Results for Toronto

interviews

Feist

This week's guest is Leslie Feist, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter. Born in Calgary and bred in the Toronto music scene, Feist is one of many Canadian indie acts rising in popularity. It seems that our neighbor to the north is the next Seattle or Portland. Bands like Broken Social Scene and Peaches, who can both claim Feist as collaborators, plus The Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Metric, Stars, The Constantines, Hidden Cameras, and Death from Above 1979, are all coming out of Canada (and are all a far cry from Shania Twain or Bryan Adams). During her interview with Jim and Greg, Feist performs "Gatekeeper," "Mushaboom," and a cover of "Secret Heart" by Ron Sexsmith. There are a number of covers on her latest album, Let It Die, including "In and Out" by The Bee Gees and "Now at Last" by Blossom Dearie.

Go to episode 13

Peaches

Jim and Greg are joined this week by Peaches and her band Sweet Machine. The singer and performance artist was born Merril Nisker in Toronto, but took on the electro-clash alter-ego Peaches for her first solo album The Teaches of Peaches. Peaches is now based and her latest album is I Feel Cream. As she relays to Jim and Greg, she wanted to focus more on the singing. She's also had the opportunity to collaborate with Pink, Iggy Pop and Christina Aguilera. As Peaches says, she waited for the mainstream to come to her, rather than move towards it. She and Sweet Machine perform tracks from I Feel Cream on the show, and you can hear all the live tracks here.

Go to episode 218

K'Naan

This week Jim and Greg are joined in the studio by K'Naan and his touring band. The rapper and poet, born in Somalia and raised in New York and Toronto, released his second, and most successful album Troubadour last year. K'Naan left Mogadishu at age 13 at the outbreak of civil war violence, but the country remains a major influence on his music. There are a number of Somali poetry styles, and as he demonstrates to Jim and Greg, it can lend itself to rap verses. Also, while he appreciates a good love song as much as the next person, K'Naan feels a responsibility with his music and tries to convey the violence and the reality of what he experienced.

Go to episode 231
reviews
FantasiesFantasies available on iTunes

Metric Fantasies

The next review is of Metric's new album Fantasies. This is the fourth release for the Toronto quartet. Vocalist Emily Haines and guitarist Jimmy Shaw might be best known for their work in the Broken Social Scene, but it's on this album that they really shine. Jim calls the songs "pure pop pleasure" with lots of sex appeal. Greg hears a lot of growth in Haines‘ songwriting and thinks this is Metric’s best ablum yet. Fantasies gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 176
Thank Me LaterThank Me Later available on iTunes

Drake Thank Me Later

Thank Me Later, the debut album from rapper Drake, went to #1 this week, and Jim and Greg have no doubt that the young Toronto artist has a long career ahead of him. Previously best known as the wheelchair-bound Jimmy on the teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation, Drake and his MC skills caught the attention of Lil Wayne. Wayne, along with Kanye West, Alicia Keys and a number of other heavy hitters join Drake on Thank Me Later, but it's a testament to his strength as a performer that he's not overshadowed by any of the guest stars, according to Jim. He presents a thoughtful album that focuses on hip hop's latest drug–celebrity. Jim calls the record introspective and brilliantly minimalistic and gives it a Buy It. Greg agrees, noting that Drake lacks the typical rap bravado. It's fascinating, but also monochromatic, meaning you'll need to sit and live with the record for a while. Thank Me Later gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 239
A Letter Home (Deluxe Version)A Letter Home available on iTunes

Neil Young A Letter Home

Neil Young is living in the past. Over the last few years, he's released several box sets, a memoir, and a 2012 album called Americana stuffed with vintage folk tunes. Now, on A Letter Home, his 35th album, he's again stepping back in time, revisiting the songs he loved as a teenage folkie in Toronto. For bonus nostalgia points, Young recorded the entire album on the 1947 Voice-O-Graph at Jack White's Third Man studios. Jim points out that the record was literally recorded in phone booth, so it's not an easy listen — but the unrefined sound is somehow fitting for Young (despite the artist's hi-fi evangelism). For Jim, A Letter Home is a fascinating look at the influences of a musical treasure, and he'd gladly Buy It. Greg predicts that some listeners will be turned off by the "sub-lo-fi" quality, but advises them to reconsider, and to take this album for what it is: the scrapbook of a young Young, equal parts warm and spooky. Still, while it's nice to hear that inspiration brought to life, Greg doesn't consider it essential Neil, and only suggests you Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 444
This Is ThirteenThis Is Thirteen available on iTunes

Anvil This Is Thirteen

Jim and Greg end the show with a review of This Is Thirteen by the Toronto metal band Anvil. Anvil is influential in the speed and thrash communities, but hasn't received much mainstream attention until now. The reason for the increased exposure is the release of the critically acclaimed documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which chronicles the band's tough road. Jim calls Anvil a“meat and potatoes”metal band, but hears the conviction and heart in their music. He gives This is Thirteen a Try It. Greg loves their sound. They aren't on the Motorhead level of fame, but have a similar hard, no-nonsense style. The drummer really kicks it into gear for Greg, and he gives Anvil's new record a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 199
features

Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip

Go to episode 622
news

Music News

Watch this Home Depot ad or this Pizza Hut spot and you might find yourself playing a game of Name That Tune. The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are suing these corporations for what they say is their use of“sound alike”tunes - in this case, instrumental tracks that rip off key elements of the band's hits "Lonely Boy" and "Gold on the Ceiling ." The two are seeking $75,000 in damages apiece. We'll have to wait and see if they get it, but this did work for Tom Waits in the eighties…

Tragedy struck the Radiohead tour recently when a stage collapse in Toronto killed a drum tech and injured three others. The collapse continues a disturbing trend of similar accidents last year, notably the Indiana State Fair collapse and a collapse in Ottawa that nearly crushed the members of Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick's near miss motivated them to lobby Congress for greater regulation of the temporary stage industry, but action didn't come soon enough for the Radiohead crew. Now four entities including Live Nation and Radiohead's touring arm are being investigated in the accident. It's been a rough summer for EDM fans too. Two concertgoers died at this month's Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. The event's promoter, Insomniac Events, denies responsibility for the deaths, which occurred outside festival boundaries. No word yet on whether Las Vegas will take any action.

Go to episode 344
world tours

Canada

Justin Bieber

Every once in a while, Jim and Greg embark on the Sound Opinions World Tour and explore the music of another country. This week felt like a fine time to turn to our neighbor to the north and look at the music coming out of Canada today. As their guide, they're joined by music critic Ben Rayner of the the Toronto Star. Ben takes them from Montreal's experimental/electronic scene to the noise-pop of Halifax to the country's growing hip-hop culture. He also explains how the government supports pop music via grants and the "Cancon" regulations requiring broadcasters to air a certain amount of Canadian music. Ben also recommends two up-and-coming Canadian artists: Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Acadian folk-rocker Lisa LeBlanc.

Jim and Greg also dig through the Sound Opinions archives and share their favorite performances and interviews from Canadian artists, including a stripped down song from Montreal's Arcade Fire, a conversation with Toronto's Feist from early in her career, and a performance from the Vancouver supergroup The New Pornographers. Plus, they revisit their conversation with the most Canadian of all bands: Rush.

Go to episode 572