One moment, I was in Spain, strolling the Passeig de Gracia, eating tapas and sipping red wine. The next, I was singing for Justin Bieber. Perhaps it was jet lag. Perhaps it was the parade of superheroes that casually strolled by me as I donned my Marie Antoinette wig. Either way, it was the most surreal evening of my life.
In a cyclical way I feel music discovery now is like it was pre-internet, when people bought singles on 45. The internet and technology have made it easier than ever to record, release, download, stream, share, playlist, shazam, post and blog. There is so much music available -- it is really amazing.
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.
Late in 2015 a band called Disturbed released their dark cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence, the song quickly took hold of me and I couldn't get enough of this dark and well done cover of a classic song. Listening to the lyrics I chose to divide each section of the song to a different type of sadness to be found in abandoned houses.
When Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal launched, they were hailed as digital prophets that promised new ways to monetize the experience. Thus far, their solutions have fallen short of fireworks. Just slightly over a quarter of Spotify's 75 million active users actually pay for the service. And, as The Guardian UK reports, despite pulling in €1.08 bn in revenue, its losses were €162.3m. So why are all these promising platforms sinking?
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.
I had it all figured out. I was going to move to New York or L.A., or wherever TB HQ was located, and I was going to stake my claim as the confessor and confidante to the stars. I was going to be besties with the Brat Pack. I was going to go clubbing with the Culture Club. I was going to discuss the literary merits of The Magus with Simon LeBon and be one of the few to know what The Reflex really is. Or not.
Sexual assault against women is rampant. Thousands of women are subject to it, every day, all over the world. Here in North America, where we pride ourselves on fairness and justice, women who make claims of sexual assault are often denied justice and even more often, they're raked over the coals by the lawyers of the men who've been accused.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner I have a confession to make -- I love Calgary. I love the city that I got to grow up in and that I get to live in each and every day. A few weeks ago Calgary loved me back and I wanted to take a few minutes to send out the biggest of thank yous to everyone who helped me feel so wonderful.