GWNtertainment #25 by Jaimie Vernon

Music is in the air. Music is everywhere. Concerts are resuming and a limited number of clubs are readying for a return to entertainment. Large tours are back on the docket – including the Rolling Stones who will be traveling for the first time since the band’s formation in 1962 without its timekeeper Charlie Watts (who is recovering from surgery). It has sparked debate about what constitutes value for money in these economic hard times. Are Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (and late bloomer Ron Wood) enough to constitute a real Rolling Stones experience? Fans are divided.

With rock and roll quickly aging out from retirements and attrition, we are now at the tipping point between authentic artistic integrity and calculated tribute mockery. Many artists have announced their final world tours – Elton John and KISS included. Who will fill the gap? Some acts are literally leasing out their names and putting convincing simulations together to perform their hits (Foreigner, Little River Band). Meanwhile, a shadow industry is gearing up to fill the gap with holographic traveling road shows. Previously Roy Orbison has been trotted out to recreate the lovelorn guitarist’s catalog using a combination of impersonator and 3-D imaging. Announcements have recently been made that both Ronnie James Dio and Frank Zappa will receive the same ghostly TED Talk treatment. Can the Rolling Stones compete or will they eventually become phantoms of their former selves?

*Ray Materick (“Linda Put the Coffee On”) has launched a new website. You can download some of his music for free there as well.

* Current Management and Records has signed Toronto Hip-Hop four-piece Tribal East for the group’s album ‘Family Tree’ and the new single “All You Need.” The single is due on streaming platforms in coming days.

* GWN would like to send out condolences to family, friends, and the Canadian music community following the loss of Jo Jo (Guru) Bennett on August 3rd.

* Emm Gryner‘s album ‘Girl Versions’ album was nominated for Pop Album of The Year at the JUNO Awards in 1991. This month the album featuring my ballad covers of “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” “Big Bang Baby,” “Crazy Train,” and others, turns 20. Join her for an exclusive concert and Q & A featuring producer Chris Wardman on Aug 28. Limited tickets available.

* The planned premiere of The Weeknd‘s new video for the song “Take My Breath” in advance of the ‘Suicide Squad’ movie at IMAX theatres was cancelled last minute citing possible epileptic seizures due to strobing light effects in the video. The song/video did premiere on streaming services as planned August 6th. [Warning: Intense strobe effects]

* Cafe De La Reine (literally “Coffee of the Queen”) was first formulated by Colonial Coffee’s founder Jack Ohler specifically for Queen Elizabeth’s Canadian visit in 1984. He was asked to create a special blend using beans from the Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth, not known to be a coffee drinker had two cups. Around the same time that Queen Elizabeth was enjoying her special coffee, Canadians were enjoying the sounds of the Winnipeg based band, The Pumps. This year, the band has released ‘Gotta Move’, a 40th Anniversary Edition reissue of The Pumps classic 1981 debut featuring 4 bonus tracks including a 2021 acoustic version of “Coffee With the Queen.” You also get a Pumps/Orphan ‘Coffee With The Queen’ coffee blend from

* Halifax-based art-rock country collective Hot Mondy (Matt Brannon, Matt Rhind, Travis Flint, Troy Arseneault, Mat Budreski) has released its first single, “Pale Ember,” and debut self-titled EP. The recordings were produced by multi-JUNO winning producer Michael Philip Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics, Great Big Sea, The Jerry Cans); the band and Wojewoda came together at Toronto’s Revolution Recording in early 2020. After returning to Halifax following initial tracking, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the whole country down for well over a year. “It was both fun and challenging figuring out how to finish the EP during Covid,” the band recalls, “but it informed many of our choices in a really interesting way.”

* Taking on the “lies and deception” this Ottawa-based, Bangladeshi-born rocker experienced in a past relationship, bilingual musical virtuoso Ash Ravens has burst onto the Canadian music scene with a brand-new, tongue-in-cheek single called “Beautiful Lies.” In his own words, Ravens summarizes the song as being about “knowing when the other person is lying and cheating. You let them keep doing it, and let them dig their own grave.”

* Vancouver-based country act Kadooh and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger have teamed up for a new single out entitled “Rattlesnake Bite.”

* Shortly after the chart-topping “I Wanna Play,” Hamilton-based rockers The Trews have wasted no time in releasing another new single. This one’s entitled “Wanderer” and there’s a lyric video.

* Iceland’s Weekendson has tapped a number of international musicians for the single/lyric video “The Trap” including Saga’s Michael Sadler (vocals) and Mike Thorne (drums).

* Canadian artist (and former frontman of 80s-era rockers Arkitex) Rogov describes a cautionary tale of the consequences of love in this re-imagined version of his new alt-rock single, “Love Is A Killer.” Working with long-time friend and Canadian collaborator/producer, Stacy Heydon producer (Teenage Head, Long John Baldry, Sheriff) — the two found themselves revisiting an old song off of ROGOV’s demo reels. “…not only is it a defining song between Stacy and me, but because it is relevant today,” ROGOV shares. “I wrote ‘Love is a Killer’ back in 1978, and recorded my first album in 1979,” ROGOV continues, recalling when the song was originally written — and how it came to be today. “It was at the end of the Punk movement, ushering in the New Wave. “Some say I was ahead of my time… I just did and went where my compass directed…”

* Marava (an electronic musician from Russia) and Eadie (an alternative R & B artist from Toronto) have teamed up and released the Tipsy Records single “Life’s Okay.”

* Fomo (Jess Segura, Paul McWhaw, Alex Levi) is a pop-punk band from Montreal, Canada. Established in 2019, the band has finished recording their upcoming EP for later this year. They give us a sneak peek with the first single entitled “J.C.A.C.”

* Canadian hip hop artist Toronto Poor Boy has laid it all on the line with this, his 26-song debut album, ‘Until the End of Hurting Times. “Last year was definitely a year for reflection for a lot of people,” the Jamaican-born artist says, “and it gave me the ability to really put my thoughts and feelings into my lyrics.” The lead-off single is “No Stressing.”

* Eduard Rei pays tribute to the lovely ladies from where he currently resides – Mississauga, Ontario. The tune is called “Girl From Mississauga” and can be found on the album ‘Let’s Dance.’

* Don Graham has a new solo single/video out entitled “Como Te Amo.”

* Schomberg, Ontario-based Pop-Jazz artist Cynthia Tauro is “Right Here” with the release of her new single and video. As a song, “Right Here” illustrates how love slowly releases when it’s left unreciprocated. Following her 2020 single, “You Know Me,” the new track continues in Tauro pop-jazz genre of choice.

* Brand new single/video out from Alberta’s Daniel Martin and the Infamous entitled “Dancing In The Fire.”

* Toronto’s Todd Gotlieb wrote the song “My Sweet Boy” for his 13 year old son who is autistic and for all the autism parents out there. The song is in support of Autism Speaks Canada.  Donations and accompanying music video can be found here>>…/my…/HvUYeCMN/iIlM/deMQRN-nrf

* Scarborough, Ontario singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shawn Wludyka has released his second single this year. The new one is entitled “This Night’s Been Alright (So Far)”

* The second song from Brown Eyed Blue is called “Point of View” which was inspired by the Jane Elliot experiments in the 1960’s. Brown Eyed Blue is Mitch Starkman on bass, David Quinton Steinberg on drums and Anton Evans on vocals and guitars.

*Lovers & Lunatics, who were originally a Toronto-area cover band, are back with an original tune entitled “Bloodhot Moon.”

* Belleville, Ontario-based, Red Dirt Skinners’ latest single release is “Brighter Days Ahead” and signifies the duo’s foray into 70s-esque indie-pop & easy-rock. The song is from the group’s forthcoming album ‘Bear With Us’ due this Fall. Rooted in a time when the Skinners — Rob and Sarah — were on tour in Scotland and noticed, amongst the rain clouds, the shadows always pointed towards a rainbow. It seemed to be an observation that could be applied to life in general too, and from that idea, “Brighter Days Ahead” was born. “We are living in strange and confusing times,” Sarah says. “‘Brighter Days Ahead’ is intended to give the listener hope.

* Edmonton’s T.J. Clendening and Madison Lee is Myrion Rocket who has a new album entitled ‘Edge of the Universe.’ The latest single is “Conundrum.”

* The James Clark Institute‘s third single/video “Broken Boy” from the album, ‘The Colour of Happy’ has been released. The album was produced by Moe Berg. Video directed by Sean Ryan.

* Toronto rapper Saf Man returns with another 2021 single entitled “6ix Side.”

* GWN regular Suzanne Carlson, from Phelpston, Ontario, is back again with a remake of the Tom T. Hall written “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

* Kelly Goodfellow, who has returned to music after a long absence, posted a living room rendition of her take on Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

* We like to keep our posts current but we wanted to congratulate Toronto’s The Heymacs whose 2015 video for their cover of “Hit the Road Jack” has suddenly caught fire after 6 years. In the last 6 weeks the video has gone from 5000 views to nearly 370,000 views (at the time of this writing). It isn’t known why there’s a sudden interest in the track again, but here’s hoping it continues!

This issue was brought to you by Ovaltine – the egg-shaped drink that comes in a round tin. 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.

One Response to “GWNtertainment #25 by Jaimie Vernon”

  1. Great article and reporting !

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