I didn't want to think about a Canada without Gord Downie. So when the texts and emails rolled in, I reverted to pragmatism. I thought instead about the band's last tour and how difficult it will be to snag tickets. I told co-workers that The Tragically Hip are magic in concert.
Feel good sadness. Nostalgia music. Quintessentially Canadian. That's what the Tragically Hip was to us when we were in high school in the 90s. Gord Downie's voice was omnipresent, whether it was a bush party, a school dance, on the way to a buddy's cottage, or at the cottage having a few beers and sitting on the dock.
Wherefore art thou, then, Shoegazing? Well, despite innate protestations to the contrary, music requires pigeon holes. Music journos need pigeon holes as a convenient shorthand, record junkies crave pigeon holes, almost certainly more than pigeons do. So, what do we have?
Today's modern marriage is challenging enough without the added stress of a complete and total clash in musical tastes, and yet that's exactly what my husband and I have managed to endure during our union of over 32 years.
What truly sets Prince's estate apart from most deceased musicians is what he left behind: a personal vault of 2000 works of unreleased music. To put it in perspective, there is enough music to release one album every year for the next century. I know what you're thinking: What will happen to all of this music, and will we ever hear it?
Rihanna was once the world's preeminent pop star. And yes, I use past tense. Despite having her hit "Work" firmly ensconced at number one for the past two months, a stat that ties her with the Beatles as second only to Mariah Carey for most weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Rihanna has recently transcended pop stardom.
Reggae pioneer bass player and singer Leroy Sibbles knows what it means to take that boomerang ride. Born and raised in Jamaica, he moved to Toronto in 1973, married and became a citizen. That was then, now he is back living in Jamaica and visits The Big Smoke whenever he can.
Where are our friends and fans of black music and black people when the partying stops and the subject turns to the reality of being black? When I attend concerts for some of these artists, non-blacks are the ones front and centre, filling more than half of the seats. Switch to a Black Lives Matter march... these folks are nowhere to be found
There has been a lot of praise across social media for Prince since the news of his death. Even as I write this, I can't quite come to terms with that phrase. As he would say, "something in the water does not compute."
Today I'm making a pledge to myself and my fellow global citizen. I will try to educate myself before I express myself. I will try to learn before I teach. I will try to listen before I shout. I will do my best to help find solutions. When I disagree, I will do so with respect and grace. I will try to be a better man. I will rise up. Will you?
This is a model that Toronto's exports have seemed to follow for years -- when one artist breaks, so do the communities that have birthed them. While not entirely unique to Toronto, it's certainly a trend that has planted roots there and helped grow Canada's music scene immensely, one [Broken Social] scene at a time.
No one can say for certain how many concert works by Canadian composers have been heard at the White House. We do know the University of Toronto's Matthew Emery was surprised in December to learn -- after the fact -- that he had written one of them.
When one thinks of Jamaica, two things immediately come to mind and it's not Bob Marley and Usain Bolt this time around. Rather, it's dancehall music and homophobia -- two things which are one and the same.
So it was quite shocking when Jamaicans and residents from other Caribbean islands learned that the son of Mr. Ninja Man, a popular dancehall artist, was gay.
They were using their talents and resources to pursue their passions. We often celebrate young people (think Bill Gates for instance) for doing this in other businesses and personal pursuits, but it takes on a very different tone when young black men from stigmatized areas take an unconventional path and invest their energies into it.
In an age where the majority of pop artists are scared to have an opinion, scared to look foolish, scared to act in a way that will draw attention to themselves, or away from their music, Susan Boyle feels like a beacon of authenticity.
One of the contenders in this category is Hamilton, Ontario's own band The City Harmonic. The band is composed of four worshipers from four small churches who began by singing hymns and spiritual songs. Since then, The City Harmonic is no stranger to success, having won its first Juno in 2013.