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Year in Review: The Best Albums of 2015

We invited our team of contributors to share some of their favourite albums of 2015. Many identify with their top picks on a personal level where the music is a soundtrack to their year; for some, their list represents a culmination of 2015’s hard work; and others select clear stand-outs amidst the transforming process of discovering … Continue reading

Album Review: Run The Jewels – “Meow The Jewels”

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) –     To make some noise prior to the release of their 2014 barnburner RTJ2, Run the Jewels, hip-hop’s feel-good story of the decade, created a massive crowdfunding effort. The effort included everything from the obvious: $100 gets you the vinyl, CD and a t-shirt, to the cartoonish. For several million dollars, … Continue reading

Interview: FIDLAR’s Elvis Kuehn on growing up, and selling out

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – P unk isn’t always just three of the same notes over and over again. Just ask L.A.’s FIDLAR. Yes, they’re from Southern California. Yes, they like to skateboard. And yes, they have some negative opinions about pop music. Despite all that, FIDLAR have been very open about their own trials, including singer Zach’s … Continue reading

Interview: Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff on John Hughes, Taylor Swift, and getting better

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – F rom the onset of an interaction with Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff, you wouldn’t suspect the man’s a rock star. The Bleachers frontman and Fun guitarist is humble, soft-spoken and (as the conversation continued) as passionate about his influences as his fans. With 2014’s Strange Desire, Antonoff brought the indie sensibilities of his first band Steel Train and Fun’s … Continue reading

Interview: Frank Turner talks catharsis, CM Punk, and Charlie Hebdo

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – F rank Turner describes his signature sound as “Springsteen by way of Sick of it All”. It’s the most eloquent way to describe a songwriter whose weightiest, often melancholy self-reflections fuse seamlessly with straight-ahead barroom stomp. That sound continues to evolve on Turner’s latest album Positive Songs for Negative People (a follow-up to … Continue reading

Recap/Photos: Buffy Sainte-Marie wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – This year’s Polaris Prize winner, the iconic Buffy Sainte-Marie, was as gracious a winner as she was a passionate performer. She gave a soaring performance and reminded Canada how lucky we are to have artists like her. As presenter Owen Pallett put it, “her music is angry and its love is fierce. It’s the … Continue reading

Concert Review: 2015 Greenbelt Harvest Picnic: more family affair than music festival

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – There were plenty of stories surrounding the lineup for the 2015 Greenbelt Harvest Picnic. Some were heartbreaking, like the story of Kathleen Edwards’ stolen 1957 Les Paul Junior. Some were triumphant, like the story of headliner Arkells’ double Juno victory. Some were even controversial, like the last-minute removal of Iron and Wine due … Continue reading

John Hodgman on The Daily Show, and growing up in Lovecraftian hellscapes

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – H ow do you describe John Hodgman’s career? He’s not a standup comedian; he’s an uproariously funny storyteller. He’s not an author; he’s a master (faux) historian. On the Daily Show, he had the ‘walking/talking encyclopedia of incorrect knowledge’ role on lock and, frankly, his mustache is a force of nature. Even … Continue reading

5 Can’t-Miss Artists at Rifflandia 2015

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – Now in its eighth year, Rifflandia is an all-consuming monster of a festival. On top of its main and side stages in Royal Athletic Park, Rifflandia also occupies a mind-boggling twenty-one other venues throughout Victoria, running from September 17th to 20th. Check out the festival schedule here. It’s an embarrassment of riches, … Continue reading

5 Can’t-Miss Artists at Kaaboo Del Mar 2015

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) – By now, we know what to expect from an average music festival: dirt, grime, sub-par food & drink, involuntary piggybacks to sweaty crowd-surfers and a parade of bands you’ve never heard of, peppered with the handful you have. But what if there was a festival that called a cliché a cliché and … Continue reading