Thursday, September 20, 2012

6 Tunes for the Weekend

I went to a bunch of shows recently and have listened to a boat load of new music as well.

Last week was a rock n roll week for me as it feature shows by City and Colour, Kiss, Motley Crue, Yukon Blonde, The Sheepdogs and Ed Sheeran to name a few.  This week ends with Las Vegas' finest, The Killers, as they hit The Sound Academy for a down played show.  I'm sad I missed Kendrick Lemar at The Sound Academy last night as Drake apparently made a guest appearance.  I did catch him on TV though and he's awesome.  It may be getting darker earlier these days but it isn't stopping the great music coming out at this time.

I also got to catch a few of the shows our team works on each day including The Wedge, RapCity, New.Music.Live. and MTV Live.  They're forever introducing me to new music and I hope that never stops.

Here's a few recommendations for the weekend...

Grimes - 'Genesis'
The XX - 'Angels'
Twin Shadow - '5 Seconds'
Kendrick Lamar - 'The Recipe'
Two Door Cinema Club - 'Sun'
Diamond Rings - 'I'm Just Me'

I love this job. 

Thanks for reading/listening.


Monday, September 10, 2012


When I was a kid both my Dad and my Uncle were in a pipe band.  My dad played the snare drum (sometimes bass) and my Uncle Gerry played the bagpipes.  Very Scottish indeed.

We used to spend summers going to Highland games across Ontario - and one weekend each year we'd head to a place called Phelps in New York State.  It was a festival which entailed bagpipe bands as part of a parade through the town to a fair grounds.  We used to camp with all the other pipe band families.  At night all the pipe band members would go to the local legion and hang out with the war veterans, marines and soldiers of all classes.  They all bonded while country music acted as the backdrop to their late nights.

It was strange to see all these Scotsman wearing cowboy hats while in kilts, drinking bud and sharing stories of their lives.  It was actually perfect - and I loved going there each summer.  It's where I first learned of country music.

I digress...

I watched the Canadian Country Music Awards this past weekend on CBC.  It was great.  It was amazing to see how much these folk care for their art and one another.  They're a community first before anything else and hold each other in such high regard.  They're in it for the right reasons and that's for the music itself.

I had the pleasure of working on a few great country albums over the years and it taught me a bit about the culture.  It's deep routed and welcomes you with arms wide open.

Here's a few great country tracks I have fallen in love with over the years and the reasons why.

Glen Campbell - 'Rhinestone Cowboy'.  My Dad played the heck out of this record when we were young.  Fond memories come flooding back with each listen.  George Canyon did his version of it on the CCMAs last night.

Tift Merritt - 'Virginia, No One Can Warn You'.  An artist I got to work with while at Universal Music.  I fell in love with her album entitled 'Bramble Rose'.  Worth a listen.

Julie Roberts - 'Break Down Here'.  This needs no introduction.  Pretty sure you'll see why she's awesome if you clicked.  Country music has heart and some of the most beautiful women.

Paul Brandt - 'Leavin'.  When I saw Paul's performance on the CCMAs I instantly remembered this track and added it to my running play list.  What a tune.

George Canyon - 'My Name'.  It's a beautiful song written from the perspective of an unborn child that is miscarried.  This gentle giant is a great Canadian.

John Denver - 'Take Me Home Country Roads'.  Remember when John was on The Muppet Show?  Best. Show. Ever.

Blue Rodeo - 'Bad Timing'.  One of this countries finest exports.  This band is a gateway to country -and what a great way to get introduced.

I'm sure that this is a strange list as there are so many great country songs out there - but these are special to me.  This genre may not be the first thing I reach for in a play list - but I respect it and can appreciate it.

Thanks for reading/listening.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recommended Listening

I'm not in school these days - but September still feels like a chance to turn over a new leaf to me.

I started making a few new play-lists this week and after just a few listens I'm already excited for what's happening in music at the moment.  New music equates to a fresh start for me - and I hope that it does for you too.

This is a quick list of songs I'd like to recommend that you give a listen to this weekend.  

Check them out!

Of Monsters and Men - 'Dirty Paws'.  I'm not sure if this is even a single for this album - but it should be as it's simply a fantastic track.
Two Door Cinema Club - 'Sun'.  I heard this song for the first time yesterday.  It was instantly my favourite new track and I have played it at least 25 times since.  The new record also has one of the best album covers in years.
Bloc Party - 'Octopus'.  I'm going to see this band early next week.  They have always rocked and this track solidifies them as one of the finest rock bands around.
Jesse Ware - 'Wildest Moment'.  This lady really does have the voice of an angel.  I love this track and a few others that I've heard from her.
The Black Keys - 'Hell of a Season'.  This album surprises me more and more with each listen.  Right now it's this track.
Alanis Morissette - 'Guardian'.  She's back.  this is the best song I've heard from her in years.  Don't ever forget how big this lady was.
Data Rock - 'California'.  You may have heard this track a whole bunch recently as it's being used in a Virgin Mobile ad.  It's a great track and these guys are one of the best live acts that I have ever seen. 
Taylor Swift - 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'.  I won't even call this a guilty pleasure.  This song is a monster track and a perfect pop song.  

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart