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A tiny 1-year old screech owl named Kuu makes a dramatic entrance into the kitchen but seems to forget why he wanted to be there in the first place. Perhaps it wanted to say a few words on the relationship between reality and fantasy, trying to ascertain the meaning of life founded on the principles of humanism and individual freedom. I bet that’s totally it.

Jimmy Fallon is sick of all the negative stories, so he asked local news anchors to read some stories that we wish were true. I don’t know what the stretch is, though. Muffins are delicious!

This 40th Anniversary Collectors box set features live footage spanning all four decades of Rush’s career. Containing 6 Blu-rays that feature over two hours of unreleased material and including a rare performance of entire seven-part version of ’2112′. This release also features three unreleased tracks from the 1974 vault, plus the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and will be released on November 11, 2014 here.

To the delight of fans, the bonus disc will include all 8 songs from the Laura Secord Secondary School show in 1974 which features original drummer John Rutsey. That recording includes 2 Rush originals “I’ve Been Runnin’” and “The Loser”, as well as their cover of Larry William’s “Bad Boy”, made famous by The Beatles. The bonus discus also features 5 songs from songs from the Capitol Theatre in 1976 such as “Anthem” and “Lakeside Park”, the rarely performed full, 7-part version of “2112” filmed in 1997 in their hometown of Toronto, “Lock and Key” from the Hold Your Fire tour, as well as footage from the glorious evening when Rush fans got their beloved band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

All of this is presented in a stunning 52 page hardback book, measuring 305mm x 225mm filled with memorabilia and photographs documenting 40 years of Rush live in concert.

Grammy award-winning, country icon Tim McGraw and award-winning director Bennett Miller are pairing up for American Express Unstaged, the popular live stream music series in partnership with Vevo and YouTube. McGraw’s Sept. 16 concert from New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom at 9:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM PT will be directed by Miller and live streamed at amexunstaged.com. The performance is timed to the release date of McGraw’s newest album, “Sundown Heaven Town,” available on First Play on iTunes Radio presented by American Express beginning September 9. First Play on iTunes Radio allows fans to listen to full-length albums a week prior to release.

You’ll have the best seat in the house, and almost like you’re there. As opposed to me – I’ll actually BE at the Hammerstein Ballroom, watching the show live in NYC. American Express Canada has gracisously sent me to blog, tweet and post about the event, and capture it all for you. So, watch the show, turn on my Tweets, and let’s pretend you’re my +1.

Leading up to the September 16 performance, fans can visit amexunstaged.com to enjoy a series of videos featuring McGraw that will tell the stories and inspiration behind the music. Fans can get involved with the show as well – if enough people tweet using the hashtag #AmexUNSTAGED leading up to and during the live stream concert, they will unlock an encore performance. Additionally, fans will also have the opportunity to vote on what the encore song is.

And while Miller is at the controls, the audience can control their viewing experience throughout the live show by switching between the director’s main stream and alternate in-venue vantage points.

If you miss the original show online, fans will be able to enjoy a special looped rebroadcast on amexunstaged.com immediately following the live performance. An on-demand, full-concert rebroadcast will be available for 48 hours beginning at 11:00 P.M. ET on Wednesday, September 17. Clips of the performance will also be available at amexunstaged.com and Vevo’s web, mobile/tablet and TV apps beginning at 11 P.M. ET on Friday, September 19.

This collaborative effort will build on previous American Express Unstaged pairings like Pharrell Williams and Spike Lee, Kings of Leon and Fred Armisen, Vampire Weekend and Steve Buscemi, The Killers and Werner Herzog, Usher and Hamish Hamilton and Kenny Chesney and Jonathan Demme, and many more.

McGraw’s been on the road all summer, and has made $10.8 million in ticket sales for the first half of 2014, according to Pollstar. (His concerts brought in $27.2 million in 2013.) Since his first album came out in 1993, 25 of his songs have hit No. 1 on the country radio charts.

To get you ready for the show, here are 20 fun facts about Tim McGraw you need to know:

At age 11, McGraw found out his real father was Tug McGraw, a relief pitcher for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. The two eventually connected and had a relationship until Tug McGraw died in 2004. Tug once told a reporter, “Ninety percent of the money I’ve earned in baseball I’ve invested in women, cars, parties, and booze. The other 10 percent I wasted.”

Tim-McGraw-CountryMusicIsLove

When McGraw was twelve, he saw Al Pacino in “. . . And Justice for All” and decided he wanted to be a lawyer.

His college days put an end to this. He picked up a guitar and joined a fraternity. Law went out the window when his grades came back poorly.

In 1989, on the day his hero Keith Whitley died, McGraw dropped out of college to head to Nashville and pursue a musical career.

After cutting a demo single, McGraw gave a copy to his father. A man who was friends with Curb Records executives heard the demo while driving with Tug one day and recommended that Curb contact the young singer. Several weeks later, he was able to play his tape for Curb executives, after which they signed him to a recording contract.

His second album, Not a Moment Too Soon was the best-selling country album in 1994. Five singles were released from this album: “Indian Outlaw”, “Don’t Take the Girl”, “Down on the Farm”, the title track and “Refried Dreams”. Respectively, these reached No. 8, No. 1, No. 2, No. 1 and No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts; the first two singles were both Top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 as well.

All I Want, released in 1995, also debuted at No. 1 on the country charts. The album sold over 2 million copies and reached the top 5 on the Billboard 200. “I Like It, I Love It” reached No. 1 on the country charts as the lead-off single, also crossing over to the Hot 100 at number 25. The album’s next two singles, “Can’t Be Really Gone” and “All I Want Is a Life” both made Top 5, with “She Never Lets It Go to Her Heart” becoming his fourth number 1 in 1996.

McGraw’s next album, 1997′s Everywhere, again topped the country charts and reached No. 2 on the album charts, selling 4 million copies. Four singles (“It’s Your Love”, “Everywhere”, “Where the Green Grass Grows”, and “Just to See You Smile”) reached the top of the country charts from the album. The Country Music Association awarded Everywhere its Album of the Year award for 1997. “It’s Your Love” and “Just to See You Smile” were the top country songs of 1997 and 1998, respectively, according to Billboard Year-End; “Just to See You Smile” also set a record for the longest run on the country charts at the time, at 42 weeks.

“Things Change” from his appearance at the 2000 Country Music Association Awards Show was so popular, it was the first country song to appear on the Billboard charts from a fully downloaded version.

2004′s Live Like You Were Dying continued McGraw’s record of commercial success. The title track, dedicated to his father Tug, who died of a brain tumor earlier in the year, was an ode to living life fully and in the moment. Live Like You Were Dying spent seven non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard and went on to become the top country song of 2004 on the Billboard Year-End charts. It also became one of the most awarded songs/records by winning ACM Single and Song of the Year, CMA Single and Song of the Year, and a Grammy.

In late 2004, his unlikely duet with hip-hop artist Nelly on ‘Over and Over’ became a crossover hit, spending 10 weeks atop the Top 40 chart. “Over and Over” brought McGraw a success he had never previously experienced on contemporary hit radio or rap radio, and brought both artists success neither had previously experienced in the hot adult contemporary market. ‘Over and Over’ reached the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland, and the top ten in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Romania and Switzerland.

Taylor Swift’s debut single, “Tim McGraw”, refers to him and his song, “Can’t Tell Me Nothin.’”

McGraw received critical acclaim as the overbearing father of a running back in the major studio Texas high school football drama Friday Night Lights. The movie went on to gross over $60 million worldwide at the box office, and was named one of the Top 50 High School Movies of All Time by Entertainment Weekly.

When not on tour, he and his wife, Ms. Faith Hill have dinner together almost every night and then get to bed by 9 p.m.

McGraw says that he used to take his daughters on tour with him, but not anymore due to school. They have three children, ages 12, 16 and 17.Their middle daughter is a high-school football cheerleader.

Speaking of his wife, McGraw calls her the perfect duet partner on his song “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.” He told CMT, “She just brings such passion when she sings,” he said of his wife’s vocal talent. “She’s got such a warmth in her voice and a passion in her voice and a soul.”

His Soul2Soul II Tour with Faith Hill is the highest grossing tour in country music history, and one of the Top 5 among all genres of music.

His home? It’s an eight-hundred-acre farm in Franklin, Tennessee, an hour south of Nashville. Hank Williams once owned the place, back in the early fifties.

Hooter, McGraw’s college roommate, is a foreman on the farm. Daine, his personal assistant and overall wingman, was a fraternity brother.

McGraw’s latest album, Sundown Heaven Town is co-produced with Byron Gallimore, who has produced all of his albums. In an interview with Country Weekly, McGraw said, ““I think it’s a good microcosm of what my 20 or so years in music have been, in a lot of ways. You can certainly hear parts of my career throughout all of these songs, as well as the future and where my music is headed. To me, the title of the album is all about that time where you stop doing what you have to do, and start doing what you want to do.”

This post was sponsored by Amex Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

From Billboard:

Yusuf, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer formerly known as Cat Stevens, will release his first music in five years and perform six shows in North America in early winter.

Sony’s Legacy Recordings will release “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone” on Oct. 27 as part of a deal that will see future releases of new recordings, existing catalog titles, previously unreleased live material and new videos.

The new album’s 10 tracks are divided between new originals and covers of songs such as the blues classic “Big Boss Man,” Edgar Winter’s “Dying To Live” and Procol Harum’s “The Devil Came From Kansas.”

Yusuf/ Cat Stevens will begin his first North American tour in 35 years on Dec. 1 at Massey Hall in Toronto. He has six dates schedule for November in Europe.

Dec. 1 Toronto- Massey Hall
Dec. 4 Boston- Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre
Dec. 7 New York City- Beacon Theatre
Dec. 9 Chicago- The Chicago Theatre
Dec. 12 San Francisco- The Masonic
Dec.14 Los Angeles – Nokia Theatre

Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue from 1959 is the kind of album musicians and fans are still comprehending the brilliance. Miles’ move from bop to modal jazz improvisational techniques changed not just jazz music, but Western music, popular and classical.

Filmed in Studio 61 with a few lucky audience members getting a chance to hear what Miles was up to, here’s a wonderful slice of history. Robert Herridge showcased the performance for a July, 1960 broadcast of his show The Robert Herridge Theater.

1. So What
2 Introduction (Robert Herridge)
3 The Duke
 (D. Brubeck)
4 Blues for Pablo 
(G. Evans)
5 New Rhumba
 (A. Jamal)
6 Announcement (Robert Herridge)
7 So What (reprise)
8 So What (reprise)
9 Orchestral fragment

Getting her start as one of the original “Mouseketeers” on Walt Disney’s long-running TV show The Mickey Mouse Club, Annette Funicello was one of the 1960s’ top teen idols, helping to popularize the “Beach Party” movie genre through her campy films with actor Frankie Avalon. Lesser known is that Funicello also was a key ambassador for Jamaican music in the U.S., introducing a generation of American teens to ska with her 1964 version of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires’ “Jamaica Ska.”

Via LargeUp

US-based recordings. Data supplied by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); animation created by Digital Music News.

And here are individual images for each year…

b76pk 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

shomi is a new kind of video streaming service launching in November. And they’re looking for a Public Relations rock star!

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is looking for a Community Engagement Manager responsible for working with the Burlington artistic community to develop and enhance community based programming at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre as well as manage all rental clients and contracts.

shomi is a new kind of video streaming service launching in November. And they’re looking for a social media rock star!

Historica Canada is looking to hire a Program Assistant for The Memory Project Speakers Bureau who has experience working with a team to achieve deliverables in a timely fashion.

Bell Media’s Ottawa Radio cluster is looking for a Digital Content Producer with a passion for the web and all things digital.

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto’s central waterfront as a free and open public site. Currently an employment opportunity exists in their Integrated Communications Department for a full time Video Producer & Social media Specialist.

Bell Media Inc. Kitchener/Waterloo TV & Radio is looking for a Broadcast Technician.

The Art Canada Institute is seeking a qualified Operations Manager (OM) who will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day function and the development of the organization and it operations, including the Canadian Online Art Book Program and the Massey Art Lecture Series.

Capital Ideas seeks a community builder to serve a growing network of entrepreneurial Calgarians who help each other by sharing what they know, at live events, online and in the pages of the Calgary Herald.

Luminato’s Marketing Department is seeking a talented and experienced Interactive Marketing Coordinator. The incumbent will report to the Interactive Marketing Manager.

Rogers TV in Barrie, ON is looking for a Supervising Producer required to assist in the management and overall operations of Rogers TV system in Barrie and the surrounding area.

The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, and they’re looking for a Senior New Media Specialist.

Lark Productions is seeking experienced Story Producers, Directors, and Editors for upcoming unscripted projects. Ideal candidates are creative, excellent communicators, dynamic, multi-taskers and team-leaders.

Located at Harbourfront Centre, School Visits is an innovative field-trip centre that provides hands-on, curriculum-based learning experiences through programmes that are multidisciplinary. They’re looking for a Bilingual Part-Time Educator – Urban and Media Studies.

660News in Calgary is seeking a Full-Time Reporter. Reporting to the News Director, the individual will be able to report in the newsroom or do live reports in the field.

Kitchener Waterloo Symphony is looking for a Development & Donor Relations Administrator, playing a key role in supporting the day-to-day functions of the Development & Donor Relations department.

Rogers is looking for a Brand Marketing Manager who will champion the Chatelaine & Canadian Health & Lifestyle brands, helping to build an emotional connection between our audience and the brand at every touch point.

Established in 1987, Attila Glatz Concert Productions produces and manages concerts and tours for classical, jazz, folk, and country artists worldwide, and they’re looking for an in-house graphic designer.

102.3 Jack FM London is looking for a Morning Show Producer to work with resident morning idiots Stax & Pete. The person who achieves this dubious distinction will work with the morning show to create and develop morning show content as well as function as station Music Assistant.

Playwrights Guild of Canada is a national association mandated to advance the creative rights and interests of professional Canadian playwrights, promote Canadian plays nationally and internationally, and they’re looking for a Programs & Services Coordinator.

107.7 The River in Lethbridge, Alberta has an exciting opportunity for a Full-Time Afternoon Drive Host/ Music Director.

Coalition Music is looking for a team player with a positive attitude to fill an available Volunteer Social Media Intern position.

SONiC 1029 is looking for a dynamic, engaging, talented person who wants to work at a kick-ass Alternative station in Edmonton.

Venture Publishing is seeking to fill an intermediate editorial role for Alberta Oil, Canada’s authoritative source of information on the energy sector.

Bell Media in Toronto is looking for a Communications Manager reporting to Director of Corporate Communications and supported by corporate communications team. The Manager is responsible for strategic planning and execution of media relations and communication efforts for Bell Media Sales in English and French Canada.

Contempo Media, publisher of Canada’s leading men’s lifestyle publications, is seeking an enthusiastic and creative editor to lead their team in the creation of award-winning fashion content across multiple platforms.

CTV Winnipeg is looking for a Video Graphic Designer.

The Successful Investor Group publishes highly regarded investor newsletters that are sold through paid subscriptions to thousands of people across Canada and south of the border, and they are on the lookout for an experienced copywriter with an investment background.

CTV Regina has an opening for an Anchor / Reporter.

107.5 DAVE-FM & 91.5 the BEAT, Corus Radio Kitchener has an exceptional opportunity for casual employment in our Promotions Department.