Review: Wide Mouth Mason at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto, November 12, 2019

A long time ago, in a tavern far, far way….

A dark force arose. It was white, and it was cold and it was an all-around pain in the ass. Indeed, a sudden, deep freeze overtook the land. But a hero arose from the frost and slush: an unassuming droid they called SV-PO. Continue reading

Sort-of Review: Big Music Fest (Extreme, Jane’s Addiction & Soundgarden): July 11, 2015

I suppose it’s a function of my age that I’ve now gone to two 90s-centric music festivals in the span of a month. But this one, held in Kitchener, Ontario, was different from Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival: it was louder, it was grungier, it was sexier, and at the same time it was bizarrely, paradoxically suburban. Continue reading

28. “Rub You the Right Way,” Johnny Gill

Johnny Gill

Puberty. One minute you’re 14 going on 15. Then it’s your birthday and you open a present and suddenly you’re aware that there’s a new perception of you. You were always just a kid. Presents had been fun. But now you’re turning into an adult. Or some scrawny, embryonic, grease-and-pimple-faced facsimile of one. And presents could be a little something other than fun. Continue reading

Ch-ch-ch-changes: A 90s music festival in 2015

photo 4

Friday was my birthday. Saturday was Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo’s birthday. And, on Saturday, I saw Rivers celebrate his birthday as Weezer headlined Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival kick-off show, a day also highlighted by performances from a couple of other bands that exploded in the 90s: Collective Soul and Our Lady Peace. Needless to say, it was a day ripe with nostalgia for a guy who was 20-ish when all these bands hit. Continue reading

24. “The Audience is Listening,” Steve Vai

Steve Vai, Passion and Warfare on My Shuffled Life

I think it was around this time, the summer of 1990, that I started to realize my musical tastes were different from most people’s. It seemed natural to me, though. It’s like when you’re six and you like something because you like it, not because your friends or the cool kids or famous people or the media told you to like it. It just speaks to you. Which is why, that summer, while vacationing in Florida, I could fall in love with both this manic tribute to guitar virtuosity and teenage rebellion AND Mariah Carey. Continue reading