December 26, 2015

Best of Toronto music 2015.

Canada is on a musical upslide with some of the most creative artists.

November 28, 2015

Briia - Making it?

After being featured in the “RockThe Sweater" sports-anthem by 'Annakin Slayd' and performing at the Bell Centre in Montreal during the 2014 NHL Playoffs; B R II A became a signed artist of FiveOnFour, a Montreal based record label. She is currently recording her debut E.P.

'B R II A' has had the opportunity to perform showcases in both Canada (Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver) as well as the United States (New York, Los Angeles). Most recently, she sang the National Anthems for the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Center.

BRIIA - Fake It Till You Make It [Lyric Video] from 5ON4 Records Inc. on Vimeo.

September 24, 2015

Hey Rosetta!

Hey Rosetta!

Canadian seven-piece indie rock band from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and led by singer/songwriter Tim Baker. Known for its energized live shows, the band creates a large, layered sound by incorporating piano, violin, cello, and brass into the traditional four-piece rock setup.

Studio albums
2006: Plan Your Escape
2008: Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood)
2011: Seeds
2014: Second Sight

2005: Hey Rosetta! EP
2007: Plan Your Escape EP (Sonic Records)
2010: Red Songs EP
2012: Sing Sing Sessions EP No. 74 CAN
2012: A Cup of Kindness Yet EP (Christmas Album)

August 07, 2015

Yukon Blonde! 80's band in the 2015's.

Yukon Blonde is a Canadian indie rock band originally from Kelowna, British Columbia. Formed in 2005 as a quintet called Alphababy, the band members changed the name in late 2008 at the suggestion of Jon-Rae Fletcher, with whom the band was touring.

The band has been based in Vancouver since 2009. They are now a trio with some guest touring members.

As Alphababy, the group released two EPs that received favourable critical reviews. Yukon Blonde's debut EP was Everything in Everyway. Their debut self-titled album, which was recorded live-to-tape, came out in 2010. For both, they worked with record producer Shawn Cole, who has previously worked with such bands as Bend Sinister and You Say Party! We Say Die!

The band has toured the US and Canada, and played at such festivals as South by Southwest. The band was named one of the "10 Canadian bands destined to break in 2010" by the CBC, and Chart called the band the best of the 2010 Canadian Music Week festival.

July 17, 2015

Moist - Best of Canadian Rock

Moist is a Canadian alternative rock band that originally formed in 1992. It consists of David Usher as lead vocalist, Mark Makoway on lead guitars, Jonathan Gallivan on guitars, Kevin Young on keyboards, Francis Fillion on drums and Louis Lalancette on bass.

The band's original drummer Paul Wilcox left the band just before its hiatus in 2000, and original bassist Jeff Pearce departed shortly after its reestablishment in early 2014.

After releasing an independent demo cassette in 1993, Moist was signed by EMI Music and released three official studio albums throughout the 1990s, becoming a staple of Canadian music culture. Shortly after releasing a compilation album in 2001, the band underwent an unplanned hiatus for over a decade, and then became officially reestablished in June 2013.

 Shortly after reuniting, the band began work on their fourth studio album, entitled Glory Under Dangerous Skies, which was released on October 7, 2014.

On May 15, 2014, the band announced that they had signed a new deal with Universal Music Canada. The band also announced the title of their new single, "Mechanical", which was released to radio on May 23 and to ITunes on May 27.

July 01, 2015

Dear Rouge

Dear Rouge

Drew and Danielle McTaggart were both touring musicians under separate projects. They met while in their early touring days, and began dating, before getting married and starting Dear Rouge. The name of the duo is derived from the name of Danielle's home town, Red Deer, Alberta.

In April 2012, Dear Rouge independently released their debut EP Heads Up! Watch Out!, a four-song EP on their Bandcamp page, and followed up six months later with their second EP Kids Wanna Know.

In November 2012, Dear Rouge won $102,700 as the grand prize winners of the Peak Performance Project put on by the Music BC Industry Organization and CKPK-FM radio station in Vancouver.

In June 2013, Exposure Contest and Dear Rouge partnered up to present a video editing contest in support of their single, "Thinking About You", from their Kids Wanna Know EP The contest drew a wide social media spread, accumulating hundreds of entrants from around the world.

In March 2014, the band's second single "I Heard I Had" charted at #3 in Alternative Rock (Mediabase). #3 in Modern Rock (Mediabase), and at #13 in Canadian Rock (BDS radio).

The band released their third single "Best Look Lately" on April 22nd, 2014. As of September 2014, it has also cracked the Top 20 of the Canadian Alternative Rock and Modern Rock charts.

The band signed to the Canadian branch of Universal Music Group in October 2014, and announced that their debut album Black To Gold will be released through them in early 2015.

The band's fourth single, title track "Black To Gold", was sent to radio on January 13th 2015. Black To Gold (Single) was made available digitally on February 10th along with a pre-order for the album.
On February 2nd the band announced March 30th as the release date for the album and a tour with Arkells. As of May 2015, "Black To Gold" had hit #2 on the Canadian Alt-Rock charts

June 26, 2015

The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip, often referred to simply as The Hip, are a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario, consisting of lead singer Gordon Downie, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker (known as Bobby Baker until 1994), bassist Gord Sinclair, and drummer Johnny Fay. Since their formation in 1983 they have released 12 studio albums, two live albums, 1 EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada.

They have received numerous Canadian Music awards, including 14 Juno Awards.

June 19, 2015

Ivory Hours Canadian Band

Ivory Hours is an alt-pop band from London, Ontario. Formed by songwriter Luke Roes in 2012, the band has been riding an upward spiral over the last year. After enlisting a new rhythm section in fall 2013 they won 98.1 Free FM’s Under The Covers Contest, financing the recording of ‘Mary’ – a colorful, pop-laden EP embracing a new danceable and polished sound for the band. The title track ‘Mary’ entered regular rotation on 98.1, on CBC and charted on campus radio across the country. Upbeat music videos for ‘Mary’ and ‘Hello Honey’ gained traction online, landing features in Noisey, Exclaim, Popdose and the front page of Reddit.

June 13, 2015

Scary Bear Soundtrack

Scary Bear Soundtrack 

Scary Bear Soundtrack is an indie dream pop act, blending layers of shoegaze with synth pop. For the last few years, the band has been based in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, making Scary Bear Soundtrack one of the northernmost indie bands in the world. Currently, Scary Bear Soundtrack is a long distance project featuring the works of Gloria Guns (Ottawa) and Christine Aye (Cambridge Bay).
Formerly of Hamilton Trading Co. (w/ members of the Diableros and BEAMS), Gloria has been performing for over a decade, while also supporting other acts such as Paris-based Melissa Laveauxgatesgatesgates (w/ former members of Cuff the Duke and the Postage Stamps), and Mike Kuehn (of Sleepytown Sound). Gloria was classically trained on the piano since age five and self-taught on the guitar since age twelve.  Christine grew up in Myanmar, where she performed in a metal band.
On September 8, 2014, the band released a new full length split album “The Longest Night”, written and recorded with Avid Napper. The single “The Longest Night”, written in collaboration with Avid Napper, made it to the top 10 acts across all of Canada in the national round for CBC Music’s Searchlight competition for Canada’s Best New Artist, out of 4500 bands.  In addition, The Longest Night was the highest debut for the week of May 23, 2014, making it to #2 on CBC Radio 3’s R3-30 Countdown for Canada’s top indie songs of the week, where it remained for over a month, and was included in the Top 103 Songs of the Year by CBC Music.  The Longest Night has received national airplay by radio stations across Canada.

Named after the Scary Bear horror films ( (also produced by Gloria) and equipped with a healthy love of synths, vintage amps, and chorus guitar pedals, Scary Bear Soundtrack has had the pleasure of performing at many special events including Capital Pride, Ottawa Fashion Week, the Ottawa Rock Lottery and the Women’s World global feminist conference. In 2012, the band’s music gained new international exposure in the Southern African music scene, where Gloria put on a series of special Scary Bear Soundtrack performances in Namibia.
In 2012, Scary Bear Soundtrack released its debut self-titled EP album, featuring the single Beaver Pond Forest. The music video for Beaver Pond Forest, directed by South African-Canadian filmmaker Toni Van Eeden, was featured at the Ottawa International Film Festival in 2014.

May 15, 2015

Death Watch

We moved up here after my mother-in-law had declined to the point she was not safe in her house alone.

The series of events that put us in the position to move to Canada are pointedly bizarre.  Guided?

At any rate we had a year that proved our worth and then she was diagnosed with cancer that was at stage 4.  She refused treatment and there has been a decline ever since.

Now she is in Palliative care Hospice.  The waiting and watching is taking its toll. As you would suspect.

April 22, 2015

Happy Lenins Birthday!

18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year

On the 30th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article in the May 2000 edition of Reason Magazine titled “Earth Day, Then and Now.” In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article.  Well, now that more than 40 years have passed, how accurate were those predictions around the time of the first Earth Day? Wrong, spectacularly wrong, and here are 18 examples:
1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.
3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”
7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.
8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.
12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in his 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.
13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.
14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”
15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.
16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”
18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
MP: Let’s keep those spectacularly wrong predictions from the first Earth Day 1970 in mind when we’re bombarded tomorrow with media hype, and claims like this from the official Earth Day website:
The fight against climate change is at an impasse and life on Earth hangs in the balance. Help us save polar bears and other wildlife as their habitats disappear and their food sources become scarce. Like the polar bear, human life is under threat, too. Storms are becoming stronger, droughts are becoming more severe, and rising sea levels encroach on our cities. We need an active informed public to stand tall, stop and reverse climate change and protect our children’s future!
Finally, think about this question, posed by Ronald Bailey: What will Earth look like when Earth Day 60 rolls around in 2030? Bailey predicts a much cleaner, and much richer future world, with less hunger and malnutrition, less poverty, and longer life expectancy, and with lower mineral and metal prices. But he makes one final prediction about Earth Day in 2030: “There will be a disproportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future–and the present–never looked so bleak.” In other words, the hysteria and apocalyptic predictions will continue, promoted by the “environmental grievance hustlers.”

April 05, 2015

Human beings will be religious one way or another.


At the risk of sounding like Paul Krugman — who returns to a handful of cherished topics over and over again in his New York Times column — I want to revisit one of my hobby horses, which I most recently raised in my discussion of Hobby Lobby.
My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism's decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma.
The decline is especially pronounced on a range of issues wrapped up with religion and sex. For a time, electoral self-interest kept these intolerant tendencies in check, since the strongly liberal position on social issues was clearly a minority view. But the cultural shift during the Obama years that has led a majority of Americans to support gay marriage seems to have opened the floodgates to an ugly triumphalism on the left.
The result is a dogmatic form of liberalism that threatens to poison American civic life for the foreseeable future. Conservative Reihan Salamdescribes it, only somewhat hyperbolically, as a form of "weaponized secularism."
The rise of dogmatic liberalism is the American left-wing expression of the broader trend that Mark Lilla identified in a recent blockbuster essay forThe New Republic. The reigning dogma of our time, according to Lilla, is libertarianism — by which he means far more than the anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology that Americans identify with the post-Reagan Republican Party, and that the rest of the world calls "neoliberalism."
At its deepest level, libertarianism is "a mentality, a mood, a presumption… a prejudice" in favor of the liberation of the autonomous individual from all constraints originating from received habits, traditions, authorities, or institutions. Libertarianism in this sense fuels the American right's anti-government furies, but it also animates the left's push for same-sex marriage — and has prepared the way for its stunningly rapid acceptance — in countries throughout the West.
What makes libertarianism a dogma is the inability or unwillingness of those who espouse it to accept that some people might choose, for morally legitimate reasons, to dissent from it. On a range of issues, liberals seem not only increasingly incapable of comprehending how or why someone would affirm a more traditional vision of the human good, but inclined to relegate dissenters to the category of moral monsters who deserve to be excommunicated from civilized life — and sometimes coerced into compliance by the government.
The latter tendency shows how, paradoxically, the rise of libertarian dogma can have the practical effect of increasing government power and expanding its scope. This happens when individuals look to the government to facilitate their own liberation from constraints imposed by private groups, organizations, and institutions within civil society. In such cases, the government seeks to bring those groups, organizations, and institutions into conformity with uniform standards that ensure the unobstructed personal liberation of all — even if doing so requires that these private entities are forced to violate their distinctive visions of the good.
As the old (flagrantly illiberal) saying goes: If you want to make an omelet, you've got to break some eggs.
Consider some of the ways that liberalism's dogmatism has expressed itself in recent months.
  • Brendan Eich resigned as the chief executive of Mozilla, a company he helped found, after gay rights activists launched a boycott against the company for placing him in a senior position. Eich's sin? More than five years earlier, he donated $1,000 to the campaign for California's Proposition 8, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in the state. It didn't matter that he'd explicitly assured employees that he would treat them fairly, regardless of their sexual orientation. What mattered was that Eich (like the 7 million people who voted in favor of Prop 8) had made himself a heretic by coming down on the wrong side of an issue on which error had now become impermissible.
  • Liberals indulged in a wildly overwrought reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, with seasoned journalists likening the plaintiffs to the Pakistani Taliban, and countless others taking to social media to denounce a government-sanctioned theocratic assault on women's health — all because some women working for corporations that are "closely held" by religiously conservative owners might have to pay out of pocket for certain forms of freely available contraception (as, one presumes, they currently do for toothpaste). Apparently many liberals,including the Senate Democrats who seem poised to gut the decision, consider it self-evident that these women face a far greater burden than the conservative owners, who would be forced by the government to violate their religious beliefs. One highly intelligent commentator, inadvertently confessing his incapacity to think beyond the confines of liberal dogma,described the religious objection as "trivial" and "so abstract and attenuated it's hard to even explain what it is."
  • Beyond the Beltway, related expressions of liberal dogmatism have led a Harvard undergraduate to suggest that academic freedom shouldn't apply to the handful of conservatives on campus — because their views foster and justify "oppression." In a like-minded column in The Chronicle of Higher Education, a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvaniaargued that religious colleges should be denied accreditation — because accrediting them "confers legitimacy on institutions that systematically undermine the most fundamental purposes of higher education," one of which is to pursue "skeptical and unfettered" (read: dogmatically liberal and secular) inquiry.
But wait, some will object: You can't reduce contemporary American liberalism to the illiberal outbursts of loudmouthed activists, intemperate journalists, foolish undergraduates, and reckless Ivy League professors!
To which the proper response is: True!
Still, I wonder: Where have been all the outraged liberals taking a stand against these and many other examples of dogmatism — and doing so in the name of liberalism? I've been doing that in my own writing. And I've appreciated the occasional expressions of modest support from a handful of liberal readers. But what about the rest of you?
A final thought: One area where Lilla's essay cries out for further elaboration is on the question of why the demand for individual autonomy has become so dogmatic at the present moment in history. Lilla himself leaves it at the assertion that since the end of the Cold War we have "simply found ourselves" in a world dominated by libertarian dogma.
I'd like to venture a tentative explanation — one that has nothing to do with the end of the Cold War.
From the dawn of the modern age, religious thinkers have warned that, strictly speaking, secular politics is impossible — that without the transcendent foundation of Judeo-Christian monotheism to limit the political sphere, ostensibly secular citizens would begin to invest political ideas and ideologies with transcendent, theological meaning.
Put somewhat differently: Human beings will be religious one way or another. Either they will be religious about religious things, or they will be religious about political things.
With traditional faith in rapid retreat over the past decade, liberals have begun to grow increasingly religious about their own liberalism, which they are treating as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good.
But liberalism's leading theoreticians (Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Madison, Tocqueville, Mill) never intended it to serve as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. On the contrary, liberalism was supposed to act as a narrowly political strategy for living peacefully in a world of inexorably clashing comprehensive views of reality and the human good.
The key to the strategy was the promulgation of the pluralistic principle of toleration.
Which is why the proper response to the distinctive dogmatism of our time is to urge liberals to return to their tolerant roots. That's what I've been trying to do in my own writing, and my efforts will continue until more liberals come to their senses and begin recalling their comrades to a robust defense of their own pluralistic principles.

March 08, 2015

Vive le Canada!

Canadian pop in the media is an odd thing.

Radio stations are required to play 40% Canadian content.  This means on an 80's weekend you will hear songs like Martha and the Muffins Eco Beach.  Which, I might have heard, not enough to recall though.

Same with Television.  We have a blur between what is Canadian and American until you delve into the show.   Republic of Doyle or The Beachcombers are classically Canadian.

More and more Hollywood productions are using Canada for location shots.

Our mark is still oblique to the typical American audience.

On the 50th anniversary of the British Invasion.  I ponder the possibility of a Canadian Invasion.

We did get Tegan and Sarah on the Oscars, after all!

There is no lacking of talent.

Hey, look north for your next album purchase. or Series to Netflick!

February 09, 2015

Okay, so global warming is man made.

So there is this guy, Paul Homewood, who looks at the reports against the raw temperature data.

There is an interesting trend.  They adjust the data to support the global warming models.

Consider that the highly proclaimed climate models all miss the mark with temperature trends.

Add to that the ever-growing list of climate doom that never comes to pass.

You can start to see why someone would be skeptical.  Unless, of course, the person in question is more in line with the political than scientific.

Or if your job and funding requires the Data to further your agenda.

There is an interesting dichotomy around science.  Which goes hand in hand with personal political strata. 

GMO is bad stuff - Ignore the science, it is tainted!

Fracking is bad stuff - Ignore the science, it is tainted!

Aspartame is bad stuff - Ignore the science, it is tainted!

Vaccinations are safe - look at the science!

Global warming is man made - look at the science!

Science as presented by scientists vs. science as presented by Media and Social media.  The media's interpretation is subject to massive, out of context fraud.  Just look at the diet industry.

As far as the above goes:

GMO crops are perfectly safe.  I object to the patent holding and the courts enforcement of said patents. 

Fracking, as practiced, is safe.  I expect the government to assure that the procedures being used are continually updated, based upon best practice methodology.

Aspartame has been tested and found safe more then any other chemical on the planet.  It is safe.

Vaccines have inherent dangers that are accurately reported.  There are some issues around the preservatives, which have since been eliminated.  Still, there are quite a lot of issues that are slow to be documented.  Like the effectiveness of flu vaccination

Global warming is occurring at a much slower rate than reported.  What is man's contribution?  That is highly debated and far from proven.  Will any of the strategies halt the planet from warming?  Again, there is no evidence that they are anything more than social engineering.

Science needs to be open and transparent with data sets published, reviewed and duplicated.  Keeping the political out is paramount.

January 25, 2015

ode to a wannabe Ultra runner

I would really like to be able to say I ran 100k in a race.  I still could, not when I find 10k a challenge though.  I find the ultra runners to be very impressive folks.

January 16, 2015

The Long slow road

The radio guy had a topic around fearing death.

The labeled fears centered around suffering and how it was worse then death itself.  It was an interesting advocation of suicide.

Is suffering such a horrific thing that we should take it upon ourselves to stop?  

While pondering I thought back to stories of people surviving the wilderness and the remarkable celebration of their return.

Medically someone who survives accidents or war or cancer.  The stories are inspirational and life affirming.  Yet, the folks suffered.

So is suffering to be avoided at all costs or a nobleing experience?