Joel Thomas Zimmerman, also known as deadmau5, joins a high-ranking roster of instructors to teach his MasterClass on Electronic Music Production during the winter semester. The online course costs a reasonable US$90. With the announcement, the sometimes prickly mix DJ put this out: "Kids, DJs...anyone can compose music with just a computer," says Joel. "My MasterClass is a no bullshit look into what it takes to make great music, and it's not just buying millions of dollars worth of gear. I'm going to show my students how to play with sounds and mix melodies they can share with the world. I've never done something at this depth before."
MasterClass' current roster of instructors includes Christina Aguilera (singing), Kevin Spacey (acting), Usher (performance), Serena Williams (tennis), James Patterson (writing), Dustin Hoffman (acting), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Werner Herzog (filmmaking) and Reba McEntire (country music).
-- Raffi is on a 40th anniversary tour promoting the release of his breakthrough Singable Songs for the Very Young album recorded with help from Ken Whiteley and Daniel Lanois. Since 1986, the children's troubadour has gone on to sell over 15M albums and DVDs in Canada and the US, along with more than 3M Songs to Read books. He performed two shows at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto this past Sunday and will appear at the Moore Theatre in Seattle this coming Sunday.
-- Canadian funk outfit BadBadNotGood will be in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 29. Organized by Red Bull Music Academy, the concert, to be held at Le Noir KL, It is the group's first show in Malaysia and supports the release of their fourth album, 1V, that had its release in July.
-- Indie Week in Toronto got off to a roaring start last night with a well-attended and convivial launch party in the historic Burroughes Building. The beer and Jack D flowed freely, and acts including UK band Wuzi and Ascot Royals performed in one room while the schmoozing continued in another. Just a few of the notable industry types spotted: Moe Berg, superstar producer Garth Richardson, veteran musician/producer John Switzer (now leading the Seneca College music program), David Click Cox, Tom Dertinger, David MacMillan, Yvonne Matsell, Bruce Bradley, ace publicists Yvonne Valnea, Diane Foy and Laurie Lockhart, Slaight Music’s Barnaby Marshall, up and coming folk/pop songstress Piper Hayes, Indie Week founder Darryl Hurs and comrade Cam Carpenter.
-- Having intentionally submitted his Endless and Blond(e) albums for possible Grammy Award nominations, Frank Ocean tells the New York Times that while the Grammys have “nostalgic importance”, the ceremony “just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down”, noting that very few black people have ever won its Album Of The Year prize. “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated”.
-- The 23rd Annual North by Northeast Festival is expanding to 10 days, presenting a mix of programmes that include music, gaming, comedy between June 16-25 in Toronto. NXNE Club Land will present acts in city clubs from June 19-25, with the Port Lands component running the 23rd through 25th. NXNE Game Land at Yonge-Dundas Square features an e-Sports competition, video game demos, interactive activations, and live music June 16 -18. More info here
-- Punk activist Joe Keithley seems to run for political office almost as often as he puts out albums these days. The DOA frontman is the BC Green Party candidate for Burnaby-Lougheed in the May provincial election. "I am running because we need honesty and compassion in government,” Keithley says. He has run unsuccessfully as a candidate for both the NDP and Green Party in past elections. Keithley will be inducted into Vancouver’s Hall of Fame on Thursday, with his star on Granville Street as part of the deal.
-- The DOXA festival in Vancouver has announced its next fundraiser. It takes place at Ironworks Studio complex on Dec. 1 and an intriguing theme, Flipside: Disco vs Punk. The program replays the battle between those genres in the '70s. As part of the night's entertainment there are to be acoustic performance from Joe Keithley, with MCs Isolde N. Barron and Peach Cobblah repping disco. More info here
-- The Cavendish Beach Music Festival has announced three time Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band as one of three main headliners for next year's three-day festival. The country music superstars rock the stage on July 9, during the ninth edition of Atlantic Canada's largest outdoor music event. Public tix go on sale Friday. Info here.
-- Roots-rock trio Blackie & The Rodeo Kings has announced a cross-Canada tour that opens at Massey Hall on Feb. 25, then heads west, hitting seven cities and closing out in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom on March 10. They’re plugging their latest, Kings And Kings.
-- Organizers of the annual Stampede Roundup fundraising concerts have announced plans to move from their longtime location at Fort Calgary to an as-yet unannounced new site. The summer event is one of the biggest corporate parties of the year and has in the past featured performances by acts such as The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams, Kiss, The Cult and Moist. Monies raised go towards programs in the Calgary community. Source: Calgary Herald
-- The late great folk singer Steve Goodman was known as a fervent fan of the Chicago Cubs (right up there with Bill Murray). His song, "Go Cubs Go," is now a hit, thanks to the baseball team finally winning the World Series. In a classic case of bad timing, his relatives sold the rights to his song catalogue just a few months before, so the estate misses out on a big royalty cheque. Daughter Rosanna Goodman isn’t too concerned though, calling the song’s new hit status a nice memorial to Steve.
In folk circles, a buzz is growing around Rant Maggie Rant, a group whose sound fuses Celtic and world music elements to invigorating effect. The sextet plays Toronto’s Hugh’s Room on Thursday and London Music Club on Saturday, followed by Alberta shows.
RIP Mose Allison, a very influential jazz pianist and songwriter. On Nov. 15, age 89, in Hilton Head, SC. Though never a hitmaker as a solo artist, his songs were covered by such artists as The Who, The Clash, Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt. Van Morrison recorded an entire album of Allison songs and employed him as an opening act. His final album was 2010’s The Way Of The World, produced by Joe Henry. Allison was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2013 and only retired from performing this year. Source: HitsDailyDouble