Poor Young Things
It took Kanye West a lot longer to get on a Jay-Z album than Brampton native Ebony Oshunrinde, aka WondaGurl. The 16-year-old producer originally sent the beat for Crown - the reggae foundation for track 8 on Jay's brand new Magna Carta Holy Grail - to Travis Scott, a rapper and producer signed to West's Very GOOD Beats, who happened to be in the studio with Jay. Now WondaGurl shares production credits on the album with Pharrell Williams, No ID, Swizz Beatz and her idol Timbaland. Not bad for someone who just finished Grade 11.
Vinyl On Tap
Vinyl-loving musicians, take note. Long-running Toronto audio mastering studio Lacquer Channel recently acquired a record lathe with which to cut lacquer masters (i.e., vinyl record masters). This takes the studio back to its roots while also making it the only studio in Canada cutting vinyl. Considering the format's growing popularity, it's a smart move by senior mastering engineer Noah Mintz, who recently became sole owner. More at blog.lacquerchannel.com.
Attendees at the weekend's inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Festival - and those following #turfTO tweets online - had their hearts warmed when we learned that during one of Sunday's many torrential downpours, festival staff wrangled up the baby bunnies munching on grass around Fort York Garrison Common and gave them shelter in a makeshift warren. No word on whether the bunnies were wild or abandoned, but staff also arranged for wildlife services to come pick them up.
Radio Ga Ga
There's a new station coming to Toronto FM radio dials. Indie 88.1, aka Indie Toronto, was approved by the CRTC and is preparing to launch this summer. Based in Liberty Village and owned by the folks behind Rock 95 and 107.5 Kool FM in Barrie, its focus is Canadian indie music. Popular broadcaster/writer Alan Cross recently joined the six-person team as "in-house guidance counsellor." What will we be hearing? Recent artists of the week on the station's website, indietoronto.ca, include Poor Young Things, July Talk and the Elwins.
Get Yer Rocks Off
Soon you won't need to trek out to Etobicoke to get your glam metal reunion fix. The Rockpile is opening an east-end location on October 4 at 2787a Eglinton East. And how will they christen the new digs? With a reunion by fun-loving Oshawa 80s rockers Killer Dwarfs, who are set to release their long-lost Start @ One album this month.