NXNE 2013: 16 picks, Off The Beaten Path

NXNE 2013 is upon us.  Everyone wants your attention. Without a doubt the buzz of ‘what’s hot’ and ‘the places Read more

I Play Records - Vol 7: THE PRETENDERS first LP

I play Records: The Pretenders first LP I was just in my local record emporium, Eastside Records in Tempe, AZ, Read more

So, This Happened: Poetry In Voice 2013

So, this happened; Poetry In Voice. National Finals May 15th, 2013. Isabel Bader Theatre. Toronto. One of my favorite events Read more

Hot Docs 2013 Review: Good Ol' Freda and Our Nixon

SASSYTIDBITS caught the following two films, Good Ol' Freda and Our Nixon, at Hot Docs.  Both films feature rarely seen footage, images and Read more

Hot Docs 2013 Review: The Punk Singer & Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer

SASSYTIDBITS caught the following two films, The Punk Singer and Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, at Hot Docs. Both films explore how the Read more

Hot Docs 2013 Review: Elena & Wrong Time Wrong Place

SASSYTIDBITS caught Elena and Wrong Time Wrong Place at Hot Docs. The tragedy in each film comes with a the message of love Read more

Hot Docs 2013: Les Blank Retrospective, Program 1 The Maestros

We had the good fortune to be able to secure a few advance screeners for some of our top Hot Read more

Same Seven: The Milk Carton Kids

Every week we ask people the same seven questions This week meet: Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan The Milk Carton Kids Eagle Rock, Read more

So, This Happened: Patti Smith

So, This Happened; Three nights of pure bliss with Patti Smith March 7, 2013; Patti Smith – An Evening of Read more

Review: Sandra Bernhard, I Love Being Me, Don't You?

When we heard Sandra Bernhard was going to be in town performing her acclaimed one woman show “I Love Being Read more

Same Seven: Chris Hooper, The Grapes of Wrath

ChrisHooperEvery week we ask people the same seven questions

This week meet:

Chris Hooper

Video Director/Editor/Part-time Drummer

Vancouver, BC

  1. Where are you?
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
  2. If, starting today, you could only listen to one record/cd/digital album for six months, what would it be?
    I guess our (The Grapes of Wrath) new album High Road. I like it and I need to practise the songs so I can play them live!
  3. What is your ultimate couch (burn out/hangover) day entertainment?
    Watching movies on-line.
  4. What kind of art do you live with?
    Original art by painter/photographer friends. I also collected original film posters as teenager and have a few of them on the walls. Read more
Posted on by Sherry in Music Leave a comment

CMW 2013: Off The Beaten Path

Sóley Photo credit: Anne Peeters

Sóley Photo credit: Anne Peeters

Canadian Music Week 2013 is upon us with Metric, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Coheed & Cambria, Serena Ryder, and others playing.  Label, agency and management showcases are booked in clubs and hotel suites. Everyone wants your attention. Without a doubt the buzz of ‘what’s hot’ and ‘the shows to be seen at’ are deafening.  SASSYTIDBITS is taking the ‘off the beaten path’ approach and looking at acts playing smaller clubs.  Here are 12 artists that we believe might surprise you.

Wednesday

Who:  Esben Svane

Where:  Cameron House (Backroom) Wednesday @ 8pm or Lounge Bar (Marriott Hotel Eaton Centre) @ 7:30pm

From: Copenhagen, Denmark

Why:  60’s Greenwich Village folk by a handsome Danish song writer in 2013.

Who: Chihiro Yamazaki + Route 14 band

Where: Clinton’s Tavern @11PM

From: Tokyo, Japan

Why: Instrumental group fusing jazz, classical and rock and other genres. And all things Japanese are way cool.

Who: Leif Vollebekk

Where: Rivoli, Wednesday @11:30PM and Lounge Bar Marriott Hotel, Thursday @9PM

From: Montreal, QC

Why:  Americana Folk by way of Montreal, Manhattan, Woodstock NY & Paris. Inspired by his musical heroes Gillian Welch & Ryan Adams. Read more

Posted on by Barb Roth in Music Leave a comment

Review: New Country Rehab “Ghost Of Your Charms”

Ghost Of Your CharmsAlt-country band New Country Rehab release their second album, Ghost Of Your Charms, on March 5. With comparisons ranging from The Avett Brothers to Mumford And Sons, I wondered why this was the first that I had been hearing about them?

Ghost Of Your Charms is a mix of folk, alt-country and blues sounds. My favourite tracks on this album are the darker, blues influenced tracks like “Rollin” or “Lost Highway” and more country influenced tracks like “Home To You” or “The Bank And The Army”. Lead singer John Showman’s voice is unique and lends itself well to the musical style of these songs. The production, led by Chris Stringer (Timbre Timbre, Ohbijou, The D’ubervilles), provides a live element to the recording which gives the listener a real indication of how good they must be live (which is very good by all accounts).

As I settled in for a first listen over the weekend, I had to think that the comparisons (like most comparisons) were a little unfair. Not because  New Country Rehab aren’t a great group of musicians (they are). Not because I don’t like The Avett Brothers or Mumford And Sons (I do).

Read more

Posted on by Barb Roth in Music Leave a comment

Same Seven: Steve Pratt

StevePratt-25698-EditEvery week we ask people the same seven questions

This week meet:

Steve Pratt

Director Of Digital Music, CBCMusic.ca

Vancouver

  1. Where are you?
    In my new home in Vancouver – I just moved two days ago.  I can’t believe I even have internet connectivity to write this.
  2. If, starting today, you could only listen to one record/cd/digital album for six months, what would it be?
    I get mildly obsessive about new music.  When something new grabs me, I play it to death until I get sick of it.  Right now, it’s the new Tegan & Sara album, Heartthrob.  So if I have to listen to one thing for six months, this one will likely keep me very happy for most of it.
  3. What is your ultimate couch (burn out/hangover) day entertainment?
    Geting my butt kicked repeatedly at NHL 13 by my seven year old son.
  4. What kind of art do you live with?
    I love to take photos, so having gorgeous photos up on my walls makes me very happy.  My favourites are black and white photographs of natural settings, usually from out here on the West Coast. Read more
Posted on by Barb Roth in Same Seven Leave a comment

Support the Arts – Cowboys & Engines: A Steampunk Film

Cowboys & EnginesSupporting the arts can happen in many ways. Funding is usually the critical beginning, whether you are paying for it on your own, have an investor or have a company backing you.  One of the burgeoning developments is crowd source funding, whether it’s for your music, film, art or a technology project platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo can help make art a reality. What remains important is YOU can easily support the arts without having to be rich. Please put your money where your heart is and remember to SPREAD THE WORD.

-       Thanks Sherry

Support the Arts – Cowboys & Engines: A Steampunk FilmCowboys & Engines dr-clay-v4

Artist: Bryn Pryor

Funding Goal: $100,000

Project:  Movie

Current Total: $80,989

How much to go: $19,011

Time remaining: 11 Days

Message from Bryn Pryor:

This film is a labor of love, and an attempt to create something completely original and visually stunning. The movie will be something we can all be proud of; a fun, exciting ride that never becomes silly or tongue-in-cheek. The script is extremely tight, with sharp dialogue and great characters. The cast is first-rate, and though the creative professionals behind the camera might not be household names, they’re a respected team capable of working miracles. Read more

Posted on by Sherry in Entertainment, Support The Arts Leave a comment

Searching for Sugar Man

SugarmanWith the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, we want to bring focus to one of this year’s nominated documentaries Searching For Sugar Man, a story decades in making and of striking dichotomies. Rodriguez, a promising Mexican-American folk songwriter from Detroit records two albums Cold Fact (1970) and Coming From Reality (1971) to little acclaim and no financial success in North America and the UK. Without knowing, these same albums through word-of-mouth become the soundtrack for a generation of young white South Africans during apartheid who disagree with their government. It’s also the story of music piracy, economic sanctions and the effect on culture while living in a police state.

It appears that music can change the world, or at the very least provide a soundtrack to the change.  Visually the documentary tells the story by combining film footage, animation and re-enactments set against the stark coldness and decay of Detroit with the sunshine of South Africa. Read more

Posted on by Sherry in Entertainment Leave a comment

Review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away

push-the-sky-away-album-artSASSYTIDBITS has had the fifth album from Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsPush The Sky Away on repeat since this past weekend.  We suspect die-hard Nick Cave fans have been flocking to on-line stores, REAL records stores (for vinyl) and may also have it on repeat.  The album is a tranquil wash of cinematic sound-scape with vivid lyrics partially inspired by erotic wiki posts and ‘the internet’.

What you expect and look forward to in a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album is THE VOICE, poetic lyrics and music that includes a variation of instruments plus a few loops.  Push The Sky Away is destined to be one of those ‘go-to’ albums.

Current favourite tracks (although they may change):  We No Who U R, Wide Lovely Eyes & Jubilee Street.

If for some reason, you haven’t waded into the world of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, have no fear, there is always a time to start.  If you like any of the following: Leonard CohenBroken Bells, Sparklehorse, Afghan Whigs, Air and PJ Harvey this album is for you. Read more

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Same Seven: Bernie Finkelstein

BernieEvery week we ask people the same seven questions

This week meet:

Bernie Finkelstein

Artist Manager, Music Industry Veteran

Prince Edward County and Toronto

  1. Where are you?
    I’m currently at my old farm house in Prince Edward County enjoying the snow.
  2. If, starting today, you could only listen to one record/cd/digital album for six months, what would it be?
    Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto      Getz/Gilberto
  3. What is your ultimate couch (burn out/hangover) day entertainment?
    Reading a good book.
  4. What kind of art do you live with?
    All kinds of art.  Paintings, sculptures, music, books.  Lots of Canadian work.  I’m currently high on an old Ontario artist named Manley Macdonald who passed away in 1971 but not before he did lots of paintings of Prince Edward County and the surrounding area.  Great stuff. Read more
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I Play Records – Vol 7: THE SONICS

Sonics albumThis time around we’ll examine some of the legendary forefathers of punk, Tacoma’s own the Sonics.[1] If all was right in the world, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame would have a section devoted to these guys, and if there was a punk hall of fame, these guys would be the cornerstone.

The Sonics were around during a time period when bands did mostly covers or songs that other people wrote through the time when bands started to do mostly originals (they formed in 1960 and broke up at the end of the decade). In this day and age, this still happens more than you would think, although in the punk crowd it’s mostly looked down on (save for a few well selected covers). The Sonics released three LPs during their existence (Here are the Sonics, Boom, and the major label stinker Introducing the Sonics) but there has been a slew of other releases to complement them. It’s best to start with and stick to the first two releases on Etiquette, re-released on Norton, as some of the other stuff can be sappy or of questionable sound quality, but once you dive in I understand if you’ve got to get everything.[2] As with most bands the live stuff can be great to listen to once in a while but it’s also dogged by poor sound quality, which is what kills most live stuff.[3]

Back when Tacoma was a podunk town built around mills and logging and not pills and lattes, the Sonics emerged to play local gigs. They weren’t too outrageous, but had moppy hair and a hipster look. The Beatles emerged but were bested by the Stones,[4] but things hadn’t gotten too wild (at least not in the mainstream – Iggy and the Stooges, for example, were still years off). There had been a tradition of garage and what is now commonly called “frat rock” for a while, and this tradition is from where the Sonics emerged.[5] Read more

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Review: Sound City

Dave Grohl And Sound Board, Sound CitySound City is a project initiated by Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and documents the demise of the legendary Sound City recording studio in Van Nuys, California. It centres on the recording console that was responsible for capturing the sounds of so many legendary artists including Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Metallica, Johnny Cash … basically, if you were anyone in the music industry in the 70s – 90s, you recorded at Sound City.

Full Disclosure: I love everything about Dave Grohl. I loved him in Nirvana. I love him in the Foo Fighters. I loved him on the Grammy’s a few years ago when he was playing drums for Paul McCartney, where he looked to be in danger of peeing his pants with excitement. Mostly I love him because he seems like a genuinely nice and decent person. And I prefer nice people to assholes. That being said, this is not an overwhelmingly positive piece because of what I think of Dave Grohl. It’s an overwhelmingly positive piece because it’s a great documentary and his infectious enthusiasm comes through on screen.

Read more

Posted on by Barb Roth in Entertainment, Music Leave a comment

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