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7 Albums Every Man Should Own On Vinyl

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We generally try to steer clear of alarmism. The Internet has enough of that. But we’re going to make an exception right now and drop some Infowars-level doomsaying on you: the CD is dying a horrible death. For the last two years, revenue from music streaming services has surpassed sales of CDs. And the trend doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. It’s time to retire the 5-disc boombox, man.

Now don’t worry; if you still long for a tangible representation of your music, it’s all good. In 2015, vinyl sales surged by 30 per cent, marking the tenth consecutive year LP sales have grown considerably. It would serve you well to hop aboard the phonographic bandwagon (if you haven’t already, that is). Vinyl is warmer, more soothing, and easier on the ears than the frigid ones and zeroes in your iTunes playlist. It’s the way music should be heard.

Of course, to fully appreciate the advantages of analogue, you want to make sure it’s the right music. Relax; if you really want to re-buy your collection of Dave Matthews Band albums on vinyl, we won’t judge you (too hard). But just as there are certain books every man must read in order to call himself a grown-up, there are certain records you must own in order to call yourself a respectable human being — or, you know, a music lover. These are records that stand the test of time — that take you on an immersive aural journey of the highest order. They’re the vinyls you will pass down to your children (because they sure as hell want nothing to do with your CD wallet).

 

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (1970)

Miles at his most visceral. Bitches Brew captured the anguish of living in America just as the Civil Rights movement was falling apart and the war in Vietnam was raging. All that calamity was channeled into this double-album full of spur-of-the-moment thrills, brooding darkness, and rhythmic innovation: two bassists, three drummers, three electric piano players, and a percussionist, all playing at the same time. This album didn’t just invent jazz-rock; it discovered a new way to think about what music could be.

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Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

Pretty much the greatest rock album ever made, by the greatest rock band to ever rock. It’s Zeppelin at their heaviest, headiest, and horniest. A swaggering gang of alpha musicians in full flow. No other album has a greater opening one-two punch than “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll.” No other drumbeat is more jaw-slackening in hi-fi than “When the Leevee Breaks.” Over fourty years later, high school kids still crank this thing while hotboxing their parents’ cars. Fourty years from now, they’ll be doing the exact same thing in their parents’ self-driving airspeeders.

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A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory (1991)

The smoothest union of hip-hop and jazz ever pressed to record. Not no Parkay, not no margarine. Strictly butter, baby. When Low End Theory was released, it pushed the sonic envelope of the entire rap game. Today, it’s a Classic Rap staple. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg trade verses like Lennon and McCartney, complimenting each other better than cookies and milk. Plenty of rappers have tried to ape this sound; none have made it sound this easy.

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Radiohead – Kid A (2000)

How to disappear completely? Start a record collection without this in it. You’ll never be invited to another cool party again.

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The Beatles – Revolver (1966)

You know what? Fuck Sgt. Pepper’s. Revolver is the Beatles’ true crowning achievement. It did everything Sgt. Pepper’s did — rampant leaps in imagination, studio wizardry, a dismantling of the rock idiom — only with less marketing and fancy packaging.  And they did it with less pretension and in less time: sessions for this album spanned two-and-a-half-months, compared to the five months it took to record Sgt. Pepper’s. After George Martin created his own label, the group was given the freedom to create a record without anxious record execs breathing down their necks. This was our introduction to the Beatles’ ids — when they finally turned off their minds, relaxed, and floated downstream.

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Lovage – Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By (2001)

C’mon, you need at least one baby-making record in your collection. Dan “The Automator” Nakamura’s trip-hop experiment with a merry band of sexperts (Kid Koala, Damon Albarn, Prince Paul, Mike Patton, Jennifer Charles) is as sultry as it is sardonic. The last part is key — you don’t want to lay the mack on her too seriously. That’s just creepy!

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The Band – Music From Big Pink (1968)

It’s your duty, as a Canadian, to own this record. Released at the height of the psychedelic movement in the late ’60s, big Pink turned the rock world on its axis, opting for something simpler and earthier. Screw wah pedals and tape loops — these guys were just fine with their fiddles and mandolins. The Band invented alt-country, 30 years before it became cool. Wilco, Ryan Adams, Drive-By Truckers — Big Pink is the fountainhead, and we’re still drinking deep.

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Written by: Alex Nino Gheciu

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Yamaha Canada Music x #TGE2016

Rock Band On Garage

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. – Bob Marley

On November 10-12 at The Gentlemen’s, the Yamaha Canada Music Garage Band Experience will WOW you. A fully-built garage with a massive selection of instruments to try out, from Yamaha Canada Music. This is the jam space of your dreams, because you can get hands on and try everything. Grab a guitar (like the new Revstar) and melt some faces with a solo. Grab those drum sticks and do that part from Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight’. Anything is possible! On that note (see what we did there) may we introduce to you…

#RandomActsOfMusic

Yamaha Music Canada are doing something very special that you need to know; It’s an initiative called #RandomActsOfMusic and it’s designed to celebrate all forms of music.

Now, we’re not talking about the Kanye West’s or Adele’s of the world, were talking about our neighbours, our friends and the people in our communities that share their passion for music with everyone around them. What’s great, is that Yamaha Music Canada supports these people and anyone interested in spreading music to the four corners of the globe by sharing their stories and videos on their website: www.RandomActsOfMusic.ca.

We encourage all of you to visit the #RandomActsOfMusic website and take some time to watch some of the videos Yamaha Canada has shared. These videos will show you the number of people who are spreading positivity through their passion. Remember we could all make an effort to #BeBetter and maybe music is the answer to that.

About #TGE2016:

The Gentlemen’s Expo is the premium event for emerging and established men’s lifestyle products, integrated consumer experiences and on-stage programming that will entertain and educate men.  It all happens November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building. Oh, and tickets are on sale right now. (AND YOU CAN SAVE $5 OFF GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS BY USING PROMO CODE: FIVEOFF) 

Come to #TGE2016 if you are interested in: style, tech, music, sports, cars, alcohol, grooming, sex, food, entrepreneurship, whiskey, beer, spirits, gaming, DIY, wellness, health and more.  Come to#TGE2016 if you want to see great speakers and compelling ATTRACTIONS. Come to #TGE2016 if you want to #BeBetter.

BUY TICKETS for Thursday, November 10th – 4pm to 11pm

BUY TICKETS for Friday, November 11th – 4pm to 11pm

BUY TICKETS for Saturday, November 12th – Noon to 11pm

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Contest: Get The Band Back Together!

Rock Band On Garage

Super stoked to share this contest with you. ENTER HERE or click the image below for your chance to win one of two Yamaha Revstar Guitar, Amp and hard case combos. If there was ever a time to get the band back together, amiright? In partnership with Yamaha Canada Music, each prize pack contains: 1 Yamaha Revstar Guitar RS420 BST, and 1 Yamaha Amplifier THR10, and 1 Yamaha Hard Guitar Case EGC in Black.

yamaha-offerpop-810Yamaha Canada Music are going to blow people away this year at The Gentlemen’s Expo. Picture a mecca for garage bands complete with jam space, a bar and way more. I’ve said too much! Trust me, they are gunna rock. #RandomActsOfMusic has been a super cool theme that Yamaha Canada Music has been diving into recently. Check it out, but maybe grab a tissue first… someone may decide to chop onions during one of the videos:

Here’s a Yamaha made review of the Revstar RS420, just like the one of the ones we are giving away:

About #TGE2016:

The Gentlemen’s Expo is the premium event for emerging and established men’s lifestyle products, integrated consumer experiences and on-stage programming that will entertain and educate men.  It all happens November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building. Oh, and tickets are on sale right now. (AND YOU CAN SAVE $5 OFF GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS BY USING PROMO CODE: FIVEOFF) 

Come to #TGE2016 if you are interested in: style, tech, music, sports, cars, alcohol, grooming, sex, food, entrepreneurship, whiskey, beer, spirits, gaming, DIY, wellness, health and more.  Come to#TGE2016 if you want to see great speakers and compelling ATTRACTIONS. Come to #TGE2016 if you want to #BeBetter.

BUY TICKETS for Thursday, November 10th – 4pm to 11pm

BUY TICKETS for Friday, November 11th – 4pm to 11pm

BUY TICKETS for Saturday, November 12th – Noon to 11pm

read more

How to Display Art In Your Home

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To hang art in your home all you need is a hammer and a nail, right? Well it would be wonderful if it were that easy. But as most men know, displaying art in your home takes a little more finesse than simply pounding a nail with a hammer. The following tips, tools, and ideas will help you take your home to the next level and give it the aesthetic you’re looking for.

Heirlooms and Knick Knacks

Display meaningful heirlooms or personal knick knacks on your bookshelves or on tabletops. Incorporate a few important pieces that document your history into your home, but keep it uncluttered. Too many accessories distracts the eye and your piece will lose the focus it deserves.

Collections

Do you have a fun or interesting collection? Gather it all in one location and put them on display. For example, you might frame and hang your baseball cards. Putting all of your collection in one place makes more of an impact than spreading pieces out.

Travel

What items have you gathered from your travels that can be put on display? We’re talking about items that bring back fond memories. Get creative and display them in your home. For example, you might display found gear from a rock climbing trip on your sofa table. Likewise, you can integrate your hobbies into your decor. Hang a bicycle on your family room wall.

Framing Artwork

Invest time and money into a frame and mat that flatters your artwork. Select a mat and frame that brings in other colors and elements from the room it will be hung in. However, avoid matching colors too much, the art can disappear into the background.

A Rule of Thumb

The basic rule of thumb is to hang artwork slightly above eye level. However, if you’re particularly tall or short this rule doesn’t work too well. Most museums position artwork so that it is 60 inches off the floor.

Create Impact

Oversized artwork can add impact to a room. Smaller pieces can appear larger when they’re positioned in large dramatic mats and large frames. You can also group a collection of artwork together to create the illusion of size.

Finally, for large pieces of art and objects that you’ll suspend from the wall, invest in a picture hanging kit. They come with a variety of hook and nail sizes, along with picture wire to suspend heavier pieces with confidence.

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