Entertainment

Eight short stories, early summer 2021 – from socialism in Buffalo and Kiran Ahuja to Pat Riccio, Mike Digout, Larry Olsen, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Jun 24th, 2021 | By | Category: Entertainment

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, FROM THE EAST TORONTO OFFICE (NORTH OF THE LAKES AS THE OLD AGRARIAN DEMOCRACY USED TO SAY). JUNE 24, 2021. The weather is more than just agreeable here today. The sun is shining. Early summer is in full bloom. And we are cheered, dismayed, and/or puzzled by eight different stories in the recent […]



Black and red genius Charles Parker Jr may yet redeem USA (and Canada too)!

Jun 16th, 2020 | By | Category: Entertainment

CW EDITORS : The summer is in sight. We have just a few quick things to say, before settling down to a more rigorous holiday schedule of (more) regular (more brief) reporting in these fascinating and intermittently near-overwhelming times. (That at least is the plan.) To start with, while diverse protests for equality and freedom […]



Taking time out from current madness to consider one woman’s brilliant writing more than 2500 years ago

Mar 14th, 2019 | By | Category: Entertainment

When relief is needed from Canada’s intermittent bouts of feeling that, to stay relevant in the global village, we must do a bad job of imitating political craziness elsewhere, the editors on this site turn to me. Or so it all too often seems, waiting for the eccentric winter of 2019 to end. Lately I […]



Starting 2019 with jazz at the Bluebird – one of the “top 21 new bars in Toronto”

Jan 4th, 2019 | By | Category: Entertainment

It may well be that 2019 proves a difficult year on any number of fronts. But I was lucky enough to spend its first Thursday evening at one of the “top 21 new bars in Toronto” (blue bird or The Bluebird, 2072 Dundas St W, at Howard Park). I was listening to an excellent jazz […]



RIP V.S. Naipaul – who thought briefly about moving to Canada long ago but then went back to England

Aug 24th, 2018 | By | Category: Entertainment

I have no deep familiarity with the writing of V.S. Naipaul, who “died at his home in London” Saturday, August 11, 2018, just a few days short of his 86th birthday. But he is at least one of only a few great literary talents I for a while found fascinating after my mid-30s. I feel […]



Seven steps to heaven on the Toronto jazz scene in January 2018 …

Jan 3rd, 2018 | By | Category: Entertainment

[UPDATED JANUARY 10]. What are some options for dropping by the Rex Jazz & Blues bar in Toronto in the first month of this perhaps fateful year 2018? Which of the scheduled groups would you most like to hear? Those asking these poignant questions also promised that if we did go to any of these […]



Memories of Gerry Mulligan and other time travelers in the strange North American summer of 2017

Jul 15th, 2017 | By | Category: Entertainment

At last we have summer in the city 2017 up here on the northwest shore of the most easterly great lake (well, sort of …). Back from a short communion with early July mosquitoes further north, I somehow bumped into a YouTube clip called “Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan – Stardust.” As happens in the […]



If Bird’s bebop finally did become the new pop music it just might sound like Allison Au and Tara Kannangara

Jul 15th, 2016 | By | Category: Entertainment

[CW EDITORS NOTE : Nos cÅ“urs et les esprits vont vers les gens du premier pays de mère européenne du Canada, à la suite de l’attaque terroriste épouvantable à Nice hier — un jour que tous ceux qui aiment la liberté et la démocratie dans le monde d’aujourd’hui célèbrent, épaule contre épaule avec le peuple […]



Nous le Nord : giving Drake a key to the city in “the most open-minded place you can find yourself”

Mar 12th, 2015 | By | Category: Entertainment

According to Paul Rimstead (I think), Bud Grant, the old Winnipeg Blue Bombers coach from the USA, used to say that “Canadians should be more like Texans.” Today it might be said that Stephen Harper from Alberta has now realized this dream. And whether you approve or not is the main ballot question in this […]



50 years in Toronto reading the New York Review of Books ..

Aug 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Entertainment

TORONTO, ONTARIO STREETCAR SUBURBS, AUGUST 11, 2013. When I bought the Summer Issue of the New York Review of Books at my local magazine store several days ago, it came wrapped in a plastic bag, with a red and white seal on the outside saying “FREE 1963 premier issue reprint!.” Technically, the summer of 2013 […]