Interview: Raphaelle Standell from Braids

From their early days performing in Calgary as the Neighbourhood Council, the members of the now-Montreal-based Braids have always had a knack for balancing pop hooks with musical sophistication. The band’s third album, Deep in the Iris, is easily their best work to date, a collection of richly textured songs that explore themes of heartbreak, … Continue reading

Duke Ellington and plagiarism: Remixing Brain Pickings

First things first: Go read this Brain Pickings article on Duke Ellington’s habit of remixing/plagiarising his band. And while you’re at it, consider following Brain Pickings if you don’t already, because it is one of the more thoughtful sites out there when it comes to culture and creativity. I wanted to piggyback a little off that post’s … Continue reading

Chelsea Hotel: Leonard Cohen inspires stories

Leonard Cohen is an artist who demands to be reinterpreted. Like the hundreds of remountings and reworkings of Shakespeare, new takes on Cohen’s canon emerge with frightening regularity, with everyone from Johnny Cash to the Pixies covering the bard of Montreal. Maybe it was inevitable, then, that his influence would extend to the world of … Continue reading

Why bother? A response to a question

For the last few months, I’ve been helping to organize a project as a tribute to Chris Reimer, a friend of mine who passed away in 2012. It’s officially taking place through the not-for-profit where I work, the Quickdraw Animation Society, but most of the organizing has happened outside of office hours, and with help … Continue reading

An open letter to Jason Kenney

This is the letter I just sent to the Hon. Jason Kenney, in response to the increase in fees for international touring artists in Canada. As that article makes clear, these changes are going to hit smaller Canadian venues hard. Before people call this an attack on the arts, though, remember–it’s more likely that they … Continue reading

So Good Playlist: January 8, 2013

Well, that was pretty fun. First proper show of the new year, with some pretty unimpeachable tracks in there if I do say so myself. A couple of them are off of free albums, so have a skim through the links scattered below. L.V. Johnson – Don’t Cha Mess With My Money My Honey or … Continue reading

So Good playlists: Christmas and New Year’s Editions

Sorry for the lateness and whatnot. I’m sure you were very concerned. But now that it’s no longer particularly timely or relevant, here’s what I played for my Christmas and New Year’s specials. A Very So Good Christmas Truth be told, I’ve never much cared for Christmas music. But that’s mostly because I never put … Continue reading

Christmas Songs I Don’t Hate: Steve Martin & Paul Simon – Silver Bells

I’m not generally a fan of Christmas music, but since I have a radio show on Christmas Day this year, I’m diving in head-first. Turns out, some of it is pretty alright, and I’m posting a few of the better-but-not-appropriate-for-my-show ones here. This one’s a slight cop-out, since it’s been a favourite of mine for … Continue reading

So Good playlists, December 11 and 18

Yes, I have been derelict, but if you’ve been patiently waiting, here’s what got played on the last couple of shows. Tune in next week for a very soulful Christmas (and keep in mind that I traditionally hate Christmas music, so I’ve gone out of my way to find songs that are actually good. It’ll … Continue reading

Christmas songs I don’t hate: Harvey Danger- Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes)

Harvey Danger is one of those one-hit wonders who actually recorded a lot of great music outside of their (great but overplayed) hit. But even as one of their biggest defenders over the last decade, I had no idea that they had anything remotely Christmas-y under their belt.