// archives

Featured

This category contains 7 posts

Ben E. King – A Soul Man’s Jazz Odyssey

  Fifty years since Ben E. King left the Drifters to start his solo career, his hits are still being covered by everyone from American Idol hopefuls to Michael Bublé to U2. And yet, throughout the past decade, the soul legend with the rough-but-tender voice has kept a low profile, singing in supper clubs and […]

Blue Note’s Cool Cachet

Bruce Lundvall keeps ’em lookin’ as good as they sound   When German emigrés Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff founded the Blue Note record label 70 years ago in New York City, jazz held most of the market for recorded music. Nowadays, it’s decidedly a niche genre. So why do so many artists with mainstream success, […]

Flower Travellin’ Band

Thirty-eight years ago this month, the members of the Flower Travellin’ Band moved from Tokyo to Toronto, poised to take on the world. A little over a year later, they returned to Japan, broke and somewhat disillusioned. But from the Land of the Rising Sun to the land of the ice and snow, rock ‘n’ roll dreams die hard, and now, FTB have returned to take care of some long-unfinished business.

New Technology Helps DJs See the Light

With the advent of inexpensive software, just about anyone can make decent-sounding music on a computer. Performing one’s electronic opus, however, is another matter. Watching producers working laptops or triggering samplers on stage is as exciting as staring at an electronic simulation of paint drying.
Until recently, computer wizards have had two ways to shake up their performances: video projection (which works best if you have a huge budget like Kraftwerk) or hiring people to play “real” instruments and/or sing. Tomorrow night, at Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology, a group of electronic music producers will be presenting a third alternative: the use of new musical instruments which look as appealing as they sound.

Malajube

In 1988, Mitsou’s “Bye-Bye Mon Cowboy” raised more than a few eyebrows in English Canada. But since the pouting starlet herself started singing in English, little of Quebec’s Francophone pop – apart from a smattering of Roch Voisine and a few throwaway lines from Bran Van 3000 – has crossed the province’s border.

Konono N°1: “We sing about love”

Mawangu Mingiedi is around five feet tall; he plays concerts standing stock still and wearing a cloth cap and windbreaker, and his instrument is the thumb piano. And at 73, he is the leader of the world’s ultimate buzz band. Not only is Konono N°1 receiving accolades from hot indie web sites and music magazines, but […]

Coldcut

To survive for 20 years, in a field of music where new sub-genres spring up quicker than fertilized crabgrass, is impressive. To continue to thrive as dance music pioneers is almost unthinkable. And yet Matt Black and Jonathan More, a.k.a. Coldcut, have constantly guided the knife edge of cool.