Agnostic Front

Close to entering their fourth decade producing some of the fastest and toughest sounds around, these New York hard-core punks showed that they’re just as strong today as they were in the ’80s. The band has had the unique ability to progress in its sounds, but not lose the basis from which those sounds originated. Case in point: They came out hard in songs such as “Now and Forever,” getting in the faces of both aging diehards and younger fans. Longtime vocalist Roger Miret and guitarist Vinnie Stigma kept the hard-core feel alive with “That’s Life” and “Time Has Come.” You could feel the toughness in Stigma’s licks, and Miret’s vocals carried all of the conviction and sincerity that fans have come to expect. Agnostic Front seems to keep getting better at what they do, and they put most of the younger bands that they have inspired to shame. This was aggression and angst at its finest.

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Hail Canada

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Hail Canada

When fall begins, so does the new movie season, and it all happens at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, a.k.a. TIFF. This is the biggest, friendliest, most organized film fete in the world, and a launching pad for both Oscar contenders and small low-budget independents, which in the downturn of today’s economic meltdown amounts to the same thing. The crowds seem larger than ever this year as 300,000 people beg, fight and grovel for tickets to see 336 movies in seven days made by everyone from Madonna to Francis Ford Coppola. Politely, of course. This is Canada, not Cannes.

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