Latest Blog Posts

by Darryl G. Wright

6 Feb 2013

Something new is emerging. I’m standing at the top of a well listening into the darkness to echos of drum and bass, ambient electronica and shuffling dubstep abstraction. It runs very, very deep.

Oddly, I first heard this sound mixed and presented by artist and producer Method One on his BassDrive show. I believe it would be better described, hesitantly, as post-drum and bass. There was a beauty here that was carried gently on the back of a weak but important groove. Gone were the tired amen break, liquid bass lines and tropes I was used to. They were replaced by something more mature and sophisticated—engineered sounds and higher frequencies played quietly.

by Stuart Henderson

2 Apr 2012

Canada’s Polaris Music Prize, now in its seventh year, awards a $30,000 prize to the best Canadian record of the voting period June 1-May 31. The criteria are broad, but clear: jurors are to assess records any consideration of commercial success, sales figures, track record, or live performance. The idea is that if a band puts out an exceptional record it will stand a chance, no matter what genre it emerges from (however obscure), what region the band calls home, what following it enjoys, or what preconceived notions critics might have about them. This is really, really, difficult, it turns out.

Every year the pool of some 200-plus Canadian jury members debate, complain, exclaim, and declaim various records. Often 50 or more albums are suggested and debated on the jury’s listserve before the Long List of 40 is finally compiled in early June. That Long List is then voted on and whittled down to a Short List of 10. Finally, a Grand Jury is pulled from the pool of 200-plus regular jurors and these intrepid souls gather on the evening of the Gala in late September to battle it out in a back room all 12 Angry Men-like and emerge with a winner. It’s all very fun, and also extremely exciting for those involved, especially when the band you were hoping for comes out on top (which has happened, for me, only once.)

by Jacob Adams

11 Nov 2010

The Internet offers a plethora of options for those interested in reading insightful and relevant content about popular culture. But, sometimes you need to get your cultural fix while working out, cooking dinner, or sitting in traffic. The exhilarating world of podcasting opens up new opportunities for pop culture analysis in the relatively young medium. However, as is the case with the written word, it can often be difficult to separate the podcasting wheat from the chaff. For every intelligent and well-produced episode, there are hundreds of rambling, amateurish productions available for download on a daily basis. Here is a list of ten particularly rewarding podcasts covering the worlds of film, television, music, and literature. I always look forward to seeing new episodes of the following pop up on my iPhone:

#10: Film Junk
Although it took me a while to get into this podcast initially, it is now prominent in my regular rotation. Three movie fans from St. Catherines, Ontario talk weekly for a couple of hours about all aspects of the cinema, from movie news, to trailer trash, to reviews of new releases. While this podcast leans dangerously towards irrelevant rambling on occasion, the hosts are amusing enough that they are entertaining to listen to even when they talk about hockey or their collections of Star Wars memorabilia. The insights of documentary filmmaker and co-host Jay Cheel are of particular interest.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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