England loses World Cup semifinal to Croatia. Fans sing Oasis song to console themselves.

England loses World Cup semifinal to Croatia. Fans sing Oasis song to console themselves.
In moments of immense tragedy, England now seems to have a default song: “Don’t Look Back in Anger” from Oasis. England fans right now. Well, that was a good game between England and Croatia, wasn’t it? See? 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/jjtmMz0maF
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2018 But for the Three Lions, it was yet another catastrophic, disheartening disappointment.

I like this: The Royal Foundry

I like this: The Royal Foundry
This was shot at a sold-out hometown show at the (now defunct) Needle Vinyl Tavern. Check out this live version of “Lost in Your Head” from their debut album of last year. Fresh off their wins at the Edmonton Music Awards, The Royal Foundry has just signed a deal with INgrooves Music Group, which is owned by Universal. Watch for a cross-Canada tour this fall.

Random music news for Thursday, July 12, 2018

Random music news for Thursday, July 12, 2018
Well, this is a different look at Childish Gambino’s “This is America” video. This looks like a good book. As for music news for July 12, 2018…

Speaking of the Rolling Stones, could you pick Mick’s kid out of this lineup? Very, very cruel. This guy is selling 100,000 records for $1 each. Just ask Siri. Very cruel, France. An interesting question: Which music festivals offer the best bang for your buck? It’s a drop in the bucket for them, though. Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage–a right-wing guy if there ever was one–has a podcast called Farage Against the Machine. It’s possible that Apple Music will have more paying users in the US than Spotify by Christmas. Time to delete most of your apps. This is an interesting look at “the subtle art of rap album structure.” (Via Ronald)
A very good luck at the continuing transition from owning to accessing music. The Apple App Store turned 10 this week. More fretting (sorry) over the death of the electric guitar. It’s turning out to be the summer of cannabis schmoozing in Canada, especially at music festivals. Here’s why. Facebook has been fined by the UK for data breaches. Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is selling his San Francisco mansion. Only $13 million USD, too. Ready or not, facial recognition is coming soon to concerts. Watch. Yep. Sonos speakers now work with AirPlay 2, meaning you can stream audio from your iPhone or iPad to your Sonos, among other things. Rage Against the Machine has launched legal action. It’s all about how music fans built the Internet. It’s possible. A Go-Go’s musical–and in the “We Got the Beat” women? Will British music fans succeed in pushing Green Day’s “American Idiot” to #1 on the charts in time for Donald Trump’s visit? If you love vinyl, you’ll want to read this. On this day in 1962, the Rolling Stones played their first gig.

New Music from the Inbox: Polyplastic, Rayland Baxter, Francobollo, and more!

Watch/listen:

Artist: Francobollo
Song: We’re Dead
The stop motion music video for this song is so transfixing and cool that the first time watching the music went over my head. However after a second listen it is more than capable of standing alone as a fun, dynamic, and catchy indie-rock song. Listen:

Artist: Polyplastic
Song: Next Slide
EP: Not No

With unshakeable melodies and thundering drums, Next Slide has an infectious, gritty sound that is instantly loveable. Listen:

Artist: Bedouin Soundclash
Song: Salt Water
Album: Mass
The bright horn melodies that lead this indie-pop song make for an uplifting, summer-y tune that is impossible not to move along to. Artist: Fye & Fennek
Song: Clouds
Plucky strings and thumping drums immediately draw you in while perfectly timed quieter moments make for strong movement that keeps you on your toes and make this song impossible to ignore. Watch/Listen:

Artist: Rayland Baxter
Song: 79 Shining Revolvers
Album: Wide Awake
While this sensitive, expansive ballad takes a look at humanities imperfections, it still leaves the listener with a sweet feeling. Watch/listen:

 
New Music from the Inbox: Polyplastic, Rayland Baxter, Francobollo, and more!

Dead rooms: Toronto music venues that no longer exist

The real estate boom has made it impossible for small venues to survive in the city. Click on the graphic to see the whole thing. However, this renewal often comes at a cost. Cameron Gordon over at Completely Ignored as a fascination with these buildings. And sometimes they have nowhere to go. As a neighbourhood gentrifies, clubs and bars feel the squeeze. And with all the construction in downtown Toronto, a lot of rooms have shut down. This is often the case with music venues. Rising property values lead to rising rents forcing some tenants to either cut back or move out. It’s been terrible in Vancouver for years. A healthy city is always being rebuilt and renewed.
Dead rooms: Toronto music venues that no longer exist

What’s the difference between MP3s and FLAC?

Whether this level of hyperbole over FLAC vs. Outstanding. Legend, Bob Marley and the Wailers: Even though you’ve heard these songs a billion times each, you’ll notice bass notes that weren’t there before. Read this from Digital Trends. Who’s Next, The Who: Did you know that there’s an acoustic guitar all the way through “Won’t Get Fooled Again?” A High-Res version brings it out beautifully. Keep reading. (Hey, Apple! Once you hear the clarity of these recordings (thanks to their higher sample rates), it’s really hard to go back to anything less. For example, you should familiarize yourself as to why is FLAC better than MP3? I have a killer version of Lou Reed’s Transformer album that reveals new details and nuances every time I listen to it. Speakers and headphones must be chosen with care. MP3 has you clamoring to learn more or run screaming, there are some important differences between the two formats, and it goes beyond which one is objectively “better.”
We’re here to break down the strengths and weaknesses of the two for you and explain when you want to use one instead of the other. Ten, Pearl Jam: The mix for songs like “Alive” is far, far more complex that you might realize. Here are five other High-Res Audio albums I can recommend without hesitation. But for the purposes of my personal music library–the music I reserve for serious listening–my digital allegiances have switched to High-Resolution Audio, uncompressed files purchased from sites like HDTracks and ProStudioMasters. Same thing with The Doors’ LA Woman; listening to “Riders on the Storm” in High-Res MQA is to hear the song for the first time. Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits: Perhaps the most exquisitely recorded album of the CD era. And chances are you’re going to want to buy your favourite albums AGAIN in the new format. If you spend enough time reading up on digital audio — and it probably doesn’t take that long — chances are near 100 percent that you’ll encounter someone extolling the virtues of the FLAC format while claiming that MP3 files are a crime against music. When will iTunes and iPhones be able to handle Hi-Res Audio?)
Plunging into this world is not for the faint-hearted. Outside of the discs that come with box sets and the occasional impulse purchase, I’m pretty much done buying CDs. Special audio gear needs to be purchased.   I’ll continue to use MP3 rips and Apple’s AAC files, of course, because they’re just too convenient–and because I have nearly 100,000 songs on my computer. If you’re looking to make the leap, you need to read up on a few things first. But if you truly want to immerse yourself in music, it’s worth it. Before we move on, it’s best to start by explaining the main difference between the two: It all comes down to compression. Graceland, Paul Simon: The more you listen, the more you hear.
What’s the difference between MP3s and FLAC?

Another plea to reverse the decline in the sonic quality of today’s music

Another plea to reverse the decline in the sonic quality of today’s music
What I’m saying is that it’s terribly unfortunate that you’re not experiencing the full glory and power of your favourite music. Far superior. I’ve recently re-invested in a stereo system: a no-nonsense two-channel pile of NAD gear and PSB speakers dedicated to nothing but the serious listening of music. It’s strange that for all our technological advances, today’s music sounds worse–i.e. They attempt to get the best possible audio quality by using high-quality (usually expensive) components in their music playback system. The dynamics, frequency response, clarity and all the nuances found int he recording of the record really makes it seem that Davis is right there in the room with you. People who appreciate high-quality audio (music) are called audiophiles. When I was a teen in the 1970s, a good stereo system was on the wish list of almost every teen I knew. Later this month, my nephew–a music fan who has never heard a proper stereo recording in his life–is coming for a visit. In fact, there are some recordings from the 1950s that are superior in audio quality to anything you might be listening to on Spotify right now. So we filled our bedrooms with stereo components and huge speakers. I learned a quick lesson in audio quality that day. He asked me to play guitar on a few demo recordings he was making. isn’t as sonically pure in a high-fidelity sort of way–than music released in the 70s and early 80s. Then Philips and Sony introduced the CD. It sounded amazing. It was a pale imitation of the multi-track tape on playback. Keep reading. If you think the ultimate music listening experience involves listening to an MP3 sounds good through a pair of Beats plugged into your phone, I actually feel sorry for you. He booked time in the studio and we went in and recorded two songs. Once we finished recording, the studio engineer played back the recordings. Multi-track tape to 1/4″ stereo master tape to cassette tape copy. It sounded good, but the audio quality was not nearly as good as the original. A few days later I got a cassette version of the recording. It was my first opportunity to record in a professional recording studio, so of course, I said yes. I know that sounds condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. I was literally stunned by the audio quality. I had never heard recorded music sound that clear and realistic. Do yourself a favour and find someone with a good two-channel stereo and listen to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. And every 20 minutes we got up and flipped a vinyl album over to play the other side. All you’re getting is a compressed, over-bassy version of it. I plan to blow his mind with high-fidelity. In the early 1980s, I had a friend who was a songwriter. It was a third generation recording.   The fact that it was me playing guitar on those recordings was a life-changing experience for me. If you need more convincing, try this article from Medium. Music was important to us and we wanted it to sound good. The purity of this 1959 recording is nothing short of heavenly.

A classic George Carlin bit: “There are too many songs!”

George Carlin thought there were too many songs out there–and that was 2002, long before we got 40 million songs on Spotify. Overwhelmed by choice? (Via Tom)
A classic George Carlin bit: “There are too many songs!”

Foo for Sale: A visit to the Foo Fighters pop-up store in Toronto

Foo for Sale: A visit to the Foo Fighters pop-up store in Toronto
All photos by Gilles. but our local sportsball team. If you somehow didn’t know the band were playing Rogers Centre on Thursday, June 12th, a visit to the nearby Steam Whistle Brewery in Roundhouse Park definitely would have clued you in. Check things out on Facebook. [Along with the Foo Fighters gig at the Rogers Centre tonight (July 12), the band’s people are manning a pop-up store for a couple of days. I can’t think of a better place to hang out before the former SkyDome’s doors open and Toronto’s own The Beaches hit the stage. There was merch aplenty to be had, most of it not just specific to T.O. Steam Whistle pilsner is delicious, the food at the Roundhouse is great, and there are cornhole games as well as ping pong tables emblazoned with Foo Fighters’ logo set up outside.  
  Makes sense considering they’ll be in what’s normally the home of the Blue Jays, and how it’s also their first-ever stadium show in Canada. – AC]

 
Foo Fighters joined the ranks of artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and most recently Guns N’ Roses by opening a Toronto pop-up shop. Correspondent Gilles LeBlanc went to check it out. The FOOs’ pop-up shop runs until Friday at 4 PM, so if there’s anything you see at the show that you like, you’ll have another opportunity to get down to 255 Bremner Boulevard to get your hands on it. If a T-shirt commemorating the big occasion isn’t your thing, there are rally towels to wave during songs like “Monkey Wrench”, felt pennants to hang in your bedroom after the show and a kickass-looking bobblehead set including new permanent member Rami Jaffee…

…or my personal favourite, a FOO-branded beer bong that I had to talk myself out of purchasing…

What’s more, there was some seriously psychedelic artwork by Kensington Market screenprinter Miles Tsang.

Check Out Jewish Cultural Arts this Summer at the Ashkenaz Festival

Check Out Jewish Cultural Arts this Summer at the Ashkenaz Festival
This year, the festival aims to shine a spotlight on women as prominent performers, innovators and key custodians of various musical traditions from around the globe. Anyone living in and around Toronto knows it is an incredibly diverse city with many festivals to celebrate the various cultures. It’s bound to be an amazing festival, with so much to enjoy and learn about Jewish culture. A number of speakers, musicians, and films will be featured, including Warsaw-based singer Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk presenting a program of interwar Polish cabaret and tango music composed by Jewish musicians, Columbia University professor Agi Legutko lecturing on “Women, Gender and Sexuality in Yiddish Literature,” and a presentation from the music director of Warsaw’s POLIN Museum, Kajetan Prochyra. Furthermore, this year’s Ashkenaz Festival rounds out with literary talks, Yiddish dance programs, cabarets, films, kids and family programs, and an integrated visual arts program. Musicians include: Kevin Breit, Lori Cullen, Aviva Chernick, The Barrel Boys. The Opening Night show, “Yiddish Glory” (August 28, Koerner Hall), features recently discovered rare songs and poetry from the Holocaust era, found in an overlooked archive in Kiev. Over 90% of the programming will be free to the public, the festival features artists from countries as varied as India, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Australia, and Israel. Often the centrepiece of the festival, this year’s free evening mainstage concerts at Harbourfront Centre on Labour Day weekend are no exception. Dozens of critics and journalists across the globe hail the show as a triumph, the gripping and emotional concert experience features the talents of Canadian Jazz-chanteuse-turned-Yiddish-diva, Sophie Milman, along with Russia’s Psoy Korolenko, Trio Loyko, along with many others. On Saturday night (Sept 1, 8-11pm) the Festival focuses on its roots in east European Jewish culture with a double bill of cutting-edge 21st century Yiddish music. These include Montreal beat renegade Socalled, recent JUNO nominee Briga, and Canadian folk music iconoclast Ben Caplan. For a full schedule, you can check out www.ashkenaz.ca/. From August 28 to September 3, the biennial celebration of the evolution of Jewish cultural arts returns: the Ashkenaz Festival. Over 250 international artists will gather in Toronto to showcase an eclectic spectrum of live music, theatre, and multidisciplinary art and culture. The festival also features a number of Canadian musicians in the Jewish culture and music scene. Making his North American debut, Ethiopian-Israeli Gili Yalo will play his reggae-roots-rock and be followed by Yemenite-Israeli sisters A-WA, who use the ancient women’s music traditions of Yemen as the base for their groovy music. On Sunday September 2, the free evening mainstage features two fantastic Israeli world music groups who blend African and Arabic sources to create a moving multicultural fusion. Artistic director Eric Stein comments, “Women have always been central to creating and maintaining Jewish cultural and musical traditions…We are proud to make the vibrant and powerful work of female artists a focal point of this year’s festival”. This trio became the first ever to score and Arabic-language number one on the Israeli music charts with “Habib Galbi”. Celebrating the 12th biennial Festival, Ashkenaz will be holding events at venues across the GTA, including: Harbourfront Centre, Koerner Hall, Lula Lounge, and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. They will be followed by the North American premiere of Australia’s pile-driving 22-piece YID!, inspired as much by Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads as they are by old-school big band and old-world klezmer. Another part of the festival explores the Polish-Jewish experience from a variety of perspectives. With a lineup of artists from within and beyond the Jewish music scene, the iconic Cohen’s writing is lovingly reinterpreted with particular attention paid to the Jewish themes in his works. Another highlight includes “If It Be Your Will: An All Canadian Tribute to Leonard Cohen” (August 30, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts). With a number of significant historical anniversaries this year, a focus on Poland will emphasize the deep and intertwined cultural legacies of Poles and Jews. Teaming up with Grammy-winner Frank London (The Klezmatics) and his Klezmer Brass All-Stars, singer and actress Eleanor Reissa will play a sultry and incendiary set of new Yiddish song with downtown NYC avant garde attitude.

Random music news for Friday, July 13, 2018

Want to buy Prince’s bible? Simon LeBon of Duran Duran is now dealing with a sexual assault accusation from 1995. Here’s the second of them. Remember when Beck released an album that was really just sheet music? What was it like to manage Justin Bieber during the time he was going crazy? This. Lots of broken ribs, a punctured lung and more. Rumour: Apple is planning to revamp the entire Mac lineup by the end of the year. On the topic of The Purple One, what will Prince’s band The Revolution do now? Let’s find out. There are two Friday the 13ths this year. Here’s how to deal with that idiot next to you who JUST WON’T SHUT UP when the band’s on. It’s for sale. Remember that 2011 FBI report on how Juggalos could be classified as a “gang?” That report has been declassified. Paraskevidekatriaphobics can rest easy for the rest of 2018. Ozzy and Sharon: The movie. Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood has done the same. This new book on Google looks interesting. And you can rent Frank Sinatra’s Malibu house for $110,000 a month. I like this headline: “Music analytics in 2018: ‘Data will tell you what’s hot, but not what is good.” Read all about it here. Moo fighters. No appeal in the “Blurred Lines”/”Got to Give It Up” copyright infringement case. Del the Funky Homosapien really hurt himself when he fell off the stage at the Gorillaz show.
Random music news for Friday, July 13, 2018

How much does streaming dominate the music industry now? Take a look at this.

No more manufacturing, transporting, warehousing and distributing. They’ve all seen the light: streaming is the way to go–and it’s the way to make money. Statista has this chart which pretty much speaks for itself. Most record labels would just love it if CDs were to disappear tomorrow.
Take a look at this. How much does streaming dominate the music industry now?

Can you spot the weaknesses in this dumb musical lawsuit?

Can you spot the weaknesses in this dumb musical lawsuit?
How tone deaf can you be when it comes to a big corporation beating up on a little bitty band? Like the chain itself, it took its name from the Rolling Stones song. If you’re a connoisseur of casual dining, you may have encountered a restaurant chain called Ruby Tuesday. People around the planet are laughing at the restaurant chain. A lawyer has agreed to help out with the case. Keith Richards wrote it about his then-girlfriend, Linda Keith. Quick fact: The Rolling Stones had no recourse when it came to the name of the restaurant chain because song titles cannot be copyrighted or trademarked.  
  They received a letter from a San Diego law firm called Mintz Levin. And it gets better. Therefore, does this really constitute “playing off the name” of the restaurant? Ruby Tuesday (the restaurant chain with 540 locations and assets approaching $1 billion) is suing Ruby Tuesdays, a five-piece very broke band from Wollongong, Australia, with lifetime revenues of about $1,000, for $2 million. The company also demands that the band destroy all merch and other items that feature the name “Ruby Tuesdays.”
I have some questions:

What would possess the company to pursue such a crazy legal action? Talk about free publicity, right? Whoa. What does an indie band have in common with a company that sells burgers? In fact, the knowing adoption of a mark intending to play off a well-established mark is among the most egregious of trademark violations, warranting courts to apply the harshest of consequences. The name of the band is “Ruby Tuesdays”, not “Ruby Tuesday.” Doesn’t that count? The good news? In fact, up until that letter arrived, they claimed never have ever heard of the place. The band–headed up by a 33-year-old schoolteacher–is getting worldwide press as they fight back against the lawsuit. They’ve timed the release of their debut album, Wooden Moon, just right. Godspeed, my friends. However, the name of a restaurant can. A bit heavy-handed, dude. Although the restaurant’s appropriation of the song title is legal, adds a certain level of hypocrisy to the situation, doesn’t it? The band didn’t name itself after the restaurant chain. It reads in part:
While many artists pay tribute to other artists through imitation, when it comes to imitating famous trademarks, only Ruby Tuesday is entitled to the goodwill of its mark. There’s plenty, actually. Now, there’s a problem. Since the company’s founding in 1972, a number of bands have adopted the names Ruby Tuesday or Ruby Tuesdays with nary a peep from the Rolling Stones or the restaurant’s head office. They can’t keep their merch in stock. And yes, founder Samuel Beall III was a fan of the Rolling Stones, especially, we can assume, the song of that name released in 1966. And if they’re not laughing, they’re disgusted by this use of power against the powerless.

Behold GayC/DC. They’re a gay AC/DC tribute band.

Behold GayC/DC. They’re a gay AC/DC tribute band.
Songs include “Whole Lotta José,” “Dirty Dudes Done Dirt Cheap” and, er, “Let There Be Cock.”
Read more at Loudwire. Here’s another band to add to the list of tribute acts with a twist. GayC/DC is the long lasting (est. early 2000s) LA-based group that puts a same-sex spin on the Thunder from Down Under.   Note that guitarist Karl Rumpf wears a schoolgirl outfit and that the drummer is named Phellatio Rudd.

A drum solo with a twist

A drum solo with a twist
Nice meter, too. (Thanks to Danny for the link.) Impressive, dude. I can’t imagine how long it took this guy to get this down.