Brooks, Jon - No Mean City

Format: CD
Label: private
Year: 2006
Origin: Toronto, Ontario
Genre: rock, folk, blues
Keyword:  politics, Toronto
Value of Original Title: 
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: Ontario, Politics, 2000's, Folk


Track Name
No Mean City
No Good
How Good It Is to Love Someone, How Right it is to Care
Miracle On Bleecker Street
The Curve of the Earth
St. James Town
Two Storey Town
The Industrial Part of Town
Kept Plans
Stairwell Anniversary
MIchael Power
By the Lake



No Mean City


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Equal parts folk-blues record and literary piece, No Mean City is a bittersweet love letter to Toronto, though often more bitter than sweet. Local singer-songwriter Jon Brooks has crafted a sparse, thoughtful and eloquent collection of stories that cast light into some of the dark corners of urban life. Political without being preachy, Brooks' roughened vocal delivery invokes shades of Tom Waits or NQ Arbuckle. The understated acoustic instrumentation aids the flow of the songs in an almost hypnotic manner. No Mean City is great as a mellow background listen, but definitely stands up to focused scrutiny.

No Mean City takes 12 Toronto addresses and turns them into songs. Beginning with the proud outer face of architecture, the songs move inward to discover our interiors are not in accord with the exteriors. Collectively, the songs make the forceful argument: that homelessness on today’s urban streets is a final consequence of the homelessness that is the modern urban soul.


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