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Toronto is considered one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world with a rich, deep-rooted history in Jazz. The 1953 Jazz at Massey Hall performance and the 2001 anniversary of Miles and Coltrane with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock are considered legendary!  Not to mention our own contribution to the world stage in artists like Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Don Thompson, Rob McConnell and the list goes on and on….

Presently, Toronto is home to one of the most popular jazz centres in the world in radio station JAZZ.FM91, a station I happen to listen to a LOT, and write a daily blog for. The city supports a healthy jazz scene with a thriving club system, remarkable world class working musicians and larger venues like Massey Hall, Roy Thomson Hall and Koerner Hall.

With your support, I’d love for you to help JAZZ FM recommend Toronto as the host city for UNESCO’s  2015 International Jazz Day.  They would like to start by compiling as many signatures from jazz fans and frankly, Toronto fans, not just here in our city  but from around the world to assist in our dream.

It is their, and my hope to present these signatures to UNESCO, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and Herbie Hancock himself, in order to bring the 4th Annual International Jazz Day to our amazing city!

To help bring International Jazz Day to Toronto in 2015, please take a moment to sign their online petition HERE.

The Board of Directors for Canada’s Walk of Fame today announced the appointment of Melanie Berry as Chief Executive Officer effective May 5, 2014. Berry joins Canada’s Walk of Fame from The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), where she held the position of President and CEO of CARAS, The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts.

“Melanie is a proven leader and the right person to take Canada’s Walk of Fame to the next exciting phase of the organization,” said Dan McGrath, Chair, Canada’s Walk of Fame Board of Directors, and Chief Operating Officer of Cineplex Entertainment. “We identified her as a seasoned corporate executive with skills, success and passion toward elevating brands and spearheading organizations. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Melanie to Canada’s Walk of Fame.”

“I am thrilled to take this next step in my career with Canada’s Walk of Fame,” said Berry. “It is vital that we continue to celebrate our domestic achievements across all platforms. In doing so, we not only instill pride in our country that ultimately unifies us, we also inspire the next generation of Canadians to excel on a global level.”

Berry, named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women at the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Awards (2009) was instrumental in developing the JUNO Awards brand into Canada’s largest and most recognized celebration of Canadian music. In her first year as President of CARAS, the 2003 JUNO Awards in Ottawa were one of the most successful ever, with Canadian viewership more than doubling that of the Grammy Awards the same year. Since then, the JUNO Awards have consistently topped broadcast ratings, evolved from a one-night Awards show to include year round initiatives and signature JUNO events, travelled across the country to ten different Canadian cities, and contributed an economic impact of approximately $10 million for each host region. Along the way, the JUNO Awards have garnered eleven Gemini Awards (two of which Berry won for Executive Producer) and two Canadian Screen Awards. In addition to building the JUNO brand, Berry has greatly contributed towards the success of MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity associated with CARAS. To date, MusiCounts has donated close to $7 million to support music education in Canadian schools and communities.

Prior to her success at CARAS, Berry served as the Executive Director for The Ireland Fund of Canada and established her own special events firm, Rock Pile Event Management, which oversaw the annual Weaselpalooza fundraiser that helped raise nearly $300,000 for The Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.

The 2014 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards will take place on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.  The show will be broadcast nationally on Global Television at a later date.  Additional announcements will follow.

In the first-ever release of daily data for Record Store Day, BuzzAngle Music, a new in-depth music analytics service supported by CIMS, DRS, AIMS, and the Music Business Association, shows:

  • 646% growth in sales at independent record stores on Record Store Day (Saturday, April 19) in comparison to the previous Saturday (April 12)
  • 1,855% increase in vinyl sales for the industry as a whole (a 1,062% growth in overall sales mix for vinyl) on Record Store Day in comparison to the previous Saturday
  • 2,042% increase in vinyl sales at independent stores (a 187% growth in overall sales mix for vinyl, with over 74% of all titles sold being vinyl releases) on Record Store Day in comparison to the previous Saturday
  • Tame Impala’s live album and the Nirvana single top the BuzzAngle Music Charts of Record Store Day Releases; all top 25 albums and singles listed below.

The full release can be downloaded here.

Top 25 Albums sold on Record Store Day at independent record stores

tracked by BuzzAngle Music (all RSD Exclusive Vinyl Releases):

 

Rank Title Artist

1

Live Tame Impala

2

Live at Hampton Coliseum The Grateful Dead

3

An Ideal For Living (1978) Joy Division

4

7 Skies H3 The Flaming Lips

5

Meltdown With The Ramones The Ramones

6

Loaded The Velvet Underground

7

Live 2012 Death Cab For Cutie

8

The 1969 Singles Creedence Clearwater Revival

9

Live With Joe Strummer The Pogues

10

Because the Internet Childish Gambino

11

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik The OutKast

12

The Wizard of Oz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Various

13

Life After Death The Notorious B.I.G.

14

Demolicious Green Day

15

Live at Eddie’s Attic The Civil Wars

16

Ultimate Alternative Wavers Built to Spill

17

Indie Cindy Pixies

18

Recover EP Chvrches

19

Sun Records Curated by Record Store Day (Volume 1) The Various Artists

20

Clear Lake Forest The Black Angels

21

Odessey and Oracle The Zombies

22

Live At Monterey The Jimi Hendrix Experience

23

With His Hot and Blue Guitar Johnny Cash

24

Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine The Doors

25

Girls Talk Garbage

 

Top 25 Singles sold on Record Store Day at independent record stores

tracked by BuzzAngle Music (all RSD Exclusive Vinyl Releases):

 

Rank Title Artist

1

Pennyroyal Tea / I Hate Myself and Want To Die Nirvana

2

Side By Side Series: Just Like Heaven The Cure/Dinosaur Jr.

3

Side By Side Series: Gates Of Steel Live Devo/The Flaming Lips

4

American Beauty Bruce Springsteen

5

1984 Picture Disc David Bowie

6

Side By Side Series: 7 and 7 is Mystery Artists – Rush / Love

7

Ghostbusters Ray Parker, Jr.

8

Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow / Down In De Dew Frank Zappa

9

Learn To Obey Off!

10

Million Dollar Bill / Easy/Lucky/Free Conor Oberst/Dawes

11

Dragonfly / The Purple Dancer Fleetwood Mac

12

Side By Side Series: The Badge Poison Idea/Pantera

13

Forever Haim

14

You’ve Got Time Regina Spektor

15

I’m Less Here Mazzy Star

16

Hundreds of Ways / Fast Friends Conor Oberst

17

The Lake Nokomis Maxi Single Atmosphere

18

Holding On for Life Broken Bells

19

Take It Or Leave It b/w Jesse James Cage The Elephant

20

Say Goodbye To Hollywood b/w Baby Please Don’t Go Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band

21

Wait for Me b/w Don’t Matter (Live) Kings Of Leon

22

Illumination Theory Dream Theater

23

Supernova b.w. Pick Up a Gun Ray LaMontagne

24

Run, John Barleycorn, Run / Ether Madness Clutch & Lionize

25

Live From Criminal Records Frightened Rabbit

Daniel Franzese, who played Damian in “Mean Girls” (one of my all-time favourite movies) ten years ago, has just decided to publicly come out, and he wrote a pretty cool letter to his  character.

Via IndieWire:

Dear Damian

It’s been a long time since our last encounter.  Ten years to be exact.

I was twenty-six; you were sixteen.  You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor.  You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up.

You WERE beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down.

What you may not know…

When I was cast in the role of “Damian” in ‘Mean Girls,’ I was TERRIFIED to play this part.  But this was a natural and true representation of a gay teenager – a character we laughed with instead of at.  (You can thank Tina Fey and Mark Waters for that.  I can only take partial credit.)

When we first made this movie, I’m not sure any of us knew how loved and quoted this movie would become.  You certainly hope when you pour your heart into something, that people will respond – but to paraphrase Gretchen Wieners, “we can’t help it that we’re so popular.”

So, why the hell did it take me so long to come out of the closet?

Here’s why:

When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles – Guidos, gangsters and goombahs were my specialty.  So, would I be able to play all of those parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid?  I was optimistic.  Hollywood?  Not so much.  I was meeting a “gay glass ceiling” in casting.

For example:

One time I wanted to audition for a supporting character in a low-budget indie movie described as a “doughy, blue-collar lug of a guy.”  The role was to play the husband of an actress friend of mine who I had been in two movies and an Off-Broadway play with.  She and I had even moved to L.A. together.

I figured I was perfect for it.

They said they were looking for a real “man’s man.”  The casting director wouldn’t even let me audition. This wasn’t the last time this happened. There were industry people who had seen me play you in Mean Girls but never seen me read in an audition but still denied me to be seen for “masculine” roles.

However, I did turn down many offers to play flamboyant, feather-boa-slinging stereotypes that always seemed to be laughed at BECAUSE they were gay. How could I go from playing an inspirational, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing, cliched butt-of-a-joke?

So, there it was.  Damian, you had ruined my life and I was really pissed at you. I became celibate for a year and a half.  I didn’t go to any gay bars, have any flings and I lied to anyone who asked if I was gay.  I even brought a girl to the ‘Mean Girls’ premiere and kissed her on the red carpet, making her my unwitting beard.

It wasn’t until years later that grown men started to coming up to me on the street – some of them in tears – and thanking me for being a role model to them. Telling me I gave them comfort not only being young and gay but also being a big dude. It was then that I realized how much of an impact YOU had made on them.

Meanwhile, I was still in the closet.  Deleting tweets that asked if I was gay, scrubbing IMDB Message Boards for any indication, etc.  (It’s important to note that I was actually DISCOVERED singing in a Florida gay bar by casting director, Carmen Cuba, for my first role in Larry Clark’s ‘Bully.’)

I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese.  Now in 2014 – ten years later – looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again.  It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.”  Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that’s rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it’s time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means “God is my judge” So, I’m not afraid anymore.  Of Hollywood, the closet or mean girls.  Thank you for that, Damian.  (And Tina.)

By the way…in June I am the Celebrity Grand Marshall of the Portland Gay Pride Parade.

so…

We go Glen Coco.

With love and respect,

Daniel Franzese

P.S.  I hate it when people say I’m “too gay to function.”  I know you do, too. Those people are part of the problem.  They should refrain from using that phrase. It really is ONLY okay when Janis says it.

From Billboard:

The topic of endangered tigers is a complicated one to build an indie-pop song around. But psych-rock outfit Portugal. The Man was up for the challenge, and have teamed with the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park Conversation Biology Institute and ad agency DDB for “Sumatran Tiger,” a song inspired by the endangered subspecies of tigers that inhabit the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Like the animal, the song is “endangered” itself, released on Earth Day (April 22) to 400 influencers from all walks of life (politicians, wildlife conservationalists, artists, journalists, etc.) on 400 vinyl albums, numbered after the remaining tigers estimated to still roam Sumatra. The vinyl albums themselves are “endangered,” designed to actually degrade and “disappear” over repeated listens. In order to reproduce the song, listeners with a USB-enabled record player are asked to upload the song or record it with their iPhone to keep the music alive.

From Billboard:

The soundtrack to Disney’s “Frozen,” fueled by Easter shopping, earns its biggest sales week yet and 11th week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

The album sold 259,000 copies in the week ending April 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (The Easter holiday was April 20.) That’s up 94% compared with the previous week, when the album shifted 133,000 at No. 1. This is also the fifth consecutive week that frozen sold more than 100,000 copies. To date, “Frozen” has sold 2.3 million copies.

As the weeks tick by, “Frozen” continues to rack up impressive chart feats. Since SoundScan’s point-of-sale data began powering the Billboard 200′s rankings on May 25, 1991, “Frozen” is just the ninth album — and third soundtrack — to spend at least 11 weeks at No. 1.

Going back even farther: Since the Billboard 200 started publishing on a regular, weekly basis in 1956, “Frozen” is one of only 15 soundtracks to spend at least 11 weeks at No. 1.

Neil Young played a two-set solo acoustic show in Dallas last week filled with songs, as he does, from throughout his career and a number of covers. Towards the middle of the second set Young was telling the story behind his Martin D-28 guitar when an audience member cut him off by repeatedly yelling “Play it!”

See…Nobody tells Neil what to play, or do, or ask.

Young responded “I don’t think I’m going to play it” and went on to say, “I’m trying to remember the last time I did what somebody told me to do. What is this, a job?…How about you talk, and I’ll listen?” He then offered a fairly hard take on “Harvest Moon” he noted, “Funny — that song is not supposed to be angry, You get what you demand.”

Via JamBase

Edgefest has been a summer festival tradition in Toronto for over 25 years and has featured hundreds of Canadian and International major label and independent acts.  Live Nation and 102.1 The Edge will bring Toronto music fans one of the most anticipated music events of the summer with the Edgefest Summer Concert Series coming to TD Echo Beach, unfolding over three days.

On Tuesday, July 1st, Canada Day celebrations will feature performances from The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck, Matt Mays and Head Of The HerdUSS, Ms Mr, Said The Whale and Bear Hands will take the stage on Friday, July 18th.  The series finale will feature performances with Our Lady Peace, Sloan, I Mother Earth and Eve 6 on Saturday, August 16th.  Each date will also feature a second stage with additional performers to be announced at a later date.

Tickets for the Edgefest Summer Concert Series will go on-sale on Friday, April 25 @ 10am at www.livenation.com and www.ticketmaster.ca.  102.1 listeners will have access to the 102.1 Edge Mega Ticket (includes tickets to all 3 shows) pre-sale starting Tuesday, April 22 @ 10am. Listeners can check out www.edge.ca for more details.

Each concert date on the Edgefest Summer Concert Series will feature live concert performances on two stages along with a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, interactive exhibits and lifestyle displays.  TD Echo Beach is located on the East Island of Ontario Place, just east of the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. TD Echo Beach features a real sand beach and offers guests a spectacular view of the downtown Toronto skyline. It is a general admission venue with no reserved seating and allows fans to get up-close-and-personal to their favourite bands. Echo Beach made a splash with critics and concert-goers alike during its inaugural season in 2011.

   TUESDAY, JULY 01                    FRIDAY, JULY 18                    SATURDAY, AUGUST 16

THE SHEEPDOGS                                    USS                                                             OUR LADY PEACE

MONSTER TRUCK                                  MS MR                                                      SLOAN

MATT MAYS                                              SAID THE WHALE                              I MOTHER EARTH

HEAD OF THE HERD                             BEAR HANDS                                         EVE 6

Edge Emerging Artist Stage                  Edge Emerging Artist Stage            Edge Emerging Artist Stage

The Zolas                                                       Wildlife                                                     + more to be announced…

Royal Canoe                                                  Dear Rouge

   + more to be announced…                     + more to be announced…

From April 19–July 27, 2014, you can xxplore the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collecting, and sharing records in Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records. Delve into a uniquely Californian take on this popular medium with experiences ranging from individual and group listening stations to informal talks and live performances. Organized by OMCA Senior Curator of Art René de Guzman, Vinyl opens on April 19, 2014, to coincide with Record Store Day, an annual event that celebrates the unique cultural contributions of independent record retailers worldwide.

In the gallery, an experimental listening environment, you’ll be able to:

  • View notable record collections, photographs of collectors in their homes, and video and audio interviews with record collectors.
  • Explore the history of album cover art with a film exploring the medium and an exhibit of notable album cover art.
  • Peruse and listen to a wide range of vinyl records, spanning genres from punk to new wave, hip hop to experimental, with a focus on the independent record industry that blossomed in California from the mid-1970s to present.
  • Enjoy a contemporary artwork by MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning instrument builder, photographer, and composer Walter Kitundu.
  • Learn how to use a record player and how to DJ with instructional videos and record players.
  • Use turntables and headphones at six thematic listening stations to listen to boxes of records assembled by ‘Crate Curators’—influential members of the record community—collectors, DJs, independent record store owners, radio personalities and others. Each crate contains 33 records chosen by the Crate Curators to tell a personal story.
  • Dig through a variety of records and self-curate your own thematic crate, to play individually and for others.
  • Check out a rarely-seen historic and archival film and video explaining the science of recording.
  • Experience dynamic in-gallery events, including a series of talks by musicians, record store owners, and collectors in an innovative group listening and performance space.

Vinyl’s dynamic exhibit space, designed in partnership with Matthew Passmore, Founder and Principal at the San Francisco-based art and design collective Rebar, features standalone listening stations with turntables and album art displays, and comfortable, lounge-like, social gathering areas that allow Museum visitors to control their own music experience in the gallery. With opportunities to play albums and participate in music events and performances, Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records invites visitors to become a part of the exhibition itself.

Vinyl connects to OMCA’s major spring exhibition SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot through programs and in-gallery experiences celebrating how a range of communities comes together to create shared popular culture.

From NME:

Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ has been named as the UK’s most downloaded track of all time.

Official Charts Company data revealed that the 2013 hit single has been downloaded in Britain more times than any other song, with tracks by Adele, Maroon 5 and Gotye also figuring highly in the rundown.

‘Blurred Lines’ features both Pharrell Williams and T.I. and has been downloaded 1.54m times in the UK, one of just two songs to top to 1.5m figure. The second track to break the milestone amount is Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, which features at Number Two in the list.

UK’s ten most downloaded tracks of all time:

Robin Thicke/T.I./Pharrell Williams – ‘Blurred Lines’
Adele – ‘Someone Like You’
Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera – ‘Moves Like Jagger’
Gotye featuring Kimbra – ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’
Black Eyed Peas – ‘I Gotta Feeling’
Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams – ‘Get Lucky’
Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris ‘We Found Love’ – ‘We Found Love’
Avicii – ‘Wake Me Up’
Pharrell Williams – ‘Happy’
Kings Of Leon – ‘Sex On Fire’