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Playing to ‘A New Standard’: Exclusive Interview With Jazz Pianist Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo

Among family, friends, and his many acquaintances, Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo is known for his infectiously positive spirit, his playful hijinks, and a smile that absolutely lights up a room.

But it’s the music that emanates deep within Egbo-Egbo’s soul his piano as a constant appendage, his jazz, classical and pop leanings and the constant intermingling and pushing of musical genres that reveals the creative standard of the man. As a Toronto-based pianist, composer, producer and sound designer, 2018 marks the official release of his new musical work, appropriately titled A New Standard.

The twelve-song album contains a wide selection of entries originally created by a number of legendary composers over the last two centuries. They are, naturally for Egbo-Egbo, culled from disparate genres: classical, jazz, and curiously, even rock music. In A New Standard, Egbo-Egbo lovingly performs a fun and up-temp version of Sigmund Romberg’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise,” as well as a rollicking account of John Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” that merges brilliantly into the classically jazzy and beloved theme song from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon by composers Paul Webster and Robert Harris.

In a more contemporary sense, Egbo-Egbo’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s”Make You Feel My Love” brings a wonderfully fresh and emotional sense of affection to the beloved classic, but surprisingly, there’s also a perfectly lonely interpretation of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” found on the new compilation, whose aural sense of isolation any fan of the band might expect and adore. This time, it’s just with a piano.

Biff Bam Pop’s consulting editor and regular contributor, JP Fallavollita, got the chance to steal Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo away from his busy schedule to talk music, his home city of Toronto, and the release of his latest album, the shimmering and wonderful A New Standard. Read the rest of this entry

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Classic & Epic & Eternal Is This “Beowulf” Graphic Novel On The Wednesday Run

beowulfA monster wreaks havoc on a Kingdom.

A hero comes to a King.

A monster needs to be slain.

And so begins the old English epic of Beowulf, a poem that has inspired so many writers and artists in so many different genres: from painting to film to television to fiction to music to even video and board games. Beowulf has touched all aspects of human creativity.

Today, the translation of that ages-old story gets the graphic novel treatment with the beautiful hardcover of Beowulf, published by Image Comics.

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31 Days of Horror: Creepshow

Creepshow ComicHalloween is my favourite holiday for a good reason – costumes, candy, mischief… but I think what really thrills me is the idea that all things evil could become awesome. As a kid, I adored this holiday because it flipped convention on its head – celebrating the things that would normally horrify people, Halloween definitely sparked a love for the horror genre. And Creepshow nurtured it in to a full blown obsession.

Creepshow was released in 1982, directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. With credentials like that, I probably don’t need to add that it was inspired by the classic E.C. Comics of the 1950s. Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Weird Science and even MAD magazine were the creations of this incredible publisher. No doubt these inspired horror icons like Romero and King, but I was born in the 80s and this movie was to be my first taste of their genius.

If you’ve seen this Michael Jackson video, or this Twisted Sister video, or the beginning of Tenacious D, you’ll recognize the beginning of Creepshow… A Dad who unknowingly rouses bad mojo by being mean to his kid. In this case, tossing the Creepshow comic book in the garbage, inspiring rebellious kids everywhere to lust for blood.
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Win Tickets to Queen’s Hungarian Rhapsody – Live in Budapest

freddie mercuryQueen is an act that transcends time and bridges the gap between mine and my parents’ generation… and if there is one artist I regret never getting to see, it’s the legendary Freddie Mercury.

But thanks to Cineplex and Eagle Rock Entertainment, the Hungarian stop on the 1986 Magic Tour is being brought back to life in theatres this fall.

Even better, we’ve got a contest!

You can win two tickets to a special screening of Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest this Thursday, September 20, 2012, at the Scotiabank Theatre, Toronto at 7:30 p.m. Read the rest of this entry

Mat Langford’s Gaming World: Best PS1 Classics for the Vita

FF& SephirothAs many Vita fans already know, August 28th marks the day that PS1 classics come to the Vita, and it’s kind of a big deal. I’ve been waiting for it for a while, because it’s going to allow me to play some of my old favourites on the go…actually, mainly because it’s going to give me a reason to charge my Vita and take it with me for a change.

That aside, I figured I’d put together a quick list of the top 5 PS1 classics to get for your PS Vita, along with their trailers. Anticipating these games again, it’s like being back in the past!

5. Metal Gear Solid Read the rest of this entry

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