This episode was recorded at the Great Hall in Toronto, as part of the Long Winter festival on Friday March 18, 2016. I moderated a panel about the Toronto Blue Jays featuring experts such as Baseball Life Advice writer Stacey May Fowles, Toronto Star columnist and Newstalk 1010 host Desmond Cole, Birds All Day podcast host Drew Fairservice, and Long Winter co-founder and Fucked Up guitarist Josh Zucker. By all accounts this was an insightful, fun, and accessible conversation about the Jays, spring training, the giant Ted Rogers statue and the police and online threats, Jose Bautista and the batflip and Goose Gossage, decorum, star veteran contracts, Alex Anthopolous and Ross Atkins, how the Jays impact the city of Toronto, losers, Josh Donaldson a.k.a. Our Charming Dirtbag Boyfriend, Toronto’s tiered sports hierarchy, the Leafs and Raptors, Rob Ford’s Toronto, a gay pride night, the 2016 roster and season, the Kansas City Royals, Edwin Encarnación, a lightning round, and that’s the ball game.
The excellent Toronto record label Idée Fixe celebrates its fifth anniversary this week with two hometown shows. On Thursday February 25, established and gifted artists like Jennifer Castle, Bry Webb, Alex Lukashevsky, and Schmidt’s solo outlet, Fiver, play the Horseshoe Tavern. The next night, Friday February 26, newer additions to the label like Bart, Doc Dunn & Co., Mauno, and Schmidt’s other band the Highest Order will play a show together at the Garrison.
Idée Fixe is owned and operated by Jeff McMurrich and Alex Durlak. McMurrich is a seasoned and well-respected recording engineer and producer who owns and operates a studio called 6 Nassau St. His credits include albums by Constantines, Alvvays, Bruce Cockburn, Rockets Red Glare, Fucked Up, and many more. Durlak is a musician and designer who founded Standard Form, a print shop and occasional label and publisher.
Here, they along with musicians Simone Schmidt of the Highest Order and Fiver, and Christopher Shannon of Bart, a new addition to the label, discuss the history and significance of Idée Fixe and celebrate five years of high quality work and mutual R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Related playlist: “Lonely Weekends” The Highest Order | “The Pie” Alex Lukashevsky | “The Wall” Bart | “Latch Key Kid” I Can Put My Arm Back On You Can’t | “Joy Joy” Deloro | “Too Beautiful to Work” The Luyas | “Working for the Man” Jennifer Castle | “Ex-Punks” Bry Webb | “In Your House” Bart | “Untitled” Doc Dunn & Co. | “The Crying Game” The Highest Order | “Times of Gold” Bart | “Fountain of Youth” Alex Lukashevsky
Related links: ideefixerecords.com vishkhanna.com
Owen Pallett is a tremendously gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer who currently lives in Montreal. Pallett was initially acclaimed for his string arrangements for artists like Jim Guthrie, Arcade Fire, Fucked Up, and many others and, particularly when he lived there, he was viewed as a true leader and champion of Toronto’s underground arts community. Since releasing his own music, Pallett’s profile has risen considerably. He won the inaugural Polaris Music Prize and has been nominated for each of his subsequent solo records; he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work scoring the film Her; and his fourth and latest album, In Conflict, has appeared on many best of 2014 critics’ lists. He is a sharp, clever, outspoken young man and he’s playing the Hillside Inside festival on Saturday Feb. 7 at 3 PM with Jennifer Castle. Here, Owen and I discuss living in Montreal, the year that was, musicians managing this particular age of media consumption, seeing the content of private Facebook posts go viral, playing with Arcade Fire during the backlash about their latest record, maybe people don’t like aging rock and pop bands, provocative extracurricular activities don’t necessarily lead to bigger box office sales, turning down a CBC Radio hosting gig, having sex with men, Pitchfork, Slim Twig is a wise person, Win knows best, some people should quit, why we make things, the trajectory of creative lives, people keep talking to me about Blink 182, why Michael Gira might have reformed Swans or Kathleen Edwards might have opened up a coffee shop, playing Hillside during a torrential rain storm that shortened the set, befriending Buffy Sainte-Marie, fortunate Owen, the plan to make a new, dense acoustic record that sounds electronic, Jennifer Castle’s “Sparta,” and that was it.
Related links: owenpalletteternal.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com
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