Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I've been planning a summer trip to BC for a while now, but I haven't actually made it out there yet. It will eventually happen. Until it does, Vancouver based Hey Ocean's show at The Horseshoe this Saturday (June 25) will have to tide me over. If you like laid back West Cost acoustic instrumentals and upbeat (often sultry) female vocals, then you'll love this band. Below is a sample of what you'll hear at their show this weekend.

Be there.

If you're into Buddy Holly (which you should be), you're going to love this new cover album. "Rave On Buddy Holly" features The Black Keys, The Strokes, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and others performing 19 of his best songs. Below is a free stream of the entire album, for your listening pleasure:

Rave On Buddy Holly by concordmusicgroup

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dollar store in, record shop out. Doesn't sounds sensible, but according to Annex institution Sonic Boom Records, this is exactly what's about to happen. As of late August, the shop will be relocating (due to a forced vacancy by the landlords) to across the street, in a vacated part of Honest Ed's. They will have all the same memorable features as its original location (in-store performances, vinyl, CDs, etc). Being an integral part of not just Toronto's music scene, but The Annex's general social and visual infrastructure, Sonic Boom needed to stay in the area. But with change comes opportunity. The owners have taken this lemon-of-a-situation and turned it into an chance for expansion. In July, they'll also be opening another smaller, quirkier Kensington Market location - a hopefully welcome addition to an area sparse in music retail.

Monday, May 30, 2011

FRANK TURNER - "England Keep My Bones"
-album release: June 6, 2011.

Notable tracks include the fervent "I am Dissapeared", the hauntingly intense "English Curse", the positive pick me up sing-along "If Ever I Stray", the reminiscent & folksy "Wessex Boy" & the free and passionately controversial "Glory Hellelujah".

Stream the album in its entirety below:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So we're just one week away from the release of G. Love's new throwback album "Fixin' To Die". Recorded (in an old refurbished church) with the help of 2011 Grammy performers The Avett Brothers, this collection of folksy original blues tunes and covers will show you how stripped down music has nothing to hide. When you remove layers of complication and unnecessary tweaks, the resulting effect is raw musical power in its purest form. If you're looking for honesty and heartiness in your songs, look no further. G. Love's voice has that same unrefined quality that Dylan's has, so if you think you're going to hear pitch-perfect vocals, you're looking in the wrong place. To stream "Fixin' To Die" in its entirety, head on over to TEAMCOCO. The official release date is February 22nd, and you can catch G. Love playing one of the album's songs on CONAN February 23rd.

Monday, January 17, 2011


...for news on a slew of food and music related events. Cask Ale Social, Meat & Fish - Curing & Smoking (with Chef Jamie Kennedy), Fort York Food Fight, A Culinary Tour of Brazil, Artisinal Brewers beer tasting, Dieu Du Ciel beer tasting, Rising Chef citrus cook-off, Toronto Indie Resto Fest, Sugarbush Maple Syrup Fest, Several Bob Marley birthday tribute concerts, The 8 Fest (Small Gauge Film Fest), Winterfolk Acousitc Music Fest, Canadian Music Week & The Junos.

Further information & details on all of the events mentioned above to come soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I rarely get excited about new record releases, but since this one comes off the heels of a great live show I saw a couple of months ago, I'm looking forward to it somewhat obsessively. I've written about Frank Turner before (and how he's somewhat of a musical revolutionary). He simplifies his songs and shells them out in an intelligent, yet accessible way. The tunes are basically folk rock with a punk mentality, although they're anything but basic. The new release I'm talking about is not a full length, but a five song EP. He's titled it Rock and Roll - in reference to how music has given him a life and something to believe in. He mentions belief in musical greats (such as Elvis) above all else. Although written and directed as a professional video, the clip below really captures the spirit of his music as well as how it feels to be at one of his live shows. As with all of his songs, it's got a great tune, which I'm sure can be said for the rest of the songs on the new EP. You can purchase the album on December 7th through iTunes. Until then, here's the video for the title track "Rock and Roll. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Culture Shock's TORONTO CONCERT CALENDAR and TORONTO FOOD CALENDAR have both been upgraded to be fully integrated with Google Calendar. This will make it so much easier for us to update and for you view all important event information. Check it out. Daily additions.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

VIC RUGGIERO (of The Slackers) at Sneaky Dee's in Toronto
October 15, 2010

*video courtesy of ashopesfade's YouTube channel

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"FIXIN' TO DIE", the new album recorded by G. LOVE & The Avett Brothers, will be something of a prequel to all of G's previous recordings. It promises to get back to his bluesy busking roots - what every serious G. Love fan has been looking forward to for a long time. Available February 22nd, 2011 via Brushfire Records. Check out the album trailer below:

Friday, September 3, 2010


Korean-style side ribs (otherwise known as Kalbi).
Perfection in every unreasonably fatty, deliciously tender and char-grillingly (not a word) tasty piece. Impossible to eat delicately, yet worth every awesomely satisfying piece. The bones will burn your hands, but the euphoric numbness will dull the pain. Annyeong (안녕)


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Last year's Beerfest was a major success mostly due to a change of venue. The majority of people thought that The Ex was a wiser choice instead of the always muddy Fort York. Breweries became creative with the way they marketed their product and interacted with potential beer enthusiasts. Some highlights were the apple beer milk shakes by Nickel Brook and the wall of creative (and often strange) cask beers by Great Lakes called 'Caskapalooza'. As always, there were drinking teams, lushes, sloppy drunks and middle-agers... all in attendance to celebrate their love for beer. The food stalls were plentiful as well. With Roasted nuts, a cheese booth, wings, burgers, deli sandwiches and fries, you weren't about to go hungry either. Basically, an overall success and great time.

This year's fest isn't any different in terms of planning and excitement. Taking place between August 5th and 8th, Beerfest 2010 is shaping up to be a killer. With Little Feat, The Skydiggers and Kardinal Offishall taking the stage, your ears won't get tired.

Here are some of the breweries we're looking forward to visiting this August:
Asahi, Great Lakes, Mill St., Nickel Brook, St. Ambroise, Steam Whistle and StoneHammer

As for food; look forward to BBQ demonstrations, Fresh Corn, Poutine and Donuts to go along with your suds.

So get online, visit, order your tickets and book off August 5th - 8th for a beer fueled extravaganza. It's always the best event of the summer, you'll undoubtedly run into people you know (maybe your drunk boss spilling his innermost secrets) and you'll leave with stories and half-memories.


Thursday, August 5: 4-10 PM ($50)
Friday, August 6: 4-10 PM ($40)
Saturday, August 7: 1-7 PM ($40 - SOLD OUT)
Sunday, August 8: 1-7 PM ($40)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


If you're into coffee for more than just the caffeine rush (and a double double just doesn't do it for you), then you'll be interested in The TCC. The Toronto Coffee Conspiracy is not an evil collective of industry-controlling businesses, it's more like a family of independent coffee shops that pride themselves on serving a quality cup of joe.

But wait, there's more!!! You're obviously wondering what's so conspiratorial about this and what the big deal is about a group of coffee shops anyway. Basically, they've developed a system called The Disloyalty Card (pictured above). The way it works is that you buy a cup of coffee at one of the TCC member shops, get your card stamped, move on to the next shop... and so on. Once you've jacked yourself up on great espresso (or your drink of choice) at each of the participating shops, go back to your starting point for a free cup of coffee.

A customer loyalty card is not a new concept, but this 'Disloyalty Card' idea is special because it encourages coffee lovers to visit any of the better cafes in town. Not all the great cafes are part of this group yet, but hopefully they will be soon.

The Toronto Coffee Conspiracy is basically an awareness campaign. What they are trying to drill into our heads is that quality, care and independence are factors that make for a better cuppa.

(Follow The TCC on Facebook & Twitter)


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FROM THE ALBUM "TO THE SEA" (available June 1st)

I've always thought that Jack Johnson's music has a time and place. It's meant to be listened to while on the beach, relaxing, cruising in your car or as the soundtrack to a surf film. In the case of this video, he's brought his love of surf videography together with his relaxed songwriting skills. He's done both before (in feature surf-doc length), but never for the sole purpose of making a music video for a specific song. With "You and Your Heart", Jack revives and revolutionizes the art of surf movie-making (in short form). With high quality under water shots and perfectly synced voice-overs, he really looks like he's having good time. I would too, if my life was all about travelling the world, enjoying good weather, surfing and playing music to sold-out venues full of dedicated fans. Enough stalling here. Check out this video from Jack's upcoming album "To The Sea".


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Since 2004 "Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders" have been making sweet Rock N' Roll in a similar vein to it's founding member's main project, The Foo Fighters. Having released their Self Titled debut album in 2006, their follow up "Red Light Fever" is out tomorrow.

Check them out live, when they play The Horseshoe on May 3rd.
To buy tickets online, click here.

-->Official Website
-->8-Track (4 song) Album Preview

Friday, April 16, 2010

G. Love - "Still Hangin' Around"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If you love music and good weather, this weekend promises to be a winner. You've probably guessed from the above photo that this Saturday, April 17 will be Record Store Day. What we're talking about here is a full day dedicated to the tangible classic form of music collection. Vinyl (and the stores that house said vinyl) is the day's focus. There will be live musical performances and special edition record releases from a slew of new and old artists. Be prepared to scrounge through dusty bins and milk crates, because I guess it's the lure of the hunt that's so much fun. Sometimes the click of a button on your computer is way easier, but it isn't always as rewarding. Sure you instantly get the music you want, but do you get the complete record buying experience? Not in the classical sense. That's what Record Store Day is all about; rekindling that love for a piece of black wax you can get excited about, go find at the record shop, hold in your hands, then carefully place on your turntable and totally mellow out to. People nowadays buy vinyl as collector's items, and that's okay. Turntable culture is having a very small revival, but it's obviously not the main medium for music today. Saturday is important, because appreciation of original form is important. Could you listen to Charlie Patton on iTunes? Sure you could, but it just wouldn't seem right.

-Adam Menceles

Sunday, April 4, 2010

MEAT, BEER & SAND... Brazilian beach food at its finest

Brazil is known to many for its lively festive music, friendly people and gorgeous beaches. When it comes to detail, people seem to ignore the great food that these beaches provide for its sun loving attendants. Rio de Janeiro and especially its neighbouring city, Niteroi, display this deliciousness quite impressively.

Niteroi, being totally visible across from Rio de Janeiro, is accessible by a long bridge connecting the two Brazilian cities. The beaches of Niteroi do not possess the same level of popularity as in Rio, however the beauty of each beach is breathtaking and deserves some level of consideration (not to mention the food provided by walking vendors).

The common foods being distributed in these areas vary from products like acai and all naturally flavoured popsicles to shrimp skewers and sandwiches. For drinks, you can always indulge in a light and very cold Brazilian beer to quench your thirst from the incredible heat, or choose your mix of “mate” (a type of strongly caffeinated black iced tea) and lemonade. These are all the popular foods and beverages available on Rio’s beaches. Niteroi on the other hand, offers different and less commercial products.

If you are a fruit lover, you can indulge in invigorating tube snacks called sacolé (a stickless natural fruit popsicle). You can choose from mango, coconut, passion fruit, strawberry and pineapple. The flavour is so powerful that one tube can be gobbled up within minutes and another can be purchased for a measly $0.85 US.

If you are feeling a little hungrier and prefer something heavier, you can always call over a vendor and get yourself a nice “churrasquinho” (barbequed meat). The vendor carries with him a small portable barbeque (that looks more like a pet cage than anything else) and a cooler containing the raw meat he will soon barbeque at your request. Your choices are usually beef, chicken and pork sausage. The most unique of the choices is a large slice of cheese on a stick, which is seasoned with honey and oregano to give a unique and delicious flavour for any hungry beach dweller. These filling snacks are available for only one dollar, so one can really have a hefty beach meal for a more than reasonable sum.

Lastly there is the “Biscoito Globo” (available at both Rio and Niteroi beaches). This corn-based snack is served by vendors in small white lunch bags with cartoon stickers on the front and comes in either a salty or non-salty flavour – a perfect light snack when accompanied by an ice-cold beer on a hot day. These snacks are also sold for approximately one dollar and are always worth the purchase.

Written by temporary Rio resident Matt Soroka

Friday, April 2, 2010


Finally… I went to an instrumental show. Even working at a radio station that only plays Brazilian music, it is not so common in Rio to go to concerts with out vocals. We Brazilians are completely used to this lyrical tradition and I am afraid that we do not give enough deserved attention to instrumental artists. I also do not understand why my interest for instrumental music has taken so long to manifest itself. The show at the Tom Jobim Theatre in Rio de Janeiro displayed the strength of this voiceless music.

The featured attraction of the night was a southern Brazilian with largely rounded cheeks and long flat hair worn down to his shoulders. Yamandú Costa (considered a virtuoso with his 7-string guitar) made a tribute to the bossa nova guitar legends that influenced his work like Tom Jobim, Baden Powell, Danilo Caymmi and Luiz Bonfá. Yamandú was able to awe his audience in the auditorium song after song, leaving them anxious for the next.

Every tune was delivered with such ease that Yamandú was almost dancing in his stool, flinging his hair side to side, kicking his legs to the beat and displaying a variety of different facial expressions (a trait of someone who was completely entranced by his own music). The rest of the band, including a piano, an accordion, drums and a mandolin, accompanied Yamandú in the same fashion. The communication between the artists was clear and their technical mastery was obvious.

The theatre sat quietly in admiration during this exhibition of skill and emotion that drove them to applaud graciously at the end of the performance, forcing two more encores from Yamandú and his band. The harmony between spectator and artist was perfect. A memorable experience from that rainy Tuesday night.

Written by Professional Carioca, Journalist & Music Lover
Nathália Perdomo

Yamandú Costa (Live Performance)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stream SLASH's new album (Click Here)