Joshua Ostroff
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Entries by Joshua Ostroff

Biz Markie Talks 'Just A Friend,' 'Yo Gabba Gabba' and Drake

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 4:00 PM

For old-school rap fans, nobody beats the Biz.

Dubbed "the clown prince of hip-hop," Biz Markie was among the first wave of rappers to hit the mainstream when his 1989 monster single "Just a Friend" cracked the top 10. (Admit it, that off-key chorus is playing in your head...

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Woodstock '99: Riots, Rapes and the Razing of the Alt-Revolution

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 8:44 AM

It was around 3 a.m. when a moment of surreal beauty unexpectedly burst forth from the grotesque chaos that marked the final day of Woodstock '99, soon to be re-dubbed "the day the music died."

After far too many hours of fiery, rampaging lawlessness, the authorities had finally reentered the...

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Weird Al's 'Mandatory Fun' Is His First Number One Album, Best Sales Week Ever

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 4:32 PM

"Weird Al" yankovic took over the Internet last week, releasing eight videos over eight days to promote his new album, "Mandatory Fun," and the gambit worked.

Though it was the three-time Grammy-winner's 14th album over the past 35 years, "Mandatory Fun" landed atop the Billboard album chart with 104,000 copies,...

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Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace: Transgender Punk Rocker And Parent (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 2:20 PM

Against Me! have always been a political punk band, but railing against the system has morphed into railing against systemic prejudice since transgender lead singer Laura Jane Grace came out on a Rolling Stone cover in 2012.

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Weird Al's 'Mission Statement' Video Mocks Corporate Speak Synergizing His 8-Day Value-Added Experience

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 12:46 PM

Weep with me, readers, for this 'Mission Statement' video marks the end of Weird Al's eight-day pop cultural takeover.

But what better way to conclude what ultimately was a mad-genius marketing strategy than with a video mocking people who say stuff like Weird Al leveraged his core competencies to monetize...

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Weird Al's 'First World Problems' Video Mocks Wealthy Whiners To The Sounds Of The Pixies

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2014 | 2:20 PM

Weird Al's sixth salvo in his Internet invasion is the video for "First World Problems," a song that sets the popular hashtag against the sonic stylings of alt-rock icons The Pixies.

On this track from his now-ubiquitous album "Mandatory Fun," a blonde bewigged "Dbag Al" moans about that "the thread...

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Best Songs Of 2014 (So Far)

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 8:44 AM

2014 is more than half over and it's been quite a year for music already.

Album sales aren't looking so hot, admittedly. The only full-length to crack a million in sales so far in the U.S. is the "Frozen" soundtrack, which hit 2.7 million, while Beyonce's surprise self-titled album...

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ESPYs: Drake Sings 'Let It Go,' Mocks Donald Sterling, Macklemore, Jokes With Chris Brown (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 11:34 AM

"Degrassi" fans have always known that Drake is comfortable on camera, but the Toronto rapper really sold himself as a comedian with his stellar "Saturday Night Live" host and musical guest gig last year. Last night he followed that up with a high-profile hosting gig for the ESPYs.

This...

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Celine Dion Opens Up About Husband Rene Angelil's Cancer Recovery

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 10:09 AM

Health rumours have been swirling around Celine Dion's 72-year-old husband Rene Angelil since he stepped down as her manager last month, a job he's had since Celine was a teenager, in the wake of undergoing throat cancer surgery in December.

But Celine wants to reassure her fans that Angelil is...

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Polaris Prize Short List: Drake, Arcade Fire, Tanya Tagaq Among Best Canadian Album Nominees

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:25 AM

The eighth annual Polaris Prize has revealed it's 2014 short list for the best Canadian album of the past year.

The 10 nominated artists range from international superstars like Drake and Arcade Fire to up-and-comers like Mac DeMarco and Jessy Lanza to previous winner Owen Pallett, previous short-lister Shad...

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The War on Sugar Must Be Fought By Parents

(17) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 8:33 AM

I often call my four-year-old son "sugar" as a term of endearment. But, as a parent, sugar is not very endearing.

The so-called "War on Sugar" has ramped up recently thanks to the new doc Fed Up-- exec-produced by Katie Couric and An Inconvenient Truth's Laurie David --...

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Robin Thicke's Album 'Paula' Sold LESS Than 54 Copies In Australia

(7) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 11:24 AM

Robin Thicke's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad sales week continues.

After selling 530 copies of new album "Paula" in the UK and then bumping that up to a whole 550 copies here in Canada, the numbers have now come in from fellow Commonwealth country Australia where...

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Who Run the Tour? Beyonce. (Sorry, Jay)

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 4:07 PM

The first time I saw Jay Z was the summer of 2003 on tour with 50 Cent. Though Jay was the nominal headliner, the rappers arrived in Toronto at the height of Fiddy's "In Da Club" fame and he was who everyone was clearly there to see.

But even though...

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Robin Thicke's Album 'Paula' Sold 550 Copies In Canada, 530 In The UK (Yes, Total)

(22) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 10:36 AM

Wow. There's backlash and then there's annihilation, and Robin Thicke's career has just fallen from the former to the latter with the release of first-week sales figures for his new album 'Paula.'

On the humiliating heels of selling only 530 copies in the UK comes news that in...

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Why You Should Bring Your Kid to Grown-Up Music Festivals

(4) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 8:49 AM

"Is that the band from Yellow Submarine?!?"squealed my four-year-old son Emile upon first seeing Man Man at this year's Toronto Urban Roots Festival. It was not an untoward question considering the experimental Philly band's frontman Honus Honus was wearing a blue blazer with military epaulets and a bizarre mask before...

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Dark Side Of Pink Floyd's 'New' Album

(5) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 3:26 PM

The Internet fairly exploded over the weekend with a single tweet from David Gilmour's wife Polly Sampson, revealing a new Pink Floyd album. Well, newish.

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A 1973 Reminder To Appreciate Our American Neighbours

(1) Comments | Posted July 4, 2014 | 12:03 PM

The United States is Canada's strongest political ally and largest trading partner. We cross the world's longest undefended border from both sides to vacation and, often, to live. We are more like each other than we are like any other country in the world, including our shared British parent.

...
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Robin Thicke's #AskThicke Twitter Q&A Goes Amazingly Awry

(2) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 11:34 AM

Just as Robin Thicke apparently underestimated the patience of his estranged wife Paula Patton, so did the Canadian singer underestimate the general public's patience with him when he agreed to a Twitter Q&A with the hashtag #AskThicke to promote his just-released, not-so-subtly named album "Paula."

On the heels of publicly...

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Montreal Jazz Festival Turns 35 With Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin And More

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2014 | 5:42 PM

The Montreal Jazz Festival is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and it's bigger and better than ever with acts ranging from Canadian superstars Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and Rufus Wainwright to alternative heroes Beck, St. Vincent and Violent Femmes to legends like Aretha Franklin, B.B. King and Diana Ross.

...
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Prince's 'Purple Rain' Turns 30: Celebrate With 30 Movie Clips And Cool Covers (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 2:40 PM

Prince may have known he was star back when in 1982 when he first partied like it was 1999, but it wasn't until two years later when "Purple Rain" came out and the rest of it realized it, too.

Filmed in Prince's hometown of Minneapolis, the semi-autobiographical movie featured the...

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