TIFF Bell Lightbox Screens Charlie’s Country

unnamed-7
Charlie’s Country Credit: Courtesy of Film Reference Library

The TIFF Bell Lightbox is screening the critically acclaimed film Charlie’s Country. The Australian cinematic duo, director Rolf de Heer and actor David Gulpilil have gained recognition from previous collaborations including The Tracker and Ten Canoes, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil co-wrote their most recent collaboration Charlie’s Country, which ended up being a semi-autobiography of Gulpilil’s life saying, “This is my film, about me!”

The film centers on a remote Aboriginal community in the northern part of Australia. The protagonist, Charlie, once a warrior, is now trying to keep the community’s traditional way of life, which becomes all too difficult with the government’s constant control in a modern day world. After becoming rundown, Charlie decides to live on his own in the wild until once again, he’s faced with challenges dealing with the intertwinement of the traditional ways and the control over their land.

Gulpilil’s strong and emotional performance is not to be underrated. This compelling story portrays the struggles behind an aboriginal community who begin to feel like outsiders in their own home. Even though the aboriginals are given their land back, the government control proves that their traditional ways are long gone.

Charlie’s Country opens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox today, August 21st. Buy tickets HERE.

Bands Spotted: August Edition

It’s August, which means next month is September, which also means summer will be officially over. While we begin to weep for the end of patio and beach season, we have spotted a few bands from our city that have shared some catchy tunes with us this summer. Check out their music below.

The Elwins

unnamed-5

Founded in 2008 when they were just in high school, Matthew Sweeney (vocalist/guitarist), Travis Stokl (drummer), Feurd Moore (keyboard and guitar) and Frankie Figliomeni (bass guitar) combine a fresh energetic pop sound. The band from Keswick, Ontario released their latest EP Play For Keeps releasing a stop motion video for their lead single “So Down Low”. Check it out!

Milo McMahon

unnamed-6

Born and raised in Dublin, the singer made the move to Toronto five years ago in order to focus on his music career before settling in Montreal. After the success of his debut LP, Big City Hustle, McMahon came out with his most recent EP last month, Who I Knew. McMahon describes his music as blending “aspects of alt folk, surf core, and what my treeplanting buddies call screef rock” grabbing inspiration from his “transatlantic upbringing – from my early years in Ireland to my summers plugging trees in northern Canada.” His EP exudes versatility and fun tracks that mix some folk with psychedelic rock.

Johnson Crook

johnsoncrook

This alt-country band is bringing some boot stomping country to Toronto. The members consist of singer/songwriter Noel Johnson and bassist Jared Craig who later brought on Trevor and Nathan Crook to complete Johnson Crook. The band has released two successful singles in February 2015, which is just a preview for their upcoming EP. Take a dive into some country with “Call Me Home” and “Minnedosa Manitoba”.

Spells of Vertigo

sv

Spells of Vertigo released their first EP Soaked last month. The members include Keegan Powell (guitar/vocals), Dan Marranca (bass guitar) and Jon Lubanski (drums). The alternative rock band will play at the Phoenix Theatre on Friday, August 21st for 102.1 Edge Next Big Thing Finale.

Birds of Bellwoods Are Back with New EP

Birds of Bellwoods - The Fifth - Front Cover

Birds of Bellwoods are debuting their studio EP The Fifth at Lee’s Palace on August 13th. Since our “Bands Spotted” feature of the Toronto-based Alt-Folk band, we have continued to follow their musical journey, as they become the city’s staple band for folk music.

Producer Johnny Simmen, who also served as percussionist for the project, recorded The Fifth at A Stare Away Studios. The EP features world-class violist Jesse Morrison on “Sky”and violinist Jeremy Foster on “Come Home”, “Grey Ghosts” and title track “The Fifth”.

The band has come a long way since their release of the live recording of Livewires. Though they add in some new elements including progressive rock and pop, they stay true to their “foot-stomping, barn burning level of energy” which is always captured throughout their live performances. The band notes, “The Fifth, takes the listener on an unmistakable journey”.

“Sky” is the first track released and beautifully captures the heart and soul of the anticipated EP. The inspiration of “Sky” plays tribute to a loss of a friend. Each track fills the listener with emotion that is being poured out by the members whether it being from the vocals or instrumentals.

Listen to “Sky” below:

Celebrate and join them at the release party on August 13th HERE.

WayHome Day 3

Day 3 of WayHome was one of the hottest days of the festival, but the heat couldn’t keep the crowd back from enjoying some of the best performances of the weekend. From July Talk to Sam Smith you can say the day was stacked with various artists who put on memorable shows that took place just outside the city. Here are some of our highlights from Day 3.

July Talk

july talk

You can always count on July Talk to put on a fun and interactive show. From Leah’s wet t-shirt contest, choosing guys from the audience to participate, to her chugging a glass of red wine after the audience cheered, “Chug! Chug!” they kept the audience entertained. They opened the show with their most noted song “Guns + Ammunition”, which started the show off right. The contrast of Leah and Peter’s vocals was even more electric live. They kept on telling the crowd to support WayHome so it continues every year – we agree with them! As Leah says, “Let’s talk rock!”

Sloan

sloan

One of the most impressive performances had to be from our own Toronto quartet rock band Sloan. Even though they played during the blazing heat, everyone was sprawled on the grass singing along to their songs from the good ol’ 90s. I have to add that the instrumentals were out of this world; the electrifying guitars were on point. Another thing about Sloan was that each of the members took lead in vocals, showing the band’s unity as one. Though they’ve been around in the music industry for over 20 years, they remain humble and kept thanking the crowd for all their support.

The Sheepdogs

sheepdogs

Playing at the main stage, The Sheepdogs proved why they were one of the favourites for the last day of WayHome. They played some oldies mixed in with some new tracks from their upcoming album Future Nostalgia. The variety of instrumentals kept it interesting – from Ewan Currie’s tambourine skills to Shamus Currie doing a trombone solo in between songs, the performance was anything but boring. After doing a Neil Young cover, they ended the show with “I Don’t Know” leaving the audience wanting more.

Until next year WayHome…

WayHome Day 1

Screen-Shot-2015-02-11-at-9.20.49-AM

Day one of WayHome left us sweaty, exhausted, yet craving more of the anticipated performances WayHome has to offer. After some of the biggest acts including Hozier, Girl Talk and folk legend Neil Young, we have been blown away by the energy from the crowd and performances. Here are some of our highlights from day one.

hozier
Photo Credit: The Guardian

Hozier – The crowd slowly started approaching the main stage as the sun continued to beam down. People were lying down on the grass trying to cool off anyway they knew how. Then, in comes Hozier and everyone stood up cheering from the top of their lungs. The sun was finally starting to set and Hozier began singing using his soulful vocals. He was better than anticipated. It was as though we were listening to his album  instead instead of live. Of course he ended the show with “Take Me To Church”, which had the the entire audience singing along.

Neil Young
Photo Credit: The Guardian

Neil Young – The folk legend was definitely one of the most talked about performers of WayHome. He played a mix of some classics with some new stuff, which really highlighted his protests against big corporations and GMOs. He even had a mini performance with men dressed in masks spraying chemicals on the flowers showing the harm it induces. The legend lives on.