Sound Check
  • The Grammy Awards are about listening to some great tunes that inspire us to celebrate the past year in music. On music’s biggest night, we come together for the live event and we get to see our favourite artists caught in interesting moments, some of which can be (as Pharrell called it) “super awkward.”

    However, there were a few fleeting instances throughout last night’s awards show that were the opposite of awkward and spoke to us just as loudly as the amazing performances by AC/DC, Mary J. Blige, Annie Lennox and Ed Sheeran.

    While accepting an award, introducing a performance or simply taking us to commercial break, musicians were everywhere during the Grammys and giving us some of the most powerful words of advice and encouragement we’ve heard this year.

    1. Best New Artist losers needn’t worry, T. Swift’s advice is to “Shake it Off”

    Lester Cohen/WireImageLester Cohen/WireImage
    Taylor Swift has seven Grammy Awards, but noted that she too was passed over in the Best New Artist category in 2008. With her own brand of Swift sass,

    Read More »from Grammy Awards 2015: Advice from music’s leaders
  • Tune into Yahoo Live on Feb. 1 at 12:40 a.m. ET to catch Silverstein at the House of Blues in San Diego.

    Burlington, Ont. isn’t known for very much.

    The sleepy southern Ontario municipality lies just east of Hamilton on Lake Ontario. It’s not as monotonous, bling-filled and/or soul-crushing as Oakville (where this writer is from), but it’s not nearly as blue collar as its neighbour to the west, either. 

    For a long time, it was perhaps best known as painter Robert Bateman’s hometown. Today its best known musical output is still probably Finger Eleven, though in the early ’00s, it was still new wave band Spoons. 

    Nothing much happened in Burlington, but nothing really needed to. It was a comfortable in that it was situated just far enough away from Toronto to feel separated from the hectic 9-to-5 workday. It’s still seen as a nice place to raise your kids. With a population of around 175,000, it’s considered a city - but let’s be honest… it’s not really one. You’d be forgiven for

    Read More »from Burly Calling: How suburban southern Ontario helped define screamo
  • Four months after Meghan Trainor's debut single, “All About That Bass,” reached #1 on Billboard's Hot 100, her debut album, Title, enters The Billboard 200 album chart at #1. Trainor is the first artist in nearly five years to reach #1 with both his/her first single and his/her first album. Just two other artists have achieved this feat so far in the 2010s. Ke$ha scored in January 2010 with “TiK ToK” (her first single as a lead artist) and Animal. B.o.B followed suit in May 2010 with “Nothin’ on You” (featuring Bruno Mars) and B.o.B Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray.

    Title moved 238K “equivalent units” this week (which includes 195K in actual album sales). (The rest of the tally reflects digital track sales and streaming activity.) That 195K sales tally is the highest first-week sales tally for a debut album since 5 Seconds of Summer's first full-length album opened in July with 259K. It's the highest for a debut album by a female artist since Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday bowed in

    Read More »from Meghan Trainor's Debut Album Arrives at #1
  • Lights must be exhausted, but it’s impossible to tell because she looks so energetic.

    Not only is she in the middle of a cross-Canada tour promoting her third studio album Little Machines, but she’s brought her daughter on the road with her as well. Rocket Wild Bokan was born Feb. 15 and she’s in the middle of her first fever, the singer says.

    "It’s an added layer of duties and responsibilities, but it takes away from a lot of the arbitrary pressures that I’ve felt before," she says. "I just enjoy every moment more, and that’s the beauty of being a mom."

    So much has changed in Lights’s life this year. The writing and recording of Little Machines came after what she’s called a “dry spell” in other interviews. She was having trouble writing and was feeling plenty of what she’s called imagined pressure from all sorts of sources when it came to creating the record.

    "I just wanted to make something so great and much better than anything I’ve ever done," she says. "You want to do that every

    Read More »from How 2014 taught Lights all about living in the moment
  • Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMediaPhoto by Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
    It’s a truism that’s been demonstrated twice this year: Where and how you make an album affects its overall sound.

    This is the main thesis behind “Sonic Highways,” the Foo Fighters’ new HBO documentary series about recording their album of the same name. For that album, Dave Grohl and company deliberately recorded each song in a different city to tell a particular musical story.

    But while that project was part of a purposeful experiment, Nickelback’s latest No Fixed Address was created in a much more organic way. Like Sonic Highways, it was cut in multiple locations, but it wasn’t always laid down in studios as was the case with the Foos’ LP. Singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair’s eighth studio release was cut in recording facilities in Hawaii, Vancouver and Los Angeles, but it was also partly recorded on the road in Europe.

    "It ended up being a great way to do an album," Peake says. "We’ve always locked ourselves in a

    Read More »from Nickelback think outside the rock box on 'No Fixed Address'
  • What song comes to mind when you think of hockey? For many it’s a quintessential Canadian song like The Hip’s “50 Mission Cap” or Stompin’ Tom’s “The Hockey Song,” but they’re not the only ones that get us pumped up. In honour of the first Hockey Night in Canada of the 2014-2015 NHL season we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite songs that remind us of the best game you can name.

    Rheostatics – “The Ballad of Wendel Clark”


    Canadian indie band Rheostatics were a Canadian had their first success with this 1987 ode to Leafs star Wendel Clark. As Yahoo Canada’s sports editor Ian Denomme puts it: “Like most hockey songs it’s also a song about Canadiana. Saturday nights, ‘Hockey Night in Canada,’ the rural experience, God Save the Queen, all the stereotypes are there. And if you’re a Maple Leafs fan of a certain age, Wendel is a big part of the last great Leafs memories – which is really sad.

    Elton John – “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)”
    OK, so Elton John wasn’t talking about the

    Read More »from The top 10 hockey songs of all-time
  • I know there are those who are already offended by this article’s very headline. I can hear the ranting now: “How can an artist like Drake be deserving of such a prize? He’s a millionaire. He doesn’t need the money!’

    As a former juror, I’ve heard this argument over and over — and I’m tired of it.

    Photo by Scott Legato/Getty ImagesPhoto by Scott Legato/Getty Images
    Drake’s record is unquestionably the best on the shortlist. Sure, there are albums on it that are more sonically adventurous, but that doesn’t always translate into a solid record.

    A truly great album isn’t just a pastiche of sounds thrown together around a smattering of hit singles. The tracks should transition seamlessly. It should have absolutely no filler, the track list should make sense, and if you were to remove one song, the record would suffer because it would no longer be a cohesive whole. An album should say something. You should be able to put it on and it shouldn’t lose you halfway through. Not only that, it should be worthy of your stereo’s repeat button.

    Of all the albums on

    Read More »from It's not a bursary; it's an award: Why Drake deserves the Polaris Music Prize
  • Slash and Myles Kennedy perform at Prudential Center on September 3, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Zachary Mazur/WireImage)Slash and Myles Kennedy perform at Prudential Center on September 3, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Zachary Mazur/WireImage)
    Both Slash and Weird Al Yankovic were making splashes in the music wave pool in the ‘80s and ‘90s in their respective genres. Slash as the lead guitarist for one of the biggest rock bands of the period (Guns N’ Roses) and Yankovic parodying timely artists like Michael Jackson and Coolio. 

    However, even though the two never crossed paths on one of Yankovic’s hilarious tunes, the legendary guitarist has revealed to Yahoo Canada Music which track he thinks would be cool for the solo artist to take on now that he is back in action.

    “I’ve actually met him a couple of times [and] he’s a really cool guy,” Slash said. “I like him a lot and I think he’s great. I might be going out on a limb but I have a feeling that he attempted to cover a Guns N’ Roses song and it didn’t happen but I’m not totally sure. It’s sort of a vague memory. If he could do ‘Paradise City,’ that would be awesome.”

    On Sept. 16, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators (consisting of Todd Kerns on bass and Brent

    Read More »from Slash talks Weird Al Yankovic and his new album with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators
  • Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators will debut their latest record “World On Fire” on Sept. 16. In honour, Yahoo Canada Music asked the rock star a few burning questions.

    Myles Kennedy and Slash perform at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on July 10, 2014 in Wantagh, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)Myles Kennedy and Slash perform at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on July 10, 2014 in Wantagh, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    Check them out below and let us know in the comments what you think of his answers.

    1. Campfire or indoor fireplace?

    Slash says: I’d have to go with campfire.

    2. The Flaming Lips or Earth Wind and Fire?

    Slash says: Earth Wind and Fire.

    3. Katy Perry’s “Firework” or Drake featuring Alicia Keys “Fireworks”?

    Slash says: Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

    4. Lighting incense or lighting scented candles?

    Slash says: That’s a good one. I think I’d go with the scented candles.

    5. Flames painted on a guitar or flames painted on a car or flames painted on a motorcycle?

    Slash says: Motorcycle.

    6. AFI or Arcade Fire?

    Slash says: Arcade Fire.

    7. Pyrotechnics and an arena show or candles and a small venue show?

    Slash says: They are so different. I guess I’d go with the candles but it’s such a drastic difference.

    8. “Fire up

    Read More »from Slash answers our rapid fire questions for his 'World On Fire' album release
  • On Friday, Aug. 15, at 6:20 p.m. PT/9:20 p.m. ET, Yahoo Live will livestream Linkin Park's concert from the Susquehana Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey. Tune in HERE to watch!

    REMIND ME

    Over the past 12 years, the guys in Linkin Park have collaborated with Staind singer Aaron Lewis, rappers Pharoahe Monch and Black Thought, DJs the Alchemist and KutMasta Kurt, and on a remix album with Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis. In 2004, they released a mash-up EP with Jay Z, Collision Course, which debuted at number one on the Billboard album chart and quickly went platinum. But when it came to their own albums, Linkin Park have always done everything themselves  until now.

    The band’s sixth record, The Hunting Party, features collaborations with numerous past and present music luminaries, including rapper Rakim on the song "Guilty All the Same." A lyric video for the track, which was posted on March 7, has already accrued nearly 6 million views on YouTube.

    "The bridge on that song was always set

    Read More »from Linkin Park and Rakim Add Fresh Blood to ‘The Hunting Party’

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