music

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Bif Naked Rebuilds the Stage of Life  by Anna Lazowski
 Bif Naked Rebuilds the Stage of Life

Bif Naked Rebuilds the Stage of Life

It was a surprising side effect from the chemotherapy Bif Naked experienced during her treatment for breast cancer. Spending time with other women who were sharing her cancer experience clarified something for her.

“I realized how isolating my job was for all those years. It’s like being Rapunzel in the tower. Really and truly, you never meet other women and get to interact.”

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Tanya Tagaq Takes Flight  by Cindy Filipenko
Tanya Tagaq Takes Flight

Tanya Tagaq Takes Flight

Tanya Tagaq and her music are genre-defying.

But, then again, that’s what makes them both so great. Tagaq is great because she’s talented, real, warm, funny and not above using a few well-placed curses for emphasis when needed.

The fact that her music is great was recognized in September, when her latest album, Animus, won the Polaris Music Prize. For the Inuit throat-singer, winning the Polaris wasn’t as much mind-blowing as it was validating.

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Red Rock: Chinese Women Take to the Stage  by Ember Swift
Red Rock: Chinese Women Take to the Stage

Red Rock: Chinese Women Take to the Stage

It was only in 1986 that contemporary rock music began in China. The artist was Cui Jian, and the instruments were a mixture of Western and Eastern styles, featuring screaming electric guitars. He is now seen as the figurehead of the Chinese rock movement.

Since then, the music scene in China has developed at breakneck speed. Now, in what is seen as its fourth generation, there is a burgeoning scene for every musical style. Some compare the Chinese music scene today to the late ’60s of North America.

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Tegan and Sara  by Anna Lazowski
Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara

While working on their latest album, Sainthood, Tegan and Sara spent a month at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where Tom Petty, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac and Nirvana have recorded. One day, Sara Quin found herself in the midst of a truly memorable moment.

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Serena Ryder Rides High on Success  by Cindy Filipenko
Serena Ryder Rides High on Success

Serena Ryder Rides High on Success

It’s a couple of days after the U.S. election and Serena Ryder is still enraptured by U.S. president Barack Obama’s victory.

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When it Cliks  by Cindy Filipenko
When it Cliks

When it Cliks

Three years ago, The Cliks were a semi-professional trio playing the usual gigs available to openly queer bands.

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Reach for the Stars  by Cindy Filipenko
Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars

Fair-skinned girls who want mainstream acceptance aren’t singing about gender politics or First Nations’ issues, either, but that’s exactly what makes Kinnie Starr stand out.

Favourably compared in the music press to Lauryn Hill, PJ Harvey and Ani Difranco, Starr has spent her 10-year career on the edge of mainstream success. Her first album came out in 1996 and she has worked steadily—albeit often independently—since then.

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Pump up the Volume: Tanya Tagaq Adds New Sound to a Centuries-Old Women’s Cultural Tradition  by Megan Perry
Pump up the Volume: Tanya Tagaq Adds New Sound to a Centuries-Old Women’s Cultural Tradition

Pump up the Volume: Tanya Tagaq Adds New Sound to a Centuries-Old Women’s Cultural Tradition

Throat singing isn’t a sound that’s easy to describe, even for Tanya Tagaq, so she relies on comparisons.

“It’s breath, it’s rhythm. To be very, well, pompous about it, it’s like the sushi of sound.”

She shakes her head, laughing. “When you hear it, you either love it or you hate it.”

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Indigos Shine Light on Politics, Gay Marriage and Making Music  by Cindy Filipenko
Indigos Shine Light on Politics, Gay Marriage and Making Music

Indigos Shine Light on Politics, Gay Marriage and Making Music

It’s a typical muggy July afternoon in Vancouver. Inside the Commodore Ballroom—a relic from the ’20s restored to its art deco splendour five years ago—the Indigo Girls’ sound check is dragging.

Amy Ray, the dark-haired Indigo Girl known for her gravelly vocals and edgier songwriting style, is a little frustrated as she runs through the evening’s set list and corrects the levels for the duo’s plethora of stringed instruments.

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Behind the Scenes of Lilith on Top  by Angela Heck
Behind the Scenes of Lilith on Top

Behind the Scenes of Lilith on Top

In June 1999, Lynne Stopkewich was preparing to shoot her second feature film, Suspicious River, when she got a call from her partners, Dean English and Jessica Fraser.

Boneyard Film Productions had just negotiated with Sarah McLachlan and Nettwerk Productions to create a documentary about Lilith Fair, Sarah McLachlan's all-woman travelling music festival. McLachlan had already said 'yes' to the team going on the road to document the last year of Lilith Fair. But there was a caveat. She wanted a woman director. And she wanted Lynne.

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