Friday, December 23, 2011

Billboard Top Artists of 2011

LOL... don't see many artists on Billboards Illustrious list for 2011. Simply some manufactured pop.
On the bright side SPIN magazine named Fucked Up's new album 'David Comes To Life' as album of the year, perhaps there's hope for the record industry yet. For those of you that don't know 'Fucked Up' is a Canadian Hardcore band based out of Toronto. The SPIN article is below...

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 Zombie Walk - Toronto

Been so busy I just haven't had the time to write much this month, got a new job. Making more money than I used too, more money means more responsibility, more responsibility means more bullshit...Anyway, the end result is that I haven't had much time to write, I'd like to apologize to my fifteen loyal fans for my absenteeism. Last week week we had the 2011 Zombie walk in Toronto. Your truly went down for the day and while I was there I took a few shots. Last year nearly 6000 corpses writhed, weaved and lurched their way through the streets of Toronto feasting on those unlucky enough to be living. This year there must have been like 10,000. Me with my trusty Nikon found a nice perch on the top steps of a church along Queen St. West and managed to fire off a few shots. The walk lasted hours, Ive never seen so many zombies in my in my life...incidental the Zombie march started in Toronto and is now held in most major cities in the world. Last week Chile had their annual Zombie walk (Saturday Oct. 15, 2011) and thousands show up to eat the flesh of the living that live in Santiago....It's cool to be dead...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Toronto Fan Expo 2011

Gary Kurtz signs my Star Wars Poster, this is the guy I was there to see. Gary produced not only Star Wars, but also the Empire Strikes Back.

Eliza Dushku signs some autographs at this years Fan Expo, she was actually supposed to be at last years event but had to bow out at the last minute.

Ahh the Fan Expo, it aint just for geeks anymore, there were quite a few girls walkin around with very little clothing, and ya gotta luv that.

Ghostbusters fans at the Fan Expo, this costuming group is getting more and more popular every year.

Willian Shatner signs some autographs at the Fan Expo. Crazy Bill was chargin $80.00 a shot, but I guess the Trekkie's didn't mind as they were lining up in droves.

Of cours my favorite group the 501st Legion was there in full force, approximately 70 members if I'm not mistake. These costumes are worth thousands of dollars and are all hand made.

Imperial Biker Scouts stand guard at the Lucasfilm booth helping promote the release of Star Wars on Blue ray, which became available on September 16. These guys always draw a bit crowd at the Fan Expo.

You'll never see so many different costumes in one place at one time as you will at the Fan Expo. What ever you're into, you'll find it at this event. It's also a great opportunity to take some really fantastic photographs as well. Of all the shots I took this weekend I think this is my favorite.

Well another summer has come and gone, and like every summer we like to cap it off by attending the Toronto Fan Expo. Of all the personalities there, I think none fascinated me more than Gary Kurtz. For those that are unaware, Mr. Kurtz is the producer of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes back, among other things (many other things) . Based out of London England he is to say the least one of the most powerful influential producers in the UK, and their wasn't ever a line up. Happily this gave me the opportunity to have a nice fifteen minute conversation with him. Don't think I made a very good impression as I think I came off sounding like a bumbling idiot more than anything else. Not really much I could do about it though. To me this guys is more like a god than a man, I tried my best to sound a intelligent, and not to much like a retard. I think when I look back at this experience years from now I'll probably see it as a missed opportunity. I'm currently working on a script, albeit not a very good one, but I think it has potential. I've heard it that only one in a thousand scripts will even make of to a producers desk, most won't even make it to their secretary. Anyway, it was a fantastic weekend for all and they solved the overcrowding problems that plagued last years event. Among the guest that made an appearance at years event were Katee Sackhoff, William Shatner, Larry Hagmen, Michael Biehn, Martin Landau, Anthony Daniels and Nichelle Nichols to name just a few. Hats off to James Armstrong and his staff for a job well done, I'm sure attendance exceeded 80, 000 this years and it went off without a hitch.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Def Leppard at the Amphitheater

Just got home from Ontario place were Def Leppard played to a sold out crowd at the Molson Amphitheater. An Absolutely Fantastic show, very impressive. I think Joe Elliott's been a bit pissed at British music press lately as he feels the band has not been given the respect it deserves. I'm willing to bet that there's some truth to that, but one thing is certain, they sure get the respect they deserve in Toronto, the fans love em, and they really got into it at last nights concert. It's unbelievable how great they sound live, this is the first time I've ever gone to see them, I'll definitely go again when they come back. This was also the best deal of the summer as far as concerts go: lawn seating was only $20 bucks. How can you go wrong. Indecently the opening band was Heart, need I say more. They put on a fantastic set, and saved the best for last with a stellar rendition of The Who's Love, Reign O'er Me, one of my all time favorite on the image to see full size btw...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nothing Without You - Another Black Season

Ya gotta love this guys work. "Nothing Without You" is the latest single from Another Black Season. Although the record company's continue to pump out a myriad of mediocre nonsense, it's comforting to know that there's some real music still being made out there. Many artists like the aforementioned carry on with the do it yourself approach creating some really fantastic material. I think this is testament that the best work today is being done by the independents who aren't influenced by the latest trends or flavor of the month MTV crap. I hear a number of influences in this latest release, a combination of U2, Depeche Mode, and perhaps even a bit of Coldplay thrown in for good measure, yet it remains unique in it's overall sound.. really great stuff...

Monday, July 25, 2011

She's In Parties - Bauhaus

The Goth scene today includes many bands that I'm not entirely familiar with, bands and artists like Marilyn Manson, Evanescence, Slipknot, plus many more have all made their impact on today's music environment. I can't really argue for or against the inclusion of these bands into the Goth genre because as I've indicated I don't know nearly enough about them to comment either way. What I do know is that most post 80's Goth bands have been influenced by Bauhaus in very significant way. They're not only one of the greatest Goth/Alternative bands of all time, but one of the greatest bands of all time Period... "She's in Parties" goes far beyond being just a great song, it's a Classic Modern Masterpiece, an alternative tune that's destined to weather the sands of time for all eternity. This really gives you an idea of what Bauhaus was all about, it also really shows off the tremendous vocal talent of Peter Murphy, it's completely original and innovative, the cool thing about Bauhaus is that they didn't sound like any other band. Hard to believe this ones almost thirty years old...Arghh!! forget I said that...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deutsche Amerrikanische Freundschaft (DAF)

Translated into English, it means German American Friendship, formed in 1978 featuring Gabriel "Gabi" Delgado-López (vocals), Robert Görl (drums, percussion, electronic instruments). This German electropunk band from Dusseldorf Germany released their first single "Kebab-Traume" in 1980 under the Mute Records label. Shortly after the first album Die Kleinen Die Bosen was released.
...DAF originally started as a standard five piece band as Gorl and Lopez added additional musicians, eventually though they reduced themselves back to a duo, concentrating primarily on the electronica sound they're know for. Although still together, they did officially split up in 1983 briefly re-forming a few years later for one album. As a result there's been large gaps over the years in which no new material was released, namely 1989 - 2002...All in All DAF has released 7 albums and close to 20 singles including "Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir" (1986) which was a massive global hit. In 2010 a greatest hits package became available "Du Bist DAF" for those of you that don't feel like pickin up the entire catalog, this is a great way to introduce yourself to the band.
....As performers their a bit like the Pet Shop Boys in that that the singer Lopez appears relatively extroverted while Robert Gorl appears quiet and reserved, content to sit quietly behind his keyboard much like Chris Lowe.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Static In Transmission - Spoons

Well what can I say about this one...It would have been difficult, if not impossible for Gord and Sandy to release anything short of perfect. Not just just because of their extraordinary talent, but because the simple fact they've had 20 years to write this album. Anything less than perfect would have been unacceptable. Of course anyone that knows anything about this band pretty much knew what to expect before buying it; an Absolute Masterpiece from beginning to end. That's what we expected and that's what we got. Gordon Deppe is one of the most exceptional singer song writers in Canadian music history, and I don't think he even realizes it. It's been far too long between projects, far far too long...
....This is the first release of new material by the Spoons since 1988s "Vertigo Tango", I think many of us were afraid at one point that we may never see or hear from this band again. Like many of the bands of the 80's they have continued to fight an uphill battle against a record industry that values style over substance and were talent and creatively are inconsequential. Many bands fell by the wayside as the music industry rushed headlong into the 90's in pursuit of Boy Bands and Grunge music, both of these genre's adhering obnoxiously to the conformity that hallmarks the 90's music scene; a creative wasteland to say the least... In this path of destruction a great many bands met their demise and the Spoons may very well have been one of them. Thankfully thought, to the delight of their fans, every once in a while this great Canadian band would resurface, play the occasional show, only to disappear once again, back into the shadows, I'm sure most of us had given up on ever hearing new material again... then, just a few years ago it appears things began to change, and change for the better. Not exactly sure when, or why but I suspect it had something to do with the release of "Unexpected Guest at a Cancelled Party", an album of previously unreleased material that gave Spoons fans the opportunity to hear music that they had never heard before. In addition Linus Entertainment released "The Spoons Live In Concert" a DVD featuring two classic shows for the 80's, one from the Concert Hall in Toronto and the other from the Forum in Montreal. Following these two important releases interest has steadily grown as the fans once again discover one of Canada's greatest bands.
....THE ALBUM - Static In Transmission starts with a bang "Breaking In" the lead of track is a high energy tune that feature some astounding keyboard work reminiscent of the 80's yet stylistically updated to sound new and innovative in a way that I can only describe as a fusion of two decades. The second track "Imperfkt" is the first single released off the album and one of my favorite tracks . This is a pop oriented upbeat tune will have ya tapping you feet immediately, I find myself playing this track over and over, it's absolutely fantastic. The third track "Numb" slows thing down and features some beautiful lyrics as Gord Depp, this is sure to be a favorite for many fans. The fifth track "Star Maps" once again kicks it into high gear, featuring some great guitar work by Gord, and an astounding bass line by Sandy Horne. The great lyrics and a killer hook (chorus), make this tune a perfect choice for the next single, it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. The fifth track "Escape With You" is my personal favorite, the song is about an obsessive fan, and the lyrics are pure genius. This is also the track were Sandy Horn takes the lead on vocals, once again this track should certainly be released as a single as it is a number one hit for certain. "You Light Up" is the first official single released off the new album, and upbeat poppy tune that really gets the crowd going. It features some great key board work and a high energy pace that's perfect for introducing a new generation of music fans to the band. Track seven "B-Movie" is beautiful ballad, which I interpret as a song about the Spoons and how they were treated by record industry in the late 80's. Of course that's just my opinion, you may interpret it completely differently, I believe the song and/or subject matter is a metaphor for the bands trials and tribulations. Track eight "End of Story" once again kicks it up a notch in this fantastic tune that features some excellent keyboards work reminiscent of their 80's heyday material, add to that some great lyrics by Gord and this tune's an excellent choice for future release as a single. It also features some nice back up vocals by Sandy Horne, especially near the end. "Words Will Smash Walls" the ninth track features some uniquely different keyboard work, especially at the intro, Gord took the time to ensure that each song is completely unique, and stands on it's own. Simple and catchy, this tune is sure to a favorite of many a fan. "The Closing Credits" the final track on the album is a perfect close-out to this perfect album. Gord and Sandy slow it down, in a song full of meaning with heart felt lyrics that leave you feeling just little bit sad, cause it's all over...until next time that is : )
Produced By Jeff Carter
Universal Music / Fontana North

The Spoons are:
Gordon Deppe: Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Sandy Horne: Bass Guitar, Vocals

Saturday, June 18, 2011

NXNE 2011 - Toronto

Just got home from the NXNE concert at Yonge and Dundas Square. The North By North East Festival is THE music event of the summer. Like last year, bands played all day and well into the night. The concert ended around 4:00 am, and thousands of music fans showed up for this once a year event. It's not only Yonge and Dundas that draws the crowd, bars and clubs all over the city hosts bands of all shapes, sizes and styles, and as an added bonus most of the bars kept serving till 4:00 in the morning, how often does that happen. Among the headliners for Saturday night included two iconic bands that need no introduction and certainly know how to kick it. Men Without Hats took the stage around 8 pm and played a fast paced set that lasted just under an hour, it really got the crowd going. DEVO hit the stage at approximately 9:30, what a set they put on. It lasted about an hour and a half in which they played many of the old classics plus some of the newer material including tracks off their latest album "Something For Everyone" the first studio release in 20 years . I'm glad I saw the show, wasn't certain I was gonna to make's easy to see why their still doing it after 30 years ... I'm on my out the door to buy the new album right now.
DEVO Headlined Saturday nights concert.
From Assorted Concert Photos

Thousand packed Yonge and Dundas Square to see DEVO play a set that lasted just over an hour an a half.
From Assorted Concert Photos

The energy of this band is unbelievable, you could tell they were all having a great time. It's easy to see why they're still doing it after 30 years.
From Assorted Concert Photos

From Assorted Concert Photos

As is the case with DEVO the occasional costume change seems to be one of their hallmarks. But don't let that that fool you, these guys are amount the most talented musicians in the world.

From Assorted Concert Photos

From Assorted Concert Photos

Just like every year thousands and thousands jammed Yonge and Dundas Square for this free summer concert which features bands from all over the world.
From Assorted Concert Photos

From Assorted Concert Photos

Another great Canadian Band "Men Without Hats" also played a great set that lasted just under an hour.
From Assorted Concert Photos

I was thoroughly impressed with Men Without Hats, this is a band I never got to see during the 80's. One thing you'll notice about these of 80's bands that you don't really see allot of today... singers that actually sing, and the musicians actually play instruments... No lip syncing...
From Assorted Concert Photos
Below is DEVO's opening from the NXNE concert in Toronto. Yours truly was at the very front just to the right of the stage, although I don't think I'm in this footage. This will give you an idea of just how energetic and electric this show was.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spoons CD Release Party - June 1, 2011

Last Night at The Revival, a club along College street in Toronto The Spoons had their CD release Party for the new album "Static In Transmission". As usual the venue was filled to maximum capacity and everyone there had a great time. This is the first release of new material by the Spoons since 1988s "Vertigo Tango", and the new album is nothing short of spectacular (of course it should be, it's not like they haven't had 23 years to write it). New member Casey MQ (keyboards) and Chris McNeil (Drums) did a fantastic job fitting right in to their new roles as part of one of Canada's greatest bands. The resurgence of the Spoons continues to move ahead full throttle, as newspaper articles, TV and radio appearances along with a fantastic new video in support of the latest single "You Light Up" has once again garnered lots of attention. How far will Gord and Sandy take it this time?, well that's anyone's guess. With a Canadian tour planned as well as an album of great new material to perform I'd say the possibilities are limitless. I've included some pics I took a the show... very dark at the Revival, very hard to get anything worthwhile... The link to the entire album is at the very bottom (smaller icon) enjoy...

From Spoons CD Release Party
From Spoons CD Release Party
From Spoons CD Release Party
From Spoons CD Release Party

Spoons CD Release Party

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mother Mother

Mother Mother is a Canadian band from Vancouver, British Columbia. The members include Ryan Guldemond on guitar and vocals, Molly Guldemond on vocals and keyboard, Jasmin Parkin on keyboard and vocals, Ali Siadat on drums, and Jeremy Page on bass. They independently released there first album in 2005 (Self Titled) and last month their third album "Eureka" was released under the label Last Gang Records. This really is fantastic stuff and the octave range of singer Ryan Guldemond absolutely unbelievable. Below I've included the video for Body of Years, a single off their second album "O My Heart" it's a great song and the video is really cool.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spoons - You Light Up - Video Shoot.

I was invited to the shoot for the Spoons new video last Sunday. The new singles called "You Light Up" and it's off the new album Static In Transmission, which also came out last week. What a fantastic time I had, and what a fantastic new single. They played it a bunch of times while they were filming and then they performed a mini-concert that lasted about 45 minutes. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon that's for sure. I'm not gonna review the new album yet as I have listened to it enough times. Generally I like to spin it at least ten times before I make a comment, so far so good though... Her are some shots I took at the video shoot, Gord and Sandy are always cool about cameras, that's one of the things I like about them.

. The link to the entire album is below.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thin Lizzy at the Sound Academy - March 30, 2011

Just got back from Toronto where I saw Thin Lizzy play live at the Sound Academy. My eardrums are bleeding. Well worth it though. Great show, I'll post some of my pics and write some more about it tomorrow; right now I need to sleep...gotta be up in five hours...some of us work for a living... ................ ......... . grgrtgrgrgrtgrtgtrgtrtrrrg

....some time later...I've got the album Live and Dangerous and it really is a fantastic album, but it doesn't compare to seeing this band in a proper concert. I know this could probably be said of most bands, but the raw energy and power of Thin Lizzy really can't be experienced through a recording, ya just gotta see it for real. Granted it ain't the original line up, and several member have passed on, but Hell, that's true of just about every 60's and 70's band nowadays. If ya can't deal with that then I suggest you start listening to the f----- Jonas Brothers... The Reality is, if ya wanna continue to see the older guys play then I'm afraid yer just gonna have to tolerate the occasional line up change. Scott Gorham began to assemble this latest version of Thin Lizzy in 2009, in May 2010 a new, line-up was announced. Joining Gorham was original drummer Brian Downey, long-standing keyboardist Darren Wharton, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, and singer Ricky Warwick while Marco Mendoza returned to fill the bass guitar role. This is the band that is currently touring and this is the line-up we saw on Wednesday night. One thing that struck me about this show was how much fun they seems to be haveing. They were laughing and joking and just generally seemed to be having a really good time. The crowd sure did appreciate it too, I'm glad I did miss this show. If you get the oppertunity, you really should see this band.
Here's a link to all my pics...

Click the thumbnail.

Thin Lizzy March 30, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

LOL... Sh_t... I found this funny.

OK, not for me to bash other peoples, ahhh, ...errr well you know...but in this case I almost pissed myself laughing. So I gotta share...LOL.