GWNtertainment #23 by Jaimie Vernon

We find ourselves at the crossroads of dipping our toes back into civilization again or staying isolated. The pandemic was stifling and near claustrophobic. It has also led to uncomfortable confrontations with introspection and compounded mental health. I tread the fine line between wanting to see my extended family and cozying up forever in my home with my wife and son. It reminds me of a song by The Robert Farrell Band out of Ottawa called “Cold Cold Heaven.” It’s a great allegorical song written by Farrell and the Cooper Brothers’ Dick Cooper about getting what you want, but once you’re there, feeling like you’ve hit a sandbar or a rut, as it were.

I hear a lot of music while writing this blog. This track kind of stuck with me a month ago when it was sent out to radio. I think the lyrics are timeless and the playing (by Robert Farrell – guitar, Andrew Lamarche – drums, and Stephen Clarke – bass) chugs along in the best style of guitar slinging classic rock. It’s also a timely reminder of what GWN is all about. Discovering new tracks, breaking out of these doldrums, and putting the piss and vinegar back into life. Thanks for the musical reminder, guys.

* For indie artist trying to navigate the new online digital world and other transitions facing them post-pandemic, check out the free indie101 Summer Sessions With Rick Barker.

* A super-rare French Canadian single by 1960s garage rock band Les Jaguars (“Guitare Jet” b/w “Attaque”) is being re-issued on vinyl by Hyperloop Records.

* Originally written and recorded in 2010, a timely new single release entitled “Residential School” by Toronto singer/songwriter James Bruce Moore is being re-serviced to radio stations across Canada. Foreseeing the tragic situation in Canada’s Indigenous community, Moore recognized Canada’s Residential School problem long before the dire circumstances came to the public’s attention.

* Every wonder what happened to the baby on the cover of Men Without Hats‘ 1987 ‘Pop Goes The World’ album? Her name is Stefanie and she has a little one of her own now. Photo courtesy Ivan Doroschuk (MWH).

* Want to help a struggling young artist? Zofia Rose – a Dakelh First Nations woman – is raising funds for her next 4-song EP. Check out the campaign here.

* The Museum of Dufferin will have an online talk from Indigenous Canadian-American singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie on August 1st. The price $23 and tickets are available at the link here:

* Ottawa-based The Golden Seals‘ latest feel-good summer track, “To Be Or Not To Be (With Me)” finds vocalist, bassist, and guitarist Dave Merritt channeling the soliloquy spirit of The Bard with the lyrics “I know I’m no Olivier, I’m just an old clown; but the irony is, I’m bringing us down.”

* Canadian artist Keegan Chambers has a new single entitled “Look What You’ve Done” – a guitar-driven track from her newest EP ‘Out Of My Head.’ Says Chambers, “’Look What You’ve Done’ was written after a traumatizing experience brought out an anger in me I’d never seen before. While working through those violent thoughts of revenge.”

* Quebec City dance producer Kayliox (as mentioned previously in GWN) has released his third release for Tipsy Records with “Don’t Want Perfect”, written and sung by Robbie Rosen, who was a Top 16 finalist on American Idol in season 10.

* Bittersweet and moving, Canadian indie pop artist Alex Goupil has just released his fifth single, “Drowning.”  The song came from an intense feeling of inner-conflict which shrouded Goupil in a wave of confusion. A classic “should I stay or should I go” situation, if you will. The young, aspiring musician had caught feelings for a special someone right before his departure [to England before the pandemic] and, while he was ecstatic to pursue his dream of taking on a brand-new city on his own, he couldn’t seem to get his Juliet (per se) out of his mind. He says it was “driving (him) crazy.”

* Nice Horse is an all-female country quartet from Alberta and their newest single is “Good At Missing You.”

* Staggered Crossing is back (sort of) with the 20th Anniversary Edition of their self-titled break-out album. It comes complete with four bonus tracks including a brand new reunion song entitled “Boyfriend/Girlfriend.”

* Not sure who Arrivals is, but this Canadian band has a new album out entitled ‘Departure‘ and the first single/video is “Stay.”

* Norine Braun brings us “Alberta” from the album ‘Evolution of The Blood Star.’ Produced by multi-instrumentalist James Bowers.

* Spun straight from storybook shelves of fantasy and folklore, award-winning Canadian group ViVA Trio have released a new single ahead of their forthcoming concept album ‘Nothing Else Matters’; “Lorien” is inspired by Lord of the Rings’ Galadriel.

* Rosita Stone‘s new one is called “Love To The World” about compassion, equality, non-judgement, and gender diversity acceptance. It was a collaboration between Stone and American producer Chris Flores (Fergie, Slash, Rihanna, et al).

* Lee Aaron‘s back again with her third single in as many months with the rock track “Vampin’. The track will be on the upcoming ‘Radio On!’ album.

* Marx has a new lyric video/single out for the song “Be My Baby.” [an original tune].

* The Dancehall Sinners call the music Fuzzy Rock and Roll from The Canadian Prairies. Their latest is “Mississippi Crawl.”

* Mouth Breather [aka Owen Hooper] has a new one out called “oof!”

* Toronto Alt-Rock 5-piece The High Loves lend credence to the connotation that Toronto is the creative capital of Canada with this, their new single “Call Me Back.” The song will appear on their forthcoming album, ‘Too Much Of A Good Thing.’ Lead guitarist and vocalist Noah Monckton says, “When I first wrote the hook, I wasn’t able to get it out of my head for weeks,” he adds. “For better or for worse.” Guitarist Marko Stojanovic recalls “’Call Me Back’ was around for a while. At least, the melody to the chorus was. It didn’t really come together until a little under a year ago and we’re really happy with how it turned out. It’s a fun and groovy bopper you can blast in the car, on the patio, at the beach or anywhere you can have a good time.”

* Toronto’s Sabrina Barreto has a new single out called “Colourblind”

* Suitcase Sam‘s 2019 album, ‘Goodnight Riverdale Park’ continues to produce lasting musical effects. The new single and clever video from the album is “Edge Of Town.”

* ‘Black Opal’ is a poem by David Seymour from his book “Inter Alia” and Ottawa’s Electric Treatment Free has put musical accompaniment behind it. The track is not on the band’s 2020 self-titled EP. But there is a short video of the collaboration.

* Alanis Morissette appears to have slipped one past GWN while we weren’t looking. “Rest” came out in May for #MentalHealthActionDay. We apologize for missing the song…and the message.

* Vancouver’s Star Collector is back and their new album is ‘Game Day.’ It was produced by  Vic Wayne (vocals, guitar); engineered, mixed, and mastered by Adrian Buckley (drums, vocals) alongside guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Steve Monteith (guitar, vocals), and Adam East (vocals). Guests include Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath), Evan Foster, Shane Hayes, Derek Macdonald, and Reece Terris. Here’s the lead-off tune “Super Zero Blues.”

* Cornwall, Ontario’s Boundary Road have released their second single “Maybe He’s Right.”

* Driver Eight is the ensemble of Ken Tizzard plus several music friends – Sean Panting on guitar, Peter Collins on bass, Doug Oliver on drums, and Mike Turner on backing vocals and additional drum programming. Their newest release is a cover version of R.E.M.’s “All Together Now.”

* With a song on her heart, Hamilton, Ontario pianist Alex Whorms has leant her ethereal vocals to a new interpretation of Jann Arden’s “Insensitive.”

* With the recent Indigenous children tragedy still sitting as a fresh wound for all of Canada, Stampeders’ member Ronnie King revisits his band’s 1970s song ‘Then Came The White Man’ with a moving, haunting, video to accompany the track.

This issue was brought to you by Summer Fresh Perspiration Pads – No Other Smell Fits Like Petunias In Your Pits. Send us your news, views, and all manner of CANADIAN musical releases to promote and wave a flag for. Join the GWN Facebook page and drop us a message:

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2021


Jaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 41 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 24 years. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: