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Archive for February, 2014

Concerts From Coast to Coast: March 2014

Posted on: February 27th, 2014 by Ripple Creative Strategy No Comments

By James Sandham27

I know they say you shouldn’t wish your life away, that you should live in the here and now, but when it’s been a winter like this one you’d have to be crazy not to wish it was finished. So let’s look ahead to brighter days – or, at least to slightly less frigid ones – and to all of the good shows we’ll be able to see next month. Without further ado, here are the top five shows to see from coast to coast in March, featuring Canadian Music Hall of Famers Buffy Sainte-Marie, Randy Bachman and more!

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VANCOUVER – PUP @ THE MEDIA CLUB – MARCH 3

By this point in the season, winter has probably left you feeling pretty apathetic. That’s why a good shot of solid energy is just what the doctor ordered. Here to deliver it, right into your carotid artery, is PUP, one of Toronto’s most exciting, up-and-coming punk groups. Not only has the band been praised by Stereogum as one of the 40 best new bands of 2013, but it also picked up a Bucky Award for Best Live Show from CBC Radio 3. You’ll be able to experience that show yourself as PUP returns to North America hot off their European tour to make a quick stop in Vancouver before heading down the West Coast of the United States. Get a sense of their performance from the video below.

PUP – “Reservoir”

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EDMONTON – YES @ JUBILEE AUDITORIUM – MARCH 24

Perhaps you’re not quite ready to emerge from your period of winter hibernation, or at least not quite ready for the force and alacrity of a PUP concert. Perhaps you’re in Edmonton, wondering why you live somewhere where the air hurts your face and feeling in the mood for a little bit of prog-rock. Well, it just so happens that those titans of the 1970s prog-rock scene, the one and only Yes, are playing the Jubilee Auditorium on March 24. Better buckle up, because things are about to get cosmic.

Yes – “Roundabout”

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WINNIPEG – BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE @ WEST END CULTURAL CENTRE – MARCH 4

This year’s Winnipeg Folk Festival may not officially start until July 9, but those who are eager to shake off the winter cobwebs and get into the swing of spring will be happy to know that the festival is making a special presentation on March 4. JUNO Award winner, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee, former “Sesame Street” cast member and PhD educator Buffy Sainte-Marie will be performing at West End Cultural Centre. It’s general admission, so get your tickets quick.

Buffy Sainte-Marie – “Darling Don’t Cry”

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TORONTO – RANDY BACHMAN @ MASSEY HALL – MARCH 15

Famous faux-stutterer and recent Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Randy Bachman will perform an intimate show on March 15, inspired by his award-winning CBC Radio program “Vinyl Tap. He’ll tell the stories behind the iconic songs of both The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, including “These Eyes,” “Takin’ Care of Business” and “American Woman.” Accompanied by a stunning multimedia backdrop, it’s sure to be a fascinating journey through Canadian rock ’n’ roll history.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

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MONTREAL – BLUE RODEO @ SALLE WILFRID-PELLETIER – MARCH 2

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame’s 2012 inductees, Blue Rodeo, seem to be doing alright these days. Not only were Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor appointed officers of the Order of Canada this year, but the band has also been named Canada’s 2014 Record Store Day Ambassadors. Plus, they’re up for a JUNO Award next month – for Group of the Year, no less! But you don’t get all of these accolades without working tirelessly, which is why the band is currently out in support of its latest album, In Our Nature, the group’s 13th studio release. You can catch them in Montreal on March 2, the final stop of the tour.

Blue Rodeo – “Try”

This Week in Music History: February 24 to March 2

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Ripple Creative Strategy No Comments

By Adam Bunch

The Bodyguard (left); Alanis Morrisette (right)

THE CANADIAN BEHIND THE BODYGUARD SOUNDTRACK

Plenty of people remember how popular the soundtrack to The Bodyguard was, and with good reason: it’s the highest selling movie soundtrack of all time. Fewer people, however, remember that the music in the film had a strong Canadian connection: it was produced by Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee David Foster.

Foster was born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1949, and got his big break in the music industry by joining Chuck Berry’s band while he was still just a teenager. But it’s as a producer that he’s made his biggest mark. Foster has worked behind the scenes for many of the most famous pop stars in the world: Beyoncé, Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Barbara Streisand, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, The BeeGees, Celine Dion, and the list goes on and on and on. He is, without a doubt, one of the most popular and successful record producers of all time.

His biggest hit ever may very well have come with The Bodyguard. It was Foster who produced and arranged Whitney Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” turning the country tune into an R&B ballad. The song quickly became one of the bestselling singles in the history of recorded music. It even set a record by sitting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 straight weeks. It became the defining song of Houston’s career, following her not only for the rest of her life, but beyond: it was played as her coffin was carried out of the church at her funeral in 2012.

The song wasn’t Foster’s only contribution to the soundtrack. He also produced several other songs and co-wrote the album’s second-biggest hit, “I Have Nothing.” When the Grammy Award ceremony was held during this week in 1994, Foster cleaned up. That night, he won four awards for his work on The Bodyguard: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s).

Those awards are in no danger of getting lonely. Foster has won a grand total of 16 Grammy Awards over the course of his career. His most recent came in 2011 for his work with Michael Bublé.

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A BIG NIGHT FOR CANADIANS AT THE GRAMMYS

Of course, David Foster is far from the only Canadian to clean up at the Grammys. Another big night for Canucks came just two years after Foster won his awards for The Bodyguard soundtrack. At the ceremony held during this week in 1996, Alanis Morissette followed suit, winning four awards, including Best Rock Album for Jagged Little Pill. And she wasn’t alone. Canadians took home 11 Grammys that year, everything from Best Pop Album for Joni Mitchell’s Turbulent Indigo to Rob Bowman’s liner notes for a soul box set.

This Week in Music History: February 17 to 23

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by Ripple Creative Strategy No Comments

By Adam Bunch

JONI MITCHELL CALLS IT QUITS FOR THE FIRST TIME

During this week in 1970, Joni Mitchell was at the top of her game. She’d already released two full-length albums by that point. Her third, Ladies of the Canyon, was just about to follow them, featuring one of her most famous songs ever: “Big Yellow Taxi.” In a few weeks, she’d be winning her first Grammy Award. Even other artists were finding success with her songs; the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young version of “Woodstock” would hit No. 1 later that year.

But as Mitchell stood on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, she announced that she’d had enough. This, she said, would be her very last live performance.

Luckily, Mitchell changed her mind. She’d be back on stage playing some of her biggest shows ever in just a few short months. That summer, she was one of the headliners at the Isle of Wight Festival, along with The Who, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix (just a couple of weeks before he died). It was hailed as the largest concert of its time – bigger, even, than Woodstock. Later that year, she would even return to that very same stage at the Royal Albert Hall, playing a show with her new boyfriend, James Taylor.

Since then, Mitchell has occasionally announced her retirement again. But thankfully, more than 40 years later, she’s still performing from time to time. She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1981.

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A THROAT-SINGING INUKTITUT OPERA

It was, oddly enough, a Welshman who composed the groundbreaking 1990 opera Tornrak. In fact, the Welsh National Opera commissioned it. But the composer, John Metcalf, was living in Canada at the time. He was working as the artistic director of the music theatre department at The Banff Centre, living high among the Rocky Mountains. His third opera, he decided, would unite his British roots with his new Canadian home. He based it on the true story of an Inuit girl who saved the life of a British sailor while he was stranded in the Canadian Arctic during the mid-1800s – and the racism and hardship she faced after he took her to live in England.

The opera combined Western music with Inuit throat singing. The English-language libretto was mixed with long sections that had been translated into Inuktitut, and while the lack of indigenous performers would certainly raise questions of cultural appropriation today, at least one of the performers who did appear in Tornrak travelled to Iqaluit to learn throat-singing techniques in person.

The opera had its “official premiere” in the Welsh capital of Cardiff before heading out on tour to visit six English cities over the course of the summer of 1990. But it was during this week of that year that Tornrak had its very first performance – at The Banff Centre – before it headed across the Atlantic.

Image: Joni Mitchell (left, via Tumblr); Tornrak performed at The Banff Centre (right, via the homepage of Christopher Leon King)

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