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Holidays In The City: Seasonal Offerings at the Omni King Edward Hotel, Toronto Starting November 16, 2018
Holidays In The CitySeasonal Offerings at the Omni King Edward Hotel, TorontoStarting November 16, 2018· Find Out MoreToronto's Omni King Edward Hotel has been welcoming dignitaries, tourists, travelers, and the citizens of Toronto for more than a century. As the weather gets more and more frightful towards the end of the year, the ornate historic hotel has some holiday specials to help stoke the holiday mood.Omni King Edward Hotel, entranceNutcracker Afternoon Tea At Victoria's Restaurant· Beginning November 16 and available until December 30, Victoria’s restaurant will serve their traditional Nutcracker Tea, inspired by the famous holiday ballet. Cozy up this winter with tea, sweet cheeses, finger sandwiches, pastries and scones.Ffinalized menu offerings to be confirmed soon. $54 per person, Wednesday – Sunday, 1:30-5:00pmOmni King Edward Hotel, Victoria's RestaurantAdult Hot Chocolate At The Consort Bar· Starting November 21, limited-time adult hot chocolate options will be available at The Consort Bar. You'll find a selection of Adult Hot Chocolate delights, powdered brewed in hot milk. Ask about lactose-free options.Omni King Edward Hotel, Consort BarVIVA MEXI-HO HO HOTromba Tequila, Fee Brother's Aztec Chocolate Bitters, Leche de Cabra, whipped cream, spicy 'snowflakes', fire roasted jalapeno garnish $15IRISH COCOABailey's Irish Cream, Housemade orange cinnamon bitters, whipped cream, chocolate candy cande rim, S'More garnish $15Gastropub FareDECK THE HALLSCaptain Morgan's Spiced Rum, eggnog whipped cream, candy cane nutmet & toasted marshmallow garnish $15THE NUTCRACKERBuffalo Trace Bourbon, Hennessy V.S.O.P., Hazelnut Bitter Spritz, whipped cream, toasted pecan sprinkle, snowman garnish $18A look at the hotel:

#VisitHaiti Jacmel Is Haiti's Artistic Heart - the Caribbean's Last Undiscovered Jewel
#VisitHaitiJacmel Is Haiti's Artistic Heartthe Caribbean's Last Undiscovered Jewel• Find Out More About Travel To HaitiTourists are beginning to rediscover Haiti, the lush tropical nation with a storied history and much to offer.Jacmel, Haiti by PortauprincienJacmel combines a vibrant artistic vibe with the gorgeous tropical weather and lush landscape of the Caribbean, and architecture that is a feast for the eyes.The old port city of Jacmel is located in the south coast of Haiti, spread around a 3km long bay. You'll enjoy local cuisine, including plenty of seafood, a thriving local arts scene, and a centuries old town centre that has been declared a UNESCO protected historic site.Les Bassins-Bleu by LOTUS ArtJust outside the city, you'll find the blue pools they call Bassins-Bleu, fed by the cool waters of the waterfalls to the west. There are a few beaches to choose from, including the Raymond Les Bains, one of the most popular to the east of town.The work of Haitian artists lines the walls of the Salubria Gallery, located in a gracious old house in the downtown area. There ar eother galleries to explore, including the Jacmel Arts Center or  Sant D'A Jakmel.Stay in comfort a the Chic Chateau From their website, Stay for a night or a week. Rent an eco-luxe room or the entire villa. Every day starts with farm to table breakfast, and ends with you feeling connected to the sweetest side of tropical living.More info at www.Chichateau.netVideo created by Walter Mirkss

Pop Single: Jude Scofield - Don't Let Me Die Alone (Independent / 12 October 2018)
Pop Single:Jude Scofield - Don't Let Me Die Alone(Independent / 12 October 2018)• Stream it on SpotifyDon't Let Me Die Alone is the debut single from up and coming singer songwriter Jude Scofield. Jude's got the kind of rich, effortless sounding voice that would have seen him crooning ballads in any previous era. Here, he writes a bittersweet love song with shades of RnB and classic, really ageless pop sensibilities.Jude ScofieldA native of Melbourne, Australia, Jude's been playing music since his father bought him a guitar for his sixth birthday. He formed his first band in grade 8, and performed at school concerts and open mics in the area. He later taught himself to play piano, and got experience recording and mixing sound.It was a case of tragic heartbreak about a year ago that led him to write this, his first song on the piano. It spurred a string of new songs. With all the instruments performed, mixed, and produced by Jude, he's working on his first full-length release.Look for it coming up in 2019.Stay in touch:

Pop Single: Leon Seti - Silver Lining (Independent / 3 September 2018)
Pop Single:Leon Seti - Silver Lining(Independent / 3 September 2018)• Stream it on Spotify• Buy it on BandcampSilver Lining is the latest single from Leon Seti, with a new video that adds enigmatic visuals to the electro-pop sound.Electro-pop confection Leon Seti is a solo project born from the fruitful mind of Leo Baldi, who writes, arranges, and produces all his own material. Silver Linings is the first single to come out as a teaser for his second album, titled Cobalt.Silver Lining highlights his fluid and expressive vocals that go from a sultry whisper to a full throated and nimble high end. The song is melodic, with an interesting off beat rhythm that adds to its appeal. It ventures into whimsical territory for a track with some interesting surprises.Based in London and Italy, Leon's previous releases include an EP, Talking Shadows and an album titled Genuflection, establishing his trademark musing about death, lust, and depression with an idiosyncratic style and atmospheric vocals.Look for Cobalt coming up next year.Stay in touch:

Cumbia/Chicha/Son Recently Released: DDLO - Suenos de Luna y Mar (Independent / August 15, 2018)
Recently Released:DDLO - Suenos de Luna y Mar(Independent / August 15, 2018)• Buy the EP• Stream it on SpotifySuenos de Luna y Mar brings you a fun and upbeat indie EP with the distinctive flavours of Latin jazz, just in time for cooler weather up north. The release is marked by a playful sensibility and wicked chops.The EP features four tracks. The irresistible beats of cumbia and chicha swirl in a fanciful melody in El Mundo Fosforescente, with unusual chord changes, growling guitars, and spoken word vocals that add an eery edge.  El Día que Llegó el Payaso (The Day The Clown Cried) will have you dancing. Named after the Spanish title of an old Jerry Lewis movie, the track includes a mournful trumpet line over a relentless rhythm.The spooky vibe returns in El Pulpo y la Luna - which means either The Octopus And The Moon, or the Guy Who Gives People Hickies And The Moon (thanks Urban Dictionary!) - with an off kilter vibe and a classic cumbia organ riff with that distinctive rhythm and a wailing guitar line. A clarinet adds an edgy high end as the track builds to a crescendo of invention. Nostalgia Majestuoso brings it down to acoustic guitar and percussion in a classic Latin vein, with a soulful Andean flute (? - uncredited) and a laid back rhythm.DDLO is a collective that was the brainchild of I.J. Smith, a jazz multi-instrumentalist and composer who took a long hiatus from recording to raise his daughter. Now that he's back gigging regularly, look for more to come.If you like your psychadelic cumbia and chicha with a sense of humour and superb musicianship, this is your new playlist.Track List1. El Mundo Fosforescente2. El Día que Llegó el Payaso3. El Pulpo y la Luna4. Nostalgia MajestuosoPersonnel:I.J. Smith: Guitars/Tres/Percussion/Congas; Pablo Conte: Drums/PercussionEric Marshall: Upright/Bass; Tony DaQuipa: Congas/Drums; Adrian Gormeley: Sax/Bass Clarinet/Clarinet; Bill Swan: Trumpet.Stay in touch:

Americana/Roots: Highbeams - Keep Meaning It (Blanket Fort/Independent October 1, 2018)
Americana/Roots:Highbeams - Keep Meaning It(Blanket Fort/Independent October 1, 2018)• Listen to the Single Someday on SpotifyHighbeams are three brothers: Adam Pendlington, Ian Pendlington, and Stephen Quinn, and they have this to say about their new release:Keep Meaning It is about continuing to pursue something even after it becomes challenging. Whether it be a relationship, career, or a dream. Finding who you are and what you want, and remaining steadfast in your pursuit.The group offers melodic acoustic guitar driven Americana/folk with a sweeping sensibility that is steeped in their Georgia roots. Since forming in 2012, Highbeams has released two full length albums and performed all over the Southeast alongside national acts like Vertical Horizon, Chase Bryant, and Col Bruce Hampton.The group explores the range of folk to country to rock with a nod to the classic interpretations, but with a thoroughly modern polish, and there's a nice sense of variety within the well worn genre. Vocal harmonies enhance the upbeat mood, with crisp drum lines that build to the chorus of You Can Leave Me - I won't change.Someday is part pop, part folk, with the bouncy verse of a pop song and the hymn-like chorus of a folk song in three-part harmony. I Know a Place crosses over into country with swirling violins and lyrics about the one that got away. Talking To Myself is pure acoustic folk, with introspective lyrics sung in harmony. Guilty is a standout track, a song that cycles through a range of moods from contemplative to anthemic, with a relentless rhythm underneath the soaring vocalsHighbeams mine familiar territory, giving it their own stamp, with lovely harmonies and polished production values - impressive given it is a home studio recording. If there's one quibble, it's that the vocals are overly processed in some of the tracks. With three-part harmony, it's not necessary.Track List:1. You Can Leave Me2. Someday3. I Do!4. Mess We Made5. Bears6. I Know a Place7. Talking to Myself8. Sunshine9. Either Way10. To Measure a Moment11. Guilty12. Window ft. Jenny and SkyPersonnel:Adam Pendlington: Vocals, Guitar, and Bass; Stephen Quinn: Vocals, Bass, and Guitar; Ian Pendlington: Backing Vocals, Cajon, PianoStay in touch: Live

New Single: Scott Chasolen - Limbo (Independent / 13 September 2018)
New Single:Scott Chasolen - Limbo(Independent / 13 September 2018)• Stream it on SpotifyDoes anyone understand a perfect love?And is there even such a thing?Limbo, the new single by Scott Chasolen, is a heartbreaker of a song. The track begins with spare acoustic guitar, building to a lush middle section and then an emotional end. There's a pulsing rhythm that drives the acoustic guitar accompaniment, with piano adding its brighter colours to a song with a melancholic edge to both the lyrics and the melody. Scott adds a jazzy interlude and a piano solo that combines melodic interest with radio-friendly pop sensibilities. His vocals are fluid, with a rough edge  of expression.An accomplished pianist, songwriter/composer Northern New Jersey native Scott Chasolen has been playing music since the age of ten. After experimenting with trumpet and percussion, he honed in on the piano by age sixteen, when he was already performing and studying jazz. He graduated from New School University in Manhattan.The single comes from an as yet unreleased album called Living In Limbo.  The acoustic album covers a highly personal journey through a tragic loss of love. The entire album was recorded in a NYC apartment as his temporary living situation, and he had to write half the material for guitar without access to a piano. Look for a release date sometime in late 2018.Personnel: Scott Chasolen - lead vocals, backing vocals, guitars, piano Doug Yowell - shakerStay in touch: She Goes Again - another single from the upcoming release:

World Animal Protection List of Over 200 Elephant-Friendly Travel Companies
From a media release:World Animal ProtectionOver 200 elephant-friendly travel companiesTravel companies worldwide commit to stop elephant rides and shows• Support The Companies On The ListA campaign by World Animal Protection to end the cruel abuse of elephants in the tourist entertainment industry has secured the help of over 200 travel companies who have committed to stop selling elephant rides and shows to their customers.From the organization's announcement: We have been engaging with tour operators around the world, revealing the cruelty that goes on behind the scenes at venues where tourists ride elephants and see shows where elephants are forced to perform.To date, 214 travel companies around the world have agreed that elephant rides and shows are cruel and must end. The travel companies, include The Travel Corporation and its family of 30 brands (Lion World Travel, Trafalgar, Contiki & Uniworld) as well as TUI Benelux and Thomas Cook Northern Europe have all agreed, in a bid to end the cruel practice. Africa4Us signed the elephant friendly pledge at the Outdoor Adventure Show earlier this yearJosey Kitson, our executive director speaks to this announcement:"Leading travel brands see the value of animal protection. Companies like G Adventures, The Travel Corporation and World Expeditions and Intrepid Travel, are leading the way to ensure no animals are harmed on their trips.This year we were thrilled to have Bamba Experience (the first Mexico-based travel company), Exemplary Voyages (the first Sri Lankan tour operator), Roar Africa, Extraordinary Journeys, Do Something Different, Adventure Coordinators, Tusker Adventure Travel, Africa4Us and Zara Tours sign our pledge to never sell elephant rides or shows.”Despite this large number, there are still travel companies yet to commit to ending elephant rides and other cruel elephant entertainment. In order to make elephants submit to rides and other human interactions they are taken from their mothers as babies and forced through a horrific training practice known as ‘the crush’. This process involves physical restraints, severe pain and the withholding of food and water. By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, its spirit has been broken.The cruelty does not end after the crush. When not performing or used for rides most elephants are kept chained and isolated from one another. This is hugely damaging to their physical and psychological wellbeing."World Animal Protection wants to see this cruelty stop" Kitson adds, "and tourists can help by avoiding animal attractions while on vacation and encouraging more companies to join our movement. Find out more at"Each year, over 500,000 wild animals are trapped, confined and forced to live and behave unnaturally to entertain tourists. Pledge to be an animal-friendly traveller and help end this cycle of cruelty• 84% of Canadians believe wild animals belong in the wild where they can live naturally• 81% of Canadians would prefer to see animals in the wild• 75% of Canadians think people should not make an income from keeping wild animals if the animals sufferThe study was commissioned by World Animal Protection and conducted by KANTAR PUBLIC via TNS online omnibus from 21–26 August 2014 and 12–16 January 2017. Sample 12,381 across 12 countries. A total of 1,050 Canadians were surveyed. Data was weighted to be representative by age, gender and region within country.

New York City Restaurant News: West Village Stalwart Cafe Loup Re-Opens Tonight
New York City Restaurant News:Café Loup Re-opens in the West Villageto the delight of allCafé Loup, a classic French bistro that was a mainstay of New York City's West Village scene since 1977, reopens tonight to the relief of booze loving literary types throughout the city.The bistro on Thirteenth Street near Sixth Avenue hit the headlines earlier in September 2018 when it closed abruptly. A notice posted on the door declared that it had been "SEIZED" by the the New York State Department of Taxes and Finance for unpaid taxes.Word spread quickly among NYC's tight restaurant and literary crowd, along with a chorus of dismay. Many of the city's publishing elite went public with their regrets, including Sam Sifton of The New York Times, and luminaries Fran Lebowitz and Susan Sontag.Café Loup survived through the decades by providing a reliable menu of bistro favourites like - naturally - French onion soup with gruyère, pâté, escargots, and moules marinières, among many others, at prices that are still affordable for most. Along with a tasty French country menu, the café offers a relaxed ambiance with a classic finish, and has been popular since it opened.It's the fave haunt of many of the city's literary types from Susan Sontag to Paul Auster, and with its quiet, unassuming elegance. With white linens, white walls, and quiet candelit corners, it's not surprising. Christopher Hitchens was something of a regular, and wrote a tribute to the place in The Spectator in 2001, and the Big Apple's once robust print world luminaries liked to drop in for a martini on the reg.But, the scare is all over. The café announced its reopening via social media.#CafeLoup will reopen tomorrow, Wednesday September 26th, for good. Please join us at 5:30 until late. Thank you for your support. 🐺🗽— Café Loup (@CafeLoup) September 25, 2018The reported $188,394.40 in taxes now repaid, the city's literary types can breathe easier, knowing that at least this one slice of old New York will survive another day.Legendary Jazz pianist Junior Mance had a regular Sunday night residency for years at Café Loup. Check it out on your next visit for a taste of authentic New York City.

TIFF18 Scrapbook
#tiff18 memories#TIFF2018, we hardly knew ye. It seems like barely two weeks ago that I picked up my media ID and it was off to the races. (It actually was two weeks ago, lol.) Here are the pics, the schedule, and the pieces I wrote for the Toronto International Film Festival 2018.TIFF takes over King StreetDay 1- pick up press pass- cocktail party at Le Milagro hosted by the Toronto Film Critics AssociationTIFF Street Theatre- gossip with other journosDay 2- brunch with the TIFF people - lovely, lovely peopleTIFF CEO Piers Handling says good-bye to the media (he's stepping down)Day 3- screening - Fig TreeThe media herd heading for a screening at the Scotiabank Place Cinemas- screening - Lionheart- cocktail party with Documentary DirectorsVarda Filmmaker's Lounge- gossip - meet Naziha Arebi - decide to add Freedom Fields to the list- interview with Ng'endo MukiiDay 4- screening - Freedom Fields- screening - FarmingThe cast of Farming at the World Premiere at TIFF Sept 2018Day 5- interview - Aalam-Warqe Davidian at Le Germain Hotel (Fig Tree)- second interview postponed by email- third interview - Tom Volf at Dineen Cafe - about Maria by Callas- fourth interview - Jahmil X.T. Qubeka at 401 Richmond (Sew The Winter To My Skin)Day 6- Everything is cancelled and rearrangedDay 7- Interview Stephane Bak at TIFF Bell Lightbox (Mercy of the Jungle)- Interview Naziha Arebi & Fadwa - Intercontinental Hotel (Freedom Fields)Day 8 - Screening - Sew The Winter To My SkinTIFF Bell Lightbox MadnessAlso: checking email and text messages every half hour, every day, because things change and change...And Toronto is so pretty when there's a Festival in town.Now, all that's left is the detritus...

Alt Rock Single: Elza - Swayed from the album Nothing's Wrong (Independent/November 2 2018)
Alt Rock Single:Elza - Swayedfrom the album Nothing's Wrong(Independent/November 2. 2018)• Stream the single• Buy it on bandcampSwayed, the new single by Elza, comes in advance of her debut full length release, Nothing's Wrong, slated to drop on November 2, 2018. Her EP, Glories, came out in 2014.The song is striking and original, with a strong and hypnotic rhythmic pulse and a chorus that sticks in your head. She never swayed...Elza's vocals hover above a thick tapestry of guitar rock."As a solo artist I write, compose, arrange and produce all my music. I spent over 2 years working on this album alone, carefully crafting all the arrangements."Russian-born Elza moved to Israel at age 15, where she discovered her musical side singing and playing guitar. She trained at classical piano, along with studying audio engineering and sound design, and says she's inspired by 90s alternative rock. Elza relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she's based now.Her voice is melodic with a sweet side, ranging from fluid to whispery and emotional. Lyrically, she tackles love and relationships with a raw and confessional emotion and poetic expression.The music on the upcoming album could fall under the general umbrella of alt rock, but with a sophisticated and even jazzy sense of phrasing and complex layering of rhythm and melody. Room has a classic anthemic groove and arena rock approach. Tracks like Hollow add elements of electronica and a driving - and danceable - beat. Simple Dreams, on the other hand, is a melancholy melody against acoustic guitar. Elza handles the stylistic changes with aplomb and a nicely assured vocal technique.It's an impressive debut release with both polish and an emotional heart.Tracklist:  1. Moonlight And I 2. Endeavor 3. Swayed 4. Hollow 5. Simple Dreams 6. Nothing's Wrong 7. Stay With Me 8. Room 9. Can't Heal 10. One DayPersonnel: Elza - primary artist - composer, producer, arranger, vocals, keyboards,guitars, programming Stay in touch:

#tiff18 review/interview: Freedom Fields - Directed by Naziha Arebi
#tiff18 review/interview:Freedom FieldsDirected by Naziha Arebi"We've lived many beginnings."So says Fadwa, one of the young women featured in Naziha Arebi's documentary Freedom Fields. It's that ability to keep picking up the pieces to keep going that is highlighted in the movie, which got its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018.Ever wondered what's been going on in Libya since its "liberation" at the hands of Western jet fighter pilots? British-Libyan director Naziha Arebi's documentary fills in the gaps with her film that looks at the trials and triumphs of a group of women determined to play football - soccer for us North Americans - for their country.Making the movie proved to be just as much a labour of love and perseverance as the making of the women's football team. Naziha shot the footage over a four year period between 2012 and 2016.In the beginning, there are dizzying street scenes - the rush of optimism that came with the revolution and assassination of Ghaddafi. But then reality sets in. Some scenes have to be shot by candlelight when the power goes out. The army is an ever present shadow, the shells and gunshots ringing out.On the field, we see the competitive spirit come out in the women, who have come from all over the country to pursue their impossible dream. Determination, will, strength - it's their pre-game chant. Finally, they seem to be getting somewhere, and their first international meet is set up under the auspices of the national football association.But...two years after the Revolution, the religious right has taken over. Then some ultra-conservative clerics get involved, and preach against the idea of a women's team. A Facebook page is set up in opposition to the team, and to their dismay, the football authorities crumble, and cancel the team's match.Arebi provides the cinematography as well as directing the movie. The camera is intimate, giving us the real impression of being let inside the lives of these women. We ride with them in the car, and pace anxiously on the sidelines as they play. Her aesthetic is poetic and artistic, finding beauty in the blur of streetlights, and poignancy in shots of little boys who play ball without a care.We see the women in their everyday lives, and the pressures they - and their families - face. Their own brothers weigh in on the situation. The frustration at seeing their lives always subject to patriarchal approval is clear, even as they clearly also still see themselves as part of the same society. Why can't girls play? they ask - particularly when other strictly observant Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia already have women's football teams. The barrier is cultural, not really related to Islam at all."Everyone hates us in this country," one of the women says ruefully.Is the story over? Not for this group. Four years after the Revolution, the team picks up steam again as they push for a match without Football Federation approval.After growing up with her mother in the UK, Naziha moved to Libya to live with her father. "I became obsessed with my own Libyan identity," she says. Her father, and then she too, became involved with the Arab Spring uprising.Not long after that, she recalls hearing about this mysterious women's football team. "It was a team no one had seen," she laughs. "I found them...after some time." Naziha was writing already, and soon developed a friendly relationship with the nascent team. "They were fun to be around," she says. "The story was constantly changing."At that point, in 2013, Naziha thought the story was finished. But, the optimism and grit of the team made her hang on with them. "At that point, that's where the movie goes into their personal lives," she notes.Fadwa is one of the players featured in the movie, and she made the trip to Toronto with Naziha - the only one of the players who could in view of the current unstable conditions back home. "I played football since I was really young. When you are little, you play outside with the boys," she recalls. At a certain point, however, little girls are separated from the play. "They want you to go inside." She heard about the women's team and knew she had to join them.Fadwa dealt with the pressure from the religious fundamentalists on a personal level. "The whole community was against it," she says. She was determined to plow on regardless. "If you allow them to have an opinion, they will state it.""It's a cultural thing," Naziha says, pointing out that, in contrast to the official government opposition, there were many individuals, men and women, who helped the team along the way, including coaches and the man who let them use his field.In the end, the team chose to disconnect from the Football Federation and form an NGO dedicated to opening up the world of sport for young girls."It's education, working on the next generation," Naziha says."At the beginning, all we wanted to do is play," says Fadwa. "We gained from it in all sorts of ways. It can change girls lives." She recalls recently visiting a school to work with the girls. "We were surprised that some girls don't even know how to run."The benefits of sports education are many and well documented. "You can own your own body, your own space," Naziha says. She also notes the still turbulent conditions of Libya today. "Giving people a release is important. This generation needs it."Play on, sisters, play on.If you're in the UK, the movie screens next at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2018.• Buy Tickets  

Get ready for the return of Chicago House: Matt Warren - Music Is My Life (Wake Up! Music/Oct 15, 2018)
Get ready for the return of Chicago House:Matt Warren - Music Is My Life(Wake Up! Music/Oct 15, 2018)• Stream/DownloadAre you ready for Nu-House?Matt Warren is one of the pioneers of Chicago House, and he's making a return to the spotlight with his new album set to drop October 15, 2018. You'll find your dancing shoes grooving to beats influenced by the last few decades of electronic dance music, from the days of disco to 90s radio pop.Matt has been a DJ for forty years, and a producer since 1984, when he released his debut single Rock The Nation. He cofounded Sunset Records in 1985, which released several house classics, leaving to found AKA Dance Music on his own in 1987. The first single that AKA Dance Music released was Bang The Box, which sold over 50,000 copies in the US and is seen by many as the first hard house track.Since the end of AKA Dance Music, Matt Warren continued to DJ all over the world, and produce new music and remix tracks by some of the biggest names in music. On this release, he's got help from gospel singer  Jan McGee, flamenca Elena Andujar and house diva Pepper Gomez who plays a starring role on the album. It was Pepper who persuaded him to record his own album.There's a new version of Bang The Box on Music Is My Life, an infectious dance track with a beat that won't leave you alone. Catch Me If You Can is a trip down memory lane to a retro disco beat. In The Dark Storm breaks the mold, an instrumental track of melodic piano that's reflective and introspective, in contrast to the swagger of the rest of the album. La Rosa adds a Latin beat and horn tracks to the relentless beat, with lyrics in Spanish and vocals from flamenca Elena Andujar.How Do I Love Thee is a standout, a love song with a tongue in cheek lyrical bent and a killer trumpet solo that fuels the melody over a thumping beat.Matt has assembled an impressive roster of players to flesh out the music in style. Nu-House or old House, you won't be able to sit down for this release, and it makes the perfect party track.Track List:01 How Do I Love Thee (5:01)02 The Way To My Heart (6:24)03 Catch Me If You Can (Main Mix) (6:27)04 Catch Me If You Can (Disco Mix) (5:48)05 Get On Up (6:21)06 Going Deeper (5:01)07 Musica Es Mi Vida) (5:46)08 Bang The Box (6:50)09 La Rosa (7:18)10 Sometimes (4:04)11 The Dark Storm (6:12)Personnel: Matt Warren: electronic instruments, programming; Pepper Gomez: vocals; Janis McGee: vocals; Elena Andujar: vocals; Ron Haynes: horns; Mike "Champagne" Anderson: guitar; Antone Montgomery: bass; Sharkeyes: electronic instruments, programming; Frank Schabold: bassAdam Kucharzyk: guitar; Richard Meyer, Junior: piano; Wes Nelson: bassStay in touch:

#tiff18 review: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Illuminates the British Black Experience in Farming
#tiff18 review:Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's FarmingWorld PremiereAt the World Premiere of Farming at the Toronto International Film Festival, actor turned director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje confessed that it had taken him 14 years to bring the story - his own life story - to the screen. In its unflinching portrayal of a life marred by racial and cultural dislocation and a loss of identity, we can only be glad that he persevered.Farming, the movie, isn't the pastoral tale you are probably imagining. The term, incredibly, refers to the practice of Nigerian parents fostering their children to white British parents - a practice that was fairly common in the 1960s. With the best intentions of providing a better life for their kids than they could as struggling immigrants, those children were thrown into a society that looked down on its colonial roots, with often tragic results.In the movie, Adewale plays his own father, Femi, with Nollywood star Genevieve Nnaji taking the role of his mother Tolu. The pair, studying to become lawyers in Britain, can't provide for their son, and feel they are making a positive move. They also pay for the privilege, sending money to the foster mother regularly for the boy's care.Adewale, called Enitan in the movie, and played with a rich intensity by young actor Damson Idris, is sent to live with a working class family who already fosters a gang of Nigerian kids. Kate Beckinsale plays against type as the distinctly unglamourous and working class Ingrid Carpenter. She does have something of a soft spot for the kids, but thinks nothing of getting them all to make fun of their African heritage, or lashing out at them when she's in a bad mood. She's also the first one to teach young Enitan how to get by on the wrong side of the law."You've got to do better if you want to be Mummy's favourite," she admonishes when he's caught stealing a necklace.Clip:An odd and dreamy child, he's rebuffed by Ingrid, and increasingly terrorized by racist gangs who roam the streets, seemingly unchecked by police or anyone else. Once his parents graduate, they bring him to Nigeria, where he doesn't fit in at all. He quickly gets into trouble at school, and is promptly shipped back to Ingrid's home.Enitan is a talented artist, something that is recognized by a friendly teacher at school, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. "My imagination's my only friend," he tells her.But, in the end, when there is no one to protect him from the constant abuse and humiliation, what can he do...except join the abusers? Horrifyingly, he becomes part of the racist skinhead gang led by Levi. John Dalgiesh does a wonderful job of portraying the sickeningly sociopathic gang leader. Trouble is, Enitan begins to participate in their nightly devilry, including beating up on other Blacks.Damson Idris' strong performance embodies Enitan's rage and pain, resulting in a corrosive self-loathing that subverts it into pure aggression. It makes for some squirmy moments watching, but at least, in this case, we already know there's a happy ending to the story.Director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje & cast of the film Farming at the Toronto International Film Festival premiereActor turned director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Bourne Identity, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Killer Elite, Suicide Squad, among others,) also wrote the screenplay and acts as executive producer of the project. He is a recognized face to anyone who's watched action movies over the last decade or so. What most people probably don't know, however, is that the accomplished actor with a law degree started out in life very differently.Like Enitan in the movie, Adewale graduated from King's College London with a master's degree in law, and he even patched up his relationship with Ingrid and her husband. Once in a while, the system works, it seems.On this side of the Atlantic, we hear a lot about the North American Black experience. Farming sheds a harsh light on the Black British experience, one with its own set of horrors and peculiarities.Lionsgate UK acquired the UK rights to the film with HanWay Films, meaning you should be able to catch it on a silver screen near you around the world soon.Interview:

Surfer Rock Redux: Laura Paragano - Strange Curses (Independent/September 17, 2018)
Surfer Rock Redux:Laura Paragano - Strange Curses(Independent/September 17, 2018)• Stream/Download the AlbumA mouth from Jersey and a soul from California.That's the tagline for San Francisco based artist Laura Paragano. Strange Curses is her first full-length release, coming after the two-song EP The Tiny Telephone Sessions (April 2018).That surfer rock soul is out in full force on Out for a Surf (natch) with vocals that tip the hat to the richly tremolo'd legacy of Roy Orbison. There's a tough girl credo to I'm Fine, sung with a bittersweet bravado.Laura has the perfect voice for the genre, strident yet expressive, with an edge of melancholy that adds to the intepretation of the songs she's penned. They cover the oft-charted territory of love and loss with a catchy retro groove and golden guitar lines from Linden Evans.""Strange Curses" is a literal record of myself. Although I only started writing the songs for the album two years ago, I've been working on this album for much longer. Every song relates to a particular feeling that has viscerally impacted me. Some are very old feelings, and not putting them to words was burning a hole inside of me. It wasn't until recently that I found the right way and right people to externalize these feelings." (Laura Paragano)The rhythm section of Jerry Miller on bass and Mike Steczo on drums provide a nicely complex texture to the music underneath the driving beat of surfer rock.3/4 slows it down for a classic torchy rock song in waltz time (3/4, get it?) showcasing her vocals and a sexy trumpet line from the singer and multi-instrumentalist. California Dreaming isn't a cover of the song you were thinking of, it's an inventive country rock track.I want to live in the sunlight,Instead of the headlights, out in the rain...Her writing is atmospheric and offers a unique spin on the old cliche about the Sunshine State. A slow, retro rock cover of Bruce Springsteen's I'm On Fire cleverly brings her New Jersey and California influences together in one track.Catchy and illuminated by great playing that feels the music, Strange Curses is definitely replay worthy.Track List:1. Out for a Surf2. I'm Fine3. Can't Give4. 3/45. And You6. California Dreaming7. Sick8. Juliet, Romeo9. I'm on Fire10. Doom / Strange CursesPersonnel:Laura Paragano: Vocals, rhythm guitar, trumpet, harmonica; Linden Evans: Lead guitar; Jerry Miller: Bass; Mike Steczo: DrumsStay in touch: the EP The Tiny Telephone Sessions:

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