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Archive for the ‘Celeb’ Category

Music Monday: The Power of Coke’s Wavin’ Flag

In Business, Canada, Celeb, Entertainment, Media, Money, Music, Sports, The Social, The World, TIA (This Is Africa), YouTube on July 19, 2010 at 18:21

Just a tad…

This 32 year old music mystro may have created one of the greatest collaboration between a soft drink maker and artist since MJ!  Well maybe not that big but Coca Cola is a very happy partner.  K’naan is pretty happy as well.

Celebration Mix

K’Naan ft. Nancy Ajram

K’Naan ft. David Bisbal


You can read Duane Stanford’s full article in Bloomberg Businessweek here

Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner

Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop music

Music industry executives have been making an unusual pilgrimage to Coca-Cola’s (KO) Atlanta headquarters, a telling measure of the company’s successful World Cup soccer marketing blitz. They want to learn how Coke turned a song called Wavin’ Flag by a little-known Somali-Canadian hip-hop artist into a World Cup anthem and No. 1 iTunes hit in 17 countries in less than a year. “They are getting on planes from New York, from U.K., from Los Angeles,” says Joe Belliotti, Coke’s director of global entertainment. “Word of mouth is a great thing in the music industry.”…

…Coke’s marketers liked Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop musicthe singer and his multinational upbringing as well as Wavin’ Flag‘s sweeping melody and hopeful chorus: “When I get older, I will be stronger. They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving’ flag.” Darker verses detailing K’naan’s struggle as a child in Somalia and his “fighting to eat” wouldn’t work. So K’naan (full name Keinan Abdi Warsame) offered to write a version of Wavin’ Flag with lyrics more befitting a soccer tournament.

K’naan and his producers added a bridge with Coke’s five-note melody and pumped up the African vibe with chanting and drums. The lyrics now talked of champions taking the field and fans rejoicing in “the beautiful game.” K’naan also recorded versions of the song with pop stars ranging from the Black Eyed Peas’ to Japan’s AI and Spain’s David Bisbal, broadening its appeal.

Although financial details are confidential, Coca-Cola co-owns the rights to its Celebration Mix of Wavin’ Flag along with K’naan and his record company, owned by Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Coke, which split the cost to tour K’naan around the world, is plowing the unexpected profits from the sale of Wavin’ Flag downloads into its six-year, $30 million Replenish Africa Initiative, which seeks to provide clean water and better sanitation. The continent figures big in Coke’s long-term growth plans, where water scarcity is an immediate problem as well as a long-term threat to the company’s beverage production.


Regis & Kelly Live did P.E.I. ~ Was it worth it?

In Business, Canada, Celeb, Customer Service, East Coast, Media, PEI, YouTube on July 15, 2010 at 14:38

Just a tad…

In a word… Yes!  One Million dollars is a drop in the bucket for us here in Toronto.  I mean come on, we spent 1.2+ billion dollars on our tourism boosting event for 48 hours and all we got for it was 900 people in jail and bunch of crazy photos with burning cop cars.  Give it to the people and the island of PEI to showcase all the goodness that Canada is.  Alberta are you watching this, because you’re in a whole shit load of trouble, but thats for tomorrow’s blog post.  PEI gets to bask in it’s Kelly Ripa glow!  Is Oprah next?


You can read Amber MacArthur full article and video at The Globe and Mail here

PEI’s (million dollar) Google Juice

On day one of Regis & Kelly in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island skyrocketed to the number two spot on Google search in the UnitedStates. The hosts raved about the province’s seafood, scenery, and people. They also tweeted their every move, sharing PEI pics with their thousands of online followers.

You can read the full article at here

On Monday, Canada’s smallest province cracked the Top 10 Google searches in the United States.

It re-emerged there yesterday.

Tourism Minister Robert Vessey says the spotlight the show put on his province is priceless.

Don Cudmore of the Tourism Industry Association of P-E-I says the province will reap benefits from the visit and that it should build on that momentum.

You can read the full article in the Globe and Mail here

Regis and Kelly wrap up PEI broadcasts

Throughout the visit, the morning duo gushed over the island’s lush scenery and fresh seafood, with Ms. Ripa saying on Thursday’s episode that she was already planning a return.

Guests for the final broadcast included “Sex and the City” hunk John Corbett, whose girlfriend Bo Derek was sitting in the front row.

“24” star Elisha Cuthbert also brought NHL boyfriend Dion Phaneuf, and the pop band OneRepublic performed.

Tourism officials are hoping publicity from the shows — which aired Monday through Thursday on CTV — will lead to a boost in tourism. Earlier in the week, the province cracked the Top 10 Google searches inthe United States.

The popular U.S. morning-show stars were to resume broadcasts from the show’s home in New York on Friday.

Before leaving, Mr. Philbin said he was grateful for the warm welcome they received in Canada’s smallest province.

“Honest to God we really are taken by Prince Edward Island, and all of you for being so hospitable,” Mr. Philbin said to hoots from the audience.

“It’s one of those places where Mark and I are planning our return trip before we leave,” Ms. Ripa added, referring to her husband.”

July 13

July 14

Lilith Fair Sucks…not so fast MEDIA!

In Canada, Celeb, Media, Music, Women on July 8, 2010 at 09:26

Just a tad…

Terry McBride is mad.  No he’s pissed.  Was the media, the fans, the artists to quick to put Lilith Fair six feet under?  So Media, what do you have to say for yourselves?


An Open Letter to Critics

Tue, Jun 29

I have been amazed at the feeding frenzy of negativity by the media and bloggers around Lilith Fair. Such attacks are normally seen in the theatre of partisan politics that have poisoned western society.

What drives the passion to write negative and speculative commentary on what is a socially positive and giving festival? Why this desire to hurt and demean the efforts of thousands of people whom simply want to give back and make our society a better place?

It’s amazing to me that I did not see one of these outspoken critics at the opening show. How can one accurately report on, or even understand what Lilith is, without experiencing it? It would have been great to see the critics experiencing the passion from the people at Oxfam, Warchild, Reverb, Better World Books, Alter Eco, To-Go Ware and our amazing charity, Grameen America. Then seeing how the Sponsors such as J&J were adding so much fun and value to the experience of the Lilith Village. Funny enough, the main complaint in Calgary was long line-ups to get in. Well, the venue cut back on staff thinking no one would show up. I’m not sure where they got that idea? The critics in Calgary criticize Lilith for a situation they created, which is ironic to say the least.

Lilith goes well beyond being a Music Festival with success measured by ticket sales; it’s a social and community Festival. I have seen little to no media on the Local Woman’s charities and how the community selected them. What’s with that??? Just saying they get a dollar per ticket is not enough, get in there and dig into what these charities are doing to make your city a much better place to live.

Here is a letter we received today from the Calgary Charity, this is the story that the media are missing, but reading this reminds me of why I love what we do:

Hi Seth and Monica,

I just wanted to thank you for all of your support and assistance yesterday at Lilith Fair in Calgary. You helped us immensely! As the local charity chosen for the city, the Women`s Centre of Calgary was able to reach out to a new demographic which is wonderful exposure and outreach for us. We talked to hundreds and hundreds of concert goers and no doubt many of them learned about us for the first time because you gave us this opportunity. The money from Lilith will go to essential programs for women and help with basic needs. I look forward to receiving it. Thank you once again!

I wish Lilith success through all the cities across the continent.
Take care,

Carrie Blaug
Program Manager
Women’s Centre of Calgary

I have seen little to no media on I4C. Why is that? Do the media not want to support a concept that is ground breaking and could change the way we in the music business support our community?

There has been good media on the local talent search winners. I guess with over 7 million votes there is awareness of how exciting and special this is. Just talking to the artist that won in Calgary for me was so cool. Sierra Noble’s excitement and passion reminds me of what I love about music. Curious why no media has picked up the fact that Jennifer Nettles was a local talent winner in Atlanta 12 years ago and now is on the main-stage as the singer of Sugarland? This is mindboggling.

When you narrowly focus on Lilith’s ticket sales, you may see a cup half empty. Or, as Sarah succinctly put it in Calgary, it’s a cup half full, which is an amazing opportunity. If Lilith can help one person or 300,000 people, we will consider it a success.

On a closing note, yes Nashville was cancelled and contrary to media reports we issued a press release being very upfront about it just as we did with Phoenix. Our decisions were influenced by the extraordinary events in each city. I do not want to be competing against flood fundraisers in Nashville, nor could I stomach the chance that any fans could be arrested at our concert in Phoenix.

Yoga, yes yoga!! Everyone who reads Bob’s blogs seems to think that Yoga is all I do all day, which frankly is a bunch of BS and you know that, Bob. The great thing about my daily yoga practice is that I set an intention for my day. That intention, more times than not, is to reach out and do something nice for others. Think about that, try it and you will not only change the world around you, but you will change yourself. Music is my life and I love the power it has to make a positive difference in peoples lives, that is very yogic to me.


You can read Jason Keller’s full article in NOW Magazine here

McBride Defends Limping Lilith Tour

…The Lilith Fair co-founder did a damage control interview with EW last week immediately after issuing a national press release stating that the beleaguered tour was forced to cancel 10 more dates, including a stop in Montreal.

McBride plays defensive throughout the Q&A, emphasizing slumping economic conditions that he believes are creating “one of the most challenging summer concert seasons.” But he also repeatedly blasts the media for negative coverage and journalists who were pre-maturely claiming shows to be cancelled when in fact, according to him, they weren’t.

“I have been amazed at the feeding frenzy of negativity by the media and bloggers around Lilith Fair,” McBride blogged on June 29.

Though it mostly sounds like sour grapes, the Nettwerk Records chief probably has a legitimate beef when it comes to the media giving this tour a bad buzz, and perhaps contributing partially to its already anemic ticket sales.

Ever since tour co-founder and headlining star Sarah McLachlan admitted to soft sales and ticket price complaints, Lilith has been on death watch in the media….

Douglas Coupland is the new Canadian CHIC

In Authors, Business, Canada, Celeb, Design, Fashion, Money, YouTube on June 22, 2010 at 09:10

Just a tad…

I was perusing the Canadian fashion blog Real Life Runway for some summer fashion tips. Now let’s face it, Canadian Men aren’t really into fashion. The Metrosexual crazy crashed and burned in the early 00’s and many men need their woman at their side if they ever hope to make any sense of matching shoes, pants, shirt and accessories. Accessories?!? Anyhow thank you Sarah for giving us a page of what we men could look like this Summer. I’m hoping you’ll help us guys out more through out he rest of year. Not that I’m complaining about looking at pages and pages of beautiful women.

So speaking of the fashion world in general in Canada, Author, Writer, Design and Visual Artist, Douglas Coupland has taken his pen and sharp wit to the world of clothing. Working with Roots Canada.

RootsxDouglasCoupland brings a new thought to Canadian Fashion. Is it good, bad or ugly? We’ll have to wait until later this summer but you can always jump on Facebook to the fan page here to jump on the Pre-Sale. Maybe I can look as cool as the kids in jPod? Sweet!

You can see it all here at RootsxDouglasCoupland


You can read the full article in Toronto Life here

True to his word, the clothes eschew “birch bark and moose and Mounties” for a line of tees, jackets and sweaters loosely themed around the artist’s notion that what ties Canadians together is that we’re all really far apart. Hipster elements abound—buffalo checks on shirts and tote bags, leggings, oversized scarves—and Roots’ iconic beaver tees are given a modern twist

You can read Amy Verner’s full article in the Globe and Mail here

Half-jokingly, Douglas Coupland says he may never need to buy another piece of clothing again.

That’s because the prolific Canadian author, artist and future thinker can now add fashion designer to his list of creative pursuits.

RootsxDouglas Coupland, a limited edition collection of graphic apparel and leather goods that will launch July 8, also represents the first time that the Canadian retailer has invited an outsider to play with its True North image.

The result – a pop culture potpourri of television test pattern colour bars, circuit boards, beavers, satellites and an electric green grid dubbed The Matrix – is certainly a departure for Roots, which has long been known for its earthy handcrafted leathers and comfy sweat style.

“To me it’s an art project that happened to be clothing,” Mr. Coupland says from his home in West Vancouver. “Roots has been messing with Canadian identity for 30 years and I’ve been doing it for 10 years.… I don’t want people to take it as cynical – quite the opposite – it’s another way of figuring out Canadian-ness. Roots does the outdoorsy way of being Canadian so I [wanted] to go indoorsy.”

Douglas Coupland on CBC’s Q and in conversation with Allan Gregg

Canadian Music Matters Mondays June 21st

In Canada, Celeb, From Coast to Coast to Coast, Me Myself & I, Media, Music, The Review, YouTube on June 21, 2010 at 06:38

Just a tad…

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the artist known as Drake, aka Aubrey Drake Graham.  Actually that’s not true.   I haven’t had time to be fan.   I never watched the next generation of Degrassi and in what seems like a blink of an eye Mr. Drake has gone from tv “soft on the eyes dude” to International Hip Hop Super Star. Rubbing up with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Young Money, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland and Jamie Foxx can never hurt an artist.  And it looks like it has helped give him some street cred, “Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments.”  But after listening to his most recent album Thank Me Later, I don’t feel that the “fist bumps” with everyone really helped to create an epic album.  Alright the use of the epic may be a lot for your first official album with all the production value and collaborations being done on this release, I figured I get more.  It felt very radio friendly.  I was bored.  Drakes voice did not command the listener to, well listen!  14 tracks and I couldn’t find one that stood out from the rest.  He’s gotten some favorable reviews across the board but I felt Jesse Cataldo review in Slant Magazine hit the mark.  You can his full review here

“Drake’s qualms feel genuine and honestly delivered, and in this sense, Thank Me Later is a distinct effort, a chronicle of a man who’s intensely uncomfortable with fame while obsessed with maintaining it. It’s a strangely complex structure for a mainstream rap album, though it never strays far from the genre’s standard verbal palette. There are times when Drake plunges into self-pity… These serve as distractions in Drake’s ongoing examination of himself, while at least providing a high-spirited bulwark against the album’s sappier moments. The rapper’s insistent navel-gazing isn’t the most original concept, and it won’t make for the most stable subject matter in the long run, but it certainly works on Thank Me Later, which nails confused introspection in a genre famous for willful misrepresentation of self”

He is bigger than life right now, I just wish his music matched it.

Oh and yes I watched all of 5 mins of the MMVA’s.  They sucked.  End of Story.


Here are a few more reviews.  Good, Bad and Ugly

National Post review by Ben Kaplan can be read here

Eye Weekly Review by Dave Morris can be read here

New York Times review by  Jon Caramanica can be read here

NPR Music Review by ANDREW NOZ can be read here

NPR Music Review II by YOHANCE SERRANT can be read here

Los Angeles Times by Jeff Weiss can be read here

Drake is the biggest Hip Hop star from the great white north but he isn’t the first.  For those of you older than my 13 year old niece you’ll remember some of these greats and I’ve even included some newbies that should be listened to.

Here’s my Ten in Hip Hop Canada

Maestro Fresh Wes’ 1989 debut album Symphony In Effect just made things alright for Canadian Hip Hop

Only in Canada could Tom Green succeed with Organized Rhyme’s Check The O.R.

I couldn’t find any old school Much Music Videos for Michie Mee but in 1988, she became the first Canadian rapper to sign a deal with an American record label.  Truly an innovator.

Using the opening song theme to the Canadian TV game show “Definition”, The Dream Warriors’ My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style was one of my favorite back in the day, remember when songs.

Northern Touch was one of few true collaborations anywhere in the Hip Hop world that just worked from start to finish.  The Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Trust and Choclair made sure that Canada and the rest of the world (though I doubt it played anywhere past Much Music at the time) new that Hip Hop in Canada was and is for real.

He reminds me more of Eminem now than he does as the Canadian version of Vanilla Ice.  Snow’s Informer was a true reminder to all that Hip Hop isn’t always Black without the White.

K-os has been able to craft music the only way he knows how.  His own.  If you have time check out Burning to Shine with the CBC radio orchestra in 2006.

Drake may have the international pull of US behind him, but no one can dispute K’naan’s truly epic world wide tour du force.  He’s more than the 25 versions of Wavin’ Flag.  Much More.

I just enjoy Classified.  Maybe it’s lyrics, maybe its just that he’s so “East Coast”  He makes Hip Hop fun and that is so Canadian.

It’s hard to gauge French Canadian Hip Hop for me.  Probably because I don’t listen to French music much, but I have listened to Dubmatique and know how important they were and are to keeping Hip Hop nation growing in La Belle Province.

My ignorance to Canadian aboriginal hip hop made putting his post together that much more enlightening.  You honestly have to love the way the internet just gives you copious amounts of information that can really change your perception of things.  In 2009, The World (And Everything in It)’s first single, “Lonely”, became the first ever song from an aboriginal group to enter the Top 10 on Much Music’s RapCity and then to go to number one.  The future is bright for Canadian Hip Hop.  Google Team Rezofficial and see why.

The Lock Down Is Coming…head for Mississauga

In Canada, Celeb, Coppers, Customer Service, Government, Have to Laugh, Law & Order, The World Comes To Toronto, Toronto, Transportation, YouTube on June 19, 2010 at 20:19

Just a tad…

The National Post gives a detailed graphical snap shot of what us Torontonians are about to get into.  Harper!!!


A fun and colourful break down of the who’s who at the G20.  A leader board listing.

Is there any chance any of these predictions will come true?  We’ll just have to wait and see.

and from the insightful lyrics of the Group G*20..don’t worry

Saying good bye to Chris Haney

In Canada, Celeb, French Kiss, Loss of Life, Media, Montreal, YouTube on June 2, 2010 at 19:38

Just a tad…

RIP Chris Haney.  You cause me great stress during my junior high days of school.  I hated losing at Trivial Pursuit.  You kept me on my toes when it came to history and geography questions.



You can read Katie Dabus’s full article in The Toronto Star here

Chris Haney: kingmaker

Chris Haney knew the answer to life’s biggest question. He knew how to enjoy himself.

The former Montreal Gazette photo editor had the means to do so after he transformed forgotten minutiae into the wildly popular board game Trivial Pursuit with fellow newsman Scott Abbott.

“He used to say, ‘We’re not millionaires, we’re multi-millionaires,’ and he would laugh and slap his thigh,” said retired professor Jack MacLeod, an early investor. “I don’t think anyone enjoyed money more.”

The father of three who was known for his big ideas died on Monday. He was 59.

At the last Trivial Pursuit shareholders’ meeting, the usually brash Haney was more subdued.

“I asked him what he did for fun these days, and he said with a grim smirk that he didn’t have certain basic functions anymore, so he watched a lot of TV,” said Michael Wurstlin.

You can read Michael Posner’s full article in the Globe and Mail here

Trivial Pursuit creator dies at 59

Chris Haney, the onetime Montreal Gazette photo editor who parlayed an idea sketched out on barroom napkins into one of the most successful board games in history – Trivial Pursuit — has died in Toronto at the age of 59 after a long illness.

In Dec., 1979, Christopher Haney, a Welland, Ont. native, and his Canadian Press colleague, sportswriter Scott Abbott, drafted the rough concept of a trivia-based board game over beer, during a lunch-hour game of Scrabble. They later rounded up some 32 small investors, who paid as little as $1,000, and used the proceeds to create a test-market version of the game. All of those early investors subsequently grew rich on the annual royalties.

The first 1,100 copies of Trivial Pursuit were released commercially in November, 1981, at $15 each. Initially, it was a money-losing proposition for investors, since the cost of manufacturing was $75 apiece.

You can read Douglas Martin’s full article in the New York Times here

Chris Haney, an Inventor of Trivial Pursuit, Dies at 59

Question: How did Chris Haney, an inventor of the board game Trivial Pursuit, think of himself?

Answer: As a rock star.

“It’s like we became rock stars,” he told Maclean’s magazine in 1993, repeating a comment he had made in several interviews. “People still shake in their boots when they meet us.”

And why not? Mr. Haney, a rumpled Canadian high school dropout, joined with a fellow journeyman journalist, Scott Abbott, to create a phenomenon — a board game that tests a player’s grasp of wickedly inconsequential trivia. In the 1980s, Trivial Pursuit was outselling Monopoly.

By the time Mr. Haney died in Toronto on Monday at 59, more than 100 million copies of the game had been sold in as many as 26 countries and in at least 17 languages, with estimated sales of well over $1 billion. And Mr. Haney, who had battled through financial hardship in pursuit of his dream, wound up owning golf courses, vineyards and racehorses.

Hasbro, which bought the intellectual rights to Trivial Pursuit for $80 million in 2008, confirmed Mr. Haney’s death. The company did not give a cause, except to say that he had suffered from a long illness.

The original Trivial Pursuit, introduced in 1981, involved answering 6,000 trivia questions on 1,000 cards, coded by categories like history and entertainment. (They have been updated and modified many times since, an