N E Kind Entertainment
Because the hip-hop industry is dominated by mainstream artists, it’s hard for underdogs like Gescha to shine. This Saskatoon-based rapper invites the listener to dive in and learn more about his life in his 13-track debut album, Crayon Politics. On this album, produced by Factor and Muneshine, Gescha collaborated with many artists including Moka Only, Kay the Aquanaut, and Tom Pickett. The name of the album derives from Gescha’s comparison of crayons with his life. Like crayons that constitute a wide spectrum of colours from light to dark, Gescha’s life has contained a range of emotions and stories that are both bright and gloomy. In an interview with Hip-Hop Canada, Gescha expressed that the album is, “a representation of life in all its colours”. Continue reading
Lana Del Rey
Born to Die
January 31, 2012
On June 29th, 2011, Lana Del Rey posted her first single, “Video Games,” to her YouTube channel. The song, often referred to as one of the best tracks of 2011, juxtaposes Del Rey’s haunting vocals with dazzling strings and lyrics that question the value of life if you spend it alone. What followed could only be described as a cyclone of internet buzz. “Video Games” achieved commercial success, critical acclaim, and the accompanying music video garnered over 24 million views on YouTube. Lana Del Rey’s rise to internet fame was a phenomenon that fascinated many (myself included), however, it also promised us more. “Video Games” painted a portrait of an artist that looks much different than the one we see today. Continue reading
John K. Samson
January 24, 2012
John K. Samson is a man obsessed with the minutiae of everyday life in small-town Manitoba. His debut solo record, comprised of tracks from his previous EPs as well as new songs, paints a beautifully detailed portrait of life in Western Canada, and specifically, Winnipeg.
To anyone familiar with Samson’s work in his critically acclaimed and revered indie band, The Weakerthans, much of the album’s musical and lyrical content won’t come as a surprise. If anything, Provincial follows Samson’s trend of moving farther away from the punk influences of The Weakerthans’ earlier material and into full-on alt country and indie Can-Rock territory. There’s songs about snowplows, legendary hockey players, lonely master’s students, and the feeling of being stuck in a town you hate. As with all of Samson’s writing, Provincial captures otherwise ephemeral moments and feelings in surprising ways. His affecting lyrics take the listener on a journey of loss, isolation, love, and hope through the snowy landscape of the province he calls home.
Photo by Alyson Douglas
What better way to spend the FIMS University Student Fund then bring Justin Nozuka to London? I can’t think of any. And neither could the crowds of screaming fans that blocked every imaginable exit of the London Music Hall last Wednesday at the MITSC-provided concert. I began to worry how I was ever going to make it out past all of them in the case of an emergency. Continue reading
[Album: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming]
[Label: Mute US / 2011]
The ticking of a clock, the tapping of a shoe, the dialogue of irrelevant conversations slowly blurring into a collective murmur. Staring into nothing, but thinking about everything. It’s a feeling of passive surrender. A feeling of equilibrium. And, more than ever before, it’s a feeling that M83 inspires on “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”.
Some like to label it shoegaze, others dreampop – whatever you want to call it, it’s good. Continue reading
With his sixth full length LP, Indie god Sufjan Stevens finally decides to stray from his usual combination of banjo’s and melodic choirs and take a new direction. Do not be alarmed — the Sufjan we all love is still in there, it’s just disguised in a very up-to-date fashion. The album is highly experimental for Stevens’ standards, combining sporadic synths and bass with his usual style. For some reason, it all works. He has managed to create an almost electronic based album without conforming to music’s current infatuation with electro-everything. Many were thrown off by the auto-tuned vocals featured throughout the album, but the difference between this and the over-produced sounds of Top 40 is that Stevens uses it in moderation. He isn’t auto-tuning because he needs it, he is doing so in a creative sense, while still creating a very genuine album. Continue reading
AMC is officially the Pixar of TV. Like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Rubicon before it The Walking Dead, premiering tonight at 10, continues AMC’s streak of thrilling television. It’s hardly even “television” – this feels more like a movie than any other show I can think of. Maybe it’s the fact that zombies usually walk the theatre, not our living rooms.
Grimes (Lincoln) tries to escape a horde of zombies
The premise might sound a little familiar too: man awakens from coma to find hospital trashed, buildings blackened, cars overturned, city deserted – except of course for the walking dead, those lovely infected folk donning their intestines like apparel. This of course is the basic premise of 28 Days Later, that 2002 horror flick AMC seems to hope you forgot. The scenes with hero Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) walking through the streets of his ruined city look identical to those in the Cillian Murphy movie.
It almost doesn’t matter that The Walking Dead plays on this and so many other zombie flicks – that’s what genre is about. And there’s enough reinvention here to keep the zombie stuff from feeling overdone. The episode, which follows Sheriff Grimes as he searches for his wife and kid, features some great scenes with a horse that play on the Western genre, and the latter half of the episode even hints at some soapy Mad Men-style drama to come. Continue reading