie Aidan Knight has been hard at work on the touring circuit since the release of his second long player "Small Reveal" in October 2012. In March, he stopped by CMW in Toronto and performed the album's opening track "Dream Team" at The Church of the Holy Trinity, and the elegiac swells of the 8 minute song were captured by CBC Radio 3 and posted on YouTube yesterday. Help support Aidan's tour (currently hitting the East Coast) by purchasing his latest EP on Bandcamp.
Exclaim! TV has just posted a wonderful rooftop performance by Toronto "art-country" folkies Beams, whose back-to-basics musical style includes a banjo, a mandolin, lap steel guitar and – ready for it? – a springy metal saw played with a violin bow. The group's vocal duties are deftly handled by Anna Mernieks and Heather Mazhar, whose intertwined harmonizing recalls Heart's Wilson sisters at their best. "Just Rivers" is streaming now on Bandcamp.
Burlington natives and YouTube sensation Walk Off The Earth are back with another video on the verge of going viral: an amusing cover of Madonna's "Material Girl" that has chalked up over 800,000 views in less than a week. Shot in the Great Hall on Toronto's Queen Street West, the seamless, single-take performance features a very pregnant Sarah Blackwood leading the proceedings, and the singer shows no signs of slowing down, with WOTE shows planned for BC and Peterborough in July.
Jim Guthrie's eagerly-awaited "Takes Time" is finally out this week and with it comes a polar-themed promo video for "Bring on the Night", one of the album's best crafted songs. Set against a frigid backdrop of fireworks and flares, falling snow and ice breaking boats, Gutherie's spare finger-picking guitar style and falsetto strains immediately grab you, and by the time Nicholas Buligan's trumpet solo rises up in the middle of the track you're well and truly hooked. More on this outstanding release from Noah Siegel.
Just in time for Mother's Day, acclaimed Toronto hiphop MC Abdominal teams up with his very cool mother (aka Mom-DMC, aka Bubbie Sparxxx, aka Wu-Tang Gran) for a truly heartwarming and positive new video for the Abdominal and The Obliques song "Courage". The pair will perform at a video release party on Sunday (Mother's Day) at The Mascot in Toronto (3 p.m.).
LIGHTS visits Inuvik with CBC Music for the Return of the Sun festival , performing this spell-bounding acapella version of the title track "Siberia" off of her newly released Siberia (Acoustic) album. With only the blustery winds to back up her vocals, LIGHTS evokes the raw, emotive quality of the song with the lyrics carrying on the cold, arctic air in this captivating video. Read Lights' Inuvik travel diary here.
Set to an energetic New Order-inspired synth line, Young Galaxy's catchy new track "Pretty Boy" now has an '80s-worthy concept video to go along with it. Directed by Luke McCutcheon, the promo features a May-December liaison between a young woman and misshapened older man who meet in a dingy bar and end up cementing their connection in a church basement dance class. The four minute film is a tad eeire, but somehow a perfect visual fit for the song's melancholy lyrics.
In the week since two clips were posted on YouTube, comments about Alanis Morissette's first official live recording in 10 years are pretty much evenly divided between pro and con, with some fans asserting her undiminished awesomeness and others decrying the exaggerated strutting and poor sound mix. Have a listen to the 2012 edition of "You Oughta Know", the jilted singer's barbed rejoinder to an ex-boyfriend and decide for yourself if Ottawa's most famous mezzo-soprano still has it.
Hot on the heels of the Toronto rapper's fifth studio album, Black on Blonde, released earlier this year, k-os paid a visit to the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon set to warm up the crowd and perform track 8 on the album, "Try Again". Featuring The Roots lead MC, Black Thought, and backed up by the legendary hip-hop band, this is one performance that showcases the rapper's raw talent and compelling stage presence.