Sunday, October 30, 2011

GMA Calgary

Just woke up. Good sleep. Silly that a two hour time zone change would give me jet lag. Maybe not. Maybe I'm just plain tired.

Spend three days in Calgary at GMA Canada - gospel music association - hooking up with Canadian artists and radio peeps. Schmoozing is the main activity, although some seminars were also good!

While radio is my job and my hobby, my other hobby is working with artists. I'm not sure what my position might be; perhaps Professional Encourager. In a previous lifetime, I managed artists and I think I have a good sense of performance observation. Some people seem to agree and came to my seminar at GMA called "Why Some Artists Make It And Others Don't". I love giving that message and didn't get off stage without 20 questions.

Steve Taylor gave a session about the production of Sixpence's song "Kiss Me". He is a very colourful, animated, clever artist but unfortunately, after viewing the new movie "Blue Like Jazz", I wouldn't recommend it to a Christian audience. Way over the line of good taste for me.

My hero and first artist I heard playing Christian music, and thus my journey into the Christian radio industry - Geoff Moore - hosted a luncheon and sharing his experience as an artist. Geoff is ALWAYS great and an American who understands Canada and encourages us.

Hanging with my good friends Chris Bray, Dan Bremnes, Sean Dayton and Zach Havens was awesome. All of these guys are class acts. Then meeting new friends was cool - including Ash Militsala in "From Love To Forfeit" from Edmonton and David Millar from Cities Under Fire from North Battleford.

Friday night was the Covenant Awards - our version of the Grammy's. Most winning artists were not there to accept their award. Sidebar - most of my favourites did not evan win, despite substantial radio airplay. Zach Havens from To Tell dined with me and performed "Safe To Say" with the house band. Evan Duran from LIFE 100.3 presented an award at the Covenant Awards.

I took a side trip to CJAY and Virgin Radio (secular) and brought back some new radio ideas for LIFE 100.3. CJAY is owned by Astral with a great radio history in the market.

Gleaning ideas from their operation will certainly make LIFE back home a slicker product. After CJAY, my buddy Ryan took Evan and me to a burger joint, that is a walk-up/drive-thru, with NO INDOOR TABLES! So we sat outside at the picnic table, freezing and eating! Haha! Great time!

I suppose I've left out some of the best parts of the trip - thanks everyone who I connected with and chaffeured me around town!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Roger Hodgson

Tonight, I scored amazing tickets to see Roger Hodgson, one of the two main singer/songwriters in Supertramp. The seats were unbelievably close -6th row. Perfect view of Roger on keyboards.

A 30-piece orchestra and 24-person choir backed up Roger and his 3-piece band. Sound-wise I don't think I've heard a better live mix!

Roger played thru most of the Supertramp songs that he wrote and sang on - like "The Logical Song", "Take the Long Way Home" and "School". The crowd aged 40 plus gobbled it up.

Supertramp is not a Christian band but lyrcially, "Fool's Overture" sounds very much like he's singing about Jesus. Is he?

Called the man a fool, stripped him of his pride
Everyone was laughing up until the day he died
And though the wound went deep
Still he's calling us out of our sleep
My friends, we're not alone
He waits in silence to lead us all home

Well, I don't know for sure, but Roger said "God is getting a bad rap from this world. He gives me hope and the most important thing is love". He also played the song "Lord Is It Mine". Interesting!

I don't think I've seen a singer look so happy performing! Here's a piece of the show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everybody Cut....

My friends gave it a thumbs up. Maybe they won’t be my friends after they read my review of the movie.

It was - just ok. If you haven’t seen the original version, the new Footloose will probably pass.

The characters are all the same. Much of the script is word for word from the original but none of it is performed as well. Dennis Quaid plays Pastor Shaw Moore, and while the character is an important part of the film, Dennis Quaid fails in believability.

Zac Efron was the original star but he declined - I think he would have pulled it off better than Kenny Wormald. Not that he was bad but since the majority of his lines were identical to those of Kevin Bacon, the comparison is inevitable.

The big scene in the court room where Ren goes before council is acted without passion. It's almost like they were trying to hard.

The new “Footloose” was the same; it was not better, maybe the unneccessary profanities discouraged me. Certainly where there is something magical about the original, there is none of it on the re-make.

If you choose to see "Footloose", be aware that the PG rating is under-rated.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daughtry in Toronto

Chris Daughtry - he didn't win American Idol but is certainly the proof that being #4 is a great honour. Who won that year? Taylor Hicks. Who? Exactly.

Daughtry recorded a string of hits immediately after Idol finished and he's proved to be a great songwriter. Last night in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Hall we rocked our faces off to "Home", "It's Not Over", "Over You", "Feels Like Tonight", "Crashed" - all hits coming off his debut album!

"No Surprise" and "September" from the second album sounded great in concert.

But it was the four song acoustic set in the middle - just Chris, pouring it out with passion and finese. "Rocket Man", the Elton John song really scored last night!

The boys in the band were tight, they rocked, they loved all over Toronto. The mostly 30's and 40's crowd scored a zillion iPhone photos! (I'd post my iPhone photo but the quality level is about two notches below my old instamatic!)

Ya nice.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stellar Kart - To Tell - rockin' Queensway!

Stellar Kart - pop-punk band with a slew of great songs! Friday night they performed at Change Conference in Toronto. The conference age was pretty young - 13-17 age, maybe? So, I posed as a youth leader in order to fit in and enjoy the music. (Enjoying the music is easy - fitting in is more of a challenge.)

(right - Adam Agee singing "Me and Jesus")

Stellar Kart surprised me. Adam Agee was the only original guy in the trio. Whaaat? A trio? When they played in Barrie there was four of 'em. Where's Cody? (ripped guitarist),Jordan (in photos he usually has a finger up his nose) and Bryan (geeky but master of the stratocaster). Those boys are gone? Who are these two replacements?

The trio played ok and the recorded tracks kept it from sonically falling apart but there wasn't much of "a show". (I like a show!) Visually SK looked like an opening act with a lousy light show and no stage movement. But singer Adam Agee was a great encourager and communicator and the SK songs were, of course, great. "Me and Jesus", "Activate", "Shine Like Stars" and Bon Jovi's "Living On A Prayer".

Opening the show, (which was running late), was To Tell. I love these guys. In three years I've seen at least 20 shows and never have I seen them do a bad show. Always a great performance. Zach Haven's, the lead singer, is mature beyond his years. He says all the right stuff and instinctively knows what to do on stage to keep the show exciting. Backing him up are Nate, Justyn and Mike who all rock it out!

(left - Zach Haven's kicking out "Safe To Say")

It is my hope that next year To Tell would be the headlining act at Change Conference next year. It's a waste for To Tell to only play five songs and they can easily pull it off.

I love SK but it would be fair to say - To Tell stole the show.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


LIFE 100.3 presents "Air Raid 20"! Is it a dc Talk reunion show? No, we could only hope. Is it the Newsboys? Uh no. I'm still dreaming about that.


We're bringing the video screens, the bat-lights outside, food, prizes and all the bells and whistles!

February 25, 2012 - Timothy Christian School in Barrie.

Love the songs:

HOUSE OF HEROES - Buckets For Bullet Wounds, The Invisible Hook, Mercedes Baby, God Save Us The Foolish Kings, So Far Away, Elevator

MANIC DRIVE - Blue, Walls, Music, Rain

V ROSE - Oh My Ah, Not So Average, Battery, Girl What U Lookin' At?

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Thanksgiving Saturday. AJ brought his longboard over for a tour on Lake Simcoe. After his ride he offered it to me. I paddled a very short distance!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cover Me Canada - Whosarmy

Another reality show - "Cover Me Canada".

Selected Canadian bands take the stage each week and are each given a Canadian classic song to cover, their way.

My favourite band is
Whosarmy. (say "who's army") The first week they covered "Raise a Little Hell" by Trooper - it was great! (Well, it's Trooper!) The next week they played "American Woman" and last week it was Nick Gilder's "Hot Child In The City" - a fabulous performance.

These guys are great! I know nothing about them - I'm just lovin' their performance.

Here's the funny thing, as is the case with most "all Canadian shows" - it's infiltrated by Americans - of course. The 3 judges are Jordan Knight (new kids on the block), Deborah Cox (canadian urban artist, probably the only...) and Ron Fair (A&R guy from California). Why is it funny? Well we all know how much Americans know about Canada. Haha! So here's Jordan and Ron on a Canadian show, listening to Canadian bands, cover Canadian classics, which they probably don't know anyway. Except "American Woman", which is anti-American. Funny.

Anyway, I love the show. Great production. All Canadian (almost...) and Whosarmy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Thought this was pretty funny.