Mike Strizic

Old Man Luedecke Feb 18, Hugh’s Room “Who feels like a little call-and-response?” calls Chris Luedecke, AKA Old Man Luedecke, of Halifax. There is a halfhearted smattering of applause. “That’s ok,” he deadpans, “if I was holding out for a majority I would have given-up a long time ago. Banjo! The most universally hated of […]

  Mike Strizic

April 30, 2013- Drake Underground “Oh man. If this is what I sound like at twenty-five, I’m gonna sound, like, ninety in a few years.” Trixie Whitley is nursing a cold that threatens to rob her of the smoky bourbon voice for which she has been rapidly gaining ground of late. And it is, emphatically, deserved ground. […]

April 22, 2013- Drake Underground After failing to talk my way into the Drake Underground, I reluctantly bought a ticket from a young enterpriser for 100% markup—and couldn’t be happier that I did. The rafters rang last Monday as yours truly bore witness to the liberation of folk music from itself. Opening the bill is Twin […]

  Mike Strizic

May 9, 2013- Kool Haus Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are one of those inimitable few acts who persist, year in and year out, relatively unchanged. Since the 2001 release of their debut, B.R.M.C., the band has continually been producing records of the same consistent quality and touring with a widely renown passion and intensity. No, their […]

  Mike Strizic

CD Release at Gallery 345, April 17 Resplendent in a purple pixie gown, Shannon Graham stands out from her band. They are clad in the trademark black suits of the gigging musician, all in varying stages of disarray. We are gathered in Gallery 345 to celebrate the launch of Graham’s new album. My first impression […]

  Mike Strizic

One of the predominant challenges faced by modern jazz musicians is that of an alienated audience. How does one push boundaries in a genre famed for its esoteric complexity—a genre where pushing boundaries is not merely expected but demanded—while managing to hold the attention of an increasingly fickle public? On Sunday night, in the Drake […]

  Mike Strizic

“Why do you assume you can look at people and they can’t look back?”  Godfrey Masauli admonishes his travel companion Benjamin Jordan, who is lamenting that he gets called a white man everywhere he goes in Malawi.  Jordan is directing a documentary entitled Ndizotheka (It Is Possible) about travelling to Africa to teach a lucky man […]

  Mike Strizic

“I hope you all stick around after,” she says with a gleam in her eye, “it’s been a long week. And we’re going to party.” Chloe Charles is addressing a packed house on the upper floor of the El Mocambo on the Saturday of Canadian Music Week. She is halfway through a jubilant set, one […]

  Mike Strizic

Scottish folktronica outfit Molly Wagger gained quiet but consistently positive recognition for their 2011 debut, Flambeaux.  The record is a heady brew of subdued electronic texture and warm, rich emotion; certainly, it is more than deserving of its various accolades and remains criminally underplayed the world over.  The voice of singer Charlie Denholm warranted favourable comparisons with The Beta […]

  Mike Strizic

Julian Casablancas and the boys are back, or, they will be in March.  The internet was graced last week with “One Way Trigger”, the first track from the band’s anticipated fifth studio album, Comedown Machine, and already favorable comparisons have been drawn with A-ha (“Take On Me”) and Maná (“En el muelle de San Blás”).  But before […]

  Mike Strizic

David Jacobson plays simple acoustic guitar lines like a man capable of more than a little Frivolous Complexity, who has nevertheless learned the value of restraint.  ‘Please Tell Me’, the opening track of his scintillating debut Come Around Again, lilts into being with a simple strum that shimmers with grace-notes and sophisticated ornamentation before resolving into […]

  Mike Strizic

I am literally dumbfounded that the new Denzel Washington film is guilty of the following atrocities (all the while garnering rave reviews in the press): – Un-ironically using the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Under the Bridge’ to score a heroin montage – Un-ironically using the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ not once, but TWICE, to […]

  Mike Strizic

It was a brisk, sunlit afternoon and I was walking along Queen West, headed into the city to meet a friend for dinner.  As I passed the south gates of Trinity Bellwoods, I pulled out my phone and absentmindedly flipped over to my Instagram feed like the modern, connected fellow I am.  There, I saw […]

  Mike Strizic

Modern classical music is primarily a consort of the modern musical elite, with little to no basis in consumer demand.  It is more often than not the product of a graduate thesis, or commissioned by an eccentric for equally eccentric ends.  They Will Take My Island by Robert Martin is one such project. At this juncture I […]

  Mike Strizic

Mount Kimbie and Squarepusher- DANFORTH MUSIC HALL, Nov. 2 Staying relevant is difficult for modern musicians.  Ubiquitous online scrutiny coupled with the limitless ability to release and re-release material has created a musical landscape where rapid change is not only expected, it is demanded; this is particularly true of electronic acts.  Genres and sub-genres emerge, embellish […]