Tag Archives: Celine Dion

Ep. #181: Andrea Warner

Andrea Warner is a talented and well-respected music writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her new book is called We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the ’90s and Changed Canadian Music, which explores the unprecedented rise of Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Alanis Morrissette, and Sarah McLachlan, as some of the best-selling artists of all time. To celebrate the release, Eternal Cavalier Press is launching We Oughta Know with two special events: a Toronto launch on April 22 at the Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave.) hosted by Lana Gay and featuring a musical performance by Hannah Georgas; and a Vancouver launch on April 25 at The Lido (518 E. Broadway) hosted by Lisa Christiansen and featuring musical performances by Louise Burns and Kathryn Calder. Here, Andrea and I discuss being in Toronto, a mugging, how Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, and Sarah McLachlan have sold more albums in Canada than the Beatles, perceiving these women as a teenaged girl, confronting some myths about these artists and their work, Celine Dion and sexless romance, Celine has always seemed like a 50 year-old woman in English, Celine is a manipulator of emotions, reconsidering Shania Twain and the slut-shaming she endured, Robert “Mutt” Lange’s actual contributions to Shania’s work, ageism and sexism, revisiting and eviscerating critical assessments of these women at the time, Alanis Morissette and labelling someone an “angry woman,” people are complex, defending the song “Ironic” from its nit-picking critics, word crimes, Sarah McLachlan’s impact on Andrea’s life when her father passed away, the book takes a personal turn, revisiting the 1990s and our teenaged selves, talking and not talking about our differences, Carl Wilson’s book about Celine Dion, Let’s Talk About Love, “poptimism” and the decline of instinctual criticism, this book is not a whole-hearted endorsement of these four women, the end of orthodoxy, thinking about our traditional modes of categorization, whether or not these four women have fallen off the radar, patriotism, personal taste and societal prejudice, experiencing sexism in the workplace, some people need to die, the state of CBC Music, “the” Andrea Warner, the Kathryn Calder song “Take a Little Time,” and then we were out of time.        

Related links: theandreawarner.com eternalcavalierpress.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #136: Absolutely Free

Absolutely Free is a powerful and ambitious three-piece band from Toronto, Ontario. For years, Matt King, Moshe Rozenberg, and Mike Claxton used to play together in a fantastic post-punk outfit called DD/MM/YYYY that put on one of the best live shows in the world. After they broke up, King, Rozenberg, and Claxton eventually reconvened to create music that was a little less frenetic and possibly more dynamic; they seemed keen to explore psychedelic, textured pop and Krautrock as touchstones for something unprecedented. The latest manifestation of their work is their first full-length, self-titled album, which is out October 14 via Arts & Crafts, and on Saturday October 11, they’ll perform the record with a special hologram/laser light show at the Long Winter Bloor Hot Docs Theatre Take Over Event in Toronto. Here, Matt and Moshe talk about throwing vegetables into the fire, DD/MM/YYYY and 11/11/11, absolute freedom, guitars and synthesizers, you can stop the rock, RHCP with an emo twist, misinterpretations and the right comparisons, that time I emailed Moshe during a show, a dysfunctional band can be like a bad tooth, Absolutely Free keeps getting smaller and more impossible, sister act, the rough side of Richmond Hill, southern Ontario hardcore punk, Dan Deacon in Toronto, Mike Claxton was in a band called Plant the Bomb, MuchEast and the Wedge VHS collections, loving the Super Friendz, Jack Grunsky, Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, the Offspring, Green Day, Nirvana, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, adult excitement for music, mixing textured vocals kinda low, Steve Clarkson, mistakes, hazy trends, my SCTV Complete Series box set, the way in which Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up produced and contributed to the new record, life and time and light, existentialism and transcendence, climbing the ladder, external considerations and receptions, scoring the film Two Cares Due None, releasing a bunch of unreleased material, holographic versions of Absolutely Free are playing Long Winter this Saturday while the actual band is in Hamilton, Toronto Laser Services, the song “Earth II,” and then we’re absolutely free.

Related links: absolutelyfree.ca torontolongwinter.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #85: Carl Wilson + Sean Michaels

Carl Wilson and Sean Michaels are two of Canada’s most esteemed music writers. Based in Toronto, Carl Wilson is the music critic at Slate and has contributed to the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, and many other publications. His 2007 book Let’s Talk About Love has just been published in a new and expanded edition and continues the provocative conversation Wilson initiated about cultural consumption, taste, and why some things are considered cool and some things aren’t. Things like Celine Dion albums for instance. Sean Michaels lives in Montreal, is an award-winning writer and founder of the music blog Said the Gramophone, and he has written for the Guardian and McSweeney’s among others. Random House has just published his first novel; it’s called Us Conductors and it’s a touching, compelling, distorted memoir of Leon Termen, the brilliant scientist but rather heartbroken human who is best known for inventing the mysterious musical instrument known as the theremin. On Tuesday April 8, Wilson and Michaels engage in a tandem book launch at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto, featuring many special guests. Here, Carl and Sean and I discuss our Skype date, why they’re launching their books together, the ways in which music galvanizes and separates us as well, sound as an invisible, intangible force, Sean’s interest in the theremin as both a musical and literary device, investigative music writing, asking questions about loneliness and joy, how Carl’s work resonates with Sean and vice versa and how their station as writers impacts their approach to music journalism, the current state of music journalism as a “post-apocalyptic wasteland,” breaking news versus breaking criticism, the podcast as the last vestige of long-form conversation, whether popularity or the lack thereof should impact cultural production, why the field of music writing is thinning out, how fulfilling our passions is what life is for, why Let’s Talk About Love has been republished in this expanded edition with fresh essays and analysis, how Carl’s book impacted Sean as a music fan, writer, and critic, Sean’s feelings about Us Conductors and its characters now that he’s left them behind so to speak, how the story reflects his own life, the parallels between Lev Terman and Celine Dion, why Sean’s book resonates with Carl, the structure of the launch party in Toronto, which includes performances by Snowblink, thereminist Jeff Bird, RaP BattLez battle by Daniel Beirne (a Thereminist) vs Roger Bainbridge (a Celine Dion fan), DJ Sandro Perri, and host Liisa Ladouceur, what’s next for Carl and Sean, which includes more writing and book tours, possibly a novel about me, and that’s pretty much it.

Related links: bloomsbury.com saidthegramophone.com vishkhanna.com

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