Meta-post: Blog plans

Figured this is as good a time as any to start collecting all my writing (FFWD and otherwise) in one blog. Most of the content here can also be seen at, but if I’m particularly inspired, I might go back and add anecdotes and context to some of the interviews and reviews, more because … Continue reading

Taking back Woodstock

In Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee’s ode to the landmark music festival that has served for 40 years as shorthand for peace, love and good ol’ fashioned youthful rebellion, the case is once again made that Woodstock was a high-water mark for youth culture. A free concert attended by almost 500,000 hippies, freaks and open-minded fellow … Continue reading

Review of Taking Woodstock

(for For a movie about one of the culturally defining moments of the last century (at least in terms of baby boomer nostalgia and the mythology that surrounds it), Taking Woodstock is surprisingly flat. Based on the autobiography of Elliot Tiber, the man responsible for bringing the floundering music festival to the sleepy hamlet … Continue reading

Happy Avatar Day! Granted, it’s not a holiday so much as a bit of publicity-drumming from the marketing department at Twentieth Century Fox, but that’s no excuse not to grab a beer, light some fireworks and watch the just-released trailer for James Cameron’s 10-years-in-the-making follow-up sci-fi fantasy. As an added dollop of holiday cheer, Cameron … Continue reading

The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy (Matador)

These days, it seems like you can’t shake a tree without at least one bearded folkie falling out, picking up an acoustic guitar and recording an album of Neil Young- and Bob Dylan-inspired tunes. While the trend towards stripped-down instrumentation and roots-oriented songwriting isn’t going away anytime soon, at least it’s bearing some sweet fruit.Welcome … Continue reading

Fast Romantics & Secret Broadcast interview

They say great minds think alike. Secret Broadcast and The Fast Romantics were two of the five local bands to win $15,000 from Calgary radio station X92 last year as part of its Xposure contest. There were no strings attached to the money and no guidelines for how it should be spent; just the hope … Continue reading

Wax Mannequin – Saxon (Zunior)

After two albums of dunderheaded bluster and blissfully bizarre twists on hard rock cliché, Wax Mannequin steps away from his “president of indie rock” persona on Saxon. Though not quite a return to the twisted prog-folk of his first two albums, Saxon is a far subtler effort than 2004’s The Price and 2007’s Orchard and … Continue reading

Statistical muddling at the Calgary Herald

I don’t usually get into politics on this blog, but lazy, misleading statistics are a particular pet peeve of mine. Last Friday’s Calgary Herald featured a column on hybrid cars, which pointed to a study on the efficacy of rebate programs in encouraging people to buy hybrids. From the article: “Researchers at the University of … Continue reading

Virgin fumblings: Fest’s Alberta stop gets awkward

With less than a week to go before Virgin Festival’s second Calgary stop, the fest added another 11 bands to the lineup it announced five weeks ago. According to a press release issued on Tuesday, Aug. 4, the new additions include Juno Award-winners Wintersleep, indie-pop collective Library Voices and local rockers Secret Broadcast, Static in … Continue reading