Born in Montréal, raised in Medicine Hat, AB, and now based in Nashville, USA, Terri Clarkis one of the most successful of all Canadian country artists. She has scored hits on both sides of the 49th. At home, five of her singles have made the Canadian Hot 100 since 2007. In the United States, four of her songs made the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. On the country charts in both nations, she has scored no less than 25 hits. Terri has won 3 JUNO Awards. Her debut, eponymous album appeared in 1995, a triple platinum success. This week she releases her 10th studio album, Some Songs.
The album was produced by Buddy Knox’s son Michael Knox who has worked with Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. Brandy Clark (The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert) co-wrote a few tracks with Terri. Some Songs is as good as one would expect coming from the veteran. One gets the feeling she just lets everything happen and gently nudges the dropping pieces into position so they land in perfect alignment. Terri makes everything look easy, while we know writing songs this catchy is a very tricky process. Generally speaking, lyrics are more important in country songs than in popular rock, and they flow naturally on Some Songs drawing the listener into her stories and musings on life. This is one of the finest country music releases of the year. iTunes
MuchMusic celebrated its 30th anniversary on 31 August 2014. The music video television network launched the same day in 1984 when Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” was the #1 song in Canada. Prior to Much, a number of established networks began regular MV segments. Local TV in Metro Vancouver had Soundproof and the CBC had Good Rockin’ Tonight with Terry David Mulligan (who later joined Much as a VJ). The channel has helped catapult a number of new recording artists to stardom over the years. Through MuchFACT, MuchMusic funds the creation of new Canadian music videos and produces the popular various artist compilation album series Big Shiny Tunes and MuchDance. The channel has also developed the internationally renowned MMVAs or MuchMusic Video Awards. Much was licensed by the CRTC to CHUM when it debuted. A few years ago it was acquired by Bell Media.
Much celebrated its 30th birthday with a number of special features showing footage from the past, and counting down its picks for “The 100 Greatest Videos Ever”. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was named #1. Many former MuchMusic VJs are now broadcasters for the CBC. These include Sook-Yin Lee, Laurie Brown, and George Stroumboulopoulos. J.D. Roberts is a correspondent for Fox News. Below is a brief 1984 interview with Corey Hart on MuchMusic sending a message as relevant today as it was 30 years ago.
M.T.L. is an emerging band from the city of, well, MTL. Debut album Sunshine was released in 2012. M.T.L. has shared the performance stage with Down With Webster, Simple Plan, The Wanted, and many more acclaimed acts. To date, the band has become very popular regionally. It has used this celebrity status to work with the community to bring about positive change by helping raise funds for hospitals, tour high schools in anti-bullying campaigns, and support organizations that mentor homeless and troubled youth through the use of the arts.
With its newly released followup album, Made Them Lions, M.T.L. is set to expand its popularity nationwide. The album is excellent. The group cites The Police, Kings of Leon, One Republic, andBruno Mars as influences and has developed a full, rich, modern pop/rock sound with dashes of reggae. Opening track “Tidal Wave” is an irresistible, energetic, feel-good anthem, similar in style to Down With Webster. Beautiful, thumping ballad “Hyde” follows. “Forgotten How To Dream” could easily be placed alongside any of the modern pop/rock tracks on the airwaves these days. “Crazy” is the current single. From there, the album cranks up the reggae vibes, and the bass. We took to fantastic “Light Up the Dark” right away. “Love, Love, Love” has that David Myles charming quality while “Good Times” is CHR radio ready.
The Canadian Music Blog names Made Them Lions as Album of the Month for August 2014. iTunes
Thousand Foot Krutch is a popular hard rock band that formed in Peterborough, ON as Oddball in 1995. Trevor “Teerawk” McNevan is the only member that has been on board since the beginning. TFK is classified as a “Christian rock” band and has been nominated 4 times under the Contemporary Christian category at the JUNOs. The three-member group has released its 8th studio album, Oxygen: Inhale which debuted in the Top 10 on iTunes. The new album is a mixed batch of hard hitting rock tunes, power ballads, and softer songs. iTunes
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer and member of “The Five”: a group based in Saint Petersburg during the years 1856-1870 with the aim of creating a style of orchestral music specific to Russia as opposed to simply imitating the European mould. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Oundjian is currently trying to elevate its international renown and recently toured Europe signing a 3-album record deal with UK label Chandos. The TSO has released its first album on the label: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade.
Recorded at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall in June 2013, the new album contains Oundjian’s interpretation of four pieces the Russian composer made that were inspired by the Arabian Nights. The orchestra seamlessly flows from mood to mood in this sonic feast of intensive beauty capturing the true spirit of Rimsky-Korsakov’s bold and brilliant vision. iTunes
One of the few survivors that hasn’t reinvented its style, as the flourish of so-called pop-punk that was all the rage during the noughties decade has gone out of fashion, is Langley, BC outfit Gob. This twice JUNO nominated four piece has a connection to Sum 41, as Tom Thacker has played in both groups. Gob has decided to emerge from the woodwork after seven years and release a new album, Apt. 13, which is quite impressive. Filled with energy, robust vocals, great writing, and catchy guitar riffs, this should please fans of the genre who miss the days of punky vigour. iTunes
For both albums and digital singles released from May 1, 2008 onwards, definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold, Platinum = 80,000 units sold, Double Platinum = 160,000 units, Triple Platinum = 240,000 units, etc.