Music

Music has the power to unite, soothe, and inspire.  But there are stories behind the music; forgotten one-hit-wonders who had real talent and skill, little-known tales of well-known bands, and the music of our parents’ generation which has been all but forgotten today.  Join Sam as he explores the ins an outs of music stardom, muses on the motivations and lives of pop princesses, and hearkens back to the early days of the music industry.

We Still Move On Dancefloors: The Strumbellas

With alt-country becoming one of the most popular genres in Canada, Toronto based band The Strumbellas have become one of the most popular groups on the grass roots circuit creating a new sound deemed affectionately by fans as “popgrass.”  With a sound that makes you want to dance, but lyrics that are deceptively dark, The Strumbellas are quickly reaching audiences through alternative media.  Front man Simon Ward talks about The Strumbellas latest album, We Still Move On Dancefloors, and the success of alt-country in Canada.

When the Night: St. Lucia

Combinging the modern electronic music with the vibe of 1980′s pop, Brooklyn, NY based band St. Lucia is suddenly all over the map.  Lead by South Africa born singer/songwriter Jean-Phillip Grobler, St. Lucia combines his classical music training with an optimistic and energetic sound that is capturing the hearts and minds of audiences across North America, as proved by his recent sold out concert series.  Grobler talks about where he came from, and what its like to be on the cusp of massive stardom.

Now is What Matters Now: The Return of Gameface

One of power pop’s pioneering bands, Gameface was one of Los Angeles’ most talked about bands in the 1990′s.  Now, after over a decade apart, Gameface is back with a brand new album in a reunion that has even suprised it’s own members.  Front man Jeff Caudill talks about the rise and fall of Gameface, and how their resurrection like a phoenix out of the flames has lead to their new recordings.

There’s No War on Christmas: The Mockers Save Christmas

Made up of Seth Gordon, Tony Leventhal and Robbie Rist, power pop trio The Mockers have been a part of the power pop scene since the late 1960′s with their energetic brand of politically charged music.  Inspired by the Republicanly charged “War on Christmas,” Gordon penned his own thoughts on the meaning of the holiday season in his song There’s No War of Christmas (When Christmas is in Your Heart) which has quickly become a holiday favorite for music lovers everywhere.

Under Mountains: Rachel Sermanni

Releasing her debut album, Under Mountains, in 2012, Scottish singer Rachel Sermanni has become a popular presence at music festivals throughout Europe and has become a favorite in Canada.  Weeks upon her first tour of the US, Rachel talks about finding her voice in a music scene full of “girls with guitars” and gives hints of whats to come.

Loma Vista: Family of the Year

Like modern gypsies, Family of the Year crossed North America in the summer of 2013 in a mini-bus bringing their sweet harmonies and joyful music coast to coast and producing a break out hit, Hero, which became one of the songs of the year.  Sebastian Keefe talks about touring in close quarters, where they’ve come from and where they’re going.

Wonderland: Orianna

At the young age of fifteen, London, Ontario’s Nikki Whitehead, aka Orianna, is a rare talent.  With an ability to write original material filled with wisdom and word play, her powerful vocals seems to tap into something older and more sophisticated than many of today’s biggest stars.  Orianna talks about her debut album, Wonderland, and about her upcoming release which promises to turn her into Canadian music’s next big thing.

Nation II Nation: A Tribe Called Red

Consisting of a collaboration of DJ Shub, DJ NDN and Bear Witness, Ottawa’s A Tribe Called Red have combined club music and traditional aboriginal drum circles into a complexity original sound called Pow Wow Step, and have bringing their ultimate aborignal dance party, the Electric Pow Wow, to clubs across North America and Europe.  Bear Witness talks to PCA about their latest album, Nation II Nation, and the new paths that A Tribe Called Red has blazed for aboriginal music.

Anhedonia: This Hisses

Revealing the darker side of Winnipeg, Manitoba’s fabled arts scene, musician Julia Rykman, Patrick Short and JP Perron make up post-punk trio This Hisses.  Combining hard rock and opera, This Hisses has one of the most original and dynamic sounds currently coming out of Canadian music.  Lead singer and songwriter Julia Ryckman talks about their latest release, Anhedonia, and proves that there is a brighter side to This Hisses that listeners may not expect.

Runaway: Missy Knott

Combining real life passion, pain and hear break in her powerful and sexy stage performance, Peterborough, Ontario’s Missy Knott has been creating a cult following in her community and beyond.  One of Canada’s yet to be discovered talents, Knott is one of the nation’s best kept secrets.  Promoting her new five song EP, Runaway, featuring collaborations with The Spades and Brian Melenbacker, Missy Knott is a sensation waiting to happen.

Club Des Femmes: The Return of Kelly and the Kellygirls

After a two year hiatus, Toronto artist R. Kelly Clipperton and his band, The Kellygirls, are back with a new EP and a new tour!  As part of his upcoming concept album, due to be released in 2013, Club Des Femmes is a sampling of Kelly’s latest musical projects. A true renaissance man, and one of Toronto’s most talented performers, Kelly talks about his latest project, and what to expect in the near future.

The Madness of BA Johnston

Like a transient figure from your most annoying nightmares, musician/comedian BA Johnston has been bringing his mirth and mayhem to venues all over Canada.  With original songs such as Eye of the Douchestorm, Deep Fryer in my Bedroom and My Heart is Blinking Like a Broken Nintendo, BA Johnston has found a cult following as he pays homage to pop culture and the repulsive side of human kind.

At Last: A Conversation with Gabi Carrubba

In 2011 sixteen year old Gabi Carrubba hit the pop culture radar when she become a contestant on America Idol Season 11.  However, the world barely got to know her when she was eliminated from the competition despite being a favorite of producers and the public. But careers don’t start and end in Vegas, and Gabi Carruba is preparing for the next stage of her career.  Gabi talks about her America Idol experience, and what is coming next.

The Orion Experience: A Conversation with Orion Simprini

As the front man of one of the most exciting groups currently coming out of New York City, Orion Simprini of The Orion Experience is doing his part to make music good again, writing some of the best pop tunes that you haven’t heard…yet.  This is the man that wrote the songs that made me believe in music again.  A cure for today’s ailing top 40 charts.

Your Favorite Trainwreck: A Conversation with Jeff Caudill

Coming out of LA’s power pop scene, singer/songwriter Jeff Caudill joins forces with Popeye V, Robbie Rist and Geoff Holmes to form Your Favorite Trainwreck.  PCA talks to Caudill about the band, the changes in the LA music scene and their new single The Brilliance.

Waiting for Royal:  A Conversation with Royal Wood

One of Canada’s most talented singer/songwriters, Royal Wood offers listeners something more geniune and thoughtful then top forty radio.  Touring across Canada in the fall of 2010, Sam Tweedle talks to Royal about his fourth album, “The Waiting,” as well as his journey both on the road, and through the music industry.

C’mon, Boys: A Conversation with R. Kelly Clipperton

Mixing together an eclectic selection of musical styles and genres, Kelly and the Kellygirls’ high energy stage show has been entertaining clubs, festivals and Pride Parades all over Canada, in one form or another, since Kelly first formed the group in 2003.  Kelly talks about his latest projects, including music, touring and photography.  Find out why he has been called a “gay icon” in Toronto.

PCA Profiles: The Party

Somewhere between Annette and Britney, Justin and Christina,the Mickey Mouse Club spawned The Party.  Barely remembered on the pop culture radar today, The Party set the stage for future Disney stars such as Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron and Selena Gomez, but Disney has all but brushed them under the carpet and tried to rewrite the history of pop music.  Who were The Party, just how did they affect the future of pop music and why did Disney consider them a failed experiment?  The secret history of the pop music industry starts with The Party.

11 Music Videos Even WorseThen Rebecca Black’s Friday

PCA takes the heat off of Rebecca Black by presenting eleven music videos even worse then Friday, featuring artists that should know better including Elton John, Neil Diamond, The Rolling Stones, Sarah Brightman and Nancy Sinatra, and presents some of Europe’s most questionable music videos via the insanity of Tommy Seebach and Dutch pop singers Dani and Armi.  These videos are sure to make Friday look like a cinematic masterpiece.

PCA’s Five Worst Christmas Songs Ever!

What do Paul McCartney, NewSong, Marvin Gaye, Spinal Tap and Red Sovine all have in common?  They have performed some of the worst and/or most annoying Christmas songs ever unleashed on the public.  From gutter snipes begging for shoes, to kids dying on Santa’s lap, to the emotional crys of a POW in Viet Nam, PCA explains why these Christmas songs are the worst of the holiday season.  Click on the videos at your own risk.

PCA’s Top Ten Holiday Albums

With hundred’s of Christmas albums to choose from, Sam Tweedle counts down his all time favorite Christmas albums ranging from traditional favorites such as Dean Martin and Gene Autry, to classic pop albums such as Phil Spector and Herb Alpert, and oddities including RuPaul and a compilation of heavy metal artists.

The Other Guy From Wham!

Everybody knows 80′s pop sensation George Michael, front man and lead singer from British supergroup Wham!  But what about that other guy?  Who was he and exactly what did he do anyways?  Was Andrew Ridgely the brains behind Wham! or was he the greatest coat tail rider in pop culture history.  As we reveal, he may have been a little bit of both.

Tommy Can You Hear Me?: Remembering Tommy Page or Tommy Who?

While some teen idols become legendary hallmarks of the pop culture experience, others fade quickly into obscurity such as the case of 90′s one hit wonder Tommy Page who broke hearts with his hit “I’ll Be Your Everything.”  Tommy had the looks and the talent but today is barely a blip of the pop culture radar.  Was it because of compition from the 90210 guys, or was it his close connection to The New Kids on the Block that prevented him from achieving mass fame?  We remember Tommy Page in this retrospective of the teen idol that time forgot.

Behind the Teeth: Know Your Osmonds

Almost everyone can name at least two Osmonds, but who can remember the rest of this prolific and influential pop family?  Once powerhouses of the music industry, the Osmonds are often considered a footnote, a sideshow act that some remember fondly and others not at all.  Join Sam in this exhaustive guide to the funkiest family of Mormons that ever came out of Utah!

The Lennon Sisters: Untainted Pop Princesses

Beloved and protected by a press that wanted to preserve rather than expose, America’s first bona fide pop princesses stayed in the spotlight for a decade without compromising their musical style nor their wholesome reputation. Though rumours abounded of questionable relationships and feuding, and potential scandal loomed as their father was murdered by a deranged fan, their image as pure and sweet was maintained by a press as determined to sell papers as any scandal-mongering rag today.

Who Cares?:  The Story of “Doctor in Distress” – The Worst Little “Cause Rock” Single of Them All

One of the best remembered trends of the 1980′s was “cause rock” where musicians banned together in song to feed Africa or free enslaved people.  However, when a group of third tier musicans banned together to sing in protest of the BBC’s 18 month hiatus of sci-fi staple “Doctor Who.” the results were questionable.  Did they save the show or did they create one of the stupidest moments in both “Doctor Who” and 80′s pop music history?

PCA Teaches You to “Do the Freddie”:  A Tribute to Freddie Garrity

In response to the death of Freddie and the Dreamer’s front man Freddie Garrity in 2006, Sam Tweedle swallowed his pride and taught PCA readers to “Do the Freddie” as a tribute to the British Invasion’s court jester of pop.  One of the silliest looking dances of the era, Sam Tweedle provides step by step instructions, complete with pictures, as he teaches you to do Freddie Garrity’s signature dance.

The Controversial Rise and Fall of The Mini Pops

A staple of children’s record collections across Canada during the 1980′s, the Mini Pops were seemingly harmless albums from K-Tel records featuring children singing the hit songs of the day.  However, the Mini Pops origins on British television caused a furry of controverisal and scandal which questioned the line between playing and sexualizing children.  As K-Tel records brings a new Mini Pops to the new generation PCA asks is it still possible in today’s music market, as well as looks at the origins and controversy surrounding the original Mini Pops.

Ricky Nelson: The Boy Who Didn’t Mess Around

So who was respojnsible for popularizing rock n’ roll in America?  Elvis?  The Beatles?  Buddy Holly?  Nope.  According to Sam Tweedle it’s Ozzie and Harriet’s kid Rick Nelson.  Sam argues his point as he profiles Rick and looks at his unique contribution to the music industry.

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