As Toronto continues to grow as a global culture hub, Field Trip is emerging as an annual homegrown star that has its roots in celebrating our cities most important asset: us. If Toronto ever wanted a downtown urban internationally relevant festival that celebrates the community, this is it. Chill, approachable, and easy going. A perfect way to enjoy the beginning of summer.
It's quite clear that musical tastes change with each generation and so do the outlets which allow music to be heard. I can understand why new age music might not be readily accepted by the older generation. Our ever changing music industry is constantly expanding into various avenues which make it easier for the average singer or talented artist to be discovered.
In just a few short years, relatively simple technology that enables people to find like-minded individuals with similar tastes in artwork, has eclipsed and then surpassed a 50 year old institution of government. Hopefully, governments will learn the lessons of other industries and choose to embrace this technological advancement for what it is -- the democratization of art
Nirvana did what all great bands do: they made everyone else catch up. Mainstream radio accommodated alternative music's idiosyncracies, in the case of Nirvana the confrontation of Cobain's distorted guitar, vocal roughness, sonic dissonance, and deliberately nonsensical lyrics. Whatever one's view of Cobain, it is undeniable that he set pop music on a new course.
On Wednesday night I was standing four blocks from where three people were murdered. During SXSW, a drunk driver crashed his car into a crowd of people. He killed three and injured dozens more. Definitely a good time for self-reflection. Serenity vs. chaos. In a world where airplanes are stolen out of the sky, I struggle to decipher my feelings about the SX crash.
Fast forward to Sasquatch, and my feelings transcended the euphoria I had previously felt. Suddenly Mumford & Sons were speaking directly to me with this song. Lyrics about being separated from someone you love, despite the chain that binds you, took on a whole new meaning. The universe was speaking directly to me.
I should have cried the night I saw my childhood idol, Bryan Adams, in the flesh for the first time in my life recently in Calgary. Bryan Adams was not in town to perform any concert. He was in town to showcase a very different talent and passion of his -- photography, particularly in the genre of celebrity portraits.
I've even taken to exclusively wearing my Blue Jays hat on tour. Sadly, when people see it they connect it with one person: Rob Ford. Since Mayor Ford has been stripped of virtually all of his power, I thought he may have some time to listen to a fraction of the great music that I think defines Toronto.
A surprise to many, the arts were once an integral part of Olympic games programming, creating a rich legacy of cultural achievement. That's right, gold, silver and bronze for painting, sculpture, music and literature. Early activities also included musical contests and the high profile contest of the heralds and trumpeters.
I've had a weirdly emotional reaction to Pete Seeger's death. Like, way more intense than I would have imagined. I abandoned him when I grew what I thought was a more sophisticated taste in music; his stuff started to seem too plain, too openly earnest, too babyish. Today, though, I've been listening to his songs non-stop, and nearly every single one of them has made my eyes well up.
It was a gruelling schedule. I came to deeply respect the life of the touring musician as I battled reoccurring ear infections and worriedly Googled the symptoms for scurvy after eating at McDonald's three times in one day, and enlisted our coats and bags to construct makeshift bunks on the overnight bus rides.
I love social media. As a recording artist it's a wonderful way to stay connected to the fans. I remember a time when I use to sit in the back of my tour bus and hand write letters back to the fans. I've always enjoyed that connection and social media for me allows the connections to be more immediate and more often.
To preface this story, I have to admit that my relationship with porn has always been a dishonest one. If I was to watch it on the Internet, I streamed it. I have never bought a DVD or subscribed to a website nor financially contributed to the industry in anyway, only stolen from it. Then, one day, porn got me back. Someone on Twitter sent me a link to a porno that used our song. Art-rock is a tricky thing. It's precious. People talk about it like fine art or good wine. It's pretentious, it's serious and not for porn. So the implication was that I should be immediately up in arms. My art was stolen and slapped over some smut film. How dare they defile something I labored over?