Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Music Recommendations

It's Saturday April 21st and that means it's Record Store Day around the world.  It's a chance for music lovers to re-live the joy of walking into shops to explore racks of vinyl and CDs in the hunt for an amazing album.  It's a day when artists and labels alike release special rarities that can only be found in the stores today.  It's simply a celebration of music culture for purists and music fans.

In a singles driven world - Record Store Day acts as a reminder that the songs we all love are not just one file in the iTunes music store.  They're not just a one off in a Spotify, Grooveshark, Rdio or Vevo play-list.  They're but one song amongst a collection in a body of work.

This past week I've fallen in love with some great new music.  It started with singles - but I've taken the time to live with the albums as well. Sometimes it's hard to find that time as there really are that many singles out there.  When you take that time you'll be pleasantly surprised how a single is really just the gateway to an album.

Here's a few artists I would like to recommend to you at this time. Their albums are out - and these are the lead singles from each.

Ben Howard - 'Key Your Head Up' from the album 'Every Kingdom'

Of Monsters and Men - 'Little Talks' from the album 'My Head Is An Animal'

Miike Snow - 'The Wave' from the album 'Happy To You'

Ed Sheeran - 'Lego House' from the album '+'

Here are a few singles from forthcoming albums coming out later this year.

Conor Maynard - 'Can't Say No'

Rita Ora - 'R.I.P.' featuring Tinie Tempah

Keane - 'Silenced By The Night'

I hope that at least one of these has intrigued you enough to dive deeper into the full album.  Trust me it's worth the time.



Monday, April 9, 2012

Blue Rodeo

The 41st annual Juno Awards took place in Canada's capital city of Ottawa on April 1st.  It's great when they're held outside Toronto as they instantly become that much more of an event and you can feel the excitement throughout the city. 

It's a strange thing as majority of the music industry operate out of the Toronto - but I guess that just makes us jaded and perhaps therefor we don't appreciated it as much as other cities do.

There were a million moments throughout the weekend that made me extremely proud to be working in the Canadian music industry.  From artists sharing the stage as part of Juno fest, celebrity sightings, late night hangs and collaborations on stages all over the city - it was fantastic.

My favourite part part of the weekend by far was but one tiny moment.  It was during Blue Rodeo's acceptance speech being inducted into Canada's Music Hall of Fame.  It was the moment Greg Keelor took the microphone and said something along the lines of...

"We're truly humbled to stand alongside such greats at this time.  From Paul Anka, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Buffy Sainte-Marie to name a few."

"When dinner's served in this great hall we know we won’t be sitting at the head table – but thank you for inviting us to the party."

It gave me goosebumps.  It was perfect and speaks volumes about the Canadian music business where it matters the most - through the eyes of our artists.  

I have no doubt in my mind that Blue Rodeo belong at the head table.  To be honest I think Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor should bookend Neil Young sitting at one end of that table.  These guys are just as important to the music history of our country as anyone who has received this induction before them.

Here are a few classic cuts from the band.  Give even one of them a spin and I know you'll agree that Blue Rodeo are a welcome addition to Canada's Music Hall of Fame.

'Bad Timing' from 1993's Five Days in July

'Try' from 1987's Outskirts

'Til I Am Myself Again' from 1990's Casino

'Lost Together' from 1992's Lost Together

Congratulations to Blue Rodeo and their team.  Thank you for the music.

Thanks for reading/listening.