GWNtertainment MAGAZINE BLOG #50


The snow has arrived in the GWN neighbourhood and it’s starting feel typically Canadian out there again. Now comes hot chocolate, mittens, skating, and scraping sheet ice of your windshield. Time to embrace the coming deep freeze or batten down the hatches and hibernate. And what better way to hibernate with some great Canadian music. GWN‘s here to fill your ears with the last vestiges of 2022’s musical offerings – that includes Christmas tracks. Too early, you say? Bah! Humbrag. It’s been a tough 2 1/2 years, we believe in spreading the musical (and festive joy) as soon as we can. From here until Christmas we’ll drop a few new Christmas releases into our blogs.

And remember, most of the songs and artists we discuss in this issue are available on our weekly Spotify playlist (just click the icon below)



Having just signed with Sonic Envy Records, Lowest of The Low is currently working in John Critchley’s (13 Engines, Mr! Mouray, The Discarded) recording studio, Green Door Studios, on their next record tentatively titled Welcome To The Plunderdome. The record is slated for a 2023 release. The band has released a sneak peek of two new tracks here.


The new children’s book, The Cat Who Played Guitar, is available in time for Christmas from famed Canadian classical guitar virtuoso Liona Boyd.


The story of Ray Gran will soon be the subject of both a book and a documentary, as well as the latest single from The James Clark Institute entitled “Marcella Never Got The News.” The pilot crashed his plane in 1959 in Saskatchewan and it was not recovered until 2018. His wife Marcella was pregnant at the time of the accident, and passed away the night of the discovery of the wreckage without ever hearing the news.


Toronto Alt-Pop singer-songwriter Lisa Humber is urging people to critically think and start making post-pandemic human connection on her new songs “Shades of Grey.”


Victoria, British Columbia musical mainstay Jonathan (Williams) once shared stages with legendary Canadian artists including Colin James, Trooper, 54-40, Spirit of the West, Edwin, and legendary American act Dr. Hook. After spending the majority of his life as a music artist and performer, Jonathan put it all away for the next 15 years and went into law enforcement to build and support his new family. In the last three years Jonathan endured massive life changing events, and has returned to fulfill his dream and passion of music. Jonathan speaks to this in his newest single release called “Untethered”. Jonathan states: “‘Untethered’ is my personal testimony of how my life fell apart in 2017. Suffering from betrayal, depression, loss of identity, and PTSD from my job as a police officer, this song is about my struggle to fill the emptiness of my life with distractions and pleasures rather than seeking what matters most.”

Windsor, Ontario’s MELØ has released a new single and lyric video for the song “Things We Lost,” which is the title track from his debut EP.



Toronto Pop songstress Sam Casey wrestles with the hurt of a one-sided fling on her new single/video “New Company.”


The Trews have released a new Christmas tune called “Xmas (Merry Christmas).”


Jon Mullane is an award-winning Canadian singer//songwriter/performer who has gained international acclaim and success with his music. Having released five successful full length albums, Jon has had several Top 40 Billboard -charting radio singles in Canada to his credit, and his song “My New American Girl” broke into the Top 40 at #32 on the Hot AC Billboard Chart in the US. “Feels Like Christmas” is Jon’s new Holiday album that features new original songs plus Jon’s previously released Holiday singles. Check out the title track:



Bend Sinister’s Dan Moxon has embraced being a steady, stay-at-home adult on the new single “Real Good Guy.” Taking its cues from easygoing ’70s soul, “Real Good Guy” features tinkling piano, joyful horns, subtle harmonies, and even some exuberant whistling as Dan basks in the reality of being a responsible member of a household. Throughout the song, there’s the sense that Dan isn’t actually trying hard to convince anyone that he’s a good guy, but that he’s instead marveling at a particular stage of life. It’s an attitude that fits with the greater theme of Dan’s sophomore album, All My Friends.


Yet another new single, “High Times,” from Nickelback has been released from their upcoming new album Get Rollin‘.


Toronto’s Shawn Molko’s new song “I Will Wait,” is causing a lot of word of mouth support across all platforms. Check it out.


Canadian Alt-Country artist Andrea England gets honest about Holiday bitter-sweetness on the new seasonal single “Jolly Melancholy Christmas.”


Toronto’s Americana/Roots-Rock singer-songwriter Ryan Wayne – most often remembered as one of the two spark plugs that fired up the award-winning, much-loved Toronto band Warped 45s – has released Wherever You Land, the first single from his upcoming debut album Crow Amongst The Sparrows. 


Toronto’s NUMB TONGUES have released their new “Whaddaya Say” featuring Prince/Toto’s Dominique Xavier. The inspiration behind “Whaddaya Say” first came to lead singer Jonah Grinberg in 2017. The singer went through a depression after finishing college, feeling a sense of aimlessness and disposition within the world. He developed a nihilistic take on life and realized that the world would forever remain in a constant state of chaos, and there was nothing he or anyone he knew could do much about.


Toronto’s rising Pop sensation, Victoria Alex, on the heels of her hit “Screaming” and “I Hate Your Friends,” returns with a new single entitled “Let’s Pretend.”




A collective of Canada’s top artists are lending their voices to raise awareness of the fight for democracy in Iran. This reimagining of U2’s iconic protest song “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was originally recorded and released in the summer of 2019 to raise awareness of the political crisis and human suffering in Sudan. With this new lyric video, A4A Records and participating artists once again hope to put the spotlight on the fight for human rights, in solidarity with the women and people of Iran. The participating artists are: Ian D’Sa (Billy Talent), Ben Kowalewicz (Billy Talent), Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Cone (Sum 41), Neil Sanderson (Three Days Grace), Matt Walst (Three Days Grace), Damhnait Doyle, Emmanuel Jal, Serena Ryder, Corey Hart, Ron Hawkins (Lowest of The Low), Scott Anderson (Finger Eleven), Simon Ward, Amy Millan (Stars), Colin MacDonald (The Trews), John Angus (The Trews), and Ewan Currie (The Sheepdogs)


SEND US YOUR STUFF!
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: https://www.facebook.com/gwntertainment

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2022

=JV=

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 44 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 26 of those. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jaimie+Vernon



GWNtertainment MAGAZINE BLOG #49


From the head offices of Central Casting we bring you another scintillating round up of this week in Canadian music news. We’re in that exciting period between Halloween and Christmas where everyone’s hurtling toward the holidays. We’ll be bringing you Canadian Christmas music soon enough, but for now here’s the latest in new music. Be sure to check out the links in the paragraphs below or dial up the Spotify playlist we’ve assembled 40 tunes for this week’s movers and shakers [hit the playlist icon below]

< Click image for GWNtertainment Playlist #49


Hamilton’s finest gathered November 5th for a celebration of life for the late Gordie Lewis of TEENAGE HEAD. The guitarist passed away tragically this past summer. The band, featuring original bassist Steve Mahon, along with long-time vocalist Dave Rave, drummer Gene Champagne, and assisted by Headstones guitarist Trent Carr and keyboardist Greg Brisco, took the stage for a full night filled with songs from Teenage Head’s deep catalog of songs. The night kicked off with a number of eulogies read by Hockey Night In Canada announcer Dave Hodge including one from producer Daniel Lanois. Proceeds from the event – held at Hamilton’s First Ontario Concert Hall to a capacity crowd – went to the Hamilton Good Shepherd organization.


Teenage Head were energized for an opening salvo of songs after which Dave Rave handed the microphone over to a who’s who of vocalists including Luke Bentham (The Dirty Nil), Colin MacDonald and Jack Syperek (The Trews) – who were accompanied by Sonny Del Rio (Crowbar) on saxophone for “Something On My Mind,” Chris Houston (The Forgotten Rebels), Andy Curran (Coney Hatch), Mike Trebilcock (The Killjoys), Tim Gibbons (The Shakers), Sammy Squid, Lou Molinaro (Tongue Fu) who helped organize the entire event, John Kastner (The Doughboys), and Scott McCullough (Rusty).


[l. to r. Gene Champagne, Steve Mahon, Dave Rave, Trent Carr]

Other highlights from the show included MC duties from Brian West (Y108-FM), plus video tributes from Colin Linden (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), Tom Wilson (Florida Razors, Junkhouse), Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper Band, Blue Coupe), and Joe and Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult, Blue Coupe) among others; also a few inspiring words from journalist and long-time associate of the band Graham Rockingham, and the return of 1980s-period Teenage Head drummer Jack Pedler. The highlight and show stopper for many there was the solo performance by Gordie Lewis’s nephew, Michael Lewis, who performed a moving rendition of Gordie’s solo song “Parasite” which was met with a standing ovation. Hamilton did themselves proud on this night for a worthy cause and to honour a fallen brother.


* Former HELIX guitarist Daniel Fawcett – who performed with the band from 2002 to 2004 – was found dead of suspicious circumstances in his home in London, Ontario November 6, 2022. Police have since ruled the death a homicide. An investigation is ongoing. Condolences to Mr. Fawcett’s family and friends.


* HONEYMOON SUITE guitarist Derry Grehan posted on social media this week that the band has tracked 10 brand new songs for their forthcoming album plus two bonus tracks with remakes of “New Girl Now,” and “Love Changes Everything.”

* UNIVERSAL HONEY‘s latest single, “Hush A Word,” as featured here a few issues ago, has sped past 100,000 views on YouTube in a few weeks. If you haven’t seen the vid/heard the song check it out here.


* Musical Everyman Ian Blurton posted on social media this week that he and CHANGE OF HEART bassist Rob Taylor have reconvened 28 years after Taylor left the band to track a new album. They began recording in December 2021 and have called on former COH alumni Glenn Milchem, Ron Duffy, Damon Richardson, and John Borra among others to flesh out the record. Of note is that they discovered some unused percussion tracks from the late Mike Armstrong – who earlier this year – that they’d repurposed for the record. The album, as yet untitled, should be out in 2023.

* A company called Side Door Access was developed by Vancouver music Dan Mangan and Nova Scotian music industry entrepreneur Laura Simpson back in 2017 as a means of putting live music into unconventional spaces like living rooms, bookstores, and warehouses. The business partners have co-founded a web-based platform to centralizes the process and have secured a $500K deal with Arlene Dickinson on reality TV show Dragons’ Den.


* Drew Arnott of STRANGE ADVANCE announced this week that Universal Music is finally going to re-issue the band’s first two albums – Worlds Away and 2WO – on vinyl in the new year.

* There’s massive buzz surrounding the new Rob Freeman documentary called Drop The Needle which follows the evolution of Toronto’s Hip Hop scene as it began in the back room of Eugene’s Play De Record retail store on Yonge Street in the late ’80s/early 1990s. It’s been playing at Hot Docs and should be available to wider audiences shortly. Check out the trailer here.


* Former KLAATU member Terry Draper, hot off his pandemic released latest album The Other Side, has announced his next album will be called Bread And Cirkus due in December.

* JACKIE SHANE has been honoured with her own Heritage Minute. See the new TV spot here.

* GWN is saddened to hear about the passing of musician John McGale (Offenbach, Buzz Band) in a car accident in Lacolle, Quebec October 30th – his 66th birthday. Condolences to his family, friends, and the music community’s loss.


* Damhnail Doyle announced on social media that she has become the new host of CBC Music’s The Intro.



* HEADSTONES drummer Dale Harrison has been keeping busy with many projects. There’s a new single by 6ft Social Band called “See How It Goes.” YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY
And Deadwood Valley’s new single “Never Look Back” YOUTUBE


* Speaking of Ian Blurton, his current band Ian Blurton’s Future Now has a new album out called Second Skin. Check out the first single, “Like A Ghost.” YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* GWN regular DON NORMAN usually finds a spot in our Cover Ups column with fantastic renditions from the pop music songbook, but he’s just released an original track we quite like called “Edward’s Eyes (Lovesong To A Grandson)” which he wrote in 1991. His grandson is now 33, but Grandpa’s love remains. BANDCAMP

* Kyp Harness has a new album out entitled Poverty Line. It features contributions from Bob Wiseman (Blue Rodeo), Dale Morningstar (Dinner Is Ruined) and Mary Margaret O’Hara.


* Accomplished kora player, and singer-songwriter Sophie Lukacs has released Before You,” the fourth single from her upcoming debut album Falling set for release in 2023. The song features Habib Koité. Lukacs was also recently chosen to perform a live showcase at the Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City, Missouri in 2023.
YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* LEE AARON appears to be swinging for the fences these days as single #2 has emerged from the as yet unreleased album Elevate which is due November 25. The new track/video is called “Troublemaker” and we believe it! YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


* Quebec’s Lori Dore has released her debut album entitled Something In The Air. It features 12 original tracks she co-wrote with Rick Steven Rogers and third writer Andre Dore. Produced by Jeff Nystrom (FIST) with guitar work by Jon Park-Wheeler and Rob Stefan. The title track is a stand-out suitable for Country radio while Dore explores other genres including the Blues on “When The Walls Fall Down” and Latin Music with “Kiss Me.”
YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* Toronto’s A Short Walk To Pluto has a new single called “You Are Not The Only One.”
YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


* This week’s cover tune is all parts Canadian from the CANADIAN COVER CREW who’ve previously done versions of Lighthouse’s “Pretty Lady,” The Delfonics “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind,” and Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love.” This round they’ve brought in Blair Packham (Jitters) to round the team of Paul DeLong (drums), Peter Nunn (keyboards), Rik Emmett (guitar), and Pete Bleakney (bass), along with backing vocalist Rita & John Carroll to bring us Michel Pagliaro‘s “Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy.” YOUTUBE


SEND US YOUR STUFF!
This issue was brought to you by: Artists everywhere. They need your support.

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: https://www.facebook.com/gwntertainment

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2022

=JV=

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 44 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 25 of those. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jaimie+Vernon


GWNtertainment MAGAZINE BLOG #48


Here we are, back for another round of new and exciting musical shenanigans. A big thank you to the folks who have followed us from the old Don’t Believe A Word I Say site, and to the new subscribers here on The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia. Welcome one and all! We hope you’re enjoying the bits and bites of new music news we bring your way every week. Mondays will be our official release day for GWNtertainment Magazine blogs so make sure you have a coffee and some headphones ready for all the latest in Canadian entertainment to start each week. Now, on with the show!


And be sure to check out this issue’s convenient non-stop playlist on Spotify – click the icon above to get tracks from this issue’s artists.


* Initially LOWEST OF THE LOW had reunited to celebrate the anniversary of their pre-imminent masterpiece Shakespaere My Butt, but now it appears there is a half-life to the band’s career as they’ve signed to Brian Hetherman’s music imprint Sonic Envy Music. Congrats all round. GWN is looking forward to hearing new LotL sometime soon.

* It’s the 30th anniversary of the release of MICHELLE WRIGHT‘s hit “Take It Like A Man.” And with the release of her new album Milestone, she has includes a re-recording of “Take It Like A Man.” YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


* It’s the 20th anniversary of BIG SUGAR‘s Heated album, and to celebrate they’ve released a newly remastered coloured vinyl LP and CD that includes four previously unreleased bonus tracks on top of the hits “The Scene” and “Turn The Lights Off.”

* Back by popular demand is EMM GRYNER‘s songbook The Complete Emm Gryner Songbook: 12 Songs For Piano” available as an e-book/print-at-home. Available now at https://www.emmgryner.com/store


* The Longest Suicide is the new authorized biography of Vancouver punk pioneer ART BERGMANN written by Jason Schneider on Anvil Press.


* Breakout Nigerian/Canadian Rapper BANGGZ has delivered his newest single entitled “what a day” from the audio series ‘TTYL.’ YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

*THE MIDNIGHT SPARROWS have released their sophomore album Born In the City and the lead-off single is “Butterfly Wings” – a song that Midnight Sparrows’ founder, Blair Bellerose, wrote to honour his mother, an Indigenous elder and residential school survivor who passed away last year at the age of 87. YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* Singer Finny McConnell snuck a new THE MAHONES album out on True North Records while we weren’t looking. Jameson Street sees the Canadian Celtic punks in fine form. The first single is “Last Call At the Bar.” YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


* Before Ontario-based artist, HARLEY OLIVIA embarked on a solo career, her efforts intertwined with several heavy-metal and punk bands. Harley performed in crowd-pleasing acts filled with clowns, confetti, and anything else commonly found in a pop-up circus tent. But while she was leading audiences in balloon sword battles, she leaned into her fascination for a solo project and “Diggin’” is the result. YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* After vowing to give up drinking in his last single “Alarm Bells,” Alliston, Ontario’s GRANT BOYER (Golden Gate Graves) returns with something dark and thought-provoking: “De-Evolution.” YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* The most hated band in the world, NICKELBACK, continues to defy critics and has released the second track from their upcoming album Get Rollin’ called “Those Days” – another pastiche of nostalgia for the Vancouver rockers. The video is only a week old and has 1.2 million views so far. YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


* Hamilton’s KYTLY has released the album Detours & Exits featuring members of Afghan Whigs, Jesus And Mary Chain, and Fountains of Wayne after a long hiatus. The first single is, appropriately, “Begin Again.” YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* BRYAN ADAMS‘ latest album is So Happy It Hurts, and the album’s new single is “Kick Ass” whose video features an opening monologue by legendary British actor John Cleese (from Monty Python’s Flying Circus). The video also features Pat Steward on drums, Keith Scott on guitar, Sol Walker on bass and Gary Breit on Piano. YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY

* An entity called The Electronic Group Of Seven (EG7) have taken Benjamin Russell and Rob Stuart‘s track “Yell” and given it a series of remixes in the EG7 EP The Yell Remixes. The duo’s debut album arrives January 18, 2023. Here’s the original track by Russell & Stuart. YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


* Toronto-based Blues Rocker EMILY MAC finds her strength on fiery & sassy new single “Whiskey Like Me” co-written with Jay Stolar (Demi Lovato, Daryl Hall & John Oates). The song features Ben Healey on guitar, Stacey Shopsowitz on bass, and Robert Sibony on drums. It was engineered by Theresa Gemma and produced by Dajaun Martineau (Moist, Big Sugar). YOUTUBE // SPOTIFY


SEND US YOUR STUFF!
This issue was brought to you by: Songsmith – A Vague Job Description For Someone That’s Never Written A Song.

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: https://www.facebook.com/gwntertainment

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2022

=JV=

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 44 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 25 of those. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jaimie+Vernon