Diamond Rings :: I’m Just Me

By Adrienne Yeung

Everything about Diamond Rings (aka Toronto native John O’Regan) dazzles these days, especially when every facet of the platinum-mohawked, bejewelled musician throws back an image of the musical and visual changes that have taken place over the past two years. His second album, Free Dimensional (released Oct. 23) is obviously grown up out of Special Affections‘ (2010) sparkly DIY-esque pop: It’s polished, deliberate, and endlessly catchy.  While a phone interview sadly failed (the recorded interview is literally five minutes of mumbling, crackling, and my repeating “Hello? Hello?” into the Stylus phone), we managed to finally connect via trusty e-mail to find out what he’s got to say about his changing presence and sound. Continue reading “Diamond Rings :: I’m Just Me”

Hillbilly Highway – Toronto Troubadour shares Bookworm with the Fringe

by Sheldon Birnie

Bookworm is the one-hour, one-man show written and performed by Toronto’s Corin Raymond. An engaging meditation on reading, childhood, family, school, the Twilight Zone, and Ray Bradbury, Bookworm has been drawing crowds during its run at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and is totally worth seeing if you have time before the Fringe winds down on Saturday. Being a bookworm myself, and a young acolyte of Bradbury, Stephen King, and the Twilight Zone, Raymond’s monologue had me laughing, moved, and goosepimpled throughout the whole hour. Stylus sat down with Corin after his Monday afternoon performance for a couple beers at the King’s Head to talk about the play, his music, and to nerd out on books for a while. Continue reading “Hillbilly Highway – Toronto Troubadour shares Bookworm with the Fringe”

The Beauties are a bunch of beauties

by Sheldon Birnie

The Beauties are a rock n roll band out of Toronto. Every Sunday night, they tear the Dakota Tavern down and build it back up as a monument to the Old Gods of roots based rock n roll. The Beauties have toured across the country, performing on their own as well as backing heavy weights like Serena Ryder and Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene. In 2010, they released their eponymous label debut for Six Shooter Records. For the next two weekends, Manitoba is blessed to have the Beauties at the Dauphin Country Fest and the Winnipeg Folk Fest. Stylus caught up with Beauty Shawn Creamer as he navigated Toronto in a taxi cab earlier this week, preparing for their time on the prairies. Continue reading “The Beauties are a bunch of beauties”

The Realities of Young Empires

by Colburne Poapst

Being in a band that has toured the US, played shows in such marquee locations as Paris, London and New York, and gets consistent radio play across this country would be a dream come true for many young musicians. But there is a big difference between a dreamer’s distant idealizations of success and the actual reality of it. Stylus recently spoke with Jake Palahnuk, the bass player for Toronto indie-dance rock group Young Empires, and got a first-hand account of the ups and downs of playing in a band that has achieved, in many senses, indie success. Evident in our conversation is the way Palahnuk tempers his own excitement for his music with the realities of band economics. Continue reading “The Realities of Young Empires”