Grand Analog w/ Miles Jones @ The Drake Underground 01/23/10

hyperadmin | A City In Focus,concerts,Music,Visuals | Friday, January 29th, 2010

Grand Analog

The tag line for last Saturday’s low-end movement at The Drake Underground could have been “He’s the DJ, I’m the rapper, and this is my band”, as two crews with similar designs for their disparate hip hop expressions teamed up for a tight little showcase in the cozy bowels of the landmark Queen west hotspot.


The New High @ The Trane Studio – 01/08/09

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Monday, January 11th, 2010

LAL moves the crowd

Local jazz emporium The Trane Studio offered up a heavy dose of the fresh and new last Friday as it hosted the premier showcase for upstart series ‘Serious People’ with High Ass Standards. Despite the deceptively high-brow moniker, all attitudes and pretentions were definitely checked at the door as enthusiastic attendees packed the cozy Bathurst St. venue for a night of forward-thinking experimentalism.


Concert Review – Kid Cudi w/ Keys N Krates, Nov. 28 @ Kool Haus (Exclaim! Magazine)

hyperadmin | A City In Focus,Editorial | Monday, November 30th, 2009

Kid Cudi Concert Review

Kid Cudi / Keys N Krates
Kool Haus, Toronto, ON November 28
By Kevin Jones

(Published in Exclaim! Magazine)

While the job of critic is to fairly and honestly pull apart a subject, pointing out both the good and the bad to give readers a complete picture, one must also be prepared to admit that some things are simply above critique. The recent sold-out Kid Cudi show at Toronto’s Kool Haus may have been one such instance.


Basement Poetry @ Labyrinth Lounge, 11/21/09

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Thursday, November 26th, 2009

There was a time about a decade ago when spoken word and Slam poetry – on the backs of cross-over wordsmiths like Saul Williams and Ursula Rucker – could actually be found crawling out of it’s dark crevices and into the shining light of the then burgeoning urban underground. Of course, this more abrasive wing of a long, storied, and much broader poetry movement always ran much deeper than Williams and other notable bridge artists, just as it does today, but unless you yourself are in some way connected to the scene, you’d be forgiven for assuming it had all but dried up some time ago.

Truth Is (1)


Little Dragon w/ Saidah Baba Talibah & Maylee Todd – Wrongbar 11/18/09

hyperadmin | A City In Focus,Events,Music | Monday, November 23rd, 2009

To say that Swedish electro-soul four-piece Little Dragon are full-fledged underground heroes here in the city still doesn’t quite describe the energy that surged through the always bumping Wrongbar last Wednesday, as the group paid their second visit to the Queen West hotspot this year alone. That energy was not reserved for the headliners alone, however, as a good portion of the paying public turned out in support of hometown vocal powerhouse Saidah Baba Talibah in her opening spot.

Saidah Baba Talibah (1) (more…)

Hip Hop Dubsters Grand Analog Open This Year's Make Some Noise Series

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Saturday, November 7th, 2009

When you think of the hushed, brightly-lit innards of your friendly neighborhood library, surely the last thing that comes to mind is the raucous sound of live club music, but that’s exactly what went down this past thursday as dubcentric hip hop crew Grand Analog kicked off this year’s Make Some Noise series at the Toronto Public Library’s College/Shaw branch. Beats, breaks, and bass licks were the order of the day as GA invited library goers inside their bottom heavy world with a humorous, hour-longs session, direct from the most appropriate of spaces — the kid’s section.

Grand Analog @ Make Some Noise (more…)

Celebrating Dalton higgins' new book "Hip Hop World"

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Pinning his hopes on the notion that beats and rhymes enthusiasts actually do read from time-to-time, long time urban music scribe Dalton Higgins stretched his literary reach out into book form last Tuesday with the unveiling of Hip Hop World at Toronto’s Lula Lounge. Presenting his investigative report into the perceived current disconnect between the current incarnations of American hip hop and its idealized origins as the socially progressive voice of neglected youth, Higgins called on a handful of choice performers to help celebrate the book’s release.

Dalton Higgins and Garvia Bailey (more…)

In the studio with Saidah Baba Talibah

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Saturday, August 29th, 2009

In the belly of her Tony and Grammy-nominated, pregnant yet still performing mother Salome Bey, Toronto-based vocal powerhouse Saidah Baba Talibah missed being born right out on stage by about one month, so it’s little wonder that she’s managed to maintain such a close relationship with that great artistic pulpit through most of there life. A singer, dancer, actress, and all around renaissance woman, Talibah has found success in many avenues throughout her career, from her touring work with renowned musical theatre presentations and her 6-year stint fronting local soul/fusion group Blaxäm through the late 90’s, to her lengthy list of backup duties for artists as disparate as Divine Brown, Alannah Myles, Enrique Iglesias , and Saukrates.

Saidah recording session 1


Hip Hop Karaoke, Round 31 – Revival

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Now with 30-plus editions under its belt, Toronto’s Hip Hop Karaoke has long affirmed itself as a legitimate staple in the city’s urban nightscape, giving would-be stage-stalking MCs a chance to live out their wildest mic-wielding dreams with safe backing of their favorite instrumental and a handy lyric sheet. The fact that the night’s participants have access to actual instrumentals and not just canned backing tracks places HHK a step above most karaoke nights, and when combined with a completely unpretentious and inviting environment – something apparently locked up in coat check at most hip hop events – solidifies much of its appeal.

HHK Toronto 1 (more…)

Jambana '09, Downsview Park

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Friday, August 7th, 2009

After three strong weeks of waist-winin’ build-up, Caribana ’09 came and went with a bang, wrapping up with this year’s hugely successful Jambana Cultural Festival at Downsview park. Formerly known as the Air Jamaica Day celebration, the nomadic five-year old event transformed the sprawling Downsview field into Jamaica North on the final Caribana Monday, drawing a reported 40,000 participants. Good natured folks of all ages turned to revel in the chest-warming blend of culture, comedy, and some of Canada’s top reggae artists nicing it up on one of the few good days this waste of a summer has proven generous enough to offer us.



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