Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Top Picks of 2010

Hello Friends,

What a great year in music. It finally feels like things are taking a turn for the better across all levels of this business and it's nice to see. Maybe it has to do with less struggle and more open minded artists adapting to their surroundings? Perhaps the collapse of Limewire and new rules surrounding Copywrite Reform are helping? Social media is definitely a big part of it and has brought artists closer to their fans than ever. Twitter allows them to create excitement instantly and that is huge.

Whatever the case it's working and the music that came out in 2010 was amazing.

Like anyone at the end of a year I like to reflect. I have some 'Best of Lists' I'd like to share with you all - and they are as follows...

Top 6 Concerts (5 is never enough)
  1. Roger Waters @ Air Canada Centre
  2. Mumford and Sons @ Lee's Palace
  3. Two Door Cinema Club @ The Phoenix
  4. City and Colour @ The Molson Amphitheatre
  5. Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles @ The Queen Elizabeth Theatre
  6. Polaris Music Prize @ The Masonic Temple
Top 7 Music Videos

  1. Arcade Fire - 'I Used To Wait'
  2. Cee Lo Green - 'Fuck You' *unedited - the way it's meant to be :)
  3. jDiggz feat Neverending White Lies - 'This Time' *very proud to say this is MuchFact :)
  4. White Lies - 'Bigger Than Us' *Look out 2011
  5. Dr. Dre - 'Kush' *The Detox is coming out in 2011 bitches
  6. Eminem feat Rihanna - 'Love the Way You Lie (Part 1)' *These 2 owned 2010
  7. Rihanna - 'Rude Boy'
Top 15 Songs

  1. Foster the People - 'Pumped Up Kicks' *Canada will finally see this one's release in early 2011
  2. Belle and Sebastian - 'I Want The World To Stop' *glorious
  3. Broken Bells - 'High Road'
  4. Two Door Cinema Club - 'This Is The Life'
  5. Shad - 'Rose Garden'
  6. Plan B - 'Stay Too Long'
  7. Kings fo Leon - 'Beach Side'
  8. Gorillaz - 'Meloncholy Hill'
  9. Kanye West feat Jay Z and more - 'So Appalled'
  10. Jay Malinowski - 'Santa Monica'
  11. Dr. Dre feat Snoop and Akon - 'Kush'
  12. B.o.B. feat Hayley Williams and Eminem - 'Airplanes (part 2)' *Eminem's verse is sick
  13. Cut Copy - 'Take Me Over'
  14. Biffy Clyro - 'Bubbles'
  15. Ellie Goulding - 'Starry Eyed'
Top 6 Albums
  1. Stereophonics - 'Keep Calm Carry On' *was only released in Canada in 2010 so can make it
  2. Kings of Leon - 'Come Around Sundown'
  3. Brandon Flowers - 'Flamingo' *it's amazing how a girl can influence me sometimes :)
  4. Kanye West - 'My Dark and Twisted Fantasy'
  5. Arcade Fire - 'The Suburbs'
  6. Broken Bells - 'Broken Bells'

Thanks for reading/listening.

Happy Holidays


Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Still Smiling

Hello Friends,

Last night was one for those great nights in music. The stars aligned and the people came out of the woodwork for a classic sing-along.

The scene was Lee's Palace on Bloor Street in Toronto. The band was The Lowest of the Low and the mood was pure nostalgic bliss.

The night was one of 2 sold-out shows for the band as they celebrated the 20th anniversary to their classic album 'Shakespeare My Butt'. They played the album from start to finish (in actual order) and then played some additional hits. It was wonderful and I'm still smiling.

The best thing was seeing the grins on the band member's faces throughout the whole show. I don't know how they actually sang with those smiles ear-to-ear.

For me personally it was sweet to see so many familiar faces of those whom I admire in this business. People that I had heard of long before I got in to this industry and many that helped me along the way. It was satisfying to see them all happy as a bit of them drifted back to the early 90s in the greatest rock n' roll city in the World. That same city that much of the band's lyrical content is about from mentions of The Carlaw Bridge, Danforth pub 'The Only' and landmark references like "You nearly kissed me blind on Bathurst Street it's true" from 'Bleed a Little While tonight'.

I was 15 years old in 1991 and fondly remember hearing this album on CFNY while tuning in to 'The Thursday 30'. If you're not familiar with this band and album then I strongly suggest a spin from cover-to-cover when you have some time. It's simple - it's catchy and will give you a glimpse into 1990's Canadian music scene. It's guaranteed to provoke some memories of simpler times in music.

"Well I've kissed you in France and I've kissed you in Spain,
I've kissed you in places I better not name,
And I've seen the sun go down on Sacre Coeur,
But I like it much better going down on you,
Ah, you know that's true."

Rosy and Grey - The Lowest of the Low *the whole crowd was singing this one

Here's the closer from the album and show 'Henry Needs a New Pair of Shoes'

Thanks to those of you that put this anniversary together it was excellent.

Thanks for reading/listening,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hi Friends,

So The Beatles (EMI) finally made a deal with iTunes to sell all their music. It's massive and seems to have taken over the headlines with any relation to music and popular culture. They've already sold 450k albums and over 2 million singles.

I work in the entertainment & media industry - so have the working knowledge of what media costs are - and they are high. That being said I would not even begin to guess as to what this total world-wide campaign is worth. Here's a quick bullet point list of some of the media I've seen for this monumental partnership.

  • Homepage placement on
  • Home page rotators on iTunes Music Store in all territories
  • Home page banners, bricks and display ads on iTunes Music Store in all territories
  • Radio ads
  • Television ads
  • Print ads
  • Apple store-fronts
  • Music playing in-stores
  • Facebook Social Ads
  • Tweets galore *The Beatles are following me on Twitter now :)
  • Music playing on call waiting for apple (I heard 2 albums while waiting)
  • Social Media support
These are only the paid components of the campaign surrounding this launch and don't include the content rub-off. This blog alone just got them 3 extra impressions.
My favourite thing about this is that the world gets to re-discover The Beatles all over again or for the first time. It's a win win for everyone.
So now that music sales have gone through the roof who will be the next artist to do a deal with iTunes? Is it going to be Radiohead, Bob Segar or Led Zeppelin?
Here's a couple of beauties I think might sell...
Thanks for reading/listening,
Gregg Stewart
PS - sorry about the formatting on this one - I am at a loss:(