“What can you do for a Canadian band that any other label can’t?”) while the KISS personality coolly side stepped direct answers and cannily inserted plugs for his own crap.As you see below, Simmons may keep insisting that he can just “pick up the phone” and get movers and shakers on the line, but he still hasn’t explained if and how he can do that any more efficiently or effectively than what the folks at major corporation Universal could achieve on their own.I don’t fault Simmons for trying to promote Simmons Records (as he noted, he’s here for commerce, not charity), but the relentless shilling for KISS merch and the forthcoming KISS album and KISS tour were just too much. Ultimately, I came away from the verbal brawl even more convinced that this whole Simmons Records scam is merely a sneaky attempt to monopolize headlines and drum up more sales for KISS. And while I appreciate Bob Lefsetz’s valiant effort to call Simmons on his BS, it was unfortunate that the industry blowhard got too hysterical to engage in a levelheaded debate.

I’m in Vegas right now. Casinos have no windows or clocks so you can’t easily tell how long you’ve been playing. Drinks are free and smoking is allowed on the casino floor, which makes your eyes sting and your throat itch. After taking questions on a podium at Maple Leaf Gardens, they did interviews with individual “journalists.” Check out this 1964 clip, in which an unidentified Canadian journo lays on impressive doses of condescension, contempt and ignorance, along with a mind boggling Canuck inferiority complex.The reporter asks the then inevitable question about hair hygiene, as if he’s chatting with apes. He then seems personally offended that the Beatles aren’t taking the time to go sight seeing in Toronto, even though it should have been pretty clear by then that Brian Epstein wouldn’t make it a priority for them to see Casa Loma. As well, he makes an idiotic comment to Paul that Toronto’s teens are “better” than in any other North American city.

Continue reading this postAccess to information: Does Canada need to be more open with data?TTC bus driver: Do you often see your local drivers texting?The Toronto Sun on Thursday published a picture sent by a reader of a TTC bus driver driving while texting on a mobile device. (Toronto Sun)The Toronto Transit Commission is coming under fire after the emergence of a picture. Continue reading this post.

(Jo Hale/Getty Images)Hear ye, hear ye, members of the Commonwealth: your musical ambassadors for the year 2009 have been unveiled! Earlier today, the 12 talented acts that made the short list for this year’s prestigious Mercury Prize (awarded to the best album from the UK or Ireland) were announced.Superstitious insider jokes aside (according to some, walking away with the “cursed” Prize is one way for an artist to kill his or her commercial career), winning the Mercury is considered to be a great honour. Like Canada’s Polaris Music Prize (which was based on the Mercury model), contenders for the British award are chosen by a panel of so called experts, who range from seasoned music critics and tastemakers to industry insiders and actual musicians. The inclusion of working artists in the judging process may explain why the selections on this year’s Mercury short list (and those nominated in previous years) seem considerably more exciting and diverse than the ten relatively safe acts who made the cut for the Polaris short list.A handful of nominees have achieved popularity on this side of the pond; these include art pop chanteuse Bat For Lashes (who was shortlisted for the 2007 Mercury Prize and opened for Radiohead during one leg of their In Rainbows tour) and NME approved rockers Kasabian.


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