Tag Archives: Music

The #NationHood Mixtape

I just dropped a new project: The #NationHood Mixtape on SoundCloud and RPM.fm…really happy with how this one came out.

With a 90s NWA-style cover and a kick-ass lineup of Indigenous and allied hip-hop artists from around the world who got down with contributing music to make it happen, it’s been amazing to compile, it’s re-ignited my love for hip-hop as a global language for liberation, and it’s been amazing to see the response so far. Respect to everyone who’s supported and been involved.

Download listen share and enjoy: 


Also, RPM is back online! Support #Revolution2 and the return of Revolutions Per Minute—the only Indigenous music site of its kind.

And for your listening pleasure, here’s the previous mixtape I compiled for the Indigenous Leadership Forum last spring—the #ILF2013 Mixtape. It’s maxed out on SoundCloud downloads, but you can still stream it below:


RPM.fm – Revolutions Per Minute: Indigenous Music Culture.

I’ve been hard at work on a new project to promote Indigenous Music Culture and we’re finally getting closer to launch…

The project is called Revolutions Per Minute and you can find us at www.rpm.fm and all over the social web. Get in touch if you’ve got ideas about Indigenous artists and musicians we should feature!

Revolutions Per Minute

‘Where The Wild Things Are’ Movie Trailer Storms the Internet

In what is sure to be the one of the most anticipated film events in years, the first trailer for the rabidly anticipated, Spike Jonze-directed movie adaptation of the classic children’s book Where The Wild Things Are stormed onto the internet on Wednesday.

After premiering on Ellen Degeneres‘ eponymous talk show, the video hit the web and began to spread like wildfire.
Tumblr Wild Things

Notoriously quick-on-the-draw social media sites are afire with posts, reblogs, and retweets of the trailer on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr — but it’s bound to go further than that as mainstream media taps into this all-out fan feeding frenzy.

Twitter Wild Things

Admittedly, this is not the first look at the film. In recent weeks, production stills were leaked online – followed by the first official poster for the film.

But this is the first bona fide official video clip of the movie — and it looks and feels true to the book.

The only questionable element, it would seem, was the studio’s decision to set the trailer to The Arcade Fire‘s music. As triumphant and rousing as “Wake Up” is, it feels oddly out of synch with the film’s visuals.

Then again, perhaps we’ll just have to wait for the full-length film before we cast judgment.
It’s hard to imagine acclaimed director Spike Jonze and literary heavyweight Dave Eggers doing any artistic injustic to such a beloved Maurice Sendak classic.
Check out the trailer below (or watch the HD version over at Apple) and let us know what you think. Does it work? Are you as excited as the rest of the internet is?

This post originally appeared on NowPublic

2008 Polaris Music Prize Short List Announced

Is it just me, or are the 2008 Polaris Music Prize nominees not nearly as exciting as previous nominees and winners like Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy? Not to hate on other Canadian talent, but the only band that I’m really excited about from this list is Holy Fuck — their brand of mad, improvised, lo-fi, bit crunchy sonic madness is truly inspired. The rest of the short list acts seem like they could have been nominated any year in the past five or six years — surely there are other innovative, emerging Canadian bands worth promoting?

Indie rock from both emerging and established bands dominates the short list for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize, which organizers unveiled Monday morning in Toronto.

The indie rock wave is lead by Winnipeg veterans The Weakerthans, nominated for their latest album, Reunion Tour.

Other indie rock acts vying for the $20,000 prize include Montreal bands Plants and Animals (Parc Avenue) and Stars (In Our Bedroom After the War), Vancouver’s Black Mountain (In the Future) and Charlottetown’s Two Hours Traffic (Little Jabs).

Two experimental acts also made the cut: Toronto band Holy F—, for their album LP, and Dundas, Ont., artist Caribou, for his album Andorra.

Rounding out the list are hip-hop artist Shad (The Old Prince), Ottawa singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards (Asking for Flowers) and London, Ont., singer-songwriter Basia Bulat (Oh, My Darling)

Polaris founder and former music executive Steve Jordan established the fledgling Canadian prize to recognize the best full-length Canadian album of the past year, judged on artistic merit and without regard to either genre or sales figures. The award is inspired by Britain’s esteemed Mercury Prize.

Past winners are Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy.

A cross-Canada panel of 185 music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers determines a long list of semi-finalists, released in June, as well as Monday’s 10-entry short list. A smaller panel then ultimately selects the winner.

The third annual Polaris Music Prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Toronto on Sept. 29.

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Hip-Hop Political Convention Set to ‘Rap the Vote’

Prior to the DNC and RNC gatherings in the United States at the end of this summer, a decidedly different group will gather to discuss politics, voter engagement strategies, and hip-hop culture.

The National Hip-Hop Political Convention will be held in Las Vegas from August 1-3, 2008 and promises to deliver an exciting mix of conferences, entertainment, workshops, and exhibitions “to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation”

I wish I was able to attend, it sounds like a fascinating series of events.

MCs and activists are preparing to Rap The Vote. In an election year where young voters are seen as key players, the hip-hop nation has been at the forefront of issue and voter organizing activities. This summer will see several historic gatherings bring together grassroots activists, non-profit youth organizations, voter engagement groups, and conscious artists in an effort to unify the hip-hop nation’s election voice.

To be held in Las Vegas August 1 – 3, the National Hip-Hop Political Convention opens with a pre-convention gathering July 28 – 31 titled “The State of Hip Hop” before its main kick-off event. The pre-convention event will include a film festival, concerts, art exhibits, academic symposium, and bboy/bgirl battles. Main convention activities will include conferences, entertainment, cross-cultural exchanges, workshops, film screenings, and exhibitions to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation.

Confirmed guests and speakers for NHHPC 2008 include Byron Hurt (Beyond Beats and Rhymes), Unspoken Heard’s Asheru, Hard Knock Radio’s Davey D, Rev. Lenox Yearwood, The Coup’s Boots Riley, Rosa Clemente, Camp Lo, Haiku D’Tat, author Jeff Chang, Gamblers Crew, Knucklehead Zoo, Popmaster Fabel, Rebel Diaz, The Welfare Poets, Supernatural, and more to be announced.

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RIP Esbjörn Svensson

I was absolutely heartbroken to learn, today, that acclaimed Swedish jazz pianist Esbjörn Svensson passed away last weekend at the young age of 44.

I was first introduced to the music of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, also known as EST, in the late 1990s while I was living in Sweden. The album was EST Plays Monk and it completely altered my perception of what a jazz trio could sound like; I was a fan from the first note.

Since then, I’ve followed Svensson’s music closely, bought and loved all of his albums, and I even had the opportunity to meet EST when I booked them to perform on ZeD for CBC Television.

The beauty of EST‘s music lies in its ability to seamlessly weave elements of rock, jazz, avant-garde, and classical into an ever-evolving melodic and rhythmic flow that is utterly captivating and otherwordly. If you have never listened to Svensson’s music before, I strongly encourage you to do so. For me, “Behind the Yashmak” remains one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.

Esbjörn Svensson was an incomparable talent; he was one of the most original and dynamic piano players I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to, and I am deeply saddened by his sudden death.  I will cherish the legacy of his music and mourn the loss of his incredible potential. My condolences go out to all who knew and loved him. Rest in peace.

Esbjörn Svensson, who died on Saturday aged 44 in a scuba-diving accident near Stockholm, was a pianist and leader of the innovative Esbjörn Svensson Trio, popularly known as EST.

The trio, founded in the early 1990s, played an unclassifiable brand of music which incorporated avant-garde jazz, contemporary rock and elements of modern classical music in constantly varying proportions.

Its live performances, in particular, were exciting, unpredictable and hugely popular with young audiences. The trio’s fame was still growing strongly at the time of Svensson’s death.

Esbjörn Svensson was born on April 16 1964 at Västeras, Sweden. His mother was a classical pianist and his father a keen jazz enthusiast, and the boy grew up with an equal love for both genres, as well as for rock.

He took up the piano “because we didn’t have any other instrument in the house”, although he would have preferred the drums. Quite soon he met another schoolboy, Magnus Oström, who did have some drums and they began playing together: “We had no idea how to play, but it was a lot of fun … No one was telling us how to play.” Oström was to become the drummer with EST.

At 16 Svensson gained a place at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, going on later to study Music at Stockholm University. During this time he played in a number of small jazz combos in Sweden and Denmark before finding work in the recording studios.

Many of my friends were looking forward to seeing EST perform at this year’s Vancouver Jazz Festival on June 24th.

Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, producers of the TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival, wishes to express its profound sadness at the news of Esbjorn Svensson’s death on the weekend. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

The acclaimed Swedish pianist and leader of the group e.s.t. died Saturday while scuba diving near his home in Stockholm. e.s.t. was scheduled to perform June 24 at The Centre on a double bill with the John Scofield Trio during the TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

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