LISTEN: Talking U2 On Viewpoints With Todd van der Heyden

U2

U2

Did you get that new U2 album? Did you like it? Did you want it?

I got to talk about some of these questions on CJAD 800 AM’s Viewpoints With Todd van der Heyden program on the weekend.

I won’t spoil how the conversation went, but someone referred to the Irish band as the “McDonald’s of rock music.”

You can listen to the whole three-hour episode below. My segment is right near the end of the show.

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Human Highway: Kevin Costner Was A Janitor On The Set Of The Neil Young Film

Neil Young

Neil Young

Classic rocker and film dabbler recently presented a director’s cut of his rather weird 1982 film Human Highway at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Young, who was in attendance for the premiere, told the audience at the screening about working with Devo for the film as well as a special behind the scenes role played by future star Kevin Costner. To read the story head over to Huffington Post Music Canada by going here.

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Emmanual Jal: The Good Lie, Reese Witherspoon And Nelly Furtado

Reese Witherspoon and Emmanuel Jal

Reese Witherspoon and Emmanuel Jal

Emmanuel Jal’s life path has taken him from Sudanese child soldier to rapper to, now, an acting role with Reese Witherspoon in the film The Good Lie.

While Jal was at TIFF Sarah spoke to Jal about his journey as well as his collaboration with Nelly Furtado.

To read the story head over to Huffington Post Music Canada by going here.

 

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Bang Bang Baby: Jane Levy Channels Ann-Margaret

Jane Levy

Jane Levy

For Suburgatory star Jane Levy’s latest film Bang Bang Baby she was tasked with channeling red-headed ’60s vixen.

Sarah talked to Levy about the role when she was in town for TIFF.

To read the story head over to to Huffington Post Music Canada by going here.

 

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Brian Wilson Hits TIFF For Love And Mercy

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, the rather enigmatic force behind the Beach Boys’ most creative moments, made a bit of a surprise appearance at TIFF this year when he showed up for the premiere of the new biopic Love And Mercy.

Sarah wrote about his whirlwind trip to Toronto for Huffington Post Music Canada.

To read the story go here.

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My Brightest Diamond — This Is My Hand (Album Review)

My Brightest Diamond's This Is My Hand

My Brightest Diamond’s This Is My Hand

My Brightest Diamond
This Is My Hand
Paper Bag Records

The fourth My Brightest Diamond album This Is My Hand is being positioned as something of an anthropological quest. Shara Worden, the operatic voiced force behind MBD says the 10 songs on the album were about a need to connect with a more primal musical world through the collective experience of marching band drums, the inclusive rhythm of handclaps and simple coos and phrases that allow others to sing along. Listening to This Is My Hand through that lens risks viewing it only as a technical experiment, though, when the best and warmest moments on the album feel like they’re about something far more human — a hunt for joy.

My Brightest Diamond’s work has never been particularly light. The brilliant 2006 debut album Bring Me The Workhorse was an incredibly intense, sometimes soaring, sometimes somber rumination on death, loss and youthful melancholy. Even in that dark place, though, Worden left clues there was something — perhaps best expressed by that album’s cathartic dance track “Freak Out” — that showed there was more to life.

That MBD have already commissioned two full remix albums (Tear It Down and Shark Remixes) for past albums Workhorse and A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, respectively, only further suggests a restless spirit at work. In all of these cases it felt like Worden created her songs then took a step back and went, “This is me. But there’s nothing here to dance to…”

This Is My Hand will at least solve that dilemma. “Pressure,” the album’s first track, pays out exactly what Worden promises with dizzying rhythms and a cleansing “I tried to do it all right!” shout-along. “Before The Words” follows this up with an urgent pace and an array of oo-oo-OO-oo-oo-OOs to string you along before reaching what might be the real gold on the album, fourth track “Lover Killer.” An able approximation of Feist’s finger-snapping disco phase, “Lover Killer” just might achieve that notion of a genuinely joyful Worden song… if it wasn’t a harsh, mirrored look at the duality of love, that is.

And that’s when you realize that joy is perhaps something that’s outside of Worden’s work.

“I Am Not The Bad Guy” tugs Worden further back to her comfortable place, a territory of well-trod personal reflection on the choices one makes in life. Meanwhile, “Looking At The Sun,” “Resonance” and “Apparition” remind us of that version of Worden as the mesmeric singing elemental, something so otherworldly that its link to humanity sometimes feels tenuous.

And perhaps that’s what This Is My Hand is all about. Poking and pressing, combating one’s own nature and pursuing a new sound probably isn’t a particularly joyful experience  so much as it’s an uncomfortable one. It’s also a very human experience. And if trying to find a rhythm to this world through an army of drums is what helps Worden find her path there’s nothing wrong with that.

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The Trailer Park Boys’ Guide To Music

Trailer Park Boys

Trailer Park Boys

While you weren’t paying attention, Bubbles, Julian and Ricky, the reprobates that make up the Trailer Park Boys, have gone international.

Thanks to a new deal with Netflix for multiple seasons and a cussin’ movie called SwearNet the boys are poised to critical mass. That, or at least get the opportunity to get drunk and stoned in strange places.

With this in mind I had the opportunity to talk about music with the Boys for AUX. Some of the topics covered: Rush, Loverboy, Shania Twain and the trailer park hip-hop genre.

Not included in the interview: my attempts to get them to compare Joel Plaskett to Groot.

To read the story go here.

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