Gonzales: Never Stop

Persistence, instincts, go the distance, prove my existence – Chilly Gonzales

Being a ‘man of his time’ is likely no easy feat for Gonzales – it must take a great deal of talent and planning to continually wow fans with release after release of incredible music. Nowhere but in the musical arena can artists reach soaring level of fame one day, then be brought back down to Earth the next. Some entertainers, such as Gonzales, have evaded the pitfalls of the industry by providing novel music and themes year after year. We decided to have a closer look at what it takes to stay relevant in the industry and have a guess as to what Gonzales has planned next. Continue reading

Chambers: The Montreal Concerts

Montreal is practically founded on the principles of faith, salvation and resurrection, and sitting high on the side of Mount Royal are two reminders of these tenets: Mount Royal Cross and St. Joseph’s Oratory. Strolling by Mount Royal on Avenue Parc, one can’t help but notice the 100-foot tall steel cross looking over the citizens. Originally wooden, the cross has been updated, replaced, and retrofitted over the 372 years since it was first erected by the founder of Montreal (Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve). A quick walk from the cross lies St. Joseph’s Oratory, which contains a chapel where one can find thousands of canes hanging off a wall overlooking thousands of candles. The canes were left behind when St. Joseph’s founder, Saint André Bessette, used his faith and healing powers to cure thousands of people of their ills. Continue reading

Chilly’s Carnival(se)

People in technology and business circles like to talk about ‘disruptive innovators’; people, companies, or products that subvert existing products and markets using new and innovative techniques. One of the most visible disruptors is the popularization of downloadable media: photographs, videos, books and music (which has recently surpassed sales of physical music). Eventually, some disruptors become mainstream, and everyone can enjoy the benefits of innovation – at least until the next disruptive cycle starts up. New innovations generally come from people outside the ‘accepted’ circle, since corporations have typically have no inclination to spend money on change if it isn’t forced (although that notion is changing slowly). In Canada, Gonzales may have started out following a well-worn path for musicians by signing his band Son to Warner, but he quickly saw the downsides of corporate ‘ownership’ and decided to make his career work outside of the system. Continue reading

‘q’ Gonzales

The iconic and hugely popular CBC radio show ‘q’ recently rebooted with a new host (the brilliant Canadian rapper Shad), and one of the show’s first musical guests was one of q’s favourite artists…Chilly Gonzales. Gonzales, who is back in Canada for a concert in Toronto and three consecutive nights in his hometown of Montreal, captivated the in-person and listening audiences with great stories, insight, and humour. Gonzales’ past q appearances generated a great deal of buzz, and his latest appearance packed a great deal of entertainment in 20 minutes. You can watch or listen to the show or podcast on CBC’s website, but we thought it would be a great idea to examine the new musical messages that Gonzales has been referring to on his latest tour. We’ll present the transcript of the interview and interject (in italics) where appropriate. Continue reading

Gonzales for the Win

It appears that our Sologonzales contest to celebrate the Release of Chambers was a success – thanks so much to all who visited the site and entered the contest. The questions must have been pretty tricky – of all the entries, there were only 4 with all 10 answers correct. A quick random number generator later, and we have a winner: Joanne (@joannewklam) from Vancouver, British Columbia. Joanne was happy to have won the contest, and had the following to say about winning the prize: Continue reading

Numero Uno!

Good news: Japanese, German, and Canadian Gonzales fans can pick up Chambers right now as an iTunes Exclusive early release, plus Chambers is currently number one on the classical charts in Canada and Germany! We purchased Chambers on iTunes and are busy noting every aspect for a thorough review. For now, here’s the scoop on the iTunes download. Continue reading

Gonzo Shows

In less than a month, Gonzales will kick off a tour for Chambers that currently runs to November. We started thinking about the best Gonzales shows we’ve seen, and thought we’d put together a list of what makes for a really great Gonzales concert.

 
Enjoy the show

Think about some of the best concerts you’ve been to over the years – what made them special? From our perspective the best concerts were the ones where the entire audience was pumped with anticipation for a great concert and and had their minds open to take in the experience. It’s incredibly difficult to capture all the fleeting wonderful moments in a Gonzales concert – you just have to let the music and humour sink in as much as possible. Technology is great, but one of the unfortunate drawbacks is that all of a sudden we have become ‘press photographers’ or ‘concert reviewers’ and it’s more of a job than an enjoyable experience. Continue reading

Chilly Gonzo: Musical Memento

With the rising popularity of music streaming services, “Greatest Hits” albums are on the decline, which is a shame really. The art and science behind a “Greatest Hits” album will become somewhat of a lost art. The vast majority of the time, typical hit compilations contained one or two new songs in order to attract old and new fans to the artist. Current fans gain a new track (which was often lackluster), and new fans would be able to enjoy all of the artist’s hits in a single album. In 2002, Gonzales released a “Greatest Hits” album of sorts: “Z”. What made “Z” different was that each of the songs was “re-imagined”, as opposed to remixed or re-recorded. The new versions imagined how an older, more experienced Gonzales would have recorded the songs. Continue reading

Chambers: Pre-Order + Goodies

It’s almost Valentine’s Day (or Saint Valentin), and Gonzales is showing his fans some love through a Chambers pre-sale on his website along with an instantly downloadable track off the album. Also new in the store are two music boxes: a hand-crank box that plays Solitare, plus a wind-up version that’s available as part of a Vinyl and CD package. Gonzales has also released the full track listing for the album within the images on his store. Finally, he’s offering a webstore exclusive bonus track that will not be available anywhere else: (Not) A Musical Genius. The album artwork extends what we saw in the teaser trailer: Continue reading

January Gone Gonz

January was an exciting month for Gonzales fans: music analysis videos, interviews and features, new album announcement, song and album previews, live performances and much more. We were waiting for the news to slow down a bit to summarize, but new videos and songs just kept on coming. The upcoming “Chambers” was obviously the biggest news, but while we thought we’d hear 1 or 2 songs from “Chambers” before it was released, the BBC played practically a new song per night all week. Although we touch on the beauty of the new songs, we’ll definitely post a full write-up for Chambers once it’s officially released. Continue reading