Blog Archive

Monster Rock Orchestra Coming to Mississauga Waterfront Festival

May 29th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

From the press release:

This June, the Mississauga Waterfront Festival will be celebrating it's 16th year by pushing new boundaries.  One of these boundaries will be a free live main stage concert dubbed the "Monster Rock Orchestra". 

This completely new entertainment concept will bring together symphony players and rock musicians to perform in conjunction with the latest laser & graphical water screen technology that has been used live by the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, BET Awards, and MGM Casino in Las Vegas.  

Volkswagen Accused of Musical Plagiarism

May 29th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

These days, just about every TV spot for new vehicles uses some kind of licensed music.  Volkswagen was one of the pioneers of this approach having turned doomed English folksinger Nick Drake's 1972 song "Pink Moon" into something of a hit with this 1999 commercial for their Cabrio.

Volkswagen--or more specifically, their ad agency, DDB--has had much success with this approach over the years.  Everyone from Kings of Leon to ELO to Stereolab have all agreed to let their music be used to sell VWs.

However, not everyone wants to play ball.  DDB wanted to use the Beach House song, "Take Care" for an ad for the Polo.  Beach House, though, "politely declined."  Case closed, right?

This Week’s Top 11 Playlist – 25 May 2012

May 28th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

A couple of friends here in Singapore kidnapped me last night, insisting that I join them for a meal of frog's leg porridge (just like it sounds) followed by durian, which is quite possibly the world's most objectionable fruit. At some point, the topic of music came up.  

Singapore and other countries in SE Asia have no history with rock music:  the sound, the attitude, the social effects, the fashion, gigs, hearing it on the radio--nothing.  This has given many people of certain generations an interesting sense of what they believe to be "good" music.  

"Show me your playlists," I said.  He handed over his phone.  I was appalled.

No Beatles, no Stones, no Zeppelin, no Floyd.  No U2, no Coldplay, no Jack White.  His artist list was populated by Rick Astley, Johnny Gill, Hall and Oates, Whitney Houston--an endless parade of soft AC artists from the 80s.  I wasn't entirely surprised since this is what the radio stations play around here.  It is some of the worst radio I've ever heard in my life.

"I don't see any Adele here.  Don't you like her?"

"Who's Adele?" he replied.  

"You need some schoolin'.  Come to my blog in the morning and I'll give you my weekly playlist of new and cool tracks."

"Will it have any new Air Supply?" he asked.

I clobbered him with a durian husk.  He had it coming.

* * * 

Use the player below or the one in the lower right-hand column.  Every playlist I've ever done--and there's a lot of them--has been archived there.  A full accounting of the artists and songs is available after the jump.  And thanks to Mediazoic for the help.

More Music from the Inbox: 28 May 2012

May 28th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Today is Memorial Day in the US so there's preciously little music news coming out of there today.  But that's okay because this gives us a chance to listen to some brand new music.  

Delivering the final verdicts on this round of reviews is Juliette Jagger.  And after you're done with this post, make sure you read her piece on "Rules of the Mosh Pit," a timely piece of advice considering that we're getting deeper in to the summer concert season.

By the way, Juliette will be on the road to Bonnaroo and promises to report back if she can find a secure Internet connection.  After that, she'll be sleuthing through NXNE, which starts in Toronto on June 11.

Artist: Hill and the Sky Heroes, “Doctor, Doctor”

Album: 11:11

Hill Kourkoutis (singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and filmmaker) is something of a staple in the Canadian industry. Having worked with everyone from The Weeknd to Martha & The Muffins, her voice on this track reveals exactly why. Some people just simply have IT. Everything from her lyrics and their delivery to her overall aesthetic is just so, so bang’n.  [They were part of the Canadian contingent to Singapore for the Music Matters conference, which is where I've been over the last week. They did very, very well! - AC]

Sounds like: Sexy soul content.


Another Wacky British Music Survey

May 28th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

If you've ever spent time with the English media, you'll know that they like to survey the Empire about almost anything.  With QEII's Diamond Jubilee this year, there have already been plenty of polls on matters that have occurred during Her Majesty's sixty years on the throne.

The latest was conducted by HMV.  They asked "What is the best album and the best film produced by Britons since Lizzie ascended to the throne in 1952?"  The winners were something of a surprise--although when you ask a question like this, you know people are going to take the piss with their answers.

Best album?  Iron Maiden's 1982 album, The Number of the Beast, which attracted a total of 55,000 votes. Even though it has sold 14 million albums worldwide, I somehow doubt that "Run to the Hills" is on the Royal iPod.

Why the Cancellation of Lady Gaga’s Indonesian Concert Should Concern Us

May 28th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

This cancellation is bad news.  Having just returned home after a visit to SE Asia, I can tell you definitively that there's more at stake than just a bunch of disappointment music fans.

The status of her Jakarta show was big news in Singapore--and not merely celebrity news, either.  It was a hearts and minds issue and one with serious political and social overtones.  (Rather than rehash everything here, please go back and read the original post.)

In the end, though the hardline Islamic groups have won the day in Indonesia, a country of 240 million that's officially a secular state.  By cancelling the concert--to which 52,000 people bought tickets--authorities have caved to the demands of a religious minority.

Here's the kind of rhetoric we saw from people like Salim Atatas, head of the Islamic Defender Front:  "[Lady Gaga] is a vulgar singer who wears only panties and a bra when she sings and she state she is the envoy of the devil's child and that she will spread satanic teaching."

Really, Salim?  I don't recall her saying any of that.  

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