East End rapper Cale Sampson released his second album, The Big Picture, last month. Sampson celebrated the release with a sold-out show at Winchester Kitchen and Bar in Cabbagetown in September.
With 10 tracks of self-described “info-rap,” the album features heavy political and social commentary, covering everything from the history of US involvement in global conflict to the modern global banking system to the benefits of back-to-the-land-style organic farming.
Beats on the album come courtesy of producers Andre Flak, Muneshine and Fresh Kils, while guest vocal spots from Flak, Devon Brady and TheSnowyOwl round out the disc.
When The Big Picture does dip into hip hop’s tendency toward braggadocio, Sampson mostly compliments himself on rapping about topics more enlightened than many of his peers, but a rapper unable to explain why he’s a great emcee is not much of a rapper at all.
Visit Sampson’s website for links to samples online, or find the album on iTunes.
The Toronto Beach Chorale is launching its sixth season of choral music on Saturday, Oct. 26, with a concert titled Inspiration: Wish Upon A Star.
Under the guidance of artistic director Mervin William Fick, the 60-member choir will offer four concerts in the Voices in Time series between October and April next year, with the stated goal of each performance “immersing the audience in a different aspect of a musical journey.”
December will feature Tradition: Christmas Near Downton, with Passion: Shakespeare in Words and Music in February. The series wraps up with Splendour: Vivaldi and Italian Baroque in April.
The Inspiration show will feature guest vocalist Paula Griffith, as well as the Toronto Beaches Children’s Chorus.
Inspiration: Wish Upon A Star takes place on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd. at Scarborough Road. Tickets are $20 in advance through a choir member or at the website, or $25 at the door, $10/$12 at the door for youth 7 to 18 years old, and free for children under 7. Discounted four-concert subscriptions and three-concert ‘flex packs’ are available through the website.
A special performance by GUT and the Slaughterhouse Orchestra is set for Sunday, Oct. 27 at Kingston Road United Church.
The show will be performed by a rock band/orchestra hybrid led by GUT – Dwight Schenk on vocals, guitar and percussion, and conducted by Scott Good, also on trombone and piano duties. The Slaughterhouse Orchestra consists of Dave Clark on drums, percussion and slide whistle, Erik Ross on piano and keyboards, Victor Bateman on electric and acoustic bass, Glenn Buhr on electric guitar, Graham Hargrove on percussion, Emily Hau on violin, Moira Burke on viola, Sybil Shanahan on cello, Stewart Laughton on trumpet and harmonica and Peter Lutek on tenor saxophone and clarinet.
The composition is based on novelist Kurt Vonnegut, and was written by Good and Schenk. Stylistically, the show covers classical to jazz, rock to country, afro Cuban to avant garde and other varied destinations on the musical genre map. A tribute to Vonnegut, the 10 songs are inspired by the writer’s well-known books, including Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse Five.
The show happens at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27 at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd. Tickets are $25, with proceeds to the church’s ramp fund.
Longtime readers of Beach Metro News will no doubt recall the not-too-distant past, when Bill MacLean was the author of this very column, along with Beach Arts Scene and other arts-related coverage. While Bill has retired from the paper, he is hoping to take a break from his ‘honey-do’ list and sing in public more regularly with pianist Brian Stevens, the other half of B2.
Bill and Brian will appear at the newly renovated Beach United Church on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m., as part of the Music for the Soul: Beach Jazz and Reflection series.
This will mark the third appearance for the duo. The theme for this performance is That’s Life, and those who have seen this crowd-pleasing crooner and ivory tinkler in the past know to expect a number of classics, a few interesting takes on modern tunes and a couple surprises.
The Music for the Soul series is free, though a freewill offering is collected. Beach United Church is at 140 Wineva Ave., just north of Queen Street East, at the foot of the 64 Main Street bus route.
Beacher Nonnie Griffin is returning with another performance of her one-woman show Marilyn – After.
The show, directed by fellow Beacher Peggy Mahon, is a ‘what if?’ scenario, exploring how Marilyn Monroe might treat a return to Earth 50 years after her death, hoping to set the record straight about her life, loves and death.
Griffin is a seasoned veteran of the stage, although she’s no stranger to the screen either, both big and small. Mahon is also an experienced performer in her own right, as a singer and actor, as well as being a teacher, producer and director.
Marilyn – After will happen at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Jubilee United Church, 40 Underhill Dr., in Don Mills. Tickets are $20.
Regulars include The BTBs, every Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Bentroots takes the stage Monday nights from 8 to 11 p.m. The Danger Bees will rock the night away from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25 and Friday, Nov. 1.
Other upcoming performers include Brian MacMillian on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. Muscle Souls will play Saturday, Oct. 26 from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Nov. 3, Liane Fainsinger will play during brunch, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., while the Stir It Up open mic will take place from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Usual Suspects hit the stage from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, while the Trollblazers will perform for Halloween from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, followed by Kiki Karaoke from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Andy Griffiths will perform from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, and Jehan Khoorshed will play from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5.