Perspective

All fixed up with no place to go: Toronto venues like the El Mocambo and Wheat Sheaf postpone grand reopenings

Nick Krewen Special to the Star April Fool’s Day may have played its cruelest joke on the El Mocambo’s Michael Wekerle. After spending five years investing a reported $30 million (in a follow-up e-mail, he’d only say it’s “extensive”) in renovating the legendary Spadina Avenue music club that has played host to everyone from The Rolling Stones to U2, the merchant banker and Dragon’s Den TV personality was finally set…

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Sarah Harmer and friends won a long environmental fight. Now she has to do it again

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Sarah Harmer is about to go back to the drawing board, and she’s not happy about it. The Burlington, Ontario born singer, songwriter and activist is currently promoting Are You Gone, her first album in 10 years, but looming on her mind is a fight she’s about to take up with a community that she’s already won once. Despite the Ontario Municipal Board denying…


Remembering Neil Peart, whose jaw-dropping talent inspired a generation of musicians and wannabes

Nick Krewen Special to the Star January 11, 2020 He was closer to our hearts than we even realized. Make no mistake, the depth of anguish with which the music world  – especially Canadians – regards the unexpected passing of Neil Peart, 67,  on January 7 from glioblastoma, is immeasurable. Arguably the greatest and most influential drummer of his generation,  the Hamilton-born Peart – one third of progressive power trio…


U.S. immigration crackdown inspires Jessie Reyez’s charged new music video

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Oct 07, 2019 In the visually compelling video for her latest song “Far Away,” Toronto’s Jessie Reyez pulls no punches when depicting immigrant persecution in Trump’s America. During the two-minute-and-50-second scenario directed by Peter Huang, Reyez’s character and her male love interest are dancing at a party that is suddenly stormed and tear-gassed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, who end up…


On the second floor of a Shoppers Drug Mart, there’s a shrine to Yonge Street’s musical history

July 4, 2018 Nick Krewen Special to The Star It’s not often that you have the opportunity to shop for acne ointments and body lotion before stepping into a museum that spotlights a bygone era of Toronto’s fabled musical history. But there The Friar’s Music Museum sits – on the second floor of Shoppers Drug Mart’s brand-new Yonge and Dundas location opposite the Eaton Centre – offering a time capsule…