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Gentlemen Of Music

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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#TGE2016 Special Guest: Ian Thornley of Big Wreck

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The Gentlemen’s Expo is proud to announce a series of special guests to help educate and entertain audiences at #TGE2016. Our GENTLEMEN OF MUSIC SERIES will feature discussions with compelling artists, singers, and songwriters.

  • WHO: Ian Thornley of Big Wreck
  • WHAT: In conversation with Ian Thornley. Hosted by Jeff Woods
  • WHEN:
    • Thursday, Nov 10th at 9:15pm
    • Friday, Nov 11th at 6:50pm
    • Saturday, Nov 12th at 8:00pm

Buy Tickets Now!

Use code FIVEOFF to save $5 off General Admission tickets. #BEBETTER at The Gentlemen’s Expo. November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.


About Ian Thornley:

What does it mean to be a rock and roll band in 2017? When you have a bunch of modern rock radio staples to your credit, earned platinum sales status, and shared stages with music icons, where do you go next? The answer is simple: To be an artist these days, one needs to embrace everything, and have the skill and savvy to put it all together with a clear vision of an end result.

“Musically, I’m still searching for the stuff that turns me on and takes me somewhere,” he says. “You want to be brought to tears or have the hair on your neck stand up, and if the search for that takes you to new territory, then so be it.”

For the Toronto-born Thornley, that search began in his youth when his classic rock heroes inspired him picked up the guitar. The original Big Wreck line-up, including Brian Doherty, was formed in the early 1990s while all members were attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a few years of honing their sound, the band was signed to Atlantic Records, which released their instantly embraced debut album In Loving Memory Of… in 1997. It proved to be a major homecoming for Thornley, as singles “The Oaf,” “That Song” and “Blown Wide Open” were all Top 10 hits in Canada, boosted by the band’s intense live shows.

Big Wreck chose to go their separate ways following the 2001 follow-up album The Pleasure And The Greed, with Thornley quickly forming a new group bearing his surname, which over time brought Dave McMillan and Paulo Neta into the fold. Although Thornley the band released two commercially successful albums over a nine-year span, Thornley the musician eventually grew disenchanted with the group’s approach, and a rekindling of his friendship with Doherty sparked the notion of a re-born Big Wreck.

It proved to be an astute decision on all fronts, as the “comeback” album Albatross turned in a Top 5 first-week showing on the Canadian Albums Chart, the highest debut of any previous Big Wreck or Thornley release. It would go on to earn a 2013 JUNO nomination for Rock Album of the Year and spawn three Top 10 Canadian Rock Radio singles.

The fresh start invariably led to Thornley’s creative renaissance, with other facets of his life and career eventually following suit. What he’s also come to terms with is allowing Big Wreck to be whatever it wants to be, whether that’s a riff-spewing, multi-guitar beast or a vehicle for sonic boundary pushing. There are no longer any limits.

As Thornley explains, “It’s like when you run into someone on vacation and they ask what you do. When I say I’m a musician, they’ll ask what kind of music I play, and I’ll always just say rock and roll. But within that are so many flavours you can’t even begin to describe.”

Follow Ian Thornley on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and his Website.

About Jeff Woods:

jeff-woods-head-shot-matt-barnes-bw-cropThe most talked about Jeff Woods attribute is his voice. It has been heard on radio and television for decades. Jeff’s life and career has been about creating content and context around music and the promotion of bands and recording artists. Jeff has also programmed radio stations and websites including Q107 Toronto, The FOX and Rock 101 Vancouver, in addition to being on the team that launched the original brand known as The Bear (Edmonton). Canada’s leading vintage rock authority, Woods has been at the centre of conversation and context around music for 30+ years. Jeff has hosted radio programs and series, since 1983.  He was the creator and host of The Legends of Classic Rock, heard internationally over 14 seasons, by a million weekly listeners across Canada and around the world. His many one-on-one interviews include artists like The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Ozzy Osbourne, The Band, Pearl Jam, Santana & David Bowie.

Follow Jeff Woods on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and his Website.

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#TGE2016 Thursday Schedule

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SHOW SCHEDULEEVENTLOCATION
4:00PMDOORS OPEN
6:00PMPATRICK MCMURRAY / CEILI COTTAGEOn The Line Culinary Experience
7:20PMGENTLEMEN OF MUSIC:
IN CONVERSATION WITH JIM CUDDY
Main Stage
7:00PMTONIA WILSON / SAVOUR FLAVOURSOn The Line Culinary Experience
8:00PMAFRIM PRISTINE / CHEESE BOUTIQUEOn The Line Culinary Experience
8:00PMGENTLEMEN OF MUSIC:
IN CONVERSATION WITH THE SHEEPDOGS
Main Stage
8:50PMTHE GENTLEMEN'S EXPO FASHION SHOW Main Stage
9:00PMALBERT PONZO / LE SELECT BISTROOn The Line Culinary Experience
9:00PMBeer 101 with MICHELLE THAM
(Head of Education - Labatt)
Main Stage
9:45PMGENTLEMEN OF MUSIC:
IN CONVERSATION WITH IAN THORNLEY
Main Stage
10:30PMLast Call
11:00PMDoors Close
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#TGE2016 Special Guests: Ewan Currie and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs

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The Gentlemen’s Expo is proud to announce a series of special guests to help educate and entertain audiences at #TGE2016. Our GENTLEMEN OF MUSIC SERIES will feature discussions with compelling artists, singers, and songwriters.

  • WHO: Ewan Currie and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs
  • WHAT: In Conversation with Ewan Currie and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs
  • WHEN: THURSDAY, NOV. 10th
    • 7:55pm-8:40pm –In Conversation with Ewan Currie and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs (includes audience Q&A)

Buy Tickets Now!

Use code FIVEOFF to save $5 off General Admission tickets. #BEBETTER at The Gentlemen’s Expo. November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

About The Sheepdogs:

Trends come and go, styles fall in and out of fashion, but The Sheepdogs remain steadfast in their commitment to rock n’ roll excellence. Since their inception, the band has always sought to play the kind of music they themselves love: “Pure, simple, good-time music,” as singer/guitarist Ewan Currie puts it. It’s no surprise, then, that the band’s fifth LP, Future Nostalgia, is firmly rooted in the rock tradition that listeners have come to expect from the boys.

The idea was simple: find a nice, quiet, secluded place and make a record packed with all the hot guitar licks and sing-along choruses they could muster. So the band holed up in a rented house in the remote, idyllic setting of Stony Lake, Ontario, and set about creating a studio where they could work all hours of the day. “We wanted to cut out all the noise and get back to a place where we could just fully immerse ourselves in music,” says Currie, who took on production duties for the album. “We worked hard, but we also made sure to keep it loose and have ourselves a good time.”

Future Nostalgia is the middle ground between the JUNO-winning, platinum-certified Learn & Burn, which spawned the rock radio staple “I Don’t Know,” and its equally successful follow-up, 2012’s The Sheepdogs, featuring the instantly-recognizable, Gold-certified singles “Feeling Good” and “The Way It Is.”

The former was recorded by Currie and the band in their hometown of Saskatoon before they were propelled to fame as the first unsigned band to grace the cover of Rolling Stone, pressure free and at their own pace. Its follow-up, however, recorded in Nashville with producer and Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, was a much more formal and rigid studio experience. This time, the band aimed to combine the successes and lessons learned from these opposite ends of the recording spectrum.

Future Nostalgia builds upon The Sheepdogs’ foundation of feel-good vocal harmonizing and nasty guitar jamming. “Our musical journey has been about trying to find how we sound our best,” states Currie, and the album represents the pinnacle of their progresheepdogs5ss thus far. That’s made immediately clear from the opening riff of “Downtown,” an undeniable straight-up rocker that sparkles with the warmth of summer. Down at the other end of the street is “Bad Lieutenant,” which walks a dark and sexy strut courtesy of bassist Ryan Gullen and drummer Sam Corbett, who also tear up the furious “I Really Wanna Be Your Man.”

Newcomers Rusty Matyas and Ewan’s brother Shamus Currie, on guitar and keys respectively, bring a new spirit to the wistful back porch vibes of “Same Old Feeling” or the brooding melancholy of “Jim Gordon.” Elsewhere, the ominous groove of “Help Us All” calls to mind the bleak violence of Blood Meridian as sung by Sly & the Family Stone, punctuated by a devastating trombone solo from Shamus.

Now, The Sheepdogs are eager to embark on the next leg of their journey, which will involve many miles logged and stages played. “I’m excited for people to hear the album, because it’s a

labour of love,” Currie says proudly. “Now, it’s just about getting it out there and getting people into it.”

From their cramped Saskatchewan jam space to gold and platinum records and shows with rock icons, The Sheepdogs haven’t strayed from their goal of sharing pure, passionate rock n’ roll with anyone who’ll listen – and Future Nostalgia is packed with it.

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#TGE2016 Special Guest: Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo

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The Gentlemen’s Expo is proud to announce a series of special guests to help educate and entertain audiences at #TGE2016. Our GENTLEMEN OF MUSIC SERIES will feature discussions with compelling artists, singers, and songwriters.

  • WHO: Canadian Music Icon Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo
  • WHAT: In Conversation with Jim Cuddy
  • WHEN: THURSDAY, NOV. 10th
    • 6:30pm-7:15pm – In Conversation with Jim Cuddy (includes audience Q&A)

Buy Tickets Now!

Use code FIVEOFF to save $5 off General Admission tickets. #BEBETTER at The Gentlemen’s Expo. November 10-12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

About Jim Cuddy:

With sales of more than four million records and eleven JUNO Awards, Blue Rodeo has established itself as one of Canada’s leading contemporary rock bands. Founded in 1984 by lead singers, guitarists and songwriters Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, the band’s success and longevity are widely attributed to their love of touring, their active connection with their fans, and their unwavering commitment to pushing their creative limits. Blending country, blues, folk and rock influences, Blue Rodeo deliver a consistently recognizable, enpollockheather_jimcuddy_0986_2gaging sound while reinventing themselves with every new album and project.

The band played their first show in 1985 at The Rivoli in Toronto and quickly developed a loyal following on the Toronto music circuit. Their debut album Outskirts (1987), featuring the hit single “Try,” went double platinum and launched a three-decade-long career of headlining almost every club, theatre and arena in the country. Blue Rodeo continue to tour extensively across Canada and the United States, and perform regularly at benefit concerts and charity events in support of causes ranging from school music programs to community health initiatives and disaster relief.

To date, Blue Rodeo has released thirteen full-length studio albums, three live recordings, one greatest hits package, and five DVDs. In 1998, Jim released the first of three solo albums, All in Time, that went on to sell Gold and garner him the Best Male Vocalist JUNO Award. His next album, 2006’s The Light That Guides You Home, won the Juno for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. In 2011 Jim released Skyscraper Soul, his 3rd solo album, to critical acclaim.  His voice, always a voluptuous instrument, has never sounded better and Cuddy proves once again that his songwriting ranks with the best Canada has to offer.

Blue Rodeo’s awards and honours include eleven JUNO Awards, the Governor General’s Award for Performing Arts, a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, membership in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, 15 SOCAN Classics Awards and National Achievement Award, and the keys to the City of Toronto. Jim Cuddy has received two JUNO Awards for his solo work and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.

www.jimcuddy.com


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