Friday, 13 November 2015

Tyler MacGregor's Long-Awaited Debut Album Speaks to All Our "Foolish" Heart Songs | Album Review by Xristopher Bland

Where the following of one’s heart can occasionally feel foolish before the bumper-car headlights of pragmatists asleep at the wheel, the results of allowing passion to strengthen and form as gifts comes through clearly in Foolish Heart Songs, the long-awaited debut album by Tyler MacGregor

As a collection of new and re-mastered songs from previous release on SoundCloud, the album adds an electric edge to MacGregor’s trademark acoustic style, and while electric guitar may not become an addition to his live performances, its addition to the album felt natural for the Toronto singer-songwriter. “I’m mostly an acoustic guy,” says MacGregor, “and wanted the whole record to have an unplugged feel. As time went on, I started fooling around with the electric guitar and realized that, for leads, solos and atmosphere, it really lent itself well to the songs,” as did amending elements and removing others. 

In a re-worked version of “Til the Day I Die,” MacGregor added electric swells throughout the song and removed the brush drums from the bridge. He also brought up the lead vocals, “because in the original mix, you couldn’t really decipher the lyrics.” For “Grouchy,” MacGregor infused the formerly all-acoustic song with a dynamic interplay of electric leads and rhythms, augmented by amplified background vocals in the chorus. In “Don’t Ever Wake Me,” he employed (and admittedly fell in love with) an “echo-drenched wah-wah” guitar effect that made its way into many album tracks, and for “Asleep at the Wheel,” he added more background vocals in addition to amending a few lyrics that had been bothering him. 

The results is an album that comes across as a collection of brand new work—even for fans who’ve listened to the few previously released SoundCloud tracks. Yet more than that, the album stands as encouragement to anyone who feels the pull and passion of their own “foolish” heart songs but feels they don’t have the resources to make them happen. Says MacGeregor, “Some of the record was paid for using the old barter system.” In MacGregor’s case, he intrepidly exchanged studio time for helping the studio owner paint his living room and renovate his kitchen, to which MacGregor happily says, “Great system when you have no money left for recording. I got about four songs out of it.” 

'Foolish Heart Songs' will be available for digital download on Bandcamp on November 26th. If you’re in Toronto that night, head over to the Paddock Tavern at 9 p.m. for the CD release party. Joining MacGregor on stage: Alexander Quail and Sarah Hiltz.


To really stay in the loop, visit Tyler MacGregor on Facebook

MARIANAS TRENCH TO EMBARK ON CANADIAN TOUR IN 2016 | With Very Special Guests 'Walk Off The Earth'

Toronto, ON - Announced November 9th, Multi-Platinum selling Canadian pop-rockers Marianas Trench will head out on their Never Say Die tour across Canada in the spring of 2016. Tickets for the tour will go on sale November 13 via, with a VIP presale on November 10. The tour is in support of their newly released fourth studio album Astoria (604 Records / Interscope), which debuted at #2 on the Canadian SoundScan charts and roared onto the American Top Current Albums Chart at #33. The  
release echoes one part 1980's fantasy adventure film and one part classic Marianas Trench and American fans are currently enjoying this experience first hand as the band embarked on their U.S tour last week.

Kicking off on March 9 in Kingston, ON, the 18-date tour will showcase the hard work and passion put into their latest offering, and promises to be one of their most exciting tours to date. Joining the band on tour is Platinum selling Canadian quintet Walk Off The EarthTouring in support of their latest single "Hold On," WOTE has garnered close to half a billion total YouTube views and more than 2 million YouTube subscribers. This year, WOTE released Sing It All Away, their second album with Columbia Records, which also includes the anthemic platinum-plus single "Rule The World."  In 2013 the band released the album R.E.V.O, featuring their hits "Red Hands" and "Gang Of Rhythm."

Marianas Trench front man Josh Ramsay enthuses, "mousse up that hair, throw on your best ripped acid wash, and get ready to join the fight to make dancing legal once again. When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit. Can you survive Astoria? The only other thing capable of generating that much energy is a bolt of lightning."

Known for their infectious sound and energetic performances, Marianas Trench have secured a spot as one of Canada's most successful bands of the past decade, building their name on relentless touring and engagement with their fans. Since their 2006 debut album Fix Me, Marianas Trench have had two certified Platinum albums (Masterpiece Theatre and Ever After) and many chart topping hits including "Fallout," "Haven't Had Enough" and "Stutter." In 2013, the band earned a JUNO Award forGroup of the Year, adding that accomplishment to their multiple Much Music Video Awards. Ramsay also received a Grammy nomination in 2013 for co-writing and producing Carly Rae Jepsen's breakthrough smash "Call Me Maybe."
For more information on Marianas Trench visit
Marianas Trench Tour Dates (with very special guest Walk Off The Earth)

March 9, 2016
Rogers K-Rock Centre
Kingston, ON
March 11, 2016
FirstOntario Centre
Hamilton, ON
March 12, 2016
Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
Kitchener, ON
March 14, 2016
Sudbury Arena
Sudbury, ON
March 16, 2016
Budweiser Gardens
London, ON
March 18, 2016
Barrie Molson Centre
Barrie, ON
March 19, 2016
General Motors Centre
Oshawa, ON
March 21, 2016
Peterborough Memorial Centre
Peterborough, ON
March 22, 2016
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
March 25, 2016
MTS Centre
Winnipeg, MB
March 26, 2016
Brandt Centre
Regina, SK
March 29, 2016
ENMAX Centre
Lethbridge, AB
March 30, 2016
ENMAX Centrium
Red Deer, AB
April 1, 2016
Rexall Place
Edmonton, AB
April 2, 2016
Stampede Corral
Calgary, AB
April 5, 2016
Prospera Place
Kelowna, BC 
April 7, 2016Sandman Centre Kamloops, BC 
April 8, 2016 Pacific Coliseum Vancouver, BC 

Friday, 6 November 2015

BETTE MIDLER SHARES THE LOVE | 'A Gift Of Love' Highlights Love Songs From the Grammy-Winning Singer’s Studio Albums And Soundtrack Recordings

*Press Release* Warner Canada

A Gift Of Love Highlights Love Songs From the
Grammy-Winning Singer’s Studio Albums And Soundtrack Recordings
18-Track Collection Will Be Available On December 4

Bette Midler has been singing her way into people’s hearts since her debut album, The Divine Miss M (1972), became a platinum-seller and helped the singer win her first Grammy® Award. Since then, she has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and earned the distinction as only the second female singer to score a Top 10 album in five consecutive decades.
Throughout her career, Midler has demonstrated a remarkable musical range, but many of her signature hits have focused on matters of the heart. That’s why Rhino will bring together 18 of her best love songs for a new collection A GIFT OF LOVE, available on December 4 on CD and digitally.

After Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertugun discovered Midler in 1972, the irrepressible singer with the unmistakable voice went on to enjoy an amazing career that continues to this day. This new collection includes highlights from albums she recorded for both Atlantic Records and Warner Bros. between 1976 and 2014.

The earliest recording on the new album is “Let Me Just Follow Behind,” which Midler recorded for her third album, Songs for the New Depression (1976). The most recent tracks — “(Talk To Me Of) Mendocino” and “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game” — come from the sessions for Midler’s smash tribute to female trios It’s the Girls and are previously unreleased outside of the U.S.
This new collection spotlights a number of incredibly poignant tracks, like her cover of Marshall Crenshaw’s “My Favorite Waste Of Time” from No Frills (1983); “Every Road Leads Back To You” from the soundtrack to her film For the Boys (1991); “Shining Star” from Bette (2000); plus five tracks from her platinum release Bette of Roses (1995), including “It’s Too Late” and “As Dreams Go By.”

A GIFT OF LOVE would not be complete without three of Midler’s biggest hits: “The Rose” from the 1979 film of the same name in which Midler starred; the #1 Grammy-winning smash “Wind Beneath My Wings” from another Midler film, Beaches; and “From A Distance,” from her double-platinum album Some People’s Lives (1990).


Track Listing
1.    “Favorite Waste Of Time”
2.    “In This Life”
3.    “The Gift Of Love”
4.    “Bed Of Roses”
5.    “From A Distance”
6.    “Wind Beneath My Wings”
7.    “Come Rain Or Come Shine”
8.    “The Rose”
9.    “As Dreams Go By”
10.    “It’s Too Late”
11.    “All I Need To Know”
12.    “Every Road Leads Back To You”
13.    “Shining Star”
14.    “To Deserve You”
15.    “Night And Day”
16.    “(Talk To Me Of) Mendocino”
17.    “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game”
18.    “Let Me Just Follow Behind”

WARNER MUSIC SIGNS AARON GOODVIN releases debut single, “Knock On Wood,” | Confirmed as opening act on 2016 Johnny Reid tour

Friday, November 6, 2015 - For Immediate release

Warner Music Canada is proud to welcome Country singer / songwriter Aaron Goodvin to the label’s roster.  Goodvin makes his label debut with the release today of the single “Knock On Wood,” available at all retailers and streaming services.  In 2016, Aaron will get a chance to meet audiences right across the country as the opening act on Johnny Reid’s  cross-Canada What Love Is All About 2016 tour.

“This song is the past 10 years of my life wrapped into three and half minutes,” says Aaron of “Knock On Wood.” “It’s also a great reminder to myself of all the hard times I got through just to get a song like this on the radio.”
“The first time I heard Aaron perform his songs, I knew he had something special,” says Steve Kane, President, Warner Music Canada. “He brings to life wonderful human stories and sings in a voice that resonates with passion and truth.  The Warner Music Canada team is proud to work with such an incredibly talented artist.”
Raised in a music loving family, Aaron Goodvin had his first taste of stage life when he entered a singing contest at a local mall at 12 years-old.  Once he heard the applause from the crowd, he knew what he wanted to do and no one was going to get in his way.  But singing other people’s songs wasn’t what he had in mind, so he as soon as he could play guitar, he started writing his own material.

Over the years, Aaron built a local reputation as a dynamic performer with a rock solid portfolio of songs.  With that success buoying his confidence, he started to make trips down to Nashville to test the waters in country music’s Mecca.  After signing with publishing powerhouse Warner Chappell Music, Aaron scored his first major league contribution with the track “Out Like That” on Luke Bryan’s multi-platinum Crash My Party

The opportunity to continue to develop as a performer ended up coming from fellow artist Johnny Reid.  Reid was working with a Nashville recording engineer who mentioned that he had also been working with a young singer named Aaron Goodvin.  Impressed by his ability to sing and perform Johnny reached out to Aaron to get together. The two talked about what Aaron’s future could hold. 

“Aaron Goodvin is living proof that hard work, passion, perseverance and pure God given ability will eventually get you where you were born to be,” says Johnny Reid. “I look forward to introducing my audience to this exceptional talent on my 2016 tour” 

On tour with Johnny Reid / What Love Is All About 2016 Tour Dates:

February 1 – Vancouver, BC – QE Theatre
February 2 – Abbotsford, BC – Abbotsford Centre
February 3 – Kamloops, BC – Interior Savings Centre
February 5 – Prince George, BC – CN Centre
February 6 – Grande Prairie, AB – Canada Games Arena
February 8 – Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place
February 9 – Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place
February 12 – Medicine Hat, AB – Medicine Hat Regional Centre
February 13 – Lethbridge, AB – Enmax Centre
February 16 – Regina, SK – Conexus COA
February 17 – Regina, SK – Conexus COA
February 20 – Winnipeg, MB – Club Regent
February 21 – Winnipeg, MB – Club Regent
February 26 – Calgary, AB – Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
February 27 – Calgary, AB – Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
March 2 – Edmonton, AB – Northern Alberta Jubliee Auditorium
March 3 – Edmonton, AB – Northern Alberta Jubliee Auditorium
March 5 – Red Deer, AB – Enmax Centrium
March 7 – Brandon, AB – Westman Place
March 8 – Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay Auditorium
March 9 – Sault Ste Marie, ON – Essar Centre
March 10 – Sudbury, ON – Sudbury Arena
March 12 – Oshawa, ON – GM Centre
March 14 – Kitchener, ON – Centre in the Square
March 17 – Hamilton, ON – Hamilton Place Theatre
March 20 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
March 21 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
March 22 – Peterborough, ON – Memorial Centre
March 24 – Kingston, ON – K-Rock Centre
March 28 – Moncton, NB – Moncton Arena
March 29 – Saint John, NB – Harbour Station
March 30 – Sydney, NS – Centre 200
March 31 – Halifax, NS – Scotiabank Metro Centre
April 3 – St. Johns, NL – Mile One Centre
April 4 – Cornerbrook, NL – Pepsi Centre 

Never Mind the Magic Bus, Here’s the Paper Mâché Dream Balloon | King Gizzard Review by Xristopher Bland

by Xristopher Bland

If progressive rock can be likened to a planet long thought to have spun beyond the outer orbits of the musical solar system, nobody told King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Like some fresh satellite transmission from that world, King Gizzard not only proves that prog is alive and vibrant but orbiting back around in the form of their new album, “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon.”

Scheduled for general release on Nov. 13th through the band’s own label, Flightless, the acoustic album unplugs from the band’s more traditional, heavier electric instrumentation. As well, where previous albums by King Gizzard have involved music intertwining around conceptual themes (yup, the concept album—a term the band isn’t afraid to use), “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon” features tracks crafted as stand-alone songs. Yet such slicing shouldn’t be misconstrued as a move by the band toward mainstream song composition and album production. Where progressive rock found its original foothold as a richly embroidered alternative to popular music of the day, King Gizzard has re-opened and held that door open since the band’s formation in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia, and they’ve done it prolifically.

Just as bands once released more than one album per year for fans, King Gizzard has astonishingly released two EPs and six albums on Flightless in five years, and not as digital downloads alone. As evidence of the growing market in vinyl and retro technology amongst baby boomers and young music fans discovering prog for the first time, King Gizzard currently offers “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon” pre-orders on vinyl, CD and digital. The band has also just offered a cassette package—a definite wanna-have for retro-media collectors in that the yellow packaging lends the album artwork a distinct Sgt. Pepper-ishness.

Musically, the band fuses much and echoes many of prog’s greatest pioneers, yet stands contemporarily. As a young seven-piece band that includes two drummers, King Gizzard embodies an eclectic, jazz-influenced intricacy. At times, the sound of Carlos Santana comes through. Other times, the music sounds like Klaatu (the incredible Canadian prog band that was once thought to be the Beatles). Then Yes seems to drift in and out. In their experimental approach to music, King Gizzard plays freely and ignores the three-minute formula of typical pop songs. Because of this, the music often finds itself under the categories of alternative or psychedelic, with the latter having more to do with associated artwork and graphics than any real psychedelic edging. While the band doesn’t definitively claim prog as its label, King Gizzard moves music in the same manner that gave progressive rock its name. In embracing the notion of concept art, they’ve joined other young bands helping to re-open the door to the world where Peter Gabriel found the Lamb lying on Broadway. If they’re a keyhole, they’re a glimpse into the place where Pink Floyd explored “The Dark Side of the Moon” and the Who found “Tommy” and drove the “Magic Bus,” and if such grand potentials are easily dismissed by those who’ve bought into prog as caricature or leftover oddments from the living museum of classic-rock artifacts, the title of King Gizzard’s new album may be more than the sum of its parts. Intended or not, the words are a reminder that all lastingness—from songs to albums to the trust and courage to hang onto any dream—began in fragility, like a paper mâché balloon.

To pre-order “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon” or anything from the band’s slammin’ swag bag,
visit the King Gizzard website:
To preview and purchase back-releases, visit Bandcamp:
Extended Play: Watch King Gizzard perform 21 minutes of incredible live music from their
album “Quarters!” in the studios of KEXP 90.3 FM in Seattle: