Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dear 2011...

Hello Friends,

As 2011 came to a close I took time to write down some of the personal highlights. 2011 reminded me many times why it is I got into this business. Magical moments, special places, awesome people and of course the music itself. I'm very lucky.

I have no problem asking the question "What are you listening to these days" as I truly am interested but when someone asks me that same question I find myself visualizing my iTunes, iPod, CD and Rdio collections. It's never an easy thing to answer as I find my appetite for new music growing with each passing year. The most recent albums I find myself going back to are Amy Winehouse's - 'Lioness: Hidden Treasures', Drake's - 'Take Care' and The Jezabels - 'Prisoner'. Oh yeah - and these 2 tracks Gotye and Azealia Banks but I digress.

2011 didn't disappointed and so I took a stab at listing a few things I did this year as a recap.


Much like any January you struggle to get back into things and set goals for the year ahead. It's a time for lots of club shows in Toronto and this year was no exception.

The highlight for this particular January was having The White Lies come through and play in the MuchMusic studio on a Friday night. The band had just released their sophomore album 'Ritual' which featured some fantastic hits including 'Strangers' and 'This Is Bigger Than Us'. Probably the best video released in 2011 BTW.


February is always a favourite of mine as it's the month I was born. It's that much closer to Spring and it's far enough away from the beginning of the year that you're back in the swing of things.

This February was simply exciting as Scotland's own Biffy Clyro were coming to town. Not only were they playing The Garrison but they were also coming to perform on MuchMusic. It was 2 days of pure energy and epic performances. I barely recall The Garrison show as a bunch of us made a night of it with the boys from the band. Classy Scotsmen with a great sense of humour and the ability to melt your face off on a stage. Please give this song a spin as it's one of my favourites of all time now.

February saw The Streets released 'Computers and Blues' in North America. When I had first heard of The Streets back in 2002 I was floored. This guy's beats and story telling ability are mind blowing. He's released 5 full length studio albums and this was said to be his last. It's a shame as each was a story taking you on a roller coaster ride throughout. This final one did just that as it showed a maturing Mike Skinner as he prepared to become a father in tunes like A Blip On The Screen. I hope it's not his last album - but if it is then he has gone out on a high note in my books.


Like every March the Canadian music industry comes to The Royal York in Toronto for Canadian Music Week. It's the one time of the year that you see everyone face-to-face and get to share the new music. There are dinners and of course the festival portion where bands from around the World come to showcase their music.

This year I saw Bombay Bicycle Club for the first time. I was introduced to them and didn't think anything of it. I wish that I could go back to that moment now as their album 'A Different Kind Of Fix' has become one of my favourite albums from the year. Do yourself a favour and give this track a spin.

From Canadian Music Week I flew to Austin Texas for my virgin year at South By South West Music Festival. Now if you've never been I can't express how amazing it is and how you must at least experience this once if you like music at all.

It's hot, it's hip and the city has a pulse like nothing I've ever seen before. 6th Street in Austin is literally hundreds of bars that showcase thousands of acts over the course of a week. From the second you walk out of your hotel to grab a coffee at 9am - until the moment you put your head down to sleep - it's all music all the time. Oh yeah and majority of it's free.

From outdoor shows featuring The Strokes to indoor afternoon showcases with City and Colour and of course the famous Stubbs BBQ. I discovered enough music for a lifetime on this trip and enjoyed every second of it. Artists like Eliza Doolittle, Data Rock, Tinie Tempah and The Boxer Rebellion were a few that won me over. I also had the pleasure of experiencing this with my best friend and girlfriend Raffy - so SXSW is a standout for the year for sure.


Adele is the clear winner when it comes to music sales in 2011. She deserves it and everyone should own this new album '21'.
I had the pleasure of seeing her twice this year including her sold out show at Air Canada Centre and a special intimate performance at MTV's Masonic Temple - WATCH THIS. Adele is the Queen.


Summer means the MuchMusic Video Awards and that means many long days at work. It's also the most exciting time of the year as this show is World class and right in our backyard. The weekend itself starts at 7am and each night ends around 2am. It's well worth it and makes that beer taste that much better Sunday night once it's a wrap.

This year's awards proved to be the biggest to date and boasted the likes of Justin Bieber, Drake, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, The Black Keys and Far East Movement featuring Snoop to name a few. It was magical and made me very proud to be involved. Bring on June 2012:)

As tiring as The MMVAs are - I knew that the next day would also be a lengthy one. Liam Gallagher's band Beady Eye were in Toronto for their first show post Oasis. It wasn't the best show, by any stretch, but damn does that man know how to command an audience. My label friends invited me to join them after the show and say hello to the band including the man himself Liam Gallagher. We stuck it out to no avail and decided to call it a night at around 2am.

The next morning I received a call from the record label inviting me to the penthouse of The Four Seasons to meet the band as they did interviews with local press. I jumped on it and shared conversations with band members over coffee and muffins. The elevator door then opened as Liam sauntered out wearing John Lennon sunglasses and a ridiculous Peter Pan haircut. He walked right over and shook my hand. He was in fine form and answered all his interview questions with sarcasm and attitude. We then took a quick photo and I got the hell out of there as to leave on a high note without making an arse of myself. I had just met rock royalty and it was perfect. Thank you Darryl, Moe and Matt - it truly was a highlight.


I would say that Saskatoon band The Sheepdogs had a pretty amazing year is an under statement. They entered a contest to be the first unsigned act to grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and won. The build up was long and this band worked to earn every bit of it. From Bonaroo, SXSW, Jimmy Fallon, The MMVAs and across Canada a couple of times to the rooftop of The Empire Hotel in NYC.

The band received the nod from Rolling Stone at a lavish party in Manhattan atop the roof of Chuck Bass' hotel. Ice T and Coco were on hand as was Larry David and music executives from across America. Oh and lots of pretty ladies. The band walked red carpets with style and grace and showed international press class and rock all in one.

Our cameras were on hand to capture it all for a special entitled 'Under the Cover with The Sheepdogs'. That meant I too was in NYC for their crowning and I can safely say that the after party under the hotel was epic. The jukebox was cranked and the Jager was flowing. The next 2 days hurt but it was well worth it as these things don't happen all that often.

The band have since gone on to sell out tours, sold a Gold record in Canada and are currently in the studio with Patrick Carney from The Black Keys as he produces their follow-up album. Congrats to these guys and their team...can't wait to see what comes next.


Summer Stage Central Park is a pretty fantastic event. It's a free concert series each summer that showcases some of the World's biggest names to up-and-coming acts like Naked and Famous and Cults.

I was at a few but this one muggy day in August was pretty wild. Friendly Fires, The Naked and Famous and Cults on one bill in a park filled with hipsters on the hottest day I can remember. These 3 acts can be found on most 'Best of' lists the World over.


Summer was still in full swing as September hit. Pearl Jam were coming to town for shows as well as to introduce a film at TIFF. The movie entitled PJ Twenty Movie was directed by none other than Cameron Crowe and is a must see if you lived through the 90s.

The day I saw this film was special as Sony Music invited media partners to a screening and then took us by bus to Air Canada Centre to see the band in concert. I must have listened to this song 100 times since that night. Pearl Jam were my Nirvana and define the early part of my high school life. Thanks for this day Stephen and JD.

September was also the month for Canada's annual Polaris Music Prize to be awarded. I was asked to be on this year's Grand Jury - meaning I was 1 of 10 members that had the final vote to determine the winner. I wrote about this back in September, as seen here, but have to reiterate that it was truly the purest and most amazing experience I've had in my career. The people, the music and the process were picture perfect.


I have a ticket stub for El Macambo that says Mumford & Sons from February of 2009. The venue got changed at the last minute and it was moved to Lee's Palace based on the buzz. Who would have known that 2 years later they'd be selling out Air Canada Centre on that very same album?

That night in October was great - but the best part was seeing friends from the record company including Randy, Tony, Deddy, Ivar, Paul, Madelaine as well as Daniel Glass, of Glassnote Records, smiling from ear-to-ear. It was a U2 sized moment and the crowd hung on that band's every note.


The other Oasis brother brought his own project 'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' to Toronto in early November. His first stop was a secret show at Virgin MOD Club were I stood centre of the room with my brother and 2 friends singing every track word for word. We may or may have not gone to Mag Pie on Dundas Street after the show from a twitter tip that he was going for a drink.

That Monday was the first of his 2 sold out nights at Massey Hall. It was incredible to see him belt out new tracks and some Oasis classics like 'Supersonic', 'Wonderwall' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. He's my favourite songwriter of all time and so these few days were among the best of the year by far.

November also brought me to London, England for a few days with my friends at EMI. It was a showcase for new acts on their roster and it was at none other that Abbey Road Studios.

I had goosebumps walking into studio 2 as it's the room in which some of music's greatest records were created. From The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, U2, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Oasis, Travis, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stevie Wonder this floor has seen hundreds of artists write and record anthems, ballads and HITS. It was religious and will be a moment I shall cherish forever. Thank you Nathan and Paul.

Bucket list - Go to Abbey Road Studios - CHECK

The year ended much the way it began - with great music. The Kooks were in town and tore the roof off Sound Academy on front of the most amazing crowd I'd ever seen in this city. Lead singer Luke is a rockstar, as seen here, and it was the perfect show to end 2011.

This year taught me that the music industry's future is in good hands. The people working in music today are in it for one reason and it's the right reason - they truly do love the music.

Thank you for the memories and here's to 2012.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Top 10 Albums of 2011

Hi Friends,

I realize there's still a few weeks left in 2011 - but when I take a look at new release schedules I feel confident in declaring 'My Top 10 Albums of 2011' as of December 5th.

It's been another great year for music with releases by some of the biggest acts around the World. Artists like Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Fucked Up, Bon Iver, Feist, Radiohead, Jay Z & Kanye West, The Strokes, Cults and Naked and Famous to name a few - all dropped amazing albums in 2011.

For me it was the following 10 albums that stood out over the past 12 months...

  1. Adele - '21' - If this doesn't win the Grammy for album of the year then something is wrong. Hands down the finest album in 2011

  2. Drake - 'Take Care' - Drizzy Drake has released an epic album the likes of Eminem's 'Marshall Mathers LP'. This album raises the bar for R&B and Hip Hop going into 2012. A perfect album.

  3. The Weeknd - 'House of Balloons' - Believe the hype and download this one if you haven't already. It's like listening to the TV series Skins play out on your headphones.

  4. Beyonce - '4' - She's a Queen and this album should be in every one's collections. If you like music then this album is for you - it's that simple.

  5. Arkells - 'Michigan Left' - Holy shit. I put this one on the back burner at first. Mistake. It's one of the finest Rock records of the year - and not just in Canada. This is where new bands should be looking for guidance.

  6. City and Colour - 'Little Hell' - From the erie sounds on Fragile Bird - to the honest lyrics in The Grand Optimist - this band is getting better with each album.

  7. M83 - 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming' - If you do a lot of flying then play this album on headphones as you glide through the clouds. It's the most beautiful album of the year and brings you to a dreamland. Also enhanced when Victoria Secret used a track to showcase their angels.

  8. Foster The People - 'Torches' - This album was a long time coming and it's going to be delivering singles for at least another 6 months. The band are hard working and deserve to be up for Grammys. This album should live on year end lists from littlest of blogs (like this one) to the biggest publications Globally.

  9. The Jezabels - 'Prisoner' - The only way you're going to get this album is by living with it for an afternoon. I suggest you stick it on for a long drive or grab the headphones and go for a walk. It's a masterpiece and I'm certain they'll be around for a long time to come. I told you so.

  10. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - 'Self-titled' - It's Noel Fookin' Gallagher. He's the principle song-writer for Oasis and he's not lost a bit of that on this solo outing. He's a dick - but he can be and should be. The album is fan-fookin'-tastic.

  11. Honourable mention 1 - Amy Winehouse - 'Lioness: Hidden Treasures' - I've only actually heard 4 tracks off this one - as it's not out until tomorrow. We lost this one too early - but this will hopefully keep us going for now.

  12. Honourable mention 2 - The Boxer Rebellion - 'The Cold Still' - I saw these guys at SXSW this year and they knocked me on my ass. The voice is Morrisey like in strength and the band bring a charging energy through the full album. I highly recommend you try this band out.

So there we have it - the toughest decisions one has to make at this time of the year. I'm certain that I'm missing some big ones. I will no doubt remember then as soon as I hit post.

Fingers crossed for 2012 - and that it brings us more amazing music for the soundtrack to our lives.

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Abbey Road Studios

Hello Friends,

This year marks the 80th anniversary of music most famous recording house in the World - Abbey Road Studios.

Now I've had the pleasure of being in some of the greatest music halls as well and experienced some monumental things in my career. I even worked at Toronto's Masonic Temple for a few years. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of walking past the zebra crossing and through the doors of this place.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an EMI showcase for new artists at Abbey Road Studios in London, England. Home to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rush, orchestral tracking for the likes of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The King's Speech, James Bond soundtracks and of course Oasis.

It was a religious experience to say the least. The street alone gave me goosebumps - but to have walked through those doors and into Studio 2 - well that was the real deal.

As you can imagine the past week has been all about re-living The Beatles music. I know that we all know their music well - but here's a few stand-outs that I recommend you give another fresh listen to. They're never going to sound dated and have yet to be challenged in terms of production even as we approach the year 2012.
Here's some other artists that have recorded at Abbey Road over the years...
In recent years the studio also gave the World a closer look inside through the series 'Live From Abbey Road'. It's wonderful and worth hunting down if you're a music lover.

After the studio sessions I joined EMI staff, along with a few of the artists, at a local pub. The pub itself was on Abbey Road and boasts being the local to Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Moss and Simon Cowell. It was the perfect way to end an evening in London.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Abbey Road then do it - don't hesitate for a second. This truly is a place where dreams and creativity are created. Those walls have seen some of the finest writers, producers and musicians that the World has ever seen and ever will see.

In Metric's 'Gimme Sympathy' they asked the question "Who would you rather be? The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?" For me it's without question The Beatles:)

Thanks for reading/listening.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Are You Hearing This?

Hello Friends,

Are you hearing the amazing music that's out there right now? I really hope that you are as there's so much of it - and there's something for everyone.

I don't have a lot to say in this post - I simply think these songs are that great they need to be shared - and right now. Please do yourself a favour and check them out when you have a second.

Let this music speak for itself...

Thanks for reading/listening.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Calvin Harris

Hi Friends,

Calvin Harris is a singer-songwriter, producer and DJ from sunny Scotland. He's a mere 27 years of age and is producing some of the biggest hits in popular music today.

I listen to lots of UK radio and have been hearing his remixes + body of work for years. In the last year he's started crossing over and bringing this amazing energy to North America.

The new Rihanna track 'We Found Love' featuring Calvin Harris is FANTASTIC. It's a track from the forthcoming album 'Talk That Talk' set to be released in late November. A great lead single with the intensity needed to give Rihanna yet another #1 single.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then this track 'Yeah x3' shows just how much Mr. Brown respects the work of Calvin.

Whether you're looking for some dance tracks to round out your library or finessing a workout playlist - you should seriously consider some Calvin Harris.

Here are a few must hear Calvin Harris tracks...
Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart

Friday, October 7, 2011

5 Beauty Tracks for the Weekend

Hello Friends,

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and the forecast looks amazing. What better way to celebrate than to have some fresh new tunes to get you through it. There's so many great albums out at this time but I've picked a few monsters.

Here's 5 amazing tracks I'm digging and hope you like too...

  1. Kathleen Edwards - 'Change These Sheets' *produced by her boyfriend Bon Iver
  2. The Jezabels - 'Endless Summer' *Australian beauty
  3. J. Cole - 'Lights Please' *the #1 album in the US this week and #3 here
  4. Noel Gallagher - 'AKA...What A Life!' *3rd single from his yet to be released album
  5. Kasabian - 'Days Are Forgotten' *anthem
Bonus: Pink Floyd - 'Wish You Were Here' *simply because the re-issues came out this week:)

Thanks for reading/listening.

Have a great long weekend!

Gregg Stewart

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Polaris Music Prize 2011

Hello Friends,

As I sit watching the re-broadcast of this past week's Polaris Music Prize I can't help but feel very fortunate to be in such a great industry. The Polaris Music Prize is Canada's equivalent to the UK's Mercury Music Prize which honours the album of the year as voted on by a jury of music media. The winner is awarded $30,000 along with the prestigious title of Album of the Year.

The jury starts with 200 or so media types from across Canada representing all genres and media platforms from Print, Radio, Online and Television. As the list of nominated albums is narrowed down so is the jury. The jury becomes 11 members for the final voting at the same time the shortlist of 10 albums is announced. This year I had the honour of being selected as 1 of the 11 and it was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my career.

As part of the jury we were responsible for living with the final 10 albums with gruelling task of determining which one was the best. Once given the albums the only instruction we were given was to listen to the albums in sequence without shuffling.

I can honestly say the process was pure, democratic and amazing. This is the way that any decisions surrounding music should be...but I digress.

All 11 grand jury members met in person, some for the first time, the night before the actual awards. The goal was to meet one another and of course talk about these final 10 albums. The people around the table came prepared with both ammunition and a passion like I've never seen before. I had goosebumps and was scared shit less for my turn to talk about these albums.

The following night we went to The Masonic Temple to deliberate and narrow it down to 1 winner. After having lived with these 10 albums for the better part of 2 months - it was time to make our pick. It was taken very seriously by all members along the way. I know that my choices changed throughout these 2 days based on the passion of others and of course the music I'd been living with for so long.

My approach was to study these 10 albums even further as I was running. I run longer distances this time of year in anticipation for race season so this was perfect timing for me. There's nothing like listening to music when you're running outside - be it through a forest or a busy street. These 10 runs were among the most intense ever as there would be no play lists nor would there be any skipping past songs. The albums would be heard the way that the artist/s meant for us to hear them. Something that's missing in the 2011 music world:( I highly recommend giving Colin Stetson's - 'New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges' at 7am while running through the woods.

I can't say how all the voting went down - but I can tell you there was never a clear cut winner throughout the process. There were compelling arguments as to why each and every shortlisted album should have won and perhaps there really should have been 10 winners in the end. Like any competition there can only be one winner and this year's winner went to Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs'.

Here are some tunes from this year's shortlisted 10 albums that I think you should check out.
If you missed the show then you can watch all the performance from this year's gala here. I'd love to hear back from you as to how you would have voted:)

I met some truly amazing people throughout this process and it's restored my faith in this industry. With people this passionate and in it for the right reason - things will only get better and great music will rise to the surface.

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hello Friends,

Like most of you I learned of this band through their music video for the song 'Yellow'. I had no idea what they were singing about and nor did I care...this video was a breath of fresh air compared to the pop music that blanketed TV at that time. It was guitar based music and a welcome addition from an otherwise strange time where videos like this one reigned.

I picked up 'Parachutes' the same week I saw that video and was blown away that each and every song was so gorgeous. It's 11 years old now and still as stunning as ever.

Like any band they had their work cut out for them to follow-up such a big debut. Coldplay was able to rise to the occasion and dropped 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' on the World. For me this will forever stand-out as one of the greatest albums I've heard at first spin. I recorded it from Edge 102 as Dave Bookman did a 'World Album Premiere' the night before it's release. I drove to a cottage that same night and played the album on repeat for the 3 hour journey. I got to the cottage road and kept going so I could finish the album one more time as it was meant to be heard. I will never forget that feeling as it was just perfect.

I used to enter contest through eye weekly on a regular basis in those days. I actually won quite frequently and won a copy of the lead single 'In My Place' one week. It came with a pass to meet the band at an in-store autograph session while they were in town. It was at HMV Queen Street just as 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' came out and to my surprise there wasn't that big of a line-up. I have a photo somewhere - just can't find it right now. I also have a Q Magazine cover I got autographed that same day.

The first time I saw the band live was at the Molson Amphitheatre back in 2003. It was there that I fell in love with Ron Sexsmith's music when he opened the show. Chris Martin joined Ron on stage for the duet 'Gold in them Hills' that appears on Ron's album 'Cobblestone Runway'. The crowd didn't expect it as the place was still filing in. Once they all recognized the skinny guy in a black toque to be Chris Martin they went nuts.

Suffice to say I am very excited that we'll be hosting the band at MuchMusic next Wednesday, September 21st. It'll be a live broadcast show from my work's parking lot and I bet there might even be some fireworks. It all kicks off at 9pm - and I recommend you watch this one in HD with speakers set to 11.

Here's a quick play list, of some of my favourite Coldplay tracks, to prepare you for this wonderful night in Toronto.
Thanks for reading/listening.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten Becomes Twenty

Hello Friends,

August 27th marked the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam's debut album release entitled 'Ten'. I was but a mere 15 years of age and on my way into grade 10 at the time. This was a big time for my generation, when it comes to music, as less than a month later would see the release of Nirvana's 'Nevermind' changing the landscape of music around the World. I for one sided with Pearl Jam and saw their release as the far superior of the 2. I've only recently learned to appreciate Nirvana's music...but I digress.

I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing, when I heard this album for the very first time. It was a game changer for me and when I hear it today I'm instantly transported back to my friend Wes' house. I had skateboarded there to hung-out poolside without a care in the World. Wes' older brother and Uncle Charlie didn't mind having us around and even included us on the beer run that night. A nice intro to my high school years indeed.

This poster still hangs in my parent's basement today - and I'm pretty sure every girl I know could recite this scene from 'Singles' verbatim. Pearl Jam reigned at that time.

Eddie Vedder was in Toronto in 2008 supporting the film he scored called 'Into The Wild' . I had the pleasure of being at Massey Hall to witness his greatness. He played songs from the soundtrack - but surprised the crowd a few times with Pearl Jam classics along with some Neil Young covers and stories from days gone by. Here's a clip from that night.

Today was a great day for me. I got a call today inviting me to the forthcoming screening of the Cameron Crowe documentary 'Pearl Jam 20' and attend their concert that night. I've never had the chance to actually see see Pearl Jam live in concert - so suffice to say I'm super excited. Thanks Gasp and JD.

Here's a few tracks to remind you how great that debut album still is - along with a few beauties I'm hoping to hear that night...
There will be a full review of the show on Monday September 12th.

Thanks for reading/listening.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Why Music Matters | Elbow

Hello Friends,

I stumbled back across the site
why music matters again today as someone had posted something new about The Beatles. The site itself has done the rounds on social media sites based on their amazing and cute little cartoons depictions of bands/artists – ultimately showing why music matters. I dug into the archives of older ones and was reminded how much I love the English band Elbow.

Elbow won the 2008 Mercury Prize for their album ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ which is a true masterpiece. If you’ve not heard this band then I highly recommend you give them a chance. Here are a few tracks to get you started - enjoy!

'One Day Like This'
'Forgot Myself'
'The Bones of You'

Thanks for reading/listening.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Snow Patrol Time

Hi Friends,

Snow Patrol are easily one of my favourite acts of all time. From their humble beginnings to opening shows around the World for U2 - this band can do no wrong in my eyes. Click here and listen before going any further.

Tomorrow morning brings the release of their latest video for 'Called Out In the Dark' from the band's first studio album in over 3 years. Here's a teaser clip. 'Fallen Empires' will be the band's 6th studio album and the first after having released a greatest hits box set entitled 'Up To Now' in 2009.

The band formed in 1994 while at University in Dundee, Scotland. Over the next 7 years they'd go on to release 3 albums before their major record label debut on Polydor Records in 2002. In between this time Snow Patrol's lead singer formed a Scottish super group called The Reindeer Section which included Belle & Sebastian among many other greats. They were very much like Canada's own Broken Social Scene (only way better and cooler).

The Reindeer Section released some beautiful music in a short period of time. Here are a few tracks you should check out...
My personal connection is that I had the pleasure of working on their first 2 major label albums 'Final Straw' and 'Eyes Open'. Both albums are fantastic from start to finish and I am almost certain that everyone at Universal fell in love at that time. The band were one of the first acts to give us the time with an in studio sessions I created called 'Live at the Orange Lounge'. They were already massive in the UK and in Toronto ready to start from scratch building a following.

The big break for this band was when the song 'Chasing Cars' was used in the show Grey's Anatomy in 2006. The scene that changed everything using 'Chasing Cars' was so successful that the show used it again in a different way Grey's Anatomy cast sings 'Chasing Cars'. I'm telling you - TV is a very powerful medium:)

Here's a bunch of songs I highly recommend you give a spin. They also make great music videos as seen here.
The next song (3 parts) is maybe the most epic 16 minutes of music I've ever heard. It still gives me goosebumps and I've heard it at least 300 times. Check them out!

Gary Lightbody had a few more side projects over the years including Tired Pony alongside REM's Peter Buck.

The band also do some mean covers...
I for one am excited to hear this new album and am eager to see some live dates on North American soil. It's time for Canada and America to fall in love while diving deep into a catalogue full of magical tunes.

I hope you check them out.

Thanks for reading/listening.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 Tunes for the Weekend

Hi Friends,

We're that much closer to the Weeknd and in Canada it's a long one. An extra day to get out there and celebrate the summer. It also means you'll have some extra time to listen to great new music. Whether you're heading to Caribana, Drake's OVO festival at the Molson Amp or heading to Montreal for Osheaga Music & Arts Festival make sure you consume as much music as humanly possible.

Here's a few new tracks that I'd like to recommend...

Have a safe and happy long weekend!

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Television Tunes

Hi Friends,

I had a conversation about TV theme songs today and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about how many amazing, yet sometimes embarrassing, tunes there were. Cheesy or awesome they all have the power to instantly transport you back in time. For me it's back to a childhood in suburban Toronto where television reigned King. Many of these shows conjure up memories innocence and a naivety to the World.

I started writing a list, went online and I soon found myself in a worm hole of catchy jingles from my past. There were just so many classic sitcoms in the 70s and 80s. It was a time when television didn't have much competition - so the shows had to be good to make the cut and that included a killer intro.

Here's a few that I dug up including a few that bring a tear to my eye from the first note...
I'm not sure if it's a case of getting older - but I really don't hear that magic in theme songs these days. Maybe it's because most shows are reality based and the reality is that it's much easier to just buy a song. I guess it might also be that I'm a child of the 70s/80s - and was spoiled with great television music.

Thanks for reading/listening.

Now sing it with me..."I'm at - WKRP - in -Cin-cin-na-ti".


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top Toons

Hello Friends,

Sometimes the music Gods come together and decide that the World needs a bunch of amazing music all at once. Well that's exactly what seems to have happened in recent days. I've been introduced to a few beauty tracks I think will be with me for the next few months in a heavy rotation.

Here's a quick list of those tracks for you to check out...
There's lots of summer left - so here's to more great music in the coming months. I hope you're having a great summer and seeing lots of live music.

Thanks for reading/listening.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

and the Grammy for album of the year goes to...

Hello Friends,

It's only July and I think that it's safe to say that Beyonce has just released the album of the year. Not only is she fierce (Sasha Fierce) she's angelic and simply the most powerful woman in the game. Kanye may have to do this again if Beyonce doesn't get the Grammy next February.

Like everyone - I saw the video for 'Run The World (Girls)' and knew it was again Beyonce's turn to shine. She comes in hard on each new album and gets even more gorgeous with age. She's stunning and for that Jay Z wins:)

A colleague of mine was first to jump up and down about this album when it arrived on our desks. She raved about it for days - but I always need to hear things for myself to believe it. Well this is one I believe and am totally in love with from start to finish. Thanks for pushing it Jully.

Here's my top Beyonce tunes play list for you to enjoy.
It's funny when you look back at Boy or Girl groups - because it's clear as to who the Superstar was going to be. For Destiny's Child it was obviously Beyonce, for Nsync it was Justin Timberlake and for The Backstreet Boys it was clearly Nick Carter (or was that just me?)

There's still lots of time for other great albums to come out in 2011. God knows Adele and a few others have already released some beauties - but I think this one has got legs - along with about 5 number 1 singles to go.

Beyonce is truly the Queen at this time and I suggest you give this full album a listen.

Thanks for reading/listening.