Watching Tom Cruise, who's probably more into soft rock, try to bluff his way through his misguided idea of how a guy in a hard rock band behaves was hysterical and cringe-worthy. It was another reminder that when Hollywood tries to take on rock 'n' roll the results are so off-the-mark that no matter how earnest the intent it usually ends up in the category of farce.
Much has been made of life on the road. One of the things that keeps the craziness at bay, at least for me, are the fleeting but memorable moments that happen every once in a while on tour; the kind of moments that stay with you for a lifetime. Interviewing Tad Doyle for my podcast was something else.
There has been a recent crop of bands that stand in direct audible opposition to this new folk movement, harking back to the awesomely noisy '90s. In order to get what I perceive to be an oncoming trend on solid, noisier ground, I submit 10 lost '90s noise albums for all to search out and let into your lives.
As more self-appointed music critics are able to get their quickly-cobbled thoughts across to a readership/viewership that scrolls and skims more than actually reads, Frank Zappa's famous quote about music journalism becomes ever so appropriate: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."
I will always root for the underdog. Whether it's the Super Bowl or a simple game of Monopoly, whoever's losing will always have my support. It's probably why I got into underground music growing up and quickly realized all the amazing bands were the unheard ones. And nowhere is it more consequential than the world of candy bars.
Toronto is seen as a place filled with rude, cold-hearted, selfish people. I agree with every fiery postulation about the city. And that's why I love it and call Toronto my home. But I've naturally acquired a set of new pet peeves. One of them being that I can't stand it when people stand in doorways. When someone is caught standing in any publicly used doorway, the person behind them should be allowed to legally push them.
To me, there are only two types of music in the world -- good and bad. I like to listen to the good kind. Music is surely relative, but when one looks at the music that gets continually lauded over, be it critically or at a mainstream level, there's usually a complete dismissal of anything remotely hard or heavy. There is for people like me, however, an oasis called The Roadburn Festival.
Oh T-shirts, how I love thee! They have the ability to keep gas in the tank of a band's van and put a meal in front of them while out on the road. Working in an industry that doesn't require one to wear a suit and tie or a uniform with a name tag means there sometimes needs to be other superficial ways to check credibility, status and taste. There are certain shirts that instantly scream cred.
Can all people making music everywhere just agree to never use the word "artist" when describing themselves? After 17 years playing music, I've been labeled an "artist" by others many times, more out of journalistic automation than any sincere intent. Still, each time I've been tagged with this word I consider it a slur.
If you're like me -- a person who doesn't drink or smoke -- people assume you're a recovering drug addict. I definitely experimented, dabbled, even habitually enjoyed for some time, and had a general all-around blast. My main reason for smoking marijuana in the first place was only to enjoy the music. So put this list on and just enjoy, you lucky bastards.
I'm concerned my zeal for Power Records may very well be the beginning of my near-ironic imperial moustache/pork pie hat/monocle phase and that scares me to death. But I think my Power Records collection stems from wanting to creatively re-engage with the superheroes I grew up with while I still can.
This is 40 is a quaint, charming, coming-of-middle-age story. The only problem is that in Paul Rudd's "Pete" character, an indie label owner, I am asked to suspend an amount of disbelief equal to the amount of money that apparently flows so endlessly from his ex-Sony Music employee pockets when it comes to the movie's depiction of the music business.
Recently former Blue Jays baseball player Jose Canseco ventured a tweet announcing his interest in the almost-vacant Toronto mayoral seat. Never mind that Canseco is American and ineligible, and never mind that his steroid past makes him a laughable prospect. What became an easy press field-day revealed a scarier state of affairs -- Rob Ford is just bad enough to make ANYONE seem better as mayor.
"Christmas is all about giving." It's a catchphrase that's been bludgeoned into us since we were kids. It's not politically correct to say, but for most of us Christmas is actually about getting exactly what you want for YOURSELF. Now that the holidays are officially over and stragglers have by now dropped off the last of the presents, it's time to survey the spoils. This year's yield was most fruitful.
Although 2012 was a landmark year for music videos, where "Gangnam Style had one billion hits and bands like "Walk Off The Earth" got 142 million views for simply covering Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know," it was also a year in which the greatest video I have ever seen was released to comparatively little fanfare.
Surprisingly, I've never hated Christmas music and I've always felt the more the merrier. That said, everyone must understand, there's only one Christmas album that matters. To my ears, all other Christmas albums sound like third-rate Chipmunks knock-offs, and that includes the impervious Bing Crosby!