RIP: Sportscaster and former Montreal junior league all-star defenseman John Saunders died at his home in Hastings-o-Hudson, New York on Aug. 10. He was 61. He started in broadcasting as news director for CKNS Radio Espanola, then sports anchor at CKNY-TV North Bay, and at ATV News New Brunswick in the late ‘70s. He also served as the main sports anchor for CITY-TV between 1980–1982, then moved to the US to work as a sports anchor at WMAR-TV Baltimore. He joined ESPN in 1986 and hosted ABC’s Baseball Night in America through until the mid ‘90s.
-- Blue Mountain Resort and the Blue Mountain Village Association and the Town of Wasaga Beach are presenting live screenings of the Tragically Hip’s final show in Kingston on Aug. 20. The concert is broadcast on CBC.
-- After their sold-out 2012 and 2013 tours of China, Simple Plan is heading back to perform their latest album at the Huiyuan Space in Beijing on Aug. 28 and the Mixing Room in Shanghai on the 30th and 31st. Following this, the band plans to continue on their Asia Tour with stops in South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
-- Toronto-based Newfoundlander Brad Fillatre releases his sophomore album Strangers on Sparks Music tomorrow. The singer/songwriter showcased its eloquent material at The Dakota in T.O. last night. There’s a country-folk accent to his sound, though one impressive number he termed “dark and psychedelic” suggests that exploring this realm would pay dividends. The album certainly merits investigation. By day, Fillatre runs the Gibson Guitars showroom.
-- Michelle Wright wants us to join her on a music safari in Africa.
Siblings Gabriel, Basilio and Bela Ferreira spent their childhoods travelling between two cultures spanning Toronto and a small town in Portugal. Performing as Ménage, last year the trio signed a deal with iPLAY in Portugal, and earlier this year that album, The Great American Lie, was released on Chinese music services, QQmUSIC, Xiami, and Kanjian. It has also won the Ferreiras a 12-city tour in China, including shows at the Dream Sonic Festival in Datong, Beijing’s Jiang Jin Jiu Hotel.
-- The music lineup for the CNE in Toronto(Aug. 19-Sept. 5) is strong on CanCon. Perhaps because of the weak dollar, the major imports are Jefferson Starship and reggae star Luciano. The rock and blues lineup includes veterans Randy Bachman, Downchild Blues Band with Steve Hill, The Headstones, Alan Frew with The Spoons, and a killer double bill matching 54-40 with Junkhouse. Also on tap are The Trews, Walk Off The Earth, Scott Helman and Tyler Shaw, and Ria Mae doubles up with Coleman Hell. CanCountry acts are George Canyon, Dean Brody with Jessica Mitchell, and High Valley & Jess Moskaluke. Full lineup here