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.
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.
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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.
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?
The City Harmonic
Truly great musicians defy categorization. They often defy adjectives as well, which makes them difficult to write about. That is where Art Bergmann lies: between the facts and the superlatives.
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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.
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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.
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.
But after experiencing my first SXSW -- watching Generation Z up close, hearing panelists weigh forward on everything from how to make food cheaper and healthier to the prospects for virtual reality and Twitter -- I don't know if I've left Austin with higher hopes for humanity.
Alice in Wonderland continues its comeback streak with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson's audio version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland via Audible Studios, an Amazon company. Audible says, "It tells the story of the young and imaginative Alice, who grows weary of her storybook, one 'without pictures or conversations,' and follows a hasty hare underground -- to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters."
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The Canada connection -- Christopher Plummer, who played the proud Austrian naval hero Captain Georg von Trapp -- was born in Toronto and raised in Senneville, Quebec, on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. Plummer is the great-grandson of John Abbott, who was Canada's third prime minister, and the Abbott family raised the young Plummer after his parents divorced.
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.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival by Diana Duzbayeva
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