Women are under-represented in lots of professions, but music and the arts are generally thought to be areas where there is at least a modicum of equality. In rock music, for instance, the battles have been fought -- and largely won -- over gender parity, a plethora of female musicians (guitarists, drummers etc) proving that women can rock just as well as men.
As a young woman in a band I was patronised by sound men, literally kicked by roadies who saw us sitting down in a corridor and assumed we were groupies when we were locked out of our dressing room at Brixton Academy. I was laughed at for being ugly in the music press. The NME said they would put our band, Kenickie, (three 18-year-old women and one guy) on the cover if we got naked and painted ourselves gold.
I have been to the Air Canada Centre (ACC) countless times for sold out sporting events and big ticket concerts. Never have I experienced mayhem in the hallways like I did at Sir Paul McCartney's sold out Out There tour in Toronto.
If you're a fan of the iconic musical duo, Indigo Girls, then like me, you have a version of yourself that you can't help but launch straight back to the very second you hear the first note of one of their vintage songs. For me, it's a sunburned, cutoff-wearing, 19-year-old version.
I'm beyond grateful for all the experiences I've had in the music industry, all the people I've met along the way and especially grateful for the lows for making me who I am today. I often look back and think I've wasted so much time, but I'd probably have nothing to say had I not spent the last 15 years falling in and out of love with the very thing that consumed me as a teenager.
This was my first Madonna concert and, having grown up on her music, I was very excited. Of course, I was also very excited to go see "The Matrix Reloaded."
The first concert I ever attended was at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in the summer of 1998. Hanson was making their Toronto debut as part of the band's inaugural Albertane tour. I proudly memorized every song on that neon orange Middle of Nowhere CD. Fast forward two decades. Hanson is currently gearing up to embark on their 13th tour.
We all condemned the French magazine who published topless photos of Kate Middleton on holiday a few years ago, but put Justin Bieber in the same position and suddenly it's fair game?
The problem with this particular group of guys isn't that they invoked the Vietnam War at all, it's that they did it for a really shitty reason. To suggest that any subject matter be restricted to any artist is a low-key expression of censorship and should be resisted. Politically sensitive, controversial imagery needs to be available; to declare it off-limits infantilizes the role of music and art, and our expectations from it.
The NMC should enhance the musical landscape in Calgary by becoming a focal point for activity, and create a bridge to the music industry across the country. It will be a hub for community events and activities in Calgary's East Village, a key part of that area's redevelopment. It will spur cultural tourism and likely be a catalyst for employment in commercial music and related sectors.
What seemed to be an experiment of sorts in fact created lasting impressions inspiring new friendships with strangers and proof that authentic moments are indeed possible within the "shiny penny syndrome" many call real life.
When I first saw Demi Lovato's Vanity Fair cover this weekend, I applauded her. As a woman who has battled body confidence issues for most of her life and has spoken extensively about her eating disorder, Lovato has finally made peace with her appearance, celebrating with a naked, un-retouched photoshoot.
As the summer draws to a close, we look forward only to the rigidity of back-to-school bro-fests organized by student unions. The life of a touring musician is far from glamorous, summer festivals or winter club shows. But at the end of the day that adrenaline rush of playing a show -- any show -- makes it all worthwhile.
At a time where most of the major music festivals are seriously lacking in diverse talent, Riot Fest somehow managed to showcase one of the year's more varied and unusual collections of musicians despite (or perhaps because of) its punk-centric ethos.
I used to watch award shows when a lot of the hype was about which artist won and who performed the best. Some of the most buzz-worthy parts of the show would include an artist doing something pretty impressive. This year's MTV Video Music Awards were a little different. I'm not sure if I saw anything impressive, but I did have at least five moments where I was thinking "WTF?"
"The thing I really loved about it was that at Shambhala, it doesn't matter how you look, what you wear and who you are. Everyone's there to have a good time and to dance the way they want to dance."