Visitors Counter

mod_vvisit_counterThis week263
mod_vvisit_counterThis month1348
Melanie C out on tour
Friday, 02 May 2008
"Sometimes when you're in a band like the Spice Girls and your first album is a huge success, and you're instantly playing arenas and stadiums, you kind of feel like you've cheated."

It's hard to completely agree with Melanie C as she offers that little confession over the phone from her London home. As the Sporty flavour of the Spice Girls, she was the strongest voice among a group that moved 55 million records during their '90s heyday, raked in more than $200 million on their comeback tour and had a generation of kids believing in a fuzzy concept called 'Girl Power.' You can't cheat the world out of that much love and profit. Maybe it would be more accurate to say the pop star - who's about to begin her first major Canadian solo tour - has simply done everything backwards.

Spice Girls was the beginning. Now, more than a decade after first packing stadiums with backflips and bubblegum pop, Melanie C has opted not to hock designer clothing lines or launch a lucrative career in reality TV. Instead, she's giddily anticipating what most musicians struggle for years to outgrow: a gruelling road tour of small clubs from Montreal to Vancouver. It's her chance, she says, to pay her dues.

The last show Melanie C performed in Canada was on Feb. 26 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, the sold-out final stop of the Spice Girls tour, possibly the final Spice Girls show ever. The next time she's in Toronto, she'll play the much smaller Phoenix Concert Theatre, which boasts a maximum capacity of approximately 1,000 people.
student artist will showcase her funky wearable
Friday, 02 May 2008
The biannual Beach Studio Tour is giving a young local artist an opportunity to exhibit her work at one of the event's studios. Sheila Horton, a first-year student at the Ontario College of Art and Design, will showcase her funky wearable art at Ruth Elizabeth Hayes' Fernwood Park Avenue studio.

"She's just very, very talented," said Hayes. Horton has taken Hayes' watercolour painting classes. "It's a new experience for her. This gives students a opportunity to exhibit." Hayes said that one guest student artist would likely be welcomed into the tour each session. "We want to connect with the schools as we integrate this into the tour," she added.

The Beach Studio Tour will run Friday, May 2 from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year's showcase will feature a total of 22 artisans and Horton showcasing their artwork and handicrafts at 15 local studios. Visit or call 416-699-4358 for more details.

Beach Studio Tour Spring 2008 Artisans:

-Lara Bazant (jewelry), Kathie Davidson (photographs), 143 Wineva Ave.
-Gill Birol (jewelry), Olga Kotova (paintings), 46 Sarah Ashbridges Dr.
-Jennifer Cline (paintings), 70 Hammersmith Ave.
-Lucille Crighton (hand-woven fashions), John Dowding (photographs), 92 Balsam Ave.
-Karen Franzen (ceramics), Dianne Shelton (paintings), 3 Wembley Dr.
Last Updated ( Friday, 02 May 2008 )
Kidz Bop tour live-music experience
Friday, 02 November 2007

A new junior rock concert, designed for kids, is making its Pittsburgh premiere on Friday at The Benedum Center. Kidz Bop World Tour presents a live version of the popular CD series, which has sold more than 10 million copies and is known for its 'tween-friendly, fun and energetic style. The show features a full band, video screens and adult and child singers who sing popular songs and encourage audience members to sing along, jump out of their seats and dance. Beach balls bounce around in the audience, where people will get sprayed with occasional confetti.

"It's really just a great introduction to live music," says Jeff Leatherwood of Los Angeles. He plays the lead male vocal role, and Jodi Katz plays his female counterpart. "We encourage an interactive environment, and for them to really get up," says Leatherwood, 27. "So far, they've just been going nuts. The kids just go absolutely crazy, and we welcome that. There's definitely no sitting still in this show."

Devo electro-punk band from Japan now on a tour
Friday, 02 November 2007

The group's new CD/DVD compilation of new and older tracks, "Polysics or Die!!!! Vista" (out on the new MySpace Records label), is ear candy for a generation raised on DJ mash-ups, Ladytron downloads, Japanese anime, and text messaging. As if to affirm the group's of-the-moment niche, Polysics has signed on for the first 30-date MySpace

Music Tour, sharing the bill with other MySpace-bred band phenoms such as coheadliners Hellogoodbye and Say Anything. The tour hits Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence tomorrow for an all-ages show. So far, the tour - Polysics's most extensive in the United States so far - has been an eye-opener. "The difference that I notice between audiences in Japan and America is that in Japan, people like to blend in, and they will shy away from dancing to live music if the people around them are not dancing," says Hayashi. "Whereas with the US audience, they don't care what other people are doing. Even if there's no one around you dancing, if you like the music, you just dance like crazy. We've been playing in front of a lot of audiences who have never been exposed to our music, and at first they're shocked because the music is new. But as the show goes on, they understand us and get fired up." MySpace cofounder and president Tom Anderson had a similar reaction when he first came across the band on - where else? - MySpace. He later caught shows in Japan and Los Angeles and was immediately impressed. "People go nuts for this band," says Anderson via e-mail. "I've literally never seen a crowd react to a band the way they react to the Polysics. Signing them to MySpace Records was an obvious choice. I wanted to be the person to bring this seasoned band to a new culture and audience. I'm really proud of them."

Part of the audiences' ability to understand Polysics (named after the "Polysix" model of Hayashi's first Korg synthesizer), Hayashi explains, has more to do with feeling its music than it does with understanding the band's hybrid mix of Japanese, English, and what he calls the foursome's made-up "space" language. The band's robotic, synth-heavy version of the Knack's "My Sharona" - an analog to Devo's archly mechanical take on the Stones's "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" - is a recognizable touchstone. But other selections, with titles such as "Coelakanth Is Android," "Shizuka Is a Machine Doctor," or "Kaja Kaja Goo," are meant as little more than communicative shorthand: action and reaction, something to shout out to an audience and hear yelled back in unison. Instant communication, instant community.

"Music Within" brings us the true story of Richard Pimentel
Friday, 26 October 2007
Sign up for: Globe Headlines e-mail | Breaking News Alerts Pimentel was born in Portland, Ore., in 1947 to a mentally ill mother (Rebecca De Mornay, overwrought) who sent him to a foster home. ("I was passed around like an unwanted Christmas fruitcake," he narrates.) Eventually, young Richard discovers he wants to be a public speaker, wins a number of high school oration contests, and, by 1969, enrolls in college. The university's speech coach (Hector Elizondo) tells him he lacks conviction and that he ought to "earn a point of view." So Richard joins the Army and goes to Vietnam, where he loses his hearing.

Because the filmmakers choose to depict Pimentel as a righteously driven man with a cause, the movie doesn't go very deep into Pimentel's trauma. Things seem at their worst for him in a scene where Richard can't hear a post-class discussion about Ken Kesey. But "Music Within" is a can-do movie, so in the next scene he learns to read lips. Not much later he forms a fast friendship with Art (Michael Sheen), a genius student with cerebral palsy whose deliberate speech Richard can actually hear. One afternoon he loses his grip on Art's wheelchair at a roller rink, and what do you know. It hits Christine (Melissa George), the sexually liberated woman with whom Richard will spend the rest of the movie.

The story dutifully hits all the highlights. Richard quits his insurance agency job to help other veterans find work. He stands up for Art against a nasty restaurant waitress. He turns to Elizondo to help him craft his manifesto, and Elizondo, playing someone on lithium, tells us what this movie is all about: "You don't need to change people's minds about disability. You need to change people's minds about themselves." And so the rest of "Music Within" is devoted to Richard's lecturing, speechifying, and right-hook judgments ("Buy yourself a conscience!").

RocketTheme Joomla Templates