We open today's column with a salacious bit of gossip reported on in the NY Daily Post that has diva Mariah Carey getting dumped by her billionaire fiancé, James Packer — who was sick of putting up with her “extravagant spending” and newfound love for reality TV, sources say. The Australian casino mogul officially called it quits this week after being engaged to the singer for less than a year, according to Woman’s Day. “It’s all over,” a family friend told the magazine. The man should be given a gong for having lasted as long as he has with the enhanced warbler.
-- Spotted on Craigslist yesterday, an offer of four tickets to meet Bruce Springsteen at the Indigo Bay & Bloor store in Toronto today at 1pm. Price? $599. As if acquiring tickets to the event wasn't difficult enough, fans were told they needed to be in line outside the store today by 10am. Scribbler Karen Bliss isn't taking any chances, and confided earlier this a.m. that she plans to be in line by 8:30 this morning. For those not living in Hog Town, it's a cold, wet day here and latecomers could well be forced to stand outside. For KB, the opportunity to have a signed copy of the The Boss's autobiographical Born To Run and "a picture with Bruce" was just too good to turn down. Anyone in the district might wish to offer her a distraction from the close to five-hour wait in line.
-- Yoko Ono's recorded output has been fodder for a thousand jokes and she doesn't disappoint in 2016. Of course, the humour is only found when one isn't confronted by her self-absorbed drivel, most famously exhibited on stage at Toronto's Varsity Stadium in 1969 when she joined husband John Lennon on stage with Eric Clapton and a similarly blue-chip ensemble and chose her moment in the spotlight to caterwaul uncontrollably from inside a potato sack.
The following video is entitled "Catman" and it is taken from the widow's 2016 album, Yes, I Am A Witch.
-- There's a story that probably has more truth behind it than one might know about how it takes a divorce to motivate Phil Collins to write an album's worth of songs and give up the cushy life to go on tour. The Genesis drummer has just gone through a third painful and costly ($46M) divorce and, sure enough, Phil's going back on the road--this time pumping an autobiography, I'm Not Dead Yet, and a greatest hits collection: The Singles, available as a 3 or 2CD and 4LP collection. As part of his not-dead-yet return, he's making the rounds of TV talk shows, including the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he explained the genesis behind "In the Air Tonight".
-- Quebec city five-piece Our Darkest Days has signed with Jacksonville, Fla imprint Bird Attack Records for the release of their debut album A Common Agony, set for Nov. 18. The first single, "Ceaseless" can be streamed on Bandcamp.
-- Daniel Sarkissian is a 25 year-old filmmaker from Toronto. His film What is Classic Rock? (2016) is his feature length directorial debut and includes some pretty high profile musicians in it. Featured are Randy Bachman, Suzi Quatro, Billy Talent, Country Joe McDonald, and Gilby Clarke from Guns N' Roses. “You don’t have to be a die hard rock fan to appreciate the film,” Sarkissian says. He explains that he made it in a way that would appeal to fans of rock, and for people without knowledge of rock ‘n’ roll who want to learn about it.
Prior to this feature he made several short films, and holds a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University. Here is the trailer from his first doc and following that a short MV of Sarkissian proving himself to be a pretty darned fine guitarist to boot.
The third annual Dream Serenade charity concert at Massey Hall last Saturday was by all accounts a huge success. A surprise guest was Gord Downie, who opened the show by playing four songs from his new project Secret Path. Curated by Hayden and his wife Christie, Dream Serenade raises funds for the Beverly School and to send children with special needs to summer camps.
-- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds just announced a 19-date North American tour to kick off in Brooklyn on May 26 2016. Canadian shows include Metropolis in Montreal (May 29), Massey Hall in Toronto (May 31 and June 1), and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver (June 22).
-- Tom Cochrane is heading to Calgary for the unveiling of an exhibit at the National Music Centre on Friday. He will play an intimate concert for media and VIPs and make a further special announcement on that day. On Oct. 31 we're told to expect another very special Tom Cochrane announcement made at the Provincial Legislature in Winnipeg.
-- Fresh from playing Desert Trip, septuagenarian Neil Young is gearing up for the release of his 38th studio album, entitled Peace Trail. The 10-track album, set for release on Dec. 2, was recorded at Rick Rubin's Shangri-La studios and according to the label is primarily acoustic. The album features session master Jim Keltner on drums and Paul Bushnell on bass, with Young co-producing alongside John Hanlon.
-- Rolling Stone premiered a new music video for More's beautifully elegant "Green Is the Colour" that Pink Floyd recorded as a movie soundtrack for the film of same name. While More, the movie, was mostly a bad trip interspersed with idyllic panoramas of the Mediterranean and location shots on the island of Ibiza, Floyd's trippy psychedelic excursions have weathered the intervening 45 years marvellously bloody well. You can view the MV for "Green Is the Colour" here, and below is a clip that quietly captures Dave Gilmour's solo ballet with his numbered white Stratocaster.
-- Halifax psych-rock outfit Walrus has released a Torin Langen-directed trippy Halloween-themed MV for "Close My Eyes," included on the band's latest EP-- Goodbye Something, out now on Dan Mangan’s Madic Records. The band excels in capturing the spirit of psychedelia and must have an abfab-tested record collection to draw inspiration from. It's always a pleasure to hear the faint strains of Quicksilver Messenger Service and in particular John Cipollina's Club House sandwich-sized fuzz guitar style.
-- Next week, Darcys release their upcoming album, Centerfold, and begin a 14 date North American tour with Hannah Georgas, Arkells, and Bear Mountain. An advance MV for the included pop soufflé "Miracle" has earned two thumbs up from Noisey, Clash, Complex and HuffPo. Earlier this week a lyric video for "Lip Service," the second single was released using Facebook and Exclaim! as the initial launching pads.