Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons

Music News Digest, March 16, 2018

Inmates at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener have released a 10-song music album, Undisclosed Location. It’s the first album written and recorded at a federal women’s prison in Canada and part of the Pros and Cons Program, founded by Canadian musician/producer Hugh Christopher Brown.

The record, produced by Toronto musician John Copping, is released for free and aims to bring awareness to charities and organizations such as Women’s shelters, victim’s advocacy groups, and food banks. Listen to the album here. Source:

– A highlight of CMW's Live Music Summit is expected to be Excellent Ventures:  A Conversation with Rick Mueller by Bob Lefsetz. Mueller is North American president of concerts giant AEG Presents. The event takes place Friday, May 11 (at 11.10am). More details here

– The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg will forever be linked with the Group of Seven, but it has become decidedly au courant with a new exhibit…Everything Remains Raw, part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, is an archival photographic and video survey of the evolution of Toronto and Canadian hip-hop culture. Curated by Mark V. Campbell of Northside Hip-Hop Archive, the exhibit runs until Oct. 21. Source: The Globe and Mail

– Canadian Specimens is an initiative introducing European professionals to the music scene in Canada. Presented by the FME, Musicaction, and FACTOR in collaboration with the Quebec City Summer Festival and the Printemps de Bourges, it takes place on April 26, from 11:00 am in La Prairie, QC. Info and tickets here 

– Toronto's newest music venue, Senator Winebar, officially opened for business last night (March 15), after an invite-only launch the night before. FYI was lucky enough to score an invite, and came away impressed. This is a cosy space (dinner seating for 24, a total capacity of 40) with an elegant Parisian ambience, and the wine list and food offerings to match. Happily, music is being given a high priority, with local music historian/author Nicholas Jennings serving as the booker.

He told us that space restrictions dictate an unplugged solo or small group setting, but he'll have an eclectic booking approach. Already scheduled are Alex Pangman and a gypsy jazz group. The space is owned by Bobby Sniderman (of the famed musical family) and is atop the popular Senator Diner; a home run shot away from the old Sam The Record Man's HQ at Yonge and Dundas. Sniderman's wife Marlaina informed us that the new room used to be her office, and she is thrilled at its reincarnation. Those spied at the launch included Jaymz Bee (JazzFM), Errol Nazareth (CBC), and Richard Trapunski (NOW's music editor).

– Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton, founders of Canadian folk faves The Be Good Tanyas continue to tour internationally in support of their well-reviewed duo album, Wildflower Blues. After four early April dates in the Midwest, they play The Rivoli in Toronto on April 11.

– Joe Jackson's long-running Fast Forward Tour has just added North American dates in July that will please his fans in three Canadian cities. He plays Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, July 14, Capitol Centre in Moncton, July 15, and Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg on July 25. Full itinerary here.

– The dual Our Lady Peace/Matthew Good cross-Canada has reportedly been doing excellent business to date. The Massey Hall show last night (March 15) was a sell-out, and the bands are in at Rebel in Toronto tonight. OLP is doing well on the charts too, with its single from the Somethingness album, "Nice To Meet You," placing  #1 for most active indies recently. 10 more dates on the tour remain. View the itinerary here.

– The fest lineup announcements keep on coming. The latest is for the Go North Music Festival, coming to St. Joseph Island, ON, on July 14. The roots and rock-slanted fest will feature Elliott Brood, Fast Romantics, Harrow Fair, Shred Kelly, Jackpine, Ambre Mclean, CASS FM, and Andy Chillman. Info/tix here

– Having celebrities produce or endorse wines is not exactly new, with Canadian examples including Dan Aykroyd, Wayne Gretzky, and The Tragically Hip. A new entrant to the field is Sting, whose Italian red comes to Ontario LCBO Vintages stores this Saturday. It is rather cutely named "Message In A Bottle," and the wine is grown on Sting and wife Trudy's historic estate in Tuscany. It'll set you back $23.95 in loot (not lute).


Charlie Quintana, an American rock and punk drummer, has died, at age 56. His early bands included The Plugz, Cruzados, The Havalinas, and Izzy Stradlin & the Ju Ju Hounds. He had a stint in Cracker, and joined noted old school punk band Social Distortion from 2000 to 2009, as the replacement for Chuck Biscuits (of D.O.A. and Danzig).


Matt Dike, co-founder of the influential Los Angeles hip-hop label Delicious Vinyl and a noted producer and mixer who worked on the Beastie Boys’ groundbreaking 1989 album Paul’s Boutique, has died. He was 55. Although he passed away in January from cancer, news of his death only circulated this week, with a report on Delicious Vinyl’s web site.

Dike co-produced Paul’s Boutique with the Dust Brothers in his Larchmont studio/ apartment and produced or co-produced '80s hits such as Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and Young MC’s “Bust A Move." He also served as a club DJ to a young Ice-T.

In his early 20s, Dike co-founded the Los Angeles club (and celebrity haunt) Power Tools and deejayed there. He reportedly spent the last quarter-century as a reclusive millionaire in a mansion in Echo Park. Sources: LA Times, CelebrityAccess

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