Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

On The Record goes to Canada. Arcade Fire leave country in protest.

Your favourite waste of that time which should really be spent doing productive things for your employer will have a Canadian flavour to it for the next week or so. On The Record is currently in Toronto to observe what’s …

Mon, Sep 24, 2007, 06:16

   

Your favourite waste of that time which should really be spent doing productive things for your employer will have a Canadian flavour to it for the next week or so.

On The Record is currently in Toronto to observe what’s going on at the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA), a boot-camp for DJs and producers where they get to hear the professionals yakking, attend studio workshops and play out in city-wide clubs and venues. Previous RBMAs have assembled in Dublin, Berlin, London, New York, Seattle, Cape Town and Sao Paulo and the list of RBMA attendees is increasing in both size (500+ at this stage) and quality (both the excellent Flying Lotus and Aloe Blacc were recent attendees). More posts about what’s going on at the very swanky RBMA HQ on Queen Street during the week.

Yesterday afternoon, the RBMA kicked off with a hugely entertaining and on-point lecture from DJ Premier. Some great yarns from the great man, one of best of which was him talking about how he ended up jumping the queue at the James Brown memorial at the Apollo thanks to “a hook-up Afrika Bambaataa had with Rev Al Sharpton”.

There’s a load of gigs on in Toronto as well this week. No special reason, just a load of gigs on as bands sweep through town and out again, some pulling crowds and some, well, not pulling crowds. The Aliens played to a tiny turnout on Saturday night (their audience would have fitted with ease into the band’s big-ass tour bus), the excellent Black Lips, who play Dublin’s Crawdaddy on November 4, fought the Hogtown traffic to make it to jam at Criminal Records (a record shop which stays open until 8pm on a Sunday – now there’s a business plan) and Akron/Family put on a show which the band may well be still playing such was their inability to end any song in less than 20 minutes.

Turbonegro were also playing in town last night, but I don’t have my Turbonegro cap with me so I didn’t go.

Tonight, the Polaris Music Prize event is on in the Phoenix Theatre downtown. Last year, the Canadian version of the Mercury Music Prize (or the Choice Music Prize!) went to Final Fantasy for the outlandish “He Poos Clouds” album. Here’s the list of the runners and riders in the shake-up for this year’s prize. Me, I think it’s going to be either Feist or Miracle Fortress who will have an $20,000 in their bank account after tonight. Full report on this to come.

And later in the week, the plan is to catch Kevin Drew & Broken Social Scene who be playing the “Spirit If” album live for the first time. Thing is, though, I reckon at least two-thirds of Toronto have the same plan.

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