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

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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

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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

18. “El Scorcho,” Weezer


Somewhere in between obsessing over Death From Above 1979’s The Physical World, I managed to tap shuffle and along came my old friend, “El Scorcho.” He’s a good friend. He takes me all the way back to the turn of the century. Those nail-biting times when we were all sure our computers were going to explode, plummeting society in chaos when the clock hit midnight on January 1, 2000. Continue reading