Are you ready to rock?

Let it be known that media bands are set to “turn it to eleven” — that’s a Spinal Tap reference, boys and girls — all in the name of serious competition, good fun and a great charity.

On Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., bands from the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, JAZZFM.91.1, a merry bunch of freelancers without pensions, and special guests, The Clamshell Quintet, a Toronto City Hall house band comprised of politicos of all stripes, will take to the stage to raise money for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Newzapalooza, now in its 9th year, promises as always to be a night where hacks forget their day jobs — if only for a few hours — and become gods of rock. In their own minds, for some, but, to be sure, there’s some serious musical talent being wasted in the pursuit of videos allegedly showing this and that. The event has raised more than $70,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Hosted by emcee extraordinaire Jaymz Bee, the show this year will once again tap the expertise of celebrity judges. This year’s line up includes author and musician Dave Bidini (his latest book, “Keon and Me,” is on the shelves); Dean Blundell, host of the morning Dean Blundell Show at 102.1 The Edge and frequent consulter of lawyers; and Steve Murray, a National Post cartoonist whose Twitter views “reflect the opinions of @globeandmail.”

Special thanks to this year’s growing list of sponsors, which includes Home Depot, The Opera House, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Ace Awards Inc., Prohibition GastroPub, Toronto Sun, Toronto Star and The Second City.

Doors and the bar open at 7 p.m., and the show, barring any unforeseen proroguing, will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or from members of the media bands taking part.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page.

Newza 2012 a Critical and Commercial Triumph

The Toronto Star’s Holy Joe and The Principles smoked their way through a steaming set of powerfully funky Meatloaf and Johnny Cash tunes to capture the 2012 Newzapalooza title before a rapturous crowd of 400. The glittering event – held at Leslieville’s storied Opera House – raised $7,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation. To win the crown, Holy Joe had to out rock a tough field of bands from the Toronto Sun, CItyTV, Thomson Reuters, the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Press.

Newxapalooza wishes to thank our special guests for the evening – MC Jaymz Bee and his good friends in Bonzai Suzuki (thank you, Bubz Magoo) – and our fabulous celebrity judges:

Dave Martin (, @davemartinworld)

Naomi Snieckus (, @snieckus)

Coun. Doug Ford (

A huge thanks as well goes out to all our sponsors and everyone who attended for making the show such a success. We hope to see you all again next year.

Holy Joe & The Principles 2.0 win Newza 2011

A big congratulations to Holy Joe & The Principles 2.0, the winners of Newzapalooza 2011.

Celebrity judges chose the Toronto Star group as the top media act out of seven bands, which included strong sonic entires from the Globe, CP, Maclean’s, CityTV, Jazz FM, Reuters and the Toronto Sun. It was a great crowd, and thanks to all who came or couldn’t and picked up tickets anyway. Organizers agreed it was the best show yet, including a superb set by Andrew Cash and Charlie Angus. The NDP rockers played nice and so did celeb judge Tony Clement. Gazebo jokes were kept to a respectable minimum.

In the process, Star types and others helped raise over $9,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation.