Toronto’s female fronted punk rockers Die Mannequin released their third studio album Neon Zero today! They will be celebrating tonight at Cherry Colas where Tony and Care will be spinning their favorite tracks off of the new record. Since receiving this album back in August, I have been listening to it every chance possible and I’m so glad I did! Opening track “Welcome To The Badlands” sets the tone for this musical journey, collectively modern yet retro with an anthemic feel. Their strong first single “Sucker Punch” was an instant ear pleaser, if you haven’t heard it yet I suggest you take a listen and don’t forget to get your copy of Neon Zero. There were a few songs on this record like “Blood In Blood Out” and “Pretty Persuasion” that I skipped at first listen. Had I not absorbed the records tunes entirely, they wouldn’t have grown on me as they have. Now, “Pretty Persuasion” is one of my favourites, I love the sound of the guitar riffs, they give the track this haunted vibe my ears are drawn to. “Murder On the Dancefloor” is another catchy tune that is worth a listen, compared to their previous records this is the most radio friendly I have heard DM. Quite surprised to tell you the truth but it turned out to be a pretty fucking fantastic surprise!
They have created a vibe that reminds you of 80’s music with a slice of Hip Hop, 90’s, Punk, Grunge and Dance. You can hear all of those influences in there. One track in particular “Girls At the Mall”, reminds me so much of Veruca Salt’s “Volcano Girls” with a little Nirvana to end the track. Very impressed with vocals, major props go out to Care for showcasing her vocal versatility, keep up the amazing work! The band sounded tight, the quality of sound in the production of each sonata is crisp and proper, no ghetto recordings here. “Prettier lips tell prettier lies” from the last tune, “Outta Time” on this eleven track musical adventure is one of my favourite lyrics. I also loved the randomness at the end of the fast paced “Ka-Ching” with the bonus. There are a few tunes like “I’m Just A Girl” that I just couldn’t get into. I tried, and I commend vocals, but the tune itself was a little too Avril Lavignesque for my ears to handle. Neon Zero is worth many listens, from the first time I saw Die Mannequin rock out at the Horseshoe to this album here in 2014 they have come a very long way and I’m liking this new direction. The nicest people you’ll ever encounter, and so beyond talented! Die Mannequin is; Care Failure – Vocals/Guitar, Anthony Bleed – Bass/Backing vocals, Stacy Stray – Guitar/Backing vocals and Dazzer Scott on the Drums. NEON ZERO is an essential listening need! Everyone needs to buy this record and support these great Canadian talents, Die Mannequin’s Neon Zero gets 4 music notes ♪♪♪♪♪ out of 5!
Last week I caught up with Ryan Long before his stand up charity gig at Tallboys. Initially the interview was to be shot at a different location but I was late, so too bad for me. I agreed to cover Long’s work because he does mostly everything himself and I respect that, I’m the same way. Thank the Lord he was a character because I really don’t like boring interviewees. The standup set was fairly short but he made the whole room giggle with glee. A few more joke refinements and he will be funnier than Tom Green!
My comical knowledge goes way back to when my Dad introduced me to the world of comedy with Greek comedian Stathis Psaltis, followed by American comedians Andrew Dice Clay and Eddie Murphy. Recently at Yuk Yuk’s I was heckled by Canadian comic Tom Green and that was the funniest part of his set. He really doesn’t have jokes, I think it’s because he’s been around so long people just assume he’s hilarious. He’s funnier when heckling people. “Daddy would you like some sausage”?
Long is mostly known as the curly haired Vox drummer of his band “The Johnstones“. He is a prime example of not judging a book by its cover, this comical music Larry is running the show…In his latest creation “Ryan Long Is Challenged”, Long is the only contestant to complete random tasks for a prize, you can catch it on BiteTV Sundays at midnight.
After interviewing, watching his stand-up set, two episodes of “Ryan Long Is Challenged” at the screening and the one I missed, I can honestly say Long is a funny guy. But, if you’re going to be “Toronto Peter Pan” you need to create a costume…Hope you’ve taken care of that hernia! Long’s TV shows, comedy sets and jams with his band are definitely worth your time! As I was editing the interview below to perfection, I purposely re-added the errors I fixed because I’m trying not to be perfect all the time ha ha! Hope you all enjoy a few clips from the set and the herniation of “Toronto Peter Pan”.
Here we go again, trying to squeeze yet another CMW adventure into one editorial. After years of hoping for a warmer Canadian Music Week, it finally kind of happened. It was held from May 6th to 10th for the first time, usually it’s in cold Canadian March. You would think in May the weather would be warmer…It was not, in fact the weather was just as confusing as the beginning of the festival. Compared to the eight previous years I have attended, this was the most lackluster and unorganized of Canadian Music Week’s. Many other industry professionals I came across were also left scratching their heads, communication was non-existent. Thankfully the miscommunications only lasted the first day of my coverage adventures and it did not slow the coverage too much.Wednesday night there were some super amazing bands at the Bovine and Hideout, I came across the gems of the night at the Bovine. One of those smashing bands being “Bloody Diamonds” from Halifax. They hit me up about a month before CMW, requesting coverage the proper way with an email and links to their music. Many think a Facebook invite is all they need to get media at their show…Wrong! We all receive emails from managers, publicists or label reps, I rarely check my fb invites because there are just too many and these days I am so busy. My friends even have to call or text me a few days before an event at the latest. But, if a band or artist sends me an email without a publicist in advance, unlike other media folk I will take the time to check them out before the others sent daily. All of this is possible if you take the initiative and do it yourself like Bloody Diamonds. If you don’t try, you won’t know what could have happened. Most media establishments don’t even open unsolicited emails, FridaeTV is a little different. I am always looking for amazing new music signed or unsigned to introduce to the world.“The Deadset” from Vancouver hit the Bovine stage just before Bloody Diamonds. You never know what to expect when it comes to unknown indie bands, but lucky for us this band was pretty good! The Vancouver pop-punk duo is; Jt Criminal – Vox/Axe and Steven Appleyard – Drums/Vox. They got the crowd extra hype as they rocked their original tune, “Hello Kitty”. A track they wrote pre-Avril shitstorm and you, can watch it here. Would love to see this band again, they were very refreshing and if I were to describe the vocals…The closest comparison according to my ears would be Paramore’s leading lady, but Jt Criminal sounded so much better live at the Bovine! They just need to add a few more band members to fill out the sound, that also applies to Bloody Diamonds who are mentioned in the paragraph belowAs enjoyable as they were I couldn’t wait for Bloody Diamonds to hit the stage at the crowded Bovine, I was looking forward to hearing a specific song of theirs “Monsters”. Unfortunately for me they did not play it in their set but it was a fantastic show once the sound issues were handled. At showcases like these, you need to make sure to play the best tracks you have, hence the word “showcase”…Especially if you want to get signed to a major. The duo’s stage presence was electric and I was loving the last track “Four Walls“. The audience was captivated by Vox Sara Elizabeth’s unique vocal performance and Jake Seaward’s skills. I see extreme potential for both of the young bands mentioned. And, if by some chance you get to see them on tour which Bloody Diamonds is now on, don’t be shy! Go and discover some fresh sounds.
After Bloody Diamonds wrapped their set, off it was to check out a few more bands along the strip but a large number of them didn’t make the cut. Oh yes, actually one band did make the final cut and technically it was a new day, the band being “Streetlight Social” from Peterborough. They were playing the Piston, a venue I have never been to and probably will never return to shoot at again! The reason? Overbearing red lights used during the performances, for a photographer this is the worst lighting to work with, might as well have them play without lights. The band consists of members from various other bands like My Darkest Days and Cold Creek County rolled into one giant six piece funky folk fusion of a band called Streetlight Social. They played well, had a lot of energy and tried to work the small stage the best they could. The stage did not fit all of the Larries comfortably, I could barely see bassist Brendan McMillan behind his giant old school string bass squished in with the other five. Streetlight Social is: Chris Millar – Vox/Guitar, Reid Henry – Keys/Axe/Backup Vox, Kevin Austin – Guitars, Matt Baylis – Percussion and Gabe Gallucci on Drums. Vox Chris Millar did better but still needs a little more vibrance, something is missing there. Honestly thought he was going to be a bundle of nerves like when I saw him sing with My Darkest Days last year in Peterboonz. He was still nervous but could hold it together long enough to shake most of his nerves by mid set. The music was good, different but that’s what makes them stand out and worth seeing. The whole band gave it their all and entertained the crowd of maybe thirty people like they were thirty thousand. Not bad for a first time viewing, wish I could have stayed longer but camera and phone were in nap mode and there were other bands I needed to see. Will definitely have to check them out again at a better venue, watch a couple of the tunes filmed here. Thursday I had a major issue, none of my photographers could make it to shoot and I had to be at fifteen places at once. No need to give yourself stress wrinkles, no stress. The only choice was to downsize coverage, problem solved. Yeah…The only band I actually made it to see and get some shots of was Dearly Beloved. They were playing at the newly opened Studio Bar for a semi-private rock party just down the street from the Hard Luck on Dundas. Once upon a time I did an interview with Dearly Beloved but some how the footage disappeared, it was a really good interview too.
The sound system at the venue was garbage, couldn’t decipher anything the band was singing! That meant no filming of any tunes because even with an external microphone, it would sound like shit. I have been doing this for almost eight years now, if the environment is not up to my standards, filming does not happen. I do hope the venue fixes their sound problem because if they want to be a successful live music venue, the system has to be stellar! The band tried their best and the crowd was entertained despite the sound issues. Recently Dearly Beloved released their newest album “Enduro” filled with their blend of folky garage punk rock that must be heard. Air was desperately needed by the end of the set, it was so hot in there I was sweating like a hooker in church! Ha ha plus I couldn’t stay, had to rush to the Revival and try to catch some of the sets.The Revival was a full house when I arrived, so packed I couldn’t even find my friends and so very hot with my winter jacket on. Migrated outside between sets to get some fresh air hoping to see someone I knew. Just as my phone died there was my favorite British friend strolling up to greet me, surprised he actually made it to the free show with his busy schedule. So very happy that he arrived when he did, I couldn’t find the others and my phone was dead no contact unless we bumped into each other. As we headed into the venue, one of the security guys had a super beenie (fanboy) moment and asked my friend for an autograph on his arm…That was the most awkward moment of the night for sure! Back in the venue my friend tried helping me get to the stage by leading the way through the crowd, but he was getting stopped for chats and photos in the process. We decided to retreat from the crowd before more people recognized him and enjoyed Fefe Dobson’s set from a corner in the back of the venue. She has come a long way compared to when I saw her perform for the first time when I was still in high school…Not going to lie, she was a hot mess back then! Now, it seemed as though she has her shit together and it showed because she sounded fantastic. Too bad I didn’t get any feasible shots, I tried with my longer lens from the back but the photos are far too blurry to publish.Friday! A few different coverage schedules were made just in case there was a “magical” guest list I forgot to put names on. The first stop of the night was Yuk Yuk’s to see Tom Green’s first early show. Before finding a seat, I asked the person at the door where media seating was, he said there was no specific media area and that I could sit anywhere except the reserved seats. “I can shoot from anywhere?” I asked, he said yes. Very soon I was to find out how wrong that information was. Always trust your intuition, wish I had listened to mine! As I looked around for a non-reserved seat there was nowhere to sit except the second row in the middle of the room…I try to blend with the crowd but at 5’8 I stick out regardless. There were two comics prior to Green, Trevor Thompson and Patrick Coppolino.Trevor and Patrick were funny but honestly after seeing a few stellar amateurs at Yuk Yuk’s and a number of other comics in the past, they were not that funny but did make me laugh a bit. Green, was funnier than his openers but extremely overrated and not really a Russel Peters, Chris Rock type of comic. He relies more on his eccentric antics and catch phrases than actual material. Perfect example of this is his famous line “Daddy would you like some sausage” from 2001’s “Freddy Got Fingered” which he gladly said over and over again. The plan was to take a few shots and enjoy the set like I did with the openers. Green walked out on stage and scanned the crowd, after saying a few words to the first victim, he spotted me and then saw my camera. He jibbered on about how big it was and how nobody asked him to take pictures. My camera is not that big, it’s just a Nikon 5100 Dslr with the basic 18-55mm lens, I can fit it in my purse. Anyway, in typical Tom Green fashion he yelled in my face, asking if I was a student at Ryeeerson Poleeetechnical University and wanted a picture for my project. At this point I was in tears from laughing so hard, I could barely talk when he asked who I worked for. “FridaeTV!? What the fuck is that?” Oh your name, oh ok I get it.” I was trying to stop laughing and he thought I was upset; “I don’t think she’s enjoying herself anymore, don’t worry you’ll get lots of hits, come to me at the end of the show and I’ll take a picture for you FridaeTV.”Actually, it was not at all embarrassing or offending, that was the funniest part of the entire set and it was freestyle. He apologized for dragging it on and found others to heckle, but mid set found his way back to me again ha ha, they always do. Tom Green was entertaining, I will give him that, however my a.d.d was kicking in hardcore and I couldn’t wait to wander. Mr. Green was all about his beer once he got over harassing me as he drank it on stage throughout the performance. Don’t think I will ever try his beer, it looked dark and muddy like Guinness and probably would taste just as gross to my palette. A guy was going on about the fifteen dollar cost of one beer and Green ripped into him and changed the subject moving onto another victim…Like the I.T. guy who looked like a serial killer, don’t know how wise that was. No, I did not go back and get a photo with Green, I do not have time for old men hitting on me. All in all it was a fantastic way to start off the evening, Tom Green is worth checking out at least once in your life, just don’t sit near the front if you can’t laugh at yourself. The minute comedy time was over, I booked it to the next venue as fast as the serial killer looking I.T. guy hopped onto the streetcar. After a quick Queen strip trip, I headed back to the Revival for the Universal showcase featuring Nikki Yanofsky, Bobby Bazini, Jesse Gold, Cris Cab, Andee and Kardinal Offishall. I managed to shoot three of the six, but didn’t think I would get any of them. Luck was on my side, well, sort of…One Montreal friend was outside in line, doors were still closed but the line was massive. When I arrived they had let people inside by groups of four or two’s depending on the space in the venue. Security was awesome to me, didn’t even need to show them anything or stand in line. It was more crowded than the night before and the bands were not even on stage yet. As overwhelming as it was, I sucked it up and made my way through the crowd to the stage, along the way I bumped into a few people but whacked someone with my purse. When I turned around to apologize, there in front of me was the Legend himself, Mr. Quincy Jones! The man who produced Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, amongst the many groundbreaking award winning records under his belt. Little did I know Mr. Jones was going to hit the stage to introduce Nikki Yanofsky once Universal Music President/CEO Randy Lennox introduced him. First artist to hit the stage was Toronto’s Jesse Gold, I thought he was going to be some folky singer-songwriter. Turns out I was wrong and happy about it too! Jesse has this poppy rock bluesy feel to his music. He did a phenomenal job as the first artist of the night, the crowd was eating it up. His songs do need a little work but the talent is blatant, no wonder Mr. Jones has taken a liking to him. One thing I noticed that night was, every artist including Miss Yanofsky had to ask for water on stage, what’s with that? Water should always be on stage at room temperature ready and waiting for the artist to drink, this keeps vocal chords moist. By the time Gold was really into his set it was over, he only played four songs. You can watch one of Jesse’s tune’s here. On stage next was Montreal’s Bobby Bazini, never heard of him or Jesse before but now we all know. Bazini had a full band and three backup singers, the first track he played was “Bubblegum” and it was the best track of his set. There was something about his vocals that irritated my ears in the other songs. It was like he was forcing himself to sound that way, wasn’t natural and did not sound authentic. Celine Dion has a similar problem but has been getting better over the years.The final artist I covered at this venue was Nikki Yanofsky, the child prodigy now twenty! Everyone knows Nikki as the voice of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic’s song “I Believe”, but now Montreal’s little Jazz pop star is growing up. This wasn’t the first I heard of Nikki, it was the first time I was actually able to see her perform live. Like a proud Grandfather, Quincy introduced Miss Yanofsky after he said a few wonderful words. You can see it unfold and hear Nikki sing her heart out here. Nikki blew me away, she was incredible as she showcased her new album for everyone in the crammed Revival. Yanofsky is one of those magnificent talents who is not noticed enough. First track was “Little Secret”, followed by “Something New“. People need to pay more attention to artists like Yanofsky instead of the overly sexual mediocre entertainers out there. The crowd was enchanted and her fans were falling more in love with her by the minute. I see great things in Miss Yanofsky’s future, after all Quincy Jones is executive producer on her latest record “Little Secret”. Once she sang three songs and I had the coverage I needed, I migrated to the same spot as the night before so I could watch the show. Nikki was truly a pleasure, the beautiful butterfly is definitely coming out of her cocoon. See her live, buy her records, get acquainted with Canada’s sweetheart.
Saturday was interesting, I decided to play a game with the local FridaeTV fans. Quite a few of you showed up to meet me at different locations, I felt so loved thank you everyone for all the support! The first coverage location of the night was The Horseshoe Tavern for the Paul Gourlie charity benefit. Paul Gourlie was probably the best agent any band or artist could ever have. Paul worked for the Agency group, he was so very passionate about music and the bands he worked with. He was the first agent I ever met and has told me about so many bands. He loved the bands like he was in them, very few people in the entertainment industry are like Gourlie, he loved music, a true music angel. I think I still might have his card somewhere. Sadly he is missed by many, last year on May 10th 2013 he succumbed to the disease he had been fighting his whole life, Cystic Fibrosis. Rest in paradise Paul Gourlie, you are now free to chill with the greatest musicians. Two of the bands Paul discovered played to honour him they were, Bedouin Soundclash and The Trews.Personally, my ears are not a fan of Bedouin Soundclash’s music, however they do have my respect for making waves. The Horseshoe is one of the worst venues to film or photograph anything. The lighting is horrible, the crowd gets sweaty and the footage always comes out looking and sounding like ass. This time was no different except that the lighting was better and I had my external mic, therefore the sound was not going to be an issue. Some of the crowd was already drunk and rowdy, this environment was going to get interesting rather quickly. As predicted it did, once Bedouin Soundclash hit the stage the pushing and elbowing began. I only planned to film one track but forgot to turn on the mic for the first one, The next track was a song they dedicated to Paul and had all of the original members in attendance. The band is: Eon Sinclair, Sekou Lumumba but for this special night original drummer Patrick Pengelly. Pengelly left the band in 2009 to attend Law school but joined the band on stage for this performance. The set was entertaining, they played all of their hit tunes but the crowd was thirsty for more. Watch the track “St Andrews” here, and while you’re there check out all of the other artists on FridaeTV.It calmed down for maybe five minutes between changeovers and then more people flooded the room to watch The Trews. I couldn’t see the back, there were far too many people and it just kept going like an endless ocean. No way I could get a drink and find my way to the stage again, that was an obvious delusion. To pass the time a lady who was with the Toronto Star was asking me about FridaeTV. She mentioned that the Star was working on a new online live series with musicians. Well, I wish you all the best, so many media outlets doing the same thing. But hey, we could always team up! The Trews kicked off their set with a song they wrote specifically for Paul called “65 Roses” you can watch the video below.
Once again Marshall Mathers teams up with Miss Fenty Riri to throw down another “Monster” masterpiece. I vowed to not write another video news release because music channels out there have fallow video hosts who like to use my words on air. Main example is a little news piece back in the day on “Love The Way You Lie“, thanks to my loyal friend who informed me of this faux pas. If you’re going to plagiarize someones work at least change up the words, laughs! This is not a news release more like a song and video review…Did not go into too much detail regarding this track in the review of “MMLP2” for good reason! I had this up my sleeve for a minute now, today it can be published because the video has been released.
The song itself is in reference to Eminem’s multiple personalities and how he is still actively feeding the monster under his bed and vice versa. In the video directed by Rich Lee, Mathers plays a patient and Rihanna is the doctor. As Rihanna sings “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed / Get along with the voices inside of my head / You’re trying to save me, stop holdin’ your breath / And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy.” Mather’s reflects on his past accomplishments and demons using flash backs of The Monster’s reign. It was clever to redo and incorporate those specific videos to tell the story of the song, which goes fittingly with the lyrics. People fail to convey the message in video form these days. “Cause I need an interventionist to intervene between me and this monster / And save me from myself and all this conflict”. One of the video clips embedded within was when Eminem had his moment with Elton John, my guess is to reiterate he is not a homophobe. “I’m just relaying what the voice in my head is saying / Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the…” People need to remember he is just utilizing his freedom of speech, does not mean he actually believes some of the things he says, it’s just art.
Rihanna’s vocals on this track are very well done, she knows how to use her voice to the best of her ability. Fenty is not the strongest vocalist but as an entertainer she has the charisma and determination, not to mention she is one hell of a performer. Mathers solidifies his top spot in the music industry with a sharp flow and passion filled feelings behind the lyrics. Even though you don’t want more fame, this is your job, now werk bitch! Haha! That is, if you still have something left to say. At the end of the video Eminem comes face to face with the Monster locked in the cage being watched by two teflon padded gunmen, we all know who the moster is even before you see him. Watch this epic video and see for yourself what I’m talking about! www.EMINEM.com
Toronto, ON – Canadian hip-hop artist JDiggz is set to release his brand new EP, Two Weeks Notice (Frostbyte/eOne Entertainment), on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. The highly anticipated follow-up to JDiggz’ 2010 mixtape, The Xperiment,Two Weeks Notice is the latest showing of his flow and rap finesse and features his current single “Act A Fool” featuring Leftside. The seven-track EP offers innovative sounds and raw energy and is a collection of JDiggz’ distinct style and swagger. Full track listing below.
“This record marks the beginning of a journey for me,” says JDiggz. “It’s been five years since my last album and I’m extremely excited to show everyone my growth, musically. I’m very proud of this body of work and I hope everyone enjoys it!
JDiggz’ knack for everything musical started early when he began producing his own beats at the age of 10. After his single ‘Hypnotic’ caught the attention of Toronto producer Rahmel and world-renowned video director, Little X (Nelly Furtado, John Mayer, Usher), his popularity was raised to new heights. In 2007, JDiggz went on to release his debut album Memoirs of a Playbwoy, which featured his first music video “Puush It Up” that became one of MuchMusic’s top streamed videos at the time.
Over the last few years, JDiggz has toured with some of hip-hop’s elite including Akon and Ludacris and has performed with R&B veteran Mario and rap star The Game. In 2010, he headlined a Grammy showcase hosted by LL Cool J in front of a packed house at LA’s famous Key Club on Sunset. With producer credits that include Blake McGrath’s debut album Time To Move, JDiggz’ versatility, creativity and his ability to produce soulful music are at the forefront of Canada’s thriving hip-hop community.
JDiggz recently won the 2011 MuchMusic Video Award for Independent Video of the Year for his single “This Time” featuring alternative music heavyweights, Never Ending White Lights which also went on to hit #1 on the MuchMusic countdown. His production team, Starbwoyz Music, have produced several Contemporary Hit Radio Top 40 records for artists such as Kardinal Offishal and Drake.
The last time I saw Tech N9ne live was at the 2009 Rock The Bells festival at the Molson Amphitheater in Toronto. I was thoroughly impressed by his ever so tight stacatto patter that he’s known for. Rapid fire in seconds and it doesn’t sound repetative or fake, he actual means what he says when he’s throwing down a rhyme.
Aaron Dontez Yates from Kansas City is anything but new to the game, he has been the king of underground Hip Hop for years and only has just begun to surface the mainstream. Tech N9ne brought his set to the centre of the universe twice (Joking, this one is for the Quebequers, we all know how much you love Toronto.) Friday September 21st and Saturday September 22nd, both nights I heard were bananas! The door man said he only had about 10 tickets left for the Saturday show when we arrived and that was at 7:30pm. By the time Tech N9ne hit the stage those tickets I were long gone.
Opening up for Tech N9ne was Canada’s So Sick Social Club and MadChild of Swollen Members. If I had know every white rapper in the GTA was going to perform and none of the skilled MC’s would hit the stage until ten, I would not have been so early. Absolutly horrendous were majority of those who hit that stage, they were giving me a headache I couldn’t tell them a part. Short, white with Backstreet Boy facial hair, some stalky, all bald except the one female who attempted to spit only to be shut out and drowned by her co-performer. I thought okay here’s a female MC, I hope she throws it down! WRONG! So Wrong! She let the boys take the spotlight even when it was her verse. She was stuttering and did not rhyme with passion at all, why she even stepped to the mic I don’t know. Aside from the only female “rapper”, a few desperado girls were giving the boys a peep show for a t-shirt. Maybe, if it was for a legit Rapper with at the least some type of B status clout, you could have some dignity remaining. But, once your tits hit youtube for a random shitty ass r,ap group’s $5 T-shirt…Your judgement will forever be questionable ladies! So many women lack class, there are many ways to be sexy without desperatly flashing your headlights for every fugly wannabe.
On with the show! Ontario’s So Sick Social Club entertained the crowd before Madchild. This was not their first time opening for Tech N9ne, it seems like a trend for them everytime he has a show in Toronto. I saw them perform many years ago barely recalling their set. The crowd was loving their energy and their rapping isn’t bad, I like the fusion of guitar in their music. Rapping is their stronger suit because none of them are very good melodic singers however, they do put on an energetic set worth checking out. So Sick Social Club is: VooDoo Drew, Chris So Sick and Midnight a.k.a VooDoo Man they recently released their “Dead Friends Don’t Tell” LP available for purchase here.
Next up was Madchild also know as one third of the Juno Award winning Canadian Hip Hop group from Vancouver “Swollen Members”. Madchild (Shane Bunting) recently released another solo record titled “Dope Sick“. He came out strong, the crowd instantly errupted as he slapped and dapped every hand he could touch. I am familiar with a few of the Swollen Members’ singles and Madchild threw down a few of those, surprisingly he was pretty good. It was getting a little too crazy in the “mosh circle” area, the boys were a little too excited. The show was ages sixteen and up so a variety of people were present but mostly male. Madchild did a fantastic job keeping the crowd ripe and ready for Tech N9ne.
Teck N9ne’s right hand man Krizz Kaliko spit a verse before introducing The headliner to the crowd. Once Yates hit the stage, the crowd went bonkers wild at the Rockpile. He played a full set of almost thirty tracks and this was his second and final Toronto show for this tour. It was a nice treat for my ears to hear such smooth, passionate rhymes with conviction coming from the source. Tech N9ne is one of the very few rappers who has such a vast array of original material to choose from including tracks off of his latest E.B.A.H. ep. The crowd knew every word to every song he spit and didn’t want this night to end. You can find videos I filmed from the sets here and more photos here. Tech N9ne is the only MC anyone should be talking about and if he comes through a city near you go see him live!
Tech N9ne Announces Canadian Tour With Madchild From Swollen Members
Following his sold-out 95 date “Hostile Takeover Tour” with Machine Gun Kelly, premier independent hip-hop artist Tech N9ne refuses to rest. The Strange Music recording artist has announced a headlining Canadian tour with Suburban Noize/Battle Axe Records artist Madchild, from Platinum Canadian hip-hop crew Swollen Members. The tour will kick off on September 4th in Madchild‘s hometown of Vancouver, BC and continue through early October.
Over the last decade, the Kansas City recording artist has continued to build his Strange Music brand by developing a fervent following of devoted fans captivated by his uncanny energy and relentless touring schedule. By the mid-2000s, Tech N9ne was performing over 200 shows a year in high-octane sets that have earned high-profile endorsements from the likes of Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes and many others.
In 2011, the rapper released his critically-acclaimed twelfth studio album, All 6’s & 7’s, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Independent and Hip-Hop/R&B charts, and No. 4 overall on the Top 200. Tech N9ne also delivered a show-stopping, stand-out feature on Lil’ Wayne’s The Carter IV, which sold nearly 1 million units in its first week of release last summer.
Tech N9ne‘s single, “Caribou Lou”, was just recently certified Gold, according to SoundScan, which tracks the sale of music. Singles and albums are considered Gold once they have sold more than 500,000 units.
As a member of Swollen Members, Madchild is part of one of the most successful hip-hop acts to emerge out of Canada. During their decade long career, Swollen Members has multiple Gold and Platinum selling records, won countless awards including Much Music video awards, and the group is a 4-time Juno Award winner for Best Rap Recording and Rap Recording of the Year. Madchild is touring in support of his debut solo album, Dope Sick, which hits stores on August 28th.
Tech N9ne‘s Canadian tour dates are below. For a complete, up-to-date listing and to purchase tickets, please visit www.strangevip.com.
This album review is the first of 2012, I have made record reviews a part of my 2012 resolution list because I normally don’t do that many. Personally, I don’t like crushing people’s spirits by trashing their artwork but many often misunderstand my intentions. I am different than most critics because I myself am an artist, I speak truth to help guide and refine a talent. Honesty is one of the finest qualities any person can have and I appreciate KRS-One’s opinion because he doesn’t run with the wolves, he herds them. This record is pure truth from the intro to the end and then you’re like wait a minute that’s it and you play it again. The BDP Album is available on CD, iTunes or on limited edition white vinyl at the 6.8.2 Records website.
KRS-ONE is a legend; he is one of the very few Emcees’ still alive who can claim credit for the birth and creation of Hip Hop and its culture. Lawrence Krisna Parker is known for bringing his Jamaican Boom Bap flavor to his enigmatic yet straight forward rhymes. Born in Flatbush, Brooklyn he moved to the South Bronx as a teenager to pursue his dreams of being a Rapper. It wasn’t until he lived in the Bronx that he adopted the moniker KRS-One which is an acronym for (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone). On this record KRS-One brings in the “Teacha” to school these new kids about what real Hip Hop is. As the “Blastmaster” Kris furiously spits his valid opinion on tracks like “Tote Gunz” (This track is one of three chosen by the fans), “2012” and the current single “Times Up” featuring Jessie West (Another track chosen by the fans and one of my favorites.). This record like every KRS album was overseen by DJ Scott La Rock who was murdered back in 1987, this is Parker’s way of paying tribute to his fallen friend until the end.
DJ Kenny Parker brought the old school Boom Bap beats back, varied with these relaxing yet motivational new school sounds taking me on a journey back to when music was good and inspiring. Smooth and solid, each song having a different personality and message. The production for the most part is fantastic but does need work on the mixing for a few tunes, vocals are much louder than the beat and it sounds a little off not blending as intended. It is one thing to make a hot club banger but nobody sticks with the reruns, that is why loyalty has diminished because records these days lack the quality of the past and are easily forgettable. The media, the radio, the labels we are all at fault for promoting and signing less than stellar under par artists. I believe people deserve the best and I try to filter the content on this site accordingly to give people quality entertainment. Eminem is probably the only new school mainstream rapper who brought some much needed life into the mainstream Hip Hop world after Pac and Biggie’s untimely deaths. Now auto-tune has taken over and every tone deaf fame monger is trying to be a rapper or a singer.
KRS-One is here to give everyone the knowledge of what Hip Hop really is and everyone who doesn’t already know, your ears need to perk up and pay attention to this record! Kris “KRS-One” Parker is Hip Hop! The United Nations recognizes his Temple of Hip Hop as a genuine political movement and culture that is also known as the Ministry, Archive, School and Society (M.A.S.S). KRS remains in the game because he is all truth without deception. I couldn’t stop laughing at some of his lines “My lyrics are tighter than a hipster’s jeans.” and another example from the infectious track Time’s Up “Well, when it comes to DJ’s you got the has and the has not’s, some play records others play lap tops.” He basically shreds every glam rapper and fraudulent try hard DJ out there, you all know who you are.
I love hearing Toronto mentioned in songs, KRS-One gave us some love on the “Cypher Remix”. Parker is as real as they get and with The BDP crew KRS-One will forever continue to keep Hip Hop alive! After all, he did give birth to it and has the right to take it away if he wants. Enough of my opinions, you make the decision for yourself but before you do, read what DJ Kenny Parker has to say about the record and the state of Hip Hop in the interview below.
DJ KENNY PARKER INTERVIEW
Fridae:If you could tell me and the world, who is DJ Kenny Parker?
Kenny: I am the younger brother of KRS-One. I’ve been Deejaying for BDP since 1990 and I’ve been producing for Krs since 1992 starting with The Sex & Violence LP .
Fridae:Majority of the tracks on the new KRS-One record “The BDP Album” were produced by you, why did it take twenty years to make this album?
Kenny: Sex & Violence was the last BDP album. After that, the theme of the KRS-One solo albums have been Krs working with different producers. I’ve done remixes and some album cuts over the years and I’ve co-produced some things with Krs over the years. He and I haven’t sat down and got together on some music since Sex & Violence, I felt like now was a good time. I asked him and he said let’s do it, so we started recording.
Fridae:When you were creating the foundation did you have a certain direction in mind?
Kenny: Yes. I was trying to make music with a combination of elements that I liked in the 90’s but also would sound relevant today. I wanted to have the boom bap but also show progression.
Fridae: What was the inspiration behind the music, where did you want to take the listener?
Kenny: I didn’t want the album to sound repetitive so I really tried to make tracks that would sound different from each other on the album but stay with the theme. I want to sound different from other producers as well. It’s not easy but that’s what I had in mind as I worked on the music.
Fridae:Where was the BDP album recorded and why was it titled The BDP Album?
Kenny: The BDP album was recorded in a few different studios over the course of about a year. We did like 3 or 4 songs at a time, at different times. I called it the BDP album because it was basically just Kris And I working just like old times. Like we did on Sex & Violence, the last BDP album.
Fridae:You and Kris have been in this industry for decades, in your eyes how is Hip Hop different today than it was back in the 80’s or 90’s?
Kenny: In the 80’s/early 90’s I felt like for the most part the people at the top of the rap game were actually the best rappers in the game. The top 10 hottest rappers in the game were actually the best rappers, it made sense to me. Nowadays I feel like the hottest rappers aren’t even close to the best in the world. If you look at those MTV 10 hottest rapper specials, do you really feel that this is the most talented rappers there are in America. I don’t, I get confused. The best should be the hottest in that order, it used to be like that, not anymore.
Fridae:Where do you think it went wrong for Hip Hop?
Kenny: A decision was made to make Hip hop more accessible to the mainstream audience by simplifying the rhyme flow, the music and the subject matter. The decision was made by record companies chasing radio play and video play. When the music was dumbed down the sales went through the roof. However, the creativity suffered. Artists were forced to either change there style or they were fazed out. Not right away but over a little time, like a slow bomb. New artists had to make commercial records or they wouldn’t get a deal. Fast forward a few short years and Hip Hop as we knew it was over.
Fridae:The BDP album has cuts that are classic Hip Hop, ”Tote Gunz” is the perfect example, a few people out there think old school Hip Hop is dated and this new ”Glam Rap” is the future. What are your thoughts?
Kenny: For the immediate future, glam rap is here to stay. The 21 & under crowd doesn’t even know how to react to the classic hip hop sound now. They never really heard it before as adults. Trends move in cycles though. I think it would take newer artists that are on the radio all day or some new incredible artist to make a classic sounding album for the youth to gravitate towards it. As for the 30 & over crew. If you don’t buy or support artists making classic hip hop. The labels won’t sign it and the radio won’t play it. It’s just dollars and cents to them. They don’t care what the music sounds like, they don’t even know the difference. Whatever sells is all they care about.
Fridae:Are there any songs on the album that have a specific meaning to you?
Kenny: “Tote Gunz”, I like when Kris goes in on MC’s. I like the solution a lot too! What he is saying is so on time right now, that song was recorded a while back but the message is timeless. If you listen to that song a few years from now it’s still gonna hit home. Check out the lyrics.
Fridae:You will be touring Australia with your Brother soon; please elaborate on this unique experience.
Kenny: I’ve been performing with Kris for so long that I have a real good understanding of what he’s trying to do on stage. People don’t realize how organic our show really is. Things change so much during the course of the show based on where Kris is trying to go with the audience. People don’t even realize how much improvising is going on during the course of the show. You would have to watch KRS three nights in a row to see how things can change from one night to the next. It’s areal challenge for me to keep up but I love it.
Fridae:There’s a track titled 2012 on the record, what does 2012 have in store for Boogie Down Production and KRS-One? Will there be any North American Tour Dates?
Kenny: That’s a good question LOL. You would have to ask KRS. I basically follow his lead.. There’s a couple of songs I want to remix and add new lyrics to. Maybe a BDP 2.0. who knows?!
Thank you so much for the real talk and taking the time to answer questions for the FridaeTV audience. I hope to see the BDP crew live in Toronto sometime soon!
Tiny Danza are still remotely unknown and by sneak attack this band of characters won Indie Week Canada 2011, the quintet will be off to Indie Week Ireland 2012 to jam out with those awesome Irish folk. This was my first time seeing Tiny Danza live on the stage and what better venue than the EL Mocambo a frequented venue, a Bar in Toronto where legendary musicians have played. The only thing that I will always dislike about the Elmo is the lighting; my camera refuses to take photos half the time because the lighting is so dim and unlike many photographers I do not like using flash, I prefer natural lighting. When the headliners are on stage there is a slight difference with lighting but not by much, at least the sound was consistently done well throughout the night.
Of course I was curious to see how these five from Toronto would handle the audience and stage, I Needed to see why they won Indie Week first hand. Didn’t even bother to refresh my memory of their music, the plan for this review was to experience them live before I heard the record and although I’ve listened to a track or two before it has been a few months since then. Tiny Danza is comprised of Andrew Craig – Emcee/Vocals, Andrew Santaguida – Piano, Galen Hogg – Emcee, Matt Russo – Guitar, Nick Shao – Drums.
They had a few supporting acts, Tawlst Santiago a fantastic singer and artist, unfortunately I missed his set but managed to catch him later with Tiny Danza and Rapper Blake Carrington who was on just prior to Tiny Danza. Honestly couldn’t wait until Carrington’s set was over the set was dragging on and to me he sounded like just another “Canadian Rapper” with mediocre flow trying to rhyme over recycled beats. His set was too long but I do give him credit for trying to hype the crowd at least there was the effort there but he has a lot of work to do before he plays with the big boys.
Now to the main event, I knew there were a bunch of white emcee’s in this group and I was a little apprehensive but once they started in I was actually enjoying their sound, especially vocals. Andrew Craig has a soulful yet fiery tone in his voice kind of like the Caramel of vocals rich and smooth like an R&B singer and he can kind of rap. Craig’s flow is a little delayed compared to Hogg’s which is smoother and tighter but practice will help improve. For me it was impressive at how fantastic the singing was and how together the band played, bouncing off each other without an awkward moment, it sounded so crisp and clear the rapping was a bonus. When they brought the Larry on the Saxophone to join the musical ensemble I was floored, this band has something completely different going on and does stand a part from other bands right now on the Toronto scene! So blatant was the talent, it was there all in your ears and face, no need for auto-tune which was extremely refreshing!I still am very surprised a major hasn’t grabbed this band yet. There was plenty of press and fans for me to maneuver so my shots are ass but that only means I have to see them again. Musically the band is on the same page, the beat was kept, the guitar sounded sick and the keys added an element of harmony tying everything together. The Sax was a welcome addition to enriching the Tiny Danza sound.The stage handling was interesting, the band managed to keep the crowd entranced and by the end of the set Hogg was topless and the audience was on the stage having a major rager while the band played out! The only thing I would recommend is to keep practicing the floetry and work on the songs to continually refine your sound. The verdict is…When in need of a talentfusion go see if these energetic characters are playing because they will definitely hit the spot, Tiny Danza is Fridae Approved!